Archive for the ‘Fear of God’ Category


David Discipleship…

  • Begins with a Heart Decision
  • Grows from knowing the ways of God
  • Develops as we practice mercy, justice and righteousness

In a short period of time, David faced Goliath, King Saul, Doeg and Achish. God had David on a fast-track course of discipleship. It began with his decision to give God his whole heart, and seek to know God’s heart. It grew as he diligently applied himself to knowing the ways of God. But through his trials with Saul, Doeg and Achish, David developed into a Mighty Man of God. David developed because David paid attention and learned.

The lessons that God wanted David to learn and live he recorded in three Psalms that David wrote after those experiences.

I believe one of the greatest gifts you can leave your children and grand-children is a record of the discipleship lessons God has taught you. Do you keep a record of what God is teaching you? Do you take notes? If you are not paying attention to what God is teaching you, He will stop teaching you. Thank God David paid attention. The three lessons David learned after Saul, Doeg and Achish were recorded in Psalms 34, 52 and 56. Those three lessons parallel the three things God most delights in and wants His disciples to know and understand – hesed, mishpat and tsedeqah.

1. Fear God Above All

David realized that he must fear God above man. His heart was firmly fixed upon God. His heart feared God when everyone around him feared man. David knew the hesed (unfailing Love) of  God would keep Him in God’s care.

Psalm 34:9-11 Fear the LORD, you his saints, for those who fear him lack nothing. The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing. Come, my children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the LORD.

2. Depend Upon God Above All

Early in his youth David learned that God’s House is a special place, and saw how God designed His house to be a certain way. David desired the justice of God’s house to be in his life, and to be in his house. To know God’s justice, David learned to depend upon God above anyone or anything in this world, including himself.

Psalm 56:3-4 When I am afraid, I will trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can mortal man do to me?

Psalm 52:8 But I am like an olive tree, thriving in the house of God. I will always trust in God’s unfailing love.

3. Magnify God Before Everyone

David learned that God would provide His righteousness for Him. David learned that God was His hope and his righteousness, and that he must exalt Him before everyone, that they might know the hope of his heart.

Psalm 34:3 Oh, magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together!

Psalm 52:9 I will praise you forever for what you have done; in your name I will hope, for your name is good. I will praise you in the presence of your saints.

Let’s see how these lessons are demonstrated in I Samuel 22 & 23.

Last week we left David at Nob, where Ahimelech gave him the Holy Bread and the sword of Goliath. After enquiring of the Lord, the Lord said to go to Gath and seek help from Achish, King of Gath. I assume God told him, because God wanted David to learn not to fear. David may have thought he might get some respect from Saul’s enemy, especially since David had killed their great warrior. Instead, King Achish seized David, and would have killed him, but David started acting like he was insane.

1 Samuel 21:12-13 And David took these words to heart and was much afraid of Achish the king of Gath. So he changed his behavior before them and pretended to be insane in their hands and made marks on the doors of the gate and let his spittle run down his beard.

Jewish tradition says that Achish had a wife and daughter who were both ‘crazy’ and that is why he reacted the way he did:

1 Samuel 21:15 Don’t you think I have enough crazy people to put up with as it is without adding another? Get him out of here!”(MSG)

David’s House Grows

A few miles away David sought a hiding place in the caves of Adullam. It was close to his home in Bethlehem, and so his family came to see him. Word got out about David, and around 400 men sought him out.

1 Samuel 22:1-2 David departed from there and escaped to the cave of Adullam. And when his brothers and all his father’s house heard it, they went down there to him. And everyone who was in distress (māṣôq), and everyone who was in debt נָשָׁא‎ (nāshâ), and everyone who was bitter in soul (mar nephesh), gathered to him. And he became captain over them. And there were with him about four hundred men.

  • māṣôq: A masculine noun meaning distress, anguish. It refers to hardships and anxiety (Deut. 28:53, 55, 57; Jer. 19:9); especially brought on from disobeying the Lord but also from general social and political conditions (1 Sam. 22:2). The psalmist suffered anguish, relieved only by following the Lord’s delightful Law (Ps. 119:143)[1].

In four of those times, the King James translates it “straitness”, and in each of those four times, it is talking about the kind of distress a person will experience when they are in such a horrible time of famine that they would have to actually resort to eating their own children (Deut. 28:53,55,57; Jer. 19:9).  It describes people who are so desperate that they will do anything.

Psa 119:143  Trouble and anguish have taken hold on me: yet thy commandments are my delights.

Deuteronomy 28:53 And you shall eat the offspring of your own body, the flesh of your sons and daughters, whom the LORD your God has given you, in the siege and in the distress with which your enemies shall distress you.

  • נָשָׁא‎ (nāshâ) lend on interest or usury[2] – people who were in great debt, being charged high interest by fellow jews, which was contrary to the law.
  • mar-nephesh, “bitter of spirit,” used of Hannah, deprived of a child, in 1:10, and of David’s soldiers, whose women and children the Amalekites had seized (30:6). Cf. also 2 Sm 17:8. David becomes a hero for those who have endured loss or deprivation.

These men were bitter in their soul, feeling cut off from the mercy of God.

These men were overwhelmed with debt, that because of unlawful interest rates, made it impossible to repay. They had been taken advantage of by unjust men. Now they couldn’t provide for their ‘house’ – their families.

These men were in distress due to circumstances beyond their control. Their hopes had been dashed and they felt there was no place to go.

So these men needed to know mercy (hesed), they needed to experience justice (mishpat) and they needed to know the hope of righteousness (tsedeqah).

They needed a leader to restore the love of God to their heart, to restore justice to their house, and to bring rightness and hope back to their disillusioned lives.

“Herein David became a type of Christ, the Captain of our salvation, who cried, ‘Come unto me, all ye that are weary.’” (Trapp)

I believe God called these men to David, because God saw some great things in them. He saw what they could be, if they only had someone to show them. They needed a captain, a Captain that could teach them through his life. David was indeed a man on the run, but he was a man after God’s heart. And in so following and learning from David, these men were transformed into “Gibbor” – “Mighty Men”

Discipleship develops Kings, Priests and Mighty Men!

Jesus came to this earth to reach exactly the kind of men that flocked to David:

Luke 4:18 “THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD IS UPON ME, BECAUSE HE ANOINTED ME TO PREACH THE GOSPEL TO THE POOR. HE HAS SENT ME TO PROCLAIM RELEASE TO THE CAPTIVES, AND RECOVERY OF SIGHT TO THE BLIND, TO SET FREE THOSE WHO ARE OPPRESSED,

These men were poor, they would have been held captive because of debts, and they were oppressed by circumstances.

Remember These Men. We Will Draw Some Truths From Them, But First We Have To Get To The Rock!

David took his family to safety in Moab:

1 Samuel 22:3 And David went from there to Mizpeh of Moab. And he said to the king of Moab, “Please let my father and my mother stay with you, till I know what God will do for me.”

Verse 3. “Mizpeh” signifies a watchtower, and it is evident that it must be taken in this sense here, for it is called “the hold” or fort (1Sa 22:4). The king of Moab was an enemy of Saul (1Sa 14:47), and the great-grandson of Ruth, of course, was related to the family of Jesse.[3] 

Abiathar son of Ahimelech, Joins David

1 Samuel 22:20-23 But Abiathar, a son of Ahimelech son of Ahitub, escaped and fled to join David. He told David that Saul had killed the priests of the LORD. Then David said to Abiathar: “That day, when Doeg the Edomite was there, I knew he would be sure to tell Saul. I am responsible for the death of your father’s whole family. Stay with me; don’t be afraid; the man who is seeking your life is seeking mine also. You will be safe with me.”

With me, you are in a guarded place! I can see Him who is invisible, and as long as I fear Him more than man, He will guard me…If you are with me, He will guard you as well.

Psalm 34 “In my desperation I prayed, and the LORD listened; he saved me from all my troubles. For the angel of the LORD is a guard; he surrounds and defends all who fear him…Fear the LORD, you his godly people, for those who fear him will have all they need…Come, my children, and listen to me, and I will teach you to fear the LORD”.

Would anyone in their right mind believe they would be kept safe simply by staying with the most wanted man in Israel? David had such a trust in God that he could boldly profess God’s protection. His men began to trust David as they saw God work!

David Demonstrated That The Fear Of The Lord Keeps Us In Safety

David was settling down in Moab. God wanted these men to be pushed to the limit as far as trust in God was concerned. He wanted them to trust  Him even in the midst of evil and danger. So God sent a prophet to tell David to leave Moab and return to Judah.

1 Samuel 22:5 Then the prophet Gad said to David, “Do not remain in the stronghold; depart, and go into the land of Judah.” So David departed and went into the forest of Hereth.

God did not want David to remain outside the country of Judah. God wanted to demonstrate His power to David and to the men who were with him. God knew that all of Israel would be watching. God wanted them to see His power! God was telling David, “it is too easy to protect you so far away from Saul. That’s not much of a testimony of my Greatness! Come on back to Judah, where Saul has thousands of spies to tell him where you are at. This will give me a great opportunity to show you how I can protect you and keep you”.

In fact, 1 Samuel 23:3 reveals that David’s men really needed to learn this: They told him, “we are afraid here in Judah”. They were not worthy of being called “Mighty” yet!

David Demonstrates His Total Dependence Upon God

David did so by always inquiring of the Lord!

Verse 2:  Therefore David inquired of the LORD,

Verse 4: Then David inquired of the LORD again.

Verses 10, 11 & 12  Then said David, “O LORD, the God of Israel, your servant has surely heard that Saul seeks to come to Keilah, to destroy the city on my account.  Will the men of Keilah surrender me into his hand? Will Saul come down, as your servant has heard? O LORD, the God of Israel, please tell your servant.” And the LORD said, “He will come down.”  Then David said, “Will the men of Keilah surrender me and my men into the hand of Saul?” And the LORD said, “They will surrender you.”

Finally, when things got really heated, and Saul was close on his heels, David did what we all must do, he went to the Rock!

Verse 25:  And Saul and his men went to seek him. And David was told, so he went down to the rock and lived in the wilderness of Maon.

Every time David needed direction, he inquired of the Lord. His fear of the Lord was so great, that he did  not want to do anything counter to His will. His dependence upon the Lord was such that He would not make a move without clear direction from God.

To those men who said “we are afraid here in Judah”, what kind of testimony did that provide them?

Here is a man of obvious cunning and skill, and yet he is always asking God what to do! David demonstrated that he trusted God in everything, trusted enough to ask God what God wanted before he did it!

A Visit from Jonathan Strengthens David

Even David’s need Jonathan’s!

1Sa 23:16  And Jonathan, Saul’s son, rose and went to David at Horesh, and strengthened his hand in God. And he said to him, “Do not fear, for the hand of Saul my father shall not find you. You shall be king over Israel, and I shall be next to you. Saul my father also knows this.”

Strengthened – chazaq – to strengthen, prevail, harden, be strong, become strong, be courageous, be firm, grow firm, be resolute, be sore.  The form in Hebrew is a “Piel” stem, meaning an “intensive” form.  He really, really strengthened David.

The Writer of Hebrews used similar words to strengthen the heart of the Jewish Christian in Rome. He said: Hebrews 13:5 Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

It is a reference to the promise God gave Joshua just before he crossed over the Jordan to enter the Promised Land:

“as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. Be strong and of a good courage…Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest. This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest. (Jos 1:5-9)

When things get scary, even overwhelming, cry out to Jesus Christ. He promised to never leave you nor forsake you. Be strong and of good courage. Do not be afraid. David, the man who feared God rather than man, sent a message loud and clear to his men – as long as we depend upon and follow God, we will be safe. We have nothing to fear.

  • God is greater than King Saul.
  • God is greater than his armies,
  • God is greater than all the spies.
  • God is a Rock that is higher than anyone

So we find 1 Sam 23:25: “When David heard that Saul and his men were searching for him, he went even farther into the wilderness to the great rock”.(NLT)

I’m sure David had this in mind when he wrote Ps 61:2 “From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I“.

David Declares His Hope and Magnifies God

1 Samuel 23:26-28 tells us what happens next:

Saul and David were now on opposite sides of a mountain. Just as Saul and his men began to close in on David and his men, an urgent message reached Saul that the Philistines were raiding Israel again. So Saul quit chasing David and returned to fight the Philistines. Ever since that time, the place where David was camped has been called the Rock of Escape. (NLT)

You can see David there, his men all frightened, and David looking heavenward and praying out loud: “Bow down thine ear to me; deliver me speedily: be thou my strong rock, for an house of defense to save me. For thou art my rock and my fortress; therefore for thy name’s sake lead me, and guide me”. Psalm 31:2-3

When they hear Saul’s army leave, the men heard David shout:

 The LORD lives, and blessed be my rock, and exalted be the God of my salvation! Psa 18:46 

The Rock of Escape is the Hebrew word: Sela-hammahlekoth which is the combination of two words. Joined, they are actually translated “Rock of divisions”

Jesus is our Rock.

Paul declared that Jesus is our Rock, and He is typified by the rock from which water flowed after Moses struck it. 1 Cor 10:4  “And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ”.

Peter declares that Jesus is a rock, but a rock of offence: 1 Pet 2:8  And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.

Most pictures of Jesus birth have him in a wooden manger. Archaeologist have discovered many stone mangers (or feeding troughs) from the time of Christ. Due to the abundance of stone and scarcity of trees around Bethlehem, it is most likely the manger Mary placed Jesus in was made from stone. It would be God’s doing if that rock came from Sela-hammahlekoth. For truly the manger represents the “Rock of Division”. Even our Calendar is divided by the manger. The very year we are in (AD 2011) means this is the 2011th year since the birth of Jesus “anno domini”. The day before was BC or “before Christ”.

I believe the manger was made of rock, whether in a cave or the lower level of a home, or a corral behind a home. I believe the manger represents this “rock of Division” that God used to rescue his beloved on.

Rock of Division

There is a Rock of Division that runs throughout the Old and New Testaments.
  • There is the Rock that Abraham climbed with his son Isaac. The rock that divided Abraham from trusting in God or trusting in himself. The rock upon which he placed Isaac in obedience to God.
  • There is the Rock on which Moses stood to receive the Law from the hand of God. The rock that divided his people from the world and separated them unto God.
  • There was a rock, a cornerstone, that the builders rejected and hung upon a cross, on the rock called Golgotha. That rock divided two men, one died in his sins and is burning in Hell even today. The other man trusted in the rock, and joined Him that day in Paradise!
  • There is a rock that was rolled away and a Triumphant Jesus Christ stepped forth. That rolling rock meant that Satan had been conquered, and sin and death could hold us no longer.  That rolling rock meant that no grave will hold us, no demon of hell will grab us, for we have trusted in this Risen Savior!

One day there will be a mighty stone cast upon the earth, and it will destroy the great whore Babylon, and all those who worshipped her. He that judges will cast Satan and all those who rejected the cornerstone into the lake of Fire for all eternity.

One Day a building made of precious stones will descend rom Heaven, and all those who have trusted in the Chief Cornerstone will find a mansion to live in for all eternity.

Yes Jesus was placed on a rock of division. He was not just a baby. He was not just “the reason for the season”.

Jesus Christ is the very Rock of Division. He is the Divider of Mankind.

John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me.

This Christmas, everyone you meet, every family member you hug, is on one side or the other of the Rock of DIvision. They are either clinging to the Rock, or they are clinging to something else, or trying to make it on their own. They either trust the Rock for their salvation, or they are lost and on their way to Hell. There is no in between, no purgatory, no second chance. We all face the rock of division. We either see the Rock of Jesus Christ as our only Hope, our only righteousness, and our only salvation, or we have no protection, we are trying to walk on sifting sand, sand that is slowly sifting to Hell.

Hurting Men became Mighty Men

David had a group of men whom the world had rejected. They were hopelessly beaten down, drowning in debt, and broken in soul. They came to David, a man whose Heart was given totally to following God. A Man building a House whose Foundation was God’s Word, and a Man whose Hope was in the Righteousness of God. As these men followed David, there lives were changed, they became alive to God, to trusting in God, and David called them his Gibborim, his Mighty Men!

They became followers of  El-Gibbor – The mighty God.

Mighty Men:

Fear God Above All – Heart

David taught them to fear the Lord above all I will teach you the fear of the LORD.

Depend Upon God Above All – House

David built his house with men who became mighty because their strength came from Mighty God

Magnify God Before Everyone – Hope

Psalm 52:9 I will praise you forever for what you have done; in your name I will hope, for your name is good. I will praise you in the presence of your saints.

Do You want to be a Mighty Man or Woman? Do you want to get on the winning side of the Rock? Do you see your need for a Savior?

1. Come as you are.

  • Are you in distress over this life?
  • Do you realize you owe a debt you can never repay? Jesus died for your sins, sins that meant you deserve condemnation in Hell. He redeemed you, paid the price to free you from your sins. You owe Him a debt you can never repay. Come to Him.
  • Are you carrying a heavy weight in your soul. Has life been so unjust that you ache.

2. Come to the Son of David, Jesus Christ

3. Come and bring your Sword!

  • Jesus is building an army of mighty men and women willing to take on the world! Discipleship is never passive, but always offensive!

[1] Warren Baker and Eugene Carpenter, The Complete Word Study Dictionary – Old Testament, (Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 2003), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, 654.

[2] R. Laird Harris, Gleason L. Archer, Bruce K. Waltke, ed., “1424: ‏נָשָׁא‎,” in Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament, (Chicago: Moody Press, 1980), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, Under: ” nāshâ“.

[3] Robert Jamieson, A.R. Fausset, David Brown, A Commentary: Critical, Experimental, and Practical on the Old and New Testaments, (Toledo, OH: Jerome B. Names & Co., 1884), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, Under: “1 SAMUEL”.

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One upon a time three young men refused to follow societies expectations, and even refused to obey the King’s Law. They were following someone else, someone unseen, yet to them He gave meaning to their lives. These three young men faced a choice, to obey the King and deny the one they gave their lives to, or disobey the King and face a painful death by fire.

These three had a reason for living, and therefore had a reason for dying – faithfulness to the one they called Jehovah God. They gladly chose death, promising the King that “Our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning, fiery furnace, and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.”

Because their lives were centered upon this God, they willingly faced pressure that most men, especially young men, would avoid. And through the pressure of the fire, they were enlarged. When the king looked in, he saw FOUR men walking around, enjoying the fire.

When our nation sees young nine year olds afraid to face pressure, afraid to face the future to the point of taking their own life, we must sound the alarm, and blow the trumpet.

We have forgotten our God, the God who has the power to enlarge us through our pressures. The God who is relevant for our life and is why we should live and value life!

Woe to the nation who forgets God, for they will find themselves wandering in the wilderness, afraid of the future, afraid of the fires of life.
Nine-year old Montana Lance reveals what is wrong with America.

Life has no meaning unless God is our reason for living. This country became great because we had a purpose in living-following God. We viewed Him as Sovereign over our lives. We viewed our Nation as “Under God”.
Now “under God” is simply a motto rather than a way of life.

When pretense is revealed as reality, our children will lead us to see what we have become-a nation of people who have forgotten the truth, who have forgotten their God.

Sound the alarm!


God-Asks-Hard-QuestionsToday I want to open the Word of God and answer Four Hard Questions that I believe God wants us to ask ourselves.

  1. How Do We Deny Jesus Christ?
  2. How Do We Become Vessels of Honor?
  3. How Do We become Ensnared by the Devil?
  4. How Do We Worship a god of our own making?

The answers that we discover are essential in answering the overall question facing us this morning – Do We Need a Revival?DO We Need a Revival

When asked about which Book of the Bible most Christians would like to know more about, the answer is usually the Book of Revelation. We all have a natural curiosity about what will happen during the last days.

  • “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the close of the age?”
  • For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are but the beginning of the birth pains. “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake. And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. Matthew 24:7-13

Jesus said this of the last days-many will fall away, there will be betrayal and hatred between brothers. There will be false prophets that lead many supposed brothers astray. Lawlessness will increase, and the love of many will wax cold. Peter described the last days in this way: knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. They will say, “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.” 2 Peter 3:3-4

In the last days people will scoff at God and His Word, they will cause many to doubt the coming of Jesus Christ. They will present a god that is without power and without the ability to keep his word. In other words, man will fashion a god who is non-threatening and merely to be used as a security blanket for the old and the weak. Before you get all curious about the Last Days, and about God’s Judgment, I want you the heed the Lord’s reaction when some other curious people wanted to know what a recent happening meant.

There were some present at that very time who told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And he answered them, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered in this way? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. Luke 13:1-3

(What Jesus Meant) “These men are not signal examples of divine vengeance, as ye suppose; but every impenitent sinner — ye yourselves, except ye repent — shall be like monuments of the judgment of Heaven, and in a more awful sense.Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

Jesus wants us to realize that each of us is only a heart beat away from being a monument to the judgment of God. Either a Monument to God’s Grace, or a monument that will burn for all eternity in the bowels of hell.

Jesus said no matter what happens, consider your own heart. Make sure you have repented. See if there is a need for repentance. In the fine print Jesus says “Never take your salvation for granted!” I believe in eternal security. But I would never never assume that God owes me anything. I am nothing without Jesus Christ. Any boldness I have is solely because I am hid in Jesus Christ. But one thing Jesus wants us to know-our hearts are evil and so deceptive. We can be fooled so easily into thinking we are OK, even better than most of the folk around us simply because we prayed some prayer 20 or 30 years ago. Well if that prayer of salvation did so much for you why haven’t you told someone about it? If what you did was so life transforming, why are you afraid to tell even your good friend or a sister about what Jesus did for your life?

If President Obama was coming to your house to discuss health care with you and a few select friends, you would not hesitate to start calling so and so. Well, Jesus is coming very soon and you are afraid to tell those you love about it!

I’m afraid that too many of us are trusting in what we once did instead of repenting daily of our cold, careless hearts. There is a judgment coming for ALL mankind and we are just curios lookie Lou’s wanting to figure out who the antichrist is. If you want to know who the antichrist is, try looking around you. John says that there are many antichrists among us, in fact they begin as Christians sitting with you at church:

  • Children, it is the last hour, and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come. Therefore we know that it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us. 1 John 2:18-19

Who is an Antichrist?

antichrist obamaAnyone who denies Jesus Christ as Lord of their life. Continue with John:

  • But you have been anointed by the Holy One, and you all have knowledge. I write to you, not because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and because no lie is of the truth. Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son. 1 John 2:20-22

What does it mean to deny? It doesn’t mean to reject, as those who reject the free gift of salvation. It means to refuse, such as Moses in Heb. 11:24 – “By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter”. It also means not to know or recognize someone such as in Matt 10:33 “But whoever shall deny Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven.  If you are a born again Christian, and yet continue to hide Jesus from your friends, from your loved ones, you’ve got to do some soul searching – because the Scriptures seem to say that you have the spirit of antichrist.

If we endure, we shall also reign with Him; If we deny Him, He also will deny us; If we are faithless, He remains faithful; for He cannot deny Himself. 2 Timothy 2:12-13

reviveRevive comes from the Latin word revivere – to live again. In order to live again you had to be alive at one point, but now you are comatose or in a drunken stupor of some sort. A verse we will look about in a minute is 2 Timothy 2:26 “and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil” May come to their senses comes from a Greek word meaning “To awake out of a drunken sleep and become sober”CWSD. If we need reviving it means we are not dead, and need to become alive. How can we be dead if we have been born again. But if we need reviving, it is because we have allowed this world or the devil to get us in a spiritual state that our eyes are clouded and our head is foggy because we are in a drunken stupor. We need to come to our senses, we need to awake out of our drunken sleep. Once we wake up and clear our minds and hearts long enough to see, we must look long and hard and Holy God. We must look long and hard at His Holy Word. And then we must look long and hard at our love for Jesus, and then we must be honest before God and weep and mourn.

revelation of JohnI’m not a believer in being slain in the spirit, but would to God that some of us might get slain in the spirit like John did when he saw the real Jesus! We need to see the real Jesus, the one who will judge us for every word we speak. We need to see the real Jesus, the one who one day will reveal that He knew all along what you did to Him – whether you have neglected his bread of life, neglected His water of Life, denied Him before your friends, failed to feed the hungry, clothe the poor, give water to the thirsty.

Revelation of HellMy greatest fear is not being eaten alive by rats or falling headlong into a pit of venomous snakes…my greatest fear is that one day I’ll look through the crystal portal of heaven (Before the throne there was a sea of glass, like crystal. Revelation 4:6 ) and look into hell and see some of you screaming in agony for all eternity. Why didn’t you take being a Christian more seriously. Why did you not realize that being born again is a changed life, not just some tears you shed because you prayed an emotional prayer. If you are born again there will be a continual desire for this Word. There will be a continual thirst for Jesus. Just as you can’t go for many days without food and water, you will not be able to go many days with nourishment from Jesus. Even in my most backslidden state I was aware of God pounding, pounding, pounding on my stubborn heart.

Some of you act like Jesus is no big deal. If Jesus is not a big deal to you, how can you even for a moment really think that Jesus lives in you? How can you even for a minute tolerate such a cold hard heart and even believe that the Holy Spirit tolerates it too?

Question #1: How Do We Deny Jesus Christ?

How Do We Deny ChristWhen we neglect him, when we forget him, when we act as if we don’t know him, when we refuse Him to be Lord over our life, our heart, our mind, our soul, our possessions, our marriage, our worship. Ask yourself this morning – How am I denying Jesus Christ in my life?

Continue reading in 2 Timothy 2 at verse 19

2 Tim 2:19 – But God’s firm foundation stands, bearing this seal: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of the Lord depart from iniquity.”

Understand first of all, Paul is speaking of Christians.

He says that God knows who are His. We can not judge who a Christian is. Only God knows. But Paul does say that those who name the name of the Lord will depart from iniquity. Now iniquity is the adikos, that which ought not to be, that which is wrong. It is the opposite of díkē, that which is right and fit, hence unrighteousness.

One who takes the Name of Jesus upon their heart will stop doing that which ought not to be, that which is wrong!

Now in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver but also of wood and clay, some for honorable use, some for dishonorable. Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work. So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will. 2 Timothy 2:19-26

From our text we see the following: In any church there are vessels of gold and silver and vessels of wood and clay.

“Now in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver but also of wood and clay, some for honorable use, some for dishonorable”

Now from the text you can’t say that only the vessels of gold and silver are born again. But I believe you can say that true Christians can be ensnared by the devil.

QUESTION #2 How Do We Become Vessels of Honor?

How Do We Become Vessels of HonorThere are things a Christian must do in order to become a vessel of Gold and Silver.

  • Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work. So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels.

1. You must cleanse yourself from that which brings dishonor in your life.

  • DISHONORABLE – Speech – attitudes –  disobedience –  thoughts –  actions

2. You must be ready and willing for good works

  • Whatever you Say Boss!
  • For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10 (2 Tim says honorable vessels are prepared for every good work).
  • Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: For I was an hungered, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal. Matthew 25:31-46

3. Flee Fleshly Desires

  • Run away from, escape from their destruction, – Pride, lust, speech, thoughts

4. Engage in an INTENTIONAL Pursuit of the Character of Jesus Christ.

  • righteousness, faith, love, peace, and do it with others of like pure (undivided) heart. No Two-Faced Christians allowed in your life.

5. Avoid Controversies and Quarrels.

  • And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will. 2 Timothy 2:20-26

6. Realize You are a Slave of Jesus Christ.

  • You have no will of your own

  • Obey the Commands of Your Master

7. Realize Your Life Can Be Used to Rescue Christian’s From the Snare of the Devil

QUESTION #3 How Do We become Ensnared by the Devil?

How are We Ensnared by the DevilIt begins when we deny Jesus Lordship over some area of our life. It can be music, what we look at, what we read, what we say, but we usually know when we resit Jesus in that area. The Satan starts to work. He loves to capture Christians with wrong thinking, wrong attitudes, wrong beliefs. He loves it when Christians start quarreling over things which get us off course, get us away from our passion for Jesus. If your life is going to be used to rescue people caught up in the snare of the devil, you must:

  1. Not Argue
  2. Be Kind
  3. Be able to explain the Word
  4. Be patient with those who treat you wrong.
  5. Desire such to repent and allow God to show them His truth, that they may sober up and escape the snare of the devil, even after being captured to do his will.

The next few verses reveal what happens to this great house, the church, when we do not cleanse ourselves from that which is dishonorable. Paul is describing what will be apparent not among the unbelievers, (although if this is in the church you can bet it is in the world) but among those in the great house!

2 Timothy 3:1-5 – Dishonorable Christians Who Close Their Eyes to God

This know also, that in the last days

perilousViolent, fierce. Used of demoniacs, wild, difficult (maniac of Gadara), hard to bear, distressing, referring to the times

times – kairos – a period of opportunity

shall comewill set in

2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves phílautosSelf-centered or selfish. The primary concern that things be easy and pleasant for oneself.

Covetous – philargyros: “loving money” in Luke 16:14 (Pharisees were lovers of money)

boasters (James 4:16-you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil.)

proud – hyperēphanos: “showing oneself above others”, always used in the evil sense of “arrogant, disdainful, haughty;” Jas. 4:6; 1 Pet. 5:5; (God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble)

blasphemers – blásphēmos; from bláx stupid, and phémē, rumor. To be abusive, reviling, destroying one’s good name (a slanderer, blasphemer in respect to men)

For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: Mark 7:21-22

disobedient to parentsapeithés; Unwilling to be persuaded, unbelieving

unthankfulacháristos; (literally without favor or kindness). Unthankful, ungrateful (Unthankful people are without grace from God)

unholy Ἁνοσιος unholy, synonym is Βέβηλος profane. that which is trodden”. What is permitted to be trodden by people at large is unhallowed, profane. Esau is called βέβηλος in Hebrews 12:16, as one who did not regard his birthright as sacred, but as something to be sold in order to supply a common need.—Vincent’s

3 Without natural affectionWithout family love (see Rom. 1:31).

trucebreakers áspondos; (without offering) The absolutely irreconcilable person who, being at war, refuses to lay aside his enmity or to listen to terms of reconciliation (refusing to enter into treaty, irreconcilable). Implacable, in a state of war.

false accusersdiábolos; from diabállō, to accuse. One who falsely accuses and divides people without any reason. He is an accuser, a slanderer (1 Tim. 3:11 Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things.); (Titus 2:3 The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things)

incontinentakratés; (literally without strength). Unable to govern one’s appetites.

Fierceanémeros; Not mild, ungentle, fierce, savage. Sometimes merciless.

despisers of those that are good aphilágathos; Unfriendly, hostile, a person who may have pity but does not necessarily do anything to relieve the suffering of another through self-denial. Hostile to good men.

4 Traitors – betrayers – Acts 7:52 Which of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? And they killed those who announced beforehand the coming of the Righteous One, whom you have now betrayed and murdered.

Heady – means “falling forwards”; reckless, headstrong in the pursuit of a bad end under the influence of passion. Only here and Acts 19:36 -“Since then these are undeniable facts, you ought to keep calm and to do nothing rash.”(When the silversmiths in Ephesus were wanting to kill Paul)

high-minded tuphóō; To swell or inflate with pride. In the pass. tuphóomai, to be lifted up with pride

  • (he is conceited and understands nothing; but he has a morbid interest in controversial questions and disputes about words, out of which arise envy, strife, abusive language, evil suspicions, 1 Timothy 6:4)

lovers of pleasuresphilēdonos: “loving pleasure” (hēdonē, “pleasure”)

more than lovers of Godphilótheos; from phílos, a friend or loving, and Theós, God.

5 Having a form Here, the mere outward semblance, as distinguished from the essential reality. Outward shape without the reality.

of godlinesseusébeia;—Devotion, piety toward God. Although eusébeia in the NT is translated “godliness” (2 Tim. 3:5; Titus 1:1; 2 Pet. 1:3), the word “God” is not in it. Only in 1 Tim. 2:10 is it theosébeia, where the word Theós, God, occurs as a prefix instead of , good or well.

but denying – to deny, decline, reject, give up (Matt. 10:33; 2 Tim. 2:12, 13)

the powerdúnamis; Power, especially achieving power. All the words derived from the stem dúna– have the meaning of being able, capable.

thereof: from such

turn away – to turn away from, avoid, shun

(These are the dishonorable vessels we are to cleanse our lives of) These verses describe people a whole lot like the people mentioned in Romans 1:

  • And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Though they know God’s decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them. Romans 1:28-32

We all know Romans 1 is speaking about infidels and reprobates (haters of God), so doesn’t 1 Tim 3:1-5 speak about the same people? No. In the total context, Paul is speaking of those in the great house who have allowed themselves to be dishonorable.  He is not talking about vicious Gentile unbelievers. These are not the Roman Gladiators who martyred Christians. These are not the Catholics of the Spanish Inquisition who tortured and murdered anyone who practiced any religion or belief outside of Catholic practice. This is not even talking about the Radical Muslims who will murder and burn any Christians whom they even hear make fun of the Qur’an. No, Paul is talking about you and me, Bible toting, church going, tithe paying Christians. But we have allowed ourselves to become dishonorable, and even get captured by the devil to do his bidding. It is possible for Christians to be deceived into thinking they are Christians. It is even possible for people who believe they are Christians to lead others astray.

Let’s read 2 Tim 3:1-5 again, from the Phillips translation:

But you must realize that in the last days the times will be full of danger. Men will become utterly self-centered, greedy for money, full of big words. They will be proud and contemptuous, without any regard for what their parents taught them. They will be utterly lacking in gratitude, purity and normal human affections. They will be men of unscrupulous speech and have no control of themselves. They will be passionate and unprincipled, treacherous, self-willed and conceited, loving all the time what gives them pleasure instead of loving God. They will maintain a facade of “religion”, but their conduct will deny its validity. You must keep clear of people like this. 2 Timothy 3:1-5 Phillips

These people may look like good Southern Baptists on the outside. They have the Bible, they may tithe, they may say God Bless You, They may use all the churchy words, but it is just a disguise. They are wearing a mask, even a full body mask, that is empty and devoid of the true power of Godliness-Jesus Christ!!
Just look closely at how they behave when they get home from church. Look at how they behave when they go to work, go out with friends. Look at how they talk about others, look at how they treat their wife or their husband. Look at how they treat the disadvantaged, the homeless, the poor, the destitute. Look at how tightly they hold on to their possessions, their money. Look at how greedy they really are.

  • I know most of you are going “WHEW”, that doesn’t apply to me. But remember the words of Jesus, “unless you repent”. It is dangerous to think we are alright, that we are OK, that we are safe.

QUESTION #4: How DO We Worship a god (idol) of Our Own Making?

How do we worship gods of our own makingThe truth is that at any point in our life we can get tripped up by the devil. These attitudes that are condemned by Paul in 2 Tim 3 can slowly creep into our lives. The danger is to accept being a common vessel. The danger is thinking that you are OK the way you are. You have made a little god for yourself, one who is not too holy, not too demanding, and not too judging. After all, my little god loves me and fogives me.  When we think this way, we are excusing our sin, we are trampling under foot that which is Holy.  We are not seeing Holy Jehovah God, but a clever looking god of our own making.

The essence of idolatry is to get for your self.

  • Colossians 3:5 “Therefore, put to death (mortify, kill) your members which are here on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. Covetousness is idolatry because it puts self-interest and things in the place of God. So a Christian who is covetousness can often be disguised as a servant that serves only for the praise or for what they think they will get from their god. But their religion, their service is all self-based.
  • Col 3:5 says we are to “KILL” our self-centeredness, our selfish wants, our selfish pleasures. A person who is born again is radically transformed, with all your focus shifted away from you and placed squarely upon God! Anytime you excuse or allow sin or selfishness or self-indulgence in your life, you are worshiping an idol god of your own making.When you excuse sin in your life, when you continue to accept wrong behavior and wrong attitudes, not only are you worshiping at the altar of idolatry, but you should check your heart out, for perhaps the devil has captured your thinking and is using you for his will, and perhaps has deceived you into believing you are a Christian.

Anytime you are walking in your own strength, seeking your own interests, you are worshiping at the altar of idolatry.

But my people have changed their glory for that which does not profit. Be appalled, O heavens, at this; be shocked, be utterly desolate, declares the Lord, for my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me (FORSAKEN – to NEGLECT to depart, to abandon, and to loose. —TWOT) the fountain of living waters, and hewed out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that can hold no water. Jeremiah 2:4-13

  • The truth is, that if we forsake the Lord, if you neglect or depart from the Lord God, if you refuse God as being the Lord of your life and your possessions, God will refuse, neglect and yes forsake you.
  • In Malachi 3:8, God told his people that they were robbing God because they were neglecting the tithe. Because they were neglecting the tithe, God said they were cursed with a curse. What was that curse, it was the devils access to their goods. If they would God’s rightful place in their lives and show it with tithes, God said He would rebuke the devourer.
  • The application is simple: when you worship at the altar of idolatry, you are forsaking God and are opening yourself up to the snare of the devil. Don’t presume upon God’s Protection and Blessing when you are an idolater.

The Spirit of God came upon Azariah the son of Oded, and he went out to meet Asa and said to him, “Hear me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin: The Lord is with you while you are with him. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will forsake you. 2 Chronicles 15:1-2

When you make you own little god that pleases the way you want to live your life, you are being like the Laodiceans:

“ ‘I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see. Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent. Revelation 3:15-19

Now I don’t know what it means for Jesus to spit me out of is mouth, but I do not want to find out.

Are you lukewarm to the things of God? Do you think your walk with God is OK? What god are you walking with? The little idol god of your own making, or the Holy Righteous Almighty Creator of this universe? Jesus says if you are lukewarm that you are wretched, poor naked and blind. You need to have your eyes anointed so that you can see!

Holy Spirit You Can't Come in HereAre there secret rooms in your life that are shut off from God’s Holy Spirit? Are there rooms where the Holy Spirit has been barricaded? Is there a room cluttered with unclean pictures? Are there any skeletons hanging in your closets? Can you invite the Holy Ghost to walk down the corridors of your thought life? Can you invite him in to see the hatred in your heart toward others. Can you invite Him to listen in as you speak evil of others?

There are three people living in each of us:

  • the one we think we are,

  • the one other people think we are, and

  • the one God knows we are.

Unless we are desperate to enter into the Victory of Christ’s Righteousness, we are so easy on ourselves and so hard on others. Self loves self. Too often we hide ourselves from ourselves lest the sight of ourselves should sicken ourselves.

Let us invite the searching eye of God to locate this corrupted, stinking self in us. Let it be torn from us and be “crucified with Him, that henceforth we should no longer serve sin (Rom 6:6) It does no good to call sin by another name. You can criticize someone for having a devilish temper, but say that yours is only righteous indignation. You can criticize someone for blatant gossip, but excuse you negative comments as “prayer concerns.” You can excuse your not speaking to a brother or sister or father or mother because of their “ungodly influence and lifestyle” yet God sees your Judging heart and says your are guilty of ungodly pride and an unforgiving heart.

The Holy Spirit will neither spare us nor cheat us if we will expose ourselves to His infallible scrutiny.

Restore My SightAnd Jesus said to him, “What do you want me to do for you?” And the blind man said to him, “Rabbi, let me recover my sight.” Mark 10:51 He had once seen, but now he was blind.  Some of us had once seen the Lord, but our eyes are blind. We once walked with the Lord, but now we lie in a ditch on the side of the road moaning in a drunken stupor, too blind to see the devil has captured our minds our hearts, our souls, and he has stolen our heart from loving Jesus, he has stolen our hands from serving Jesus, he has stolen our eyes from looking at Jesus, he has stolen our strength from leading others to Jesus.

woe is meLet us pray that God will revive us from our drunken stupor of selfishness, carnal living and give us SIGHT AGAIN-upward, inward, and outward.

  • Then like Isaiah, as we look upward, we will see the Lord in all His Holiness.
  • As we look inward, we will see ourselves and our need for cleansing and power.
  • As we look outward, we will see a world perishing and in need of a Savior.

Revival will come only when we throw off the drunkenness of Satan and this world or whatever else we have filled our heart with, and then we desire sight to see the Lord! Right now, close your eyes and imagine you are before God Himself. Not God as you hope He is, but God as His Word Reveals. Listen as He searches your heart with these probing questions:

  1. Have you denied Jesus as Lord in any area of your life?
  2. Have you done what Scripture commands to become a vessel of Honor/ Or have you trodden under that which is Holy and made it common, dirty, even profane as Esau did with his birthright?
  3. Have you in any way allowed wrong actions and attitudes to ensnare you in the devil’s plan?
  4. Have you been worshipping a god of your own making, one who accepts your sinful ways, one who excuses your apathy, your hardness, your selfishness?

If Jesus were to ask you what you desire, would it be selfish things or would you say, Lord restore my sight that I might see you as you really are?


Isaiah VisionIn the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory. And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke. Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts. Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar: And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged. Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me. Isaiah 6:1-8

Isaiah did not have a vision until Uzziah died. Uzziah was a man of flesh, of fleshly means, of fleshly confidence. And until the flesh is dead, we cannot see a vision from God! When Isaiah saw his vision, he cried out three simple short words:

  • WOE – a word of confession

  • LO – a word of cleansing

  • GO – a word of commission

woe is meIsaiah’s Vision was Three-Fold

  • It was an upward vision-he saw the Lord
  • It was an inward vision – he saw himself
  • It was an outward vision – he saw the world
  • It was a vision of height – he saw the Lord high and lifted up
  • It was a vision of depth – he saw the recesses of his own heart.
  • It was a vision of breadth – he saw the whole world.
  • A vision of Holiness – Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts:
  • A vision of Hellishness – I am undone
  • A vision of Hopelessness – who will go for us?

Isaiah before throneWhere there is no VISION the people perish, but you can say where there is no PASSION the church perishes, even though it is full of people.

  • A Vision without Passion soon becomes a distant memory..
  • A Passion without a Vision becomes an emotion that fades away.
  • A Vision united with a Passion will produce a Light that fadeth not away.

A Vision of Hell will produce a Passion for the Lost.

Richman in HellJust think of the rich man. He was in Hades, he saw hell, and he wanted someone, anyone to run and tell his brothers about hell. No man lives beyond his vision. Your life will only have as much significance as whatever your focus is on. If you are only focused on yourself, you will be significant only to your self. If because of a VISION from God you focus on the needs of others, you will be significant in ministering to others.

We don’t need to pray for sinners to have a vision of Hell, they simply need a vision of the reality of Calvary as seen by the way we live our lives.

We need to see a Holy God! We need to tremble before Him. We need to let that Vision burn in our souls and ignite a Passion for Righteousness, a Passion for Jesus, a Passion to reach out to those trudging on the road to Hell. Each one of us has an appointment with God. He awaits us in eternity. We had better be at peace with Him here and be in the center of His will NOW!

In chapters 1 through 5 Isaiah has a lot of woes for a lot of people. But in chapter 6 he sees God and sees himself as God sees him and cries WOE is ME! Satan loves to get us looking at other people and all their problems. But God’s Holy Spirit wants us to look at God and realize we are so far from Him!

Its me, its me O Lord, in need of prayer!

Chagall_Bible_Vision_IsaiahIn your soul there are many”rooms“. Are there secret rooms in your life that are shut off from God’s Holy Spirit? Are there rooms where the Holy Spirit is not welcome? Is there a room cluttered with unclean pictures? Are there any skeletons hanging in your closets? Can you invite the Holy Ghost to walk down the corridors of your thought life? Can you invite him in to see the hatred in your heart toward others. Can you invite Him to listen in as you speak evil of others?

isaiah lipsThere are three people living in each of us:

  • the one we think we are,
  • the one other people think we are,
  • and the one God knows we are.

Unless we are desperate to pursue after the Righteousness of Christ, we can be so easy on ourselves and so hard on others. Self loves self. Too often we hide ourselves from ourselves lest the sight of ourselves should sicken ourselves. Let us invite the searching eye of God to locate this corrupted, stinking self in us. Let it be torn from us and be “crucified with Him, that henceforth we should no longer serve sin (Rom 6:6).

It does no good to call sin by another name. You can criticize someone for having a devilish temper, but say that yours is only righteous indignation. You can criticize someone for blatant gossip, but excuse your own negative words about someone as “prayer concerns.” You can excuse your not speaking to a brother or sister or father or mother because of their “ungodly influence and lifestyle” yet God sees your Judging heart and says your are guilty of ungodly pride and un-forgiveness.

The Holy Spirit will neither spare us nor cheat us if we will expose ourselves to His infallible scrutiny.Jesus touches eyes

In Mark 10:51 Jesus asked the blind man “What wilt thou that I should do unto thee?” He replies “Lord, that I might receive sight!”

Let us pray for sight-upward, inward and outward. Then like Isaiah, as we look upward, we will see the Lord in all His Holiness. As we look inward, we will see ourselves and our need for cleansing and power. As we look outward, we will see a world perishing and in need of a Savior.Hell Fire burns for eternity


Scarlet Cord Memorial of Rahab

The book of Joshua is a Mighty Book of Faith in God and His ability. An insignificant people face insurmountable obstacles and enemies and all they have is a willingness to believe and obey an unseen God! That is the very essence of faith, for faith is at its strongest when we are at our weakest. The Power of God is never wasted on trifling matters. He delights in answering the call of people facing impossible situations.

Joshua Sends Spies to JerichoIn Chapter 2 we find Joshua sending a couple of young men to spy out the city of Jericho. I ask, why, Joshua? Remember the last time spies were sent out? Didn’t God tell you to be Strong and of Good Courage, for you would overtake the land? This is the mystery of a life aligned with the Holy Spirit’s purpose. When you align yourself with the Holy Spirit, He will lead you do things which make no sense to a rational thinking man.

Surely you have made decisions that at the time seemed stupid or even irrational, yet God used that decision and the events that resulted to dramatically impact your life and the lives of those around you. I remember one particularly irrational decision I made:

After my brothers had voted me out of Tompkins Industries in 1988, I had gone to work for Kenneth R Johnson Co. It was a very difficult 2 years financially because I had taken a 40% cut in pay and with no savings tried to keep my wife and six children fed and clothed. In the meantime I built up the hydraulic adapter business for KR Johnson from $20,000 a year to over 1.5 million dollars a year in little over 18 months. The owner was an old oil man with a bank and real estate holdings. This was kind of a sideline for him. He offered to sell the company I had built up for him for no money down but with a note of $1,000,000. But there were a lot of strings attached. At first I was chomping at the bit because it would mean a lot of good things for my young family. I could realize the rewards of my labors. But it also meant that I would really be butting heads with my two brothers. It also meant that the family would not be restored. We were all set to close the next day and I just had a feeling like none I had ever had before. I can’t explain it, but it was very gut wrenching. I am one to honor my word, but I told Lydia that I just could not go through with it. So I called John and told him I was not going through with the purchase and was quitting my job.

Boy you should have heard the fur fly. I experienced more grief from that decision and added to the grief caused by my brothers I should have taken my life. Before I had a little debt and a little income. Now I had a lot of debt and no income.  Plus a teenage driver. God used that moving of His Spirit to affect my family’s inheritance. It worked to the saving of my family, because that combined with my grandmother’s death got my brothers back together. It brought my parents back into my children’s lives.

In God’s Inheritance that He wants us to claim, our FAMILY is always in view. So many families are falling apart because of putting fleshly pride and possessions ahead of the family. Yet God wants our families, all of them. I could have made the business work, but God would have brought leanness to my soul because my family would have been destroyed.

In sending the two spies to Jericho, God saved an entire family! Are you working to toward the salvation of your family? Have you let selfish ambition, pride, possessions get in the way of your love for your family, your concern for their souls, for God’s work in their life? You are losing your inheritance. Gaining inheritance will always involve faith to follow God’s leadership. He will never, never lead you to put money, possessions, reputation, fleshly rights before your parents, your siblings, your wife, your children, your extended family. God has the inheritance of a Godly heritage in view and claiming that inheritance will always involve death to self and following God by faith. Faith in Him doing the impossible.

We Now Meet A Young Woman Named Rahab.

Meet Rahab the ProstituteJoshua 2:1-7 (NKJV) Now Joshua the son of Nun sent out two men from Acacia Grove to spy secretly, saying, “Go, view the land, especially Jericho.” So they went, and came to the house of a harlot named Rahab, and lodged there. And it was told the king of Jericho, saying, “Behold, men have come here tonight from the children of Israel to search out the country.” So the king of Jericho sent to Rahab, saying, “Bring out the men who have come to you, who have entered your house, for they have come to search out all the country.” Then the woman took the two men and hid them. So she said, “Yes, the men came to me, but I did not know where they were from. And it happened as the gate was being shut, when it was dark, that the men went out. Where the men went I do not know; pursue them quickly, for you may overtake them.” (But she had brought them up to the roof and hidden them with the stalks of flax, which she had laid in order on the roof.) Then the men pursued them by the road to the Jordan, to the fords. And as soon as those who pursued them had gone out, they shut the gate.

Rahab is not your typical gal. She is a harlot, a prostitute. There is no disguising what Rahab did. Both the language here and in the New Testament indicates she was a whore. Now you can speculate why these young men went into her place, but I think the language and Rahab’s statements indicate it was the easiest place to hide without being too conspicuous. Obviously these men looked like out of towners to be so easily discovered. So they sought sleep in a place that normally would not look too suspicious. They were not there very long before the King’s soldiers came knocking, looking for them. Obviously their lives were in danger.

This Prostitute, Rahab, Lied.

Rahab LiedNow I’m not condoning lying. God says lying lips are an abomination to Him. In her defense, she knew not God’s Laws, and was merely doing what she thought was best to spare the lives of the two young men. Does God excuse small sin to prevent a greater sin? I don’t believe so, as sin is sin. But the greatest evil that God hates is when we go our own way. Rahab was not going her own way when she lied. Something was happening in her heart, and that led her to protect the lives of the two young God-Followers.

We See Two God Events Taking Place In Her Heart.

We hear a phrase quite often nowadays. It’s a God Thing. I just used a God Event. I could have said God Thing and you all probably would have said, sure I understand. A God thing-that’s when something happens that only God could have done or manipulated. Something happens in your life causing you to do this or take this job or etc and you look back and say “That was a God Thing”. I just want to offer you a caution. God is at work every day of our life. He doesn’t’ just do God Things now and then. In fact, He wants us to every day say, wow God, thanks, wow God, you are so awesome. The flat tire, the sunset, the storm, the person who smiled at us, the person who cut us off, all of it is a God Thing!

Paul prayed that we would know the Love of Jesus Christ that surpasses our knowledge, that we might be filled with the fullness of God! If you are filled with the fullness of God everything is a God Thing! This is what the Hebrews were bringing into Canaan. They were bringing the Fullness of God into a God Empty Land. And Whenever GOD EMPTY People Encounter GOD FILLED people, God wants to see happen what happened in the life of RAHAB.

1. Rahab FEARED the GOD of the Hebrews.

Rahab Feared God of the HebrewsJoshua 2:8-11 (NKJV) Now before they lay down, she came up to them on the roof, and said to the men: “I know that the Lord has given you the land, that the terror of you has fallen on us, and that all the inhabitants of the land are fainthearted because of you. For we have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea for you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites who were on the other side of the Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom you utterly destroyed. And as soon as we heard these things, our hearts melted; neither did there remain any more courage in anyone because of you, for the Lord your God, He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath.

In an age before CNN, the news still traveled fairly quickly and accurately. The people of Jericho had heard about the Jewish Nation, how they had crossed the Red Sea on dry ground. They had heard about the destruction of Pharaoh’s Army. They had heard about the destruction of two mighty Kings, Sihon and Og. They heard how they had killed everyone, and left no survivors, not even children.

  • Deuteronomy 2:24-25 (NKJV) “‘Rise, take your journey, and cross over the River Arnon. Look, I have given into your hand Sihon the Amorite, king of Heshbon, and his land. Begin to possess it, and engage him in battle. This day I will begin to put the dread and fear of you upon the nations under the whole heaven, who shall hear the report of you, and shall tremble and be in anguish because of you.’
  • Deuteronomy 2:31-34 (NKJV) And the Lord said to me, ‘See, I have begun to give Sihon and his land over to you. Begin to possess it, that you may inherit his land.’ Then Sihon and all his people came out against us to fight at Jahaz. And the Lord our God delivered him over to us; so we defeated him, his sons, and all his people. We took all his cities at that time, and we utterly destroyed the men, women, and little ones of every city; we left none remaining.
  • Deuteronomy 11:25 (NKJV) No man shall be able to stand against you; the Lord your God will put the dread of you and the fear of you upon all the land where you tread, just as He has said to you.

Listen to her fears:

  • We are afraid because of you.
  • All the inhabitants are faint-hearted.
  • Our hearts melted;
  • Their courage vanished.

She concluded in her heart that the Lord God, He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath. To Rahab, He who is invisible suddenly became visible because of the presence of the Jews.

Fear Should Open Our Eyes to See God!

Fear Opens the Eyes to See GodMen do different things in response to fear. Some run away, some give up and commit suicide, some relish the fear and channel it into a fight. Rahab allowed the fear of her heart to open her eyes to see God! FEAR SHOULD OPEN OUR EYES TO SEE GOD! When Sennacherib threatened to invade Judah and King Hezekiah with his considerably larger army, Hezekiah allowed his fears to open his eyes to the power of God. Listen to his prayer in 2 Kings 19:14:

2 Kings 19:14-19 (NKJV) And Hezekiah received the letter from the hand of the messengers, and read it; and Hezekiah went up to the house of the Lord, and spread it before the Lord. Then Hezekiah prayed before the Lord, and said: “O Lord God of Israel, the One who dwells between the cherubim, You are God, You alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth. Incline Your ear, O Lord, and hear; open Your eyes, O Lord, and see; and hear the words of Sennacherib, which he has sent to reproach the living God. Truly, Lord, the kings of Assyria have laid waste the nations and their lands, and have cast their gods into the fire; for they were not gods, but the work of men’s hands–wood and stone. Therefore they destroyed them. Now therefore, O Lord our God, I pray, save us from his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that You are the Lord God, You alone.”

What fears do you face? What foes are at your doorstep? If you trust in Jesus as your Savior, allow them to open your eyes to almighty God. Allow your fears to drive you to trust in God and God alone. Perfect love casts out fear. Rahab is about to meet perfect love – the love represented by the scarlet cord.

2. Rahab’s FEAR led her to FAITH in the God of the Hebrews.

Joshua 2:12-21 (NKJV) [Now therefore, I beg you, swear to me by the Lord, since I have shown you kindness, that you also will show kindness to my father’s house, and give me a true token, and spare my father, my mother, my brothers, my sisters, and all that they have, and deliver our lives from death.” So the men answered her, “Our lives for yours, if none of you tell this business of ours. And it shall be, when the Lord has given us the land, that we will deal kindly and truly with you.”] Then she let them down by a rope through the window, for her house was on the city wall; she dwelt on the wall. And she said to them, “Get to the mountain, lest the pursuers meet you. Hide there three days, until the pursuers have returned. Afterward you may go your way.” So the men said to her: “We will be blameless of this oath of yours which you have made us swear, unless, when we come into the land, you bind this line of scarlet cord in the window through which you let us down, and unless you bring your father, your mother, your brothers, and all your father’s household to your own home. So it shall be that whoever goes outside the doors of your house into the street, his blood shall be on his own head, and we will be guiltless. And whoever is with you in the house, his blood shall be on our head if a hand is laid on him. And if you tell this business of ours, then we will be free from your oath which you made us swear.” Then she said, “According to your words, so be it.” And she sent them away, and they departed. And she bound the scarlet cord in the window.

Rahab had Faith in GodShe knew that God would cause the Hebrews to prevail against the mighty city Jericho. Her fear had led her to see the Invisible and she knew He would prevail. She boldly told the young men to promise to save her and her family. She had faith that they could save her family. She had faith that God was powerful enough to protect her! This coming from a prostitute, one whom the world rejected, used and abused, yet she believed there was a God who could love her and her family.

Rahab Fell into the Hebrews 11:6 Principal:

TO PLEASE GOD, WE MUST BELIEVE TWO THINGS: FIRST, THAT HE IS & SECOND, THAT HE IS A REWARDER OF THOSE WHO DILIGENTLY SEEK HIM!

Hebrews 11_6 Without FaithHere was a woman with a bad reputation, with no important status in the world, and all of a sudden the future of Israel is bound up in her faith. With God, there are no special privileges because of who you are, or what you do. We all stand before God with the common ground of faith. There is a little child over there with more faith in God than a wizened old preacher. There is a young teenager with more faith than a dying saint. God does not call good people to follow Him. God does not call perfect people to Him. He calls flawed people, but the one thing we must have to come to God is FAITH! This lowly prostitute became great in the eyes of God because of her faith in Him. That is why she is listed in Hebrews 11.

Hebrews 11:31 (NKJV) By faith the harlot Rahab did not perish with those who did not believe, when she had received the spies with peace.

Her fear of Almighty God and her faith in His power to save her led her to choose to protect these two young men rather than give them up to the authorities.

This is why Peter and John told the authorities in Jerusalem: Acts 4:19  But Peter and John answered and said to them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you more than to God, you judge. Rahab chose to fear God rather than man, and so she protected the two Jewish men. Who do you fear? We have many, many fears in this world. Yet our fears should lead us to faith in the Power of God to KEEP us, and to Work His Perfect Will in our lives.

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. 1 John 4:18

Archeologists have discovered that Jericho at this time was probably at the peak of their prosperity and safety. The walls were the most fortified in Canaan. Water was plentiful from underground springs. Crops were abundant. There was no human way this city could fall and be destroyed. Yet this woman was afraid of the power of God, and that fear led her heart to choose to believe in God rather than the power of her civil government.  Who is your faith in? What is your faith in?

When Fear Produces Faith It Always Encounters the Grace of God

3. Rahab Found the Grace of God

Rahab Found Grace of GodJoshua 6:25 (NKJV) And Joshua spared Rahab the harlot, her father’s household, and all that she had. So she dwells in Israel to this day, because she hid the messengers whom Joshua sent to spy out Jericho.

Fear of the Lord that leads to Faith in His Provision ALWAYS brings one into the Marvelous GRACE of God! Look at what the Grace of God brought into this prostitute’s life:

  • She Found Freedom
  • She Found A New Family (Joshua 6:25; Matt 1:5; Ruth 4:21)
    • She Went From Sinner to Saint
    • She Went From Being the Cursed Of God to Being a Child of God
    • She Went From The Dying In A War To Participating In A Wedding. (Revelation 19:7-9)
  • She Found A New Fame. (Matthew 1:5, Hebrews 11:31)
    • She Went From The House Of Shame To The Bible Hall Of Fame.
    • That Scarlet Cord was a Memorial for the Hebrews to See. To Save.
    • The Scarlet Memorial Begins at the Cross and Runs Past Present & Future

No one lies outside the possibilities of God’s grace!

scarlet cordWhy A Scarlet Cord? Was it something peculiar to her profession? It was obviously something she had on hand. It became the salvation of the two young men, and it became the salvation of Rahab and her entire family. The Scarlet Cord represented the sins of her former life. Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be white as wool. The Blood of Jesus cleanses the vilest sinner and makes them clean, set apart, and usable for Holy God’s purposes.

Look at What the Grace of God Accomplished

Rahab met a nice Jewish man named Salmon who loved her and accepted her completely, just the way God accepts and loves all those who come to Him through His Son. God blessed her with children. In fact, her oldest boy was Boaz, who gave such grace to Ruth. She was the Great grandmother of Jesse, the father of King David. The Grace of God in Rahab’s life extends to King David, all the way to the birth of Jesus Christ, and all the way to my New Birth! What a testimony of right response to fear!

Matthew 1:5-6 (NKJV) Salmon begot Boaz by Rahab, Boaz begot Obed by Ruth, Obed begot Jesse, and Jesse begot David the king. David the king begot Solomon by her who had been the wife of Uriah.

  • Hebrews 7:25 (NIV) Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.,

What a heritage because one woman chose to let her fear draw her into the matchless grace of God. That Wonderful grace found root in the heart of her son Boaz, who loved a young poor, widow woman who also feared God.

The Scarlet Memorial is a Memorial to God’s Grace

Scarlet Cord is a MemorialGod’s Holy Spirit was working in the people of Jericho. He was giving them an opportunity to turn to Him. Of the several thousand inhabitants, only one woman along with her family saw a ‘GOD THING’. She is the only one who opened her heart to seek after this Almighty God. The picture of God’s Grace is such that it is able to bring beauty into the ugliest life. Those lives that the world considers most decrepit, most destroyed, most likely to be cast aside are the lives that God can make most valuable, most beautiful. This is not to minimize sin. Yet when we learn of something someone once was, we recoil, we say no way, but there is no sin that the Grace of God cannot conquer. Where sin abounds, grace much more abounds. God was bringing His people into their inheritance, a place of rest. Too many Christians are running around all worried, frustrated, angry, upset, acting as if there is no Almighty God who is working in their lives. Rahab, a sinner in the world, found rest in God because she trusted in the Scarlet Cord.

You say you trust in the Scarlet Memorial of Jesus death on the cross, yet you run around as if there was no resurrection, there was no power of God to conquer sin and Satan and this world. Rahab could say I know this God. He is all Powerful. He will keep me safe. He will save me! No matter the quaking of the walls, no matter the screams of those around me, no matter the fainting hearts of mighty men, I will rest in the power of Jehovah God!

Do You Have a Scarlet Memorial in Your Life?

Do You Have Scarlet Cord MemorialThe Lord is after getting us inwardly resting in HIM. Unrest, anxiety, is ever the ground of defeat. Uncertainty about the Lord brings weakness and defeat; the Lord sets great value on BELIEVING GOD – faith in GOD. In the list of the heroes of faith in Heb. 11, the Holy Spirit records Rahab the harlot, and links her with Abraham in James; she believed God and leapt out of ungodliness into righteousness, because her fear led her to believe God and she put her faith into action. Rahab was the key to Jericho and Jericho is the key to the land. That is the kind of key He uses. He uses the Key of Restful Faith!

Let us Remember the Blood of JesusThe Scarlet Thread runs through the Bible. It is a Memorial to our Savior and His precious blood. How are you responding to the pressures of this life? Is there a Memorial in your life, a Scarlet Cord of the Saviors Blood?