Harder Than Stone

There is a group that seems like it is from a large denomination.  The way they pray and what they pray about seems like it is from this denomination.  They have been doing YouTube videos and traveling.  They are preaching love to Muslims in Israel and Hindus in India and Atheists in LA.  They preach an experiential love from GOD.  They don’t say anything about repentance or judgment or the wrath to come.  It seems like a different approach altogether.  It just doesn’t seem like the whole truth.  It is not- but maybe it is just a different gift.

To those who don’t like Paul, he never said the word repent in his writings.  When Apollos in the Bible was preaching the baptism of John the Baptist, Aquilla and Priscilla had to correct him to the truth.  He began teaching about the Messiah and salvation and was much more effective.

When someone shares the love of God alone it is only half the truth.  I could see where the love of God could influence and have an effect on people, long lasting, but what would happen when it changed or wore out or another phase of a life would start to become apparent.  What would you do if you weren’t taught what to do, and ‘how would you know without a preacher’.

This bunch of guys got angry with those who told of the wrath to come, etc,  they did not love them as they thought they should have.  It is not what we want to hear and love is.  Many are love starved and think that love is all they need and need to feel it.  In Christianity there is so much more so that you can move on; but if you don’t repent, will you still have salvation?  If you are still in your sins where is the connection to God and the guilt and the trust in God.

They were some nice, good, guys doing what they could for each person they met: praying for healing, loving on them and making them feel loved.  They were winning Muslims and Hindus even a Maharishi or super guru- to Jesus love.  But there was no talk of the cross.  The Price Jesus paid for our forgiveness and for our connection to God, our relationship to HIM, was enormous and made it all possible that we could go to heaven someday.  I’m not condemning anyone- but with no repentance there is no heaven.  They were very innocent as to how they went to people.  You can be won by love more so than being really convicted for your sins sometimes.

People call us not cool; they say ‘God doesn’t want anything from us’.  This was a hard message to do- I had to choose between love and truth.  I chose both.  The people who were telling about what we must do to get saved were doing the right thing too, telling the whole truth.  But they were having no luck with people and they said themselves they were hated…   JUST as Jesus said they would be!  Love could soften the hardest face but, does it lead to conversion very often?  The Maharishi wanted to spread this love.  What is he going to do when he falls?  ‘A righteous man falls seven times in his life’.  Apparently he was trying to be perfect so much in his life he developed a need, for love and it found him apparently.

So it is not just about feeling love, though it is what we want.  We need to know the love of God and have it with us and refer to it and let it cause change.  We become less needy, but it takes study to know something doesn’t it?- the Bible.  To internalize it, to take captive the negative thoughts until hopefully you don’t believe that you think you are not loved.  You believe what God and Jesus have done for you, that great sacrifice, and wisdom that only God can reach us where we still feel.  There is hope, God does love you!  Your mind can grow and get better because God gives the increase.  Not even how many times you tell yourself.

It is also our responsibility to love.  I know the girls will like this.  They can just pick up on something because it is the right thing to do and because they know that love makes the world go ‘round, and do the right thing.  Ah, godly women. My wife!  So love flows in yes but rivers of living water must flow out.  Who can do that in us but God, He told us- we can do that.  What God commands He enables.  These guys told about love and the unpopular ones told the whole truth.  Maybe it is just another gifting.

Now I want to give you some verses about being loved.  I’ll give you some about the importance of repentance and the responsibility and tests of love.  Just a few.  You may see where love comes from and what it is like and you may want the Lord Jesus to save you.

Jer 5:3  O LORD, do not Your eyes look for truth? You have smitten them, But they did not weaken; You have consumed them, But they refused to take correction. They have made their faces harder than rock; They have refused to repent.

Mat 4:17  From that time Jesus began to preach and say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

Joh 13:34  “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.

Joh 14:23  Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him.

Rom 5:5  and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

You have to be saved to get the HS and heaven.

Rom 5:8  But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Demonstrates He doesn’t just say it.  Know Gods love, Believe it!

1Co 2:9  but just as it is written, “THINGS WHICH EYE HAS NOT SEEN AND EAR HAS NOT HEARD, AND which HAVE NOT ENTERED THE HEART OF MAN, ALL THAT GOD HAS PREPARED FOR THOSE WHO LOVE HIM.”

Now we are talking about heaven.  It will be so awesome.  We have no experience with anything so good.

1Pe 3:10  For, “THE ONE WHO DESIRES LIFE, TO LOVE AND SEE GOOD DAYS, MUST KEEP HIS TONGUE FROM EVIL AND HIS LIPS FROM SPEAKING DECEIT.

Peter says: who doesn’t desire life and to see good days and to love.  Trust Him for His Promises.

 

 

MIKHTAM!

            David wrote many psalms, poems and spiritual songs.  They were good and wise in the English but were probably more musical and smooth in Hebrew.  You know a little Jewish music, I mean you’ve probably heard some-it’s spicy.  David must have written some like that.  But I want to talk about one of his poems- Psalm 16.  It has many spiritual concepts and I will mention a few.  They are worth hearing about because it is an appealing psalm to Americans who are interested in the spiritual development of their personalities or who they are! 

            After reading the first verse we see that David was seeking refuge in GOD and for a good purpose.  He seemed to have trials and wanted God to comfort his mind and increase his faith.  ‘Hold me God’.  David always prayed when he was having trials.  As king they could have been trying to destroy him.  You know- influential men bullying and badgering trying to get out from under the accusations they were being tried for by David, the King.  In another of his writings he called them great bulls of Bashan- they troubled him.  He would have been over powered him except that David had God and prayer on his side.

 A Mikhtam of David. Preserve me, O God, for I take refuge in You.

Psa 16:2  I said to the LORD, “You are my Lord; I have no good besides You.”

Psa 16:3  As for the saints who are in the earth, They are the majestic ones in whom is all my delight.

Psa 16:4  The sorrows of those who have bartered for another god will be multiplied; I shall not pour out their drink offerings of blood, Nor will I take their names upon my lips.

Psa 16:5  The LORD is the portion of my inheritance and my cup; You support my lot.

Psa 16:6  The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places; Indeed, my heritage is beautiful to me.

Psa 16:7  I will bless the LORD who has counseled me; Indeed, my mind instructs me in the night.

Psa 16:8  I have set the LORD continually before me; Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.

Psa 16:9  Therefore my heart is glad and my glory rejoices; My flesh also will dwell securely.

Psa 16:10  For You will not abandon my soul to Sheol; Nor will You allow Your Holy One to undergo decay.

Psa 16:11  You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.

 

He needed refreshing, to regroup possibly; or forgiveness, strength, a plan.  These are things that prayer can provide just by talking it over with God, Jesus if you will.  Read vs. 2:

            We are sinners in other words, pretty much so.  There can be no good in us without God, even humanitarian.  For without Gods Spirit we could have an impure motive.  We have a self image and pride that says what we think of ourselves- good or bad- mostly the good.  The Lord says that our hearts are evil- ‘our works are as filthy rags’, next to Him.  Some religions and philosophies say that man is basically good.  But Christianity seems to say that man is basically bad- in need of a saviour and can’t save himself. 

            God is good though and is sufficient for us to live a good life.  I don’t know how you do it without Him- getting stressed out and nowhere to turn for refreshing and help and a break from the old you.  But God completes us and strengthens us so we can get through and do good too.  This is the miracle of salvation.

            So read through to verse nine.  David delights in saints like Moses and Sampson and Gideon who were men of faith and did great things and were buried.  Or just the saints in his time that he preached to in the great assembly, that were ‘on’ the earth.

            Those who did something to make another god have a big place in their lives- their sorrows would be multiplied.  Before Christ we all have things or people we put before God and they can become like an idol in our lives and they or that fact will cause suffering.  David would not offer their sacrifices or mention their names because of the abominations. 

            David was in a good place as a servant of the Lord and God had provided everything for him like a king.  He had a good inheritance: a king on the throne after him and his seed would end up being the Messiah.  The Lord counseled him and as we shall see he found out what to do with his trials.  He is in such joy from this that he will not be shaken by anything, he thinks. 

            And verse ten: David was a large magnitude prophet; he said many amazing things and this verse is one of them.  It is a prophecy or prediction of the Lords resurrection.  This is how it happened.  He didn’t know when he wrote it that Jesus was going to rise from the dead.  But it is a perfect description of how it happened and its fulfillment is in all of the gospels.

            You see Jesus did go to Sheol or hell when He died and preached to the captives there to see if they would accept Him as Messiah.  Those who did accept HIM went to heaven.  Jesus was only in the tomb three days and the Jewish law said that after four days they would never come back.  So He didn’t decay there. 

            The last verse, verse eleven, read it.  God made known to David the path of life through his trials.  He showed him what to do and his mind figured out how to implement it into his life.  He looked forward to his life which he was content with, to be satisfying again.

            BTW Sheol was a place of rest for people who died before Jesus died.  It was not the suffering hell.  It was a place of waiting for the Messiah to come. 

 

TRUTH AS VALIDATION

Bible prophecy is very authoritative.  We should know the Messianic prophecies.  To know what the Bible is saying and that it is a powerful book, look at what GOD says will happen.  Sometimes you can find the fulfillment of the prophecy recorded in the Bible or one can find it in a history book.  If a prophecy is fulfilled all or part of the time, you have a very important work and can believe all of the great things it is saying.  This is an example of the credibility of this work and what it means to its authenticity- if the prophecies are too fulfilled, it is believable.

‘My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?’   Is the first prophecy I want to look at and it is from Psalm 22:1.  This is a Messianic prophecy and it is what Jesus actually said on the cross.  He was actually forsaken by the Father and as Psalm 22 :3 lets on, because Jesus was holy.  He was the pure and spotless lamb.  He was the Son of God and never committed a sin so He was the only one worthy to die for our sins as a sacrifice.  He was the only one worthy, the only one able to do this.  He took on all the sins of humanity- against God, against people, even against the earth and became sin for us and God turned his back on Jesus and He died in separation from God.  He died like He was going to spend or had spent an eternity in hell for all our sins, so we wouldn’t have to.  That’s love, because in no way were we going to make it to heaven or justification because we just could not quit doing wrong.  But Jesus did no wrong- He suffered and died for us.  This was because of God’s nature and His way with sin like it says in Habakkuk 1:13

‘Your eyes are too pure to approve evil, And You can not look on wickedness with favor.’

Just too good to approve evil is God.  So He had to forsake Jesus just like He would do to all of us if we didn’t repent.

Next we find that Jesus was the son of Abraham.

Gen 12:2  And I will make you a great nation, And I will bless you, And make your name great; And so you shall be a blessing;

Gen 12:3  And I will bless those who bless you, And the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.”

Gen 22:18  “In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.”

These are Messianic prophecies of the Messiah Jesus and they were said to Abraham who was to be blessed in his seed, of one- Jesus.  These are words quite a lot like when Jesus was to be here on earth too.  God made His name great and He blessed Him and many others and cursed those who cursed Him and those who accepted Him were blessed and they got eternal life.  Jesus saved them from the Law of Sin and Death.  They could now have a relationship with God and they found a new way to go.

Don’t get confused thinking that Jesus planned it all out and read the scripture and became the Saviour by acting.  He was and is the eternal God;  He fulfilled prophecy.  He could not be it all if He was not God and the miracles prove that.  Prophecy did not tell Him all He would do and be, only some main obvious facts and the essence of His ministry.

The next two scriptures show He was a descendant of Judah the son of Jacob.

Gen 49:10  “The scepter shall not depart from Judah, Nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, Until Shiloh comes, And to him shall be the obedience of the peoples.

Heb 7:14  For it is evident that our Lord was descended from Judah, a tribe with reference to which Moses spoke nothing concerning priests.

 

Jesus was the son of Judah.  Here we see the prophecy in the Old Testament and the fulfillment in the New Testament.  The Tribe of Judah had no priests and that’s where Jesus came from.  But they were a tribe of administrators and leaders and Jesus was a leader.  Mary’s blood was of the tribe of Judah and God could make Himself have any kind of blood.

 

2Sa 7:13  “He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.

2Sa 7:14  “I will be a father to him and he will be a son to Me; when he commits iniquity, I will correct him with the rod of men and the strokes of the sons of men,

Luk 1:32  “He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David;

Luk 1:33  and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end.”

 

Here we are trying to show that the Messiah, Jesus, was the son of David in the first two scriptures.  Then the fulfillment in the second two is shown.  He was the Son of David.  Solomon was the Son of David and God was talking about Solomon and the Messiah.  Everything in the first two scriptures God meant for both of them and in the last two for Jesus.

Some of these scriptures we have been studying can seem mighty unimportant but not when taken literally.  We can, not know, what they mean or know the importance of them.  But take the last one written: God is saying this is true- He will reign over the House of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end.  All the verses have meaning even the most mundane.  It takes real discernment and observation to catch all of it.  It will take a lifetime.  But some have done this and recorded it and we can get advantage from it.  One person I can mention is Dr. Chuck Missler on YouTube.  It is almost all understood and soon it will become a reality to all.

 

Isa 11:2  The Spirit of the LORD will rest on Him, The spirit of wisdom and understanding, The spirit of counsel and strength, The spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD.

 

Mat 3:16  After being baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove and lighting on Him,

Mat 3:17  and behold, a voice out of the heavens said, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.”

 

Last of all we have the prediction that Jesus will receive the Holy Spirit as the Messiah and how He will receive it.  The Matthew 3: 16-17 the fulfillment of that prophecy.  Just a few inspired words from the prophets.  Working toward that the Bible is a reliable, valid document looking through the Messianic prophecies.  If they are true as stated the Bible is from God and trustworthy as to telling the truth about all.

 

But another question clouds my mind….., if you are thinking that Jesus could have play acted into the fulfilling of scripture by faking all the fulfillments of prophecy.  He couldn’t do anything about being born in Bethlehem.  In the end He could have told them He was born there and maybe they would have made Him king.  He didn’t want that.

He could not have planned the way He died and the drama surrounding it.  Or could He have; as God He could have if we were puppets.  People come up with all kinds of excuses when not wanting to obey God.

The Scriptures are reliable and these are just a few examples why.  In other messages there are other examples- so important to understanding the Word of God.  If men and women would read them they would have knowledge and understanding of God and how good He is.  The discipline of walking with Him is so much lighter than meditating long to train the mind.  It is as easy as talking to your best friend or a brother- easier actually.  With lovingkindness He listens and you sometimes you can feel the benefits of His Love.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Seven Spirits

Sorry for the ‘I’s but I was reading and beginning to translate the Book of Revelation from a copy of the Textus Receptus with Strong’s Numbers and I found something interesting that I wanted to study a little and share.  In Revelation 1:4 it says:

Rev 1:4  John to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace, from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne,

Not that I’ve never seen this, I have, but it seemed interesting because I did not know who or what the seven spirits were.  I have loads of commentaries around in book form as well as on the computer so I determined to find out who they were in the Bible.  I have my research, and that of some good commentaries.

The best is Jon Courson, a very good, very Biblical, free, as in creative thinker and comical, thorough, brief and interesting.

‘Here we see the Trinity’, he says, ‘Him which is, and was, and is to come’ is God the Father.

‘What is your name’, Moses asked of God in Exodus 3.

‘I am that I am’, answered God- the Tetragrammaton that became so sacred to the Jews that they would only write the consonants: YHWH.

The seven Spirits refer to the seven fold ministry of the Holy Spirit as seen in Isaiah 11:2-3.

Jesus Christ is indeed the Faithful Witness. ‘Show us the Father’, Phillip said, ‘and it will suffice us’.

‘Don’t you know that he hath seen Me hath seen the Father?’  answered Jesus. (John14:9)

 

Rev 3:1  “To the angel of the church in Sardis write: He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars, says this: ‘I know your deeds, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead.

 

Jon Courson’s Commentary:  ‘As you read this section, you will notice that all of the references to Christ in Chapter 1 are repeated again in Chapter 2&3.  We saw in Verse 4 of Chap.1 that the ‘seven spirits of God’ refer to the seven-fold nature of the Holy Spirit as seen in Isaiah 11.  Why would this description be repeated in Chap.3 in conjunction with Sardis the Church?  Because while most traditional mainline Protestants like Lutheran, Presbyterians,  Wesleyans, Methodists and Congregationalists champion everything from homosexuality to environmental issues- they are wary of the ministry of the Spirit’.

 

Isa 11:2  The Spirit of the LORD will rest on Him, The spirit of wisdom and understanding, The spirit of counsel and strength, The spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD.

Isa 11:3  And He will delight in the fear of the LORD, And He will not judge by what His eyes see, Nor make a decision by what His ears hear;

 

So as you can see these are the virtues of the ministry of the Spirit.  There are seven of them.  We could use some understanding in trying to figure out what the translations of the Bible are saying, sometimes.  All are admirable qualities that God would have in quantity to serve man and to create the universe.

 

My New American Standard Bible commentary says here, that:  ‘The Spirit will rest on Him.  The messiah, like David (1Samuel16:13), will be empowered by the Spirit; counsel and strength.  The Holy Spirit will endow Him with understanding to undertake wise purposes and with power to carry them out.  Fear of the Lord.  Delight in the fear of the Lord, GOD does’.

 

In a further area of my study which I will express in more of Jon Courson’s  Commentary; I really enjoy him like no other.  He is so knowledgeable, funny and has info no one else has which is cool.

So I found some scriptures which are a theory of the seven spirits and are the gifts of the Holy Spirit from Romans 12:6-8.  Some people think that these are the seven spirits.  Things He does, qualities He has that are God like and that He gives to us.  Though He probably does not give each one to every person, but He has them and gives each person a gift as a seal and guarantee that the Holy Spirit is real and all else in the Bible is true.  He gives some of Himself for us to develop and show to the world.  He doesn’t make us perfect though but more like Jesus; and as I said Jesus had, has it all.  I will list them and explain a few:

Rom 12:6  Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly: if prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith;

Rom 12:7  if service, in his serving; or he who teaches, in his teaching;

Rom 12:8  or he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.

 

Jon Courson, ‘This is the only time in scripture where spiritual gifts are spoken of directly.  Wait a minute you say.  What about 1Corinthians 12 and 14, and Ephesians 4.

Look at these passages and see the word ‘gifts’ is in italics, meaning it was not present in the original Greek.  You see, the gifts mentioned here in Romans are the motivational gifts, the manifestations of them of which are listed in 1 Corinthians 12, and the ministries are found in Ephesians 4.  That is why you see the list of gifts here in Romans 12 contains the motivational gift that God, by His grace, has given every believer.  As we become open to the spirit, He adds the manifestations of the Spirit (1COR 12) as well as the ministry of the Spirit (Eph4).

‘As Paul lists the motivational gifts- the tools in the box of the Master Carpenter- he divides them into two groups: those that expound the word (vs6-8a), and those that expand the work (8b).  The first motivational gift Paul discusses is prophecy.  Prophecy means more than foretelling.  It primarily means forth-telling- expounding the word, declaring truth.  The Word burns in the heart of those with the gift of prophecy.  They know what should be shared and feel a pressing need to speak out.

‘Prophecy declares truth.  Ministry depicts truth.  Jesus modeled this over and over again when He would first teach then touch.  He would teach truth and then touch people as an illustration of what He taught.  Ministering simply means serving.  I think of Dorcas in Acts 9.  When she died the early church went into upheaval.  Why was she so loved?  Because she was a minister in the truest sense of the word.  Others declared truth and warmed people’s heart; Dorcas depicted truth by sewing people’s garments and warming their bodies’.

I tried to show various aspects of the Holy Spirit and who the seven spirits are.  I hope He has a much fuller picture for you- what He is like and how He works.  The sevens spirits of God are really one Holy Spirit.  He can do much more than these lists I have presented.  He convicts of sin, righteousness and judgment and leads all men to the Father through what He says about Jesus.  I hope you will listen to Him even if He is not in your heart yet.  He points to Jesus, He loves you and He wants to minister to you by living inside of you and leading you to eternal life through Jesus way.   Repent of your sins and open your heart to Him, be sincere, get baptized and He will be yours.