Today I think the Lord might want to go a little easier on you through this message. That doesn’t mean that it isn’t as important, but not as convicting as some of the last few messages. Today, we will be looking at living a life with faith in God.
I want us to start by repeating a few verses.
Psalms 27:14 LET THE WEAK SAY, I AM STRONG.
Ephesians 6:10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might. .
Psalms 71:16 I will go in the strength of the Lord GOD.
Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
Remember, there is power in God’s Word. We should be speaking these verses out daily. Lets all say these again, but this time make it personal. This is you declaring God's promises.
I want us to look at many verses today dealing with faith, so again this week have your pen and paper ready as I am going to be moving quickly through some of them. I highly recommend that when you have a chance later to go over these verses, so that you can see for yourself what they say. Amen?
Did you know that without faith, it is impossible to please God?
Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him: (God) for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
But without faith it is impossible to please Him, or do things well pleasing in His sight; or any of the duties of religion, in an acceptable way; as (catch this, church) prayer, praise, attendance on the word and ordinances, or any good works whatever; because such are without Christ, and without His Spirit; and have neither right principles, nor right ends: for this is not to be understood of the persons of God's elect, as considered in Christ; in whom they are well pleasing to Him before faith; being loved by Him with an everlasting love; and chosen in Christ, before the foundation of the world.
For he that cometh to God; to the throne of, His grace, to pray unto Him, to implore His grace and mercy, help and assistance; to the house of God, to worship, and serve Him, and in order to enjoy his presence, and have communion with Him; which coming ought to be spiritual and with the heart; and supposes spiritual life; and must be through Christ, and by faith: wherefore such a comer to God,
Let’s continue reading in Hebrews and look at men and women who had faith.
Hebrews 11:7-40 KJV By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.
(8) By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. (9) By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: (10) For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.
(11) Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised. (12) Therefore sprang there even of one, and him as good as dead, so many as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable.
(13) These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. (14) For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. (15) And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. (16) But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.
(17) By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, (18) Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called: (19) Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure. (20) By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things to come. (21) By faith Jacob, when he was a dying, blessed both the sons of Joseph; and worshipped, leaning upon the top of his staff. (22) By faith Joseph, when he died, made mention of the departing of the children of Israel; and gave commandment concerning his bones.
(23) By faith Moses, when he was born, was hid three months of his parents, because they saw he was a proper child; and they were not afraid of the king's commandment. (24) By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter; (25) Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; (26) Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward. (27) By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible. (28) Through faith he kept the passover, and the sprinkling of blood, lest he that destroyed the firstborn should touch them. (29) By faith they passed through the Red sea as by dry land: which the Egyptians assaying to do were drowned.
(30) By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, after they were compassed about seven days.
(31) By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace. (32) And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets: (33) Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, (34) Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. (35) Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection: (36) And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: (37) They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; (38) (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. (39) And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: (40) God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.
Are we seeing how important faith is?
Let’s look at some more.
Here in Acts, Jesus said Acts 26:18 To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in Me.
Friends, I don’t know what else we have to hear. When we hear about the blood of Jesus, the name above all names, when we hear and be doers of repentance and ask Christ into our lives to be Lord and Savior, we now can have heaven on earth.
Matthew 17:20 And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.
Jesus often scolded His disciples I believe in a loving, yet stern way over their lack of faith. Let’s look at some of these times:
Matthew 6:30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?
Matthew 8:26 Most of you are probably familiar with this story. When Jesus was sleeping in the boat and the winds came and the disciples woke Him and said, “Don’t you care that we are about to die?” And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.
Everyone that came to Jesus in His 3 1/2 year ministry to be healed was healed. Many times He said, "Because of your faith you are healed or made clean." My friends, your faith and my faith is just as important today as it was back then. Do you want to see God move in your life and your circumstances? Get into your Bibles daily. Be in prayer daily. Friends, I had heard this time and time again and I believed it, but until I actually fell on my face, until I really spent time in His Word, because I wanted to, rather than feeling I had to, I lived in just a mediocre life. Now, I can witness to people with boldness for God’s Glory. Now I can discern between a false message or a Godly message. I see people healed when I pray in faith, and I use His Word against the symptoms. Not because I am special, but because I love His Word and I love my Savior. It is trying to seek God’s heart. Praise You, Jesus.
Church, I want each of you to get this. When we pray, don't have in the back of your minds past circumstances. Stay tuned in to God's Word. There are going to be those with fancy titles before or after their names tell you something different. Don't listen. Let the Bible dictate the truth.
Hebrews 10:38 Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.
Let’s say that again…… The just shall live by faith!
Now the just shall live by faith, The "just" man is one not in appearance only, but in reality; not by his obedience to the law, but by the obedience to Christ; and he is evidently so by the Spirit, and by faith: and he is one, who lives soberly and righteously; and the life he lives, and shall live at present, is not eternal life; for though he shall live that life, yet this is not intended; for it is a living by faith that is spoken of, and as antecedent to the coming of Christ.
Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
There is one person in the Bible, who I can’t find where it says that he did nothing wrong. Now, that doesn't mean he wasn't a sinner; he was a sinner. We're all sinners. But you can search the Scriptures and you won't find one verse that says, this fellow did this wrong, but God forgave him. Abraham told lies about Sarah, but God forgave him. Moses struck the rock, but God forgave him. Paul says, "I was a persecutor of the church, but I obtained mercy."
But all the way through the Bible, every verse that relates to this person, there is not a single verse that says anything bad about this man. Now, I can see that puzzled look on your faces, and I like that. It means you're thinking. You know who it was? Joseph. It was Joseph in the Old Testament. Nothing in the Old Testament records anything he did wrong; nothing in the New Testament records anything he did wrong.
Because of much good discussion throughout the message, we will continue next week and start looking into the life of Joseph.
This week I would like to continue where we left off about three weeks ago on the sleeping church. That message really impacted many people's hearts, so I feel led to continue. Praise God.
We touched on many scriptures during the first part of this message and like I always do, we will be reading from many more verses today. In part one, we went over the 10 commandments. We also talked about the blessings and curses found in Deuteronomy 28. We went to the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke about how Jesus told us how we should love God. Can anyone tell me what these verses say?
Mat_22:37 Jesus answered him, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.”
Mar 12:30 So love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.'
Luk_10:27 He answered, "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind.' And 'Love your neighbor as you love yourself.
We also touched on Galatians 3:13 and 14. Can anyone quickly refresh everyone’s memory on what these 2 verses are talking about?
Galatians 3:13-14 KJV Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: (14) That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
Because I believe that God is directing me to teach on preparing our hearts and to be in right standing with Him, because time is short, I’m not going to stay long on these two verses, but I do want to say that this is a very important promise. Actually, there are many key factors here. First, we are redeemed from the law. All the curses brought upon the Jewish people because of disobedience have been redeemed because Jesus, who knew no sin, died for you and me. What love, Amen?
We, who did not deserve what He did, He did because He loved us. The point I really want to get across to you all today, and I urge you to read this on your own and often, Galatians says we are redeemed of the law. Yes? Quickly, because I want everyone to see this and meditate on it AND if anyone tries to tell you Jesus isn’t in the healing business anymore you can show them this.
Deuteronomy 28:61 KJV Also every sickness, and every plague, which is not written in the book of this law, them will the LORD bring upon thee, until thou be destroyed.
Does this speak volumes to anyone? Like I said a few weeks ago, I am not going to base messages around prosperity and healings, as I don’t believe that is where God is leading me, but when I come across a promise like this, I get excited. Are you excited? Thank You Jesus for redeeming me of all the curses of the law. Thank You Lord for redeeming us of things that aren’t even named in the law. Thank You Jesus for accepting gentiles into this promise and grafting us into your family. Halleluiah! Someone quickly shout "Thank You Jesus."
Isaiah 64:6-7 KJV But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. (7) And there is none that calleth upon thy name, that stirreth up himself to take hold of thee: for thou hast hid thy face from us, and hast consumed us, because of our iniquities.
Such strong words, but we have to remember that God is a Holy God. Because society has fallen so far away from God, I think we fail to understand what being Holy means. I think we have been so desensitized to Godly ways, because of how we have been brought up. I’m not saying everyone, but on average. We have come to the point in history where God is being taken out of our focus (look at cover of J and L Ministries bulletin) and our lives by government and activists of all kinds. Denominations becoming like the hypocrite religious leaders that Jesus rebuked in the gospels during His three and a half year ministry.
To be honest, I thought it was going to be baby Christians that would walk into our house for church services on Sunday's. Guess who seems to be most interested in coming and also joining us on Skype? People who have been hurt by denominational churches are the ones most likely to be the first to come. Not because I haven’t been sowing seed or praying for the lost, but because I believe God is leading them to the truth. Not that it makes me special, but because I have a heart and a passion for knowing the truth. Praise God. Twisted messages that have brought division within congregations, but yet, Apostle Paul, speaking to the Corinthian church said this in
1 Corinthians 1:5-10 KJV (5) That in every thing ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge; (6) Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you: (7) So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ: (8) Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. (9) God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord. (10) Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.
I did a quick Google search, and don’t quote me 100%, but this is what I found just on the Baptist churches. Their number can add up to a total of close to 100 million adherents in the world through (ready for this?) 211 denominations, making Baptists the largest Protestant denomination in the world. Yet Paul, being led by the Holy Spirit said “Let there be no division among you.”
What happened my friends, to preaching from all of the Holy Word, even if it is a convicting message? Yes, I pray that I always teach in a loving manner, but Jesus help me, if there is a convicting message to be taught that the Holy Spirit gives me the boldness, strength and the words to get the message across, then let me do it. As I have said many times, if you feel there is a finger pointing at you, there are three more pointing back at me. Amen? I love each and every person who hears or reads this and I care enough to search God’s Word to find what He wants to share with me and you. I cannot do this in my strength. Praise God!!!
Let’s go to another scripture. Let’s turn to Romans 1:18, which will show us about God’s wrath. Romans 1:16-23 KJV For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
Who listening to this is ashamed of the Gospel? Now, who is willing to talk to someone at a restaurant, maybe shopping, at work, maybe on the phone to a family member about your faith? For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, “the just shall live by faith.” How do we get that faith?
Rom_10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
Jesus said over and over to the disciples “Ye of little faith.” He also said to those being healed of various diseases or troubles, “Your faith has made you clean”, or “has set you free.” So we know that faith in Jesus is very important with our walk with Him. Let’s get back to Romans.
Romans 1: 18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; (19) Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. 20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
Can anyone tell me what Romans 6:23 says about unrighteous living, or as we know it (sin)?
Romans 6:23 KJV For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Halleluiah!!!
Let’s go to 1st Corinthians 6:9-20. Paul was talking to the Church of Corinth here and I believe that Paul planted this church. While everyone is thumbing through their Bibles I want to try to paint a quick picture. There were many things going on in this church body, as we will see. In those days, you had the Jews, who believed that Jesus was the spoken Messiah, and those that did not. Then you had the gentiles, mostly Greeks. This was a very busy shipping area, which I can imagine was like many busy shipping ports along a coast. You have many people from many areas of the world bringing goods and loading goods to take elsewhere. Is anyone getting the picture? You have many people, from all over the world, all having different gods that they were brought up to follow. Then there were probably some, like now that knew that there was a higher power, but not knowing who. Then you have these excited new believers, knowing they had a great thing. Then, because of the verse “Take the Gospel to the world”, they were sharing their beliefs with everyone they could, but like today in many congregations, pride sets in. Control sets in. Satan and his clonies step in and they have a field day. And the Church thinks this is all in the name of Jesus. Heaven help us. Friends, if I ever teach a false message, please, please set me straight. Promise me that.
1 Corinthians 6:9-20 KJV (9) Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, (10) Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. (11) And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God. (12) All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any. (13) Meats for the belly, and the belly for meats: but God shall destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for fornication, but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body. (14) And God hath both raised up the Lord, and will also raise up us by his own power. (15) Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid. (16) What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh. (17) But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit. (18) Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body. (19) What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? (20) For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.
See, the issue is not, "Are these things right or wrong?" The issue is, “Are we going to continue to do what we know is wrong and say it's right?” Or are we going to come to grips with what we know is wrong and let God change our lives inside out and upside down?"
Paul says to the Corinthians, "Some of you were like that. You were effeminates; you were abusing yourself with mankind, abusers of your own bodies." Look, I don't like to talk about this any more than anybody else does. But I don't want us to be mistaken. God has opinions on the sins of the body, and those opinions are listed as truth in His Word.
What He is saying is that there are some of our society that prefers their own sexual orientation than others of our society. And there are men who prefer to have sex with young boys than with women. Now, in our society today, we turn a blind eye to that. If we look at what has been in our newspapers, and what’s been going on in some of our churches for years, but now being uncovered, we see that things that God says about this is an abomination. Yet, it has and still is being covered up today.
Church, this is totally wrong. Friends, this is going on in America today, behind closed doors and right out in the open. What about the churches that now invite gays to have their marriages done in their church? Love the sinner, but that does not mean to embrace that sin. Why was gay marriage ever brought up to vote in the fist place? In Maine it has been voted and and over-turned I think 4 times. Then if that be the case, why would churches be saying let the gays have their way in the government? I totally get love the sinner but hate the sin, but this political correctness needs to stop. Do you think God is politically correct? I think not. There is no humor God is receiving from what He is seeing in our government, I am sure.
We touched on the conscience in the 1st part of this message. I have said that our conscience lines up with the 10 commandments, yes? So that being the case, I dare guess, that we as Christians believe that we have been created by God. He knows us. He knows our thoughts. He even knows every hair on the back of our heads. The Bible says that He wishes that no man perish. So reading from these few verses we have to conclude that we need to understand what is pleasing to God and what is not, so that we can turn from the wickedness and do what is pleasing to God, who is Holy. So let’s let God speak to our hearts a bit, shall we?
Romans 1:29-32 KJV Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, (30) Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, (31) Without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: (32) Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.
Let’s look at some more that some of you may be very surprised at.
Matthew 5:48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
Galatians 5:19-26 KJV Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, (20) Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, (21) Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. (22) But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, (23) Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. (24) And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. (25) If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. (26) Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.
Arrogance, worry, anger, guilt, bitterness, hate, judging, revenge, jealousy, lust of money and power, impatience, prejudice, self-pity, selfishness, disrespect. Sorcery, oops here is one. Horoscope. I see horoscopes posted all the time by those who claim to be Christians. This is why we need to teach them.
Here are some sins of the tongue, and we know James tells us about how dangerous the tongue can be. Gossiping, blaspheming, perjury, boasting, criticism, ridiculing, sarcasm, cursing, whining, flattery, complaining.
Deuteronomy 18:10-13 KJV (10) There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, (11) Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. (12) For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee. (13) Thou shalt be perfect with the LORD thy God.
This, I know, has taught on some tough topics, but if we want to please God, we need to know. We need to help other brothers and sisters. I know things that I have been convicted of and if any of you would be honest with yourselves, I am sure that the Holy Spirit spoke to you also. We should seek God’s face daily. Lord, teach me the things I do that are wrong. Father, convict my heart when I start to get angry and shoot off at the lips. Lord soften my heart so that I may be more sensitive to the Holy Spirit who is my comforter. Thank You Jesus, I pray. There are so many other important verses that touch on things that I don’t have time to hit on today. But for those of you who want to live a clean life for Jesus and to let His light shine through you so that others will see Jesus in you, you will need to search your Bibles.
Let’s all tell God He is awesome.
My biggest prayer for you listening today, or who may read this on all the sites I share this, is that everyone of us would look closely at our hearts. Do we truly love God and give Him our all, or do we give Him some of our time? I am not saying that you have to be in prayer for 3 hours a day, or in your Bibles for 2 hours, but maybe for those of you who struggle with spending time with God on a regular basis, wake up and before you go about your daily routine, thank God for all He is and does. Thank Jesus for helping you become the person He can mold you to be. Pray that He will guide your tongue, or body language that might hurt someone else. That is something that I need to pray everyday. Buy a little pocket bible and when you have 15 minutes, spend time in His Word. For those who have a problem reading, There is an audio Bible on both Cross Roads Fellowship sites. 4himalone2.ning.com and also 4himalone.ning.com. If you do this on a daily basis, you will find that it is refreshing and that He really is right there with you.
For someone who is hearing this or reading this at a later time, I want you to know I am here for you if you want to learn how to become a disciple of Jesus. I can pray for you, or send you information that will help you with your walk with Jesus. I can put you in contact with some awesome brothers and sisters who offer great teaching tools, prayer and counseling. The list goes on, but you have to make that choice. God gave us laws to live by, but He also gave us choices. I hope that this spoken to someone.
Good morning family and friends, What a glorious day to be alive. Praise Jesus. No matter what is going on in your life, good or bad, God loves you and He's still in control. Glory to God. Can I hear an amen?
Today's message is going to be a bit different. Yes, we are still going to be looking at verses in the Bible, but I want to have everyone involved. I'm going to ask each of you questions as we do this study. I'll take turns asking each of you a question and would ask that you keep your answers short and to the point.
Reading from the book of Luke Wednesday morning, I received much meaning from what Jesus was and still is trying to get across to us. This parable about the prodigal son is a story that we've heard many, many times. In fact, there was a member on Cross Roads Fellowship who refereed to this parable on another Christian site a few days ago. Yesterday morning, our grandson was watching a cartoon on the same parable. Maybe, because I have been leading church services for 2 and a half years and continually trying to hear what God would have me teach, or maybe because of I feel with everything within me that we are about to enter into a very trying time in this world like we have never seen. Whatever the reason, I thought it important to share this this morning. Let’s read from the passage. Please turn to Luke 15:11-32, if you will.
Luke 15:11-32 KJV And he said, A certain man had two sons: (12) And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living. (13) And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living. (14) And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want. (15) And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. (16) And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him. (17) And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father's have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! (18) I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, (19) And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants. (20) And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him. (21) And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son. (22) But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet: (23) And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry: (24) For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry. (25) Now his elder son was in the field: and as he came and drew nigh to the house, he heard musick and dancing. (26) And he called one of the servants, and asked what these things meant. (27) And he said unto him, Thy brother is come; and thy father hath killed the fatted calf, because he hath received him safe and sound. (28) And he was angry, and would not go in: therefore came his father out, and intreated him. (29) And he answering said to his father, Lo, these many years do I serve thee, neither transgressed I at any time thy commandment: and yet thou never gavest me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends: (30) But as soon as this thy son was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf. (31) And he said unto him, Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine. (32) It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.
There is a very powerful message if we really dig into what Jesus was telling in this scripture. Jesus told many parables and even the disciples at times had a hard time understanding the meaning. As I say in all my Bible studies, it is so important to be in God’s Word. The more we are in it, the more meaning we get from it. What I am in hopes to do with this is to explain the importance of being in God’s Word.
So many have not read God’s Word. So first we need to read it. Secondly, after you read God's Word, you need to understand what it means. You ask yourself, "What does He mean by what He said?" Then the third thing you ask is, "What does it mean to me?" And that's application and that's what I hope to explain in this. How do you apply what you learn from God's Word?
Now you know this passage. Some people refer to this passage as the lost and found department of the New Testament. I don’t want to bring out all the facts Jesus gives here, who did what, when and things like that. I am in hopes to show how we can apply this to our lives.
So we read. Step one. Who are the main characters? Father and prodigal son? If that's your answer, you're correct. I ask another question. If that represents what the facts are of the story, the second thing we want to do is interpret those facts. So let me ask you this: Who is this story directed to? Who is the audience Jesus is telling this parable to? And the answer is the Scribes and the Pharisees. How do we know that? If we go back to chapter 15, verses 1 and 2, we learn that there were tax collectors and sinners and Pharisees and Scribes.
Luke 15:1-2 KJV Then drew near unto him all the publicans and sinners for to hear him. (2) And the Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying, This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them.
What do we know about tax collectors? Tax collectors collect taxes, right? But tax collectors were people especially unpopular among the Jews because they were Jewish people collecting taxes from Jewish people to give to the Roman government. Who can honestly say they like to pay taxes? I mean , we pay taxes for almost everything we do. Food tax, property tax, clothes, taxes on what we sweated for during work. Even when we die, many states have a death tax.
Who are the sinners referred to here? Well, it doesn't actually say, does it? But we do know this from other passages of Scripture, that the Pharisees saw as sinners anybody who did not keep the Law the same way they did. So if you weren't a Pharisee, in their minds, you were automatically a sinner. From reading from the book of Acts a couple days ago, I really have that embedded in my mind. And then the fourth category here, the Scribes. These are people who dedicate themselves to the study of the Law. The problem with all of these people is they are not living lives that are very pleasing to the Lord.
Now we've looked at the category of people here. We've read the story. That's the first step you do. We're interpreting the story now, so let me ask you some other questions from this passage. Who do you suppose the father represents in this story? This is a parable. A parable is not designed to be historical. It is designed to teach a spiritual truth. Amen? So who do you think the father might represent? God? So God the Father is represented here by the father in the story. Who might the sons represent? Sinners. Us. Generally we will find ourselves on one side of the Father or the other. We find ourselves as the prodigal or we find ourselves as the older brother. If the sons then represent us and the father represents God the Father, you know when you come to application, the application you are going to look for is, “What is my relationship to the Father?”, because that is the point of the story.
Now if you go back and ask yourself, what do you suppose the attitude toward the father is of the first son, the son who runs away from home? What are some words that would describe his attitude toward his father? What do you think? My first thought would be disrespectful. He demands of his father a portion of the inheritance. Insensitive? This man is asking for his inheritance. He is asking his father to sell a portion of the family land and give him the proceeds so he can spend it any way he wants to. So the attitude of this prodigal, this younger brother, is not good toward his father.
We also read about the older brother. What do you suppose the attitude of the older brother is? Self-righteous. As he is really ticked off at his father for having this party when his younger brother comes home because he never gave a party for him. So he's obviously self-righteous. What else about this older brother that you see? Angry? He's very angry. He won't go in the house because he is very angry at his father for treating his younger brother with such compassion.
So now we have a father involved, we have a younger son involved, we have an older brother involved, and then we have this father's relationship to the two boys. I want you to look right into this passage and when it comes to the father's relationship to the younger son, the prodigal, the one who left home, when the prodigal decides to go back home again, show me the verse that shows his change of attitude toward the father. What verse would that be? I find it in 21. The son said to him, Father, I have sinned against Heaven and in your sight. I am no longer worthy to be called your son. The son makes up his mind that he has to go home. And when he goes home he does exactly what he says he is going to do. He's going to repent before the father. He is going to ask the father to forgive him.
Friends,we are talking about application, so what is the attitude of God the Father to repentant sinners? What does God the Father want to do for and what attitudes do you see on the part of God the Father, and what characteristic of God the Father do you see at play here in this passage? He ran out to him before he even had a chance to get to him. And he was very eager to welcome him home.
OK, here we are at verse 20. Look at the this passage. It says, While he was still a long way off, his father 1) saw him, 2) was filled with compassion for him, 3) he ran out of the house, 4) had compassion on him and what did he do? 5) Embraced him. He threw his arms around him, gave him the biggest bear hug this kid had ever had. Now, make an application with regard to God the Father and you and me. Number one, saw him. What's the application there? God sees us, He's watching for us. If we've wandered away from the Father, God is not off busy somewhere. He's looking for us to come home. He had compassion on him. He ran out to get him. How does God run out to get us? He sent His Son, Jesus. He didn't stay in the comfy position in Heaven. He had His Son leave Heaven to come out to get us. Jesus was on a rescue mission to take us back to the Father.
So first of all, he saw him a long way off, he had compassion on him. God loves the world, He gave His only begotten Son for this world. He goes out and runs out to get us, He embraces us which is what the Gospel is all about, embracing sinful people in the world. And He brings us into the house. He brings us into the family of God.
There is only one interpretation of Scripture. Whatever the original teller of the parable intended, that's how you and I interpret Scripture. So He's telling a story here in which He has a particular interpretation for us to understand. There is however, more than one application to Scripture and you and I can apply this in a dozen different ways. We can apply it, God the Father, to a wayward son or daughter like you and me. How would we apply it in the home of a family member where a son has run away from home? If you want to know how God would have you act, then you can see here the example of how God would want you to welcome back your wayward child. God doesn't set up this list of things, this check off list. His prodigals have to go through the hoops they have to jump through in order to come back to God. Amen? Am I painting a picture here?
And we shouldn't do that for our prodigals as well. Sometimes we make it so difficult for our prodigals to come home that they don't want to come home. So let's learn from this passage, let's apply this to our own lives. When it comes to the father and the son who ran away from home, the father greeted him with open arms, no prior conditions having been met. In fact, the son wanted to throw himself at the father's feet, repent of his sins and say, "Just make me a servant." But the father wouldn't do that. Instead, what does the father do? Puts the ring on the hand, puts new clothes on his back, puts the shoes on his feet. They kill the fatted calf and they have a gigantic party. Because anytime a sinner comes home to God, that's worthy of having a party. In fact, Luke 15:7 says this:
Luke 15:7 KJV I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.
Luke 15:10 KJV Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.
As I said, it's a wonderful, powerful story, because the sinner left, the sinner came back and his father received him. We could stop the story right there. But if you are going to really apply this passage correctly, you have to interpret it correctly. And to interpret it correctly, you and I have to read it correctly. If we're going to apply the story correctly to our lives, then we have to go back through interpretation and instruction and ask some questions, and here they are. Amen?
We looked at this earlier. To whom is Jesus speaking when He gives the parable? And you know the answer. The answer is the Pharisees, Scribes, sinners, tax collectors. Just your ordinary church bunch. See, if you make an application of this story that does not take into consideration who Jesus was telling this story to, you probably have missed the interpretation of the story that brings about an appropriate application. I, prior to this had done exactly that. So Jesus is talking to Pharisees. Are Pharisees generally people who run away from home or are Pharisees people who stay at home and whine about others? They are not son number one. The Pharisees better fit son number two, which may lead you to believe, when you interpret Scripture correctly, there is a prodigal in this passage. But it is not the boy who left home. It's the boy who stayed home. I want to focus on the older brother. What did the older brother do? Ran and joined the party? Clapped? Became a part of everything? What the older brother did was what the Pharisees would do. He whines about it. He doesn't like the fact that the father is receiving this sinful son back just like the Pharisees didn't like the fact Jesus was eating with sinners. Afraid because Jesus was stirring up things that might make the Romans mad. So if the father went out and got the younger son who left home and brought him into the family, what does the father do with the older son? Exactly the same thing. He leaves the house, goes out to the son who won't come in the house and he says, "Come on in and join the party." And then this son begins to whine and complain to the father because he hasn't killed a goat and given him a party and yet this younger son, you make a big deal over him. And he is just as upset as he can be because he is a Pharisee. And that's the whole point of this.
We are applying what this passage means to us. If you look at this passage and you say, "Who ends up with the better relationship with the father at the end of the story, the younger son or the older son?", what's the answer? The younger son does. So at the end of the story, the younger son who left home is in the house and at the end of the story, where is the older son? He's not in the house. He's outside whining about what's going on in the house. So when the story ends, there is still a prodigal here. But the prodigal now has become the older brother. I think when you look at the context of the story, when you see who it is Jesus is telling the story for, I think you have to come to the conclusion that the primary interpretation of this parable is not about the son who goes away. It's about the son who never goes away. It's not about the son who destroys his life and comes back and has it restored. It's about the son who stays home and destroys his life because of his sour attitude toward the father.
Isn't it interesting the only stable person in this entire story is the father and both the sons are kind of bouncing off the father here, both of them have a significant need, and the need is a relationship with the father.
I hope that I might have helped someone here. This passage really talked directly to me. I learned things about me and my attitude. I learned how to deal with some situations. I also learned a different way of interpreting the Bible to hopefully be a better teacher. God is so awesome and when I have prayed to receive a better knowledge of what He wants to teach me and how, if He desires me to teach from His Word, to teach others, and to do it in a way that will penetrate deep into the listener, and most importantly, Honor and Glorify God the Father. Praise God.
God bless you.
Good morning and thank you for attending this morning. We are going to go in many directions this morning. Some of these things we have touched on in past sermons, but I believe that when we are at the end of this message, you may get a different picture and hopefully a better understanding of God’s promises and a better look into your own life. Praise the Lord.
Friends, this world is changing at an alarming rate. Turn one newscast on and within a half hour, you are going to see so many things that are happening in this world that will make your head spin. Yet if you read your Bible, you will see that Jesus and many of the prophets of old predicted these things would come to pass before our Lord and Savior returns. I have some links that I keep an eye on that tells more of what truly is happening that our government doesn't want us to know about.
I am seeing so many times in blogs posted by others and from so called Christians that God is a killer, a ruthless murderer. This bothers me. This bothers me because it proves to me that they don’t know their Bible. This bothers me, because they are listening to a false preacher who also doesn’t know the Word of God. I know the verses where one could get this idea that God kills, but they have not read the whole chapter.
Why does God allow people to suffer and the key word is ALLOW?
There may be several reasons for suffering. A major factor is our fallen, sinful world. Because of sin throughout the ages, the perfection and goodness of the world is tainted. We experience illness, disease, natural disasters, hunger, and all types of suffering. We must remember that God is a Holy God. Also He has given us all a free will.
As mortals, we cannot know all of God's reasons. His ways are not our ways. God loves us enough to give us free will. We are not robots. As a result, people make mistakes. People turn away from God's perfect goodness through sin. Our own choices sometimes produce evil over good. It is impossible for God to have created man with free will and evil not be a consequence, as we saw last week with the fall of man through Adam and Eve. Also, the choices of others (including previous generations) can produce suffering. The consequences of bad choices sometimes affect not only the person who makes the wrong choice but also their family, friends, and sometimes even society.
The Old and New Testaments make it clear that suffering can be a result of God's discipline in our lives similar to the discipline a loving parent has for his child. A loving parent stops a child from putting his hand on a hot stove. The child suffers at that moment, by being denied access and by the temporary pain of a spanking. But the parent sees the big picture and disciplines the child. God disciplines us. Please turn to Hebrews 12:10-11 which illustrates this point: Hebrews 12:10 For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but He for our profit, that we might be partakers of His holiness. :11 Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.
God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in His holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. Is that what you seek to be?
It can strengthen people, lead people to faith, help us to appreciate the good, and be a tool to influence others. Indeed, suffering can mold us. Suffering produces perseverance, character, hope. Romans 5:3-5 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; 4 And patience, experience; and experience, hope: 5 And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us as apostles.
Peter relates, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith of greater worth than gold, which perishes by fire may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed
1Peter 1:5-7 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. :6 Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: :7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:
The actual trials of faith are worthwhile and as precious as is faith itself. Our faith is strengthened as we rely on Christ to see us through troubling times.
My thoughts on those who say God is a killer is used as an excuse by some to try to blame God or to deny God's existence. But on reflection, most will acknowledge that we really cannot blame God for our troubles. Actually, the reality of evil, suffering, and injustice when considered fully, is an argument for the existence of a good God. Certainly, abandoning God does not make the problem of suffering any easier. That is where we as true believers need to teach God’s truth, by His true Word.
It is the knowledge that God sent His only Son to suffer and die for us that our sins are forgiven and that our ultimate suffering will be relieved. God is not only aware of suffering, He feels it. No pain or suffering has ever come to us that has not first passed through the heart and hand of God. Comforting are the words of Isaiah the prophet, foretelling the agony of Christ: 'He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering.' I know I use these scriptures often, especially in prayer and on many sites, but there is a strong message here that we need to get into our hearts. Amen?
Isaiah 53:3-5 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from Him; He was despised, and we esteemed Him not. :4 Surely He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. :5 But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed.
Now, I know some may be ready to say but Brother Jim, what about Deuteronomy chapter 28? I trust those of you hearing this message, or that may read it on one of the various sites that I might share this message, will read in your own Bible along with me to make sure that what I am speaking is correct. God did speak blessings and curses, so let’s continue. God did say these curses would fall if His chosen people didn't obey. They had a choice. We, because we have been grafted into God’s chosen family, are considered God’s chosen people.
Now, here comes the good part. Let’s read several verses in Exodus chapter 12, starting with Exodus 12:12 For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the LORD. 13 And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt.
Someone maybe saying, "I knew it, God did kill people, so how could He be good?" I say, you need to read further.
Exodus 12:23 For the LORD will pass through to smite (here it is again, but continue reading) the Egyptians; and when He seeth the blood upon the lintel, and on the two side posts, the LORD will pass over the door, and will not suffer the destroyer to come in unto your houses to smite you.
Did you notice anything here? Read it again and meditate on it. I really want to have everyone catch this so that you have the full message here so you know and you can educate someone else when they tell you God is a killer.
Notice what it says about the destroyer. Who is the destroyer? Yes, that’s right, it is Satan. Hmmmm. Ok, Brother Jim, but God allows bad things to happen. Yes He does, but we have a choice. He has given each of us a free will. It is not the will of God that we should suffer, but He must pass judgment, for He is righteous. Lamentations 3:32 and 33 But though He cause grief, yet will He have compassion according to the multitude of His mercies. :33 For He doth not afflict willingly nor grieve the children of men.
Let’s look at 1st Corinthians concerning communion. Again we have a choice. 1Co 11:28 and 29 Those of you who have been with Leanna and I on Sundays know that we urge everyone before we partake of communion to prepare our hearts prior to taking communion. 1Corinthians 11:28 and 29 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. :29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.
Wow!!! that is a powerful scripture, and I wonder how many times this has been done. And yes, I have done it. It is all part of knowing Him.
We all know the story of Lot. Lot was probably the most righteous of all, and remember Satan went to ask God if he could tempt him. Even if we have messed up badly, we can turn from these things. We can repent and turn from those things that would have caused God to judge us. You need to believe you are righteous. You may be saying I'm saved, but I wouldn't say I am righteous. Then my friend, you are not saved. You can't have it both ways. The only way you can become saved is because you have become righteous. Not because of what you have done, but because of the blood of the lamb. Praise God!! There are only two major reasons why there may be a curse upon your life. (Go back to Deuteronomy chapter 28, blessings and curses) 1, you don't believe in Jesus and what He did to set you free. That He redeemed you. And secondly, the Lord is speaking to you on a particular situation dealing with sin, and you are rebelling against Him and His Word, and you won’t repent. If you are rebelling against Him and His Word, you cannot escape condemnation. But my friends, here is an awesome promise.
1John 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. No matter how bad, dirty, dark, secretive it is, If you shall ask for forgiveness, and turn from it and mean it with all sincerity, God is faithful and just and has the right to forgive you and cast it away, never to be remembered again, because of what Jesus did on the cross. Amen? When we are saved, we have been made righteous by the blood of the lamb and by our faith. Say this out loud: “I have been made righteous by the blood of the lamb and by my faith. I have been made the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus.” Friends, we don't have to fall under the curse if we live our lives for Christ. Catch this verse.
Galatians 3:13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree.
So, someone might be wondering what curses am I talking about that we may be redeemed from. To find out, you need to read the curses found in Deuteronomy 28:15-68. I won't go over all of this today, but I truly hope all of you read through it. I am, however, going to read verse 60.
Deuteronomy 28:15-68 KJV (15) But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee: (16) Cursed shalt thou be in the city, and cursed shalt thou be in the field. (17) Cursed shall be thy basket and thy store. (18) Cursed shall be the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy land, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep. (19) Cursed shalt thou be when thou comest in, and cursed shalt thou be when thou goest out. (20) The LORD shall send upon thee cursing, vexation, and rebuke, in all that thou settest thine hand unto for to do, until thou be destroyed, and until thou perish quickly; because of the wickedness of thy doings, whereby thou hast forsaken me. (21) The LORD shall make the pestilence cleave unto thee, until he have consumed thee from off the land, whither thou goest to possess it. (22) The LORD shall smite thee with a consumption, and with a fever, and with an inflammation, and with an extreme burning, and with the sword, and with blasting, and with mildew; and they shall pursue thee until thou perish. (23) And thy heaven that is over thy head shall be brass, and the earth that is under thee shall be iron.
(24) The LORD shall make the rain of thy land powder and dust: from heaven shall it come down upon thee, until thou be destroyed. (25) The LORD shall cause thee to be smitten before thine enemies: thou shalt go out one way against them, and flee seven ways before them: and shalt be removed into all the kingdoms of the earth. (26) And thy carcase shall be meat unto all fowls of the air, and unto the beasts of the earth, and no man shall fray them away. (27) The LORD will smite thee with the botch of Egypt, and with the emerods, and with the scab, and with the itch, whereof thou canst not be healed. (28) The LORD shall smite thee with madness, and blindness, and astonishment of heart: (29) And thou shalt grope at noonday, as the blind gropeth in darkness, and thou shalt not prosper in thy ways: and thou shalt be only oppressed and spoiled evermore, and no man shall save thee. (30) Thou shalt betroth a wife, and another man shall lie with her: thou shalt build an house, and thou shalt not dwell therein: thou shalt plant a vineyard, and shalt not gather the grapes thereof. (31) Thine ox shall be slain before thine eyes, and thou shalt not eat thereof: thine ass shall be violently taken away from before thy face, and shall not be restored to thee: thy sheep shall be given unto thine enemies, and thou shalt have none to rescue them. (32) Thy sons and thy daughters shall be given unto another people, and thine eyes shall look, and fail with longing for them all the day long: and there shall be no might in thine hand. (33) The fruit of thy land, and all thy labours, shall a nation which thou knowest not eat up; and thou shalt be only oppressed and crushed alway: (34) So that thou shalt be mad for the sight of thine eyes which thou shalt see. (35) The LORD shall smite thee in the knees, and in the legs, with a sore botch that cannot be healed, from the sole of thy foot unto the top of thy head. (36) The LORD shall bring thee, and thy king which thou shalt set over thee, unto a nation which neither thou nor thy fathers have known; and there shalt thou serve other gods, wood and stone. (37) And thou shalt become an astonishment, a proverb, and a byword, among all nations whither the LORD shall lead thee.
(38) Thou shalt carry much seed out into the field, and shalt gather but little in; for the locust shall consume it. (39) Thou shalt plant vineyards, and dress them, but shalt neither drink of the wine, nor gather the grapes; for the worms shall eat them. (40) Thou shalt have olive trees throughout all thy coasts, but thou shalt not anoint thyself with the oil; for thine olive shall cast his fruit. (41) Thou shalt beget sons and daughters, but thou shalt not enjoy them; for they shall go into captivity. (42) All thy trees and fruit of thy land shall the locust consume. (43) The stranger that is within thee shall get up above thee very high; and thou shalt come down very low.
(44) He shall lend to thee, and thou shalt not lend to him: he shall be the head, and thou shalt be the tail. (45) Moreover all these curses shall come upon thee, and shall pursue thee, and overtake thee, till thou be destroyed; because thou hearkenedst not unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to keep his commandments and his statutes which he commanded thee: (46) And they shall be upon thee for a sign and for a wonder, and upon thy seed for ever. (47) Because thou servedst not the LORD thy God with joyfulness, and with gladness of heart, for the abundance of all things; (48) Therefore shalt thou serve thine enemies which the LORD shall send against thee, in hunger, and in thirst, and in nakedness, and in want of all things: and he shall put a yoke of iron upon thy neck, until he have destroyed thee.
(49) The LORD shall bring a nation against thee from far, from the end of the earth, as swift as the eagle flieth; a nation whose tongue thou shalt not understand; (50) A nation of fierce countenance, which shall not regard the person of the old, nor shew favour to the young: (51) And he shall eat the fruit of thy cattle, and the fruit of thy land, until thou be destroyed: which also shall not leave thee either corn, wine, or oil, or the increase of thy kine, or flocks of thy sheep, until he have destroyed thee. (52) And he shall besiege thee in all thy gates, until thy high and fenced walls come down, wherein thou trustedst, throughout all thy land: and he shall besiege thee in all thy gates throughout all thy land, which the LORD thy God hath given thee. (53) And thou shalt eat the fruit of thine own body, the flesh of thy sons and of thy daughters, which the LORD thy God hath given thee, in the siege, and in the straitness, wherewith thine enemies shall distress thee:
(54) So that the man that is tender among you, and very delicate, his eye shall be evil toward his brother, and toward the wife of his bosom, and toward the remnant of his children which he shall leave: (55) So that he will not give to any of them of the flesh of his children whom he shall eat: because he hath nothing left him in the siege, and in the straitness, wherewith thine enemies shall distress thee in all thy gates. (56) The tender and delicate woman among you, which would not adventure to set the sole of her foot upon the ground for delicateness and tenderness, her eye shall be evil toward the husband of her bosom, and toward her son, and toward her daughter, (57) And toward her young one that cometh out from between her feet, and toward her children which she shall bear: for she shall eat them for want of all things secretly in the siege and straitness, wherewith thine enemy shall distress thee in thy gates. (58) If thou wilt not observe to do all the words of this law that are written in this book, that thou mayest fear this glorious and fearful name, THE LORD THY GOD; (59) Then the LORD will make thy plagues wonderful, and the plagues of thy seed, even great plagues, and of long continuance, and sore sicknesses, and of long continuance. (60) Moreover he will bring upon thee all the diseases of Egypt, which thou wast afraid of; and they shall cleave unto thee. (61) Also every sickness, and every plague, which is not written in the book of this law, them will the LORD bring upon thee, until thou be destroyed. (62) And ye shall be left few in number, whereas ye were as the stars of heaven for multitude; because thou wouldest not obey the voice of the LORD thy God.
(63) And it shall come to pass, that as the LORD rejoiced over you to do you good, and to multiply you; so the LORD will rejoice over you to destroy you, and to bring you to nought; and ye shall be plucked from off the land whither thou goest to possess it. (64) And the LORD shall scatter thee among all people, from the one end of the earth even unto the other; and there thou shalt serve other gods, which neither thou nor thy fathers have known, even wood and stone. (65) And among these nations shalt thou find no ease, neither shall the sole of thy foot have rest: but the LORD shall give thee there a trembling heart, and failing of eyes, and sorrow of mind:
(66) And thy life shall hang in doubt before thee; and thou shalt fear day and night, and shalt have none assurance of thy life: (67) In the morning thou shalt say, Would God it were even! and at even thou shalt say, Would God it were morning! for the fear of thine heart wherewith thou shalt fear, and for the sight of thine eyes which thou shalt see. (68) And the LORD shall bring thee into Egypt again with ships, by the way whereof I spake unto thee, Thou shalt see it no more again: and there ye shall be sold unto your enemies for bondmen and bondwomen, and no man shall buy you.
Yet again what does Galatians say? Galatians 3:13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree.
When we truly give our hearts to Jesus, we have been redeemed from the curse of the law. Do you all understand this? We need to put our faith in this. We need to be in prayer daily. We need to be seeking God through reading His Word daily. There is so much more that can be taught on this, but because of time, I will pick up on it at another time.
Friends, It is God’s will that we are all saved. His word says that He wishes no one perishes. I believe that He wishes that we are healed from sickness and disease, but several reasons I believe keep people in bondage. Some of these reasons are faith issues, religious spirits from things taught in some denominational churches, unbelief, unforgiveness, and that is a big one that we will discuss at another time.
I pray that there might have been something here that might have helped everyone out.
Because of replies I have been receiving from posts I have shared, I felt it was time to bring this message out of the archives and revamp it a bit.
What is the problem in the church today? We have lost the hunger for the things of God. We have lost the passion for living for Jesus. We have lost the essence of Biblical Christianity.
Romans 13:11-14 KJV And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. (12) The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the Armour of light. (13) Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. (14) But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.
I need you to have a pen and paper ready, as I am going to go through many, many, many scriptures this morning. Did I say many? My friends, we all need to get this. This has been a very interesting week. I have heard of dreams from great friends, of what I believe is from God. I say that, because the days after I heard of these things they told about, I heard sermons talking about such things and on TV, revealing these things happening right now. When you look at the overall picture, it is not good for those who don’t know Jesus, and for those who are just playing church. Brothers and sisters, this is where we are going to start today. People playing church. I have done it. I did it for a while not knowing I was playing the game and then I guess if I am to be honest, there was a time I played the game of playing church, knowing I was playing. No more my friends, and I pray that you are not in the game too. I am going to hit on some tough topics and I hope that no one that hears these words, or reads them at some other time in posts that I share throughout cyber land is offended, but hopefully convicted, as I have been convicted.
If we aren’t in fellowship (a relationship) with God, how can He and why should He give us anything? We prevent Him from moving in our lives because of lack of trust. Can you trust your possessions to someone you don't know? Can you hand over your billfold to a stranger to hold while you do an errand? No, of course not. But that's how we treat God, like a stranger. This is evidenced in the way we live our lives. Do we trust God with our wallet?
Until we understand the Love of God, we cannot receive anything from Him in the amount He wants us to have. So if we haven’t received His love for us personally, we certainly can’t love ourselves, let alone love others. Are you trying to forgive and love? Did you know that all you’re "trying" to forgive and love amounts to "works of the flesh?" Wouldn’t it be nice if you could simply forgive and love? Did you know that forgiveness and love brings health? It does, and hopefully we can get there in another teaching.
Let’s look at sin. After all, that is what Jesus came to earth to save us from. Amen? Sin started from the time that Adam and Eve were deceived from the slimy serpent, which slithered into the garden that God had given Adam to watch over. As I have said in other studies, I don’t believe that the enemy came in the garden just one day, but weaseled his way in and possibly made some sort of friendship with Adam and Eve before the fall. Then they were tempted and fell into that temptation. Adam and Eve had it made; they were visited by God in the cool of the day and then blew it. Ever sense, we have had that sin nature passed down generation after generation. Every man and woman that has ever walked on earth has sinned. All except for Jesus.
I want us to go another path for a minute. Let’s turn to Deuteronomy 28:1-15 KJV Bear with me as, this part of the teaching is long, but there are key things we must catch and then I am in hopes in my conclusion to point out something huge that many of you may not know. (1) And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the LORD thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth: (2) And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God. (3) Blessed shalt thou be in the city, and blessed shalt thou be in the field. (4) Blessed shall be the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy ground, and the fruit of thy cattle, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep. (5) Blessed shall be thy basket and thy store. (6) Blessed shalt thou be when thou comest in, and blessed shalt thou be when thou goest out. (7) The LORD shall cause thine enemies that rise up against thee to be smitten before thy face: they shall come out against thee one way, and flee before thee seven ways. (8) The LORD shall command the blessing upon thee in thy storehouses, and in all that thou settest thine hand unto; and he shall bless thee in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee. (9) The LORD shall establish thee an holy people unto himself, as he hath sworn unto thee, if thou shalt keep the commandments of the LORD thy God, and walk in his ways. (10) And all people of the earth shall see that thou art called by the name of the LORD; and they shall be afraid of thee. (11) And the LORD shall make thee plenteous in goods, in the fruit of thy body, and in the fruit of thy cattle, and in the fruit of thy ground, in the land which the LORD sware unto thy fathers to give thee. (12) The LORD shall open unto thee his good treasure, the heaven to give the rain unto thy land in his season, and to bless all the work of thine hand: and thou shalt lend unto many nations, and thou shalt not borrow. (13) And the LORD shall make thee the head, and not the tail; and thou shalt be above only, and thou shalt not be beneath; if that thou hearken unto the commandments of the LORD thy God, which I command thee this day, to observe and to do them: (14) And thou shalt not go aside from any of the words which I command thee this day, to the right hand, or to the left, to go after other gods to serve them. Wow what promises!! But verse (15) But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee: This list is long and because of time I’m not going to read the whole thing, but highly recommend you to read it and meditate on it on your own.
Here is a condensed list to point out the curses:
Cursed shall you be in the city.
Cursed shall you be in the field.
Cursed will be your basket and your store.
Cursed will be the fruit of your body.
Cursed will be the fruit of your land (no increase of your herds).
You will be cursed when you arrive.
You will be cursed when you leave.
A pestilence will cleave to you until it has consumed you from off the land.
You will be overcome with fever, inflammation and extreme burning.
You will be smitten with the sword, with blasting, with mildew.
The rain over your land will be powder and dust.
You will be overtaken by your enemies.
Your body will be food for the fowls of the air and the beasts of the earth.
You will be smitten with the botch of Egypt, with emerods, with the scab, with the itch that cannot be healed.
You will be smitten with madness, with blindness and astonishment of heart.
You will grope in the day and night and you will not prosper in your ways.
You will be oppressed and rotten.
You will marry and another man will sleep with your wife.
Your cattle will be murdered right in front of you so that you will not be able to eat them, your ass will be taken forcibly from you and your sheep will be given to your enemies.
Your children will be given to other people and you will long for them all the day long.
There will be no power in your hands.
Another nation that you do not know will eat up the fruits of your labor.
You will be oppressed and crushed-always.
The Lord will smite your knees, your legs with a sore that cannot be healed, from the sole of your feet to the top of your head.
Wow!! Can you personally relate to any of these? Can you see America suffering from these things? My friends, this is awful and it still is in effect today. Like Adam and Eve, God’s chosen people had the chance to be blessed in everything they did, if…. If they obeyed God. Do we obey God in everything we do? Are we blessed and highly favored in everything we do from God? Now, here is a big question. Do we do everything for God’s glory? Let’s be honest. Do we honestly love Jesus with all our hearts, mind, soul and strength? I told you I was going to touch on some sticky subjects. The Bible tells us in these three verses to do that very thing.
Mat_22:37 Jesus answered him, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.”
Mar 12:30 So love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.'
Let’s get a little more challenging. Luk_10:27 He answered, "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind.' And 'Love your neighbor as you love yourself.'"
Have I struck any nerves? God struck mine. Friends, this is the start of where we must not play church. Remember...if a finger got pointed at you, three more are pointing back at me.
Each one of us has a God-given conscience. From the time we were little ones, before we told a lie, we knew it was wrong. Before we went to take something that didn’t belong to us, we knew it was wrong.
If you think about your conscience and think about the 10 commandments...
Exodus chapter 20 I’m sure you all know them, but let’s go through them.
Exodus 20:1-17 KJV And God spake all these words, saying, (2) I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. (3) Thou shalt have no other gods before me. (4) Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: (5) Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; (6) And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments. (7) Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain. (8) Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. (9) Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: (10) But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: (11) For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it. (12) Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee. (13) Thou shalt not kill. (14) Thou shalt not commit adultery. (15) Thou shalt not steal. (16) Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour. (17) Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's.
Now I want us to look in Deuteronomy 6:3-9 KJV. I believe that God still longs for this from us, even today. Hear therefore, O Israel, and observe to do it; that it may be well with thee, and that ye may increase mightily, as the LORD God of thy fathers hath promised thee, in the land that floweth with milk and honey. (4) Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: (5) And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. (6) And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: (7) And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. (8) And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. (9) And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.
Let’s look at some things that God hates.
Proverbs 6:16-19 KJV These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: (17) A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, (18) An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, (19) A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren. Philippians 4:8 KJV Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
Hear this, my friends. 2 Peter 1:3-10 KJV According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: (4) Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. (5) And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; (6) And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; (7) And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. (8) For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. (9) But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. (10) Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:
Let’s go back to the blessings and curses. I want to share something that some of you may not realize. First, I need to answer a question that someone asked, and I want anyone who thinks that I might have made a mistake or disagree with something that I may teach, to bring it to my attention. I am human, I am learning also. So please keep me accountable for what I teach. We have been warned of false teachers and I don’t want to be classified as one. When I pray for healing for others, I use 2 particular scriptures. The first is in Isaiah 53:5 KJV But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. Now get this, The prophet Isaiah was telling about Jesus’ death, some 7 hundred years before Jesus was born.
The question was about the verse "by his stripes ye are healed." If you go to the original Hebrew and Greek it means saved, not healed”?
So I went to the concordance. It is H7495 raw-faw', raw-faw' A primitive root; properly to mend (by stitching), that is, (figuratively) to cure: - cure, (cause to) heal, physician, repair, X thoroughly, make whole.
Then the other scripture is found in 1 Peter 2:24 KJV Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. Now remember in Isaiah, it said you are healed. Here in 1st Peter it says you were healed. This is after Jesus died and was brought back to Heaven.
Now if we look in the concordance again, we find G2390 ἰάομαι iaomai ee-ah'-om-ahee Middle voice of apparently a primary verb; to cure (literally or figuratively): - heal, make whole.
Good question and I hope this helped. Like I said, listen, and if something doesn’t sound right to you, ask me. I do not want to teach anyone wrongly. Amen?
Now let’s quickly turn to Galatians 3:13 KJV Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: Friends did you catch the meaning here? Did you get this? I know Leanna has, because we have heard this over again, hundreds of times. All the sickness and diseases spoken in Deuteronomy, Jesus redeemed us from. That is so important for Christians to know and to believe. I didn’t make this verse up. Someone read it for me. I want to make sure that your Bible is the same. This is awesome news. The great news, but we need to read the next verse. Galatians 3:14 KJV That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. Someone say we. Someone shout HalleluYah. What does this mean? Someone quick expound on this before we lose the meaning. Glory to God.
Friends, this is a great reason why it is so important to get our hearts right before God. Church, God loves you so much. I don’t think any of us can really fathom the love He and the Son have for you and for me.
I want to share something that I used in a Bible study, probably 6 years ago and I know some of you have heard me read this before.
Jesus will bear the sin of the Assyrians who gloated over their captives they skinned alive. Jesus will bear the sins of SS troops gunning down women and children running from burning synagogues with clothing burning ablaze. Jesus will bear the sins of child molesters making sure their victims never testify. He will bear the sins of Pharos sacrificing thousands of laboring lives to build a deifying tomb. Jesus took on all of this and more. He was tossed about in the endless storm of enraged fathers beating toddlers to their deaths, pimps seducing runaways into lives of drugs and prostitution, Canaanites burning their children to Moloch. Nice church ladies cannibalizing other nice church ladies over coffee. Impoverished parents in China selling their children into slavery. He will bear the sins of Bible-believing leaders praying long and loud while their wives sit in the back of many churches hoping their make-up covers their bruises. Jesus will tumble alone. He will bear the sins of embezzlers, gangsters, bullies, rapists, liars, thieves, the indifferent, sadistic, and self-righteous. It's a scene of unbearable horror, and unspeakable magna. He is the accused for us all, bearing the weight of abused children, families destroyed by adultery or apathy, civilizations decaying, and wars ravaging.
I pray that this message has first convicted hearts that may have been hardened. Secondly, I pray that it might have inspired everyone who may have heard this message or read it, to start today to love Jesus and to know without a doubt that Jesus loves you, and last, I pray that each of us will from this day forward live a life that is pleasing in all we do for God the Father. Let the Holy Spirit lead you to be more and more like Jesus. Amen?