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The Old Testament Gives a Prophetic Picture of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit

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Old Testament 1,4 – The Divisions of Canaan (Newsletter 2-9 Bible College Lesson Preview)

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The Power Of The Lord’s Presence

BY DAVID WILKERSON

This message is all about the almighty power of God’s presence-and how we can lay hold of that power! Scripture provides endless examples of how the presence of God empowers his children to live for him. And one of the most powerful of these is found in the life of Moses.

Moses was convinced that without God’s presence in his life, it was useless for him to attempt anything. When he spoke face to face with the Lord, he said, “If thy presence go not with me, carry us up not hence” (Exodus 33:15). He was saying, “Lord, if your presence is not with me, then I’m not going anywhere. I won’t take a single step unless I’m assured you’re with me!”

Moses knew it was God’s presence in Israel that set the people apart from all other nations. And the same is true of the church of Jesus Christ today. The only thing that sets us apart from nonbelievers is God’s being “with us”–leading us, guiding us, working his will in and through us.

Moses didn’t care how other nations received their guidance, formed their strategies, ran their governments or directed their armies. He said, “We operate on one principle alone. The only way for us to be guided or governed, to make war and survive in this wasteland, is to have the presence of God with us!

“When the Lord’s presence is in our midst, no one can harm us. But without him, we’re helpless, reduced to nothing. Let all the nations of this world trust in their mighty armies, their iron chariots, their skilled soldiers, their new weapons. We will trust in the manifest presence of our God!”

Here is how God answered Moses’ bold statement: “…My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest” (verse 14). What an incredible promise! The Hebrew word for “rest” here is “a comfortable, quiet rest.” God was saying, “No matter what enemies or trials you face, you’ll always be able to find a quiet rest in me!”

Think about this: If a church has the manifest presence of God in its midst, there won’t be any hustle or bustle, sweating or striving. The worship meetings won’t be hurried along, with three songs, an offering and a short sermon. Instead, there will be a calming peace, a quiet rest–and everyone who walks through the doors will sense it!

Of course, this doesn’t mean a church can’t experience loud praises or exuberant worship. On the contrary, I believe those things are often the result of a people at rest. A church body that has God’s presence in its midst will live, move and worship with a quiet confidence in the Lord at all times.

The same is true for every individual Christian. If you have Jesus’ presence in your life, you will experience God’s divine order. You’ll have a peace and a calm, with no fretting or anxiety, no running to and fro to seek guidance, no sense that the bottom is falling out. You’ll live at rest, knowing God has everything under control!

The Old Testament Is Filled With Accounts of the Wonderful Blessings That Came to Those Who Had the Presence of God With Them.

Consider these Old Testament examples of the blessing that God’s presence brought to the lives of his followers:

God’s presence was so evident in Abraham’s life, even the heathen around him recognized the difference between their Abraham, saying, God is with thee in all that thou doest” (Genesis 21:22). This heathen king was saying, “Abraham, there’s something different about you. God guides you, preserves you and blesses you wherever you go!”

God promised Joshua that no enemy could stand against him when God’s presence was with him: “There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. Be strong and of good courage…” (Joshua 1:5-6). When God’s Spirit is present with us, we can be strong and courageous–because no enemy can harm us!

God told Gideon, “…The is with thee, thou mighty man of valour…Go in this thy might, and thou shalt save Israel…” (Judges 6:12,14). The phrase “thy might” in this verse refers to the previous verse– that “the Lord is with thee.” Do you see what God is saying? “Gideon, there is a might in you that’s so powerful, it can save Israel. And that might is my presence!” Scripture reveals Gideon to be a coward– so, why did God call him a “mighty man of valor”? It was
because he wanted to prove to Gideon what any person can do when the Lord’s presence is with him!

God warned Jeremiah that the whole nation would turn against him and reject his prophecies. Yet God promised, “…they shall fight against thee, but they shall not prevail against thee: for I am with thee to save thee and to deliver thee…” (Jeremiah 15:20). God was saying, “It doesn’t matter if the whole country turns against you, Jeremiah. All that matters is that my presence is with you. Be confident I’m with you!”

God told Isaiah of a special promise he makes to those he loves: “Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. For I am the Lord thy God…and I have loved thee…Fear not: for I am with thee…” (Isaiah 43:1-5).

God was saying, “With my presence abiding with you, you can go through any flood or fire and survive. Yet you won’t merely survive. You’ll be blessed and favored through it all, because my presence is with you!”

These Old Testament passages aren’t just dead-letter stories. They’re meant to encourage and exhort us to seek God’s presence in our lives. We can thank God for what his presence did for Abraham, Joshua, Gideon, Jeremiah and all of Israel. Yet each of us has a powerful testimony of what God’s presence has done for us–guiding our lives, opening doors, moving obstacles, melting hearts, making us fearless.

I have seen this proven true in my life. You may say, “You’re just boasting!” No –the fact is, God’s presence has been with me in spite of myself!

When we started Times Square Church in New York City ten years ago, the presence of Christ emanated from us in all we did. I remember walking into a famous Broadway producer’s office in search of a theater to use as a church. This man’s secretaries and staff scoffed at me; their words and attitudes assured me, a lowly minister, I wouldn’t be
able to get an appointment. In fact, I thought I might even get kicked out. But then the producer came out of his office–and when he saw me, he invited me in!

Over the next several weeks, the producer and I got to know each other. At times he would look across his desk at me and say, “I don’t know why I’m spending so much time with you. My schedule is absolutely full.” But whenever I walked into his office suite, his secretary pushed me past all other visitors, saying, “Go right in Reverend–he’s
waiting for you!”

Eventually, this man sold his flagship theater to us to use for Times Square Church. Even as he was signing the documents of sale, he said, “I don’t know why I’m doing this!” It was only God’s presence that moved him to sell that building to us. Just a few years after the deal was done, he and his attorneys were begging to buy it back!

I saw God change other people’s hearts as well. The man who owned the building next to ours refused to sell it to us as an annex. But over time he became a friend of mine, and eventually he sold us the building. All along, he kept telling me, “Somebody up there is working for you!”

That is the power of the presence of God. And every Christian can testify in the same way: “God’s presence with me has done great things!”

There Is a Condition Attached to Getting and Maintaining the Presence of God in Our Lives.

God attaches a condition to his presence in our lives. This condition is found in 2 Chronicles 15. In the previous chapter, King Asa had led the armies of Judah to a great victory over Ethiopia’s million-man army. Yet Asa testified it was God’s presence that had scattered the enemy:

“Asa cried unto the Lord his God, and said, Lord, it is nothing with thee to help, whether with many, or with them that have no power: help us, O Lord, our God; for we rest on thee, and in thy name we go against this multitude…So the Lord smote the Ethiopians before Asa…” (2 Chronicles 14:1112).

As Asa and his armies led the triumphant procession back to Jerusalem, a prophet named Azariah met them at the city gate with this message from God: “Hear ye me, Asa…The Lord is with you, while ye be with him; and if ye seek him, he will be found of you; but if ye forsake him, he will forsake you. Now for a long season Israel hath been without the true God…But when they in their trouble did turn unto the Lord God of Israel, and sought him, he was found of them” (15:14).

Here is the secret of getting and maintaining the presence of God in your life. The Lord reminded Asa, point blank, with no holds barred: “Asa, don’t ever forget how you got this victory. You sought me with all your heart, turning wholly to me, when you were in trouble-and I sent my presence to you. It was my presence that put your enemies to
chase!”

Now Azariah was telling Asa, “Do you remember what the kingdom was like before you came to power? Everything was out of kilter, with no law, no guidance, no righteous teaching. Everyone was a law unto himself, doing his own thing!”

This is an accurate picture of many Christian homes today. Everything is out of order, with no authority, peace or rest. Everyone does what he or she pleases. Many such families have become tragic, dysfunctional messes.

Yet it doesn’t have to be this way. No Christian home has to remain dysfunctional. God’s promises are unchangeable, and his word pledges, “For the rest of your life– as long as you continue to seek me–I will be with you. Whenever you cry out to me, I will always be found of you!”

This is not a complicated theology. Simply put, if both husband and wife–or merely either–are seeking the Lord, there is no need for their home to be troubled or “without law.” Anyone can have the abiding presence of the Lord, if he or she will simply seek trim for it.

“…The Lord…will be found of you…”

:2). The Hebrew word for “found” here is “matsa,” meaning, “his presence coming forth to enable, to bless.” In short, this verse tells us, “Seek the Lord with your whole heart, and he will come to you with his presence. Indeed, his presence will be an almighty power that emanates from your life! ”

According to the Scriptures, Our Chief Concern Is to Keep Seeking God, to Ensure His Presence With Us.

God makes his covenant of grace with every believer. This covenant is embodied in promises such as, “God has laid on Christ the iniquity of us all.” “Jesus became a curse for us.” “He will never leave us nor forsake us.”

Yet God also makes certain, special promises to those who determine to seek him with all their hearts. One such promise is a covenant of God’s presence. However, this covenant is strictly conditional. Scripture makes it clear that if we abide by the rule of this covenant, we will enjoy the incredible blessing of God’s presence in our lives. And this doesn’t refer only to issues of salvation. It speaks of being such seekers after God that his awesome presence is
poured out on us–and it is seen and known by all!

God revealed this covenant of his presence through an unnamed prophet who delivered a message to Eli, the high priest of Israel. At the time, Eli was backslidden. The Lord had been speaking to him, warning him against allowing sin and compromise. But Eli had ignored all of God’s words. And now, this unnamed prophet said to Eli, “…the
Lord God of Israel saith, I said indeed that thy house, and the house of thy father, should walk before me for ever: but now the Lord saith, Be it far from me; for them that honor me I will honor, and they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed” (I Samuel 2:30).

The phrase “lightly esteemed” has to do with God lifting his presence. This doesn’t mean a person is damned, but rather that he’ll have to walk in the power of his own flesh. God was telling Eli, “I intended to bless your house, to favor you. But you’ve scorned me, becoming soft on sin and allowing your lusts to push me aside. Now I will take my presence from you!”

Many people come to Christ with a great, initial burst of faith. Yet over time their zeal wears thin, and they begin to neglect the Lord. They lightly esteem his commands and turn back to their old, sinful ways. Yet they still believe God’s presence remains with them. No–that is a hoax, a lie, a delusion! The Bible makes it clear: If you forsake him, he will forsake you!

God’s promises never fail. But some–like the covenant of his presence-are absolutely conditional. They require more than merely our cooperation. Of course, God will never abandon us or stop loving us. But if we remain in sin, his presence will not be with us–and our lives will no longer be an instrument of his powerful presence. We will live according to the flesh–striving, floundering, with no power or guidance!

Only When God’s Presence Is Upon Us Can We Behold, See and Understand His Glory.

When Israel was in the wilderness, God manifested his presence to them through a cloud. This cloud was a physical manifestation of God’s pledge to be with his people. It came down and covered the tabernacle night and day. And it acted as their guide for every undertaking. When the cloud moved, they moved, and when it stayed, they stayed. The
people didn’t have to hold committee meetings to try to figure out their direction or future. They put their confidence in that visible cloud of God’s presence.

Today, that same cloud of his presence hovers over your secret closet of prayer. It waits every day to envelope you in its peace. It will lead you, empower you and give you peace. And it will give you detailed guidance for your home, work and relationships.

Your secret closet can be anywhere–in the shower, on the bus to your job, during your commute to work. You can shut everything else and say, Lord, I’ve got half an hour right now. I love you, Jesus, and worship you. This is my closet time with you!”

It’s a wonderful thing to be shut in with God, developing a consistent prayer life. God promises that as you become a seeking, praying servant, his presence will break forth in your life–closing and opening doors and working his divine order all around you. Yet something even greater than this will happen: God’s presence will lead you into a revelation of his glory!

There is a difference between God’s presence and his glory. Most Christians know his presence–his great works in their lives–but few know his glory. In Exodus, we’re given a glimpse of this difference: “Then a cloud covered the tent of the congregation, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle” (Exodus 40:34).

The apostle Paul writes that all believers’ bodies are the tabernacle of God: “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?” (l Corinthians 3:16). Like the Israelites who lived under the cloud of God’s presence, we’re constantly under the covering of God’s grace. Yet, what is the difference between beholding God’s presence and beholding his glory?

The Lord Gave Moses a Revelation of His Glory.

Moses sought God for a continual manifestation of his presence: “…that I may know thee…” (Exodus 33:13-14). And God answered him, “…My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest” (verse 14).

Moses’ request would be quite enough for most believers. We all want the presence of God–leading us, guiding us, empowering us, blessing us. Really, what more could any believer desire? Yet having the assurance of God’s presence wasn’t enough for Moses. He knew there was more. And he cried out, “…I beseech thee, shew me thy glory”

(verse 18).

God did show Moses his glory. But it didn’t appear in some luminous cloud or in an earthshaking demonstration of power. No, God expressed his glory in a simple revelation of his nature: “The Lord passed before him, and proclaimed, The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, long suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin…” (34:6-7). God’s glory was a revelation of his goodness, mercy, love and compassion!

I’ve heard many Christians say, “Oh, how the glory of God came down in our church last night! There was such incredible praise, and people were slain by the Spirit.” But that isn’t proof of a manifestation of God’s glory. It has nothing to do with God beyond human emotions. It doesn’t include a revelation of who he is!

Some may argue, “But what about the disciples’ experience on the Mount of Transfiguration? Wasn’t that a manifestation of God’s glory? There was an overpowering light and the miraculous appearance of Moses and Elijah.”

But God’s glory wasn’t in Moses or Elijah or in the spectacular light. Rather, his glory was in Jesus: “…his did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light…behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him” (Matthew 17:2-6).

God was saying, “Here is my glory personified–in Christ!” Indeed, Jesus is the fulfillment of all God said he was to Moses –gracious, merciful, long suffering, abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression of sins. And now the Lord was saying, “Here’s a living picture of my glory. It is all embodied in my son!”

I’ve heard some Christians say, “If only the Lord would give me a vision of the horrors of hell, I would never forsake him. I’d live for Jesus every day!” No-that kind of vision never keeps anyone. Only a vision of who Jesus is–of his glory, grace and mercy–will keep us holy. I know a man who was near death and experienced just these kinds
of hellish visions. Afterward, he swore he would dedicate his life to Christ. But within weeks that vision died, and he went back to his sinful ways.

God wants to open our eyes to “…the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints” (Ephesians 1:18). He’s saying, “All the glory I revealed to Moses is embodied in my son. And now I have given him to you as your inheritance. You have a right to know him in all his glory!” “In him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily” (Colossians 2:9).

Why did Moses so desperately seek a vision of God’s glory? I believe the reason

is found in this verse: “There I will meet with the children of Israel, and the tabernacle shall be sanctified by my glory” ((Exodus 29:43).). The word “sanctified” here means “made clean.” God was saying, in other words: “Moses, as you and the people worship me, I will meet with you and give you my presence. And when I reveal my glory to you, it will cleanse you!”

This is one of the most powerful verses in all of scripture. It offers hope to everyone who struggles with a besetting sin and yearns to be free and clean. God pledges, “Your temple will be made clean by a revelation of my glory. And that revelation is available to you right now–in my son, Jesus Christ!”

Where can we find this revelation of Christ? We find it only as we come to the scriptures! Paul says that as we allow God’s word to reflect to us an ever-increasing revelation of Jesus, we will be changed from glory to glory: “We all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord” (2 Corinthians 3:18).

This revelation of God’s glory will provide keeping power for our lives: “…upon all the glory shall be a defense” (Isaiah 4:5). In other words, God’s glory will keep us clean in our worst hour. Satan may lie to us, “You’re defeated! You’re a cheat, a liar, an adulterer.” But we can answer, “No, devil. I have a high priest-and I’m cleansed by a vision of his glory!”

When God revealed to Moses all these things about his nature, he also gave him the full revelation that he “…will by no means clear the guilty…” (Exodus 34:7).

Azariah prophesied to King Asa in his most prosperous hour, “If you despise God’s glory–if you excuse your sin and neglect the Lord–he will not cleanse you! ” “…The Lord is with you, while ye be with him; and if ye seek him, he will be found of you; but if ye forsake him, he will forsake you” (2 Chronicles 15:2).

What God is telling us here is so simple: “Take time to get to know my son! Search my word and seek me in your secret closet of prayer. Then, as you abide in my presence, your eyes will begin to open to my glory. It is all revealed in Christ. He is the full revelation of my love, grace, mercy, kindness.

“As you continually reflect on this revelation, it will cleanse and purify you–because you’ll become more and more like Jesus. As you see how loving and merciful he is to you, you’ll become more loving and merciful to others. And that will be my glory revealed in you!”

Beloved, stop looking for a sign. Stop expecting some force to shake your church building, or for some preacher to lay hands on you and solve all your problems. Seek the Lord alone! His word makes it clear–you’ll either enjoy his continual presence or tee lightly esteemed: “For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him…” (16:9).

Seek him with all your heart, and desire his presence in your daily life. Then you will know and experience the incredible glory of God!

THE ABOVE MATERIAL WAS PUBLISHED BY TIMES SQUARE CHURCH, DECEMBER 7, 1998. THIS MATERIAL IS COPYRIGHTED AND MAY BE USED FOR STUDY & RESEARCH PURPOSES ONLY.

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That Rock Was Christ

By: J.T. Haywood

The land of Palestine is a very mountainous country, and also a land of many rocks, which, in the days of old, made part of the country; for in the times of danger the inhabitants retired to them, where they found a refuge against any sudden irruption of the enemy.

When the Benjaminites were overcome, and almost exterminated by the Israelites of the other tribes, they secured themselves in the rock Rimmon, and there they hid themselves for four months. Judges 20:47. In that rock was their salvation. After Samson had smitten the Philistines “hip and thigh with a great slaughter” he went down and dwelt in the top of the rock, Etam. Judges 15:8.

It was into the rocks that David often hid himself when he was persecuted by Saul. At Engedi he entered into the cave of rock which was of so vast extent that he was able to hide himself and 3,000 men, and although Saul entered into it, while they were concealed therein, yet he did not discover them (I Sam. 24:1, etc.)

From the security and deliverance of their people so often through the rocky regions of their coveted land the Israelites began to apply the metaphor to the God of their fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Nothing
could have been more appropriate than esteeming Him as the Rock of their salvation. In Him they had found a refuge from the hands of their enemies. He was their Rock, His work was (and is) perfect; “a God of truth” just and right is He. (Duet. 32:4.)

In rehearsing the wonderful work wrought through the mighty hand of their God, Moses inquires, “How should one chase a thousand, and two put ten thousand to flight, except their Rock had sold them, and the
Lord had shut them up? For their rock is not as our Rock, even our enemies themselves being judges.” (Duet. 32:30, 31). Moses had not forgotten the God of his fathers, who in the time of the most
decisive moment of his life, said, “My Presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest * * * Behold there is a place by me, and thou shalt stand upon a rock: and it shall come to pass, while my glory passeth by, that I will put thee in the clift of the rock, and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by.” Ex. 33:12-23. It was while in the clift of the rock that the Lord proclaimed and revealed the meaning of His name, (Ex. 34:1, etc.) and renewed the tables of stone which had been broken in the hands of Moses.

David’s faith in the Rock of Israel was firm. He trusted in Him alone saying, “Who is a Rock, save our God? God is my strength and power.” Unto thee will I cry, O Lord, my rock. From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: LEAD ME TO THE ROCK THAT IS HIGHER THAN I. He brought me up also out of an horrible Pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock. What a blessed thing it is to be made to stand upon a rock!

“In the Lord, Jehovah, is the rock of Ages” (margin Isa. 26:4). He is the hope of His people. When fainting and thirsty in the “waste howling wilderness” Moses smote a rock and “water gushed out,” did eat and
drink and were satisfied, and they did eat and drink and were satisfied, and “that Rock was Christ.” I Cor. 10:1-4. In his flesh as a man he was the “shadow of a Great Rock in a weary land,” but spiritually, “that Rock was Christ.” It is on this Rock that the Church of God is built (Matt. 16:18), and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. Though rain descends, the floods come, the winds blow and beat upon it, it shall never fall for it is founded upon a rock. If we put our trust in Him, we shall be like Mount Zion which
shall never be moved. He that believeth in Him shall have the life of the Rock of Ages.

(The above material was published by The Voice in the Wilderness, Detroit, MI.)

Christian Information Network

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God Will Do You Right

By E L Thornton

Gen. 18:17-25 “And the LORD said, Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do; Seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him? For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment; that the LORD may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him. And the LORD said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous; I will go down now, and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it, which is come unto me; and if not, I will know. And the men turned their faces from thence, and went toward Sodom: but Abraham stood yet before the LORD. And Abraham drew near, and said, Wilt thou also destroy the righteous with the wicked? Peradventure there be fifty righteous within the city: wilt thou also destroy and not spare the place for the fifty righteous that are therein? That be far from thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked: and that the righteous should be as the wicked, that be far from thee: Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?”

I remember the days of a handshake. My dad would sale a cow to a friend with a handshake. Or a mule, or plow tools would be transferred to another with a handshake. My family purchased our first home from the Erickson family and agreed to pay monthly with just a handshake. No contracts involved, no signing of papers necessary. People would do you right.

A mans word was his honor. This nation needs men whose word is their bond. Men who cannot be bought, men who put character above getting ahead, and men who are larger than their vocations. We need men who will not lose their individuality in a crowd, men who will be honest in small things as well as in great things, and men who will make no compromise with wrong, whose ambitions are not confined to their own selfish desires. Men who will not say they do it because everybody else does it, men who are true to their friends through the good report and the evil report, in adversity as well as in prosperity, men who do not believe that shrewdness, cunning and hardheadedness are the best qualities for winning success, The world needs men who are not ashamed nor afraid to stand for the truth when it is unpopular, who can say “no” with emphasis, although all the rest of the world says “yes.” And we need men who will do you right.

When you go outside church ranks for friendship you need to be careful because there are not many you can trust to do you right. We have all been done wrong by some high pressure come on, or by a totally deceitful incident, which left us with tongue in cheek wondering how we let it happen to us.

We have been wronged by everything between the car salesmen and the next door neighbor.

But that friend of God, the father of the Faithful, that old patriot, Abraham, told us God will do you right. Even when you’ve done wrong, God will do you right.

It is possible for man to change the mind of God, for in this text God gives Abraham an opportunity to bargain with Him about the future of the wicked cities Sodom and Gomorrah, but for my subject, in this message, I will deal with the last line of verse 25, “Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?”

 

I. GOD HAS NEVER DONE WRONG:

Deut. 32:4 “He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.”

No fault in God. Acts 10:38 “How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.”

Pilate was not the first nor the last to say “I find no fault in Him.” (John 19:4)
Though men have not spoken those exact words the message has been implied all down through the ages of time.

Job 1:20-22 “Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped, And said, Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD. In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly.”

When it looked like everything bad that could happen, happened, Job still didn’t have any thing against God.

Even when it came to the judgments of God toward the people, there was always a warning and a space to change before the judgment came.

 

II. GOD SEES YOU THE WAY YOU ARE:

Prov. 15:3 “The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.”

You can be sure God sees the evil. Every time there is an injustice, God sees.
Every time a widow is cheated, God sees. Every time a step child is mistreatment, God sees. Every time some inhuman molest a child, God sees. Every time there is an embezzlement at the bank, God sees. Every time there is an over charge for some cheap item, God sees. Every time you are not treated fair in a business deal, God sees. Every time a child rebels against authority, God sees. God sees every inequity, every grievance, every unfairness, every wrong, every prejudice, every deceit, every maltreatment, every injury, every ordeal, every encumbrance, every immorality, the bigotry, the dissimulation, the treachery, and the mischief, man does. Be sure God sees all, ALL, the evil of man.

You can be sure God sees the good. You cannot do good without God seeing it.
God sees every time you was honest when you could have been differently. God sees every time you remained pure when you could have done different. God sees every time you helped when there was a need. God sees every time you place your offering of worship in the offering plates. God sees every word of kindness you speak. God sees every time you spoke a word of encouragement to someone.

Did you read the article in news paper of somebody winning 1 million in a McDonald’s peel-off game. The winner of the McDonald’s Monopoly contest took a game piece worth $1 million, put it in a plain white envelope and mailed it, anonymously, to St. Judes Children’s Research Hospital, in Memphis, Tenn.. (Dec. 8, 1995) They may have sent it anonymously, but God knows who did it. God sees the good.

Yes! “The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.” And He will do you right.

III. GOD WILL DO YOU RIGHT:

In this present life.
When you’re tired and weary and you can’t go on, God will do you right.
When the path you’re walking seems all up hill, God will do you right.
When your bright skies turn to an ominous gray, God will do you right.
When you walk in the valley of the shadow of death, God will do you right
When you’re cast into deep depression, God will do you right.
When Satan is fighting you with all his might, God will do you right.
When you climb up the rough side of the mountain, God will do you right
When trials have come and things go wrong, God will do you right.
When life is inauspicious and your health gets bad, God will do you right.
When you’re out on a limb and the money all gone, God will do you right
When winds of sorrow are portentous, God will do you right.
When Satan clutters up your mind with unbelief, God will do you right.
When faith has gave way to doubt, God will do you right.
When discord is all around, God will do you right.
When you’re having good days one after another, God will do you right.
When the sun is bright and there’s no clouds, God will do you right.
When money is rolling in and the kids are behaving, God will do you right
Build your hopes on things eternal, God will do you right.
Hold to God’s unchanging hand, God will do you right

In time to come God will do you right.

2 Tim 4:8 “Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.”

There are, in all probability, times when the district judge has been wrong in his judgment, partial or biased in his decisions. But you have to notice what kind of judge Paul said God would be when He judges your case. “The righteous judge.”

Rev. 20:12 “And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.”

Every man is judged without partiality, without favoritism, and without any prejudice.

Posted in AIS File Library, BS - Bible Studies, BSLV - Love Of God0 Comments

The Love Of Adam

BY RON SCHOOLCRAFT

 

He wasn’t sure exactly how or when it happened, but slowly the realization dawned – he was definitely different from all the beautiful creatures that were slowly parading before him. As Adam continued
naming them, one glaring difference stood out – they all had companions! He had none… He watched as they playfully nuzzled each other, snuggling and cuddling, and the awareness grew into an _ aching
in his bosom. Lifting his head, Adam gazed expectantly down the long line. “Maybe my companion is in this line – perhaps this is the Lord God’s unique way of introducing us,” he thought hopefully. As the line
dwindled, his diligent watch turned to a fervent search; but at last, after naming the final the conclusion was painfully obvious: he was alone – completely and miserably alone!

“And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone. ” (Genesis 2:18, emphasis added).

The preceding narrative contains a mystery: since God knew that Adam would need a wife in order to “Be fruitful, and multiply. ” (Genesis 1:28), why then, did He create him alone? Why did He subject this “son of God” (Luke 3:38) to a painful scenario of loneliness, fruitless searching and the “rib surgery” which followed? An even larger question looms: why would God create a condition that, in His own Words, “is not good. ” (Genesis 2:18)? We know God doesn’t make mistakes. Then, could He possibly be trying to tell us something?

Hopefully, this brief study of the striking parallels in the lives of Adam and Jesus Christ may suggest an answer to the dilemma; or  at least offer some compelling evidence for a likely explanation of the mystery. May it result in a renewed appreciation for the exceedingly great love of God.

A Tale of Two Adams

Please consider: could it be feasible that God scripted the story line in Genesis to portray and thus reveal His own feeling of loneliness and His own desire for a suitable companionship?! Let us not forget that God was also Himself an Adam “the Second Adam”! (I Corinthians 15:45-47). Moreover, the apostle Paul identified Adam as “the figure [type] of him that was to come. ” (Romans 5:14). Should we then think it strange that He would use the first Adam to play a role depicting the innermost desire of the Second Adam, “the Lord from heaven,” (I Corinthians 15:47) for a bride to dispel His loneliness? Could the story of the first Adam be the divine prototype, the first and greatest of all the Bible “types,” foreshadowing the Second Adam’s ultimate creation of, and love for, His own bride – the church? As the saga unfolds, let us explore the possibility.

“And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; and the rib… made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.
” (Genesis 2:21-22). Here, the first Adam’s “deep sleep” was a perfect type and “shadow” of the deep sleep of death that Christ, the Second Adam, suffered at Calvary. The Hebrew word for “rib” is

Interpreted side elsewhere in Old Testament. When Jesus’ “side” was pierced a crimson stream of blood and water flowed out, thereby completing the redeeming of His bride – the church! Truly, the bride of
Christ was made from His side also.

“And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh. ” (Genesis 2:23). This unique phraseology is similar to that used by Paul when speaking about the church and Christ, “For we are
members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. ” (Ephesians 5:30). When Adam said, “This is now…,” Hebrew language experts say he was expressing tremendous excitement, joy, astonishment! Adam’s delight
when he first met Eve, gives us an insight into why Jesus was willing to suffer and give Himself for His bride: “who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross.” (Hebrews 12:2).

Leave and Cleave

“Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. ” (Genesis 2:24). This verse is the divine model for the institution of marriage and family. It contains two important keys:

1. Severance – “leave”: though we are still commanded to honor our parents we must leave them and, in essence, cut the cord. The Second Adam, “the Lord from heaven, ” left the throne of glory, severing Himself from all of heaven’s blessings and the adoration of angels. He condescended to walk in the world He had made! (See John 1:1,10,14).

2. Permanence – “cleave”: we must cling to, hold fast to, adhere to, stick like glue. The espoused bride of Christ knows the permanence of “Lo, I am with you alway.” (Matthew 28:20), “I will never leave thee
nor forsake thee.” (Hebrews 13:5), and the cleaving principle of “neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.” (John 10:28), and nothing “…shall be able to separate us. ” (Romans 8:39).

The Sin of Adam

Dare we extend the parallels into Genesis 3 for the fall of Adam? An important clue to understanding the first Adam is found in I Timothy 2:14: “And m was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the
transgression. Was Paul minimizing Adam’s role in the fall? No, but since Adam was not deceived, he didn’t eat the forbidden fruit nonchalantly. He knowingly chose to share the death penalty with his bride.

But why? What motivated him? Was it rebellion, or could he have been driven by his undying love for Eve? He must have greatly agonized in that garden because disobedience, sin and death were foreign and
repulsive to him. We know the Second Adam also agonized in a garden – Gethsemane: “And being in agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood. ” (Luke 22:44).

Presumably, the first Adam’s prayer could have been: “Dear Lord, You gave Eve to me to heal my loneliness. She is now part of me – bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh. Lord, You joined us together and now  we are no longer two, but one. How, then, can I live separately from her? I have never disobeyed You; I know no sin, and I don’t want to disobey You now. Oh Lord, I love You, I do love You! You surely see my
agony. Please understand me – I am not acting out of disobedience; but my love for Eve consumes me. I am willing to become sinful – made to be sin – for her sake. If she can’t stay with me, Lord, I am willing to
suffer the penalty to accompany her.

It is written of the Second Adam, “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin.” (11 Corinthians 5:21). Isaiah prophesied of Him, “and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.” (Isaiah 53:6). It is not completely beyond the realm of possibility that, as “crunch” time arrived, Adam may have prayed this prayer, “Lord, if possible, let this cup pass from me; if not, would You please let me die in her place! Please let her live! Let me lay down my life as a ransom for my bride.”

Could that be a trace of a smile flickering across the face of God? “Oh, first Adam, you have displayed a sacrificial love worthy of our shared name. Now I, the Second Adam, the Lord of glory, must  someday make the same agonizing choice for my bride that I love – the church!” And He did!

“Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it… That he might present it to himself a glorious church.” (Ephesians 5:25-27). “Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God ” (Ephesians 5:2).

Oh Love of God – How Rich and Pure!

Praise God forever, ‘for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ.” (Ephesians 2:4-5, emphasis added). We are saved by the sacrificial death and victorious resurrection of Jesus Christ, our Redeemer, who “loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood. ” (Revelation 1:5). Such knowledge should drive us to complete prostration in awe, amazement and appreciation.

Thank God for the love of Adam: of the first Adam, presumably, but of the Second Adam, precisely, for: “God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans
5:8). “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. (I John 4:10)

Editor’s Note: Ron Schoolcraft is from Columbus, IN.

 

THE ABOVE MATERIAL WAS PUBLISHED BY THE APOSTOLIC WRITERS’ DIGEST PAGES 7, 8, MARCH 2001. THIS MATERIAL IS COPYRIGHTED AND MAY BE USED FOR STUDY AND RESEARCH PURPOSES ONLY.

Posted in AIS File Library, BS - Bible Studies, BSLV - Love Of God0 Comments


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