For every need in scriptures, the answer that is given is, look to the LORD.
Even when Jesus prayed, he looked up to heaven.
Then he told the people to sit down on the grass. Jesus took the five loaves and two fish, looked up toward heaven, and blessed them. Then, breaking the loaves into pieces, he gave the bread to the disciples, who distributed it to the people. Matthew 14:19
What does it mean to look up to the LORD?
“Look up” in the Hebrew language is tsâphâh which means to peer into the distance, to observe, await, to keep watch.
Keeping that in mind, let’s take a look at “look up” in context.
Psalms 5:3 tells us that looking up is connected to prayer.
I will direct my prayer unto thee and look up.
I will watch and observe in prayer what the Lord says to me. I will wait for his direction, I will wait for his word.
Isaiah 8:17 tells us that the prophet says, he will wait and look to the lord for an answer to his prayer.
Isaiah 45:22 says that when we look with respect to the Lord, he brings salvation. God alone can save us from our sin, and save us out of all trouble.
Zechariah 12:10 tells us that when the Spirit of grace and supplications are poured out from the Lord, it causes the nation of Israel to look up to the Lord.
We can see a spiritual principle here. Putting this together we find that when God’s mercy is released through the spirit of prayer, it brings revelation knowledge of Jesus Christ.
An important point to remember when praying for Israel but also for the lost of all nations.
The book of John reiterates. Using the Greek word optanomai. To look or gaze with awe and wonder.
And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God!
And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus.
Then Jesus turned, and saw them following, and saith unto them, What seek ye? They said unto him, Rabbi, (which is to say, being interpreted, Master,) where dwellest thou?
He saith unto them, Come and see. They came and saw where he dwelt, and abode with him that day: for it was about the tenth hour. John 1:36-40
So we can see that this “looking” phenomena is more than simply taking a look. It’s looking with respect, awe, wonder. Like gazing into the eyes of the one you love!
Keeping this in mind let’s examine this “looking up” in the context of prayer.
Hebrews 12:2 Says looking unto Jesus. The Savior pierced for our sins who is the author and finisher of our faith.
Looking with awe and wonder with respect to the Lord, the author of our faith who is also the completer of our faith.
We must look to the Lord for our salvation which encompasses all the things we need to be saved from.
Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always. Psalm 105:4 Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame. Psalm 34:5 Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else. Isaiah 45:22
But as for me, I will look to the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation; my God will hear me. Micah 7:7
According to the Bible there are 2 kinds of ignorance. The first being innocent ignorance and the second being willful ignorance.
Innocent ignorance is still considered to be a sin, according to Jesus. In Luke 12:47,48, the Lord tells this story.
And that servant who knew his master’s will, and did not prepare himself or do according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he who did not know, yet committed things deserving of stripes, shall be beaten with few. For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more.
In our common law which is based on Biblical law, citizens are expected to know what the law says, in general terms even if they do not know particulars.
Ignorantia juris non excusat is latin for ignorance of the law is no excuse. This is a legal principle which means that a person who is unaware of a law, may not escape liability for violating that law, just because they were uninformed concerning that law.
“Ignorantia Legis Neminem Excusat“, Manitoba Law Journal, Vol. 2, Issue 10 (October 1885), pp. 145–157
The Bible makes this principle clear in Numbers 15:22-30. Innocent ignorance is still considered a sin. Not as bad as willful disobedience but never the less, a sin.
But suppose you unintentionally fail to carry out all these commands that the LORD has given you through Moses. And suppose your descendants in the future fail to do everything the LORD has commanded through Moses. If the mistake was made unintentionally, and the community was unaware of it, the whole community must present a young bull for a burnt offering as a pleasing aroma to the LORD. It must be offered along with its prescribed grain offering and liquid offering and with one male goat for a sin offering. With it the priest will purify the whole community of Israel, making them right with the LORD, and they will be forgiven. For it was an unintentional sin, and they have corrected it with their offerings to the LORD—the special gift and the sin offering. The whole community of Israel will be forgiven, including the foreigners living among you, for all the people were involved in the sin.
If one individual commits an unintentional sin, the guilty person must bring a one-year-old female goat for a sin offering. The priest will sacrifice it to purify the guilty person before the LORD, and that person will be forgiven. These same instructions apply both to native-born Israelites and to the foreigners living among you.
But those who brazenly violate the LORD’s will, whether native-born Israelites or foreigners, have blasphemed the LORD, and they must be cut off from the community. Since they have treated the LORD’s word with contempt and deliberately disobeyed his command, they must be completely cut off and suffer the punishment for their guilt.TLB
Innocent sin is lesser in comparison to presumptuous sin, which is knowing something is wrong but in pride rejecting doing what is right or what the word says, due to weakness of the flesh.
Innocent sin is a lack of deep understanding of the seriousness of the sin involved. For example, the unbelief of the lost may in some cases be due to innocent ignorance, but is still considered to be sin according to God. This is because as Paul points out in Romans chapter 1, nature itself is a witness to the Creator plus nature teaches what is right and what is wrong. To defy God’s natural laws by rejecting them as untruth can be innocent ignorance but also may be willful ignorance, depending on the situation.
Willful ignorance is a graver sin. It is not as bad as presumptuous sin or deliberate sin, but it is sin never the less. Willfully ignorant is a legal term which means one who lacks the information or facts because they refuse to acknowledge them.
In criminal cases, willful ignorance is meant to substitute for actual knowledge: When the defendant does not actually know , but was willfully ignorant of it, courts may treat her as if she actually knew. Global-Tech, 131 S. Ct. 2060 at 2070.
Its the same principle in the Bible. The anti Christ spirit may be changing God’s laws today in order to excuse sin, but God’s law always trumps over the devil’s lies.
For as many as have sinned without law will also perish without law, and as many as have sinned in the law will be judged by the law. Romans 2:12
Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin. James 4:7,
And Balaam said to the Angel of the LORD, “I have sinned, for I did not know You stood in the way against me. Now therefore, if it displeases You, I will turn back. Numbers 22:34,
God calls unbelief a sin. Thomas had innocent unbelief. He was not there when Jesus appeared to the other disciples, and was not going to take their word for his resurrection. When Jesus showed up he proved himself to Thomas, then Thomas believed. Jesus however, spoke into his unbelief. “Do not doubt but believe.” (John 20)
Scriptures tell us that without faith, that is trust in God’s word, the scriptures, it is impossible to please Him. Many say they “believe in Jesus” but they willfully reject his word. They deny his power, his deity, his laws.
To reject scriptures because one is told they are not relevant for today, or God doesn’t do that any more, or God approves of me anyway, or they put man’s word above God’s word, can be depending on the situation, innocent ignorance or willful ignorance. Either way, it is still sin.
And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him. Hebrews 11:6
But though He had performed so many signs before them, yet they were not believing in Him. James 12:32
However, they did not listen, but stiffened their neck like their fathers, who did not believe in the Lord their God. 2 Kings 17:4
Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins. John 8:24
So we see that they were not able to enter because of unbelief. Hebrews 3:19
In order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness. 2 Thessalonians 2:13
But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death. Revelation 21:8
The spirit of pride is behind taking offense to God’s word. Many today in churches out right reject the Bible. Some reject portions of the Bible. They even persecute those who have faith in God’s word.
So the honor is for you who believe, but for those who do not believe, “The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone,” and “A stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense.” They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do. 1 Peter 2: 7,8
Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake. And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. Matthew 24: 9,10
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. Mathew 5:10-12
The Bible tells us to be innocent of evil but to wise concerning what is good. Romans 16:19
We are called to pray for our understanding to be enlightened, so that we can know what is the hope of our calling, what is the riches of God’s inheritance that he has provided for us and to know what is the exceeding greatness of his power towards us who BELIEVE. Ephesians 1:18
We are called to walk, not in willful ignorance and unbelief, but by faith in Jesus Christ who loved us and gave himself for us!
This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart. Ephesians 4:18
In Exodus Chapter 8 :14, We read about how the Amalekites attacked Israel at Rephidim.
This story has a spiritual application for us today.
Rephidim means a place in the dessert.
The wilderness of Rephidim is where the Israelites camped out after the Lord delivered them from Egypt.
Rephidim had no water. The Israelites were thirsty and complained to Moses about it.
God heard their complaints and commanded Moses to strike the rock. When he did water came rushing out. The significance of this is that the rock was a representation of Jesus Christ, the Rock, beaten for our healing so that we could receive his living water.
The part I want to focus on in this story is what happened after that. In the Rephidim wilderness, out of the blue appears a band of marauders, looking to cause trouble for the Israelites.
If you go back to Exodus chapter 14 you will find that after the Lord delivered Israel from the Egyptians at the red sea, the Egyptians stood in awe. It actually says that the Egyptians had faith in the Lord.
And Israel saw the great work which Jehovah did upon the Egyptians, and the people feared Jehovah: and they believed in Jehovah, and in his servant Moses. Ex. 14:31
In Exodus 15:14-16 it says that all the nations around that area heard about how the Lord delivered Israel and they feared the Lord.
There was only one nation that did not fear the Lord. In fact not only did they not fear the Lord but they deliberately tracked the Israelites down, attacking them as they rested in Rephidim.
That nation was the Amalekites.
Because of what the Amalekites did, the Lord was very angry. He was so angry that he made a proclamation that he was going to fight against the Amalekites forever.
This sounds kind of harsh until you dig into the story a little deeper.
Amalek was a descendant of Esau, the guy who had no regard for God’s inheritance.
Amalek was the son of Esau’s son Eliphaz, by Eliphaz’s concubine Timna.
Timna was the sister of Lotan, the eldest son of Seir the Horite.
Seir the Horite became a general in Esau’s tribe. Esau developed into a nation which would be in conflict with Israel even up to this time. When Esau gave up his inheritance it had more significance than just material possessions. Esau actually gave up God’s blessing. This is a story in itself.
Seir the Horite was a person of high status in those times. This meant that his daughter was most probably considered to be in a noble position as well. Since Jacob the other son of Isaac was sold into slavery, this meant to the Amalekites that they were “better” than the Israelites.
Just as Esau did not regard the God of his father, neither did the Amalekites regard the Lord.
The Amalekites lived to the south of the Land of Israel, in what is known today as the Negev Desert.
They were a tribal people who (according to some historians) became wayfaring looters. Hearing that the despised Israelites had taken Egyptian booty when they left Egypt, the Amalekites most probably had intention to rob Jacob’s seed.
Again we can see how Esau’s seed has no regard or respect for the Lord.
Going further into history is another story that ties into this one. When the Israelites were living in Persia they prospered under a foreign king.
Mordechai an Isrealite was in the king’s administration. When Mordechai was rewarded for his service by the king and became a significant person in the palace, Haman the prime minister of Persia, who was a descendant of Amalek became incensed.
(Esther 3:1 indicates that Haman was a descendant of Agag the king of the Amalekites.)
Haman in Persian means magnificent.
Haman’s father’s name was Hammedatha, (Esther 3:1) meaning ‘overtop’ or one who aspires to be greater than all.
Haman who was the highest ranking guy in the king’s Court, did not like an Israelite showing him up. To the Amalekites the Israelites were beneath them. Haman was also mad because Mordechai would not bow down to him.
Haman the Agagite (Esth. 3:1) regarded as a descendant of Agag (I Sam. 15:8) the Amalekite king.
Esther 3:1-2, says After these things King Ahasuerus promoted Haman, the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, and advanced him and set his seat above all the princes who were with him. And all the king’s servants who were within the king’s gate bowed and paid homage to Haman, for so the king had commanded concerning him. But Mordecai would not bow or pay homage.
Tying in another story, in Numbers 24:7 Balaam prophesied that the Messiah to come would be greater than the king of the Amalekites, Agag. (Numbers 24:7)
Moving on in history we find another king of the Amalekites whose name was also Agag. In 1 Samuel 15:1-3 the Lord commands King Saul to get rid of all the Amalekites and everything associated with them.
King Saul does not obey the Lord but instead lets King Agag live. Due to this disobedient act the Lord removes Saul from being king. This is significant because it reveals the true state of King Saul’s heart. He had no regard or respect for the God of his father’s either.
Due to this act of disobedience we find the Amalekites fighting against David. (1Samuel chapter 30)
David however, is a true worshipper of the Lord. He does not let the Amalekites steal anything. In fact he gives them a good fight.
We find through out scriptures that the nature of the Amalekites is to disrespect the Lord. The Amalekites constantly fight against his inheritance, they always try to steal from them, and are high minded against them.
The Amalekites operate in the spirit of jealousy. They believe they are the rightful heirs of the land. They also believe that the true worshippers of the Lord need to be eradicated because they stand in the way of the Amalekite agenda. Which is to be magnificent rulers.
The Amalekites are so arrogant that they will not bow to the King of kings. They will not submit to his rule or to his word. They regard not the God of their fathers. If you look in Daniel 11: 37 you will find that the prince of darkness to come will not regard the God of his fathers either.
It is interesting to note that the Hebrew numerical value of Amalek is 240 which is the same as the value of the Hebrew word for “doubt.”
All the nations feared the Lord when he delivered the Israelites from Egypt expect the Amalekites.
The Amalekite spirit is anti Christ in nature. Opposing all that is of God. Having no regard for spiritual things. The Amalekite spirit prefers the things of this world over the things of God’s kingdom.
Amalek represents, rebellion, disrespect, unbelief, doubt, arrogance, and pride.
All these characteristics are personified in the Amalekites. God said that he would continually oppose the Amalekites until they are completely eradicated. Balaam prophesied that God’s kingdom would be greater in the future. The king of all kings will rule in the earth and every knee will bow to him!
Although the Amalekites do not exist as a people today, the same characteristics exist in the sin nature.
Disregarding of God’s awesome power, disrespectful of his glory, attacking his people, rebelling against his ways, arrogant and proud. The Amalekite spirit doubts God’s word.
The spirit of the Amalek resides in the hearts of those who are in rebellion to God. The Lord is still in a battle today with the Amalekite spirit. He wants us to war against the flesh. Completely destroy the Amalekite spirit! Bring down pride, arrogance, love of the world, jealousy, deception, disregard for things holy.
Jesus wants a no compromising church! One who will not bow to the Amalekite spirit.
Remember that if God’s people will not destroy the Amalekite spirit, that spirit will rule them!
Do not bow to the king of the Amalekites! Like Ester and her people, take up the sword of the Spirit that the Lord has given to you, and fight the good fight of faith! Lay hold on eternal things!
Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you. 1 John 2:15
The Bible is filled with God’s promises. When we put our trust in God’s Word in effect we are putting our trust in God’s character.
Jesus was the Word of God made flesh.
John 1:1 says that in the beginning, was the word.
Beginning in the Greek is archē
This word is more than just a starting point. It means literally FIRST ESTATE. The first magistrate power. The first principality ruler.
Jesus was and is the first Word or Logos in the Greek.
According to the ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus who was the first to use this word in his writings, Logos is referred to as a rational divine intelligence.
Logos was used to define the reasoning of the mind or rational mind. It also meant divine mind or universal intelligence. The universal ruling force governing and revealing himself through the cosmos to humankind. In other words Logos is God’s mind.
Putting this together we have, the Logos or mind of God being the FIRST ESTATE, first magistrate power or principal ruler was made flesh and dwelt among us. (John 1:14)
John was speaking of the incarnation of Jesus Christ.
He goes on to say that those who received him the logos or God in the flesh are given the power or right to become the sons of God.
We become God’s children by receiving the word. Jesus Christ, God in the flesh.
Its important that we receive the Jesus Christ in which the scriptures express. If we believe Jesus to be an inferior god, as a god or a created being such as an angel then that is being converted to another Jesus or a false Jesus. Not the Biblical Jesus.
Jesus Christ or the logos is both God and man.
I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins. John 8: 24
How do we receive this great salvation through Jesus Christ the Logos, God’s divine mind, word, thoughts, ruling governance?
Simply by faith.
Faith is the gift in which grace flows. Faith is given. Faith comes by hearing GOD’S word. Without faith we cannot please God nor can we receive from God. Why? Because unbelief in effect says. I DO NOT BELIEVE YOU ARE WHO YOU SAY YOU ARE!
The logos is God’s word expressed through the incarnation of Jesus Christ. The Law was God’s written word which he gave through Moses. The incarnation of the Logos is God’s word in the flesh.
Romans 4 tells us that Abraham believed or had faith in God’s promise, his word or Logos.
In order for salvation to occur faith must be exercised for grace to take effect. It is the same principle for every scriptural promise. Faith believes before any evidence is manifested.
The soul dead in trespasses and sin did not feel saved before receiving salvation! He hoped and then God turned that hope into faith. Faith is the supernatural ability to believe beyond evidences.
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1
Abraham according to the Bible, hoped against hope.
Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be. Romans 4:18
Abraham trusted God even though all evidence in the natural realm pointed to the opposite of what God’s word said.
As we can see before faith comes we must have hope. Many people give up or refuse to have hope or trust in the Logos.
Because Abraham believed God’s word he received the promise.
If you read the story of Abraham you will find he messed up a bit concerning getting his promise. He took wrong advise, got his eyes off the promise but one thing he did not do was give up hope.
How did this promise to Abraham come about? Was it immediate? Did Abraham all of a sudden turn into a young man again? Did the promise fall out of the sky and into his lap?
No. None of these things happened. Due to a series of events Abraham had to learn to trust God.
Abraham had an Ishmael. He listened to naysayers and he also went about trying to bring his own will into the equation. By doing so Abraham ended up having a lot of conflict.
How many of us try to fix our own problems by coming up with schemes that end up getting us where it hurts?
I know I certainly have. Well just like Abraham learned from his mistakes so can we learn from ours.
Take a look from scriptures at how God brings his word to pass.
The first thing God does is speak his word. He brings a word to your heart from his Holy Spirit or from his written word or both.
God tells us what he is going to do. Not what we plan but what he tells us he is going to do. That’s why its important to get a rhema or living personal word form the Lord. We can do this by fasting and prayer, seeking the Lord’s face.
Then we make a choice to believe that word or not.
Wait a minute are you saying I have a choice?
What did Jesus say?
And when he was come into the house, the blind men came to him: and Jesus saith unto them, Believe ye that I am able to do this? They said unto him, Yea, Lord. Matthew 9:28
And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform. Romans 4:21
Now we may be hoping against hope like Abraham for something that is impossible in the natural. Lets take a look at how Abraham responded to the same predicament.
God made a promise to Abraham even though it looked impossible. Abraham had hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken.
When God speaks a word he calls those things which are not, as though they were.
(As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were. Romans 4:17
In this way we also are able to receive God’s promises. Let me show you an example through scriptures on how God works to being something to pass.
In Genesis 1:2, the earth had no form. It was empty. In Greek, tôhû bôhû is a phrase which means “empty without form.”
Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the spirit of God was hovering over the waters. Genesis 1:2
The earth had no form. It was empty, “unseen and unformed.”
And God said...âmar, Which means; appointed, called, commanded, spoke, uttered, promised
This was the same with Sarah’s womb. She was past the age of child bearing. However, Abraham had faith. He did not consider his body or Sarah’s body.
He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strong in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully persuaded that what He had promised, He was able also to perform. Romans 4:20,21
Now look at what God did in Genesis 1.
Darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
So on an empty, dark, formless earth, God’s Spirit moved on the face of the waters.
God’s Holy Spirit broods or shakes up a barren, empty, void, nothing, situation.
Then God spoke the world into existence. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. Genesis 1:3
This is also what happens at salvation. 2 Corinthians 4:6 tells us that God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
God had faith in his own ability to create. He never had any doubters around to get in his way. He spoke the world into existence and it happened. To the lost soul who hopes in him, looks to the Lord to be saved, God releases his faith to receive his free gift of salvation.
This is an important principle to remember when you are praying for the lost. They need to hear the word then hope in the word, then believe in the word.
In conclusion, God’s word is “yes and amen”. What he promises to do, he will do! Continue to hope in his word. Faith is believing in God’s word without seeing any evidence! Trust in him. Be patient for the Lord’s Holy Spirit is brooding over the darkness. He will bring his light into your situation at the appointed time!
When the Bible tells us that Christians are more than conquerors through Jesus Christ, what exactly does that mean? Let us first of all examine what the word conquer means. According to the dictionary, to conquer means to defeat or subdue by force. Especially by force of arms. To overcome or surmount by physical, mental, or moral force.
Romans chapter 8 tell us that we are more than conquerors. To be more than something means to exceed. To go beyond a gain.
We are more than conquerors because Jesus Christ has conquered. He won the battle and we are now situated in his victory.
According to Romans chapter 8, we are more than conquerors through Jesus Christ, over all these things: over the flesh, the sufferings of this present time, having patience, perseverance and hope until the redemption of our bodies, condemnation, persecution, and tribulation of all kinds.
Romans 8 tells us that we are more than conquerors through Jesus Christ because the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness.
How does the Holy Spirit help us conquer ?
Through Holy Spirit inspired prayer!
Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. Romans 8:26,27
In this present time of tribulation which we have in this world, not only will that tribulation never separate us from God’s love but it will in fact work together for our good. According to Romans 8, we are predestined to be conformed to or fashioned into the Lord’s likeness.
All the tribulations of this life keep us dependent on the Lord, they increase patience, help us see our weakness, brings us to repentance in areas of sin, give us spiritual insight, increase wisdom, develop experience, and bring hope.
Tribulation works the things we experience in such a way that it increases our trust in the Lord. We learn to rejoice through every trial we are brought through because we know that the victory is the Lord’s! He always turns things around for our good!
Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all. Psalms 34:19
Prayer is the key to deliverance from every trial! Holy Spirit inspired prayer will work every situation out in our favor. For our good and for our spiritual growth. For we are more than conquerors through Jesus Christ who loved us and gave himself for us!
For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:37-38
Proverbs tell us that a wise person will look well to their going. In other words a person who uses wisdom will make sure that they search out a matter before jumping to a conclusion.
The simple believeth every word: but the prudent man looketh well to his going. Proverbs 14:15
It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter. proverbs 25:2
Unfortunately, some people believe every thing they hear if it is a popular “bandwagon”.
They will follow the leader, eating whatever meal is served up to them. In the book of Acts it talks about the Bereans who were more noble than others. According to Paul these Bereans actually searched out the scriptures ,checking to see if what the apostles were telling them was truth or not.
Acts 17, “These (Berea) were more noble than those in Thessalonica in that they received the word with all readiness of mind and searched the scriptures daily whether those things were so.”
It is interesting to note that the apostles never got offended that a group of people did not just take their word verbatim. They rejoiced that these Bereans did a Bible study to see if what the apostles were saying lined up with the scriptures in its entirety or not.
If we get offended because some one challenges our doctrine or belief system by checking it out then we are more interested in our pride than in the truth.
Also, if we defend our doctrinal position based on tradition rather than truth then what we are saying is that we prefer familiarity over truth.
Whoso loveth instruction loveth knowledge: but he that hateth reproof is brutish. Proverbs 12:1
The Bible tells us that we are to compare spiritual things with spiritual things. Not just take an isolate scripture and build a doctrine out of it. Nor for that matter should we trust a group of people with the same agenda to give us the complete truth. No matter what “council” they belong to.
Scriptures need to be examined not only according to its original language and intent but also comparing author to author. Does the doctrine have consistency between authors and does it flow with the whole picture?
I have found that scriptural doctrines many times are built on inferences and bias rather than the truth of scriptures. If something is NOT specifically stated in scripture then it is not a good idea to make it official church doctrine. I personally do not agree with some “church doctrine, ” that is not essential but never the less important in which the majority adhere to.
The reason many Christians will have a bird with you if you disagree with their “official” church doctrine is because most Christians do not base their “truth” on evidential facts but on a popular band wagon theology. If you disagreed with them they will label you a heretic.
Seems to me that Jesus had a hard time trying to convince a religious group that he WAS the truth and they were wrong about their beliefs concerning Messiah. Why was this? Exactly as Jesus said, “having neglected the commandment of God, you hold to the tradition of men.” Mark 7:8
In fact I have had debates with some of these scholars who don’t seem to be able to have good enough evidence to convince me they are holding the truth.
That being said, my point is that it is up to the teacher to teach doctrine scripturally based but it is up to the student to do a Bible study to see if what the teacher is teaching is correct or not.
However, it is not required of either teacher or student to argue with a person who wants to believe what they want to believe. All that is required is to do the teaching and leave the outcome to God.
As scriptures tell us, “if any be ignorant then let them be ignorant. ” 1 Corinthians 14: 38
Since teachers are to be judged more harshly than other ministries it is important to teach according to consistency of scripture. Then with a clean conscience, we leave our assessment for God on that day.
Since we are all only human and susceptible to human frailties, occasionally we will make mistakes and when convinced of error we must be quick to make it right.
Keep in mind that there are also cultural differences which may interpret scriptures biasedly or at least from a different perspective. A person from India may see an issue from a different light than someone from America for example. The Lord does allow some flexibility in how we interpret some matters. He said that to one person something may be sin while to another it is not. Every one must be convinced in their own mind. That is of course with minor biblical issues.
Another point to mention is the different personalities and the different giftings of people. One focus of biblical studies may not be another’s focus. I recently read a book by a wonderful old saint from the past who not being an eschatology scholar interpreted a scriptural topic based on personal experience rather than biblically based doctrine. Coming out of much suffering and ministering to the persecuted church she rejected the pretribulation rapture doctrine. The scripture she gave was that we are “appointed to tribulation”.
While this is true, what she failed to understand was that tribulation and THE TRIBULATION are different concepts. THE TRIBULATION or “Jacobs trouble” is when God deals with Israel. It is a 7 year time period. Christians are appointed to suffer for Christ’s sake but THE TRIBULATION according to many end time students including myself believe it is a specific 7 year period.
Lastly, we can all agree on objective truth. There are certain things in scripture that are black and white. Bottom line. No two ways about it. Just the way it is and it doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from, objective truth is truth. God expects us to keep it that way.
In conclusion, both the teacher and the student must look well to their going. Search out a matter. Dig into the word with all readiness of mind to find the truth for yourself.
The teacher is always learning and the student is always learning. Both the wise teacher and the wise student will make it their life ambition to sit at the master’s feet and continue to learn. Then they can be a workman not ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15
Psalm 1 reveals how we can walk in God’s blessings.
Contrary to what some teach, being blessed by God is not an automatic response to salvation.
While Christians are saved by grace through faith we still have to grow up in the knowledge of God. (Colossians 1:10)
Growing in the knowledge of God means learning about how the kingdom of God works.
Lack of knowledge pertaining to kingdom principles causes God’s people to be destroyed. (Hosea 4:6)
Destroyed in the Hebrew is dâmâh. It means to fail, perish, be cut off, silenced, utterly undone.
Some Christians who have experienced failure refuse to get over their offense. They may have been taught improperly or hurt by grievous wolves twisting scripture. Instead of admitting failure due to ignorance some because of offense will omit scriptures or cherry pick scriptures rather than admit they were wrong.
Failing at something in life should cause us to seek the Lord for answers. What happened? Where did I go wrong? What did I miss?
According to Psalm 1 there are certain prerequisites for being blessed by the Lord which are are not always monetary.
Psalm 1 tells us how we can prosper in God’s kingdom.
Psalm 1 says blessed is the person that does not walk in the counsel (takes advice from) the ungodly.
This is the first principle of being blessed by the Lord.
God’s word is above every one else’s word. If God said it in the scriptures then it’s true. Regardless of evidences to the contrary because those “evidences” could be the expression of a faulty response to truth.
For example. Many churches do not teach or preach healing from their pulpits. Consequently no healing takes place in those churches.
Some churches don’t preach about salvation. Then they wonder why no souls are getting saved.
Scriptures clearly tell us that God’s works FOLLOW the preaching of the word.
Whatever you preach about or talk about is what the Holy Spirit will perform in your midst. Whatever you ask for you will get.
Remember that Jesus literally asked a blind man what he wanted from him. (Mark 10:51) It’s an important spiritual principle, to ask specifically.
Adhering to secular wisdom rather than Biblical wisdom will prevent God’s blessings from coming into your life. Many times secular wisdom is contrary to the word of God.
Some Christians put secular reasoning above the Bible. Science is not static. It changes all the time and some times it is wrong. Neither does humanistic ideology benefit the hearers. It has no power to perform miracles.
Putting trust in men’s wisdom can lead to ship wreck of our faith.
God’s word is above every word. It is “yes and amen” regardless of whether it is believed or not.
An important point to mention is that knowing God’s truth through revelation and experience does not give us the right to condemn others who don’t know what we know.
The law of love leaves someone in their ignorance if they are not open to the authority of scriptures.
However, due to incorrect interpretation or outright denial of a scriptural precedent its best to not walk too close with those mindsets.
People who have to explain away everything Jesus said are not beneficial to our spiritual life. Christian or not.
Truth hurts sometimes but I’m going to say it anyway. Rejecting scriptures that blatantly tell us something is calling God a liar.
The next principle for prospering in God’s blessings is to not stand in the way of sinners. That means not walking the way ungodly people walk. Not following their behavior patterns.
If God condemns something in the scriptures then it’s best to agree with his word and avoid the behavior.
Some non Christians and even Christians blatantly adhere to non biblical ways of thinking and doing. They believe that God will overlook or even support their disobedience to his word. That is so not true.
When we are disobedient to the word of God written plain as day then we will reap the whirl wind sooner or later.
All of us have fallen short and all of us have faced consequences for our disobedience. But thank God he is a redeemer. When we confess our sin and turn from it then God will forgive and restore us.
Another principle for receiving blessing from the Lord is to avoid taking a seat among the scornful. That means not hanging around with scoffers who don’t believe God’s word or respect it. Unbelief is like a cancer. It’s spreads.
Jesus said, “be careful what you hear”. (listen to) Mark 4:24
To recap. Psalms 1 tells us that Blessed are those who:
Put God’s word above every other word.
2. Avoid living ungodly.
3. Don’t hang with scoffers who deny God’s word.
Psalm 1 then goes on to tell us that if we do these things then we will have the following blessings.
We will be like a tree planted by streams of water.
Interestingly enough but when trees are planted by river banks they keep the soil from eroding into sediment which causes pollution. In other words a life continually washed by the water of the word keeps us from corruption.
Trees planted by streams of water also provide shade to help animals from being exposed to heat. This helps both vegetation and animals flourish.
Being watered by the word of Jesus Christ is beneficial for the growth of others. They will benefit from being in our presence as we reflect God’s goodness.
Watered continually with God’s word we will make us bear fruit at the right season. Our fruit will be a blessing not only to us but also to others. They will through our witness taste the goodness of the Lord.
Lastly whatever we do will prosper.
When our plans are committed to the Lord he will bring them to pass. The Lord will bless our lives when we go in and when we go out. Everything we do will prosper.
Matthew 10:1 tells us that Jesus called his disciples. Then he gave them power (excousia in the Greek) against unclean spirits. To cast them out.
Jesus gave them power (excousia in the Greek) to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease.
Excousia in the Greek means authority.
This authority according to Mark 16: 17,18 is given to THOSE WHO BELIEVE.
It does not say, “to those whom I call to be apostles or church leaders.”
It also does not say, go into all the world (where demons are everywhere) and preach the gospel but baptize only.
Jesus gave commission not only to preach the gospel and baptize but also to cast out demons and heal the sick. Cherry picking the scriptures is simply wrong. Its not only bad theology but also spiritually dangerous because it is omitting scripture. Omitting scripture means having unbelief. Unbelief limits God which means he cannot do any mighty works.
Yea, they turned back and tempted God, and limited the Holy One of Israel. Psalm 78:41
And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief. Matthew 13:58
And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God. And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.
If you don’t believe God heals today, then you will not get healed.
If you believe God heals others but not you then you believe he is a respecter of persons. You will not get healed.
If you glorify sickness, use it to get attention, (many do) talk about the sickness 24/7 and reject scripture. You will not get healed.
Having faith means never ever giving up. EVER! It means standing, praying and seeking the Lord.
It means being obedient to change your life style if need be. Renouncing any sin that the Holy Spirit shows you (including pride). Being holy in conversation and deeds.
The saints of old believed in the coming Messiah even though they did not see any evidence of it. They stood on the promises of God. (Hebrews 11: 39)
In the same way we should stand on God’s word no matter what. Even if we are taken to heaven before any healing manifestation in this life. Genuine faith believes in God’s word regardless of what naysayers say or what is seen, heard or felt.
Bold faith pleases God! Just look at the woman who grabbed a hold of Jesus’ garment to be healed. Look at the blind man who cried out loud in a large crowd, and the guy whose friends opened up a roof top to get healing! All bold faith and all prayers were answered!
When Jesus heard these things, he marveled at him, and turned him about, and said unto the people that followed him, I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel. Luke 7:9
Just like it is God’s will to save everybody, it is God’s will to heal everybody. Not everyone gets saved because they will not believe the gospel. Not everyone gets healed because of unbelief and or unrepentant sin.
As believers in Jesus Christ we have been given authority to cast out devils. Sickness is caused by devils. Directly or indirectly. The consequence of the fall is sin, sickness, disease. All from Satan.
We know that we are of God, and that the whole world is under the power of the evil one. 1 John 5: 9
God does not use sickness to teach us something! That’s like saying, God uses the devil to teach us something. God can bring good out of evil just like a flower can bloom in a manure pile but he is not the author of sickness or disease.
Sickness and disease is a result of sin. Sin is disobedience to God. Sin has consequence. Sin can be generational. If you don’t believe that then you don’t believe in science. Our DNA carry certain sickness that is passed on. That’s a fact with evidences to back it up.
Many times saints prayed for forgiveness of generational sins. Judges 3:9, 15, 1 Samuel 12:10-12
To have authority means to be delegated influence and strength in a jurisdiction.
We have been given authority over ALL the works of darkness. This includes sickness.
Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Luke 10:19
Believers have been given authority (jurisdiction) over the evil one’s work. Notice I said believers.
These signs follow them that BELIEVE.
For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. 1 John 5:4
Now there are different ways in which this authority is manifest through believers.
Scriptures tell us that regarding faith, we must contend for it, fight for it, and stand on it.
Faith or trusting in God is always challenged by the devil. Faith is the key that opens heaven’s resources.
Jude tells us to contend for the faith because people will sneak into your church, your life, your family and try to corrupt the word.
Someone may come along and try to sway you from God’s grace by altering the word of God in order to try and trip you up. Jude says contend for the faith. (Jude3,4)
To content, gârâh in the Hebrew means to strive. To earnestly struggle. To Contest to victory.
In Deuteronomy 2:24 the Lord tells his people to contend in battle for the land that he gave to them. When God gives us a promise many times there is a battle with the enemy in order to obtain it.
“Rise up, take your journey, and pass over the valley of the Arnon: behold, I have given into your hand Sihon the Amorite, king of Heshbon, and his land; begin to possess it, and contend with him in battle. Deuteronomy 2:24
In the Greek contend is epagōnizomai which implies wrestling or battling in warfare.
Everything in the kingdom of God for your life will be contested by the devil. He is a thief that comes to steal, kill and destroy. Jesus said in his word that he came to give us an abundant life. Even in hard times and horrible circumstances the Lord is faithful to his word. He will always come through if you contend, fight, and stand.
The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. John 10:10
The parable of the Sower tells us that the wicked one comes to steal the word sown in our heart. (Mark 4:1-20)
The enemy brings doubts. Did God really say that? (Genesis 3:1-3, Luke 4:3)
Without faith we cannot please God because faith is the key to all operations in the kingdom of God. (Hebrews 11:6)
Whoever comes to the Lord in prayer must believe that he is. Is what? Is Savior. Is able. Is truthful. Is Lord of all.
And that he is a rewarder of those who diligently seek him.
That is God will reward your seeking if you are diligent. Persistent.
“But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” Hebrews 11:6
The devil does not want you to be blessed. He wants to steal, kill and destroy. He is the devourer of anything good.
That’s why scriptures tell us to contend for the faith. Fight the good fight of faith. Lay hold of eternal life. (Kingdom blessings)
Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses. 1 Timothy 6:12
Now I beseech you, brethren, for the Lord Jesus Christ’s sake, and for the love of the Spirit, that ye strive together with me in your prayers to God for me; Romans 15:30
Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able. Luke 13:24
And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully. 2 Timothy 2:5
When you plant a garden all kinds of critters will want to get in and eat up your crop. So, you build a fence. You put up resistance of all kinds. Scarecrows, pesticides (natural so your crop is healthy), and you keep watch.
This way no critter can get in and steal your crop. When God’s word is planted in your heart the devil and his goons will try to steal it. We must contend earnestly with him. Resist the devil. Put up a fight.
Take that shield of faith and bash him a good one.
Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. Ephesians 6:16
No way Mr. devil! My God has spoken. His word is true. You are a liar. Get out of here!
We keep contending for the faith until harvest time. Then when we eat the good food from the seed of God, planted in our hearts we will do so in the presence of our enemies.
Satan and his goons will just have to sit and watch God’s word that has come to fruition bless our lives. He will have to suck it up!
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Psalm 23:5
So, contend for the faith. Content with the enemy by wrestling in prayer, declaring the word of God and standing in faith.
Remember that Satan uses people to do his dirty work.
Don’t listen to all the Nay Sayers out there. Listen to God’s word, for it is above every word! You will win the battle if you don’t give up!
And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. Galatians 6:9
Whoever helps the poor will be helped in their time of need according to the scriptures.
Blessed is he that considereth the poor: the Lord will deliver him in time of trouble. Psalm 41:1
This is a spiritual principle we see throughout scripture. Helping the poor is giving to to the Lord.
He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the LORD; and that which he hath given will he pay him again.” Psalm 19:17
The person who considers the poor is blessed according to scriptures.
“Considers” Zaman in the Hebrew includes the following: To look at attentively; to observe; to examine. To have regard to; to take into view or account; to pay due attention to; to respect. To estimate; to view. To think seriously about; to make examination; to reflect; to deliberate. Giving serious thoughts to. To practice, purpose, devise. To contemplate, think seriously about.
The Lord says that he blesses those who give not just monetary means but also discipleship and service to those who are in need.
The promise attached to this outreach to the poor is deliverance when they themselves are in need. The Lord promises to save and rescue from trouble, evil, distress, calamity, sorrow, harm, adversity. “As you have helped others so will I help you.”
The Lord goes even further. He promises that those who give to the poor or those in need, (physically, emotionally and spiritually) will be preserved and kept alive.
Blessed is he that considereth the poor: the Lord will deliver him in time of trouble.
The Lord will preserve him, and keep him alive; and he shall be blessed upon the earth: and thou wilt not deliver him unto the will of his enemies. The Lord will strengthen him upon the bed of languishing: thou wilt make all his bed in his sickness. Psalm 41:1-4
The Hebrew translation of the word preserve (Shamar) means to keep or save from injury or destruction; to guard or defend from evil, harm, danger, protect, put a hedge about, watch over.
The Lord will bless those who give to the poor. He will not allow them to be delivered over to their enemies. He has promised to give power and strength to them. He has promised to recover or heal them in sickness.
This means that God will overthrow all attacks, turn back the evil ones plans and agendas. Thwart off all distress, diseases, grief, anxiety, depression.
For those who help others in their need the Lord will always be there to help them in their need.
Those who give to the poor are blessed by the Lord.
I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive. Acts 20:35
He that hath a bountiful eye shall be blessed; for he giveth of his bread to the poor. Proverbs 22:9
And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noonday. Isaiah 58:10
Refusing to help the poor or ignoring their pleas brings a negative result according to the Bible.
He that giveth unto the poor shall not lack: but he that hideth his eyes shall have many a curse. Proverbs 28: 27
If there be among you a poor man of one of thy brethren within any of thy gates in thy land which the Lord thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not harden thine heart, nor shut thine hand from thy poor brother: But thou shalt open thine hand wide unto him, and shalt surely lend him sufficient for his need, in that which he wanteth. Beware that there be not a thought in thy wicked heart, saying, The seventh year, the year of release, is at hand; and thine eye be evil against thy poor brother, and thou givest him nought; and he cry unto the Lord against thee, and it be sin unto thee. Thou shalt surely give him, and thine heart shall not be grieved when thou givest unto him: because that for this thing the Lord thy God shall bless thee in all thy works, and in all that thou puttest thine hand unto. Deuteronomy 15:7-10
Giving to the poor not only brings God’s blessings in this life but also in eternity.
Then said he also to him that bade him, When thou makest a dinner or a supper, call not thy friends, nor thy brethren, neither thy kinsemen, nor thy rich neighbours, lest they also bid thee again, and a recompence be made thee. But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind. And thou shalt be blessed, for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just. Luke 7:12-14
Blessed by God are those who give to others who are in need!
Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again. Luke 6:38