Who has bewitched you?

“But the Scripture imprisoned everything under sin,…”‭‭

Galatians‬ ‭3:22‬ ‭ESV

‬‬If the Scriptures are the good, holy and true testimony of God, and they are; why did they “imprison everything under sin…”??

Because faith in Christ is GIVEN to those who BELIEVE.

“….so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.”

Galatians 3:22 ESV

And even that faith to believe is the very GIFT of God.

“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”‭‭

Ephesians‬ ‭2:8-10‬ ‭ESV‬‬

And again, how does faith come??

“So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.”‭‭

Romans‬ ‭10:17‬ ‭ESV

‬And how does faith work??

“For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love.”‭‭

Galatians‬ ‭5:6‬ ‭ESV

‬‬And how is this faith administered to us??

“But it is the spirit in man, the breath of the Almighty, that makes him understand.”‭‭

Job‬ ‭32:8‬ ‭ESV

‬‬“It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.”‭‭

John‬ ‭6:63‬ ‭ESV

‬‬So then who has bewitched you church? How did you receive the Holy Spirit? Was it by works of the law, searching the Scriptures for the right answers, or was it by HEARING the voice of the Holy Spirit??

“O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? It was before your eyes that Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified. Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh? Did you suffer so many things in vain—if indeed it was in vain? Does he who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you do so by works of the law, or by hearing with faith— just as Abraham “believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”? Know then that it is those of faith who are the sons of Abraham. And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “In you shall all the nations be blessed.” So then, those who are of faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.”

Galatians‬ ‭3:1-9‬ ‭ESV‬‬

And for those hard hearted among you who are reading this and thinking to themselves “He’s downgrading the Scripture he doesn’t believe in the validity or authority of Scripture.”

On the contrary friend.

The Scriptures are the testimony of the Living God and every word, every jot and tittle, is breathed out by Him.

Jesus said clearly, it is not possible to believe the words of the Holy Spirit, that is the rhema of God, if you do not believe Moses’ writings.

Period.

“You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life. Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father. There is one who accuses you: Moses, on whom you have set your hope. For if you believed Moses, you would believe me; for he wrote of me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe my words?””‭‭

John‬ ‭5:39-40, 45-47‬ ‭ESV‬‬

If a man says he hears from God but rejects the Bible, even one jot or tittle, this man is a liar and a deceiver. The Truth is not in him.

“But Kyle, “The authority you use in your argument is the very book you quote saying the book is the authority, how is that not circular logic?!”

Because we receive the book by faith!

And that faith comes by hearing. Hearing the very same voice of the Holy Spirit testifying that these things are so.

The Holy Spirit who is God Almighty. The one and only Authority.

The same Holy Spirit who wrote the book!

Every last word.

So yes we stand on the authority of Scripture, the 66 books of the Bible, I maintain they are God breathed, God’s own testimony concerning himself and his creation, they are good, they are true, they are to be believed…

But they are not the Spirit. They are not life. And THAT is why they imprison everything under sin.

Because it is the Spirit that sets men free. And he does this by the supernatural proclamation of the gospel of Jesus Christ, him crucified and risen for the forgiving of sin.

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Do you know the love of your Father?

For a long time I struggled with how I saw and understood God the Father. I viewed Jesus as a kind and forgiving friend, the Holy Spirit as a gentle and encouraging teacher, but the Father… I understood him be a task master, unapproachable.

I knew so little.

After Philip asked the Lord Jesus to “show him the Father” the Lord said the following:

Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?

John 14:9

If I knew Jesus as kind and forgiving and the Spirit as gentle and encouraging, why did I not see my Father the same way?

I don’t think it was until the Holy Spirit directed me to this passage in Deuteronomy that he finally granted me repentance and a right understanding of my Heavenly Father.

In Deuteronomy 14 the Lord is giving Israel instruction about tithes. And I’ll address that passage below but before I do I need to first say this.

For so many Christians the issue of tithes is so very misunderstood. We see tithes as a obligation or a duty unto God. But in the New Covenant, that which is in the blood of Jesus and administered by the Holy Spirit by grace through faith we are no longer bound by the Mosaic law. We have now come under the Law of Christ.

Now the New Covenant does not nullify the Law of Moses but rather fulfills it and all its demands. Moreover, it superseded the demands of Moses. The demands of Jesus are total and complete. Where Moses was a shadow, Christ was the fulfillment.

“17“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. 19Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”

Matthew 5:17-20

So what is this new law, the Law of Christ? And how does this New Covenant help me to see the Father rightly?

In Galatians Paul says:

“Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”

Galatians 6:2

Bear one another’s burdens. So the Law of Christ is fulfilled in bearing the burdens of others…

Friends, who bore our burden?

What is not Christ the Lord?

“He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.”

1 Peter 2:24

“Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears us up; God is our salvation.”

Psalm 68:19

“For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you.”

John 13:15

So we see the Law of Christ exceeds the Law of Moses. Where Moses required giving a first portion, Christ demands all that you have. Not 10% percent, but all that you have belongs to Christ…

even your very life.

Where Moses was a shadow that was compelled by duty, “here’s my 10%”, Christ is the fulfillment that is motivated by love, “Lord all that I have is yours.”

And it was love that drove Christ to the cross.

“By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers.”

1 John 3:16

Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.

John 17:24

But ultimately, who’s love was first at work in Jesus Christ the Lord?

Praying in the Garden of Gethsemane before he was to go to the cross, the Lord Jesus was overwhelmed with grief about what was in store for him.

“And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.”

Matthew 26:39

So it was the will of the Father that sent Christ to the cross.

It was the love of a Father that would send his only Son, that which was most precious to him, to bear our sins on a Roman cross.

It was the Father’s love. The Father’s love.

So what does all this have to do with tithes? Well consider how God the Father explains tithes to Israel in Deuteronomy 14:

22“You shall tithe all the yield of your seed that comes from the field year by year. 23And before the LORD your God, in the place that he will choose, to make his name dwell there, you shall eat the tithe of your grain, of your wine, and of your oil, and the firstborn of your herd and flock, that you may learn to fear the LORD your God always. 24And if the way is too long for you, so that you are not able to carry the tithe, when the LORD your God blesses you, because the place is too far from you, which the LORD your God chooses, to set his name there, 25then you shall turn it into money and bind up the money in your hand and go to the place that the LORD your God chooses 26and spend the money for whatever you desire—oxen or sheep or wine or strong drink, whatever your appetite craves. And you shall eat there before the LORD your God and rejoice, you and your household. 27And you shall not neglect the Levite who is within your towns, for he has no portion or inheritance with you.

28“At the end of every three years you shall bring out all the tithe of your produce in the same year and lay it up within your towns. 29And the Levite, because he has no portion or inheritance with you, and the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow, who are within your towns, shall come and eat and be filled, that the LORD your God may bless you in all the work of your hands that you do.”

Deuteronomy – 14:22-29

Do you hear the love of the Father here? Do you hear how the Father considers the frame, the weakness of his people and then…

bears their burden for them?

Why did the Father set down the Law of Moses and all its demands including tithes?

So that the Law of Christ, that which is administered through the Spirit by faith, which works by love, might one day be fulfilled in his precious Son Jesus.

You see the Father looked upon his people, he knew their frame, the number of the hairs on their heads, the days of their life he had appointed for them and in their weakness he made a way for them. And that way was by the blood of his own Son.

Knowing his great love would send his Son to the cross and the love of the Son would fulfill his purposes by the power and the love of the Holy Spirit, the Father could look at Israel and even under Moses… have mercy on them.

Knowing this love he shared with the Son and the Spirit would fulfill all his purposes; that the demands set forth by the Father through Moses would all be met in Christ by his own great love, he therefore lavished mercy and grace upon them. Upon them and we also, his church.

This is why the Father told them, “if the way is too long for you… spend it on whatever you like, whatever your appetite craves…”

The Father has no need of your tithe but he does want you to know his great love for you.

And it is only in the crosswork of Jesus that we know the Father’s love. The Father I once considered unapproachable, now bids me “come”.

14Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Hebrews 4:14-16

And it is this work, the finished work of Jesus, that is now being wrought in his people by the Holy Spirit as they follow the example set forth by the Son.

No longer do they dutifully give their 10% as obligation but rather now being motivated by the Father’s great love for them they give all that they have.

They rend their hearts, the whole of them, moreover their very lives unto him, that by the cross and the fellowship of Christ’s sufferings we might know the love of the Father in all its fullness.

Do you hear what the Spirit is saying here? Do you know the love of your Father? If you know the love of Jesus displayed in his cross then you know the love of the Father that called him there.

See Christ and so see his Father. See the Father as he is and he shall be a loving Father unto you as well.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, 4even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love 5he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, 6to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. 7In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, 8which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight 9making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ 10as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.

11In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, 12so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. 13In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, 14who is the guaranteed of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.”

Ephesians 1:3-14
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Face to face…

The following is a message I shared today with my local body of believers. I believe the Lord would have me share it here with you for your edification:

Brothers and sisters, a word of encouragement I felt compelled to share with you all.

“Though I have much to write to you, I would rather not use paper and ink. Instead I hope to come to you and talk face to face, so that our joy may be complete.”

– 2 John 12

Yesterday wasn’t a real good day for me personally. I saw the news out of KISD and it was incredibly disheartening. It just seems like there is so much ever encroaching darkness all around us, it’s hard not become disheartened.

If I can encourage you all, as much as it is possible, and I know it’s not possible for us all; come to church. Whenever you possibly can, come up to our building and sit with your brothers and sisters face to face.

I don’t fully understand what the Lord was trying to convey to us when he instructed us to meet with one another regularly, or be with one another “face to face” but I do believe there is something there that he wants to bless us with.

We were made for communion. Fellowship with our Father, his Son and the the indwelling Holy Spirit. And more than that. For communion with one another.

I can’t tell you the number of times that I have been really beaten down by the world, disheartened and discouraged and then I’ve gone to church, I’ve seen the smiling faces of my brothers and sisters, we’ve worshipped in song, we’ve poured over the Scriptures with one another, shared and encouraged one another in the goodness and faithfulness of God and the darkness that was so heavy has been eradicated by the light and life of Christ in his body the church.

If you can make it on Sunday morning. Come. Worship with your brothers and sisters. Let the Holy Spirit minister to you and build you up through your brothers and sisters.

If you can make it on Wednesday night. Come. Search the Scriptures with your brothers and sisters. Let the elders among us encourage us and build us up in the nurture and admonition of Christ.

Men I can’t tell you how blessed we are to have the faithful leaders we do. If you would join them and sit under there teaching and know their fellowship you would be greatly encouraged in the Lord as you go about your week. I know I am.

Ladies, I’m sure the Lord will bless your time together as well.

I know it’s not possible for everyone, some of us have burdens that are too great. Please don’t let this be a burden to you, but only a word of encouragement.

If you are one of these people who really just can’t make it because your burden is too great. Would you prayerfully consider letting us come to you, that we might share your burden with you? Not for something long and drawn out but only to see you face to face, if even for a little while. To pray over you and to encourage you in the Scriptures that you too might be built up and encouraged in the Lord.

If you would like me and another brother to come and see you, please feel free to send me a PM. It would bless me to bless you.

Again, there’s no burden there. Only a word of encouragement.

In love, grace and peace to you all in Jesus’ name.

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.”

– Romans 15:13





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From the beginning…

Photo by Daniel Battersby on Pexels.com

From the very beginning.

Love.

The love that our Triune God; Father, Son and Holy Spirit shared with another, from the very beginning we were invited to share in this love.

But sin stole into the world and set us against one another. Brother against brother. Flesh against flesh.

But now Christ has come. In the flesh. To put to death the works of the flesh so that again, by the Spirit of God we may again abide in him whom we knew from the very beginning.

And being found in him, by the Spirit, we might again share in this great love…

“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life— the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us— that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete. This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.”‭‭ – 1 John‬ ‭1:1-5‬

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”‭‭ – John‬ ‭1:1-5‬

“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.” – Genesis‬ ‭1:1-3‬

“Beloved, I am writing you no new commandment, but an old commandment that you had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word that you have heard. At the same time, it is a new commandment that I am writing to you, which is true in him and in you, because the darkness is passing away and the true light is already shining. Whoever says he is in the light and hates his brother is still in darkness. Whoever loves his brother abides in the light, and in him there is no cause for stumbling. But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes. I am writing to you, little children, because your sins are forgiven for his name’s sake. I am writing to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I am writing to you, young men, because you have overcome the evil one. I write to you, children, because you know the Father. I write to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the evil one.”‭‭ – 1 John‬ ‭2:7-14

‬“For this is the message that you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. We should not be like Cain, who was of the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own deeds were evil and his brother’s righteous. Do not be surprised, brothers, that the world hates you. We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death. Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.” – ‭‭1 John‬ ‭3:11-18‬

“And this is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us.”‭‭ – 1 John‬ ‭3:23

‬“So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. We love because he first loved us. If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.” – ‭‭1 John‬ ‭4:16-21

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On tyrants…

“Let’s go Brandon”?

No.

“Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme… Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.” – 1 Peter 2:13…17

Look, I know people are angry and I’d say justifiably so. But spewing vulgarities at the whoever sits in the Oval Office is poor form

To be clear, I believe the man who sits there now is a tyrant and he should be held to account for how he has so wantonly and brazenly violated the spirit of our nation’s Constitution, which is the law of the land, the law that his is bound to, subordinate to and tasked to uphold

But God Almighty appoints our governors and whether this governor sits in his office legitimately or by other means he does so by the sovereign hand of Almighty God

Be careful toward whom and how you express your anger, righteous or otherwise

“The sentence is by the decree of the watchers, the decision by the word of the holy ones, to the end that the living may know that the Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom he will and sets over it the lowliest of men.’” – Daniel 4:17

I’m not saying not to speak against tyranny. You should,. Loudly, clearly and boldly.

But do it like Daniel did, like Peter did, like the Lord Jesus Christ did…

“Jesus answered him, “You would have no authority over me at all unless it had been given you from above. Therefore he who delivered me over to you has the greater sin.”” – John 19:11

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Fear Not

Photo by Haley Black on Pexels.com

I have been seeking the Lord constantly for the better part of a decade begging him, “Lord, your church is paralyzed by fear and that fear manifest itself as avoidance. What would you require of your servant, how can I possibly minister to your beloved that they do not have to be afraid?”

And every time the Holy Spirit takes me back to 1 John.

“There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.”‭‭

1 John‬ ‭4:18‬

The spirit of fear that manifest itself in avoidance is directly tied to lacking the love of Jesus Christ. We fear because we simply do not trust Jesus to do and be all that he says he is.

Brothers and sisters, fear not.

Do not be afraid.

The Lord Jesus loves you and is with you. Always. No matter what.

Even unto the end of the age.

He will never leave you. He will never forsake you. He will always love you.

Here’s how you can know with all certainty that hope in Jesus is a guarantee:

“For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.”‭‭

Romans‬ ‭5:6-11‬
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A bitter taste, a pleasing fragrance

hyssop, (Hyssopus officinalis), evergreen garden herb of the mint family (Lamiaceae), grown for its aromatic leaves and flowers. The plant has a sweet scent and a warm bitter taste

Britannica, The Editors of Encyclopaedia. “hyssop”. Encyclopedia Britannica, 16 Jun. 2021, https://www.britannica.com/plant/hyssop. Accessed 30 September 2021.

Hyssop is a beautiful perennial plant, one with a bitter taste but a sweet scent. We see this plant in Scripture and it shows up in some incredible places.

Did you know that when God instructed the Hebrews in Egypt to “strike” their lintels and posts with the blood of a lamb he instructed them to do it with a “bunch of hyssop”.

22 Take a bunch of hyssop and dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and touch the lintel and the two doorposts with the blood that is in the basin. None of you shall go out of the door of his house until the morning.

Exodus 12:22

Do you recall what the lamb’s blood was for? What purpose it served?

12 For I will pass through the land of Egypt that night, and I will strike all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and on all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments: I am the Lord. 13 The blood shall be a sign for you, on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and no plague will befall you to destroy you, when I strike the land of Egypt.

Exodus 12:12-13

The blood would be a sign for them. And the Lord would passover their house, the house covered with the lamb’s blood and he would not strike them as he would strike the land of Egypt.

Where else do we see hyssop in Scripture?

We find it at the cross.

28 After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfill the Scripture), “I thirst.” 29 A jar full of sour wine stood there, so they put a sponge full of the sour wine on a hyssop branch and held it to his mouth. 30 When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

John 28-30

Stop for a moment and reflect on these two uses of hyssop in Scripture.

In the former instance the sweet smelling hyssop is the instrument by which the lambs blood covers and protects God’s people from his righteous wrath. In the latter it is the bitter herb, the instrument by which the Lord is given sour wine to drink upon the cross. The cross where he would drink the righteous wrath of the Father against sin.

What is the Holy Spirit saying to us? Do you have ears to hear his voice? The Scriptures testify and the Spirit speaketh…

15 For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing,

2 Corinthians 2:15

looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

Hebrews 12:2

The Lamb drinks the bitter cup, that we might serve as a sweet aroma to God. Hyssop, the bitter root that brings him sour wine, is the same sweet smelling herb that applies the blood that covers God’s people from their sins.

His bitter suffering is our sweet aroma unto God.

9 And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation,”

Revelation 5:9

How wonderful. Lord you are so very worthy of our praise. May it be a sweet, sweet fragrance to him who endured the bitterness of the cross on our behalf. Thank you Jesus. Lord we love you.

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Come, drink…

The word Meribah means “quarrel or strife”.

Are you quarreling with the Lord?

Do you, like Moses (whose name means “out of water”), persist in unbelief?

Will you strike the Rock a second time? Or was the first time sufficient?

Are you satisfied by the manna and the water from Meribah? Or do you grumble and persist in unbelief?

Are you thirsty?

Then hear his voice and believe.

Come, drink.

“Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.”

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What is this?

What is this?

What is all of this brothers and sisters?

It’s just mind blowing to me how so many in the church can’t see what’s unfolding right before their own eyes. Or they can and refuse to accept it…

  • rampant sin, of the highest order the world over
  • man routinely rejecting God as creator through the promulgation of Darwinian evolution
  • Satan and his angels deceiving the nations through a victim mentality and the marring of God’s image through:
  • the breakdown of the family
  • casual divorce
  • the destruction of manhood
  • the destruction of womanhood
  • rebellious children
  • the homosexual agenda
  • the transsexual agenda and the destruction of God’s image bearers
  • the explosion of false teaching in the “church”
  • the proliferation of false gospels at every turn, the prosperity gospel, the social gospel…
  • the rise and explosion of new age teaching, the divine spark, inherent “godhood” teaching
  • the explosion in literal witchcraft and the occult in mainstream society
  • the explosion in pharmakeia throughout the world, virtually the entire world is currently taking at least one if not more psychotropic drugs that have suicidal ideation listed as a known side effect
  • the explosion of pornography at the fingertips of every human in the world with a smartphone
  • the explosion of the internet and its ability to connect the world into a cohesive whole as never before in human history
  • a complete breakdown in trust in formerly trustworthy public institutions, ie the government, news media, academia, medicine
  • global censorship at all time highs
  • groupthink and collectivism the mantra of the day
  • the tenets of Marxism/collectivism becoming mainstream and even taking a major foothold in the church
  • the fomenting of racial strife and unforgiveness for past sins of racism
  • hatred of the wealthy and an explosion in greed by all
  • everyone is a lover of self
  • a highly debated election of the most powerful office in the world where half of those who voted have good reason to believe the election was something less than legitimate
  • yet any actual public discourse of the matter is squashed through censorism and the marginalization of opposition
  • a worldwide pandemic that increasingly looks as though it were purposefully created in a lab and “accidentally” leaked
  • a corresponding fear based draconian response to the pandemic where the law of the land is routinely violated including a:
  • a vaxx that is pitched a savior to the people and a corresponding propaganda campaign that seeks marginalize any and all who don’t “fall down and worship the idol”
  • the open discussion by the world’s power elite that the pandemic can be used to usher in a “new world order” a “great reset”
  • an economic freight train that is headed down the track at uncontrollable speeds and at any moment can jump the tracks and end the current financial order
  • wars and rumors and wars
  • saber rattling by global powers
  • the explosion of the ufo/alien phenomenon that has all the telltale signs of misinformation in how at once we are led to believe two equal and opposite stories; 1. aliens exist and are visiting us and 2. belief in aliens is crazy you must be a nutjob. This is a classic sign of subterfuge. What is this phenomenon really about? How does it tie to the lies of Darwinian evolution? “Ye shall be like God…”
  • the transhumanist agenda that is now the de facto religion of silicon valley and the power elites of the world

Brothers and sisters… what is all this?

What is happening? And why?

What is the testimony of the Scriptures? What does the Holy Spirit say?

Here’s what I read in the Scriptures and here’s what I hear the Spirit speaking…

This is the spirit of antichrist at work in the sons of disobedience. Your Adversary is fast at work deceiving the nations and building his new Tower. He knows that his time is short.

As for you my beloved, I have this against you…

But take heart, the Lamb has overcome and so too will you by the word of your testimony, the blood of the Lamb and loving not your own life, even unto death.

Abide in me and I will abide in you. Fill your lamps with oil for night cometh. Surely I am coming quickly.

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1 Samuel 3 – “Three Themes, One Story”

So yesterday, my wife Kitty and I had the opportunity to teach the Second Graders during Children’s Church. We were teaching through 1 Samuel 3. The point of the lesson was that “God speaks” and therefore we should “listen for him.”

We were blessed to be able to share with the kids what the Lord had taught us and we’d be blessed to share that with you now too.

“Hear my voice…”

Over the years there are few themes or points that I believe the Holy Spirit has more impressed on me in the Scriptures than the importance of “hearing his voice.” From Genesis to Revelation you will see this theme played out continually. It’s the same in 1 Samuel 3.

“So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.”

Romans 10:17

“And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.”

Genesis 3:8

“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.”

John 10:27

20Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. 21The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne. 22He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’””

Revelation 3:20-22

6 For the LORD gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.”

Proverbs 2:6

The knowledge of God comes by hearing his voice. We know the Lord because he has spoken to our spirit by His Spirit.

10these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God.”

1 Corinthians 2:10

A King’s Right

A second theme that is frequently coupled with “hearing his voice” is the idea of what is called “Divine Right”. Divine Right is the idea that King Jesus is sovereign and simply by nature of him being who he is, namely the Creator and sustainer of all things, he is righteously entitled to do according to the council of his Father’s perfect will. This has particular application in his revelation of himself to man. Man does not, in fact he can not, “find” God; on the contrary, all men must “receive Christ” as he initiates action and reveals himself to man.

5I am the LORD, and there is no other,

besides me there is no God;

I equip you, though you do not know me,

6that people may know, from the rising of the sun

and from the west, that there is none besides me;

I am the LORD, and there is no other.

7I form light and create darkness;

I make well-being and create calamity;

I am the LORD, who does all these things.

Isaiah 45:5-7

“For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.”

Romans 9:15

But the Scripture imprisoned everything under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.

Galatians 3:22

The knowledge of God is the free gift of God. But it is a a gift that is GIVEN. The Giver of the gift initiates the giving, not the receiver of the gift.

Said another way, the boy pursues the girl. Not the other way around. 😉

Always Three

Finally a third theme that runs the breath of Scripture is the omnipresence of the Trinity. Where ever the Father is, there also is the Son and the Spirit. Where ever the Son is there also is the Father and the Spirit. Where ever the Spirit is there also is the Father and the Son.

“Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever receives the one I send receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me.””

John 13:20

Trying to convey this final theme to Second Graders was… difficult. So we taught ’em a $4 word.

“Christophany”

A Christophany is an “appearance of Christ”. And Christ appears in the Old Testament long before his birth of the virgin Mary.

The most common examples of Christophanies in the Old Testament are Melchizedek and The Angel of the Lord. But those are only two of many and I believe another can be found here in 1 Samuel 3.

Three Themes, One Story

So let’s take a look at 1 Samuel 3 and see how these three themes all appear in this one chapter.

Pay special attention to theses words in the folllowing text: “word”, “sight”, “called”, “know”, “revealed”, “hear”.

In verse 1 we read that the “word” of the Lord was rare in those days. In John 1 we read that Jesus Christ is the “Word”.

In verse 2 we see that Eli’s sight was growing dim so that he could not see. It’s my faith that this is a picture of God’s judgement of Eli and all men who reject his voice.

The second theme of Divine Right comes in here. Again and again and again, you will see the themes of hearing and sight played out in Scripture. I believe there is a fundamental message that God is sharing in these themes and that is the idea of initiation and Divine Right.

“Now faith is the assurance of what we hope for and the certainty of what we do not see.”

Hebrews 11:1

Faith comes by hearing and not by sight. Faith is the assurance of what we know we have heard, what he have hoped for, NOT what we see.

Why hearing and sight juxtaposed in such a way?

Because hearing must be RECEIVED by the hearer while sight, in the eyes of the seer is an act of self initiation.

In order for man to hear God’s voice, God first must initiate reconciliation by speaking a word that man may RECEIVE in his ears, a thing that has been GIVEN, a word spoken by another.

For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world.

1 John 2:16

On the contrary, in the eyes are the PRIDE of life. When a man opens his eyes, he initiates action. He takes survey of what is before him and determines it’s measure. And in all his hubris man, a creature from the dirt, presumes he would survey God Almighty and find him of his own volition? Never.

The knowledge of God must be RECEIVED from God. God initiates. Not man. All of man’s initiatives are works of the flesh, the pride of life, and God will not allow man to boast before him.

“Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.”

Matthew 23:12

So it is, God displays this Divine Right in how he reveals himself to man. God initiates reconciliation between himself and a fallen world. Man will never reconcile himself to God by his own volition. And God shows us this truth in the themes of hearing and seeing throughout the Scriptures.

Start to look for this theme in the Scriptures. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal this to you and you will begin to see it everywhere, from the beginning to the end.

So back to 1 Samuel 3. In verse 7 we see that Samuel, who had been “hearing” the Lord call his name, yet he did not yet “know” the Lord because the Lord had not yet been “revealed” to him.

It wasn’t until Eli, perceiving that the voice Samuel was hearing was in fact the Lord’s that he rightly instructed Samuel that if he heard the voice again to respond with, “Speak Lord, for your servant hears.”

Read that again carefully.

In that simple statement what has Samuel done? He’s acknowledged that he has heard the Lord and that the Lord is Lord and that He, a mere man, is his servant. Samuel humbled himself before the Lord upon hearing the Lord’s voice. And as soon as he did, the Lord appeared to him.

Look at verse 10. “And the Lord came and STOOD, calling as at other times, Samuel!, Samuel!” to which Samuel replied “Speak Lord for your servant hears.”

And this is how salvation works for us all. We HEAR the word of Truth, Christ himself speaking to our spirits by the Holy Spirit and we are born again, born into his kingdom, servants of Christ the King, God Most High.

It was the same for Samuel as it is for us! What’s incredible though about Samuel’s experience was that the Lord himself came and “stood” in his presence as he revealed himself to Samuel.

This is a Christophany.

Christ before he was manifested in the flesh in the virgin birth, manifested himself to Samuel, just as he had to Abraham (Melchizedek) and Jacob (The Angle of the Lord with whom he wrestled) before him.

Now skip down to 1 Samuel 3:21 for confirmation of this Christophany.

21And the LORD appeared again at Shiloh, for the LORD revealed himself to Samuel at Shiloh by the word of the LORD.

1 Samuel 3:21

The passage says plainly, the Lord “appeared” “AGAIN” at Shiloh, for the Lord revealed himself to Samuel. This confirms what we read in verse 10. The Lord appeared to Samuel as he stood in his presence. Now look at this, how did the Lord reveal himself to Samuel? By the “word” of the Lord. By the WORD. That “word” is Christ Jesus the Lord, the Logos of whom John wrote in his gospel!

1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was in the beginning with God. 3All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4In him was life,a and the life was the light of men. 5The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. 6There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. 8He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light. 9The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. 10He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. 11He came to his own,b and his own peoplec did not receive him. 12But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, 13who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. 14And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Sond from the Father, full of grace and truth. 15(John bore witness about him, and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me.’”) 16For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.e 17For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18No one has ever seen God; the only God,f who is at the Father’s side,g he has made him known.”

John 1:1-18

“For good news came to us just as to them, but the message they heard did not benefit them, because they were not united by faith with those who listened.”

Hebrews 4:2

By the way, the place where the Lord revealed himself to Samuel a second time. It’s called Shiloh. Shiloh, comes from the Hebrew root word for “tranquil” or “secure, safe”. When we come to finally know Jesus he give us his peace; we know tranquility, security and safety in his arms.

A Solemn Warning

Now a word of solemnly warning. In 1 Samuel 3:13 the Lord explains how he will punish Eli’s house forever because of how his sons blasphemed God.

“And I declare to him that I am about to punish his house forever, for the iniquity that he knew, because his sons were blaspheming God, and he did not restrain them.”

1 Samuel 3:13

It’s my faith that this blaspheming is the same blasphemy that Jesus spoke of in Mark 3:29

28“Truly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the children of man, and whatever blasphemies they utter, 29but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin”

Mark 3:29

The Father loves the Son and the Son loves the Spirit. The Father and the Son so love the Spirit that the only sin which finds no forgiveness is the blaspheming of the Holy Spirit. Let that sink in for a moment.

The Father and Son are very serious about their desire for man to hear and heed the voice of the Holy Spirit.

Look further in Mark and in chapter 4:21-25 Jesus repeats this admonition.

21Jesus also said to them, “Does anyone bring in a lamp to put it under a basket or under a bed? Doesn’t he set it on a stand? 22For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be brought to light. 23If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.” 24He went on to say, “Pay attention to what you hear. With the measure you use, it will be measured to you, and even more will be added to you. 25For whoever has will be given more. But whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him.””

Mark 4:21-25

Eli’s eye sight was growing dim but the lamp of God had not yet gone out. Eventually the Lord removed his lamp from Eli and his house forever because they blasphemed God. They rejected his voice and so even what they did not have, heeding the Spirit’s voice, was ultimately taken away.

Samuel on the contrary, humbled himself before God, heard his sweet voice and responded with a contrite heart and acknowledgement of the Lord as God as he was led, as a true prophet, by the voice of God Almighty.

If you hear God’s voice do not harden you heart. Fear not his voice, learn to love and follow it wherever He leads you.

1Therefore, while the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us fear lest any of you should seem to have failed to reach it. 2For good news came to us just as to them, but the message they heard did not benefit them, because they were not united by faith with those who listened. 3For we who have believed enter that rest, as he has said,

“As I swore in my wrath,

‘They shall not enter my rest,’”

although his works were finished from the foundation of the world. 4For he has somewhere spoken of the seventh day in this way: “And God rested on the seventh day from all his works.” 5And again in this passage he said,

“They shall not enter my rest.”

6Since therefore it remains for some to enter it, and those who formerly received the good news failed to enter because of disobedience, 7again he appoints a certain day, “Today,” saying through David so long afterward, in the words already quoted,

“Today, if you hear his voice,

do not harden your hearts.”

8For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken of another day later on. 9So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, 10for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his.

11Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience. 12For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. 13And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

Hebrews 4:1-13

Grace and peace to you all in Jesus’ name.

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