I feel strongly that I need to address the positive side of the end times. There will be soon a mighty outpouring of the Person of the Holy Spirit that is unparalleled in the history of mankind. Coming with this will be the Spirit of prophecy which is the Testimony of Jesus. In addressing this I want to speak about the SPIRIT OF ELIJAH in the END TIMES.
Revelation 19:10 ESV Then I fell down at his feet to worship him, but he said to me, "You must not do that! I am a fellow servant with you and your brothers who hold to the testimony of Jesus. Worship God." For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.
ELIJAH & DAVID: THE MOUNTAINTOP, THE DESERT, & THE VALLEYS
We find Elijah mentioned many times speaking from a mountaintop. It must have been a relief for him from the burden of the desert and the valleys of life that he had to encounter.
We all will face the desert places which I call “our wilderness experiences”. Those are the dry times when it seems that our very soul will fly away into nothing. We cry out for the presence of God and hear nothing, feel nothing, see nothing, and we begin to listen to the “other voices” that scream out in our head. These “other” voices scream out to us that we must have done something wrong and are in great sin. All the while it is God preparing us for the mountaintops and encounters with Kings. We are being prepared to face the false prophets of the enemy. In fact, David encountered the desert places where he cried out for God's presence.
Psalms 63:1 ESV A Psalm of David, when he was in the wilderness of Judah. O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
Psalms 42:1-3 ESV To the choirmaster. A Maskil of the Sons of Korah. As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God. (2) My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God? (3) My tears have been my food day and night, while they say to me all the day long, "Where is your God?"
Like the desert, we will all face the valleys. The place where it would seem that our life is over, there is no way out and God has completely left us. But again, it is that training place, that place of fire and testing where the Father reveals our heart to us. This is also the preparation place for the mountaintops. Again, let’s see how David responded to the valleys of life.
Psalms 23:1-6 ESV A Psalm of David. The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. (2) He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. (3) He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake. (4) Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. (5) You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. (6) Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever.
Up to this point I have spoken about the bad things coming and some tips on how to prepare. There is much more I want to speak about concerning these things, however I feel strongly that I need to address the positive side of the end times. There will be soon a mighty outpouring of the Person of the Holy Spirit that is unparalleled in the history of mankind.
In addressing this I want to speak about the SPIRIT OF ELIJAH in the END TIMES.
1 Kings 17:1 ESV Now Elijah the Tishbite, of Tishbe in Gilead, said to Ahab, "As the LORD, the God of Israel, lives, before whom I stand, there shall be neither dew nor rain these years, except by my word."
We hear nothing about this great man of God, Elijah, before his introduction in 1 Kings 17. Here we see Elijah being introduced as being before Ahab, the king of Israel. In the opening words of Elijah we see that he stands in authority, power, and full assurance that his God is able to operate and perform the supernatural.
This is surely an intense declaration before the king and the nation, that there would be no rain, nor dew for a period of 3 years. This reveals that Elijah was a man who heard from God and walked in the power of the Holy Spirit. He was also a man who respected authority but did not fear man, no matter what position that he held. Today in the Church we have many that are operating in the opposite. They fear man and have no respect for authority.
Now we don’t know about the past experiences or life of Elijah, but we can be assured that this was not an event that “just happened” without a price paid by the man of God. What did he have to go through on his way of walking “in and by” faith? What small things did God trust him with to prove his heart before he could be trusted to stand before kings? What did God use to shape, mold, and cut away, the things in Elijah’s life that would get in the way of this servant of God?
As I thought about this, my mind traveled to my ministry trip to India back in 2001, as I am sure that you will think about some ministry trip that the Lord used you on. The people saw me as a man of God and greatly desired for me to pray for them and speak the blessings of God over them.
What they did not know were the years of God’s hand on me, molding me, shaping me, and cutting away the things that did not look like Him. Of course He is not done yet, but those whom I come in contact with on an occasional basis will seldom see what God has taken me through and is currently taking me through to make me in the image of His Son.
It is like seeing a beautiful butterfly. We see the grace of flight, and the beauty of color, which makes the butterfly such a charming sight. But in seeing the butterfly, how many times do we think that it was trapped in a cocoon just a few weeks before. It was a long hard struggle to get out of that protective wrapping and become that beautiful multicolored blessing, which we enjoy watching.
IN A TIME OF DECEIT, WHAT IS TRUTH AND WHO IS TRUTH:
In light of some of our currents events I am driven in my spirit to write about TRUTH. This will be about four or five parts long and will give first Scriptures about truth and then I will share some thoughts about how I see Truth versus the falsehood we are experiencing.
We as believers say that we stand for truth. With the way things are happening in the world in which we live we will get a chance to prove to God, to our Christian brothers and sisters, and to ourselves if truth is really important to us and if we really embrace it.
WHO IS TRUTH? These are ABSOLUTE in TRUTH:
1. GOD IS TRUTH:
**Well we know from the Word of God that God is truth and there is no error in Him at all. Not only does He not lie but He cannot lie.
(Numbers 23:19 ESV) God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it?
**The only standard whereby we can seal a promise is by the One who is the God of Truth.
(Isaiah 65:16 ESV) So that he who blesses himself in the land shall bless himself by the God of truth, and he who takes an oath in the land shall swear by the God of truth; because the former troubles are forgotten and are hidden from my eyes.
**God is not only truth but He is also unchangeable. There is no wavering in His Word, His promises or His character.
(Hebrews 6:17 ESV) So when God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it with an oath,
(Hebrews 6:18 ESV) so that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us.
**Our Lord Jesus Christ declares that God is true and that His words are true.
John 3:33-34 ESV Whoever receives his testimony sets his seal to this, that God is true. (34) For he whom God has sent utters the words of God, for he gives the Spirit without measure.
John 7:28 ESV So Jesus proclaimed, as he taught in the temple, "You know me, and you know where I come from. But I have not come of my own accord. He who sent me is true, and him you do not know.
**That eternal life is because we know the ONLY TRUE GOD, through our Lord Jesus Christ.
John 17:3 ESV And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.
We are looking at those key verses in Genesis 1 which reach out and speak to us. I shared in the first three studies on Gen.1:1. We saw that it was the first of three acts of creation. We saw that the Hebrew word for creation is "bara" and means to call forth something from nothing. Today we will look at the second act of creation as we study another key verse in Genesis 1. Today we will look at Gen.1:21.
The creation of water and sky life:
Genesis 1:21 ESV So God created the great sea creatures and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarm, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.
The animal kingdom is divided into three parts in reference to the regions to be inhabited, the water, the sky, and the land. Notice that the word "created" (bara) is used and not the word "made" (asah). God created the fish for the water, and the birds for the air. However He did not create the animals for the land but made them.
The land animals were made, means that God formed them from pre-existing material:
Genesis 1:25 ESV And God made the beasts of the earth according to their kinds and the livestock according to their kinds, and everything that creeps on the ground according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.
Notice when God created the creatures of the sea and the creatures of the air He did so "after its kind". Notice also when God made the creatures of the land that He did so "after its kind."
There is a Kingdom principle established in Genesis 1 that flows throughout the Scriptures of "like kind" and is worthy of your own investigation.
Genesis 1:11 ESV And God said, "Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind, on the earth." And it was so.
Genesis 1:24 ESV And God said, "Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kinds—livestock and creeping things and beasts of the earth according to their kinds." And it was so.
Gardening season is here. Those who desired a garden has already plowed and seeded and watered and weeded. We garden because we like to enjoy the fruit of our labor. No one sows just to let the weeds take over. It’s a lot of work, but it is well worth the wait.
When we think of a garden, we think of the reproducing of the fruit. How you can take a seed that is so small, and with the proper care, it becomes a full grown fruit. The bible teaches us that sowing and reaping is a law that has been from the beginning, and will continue throughout the ages. Everything reproduces after its own kind.
God told Noah, that as long as the earth exists, there will always be seed time and harvest. This is a law from God, that he promises us will never fail. As long as the world turns, men will be sowing, and men will be reaping.
Genesis 8:22 ESV While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease."
We are coming to an end in this study on the blood atonement. In this post we will look at the fact that the blood atonement brings about TRUE SALVATION. There is a false message, a false hope, a false salvation being preached from churches across the land and in every nation. Many Churches are preaching a "bloodless salvation" meaning Jesus did not need to go to the cross and die for us to be saved because loves us all and will allow all of us to come to heaven on the basis of His love and not on the basis of faith in the work of the cross. Or the Churches are preaching a "Godless" salvation meaning they say it is not important to believe that Christ is God.
We started this study on the blood atone because of the TWO major DOCTRINES that are being attacked in these last days.
FIRST: The Deity of our Lord Jesus Christ will be attacked. It is the idea that we can have salvation without having to believe that the Lord Jesus Christ is God, has always been God, and will for eternity be God.
There are a multitude of religions that don't mind speaking about Jesus and calling Him a Prophet. Religions such as the Mormons, the Jehovah Witnesses, and even the Muslims regard Jesus in favor as a Prophet. The Mormons say that Jesus is the "son" of God, however we say that He is the SON of God. This sounds so good at surface, but they believe that Jesus is the son of God the same way the Tommy and David are my sons. They say that Adam (who they say is god) came down and had relations with Mary and produced a son called Jesus. They don't tell you this when they are standing at your doorway. They just say they believe that Jesus is the son of God. However, if you want to stop them in their tracks just say that Jesus is not only the SON of God but that He is GOD and their is no other.
People don't mind that a baby named Jesus was born meek and mild. They don't mind a helpless cute baby in a manger which we see celebrated in the month of December in a season called Christmas. People flock out by the multitude to see and hear the story of baby Jesus retold and acted out by children of the church.
People don't mind that a man named Jesus lived two thousand years ago and died on a cruel cross. They flock to the churches on Easter Sunday to hear the story one more time or to hear the latest musical performed by the church choir.
They don't even mind referring to Him as a great Prophet. The Muslims have great regard towards Jesus as one of their many Prophets. So do the Jehovah Witnesses. However, how can someone who claimed to be God also be known as a great Prophet? Either Jesus was who He says He was or He was a liar. Either He was, is and will always be God or He is a false Prophet.
As soon as you place the label "God-head" on the Lord Jesus Christ and saying that He is the creator of the world and that He is Deity and was the only sacrifice for the sins of man then the dividing lines start.
The next DOCTRINE to be attacked is the BLOOD ATONEMENT of our Lord Jesus Christ and this is why I spent these last 15 studies covering this topic. For all of the billions of people who believe in an "after-life" only a small percentage accepts the fact that Jesus Christ is not "a way" but "THE WAY" to eternal life.
The blood of our Lord screams redemption and cleansing of sin. But this is under attack mainly through HUMANISM within the body of Christ. This would lead us to believe that we could do something or become something on our own without the forgiving blood atonement of our Lord. The blood of our Lord Jesus Christ is the only way that we experience the complete work of God's SALVATION.
We have been covering the key verses in a chapter and all that is reveals. In Part 1 we looked at three small words from Gen.1:1 "IN BEGINNING, GOD." Then in Part 2 we looked at another key word in Gen.1:1 "CREATED."
In continuing investigation of the word CREATION I want to show that there were only three acts of creation instead of the six days of creation that we have been taught in Sunday School or from a Church service. We saw in Part 2 that the word for CREATION is not the same as the word for MAKE. To make is to form out of pre-existing material and to create is to bring forth something from nothing.In Gen.1:1 was the first act of CREATION.
Genesis 1:1 ESV In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.
Before getting into the creation of time, space, and matter I would like to share sometime else about the word "God" in Gen.1:1. This is because of the questions coming from those with an unbelieving heart. Questions like, "Where did God come from?"
In Part 1 I shared that the word for God in this verse is ELOHIM, and means The All Powerful One, or Almighty One. It is important to know that the name ELOHIM is singular in Person but plurality in Godhead. In other words there is only ONE God and He is seen and manifested as God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. All of this is wrapped up in one word...ELOHIM.
Moses, under the leadership of the Person of the Holy Spirit penned Gen.1:1. In it God allows the reader to assume the existence of God, for He alone is in the beginning of creation and He alone can create.
The Bible assumes His eternity, for He is before all things. He always was. That is why He is God and we are not. We had a beginning in time and space. There was never a time that God was not and because of this He does not own His creation an explanation of what He was doing for trillions of years before He started His creation processes.
For those who deny the existence of God know that we cannot have something coming forth from nothing. He Himself must have always been, therefore something can come forth from someone who can create. Gen.1:1 starts out with the knowledge of God's omnipotence for He creates the universe of things.
In Gen.1:1 we see God's absolute freedom of righteous choice. This means that He can do whatever He wants, whenever He wants, and it will always be righteous and line up with His perfect nature. Gen.1:1 does not reveal what God was doing in eternity past, it starts out with His new course of action.
Gen.1:1 not only implies that God is All-Powerful but implies that He is All-knowing and displays infinite wisdom. When one studies the nature of the cosmos one can see perfect order of matter and mind and a complete harmonious system. This could only come from a being of absolute intelligence.
Gen.1:1 implies God to be beyond all limit of time and space, since He is before time and space. He created time and space in Gen.1:1 therefore before that act there was no time and space, there was only God. The reason we call the past and future with God "eternity past" and "eternity future" is because both transcend time.
Gen,1:1 implies that everything existed within God the Father. In one decision He spoke forth existence in the natural that which only existed within the mind of God. Gen.1:1 asserts the creation of the heavens and the earth which means all that composes the natural place of time, space and matter.
This one verse reveals the act of creating by an Omnipotent God in giving existence to things which before had no existence. Science of today can only observe things as they are in their existence. They cannot explain things before their existence. No matter how hard science tries and how many great "breakthroughs" they accomplish they will never be able to touch the beginning or the end. Only God experiences both at the same time.
Revelation 1:8 ESV "I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God, "who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty."
EXPERIENCING AND ENJOYING "BODY-LIFE"
This is post #14 on the blood atonement of our Lord Jesus Christ. We have already looked at the blood bringing about 12 wonderful Biblical life-changing truths. If you not done so it would be a great advantage to you if went back over the first 13 posts of this study.
The 13th truth concerning the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ is the believers right to "BODY MEMBERSHIP" or "BODY-LIFE". In the Old Testament when a covenant was made it was made through the blood of a turtledove, lamb, or some other accepted animal.
The covenant was sealed through the shedding of blood. The first Covenant Passover was given while the people of God was in bondage in Egypt by the shedding of blood and having that blood applied to the doorposts. This is called the Feast of Passover in the Old and New Testament. By the way, the Feast of Passover IS NOT Easter. Easter is not of God and should not be confused with PASSOVER, which points to and recognizes the death, burial, and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.
All who went under the covering of the blood entered into something called body membership. All of a sudden all differences between them seemed small compared to the greater need of deliverance from the bondage of Egypt.
Because of the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ we have been THRUST into membership together in His body. We must contend, strive, fight for fellowship because we, the true believers, are all brothers and sisters in the Lord.
Our DNA is all the same as we have all been adopted into the same family and have the same Daddy/Father. We have our differences and contend with one another, but what if we all looked at the greater need. What if we all looked at the need for final deliverance from Egypt (the world) as one people, one voice, one man, with Christ the Head.
I love the key verses in Bible Book chapters. One of the insights I see is the key verses in each chapter that seem to "set the stage" for the chapter. Such as Jn.3:16 sets the stage for not only John chapter 3 but also for the complete Book of John. I would like to share some insights from GENESIS 1 from the key passages.
Genesis 1:1 ESV In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.
In part 1 we looked at "In beginning, God". Now for the rest of the verse.
Many believers embrace a teaching that there were 6 days of creation and then 1 day of rest. However that would be incorrect according to the Hebrew language and the Word of God. There is a BIG difference between something being CREATED and something being MADE. To create something means to call it forth from nothing. To make something means to fashion from pre-existing material. Let's explore these two words, create versus made.
We know that the word in Gen.1:1 is created. In the Hebrew the word is "bara" pronounced "baw-raw" and is used 56 times in the Old Testament. The context of its use declares its meaning. In Gen.1:1 it means "to create".
To create means that it is not formed out of something already in existence but the coming forth of something new that never existed. It is to give being to something new. It is a point in time when something that did not exist come forth into existence.
The act of creation always has God as its subject because only God can create or call into existence that which never existed except for being inside the mind and heart of God.
The 6 days of what we call creation was actually 6 days of things being made.
The Hebrew word is "asah" and is pronounced "aw-saw" and means to make from pre-existing material. In other words, God created or spoke into existence time, space and matter in Gen.1:1 and then in the 6 day took that which He created in Gen.1:1 and made what we know today.
More later as we look at the three acts of CREATION.
In reading the Word for over 40 years now I am still amazed at the new things I see each time I read no matter how many times I read over it before. One of the insights I see is the key verses in each chapter that seem to "set the stage" for the chapter. I would like to share some insights from GENESIS 1 from the key passages.
Genesis 1:1 ESV In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.
I mean who don't just love Gen.1:1 and the total awesomeness of the passage? In the original language there was no use of the definite article "the". The Hebrew language did not have the definite article therefore the actual start of our Bible in the original language would be "In beginning, God." What a great way to start.
In the New Testament the Greek language has the definite article "the" however there are times it was placed in Scriptures that was not in the original. One just verse is the New Testament version of Gen.1:1, which would be Jn.1:1. Although the definite article is not in the original it does not change or take away from by including it.
John 1:1 ESV In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (In the Greek this would be "In beginning was").
The same was done in 1 Jn.1:1 & Mk.10:6 with the adding of the definite article.
1 John 1:1 ESV 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— (In the Greek this would be "That which was from beginning").
Mark 10:6 ESV But from the beginning of creation, 'God made them male and female.' (In the Greek this would be "But from beginning").
The Hebrew word for beginning is "reshiyth" pronounced "ray-sheeth". It means the first, in place, time, order or rank. It is the firstfruit. It is the principal thing.
Now we come to one of the greatest words known to mankind, "God".
In this first mention of God in the Bible we should know the Hebrew meaning. The word is "elohiym" and is pronounced "el-o-heem". The word ELOHIM means "the All-Powerful One." "The One who is Mighty."
Our God is a great God and He carries many names within the Scriptures whereby He identifies Himself. We do not have the right to attribute names or titles to God that are not identified within Scriptures. I have heard Christians try to assign names of the gods of other religions to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. This is not to be done. There is only One True God and He has given us names whereby we are to know Him. One of those names is ELOHIM.
It is important to know that the name ELOHIM is singular in Person but plurality in Godhead. In other words there is only ONE God and He is seen and manifested as God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. All of this is wrapped up in one word...ELOHIM.
All of this from "In beginning, God!"
THE "OVERCOMING" POWER WITHIN US:
This is post #13 on the blood atonement of our Lord Jesus Christ. We have already looked at the blood bringing about 11 wonderful Biblical life-changing truths. If you not done so it would be a great advantage to you if went back over the first 12 posts of this study.
The 12th truth concerning the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ is the believers "OVERCOMING POWER."
I am amazed how so many believers who have been saved for years and years continue to be overcome by the enemy, the world, and their flesh. Is not the cross enough?
Apparently it must not be enough to live a victorious daily life according to many believers and many Christian authors. Our Christian bookstores are filled with self-help books on overcoming depression, fear, rejection, etc. etc. etc.
What ever happened to the BLOOD of the LAMB? The cross is enough. We can overcome by the blood of the Lamb of God. One of the fruits or characteristics of an immature Christian is that of being overcome. One of the fruits or characteristics of a "young adult Christian" status is that they know how stand on God's promises and in His power to overcome the evil one.
1 John 5:4-5 ESV For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. (5) Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?
1 John 4:4 ESV Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.
1 John 2:13-14 ESV 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. (14) 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.
John 16:33 ESV I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world."
Charles Morris. Founder and Senior Pastor of RSIM USA.