There is audio from Grace Assembly Church services.
Wednesday, September 1, 2021
There is audio from Grace Assembly Church services.
Burn in me
“Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace (or let us hold fast), whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: For our God is a consuming fire.” Heb. 12:28-19.
Verse 29 is quoted from Deut. 4 where we also read, “Take heed unto yourselves, lest ye forget the covenant of the LORD your God, which he made with you, and make you a graven image, or the likeness of anything, which the LORD thy God hath forbidden thee. For the LORD thy God is a consuming fire, even a jealous God.” Vs. 23-24.
We also read, “For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God” Ex. 34:14. He is rightfully jealous of His place in the hearts of His people. He would keep us pure, undefiled and true to Him. We may learn much about Him in considering the names and nature of our God. It is not any wonder then that we read our Apostle Paul saying, “I am jealous over you with a godly jealousy” II Cor. 11:2.
May we truly burn in spiritual fervor of love divine for our Father’s, and Lord’s honor and glory? WHY NOT? He is able to consume all that oppose Him or His. II Pet. 3:7,10-12; Rev. 20:9-15. OH, Yes, there is indeed a mighty purging coming. Fire in Scripture most predominantly speaks of judgment. We understand that it is also very beneficial for wamth, illumination and purification. In Matthew 25:41 Jesus spoke of “everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels.” II These. 1:8 & 2:8 states what Jesus is going to do soon, when he returns with His overcoming people, those that have submitted to a purging and purifying work in their lives.
We are loved with an everlasting love. Our God and Father proved it when He delivered up His only Son on the cross for us, to the fire of His wrath of divine judgment. Our sweet Jesus gave himself up to that judgment in our stead. Shall we not set Him an a seal upon our hearts and arms? “For love is strong as death; jealousy is cruel as the grave: the coals thereof are the coals of fire, which hath a most vehement flame. Many waters cannnot quench love, neither can the floods drown it; if a man would give all the substance of His house for love, it would utterly be contemned” S.O.S. 8: 6-7. Our Jesus sold out for love, didn’t He? How about the lesson of Mt. 13:45,46 and Heb. 12:1-4?
As creator and redeemer He owns us completely. He would have us put our all on the alter, present our bodies a living sacrifice. He wants our all to be given to Him of our own free will instead of being just puppets on a string. Jesus said, “thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and all thy mind” Mt. 22:37.
“Our God is a consuming fire.” It sounds like He would occupy us fully, be our all in all, consume us entirely with Himself. But he must inflame our innermost being with the vehement fire of His love, which He sheds abroad in us by the Holy Ghost.
We do well to allow Him to consume everything about us and within us that is opposed to His Holiness, and our eternal happiness. Read I Pet. 1:7; 4:12; Job 23:10. In the trials that come our way our dear Lord provides for us course correction, lighting our way, warming our hearts, ignites spiritual fervor, as well as purifies the gold.
The great architect graciously teaches us, who have been made laborers together with Him, about the most durable building materials in living construction. He has given us all things that pertain to life and godliness, I Cor. 3:12-16; II Pet. 1:3-11. He tells us of the danger of using combustible materials that will not stand the fire test, at the judgment seal of Christ, as well as the wrong motives. He also motivates us aright by the constraint of love divine, II Cor. 5:14-15; Rom. 14:6-9.
Our God promised to consume His peoples enemies and did so repeatedly, Psa. 97:3; Deut. 9:3; I Kings 1:10,12.
The Burning Bush
Some of God’s people seem to be afraid to let the Lord burn in them too completely, for fear that they might burn our, or burn up. Consider the bush. The angel of the Lord appeared unto Moses “in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush; and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed. And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush in not burnt. And when, the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I” Ex. 3:2-5. God then told him to put off his shoes for he was standing on holy ground.
The Scriptures teach of many forms of communication that God used to make His purposes known to humanity, but what a mode! What manner God used here! In a flame of fire from a bush. We often wonder at the unlikely fuses that God used to make his will known. The Holy Spirit appeared at Pentecost like cloven tongues as of fire. It is a sweet privilege to be thus set aflame by the Lord. Many claim to be on fire for the Lord, but it turns out to be strange fire, which is not of Him at all, and must be judged. He makes his messengers a flame of fire to burn for His glory, Heb. 1:7. This great sight caught Moses’ attention and God certainly lit his candle.
We each may feel like an insignificant unlikely, dried up bush in the desert, but oh, how blessed we are that we may invite Him to burn in us. May we not allow the promised approaching fiery trials move us off course so that we finish our course with joy.
PRAISE AND WORSHIP
Anita Clark – Pastor, Carbondale, Kansas
“The woman saith unto Him, Sir, I perceive that You are a Prophet. Our fathers worshiped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place to worship. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain worship, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship; for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour cometh, and now is , when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in Spirit and in truth; for the Father seeks such to worship Him. God is a Spirit and they that worship Him must worship Him in Spirit and in truth.” John 4:19-24.
In verse 22 where Jesus told the woman, “Ye worship you know not what,” it shows her ignorance of who should be worshiped. Jesus said the Jews worshiped God Whom they had knowledge of and understood. Many religious people today are claiming to worship, but have no idea whom they are worshiping or what they are worshiping. Jesus said that there would come a time when the “true worshipers” would worship the Lord in Spirit and in truth (reality). There is much false worship in many religious places today. God is seeking true worshipers.
In Exodus 20:3-5, the Lord declares His desire and commands worship that is acceptable to Him, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me...Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them.” We are not to worship literal images and false gods, but how about other things we may worship. When we put other things before God in our lives, we are worshiping those things. Think about it.
As John 4:24 says, “God is seeking worshipers who worship Him in Spirit and in truth.” The word “worship” in the Greek means “to kiss, like a dog licking his master’s hand, to fawn (exhibit attention and affection and attempt to please), crouch to, prostrate oneself in homage (do reverence to, adore).” This word “worship” in the English language means “ reverence, to give homage, adoration, honor, celebration, extol, revere, exaltation, glorify, or deify.” In many places the Bible states that no one or nothing else is to receive this reverence except God.
What does it mean to “ worship the Father in Spirit and in truth.” I believe that Jesus was referring to the new life of Christ within us, and the Holy Spirit, not in fleshly, carnal or formal ways. There is much worship (so called) which is false, not Scriptural and so is not true worship, but truly a manifestation of the flesh, the religious carnal nature. This kind brings glory to man and not God. Not all worship is in “Truth.” Some so called worship is only pretense or hypocrisy, pretending to be pious, and spiritual and worship of God. Christ is the “Way the Truth and the Life.” Study of the Word of God brings more enlightenment and Truth.
Psalms 145:1-7 expresses what real worship of God is. “I will extol thee, my God, O King; and I will bless Thy name for ever and ever. Everyday will I bless Thee; and I will praise Thy name for ever and ever. Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised; and His greatness is unsearchable. One generation shall praise Thy works to another, and shall declare Thy mighty acts. I will speak of the glorious honor of Thy majesty, and of Thy wondrous works. And men shall speak of the might of Thy terrible acts: and I will declare Thy greatness. They shall abundantly utter the memory of Thy goodness, and shall sing of Thy righteousness.”
Who should praise and worship the Lord? “The dead praise not the Lord, neither any that go down in silence, But we will bless the Lord from this time forth and for evermore” Ps. 115:17,18. The “we” is referring to those who believe.
Where should we praise and worship? “Lift up your hands in the sanctuary and bless the Lord” Ps. 134:2. In everything give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” I Thess. 5:18. Where ever I am - Whatever I’m doing - or not doing - I can worship - In my car - at home - in the Church meeting.
Why should we praise and worship Him? Because of a peaceful worshipful heart, showing that we are grateful for all the marvelous things that He has provided for us, and because of Who He is. I heard one time, that sometimes it almost seems we can’t praise Him while we are in a terrible trial, but we can worship and praise Him for Who He is and what He has done for us. “In everything give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” I Thess. 5:18.
When should we worship? We should worship Him - “forever and ever” and “everyday” Ps. 145:1, 2. “...in the night seasons” Ps. 16:7.
How should we worship? With all our being, heart, and strength. “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.”
Remember Mary of Bethany in John 11:3. She bought a “pound of spikenard, very costly, and anointed Jesus feet.” The house was filled with the smell of the spikenard. Her estimation of Jesus’ worth was very high. Her worship of Him was a great sacrifice. Judas, the one who would betray Jesus, thinking that this was a waste to pour out this costly ointment on Jesus’ feet, said, “Why was not this ointment sold and the money given to the poor?” It says this was because he held the money bag for the expenses of the group and he was a thief.
Posture of Worship -”O come let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord our maker” Ps. 95:6. “And so falling down on his face he will worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth” I Cor. 14:25. “I will therefore that men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands...” I Tim. 2:8. “Job arose, and rent his mantle and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshiped” Job. 1:20. “When I remember Thee upon my bed, and meditate on Thee in night watches” Ps. 63:6. All of these Scripture verses show us that God can be worshiped in many different positions and places. He is worthy of our adoration, and we need to learn to voice our praises to Him. “By Him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to His name” Heb. 13:15.
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WE SEE JESUS
Part 4 of 4
Pastor Floyd H. Crook(1982)
“THEREFORE we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip….Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet….But now we see not yet all things put under him. BUT WE SEE JESUS, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste DEATH FOR EVERY MAN.” Hebrews 2:1,8b,9.
JESUS’ ASCENSION TO GOD’S RIGHT HAND
After being with the disciples forty days, He gave the disciples the promise of the Holy Ghost, and “...while they beheld, he was taken up… Acts 1:9. After He went out of sight, they kept gazing up. He went beyond their vision, but we know by the Word of God that Jesus went to the right hand of the throne of God, where He lives to make intercession for us. He is our attorney; He always wins the case, and is never “bought off.” HE IS COMING AGAIN. WE SEE JESUS.
The words to the disciples were: “Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? THIS SAME JESUS WHICH IS TAKEN UP FROM YOU INTO HEAVEN, SHALL SO COME IN LIKE MANNER AS YE HAVE SEEN HIM GO INTO HEAVEN.” Acts 1:11. That refers literally to when He will come to the earth. His feet will stand on that same mountain from which He was taken to heaven. When He returns that very mountain will cleave asunder, half to the north and half to the south - and another cleaving half to the east and half to the west; a cross. He will come as King of kings and Lord of lords.
That is a thrilling thought, but before He takes control of the earth, “...the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” I Thessalonians 4:16-17.
When He comes down there is going to be some ready ones that will meet Him in the air. We see Him coming for those that are walking with God; like Enoch of old. He walked with God continually for at least 300 years. After Enoch’s translation there came a terrible judgment on this earth God sent a flood, and all perished, except the eight souls in the ark. The Bible tells us that something similar is going to take place before another great judgment falls. Some on earth have gone through terrible things, but that is not the Great Tribulation. This judgment will involve the entire world.
Jesus said: “For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.” Matthew 24:21. But the Lord has given the promise: “Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon ALL THE WORLD,” Revelation 3:10. We see the shadows of the tribulation right now, but thank God, WE SEE JESUS, figuratively speaking.
Another way we see Jesus is in the pouring out of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost.
In conclusion, First we see Jesus as our Savior; then as the One who fills us with the Holy Spirit and causes us to be “More than conquerors through him that loved us.” The Holy Spirit enables us to stand the tests when the enemy assails us. We need to be endued with “POWER FROM ON HIGH.” to stand the trials.
Today, by faith, WE SEE JESUS, but one of these days we shall behold Him in all of His beauty and glory! HALLELUJAH!
A Great Warfare – Daniel 11
In the first 35 verses of Daniel 11, there is a record in detail of events in the future to Daniel, but it is history to us. Between verse 35 and verse 36 is the Church Age, but the Church was still a hidden purpose of God in Daniel’s day. I will start with verse 36 which refers wholly “to the time of the end…a time appointed” (V. 35b).
The king mentioned in V. 36 is the final persecutor of Israel, the evil man of destiny, the man of sin, the Antichrist. He shall do what he wills to do and will exalt himself, which is the essence of Satan. He will put himself above everyone and everything, even show himself as God Almighty. The Lord will allow him to go to the uttermost lengths in his self-willed exaltation and his persecution of Israel. No man ever had the power to do all his will. Our Lord Jesus Christ did His Father’s will. Even Satan has not been given a free reign to accomplish all his will, but for a few years God will say to this devil-filled man, “go ahead, wreak you anger upon My people. The Jews will be his special target. He shall prosper “till the indignation be accomplished” (God’s wrath upon His people is satisfied, their punishment accomplished). God just uses him as the instrument of Israel’s chastening.
Some believe by V. 37 that he is an atheistic Jew and others think he is an apostate Christian rather than a Jew. But the real issue is, he refuses allegiance to the God of the Bible. V. 37, He regards not the triune God, for he regards not the Father, “the God of his fathers.” Neither Christ, the Redeemer which was the desire of all Jewish women to give birth to the Messiah (Isa. 7:14). Neither did he regard the Holy Spirit (“any God).” V. 38, He regards the god of forces, He wants power and authority, so he bows to a god who will give this to him, Satan. Christ rebuked Satan’s offer of this earthly power (Mt. 4:8-10). Satan has waited for a man who on condition of worshiping him, he would give the honor of supreme ruler upon the earth. He will literally usurp the office of Christ for 3 1/2 years. John describes him as the beast (Rev. 13:2) and the dragon Satan will give him his power, and seat of great authority. The Apostle Paul refers to him in II Thess. 2:4,9.
V. 39, the R. V. “And he shall deal with the strongest fortresses by the help of a foreign god.” “He will divide the land for gain.” The holy land will be portioned out to disloyal apostate Jews. Those who surrender to him and serve his purposes will he reward with a place in his kingdom, sharing his authority in a measure (Rev. 17:12-13). John sees the end at a later stage then Daniel. Christ’s people will share in His kingdom and its honors at His coming, God honors them that honor Him.
Trouble shall arise, the peace and safety slogan will no longer be heard (I Thess. 5:3). War will break out, viewed in symbol in Rev. 8 & 9. The result (Rev. 17:10-11) Five kings will be dethroned and one king is killed while the other must be the victorious one – “he is.” The one with the deadly wound by the sword is raised from the dead. And all the world wonders after him (Rev. 13:3,14).
Being raised from the dead is a counterfeit of Christ. He becomes the supreme ruler, empowered by Satan and assumes leadership over all and puts down all rule. V. 40 tells of this stage of his career and suggests an engagement of air, naval and land forces (whirlwind with chariots, horsemen and ships). He overcomes the world and shall overflow and pass over. Even the famed conquest of Alexander the great is nothing compared to this man.
There is a hint that 3 countries escape (V. 41). God preserves 3 countries (Edom, Moab, and Ammon) for special judgment because of their treatment of Israel (Isa. 11:11-14; Ezek. 25:12-14; 38:14-23). The land of the Jews will not escape. The Holy land was the objective of Antiochus and he tried to a force new religion on them. Like-wise the Antichrist will enter the land and overcome the people forcing the Jews to worship his image under treat of death.
He will cause all sacrifice and oblation to cease (Ch. 9:27). He will stop all worship of the true and living God. This is different from the taking away of the daily sacrifice (Ch. 8:11). When the nations make a covenant with the Jews the daily burnt-offering ceases as a condition. This surrender of the offerings is the signal for God’s surrender of the Jews. For they turn to the Antichrist, accepting him rather than Christ. Then later when this monster has come into his place of exaltation. He forbids all sacrifices. The Jewish religion is set aside. Everyone is commanded to worship this man the his image which he set up in the temple. (Ch. 12:11 & Mt. 24:15).
V. 43, Not only is all the national power at his command but all the wealth of the world as well. He will seize all banks, vaults, etc. All is given into his hands for 3 1/2 years. He conquers Egypt. He is materially enriched, in honor and wealth and worship. The Libyans and Ethiopians yield to him.
V. 44, Trouble from the north and east arise and it rouses up the beast to ferocious fury. He vents his wrath upon the people and destroys many. It is not clear whether the Jews are meant, but the next verse might lead us to think so. V. 45, describes the final enthronement of the Antichrist. His palace is planted between the seas in the Holy Land, Jerusalem no doubt. There he meets his doom.
John gives us a view of that conflict (Rev. 16;16). Armageddon means “hill of slaughter.” It lies on the southern edge of the valley of Jehoshaphat or valley of Jezreel. There were many historic battles fought there and many victories won. It is the last great assault on Israel, the Gentile nations purpose to destroy Israel and get possession of the land. The poor people will not be able to take the field against the combined forces, but will resist and stand against them in the Holy City. In that final assault, the Lord will fight for His people, the Antichrist will come to his end and none shall help him.
Next issue: Ch. 12, The Miraculous Deliverance.
Debra Isenbletter, PastorSpringfield, Missouri
Jonah 2:6: “I went down to the bottoms of the mountains; the earth with her bars was about me forever: yet hast thou brought up my life from corruption, O Lord my God.”
Jonah sees God’s grace behind the discipline. He says he went down but he is able to say by faith, that the Lord brought him up. We see the depths of his descent: “I went down to the bottoms of the mountains.” The phrase implies movement from a higher to a lower place. It can mean “to bring down, to send down, to take down” and “to lie prostrate” while in that position.
Vine’s says that one may “go down” to a lower spot in order to reach the city gates which was in an elevated place. He gives an example in Judges: “the people of the Lord go down to the gates.” (Judges 5:11). I was struck by that statement because it shows that one may go down to a lower location in order to reach a higher location. In this sense, it implies that Jonah must go down in order to or before he can go up. The gates of the city figure the gates of deliverance. The gates bring him into God’s Presence. The gates are resurrection. How many times are we brought down before we are brought up, and having been brought up from that lowly position, find that we have a greater appreciation for it. The phrase “went down” is also used of dying, of going down to the grave. We see movement and the descent, but also that there is no return. Those that make this descent, go down into the realm of the dead. The only way up is resurrection.
Jonah describes how far down he went, to the “bottoms of the mountains.” There are depths within the ocean and mountains in those depths. he bottom of those mountains is about as deep as you can get. This is what he felt in his experience. There are mountain ranges under the surface of the ocean some of the mountain ranges extend 40,000 miles from the Arctic Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean, around Africa, Asia and Australia, and under the Pacific Ocean to the west coast of North America. Jonah said he went to the bottoms of those mountains. The words “bottoms” and “mountains” are both plural, showing there were levels in his descent as he went deeper. It must have been a terrifying experience. That is what despair feels like when we are out of the will of God.
Jonah describes his prison: “the earth with her bars was about me forever.” The “earth” is translated “a country,” “nations,” the “world.” The earth contains all of these. It does not matter where he was, he was restricted and confined. This is what Israel has felt every time God has disciplined them. It does not matter where they are, they cannot escape God’s discipline and neither can we. In that discipline, even the country or nation we find ourselves in is not so large that it cannot feel like a prison. And when we are in God’s Will, we can be in a prison and it will not feel like one.
What is so striking is that Jonah felt not only the discipline but felt the prison. It was as if he could see the “bars” that held him in place. Those bars were visible and yet invisible, they were unbreakable and inescapable. Those bars can represent several things. Those bars were emotional grief and physical death. The Psalmist described these bars with the words “sorrows” and “death.” “The sorrows of hell (Grief: Emotional) compassed me about: the snares of death (Death: Physical) prevented me.” (Psa.18:5). Those bars were the gates of hell or the grave. Jesus He is the Rock upon which the church is built and told Peter “the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” (Mt.16:18). That is the power of the work of the Cross. It unlocks the gates of hell. Those bars were God’s Will and God’s Word, they held Jonah in place and he knew it.
Jonah is looking at eternity when he says they were “about me forever.” One translation is “they closed behind me forever.” It is as if Jonah heard the gates shut, the bars go down over the gates and the doors locked. These were bars that he could not break and there was no escape from this place. This is what the unsaved do not see or realize. They do not see what a terrible place awaits them but we do. We also see what a terrible place our Savior endured for us in Jonah’s description. We see the loneliness, the emptiness, the despair He felt. Jonah felt this, Jesus felt this. The only thing that Jonah had were the promises of God and the hope of deliverance. Jonah is a type of Jesus in the grave and although Jonah was hoping for salvation, Jesus knew absolutely that He would be delivered. He knew every promise. He knew “salvation is of the Lord” and He gives us that same assurance and hope, we are not hopeless or helpless.
Finally Jonah by faith describes his Ascent: “yet hast thou brought up my life from corruption, O Lord my God.” We see his Life: Jonah uses the wonderful word “yet.” This word looks upward and forward and sees deliverance. Jonah is saying, “yet” despite of where I am; “yet” despite of what I am; “yet” despite my failures; “yet” despite my fears. Jonah is saying “yet” despite of everything I have hope. This word “yet” lays hold of the impossible and sees it as possible for “with God all things are possible” (Mt.19:26). We see Jonah’s absolute faith because he uses the past tense, “yet hast thou brought” me up. Jonah sees what his God can do and what his God will do and he sees it by faith. Jonah is transformed by his experience and his suffering.
Jonah next says “brought up” and in those words we see a wonderful picture of the resurrection, the ascension and the exaltation of the Lord Jesus. The meaning for “brought up” is “to bring up or take up” and there we see the resurrection of Jesus. It also means “ascend up” and there we see the ascension of Jesus. It also means “to exalt” and there we see the exaltation of Jesus. What is so wonderful is that in our identification with our Lord and Savior, we experience all three of these.
Jonah says “my life.” He is saying that his life is a transformed life, a chastened life. He is saying “my life” is an obedient life, a surrendered life, an overcoming life. He is saying “my life” belongs to you, it is your life. Jonah’s life was given new purpose and new power. We can say these same things concerning our life. This should be our testimony also because we have come up in resurrection with Jesus and our life should show this transformation. Because of the price Jesus paid we should surrender that life to Him. Because we have been bought with a price our body should glorify God because we belong to Him. (1Cor.6:19-20).
We see his Death: “from corruption,” in the Hebrew this word is also translated “the pit” or “the grave.” Jonah is remembering the scriptures and through them he finds hope. He sees the reality of death but along with the reality is another reality, that of hope and through the scriptures he has hope. Jonah remembers what Job said, “He will deliver his soul from going into the pit, and his life shall see the light.” (Job 33:28). Jonah remembers the Psalms, “For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.” (Psa.16:10); “O Lord, thou hast brought up my soul from the grave, thou hast kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit.” (Psa.30:3). We see the “grave,” the “pit,” the “corruption” but we also see the promise of deliverance, the hope that is given through the Holy Spirit as these individuals spoke under His Anointing.
We see his God: “O Lord my God.” Jonah concludes with this wonderful testimony of faith, he looks to his “Lord” and calls Him “my God.” Jonah knows that only his God can free him and he places his hope in the promises of God. Jamieson, Fausset and Brown says that “he speaks as if the deliverance were actually being accomplished” and “against hope he believes in hope” (Rom.4:18). What a glorious testimony of faith that will lead to a greater faithfulness. What a glorious testimony of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. How death could not hold Him in the grave because God raised Him up, (Acts.2:24). What a glorious testimony of the resurrection, of the New Creation, of all who believe in and receive the Lord Jesus by faith. Col.2:12, we are “buried with him” and yet we are “also risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him (Jesus) from the dead. Faith is such an essential part of our lives. Faith lifts us up out of the pit of despair, faith embraces the Word and Will of God. Whatever bars that hold us helpless are lifted and we walk through victorious because our Savior led the way and we are victorious through Him.
By Vicky Moots
Psalm 23:5b: “…thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.” In Bible times olive oil was used as an agent for healing wounds and for dry skin, and in a modified manner oil is still being used today for healing. The parable of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10:30-35 is an example of this use of oil. In v. 34 we read that the Samaritan went to the wounded man and “…bound up his wounds pouring in oil and wine…”. Shepherds would also apply oil to the wounds of their sheep and pour oil on their heads to keep the insects away from their eyes and ears.
Oil in Scripture is a type of the Holy Spirit. We are instructed by James in his epistle, which is applicable to us today, to use the anointing of oil in praying for the sick. The oil itself does not heal, even though it has some healing properties, but it is used as a symbol of the Holy Spirit. James 5:14-15: “Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up…”. Our Shepherd is aware of our need for healing, both physically and spiritually, and will faithfully and freely anoint us with His oil when we call upon His name.
He will also come to us where we are, just like the Good Samaritan did, if we are too weak emotionally or too depressed to come to Him. He will pour out His oil and wine upon us and bind up our broken, wounded hearts and bring healing to our souls. David experienced this himself and tells us in Ps. 147:3 that our Shepherd will do this for any of His sheep when the need arises: “He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds.” Why not stop what you are doing right now and call upon your Shepherd today for His healing anointing if you currently have a special need.
We also need the Holy Spirit anointing to protect our minds from the attacks of Satan and to keep our minds stayed on the Lord. Isa. 26:3 says, “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee…”. Have you ever noticed how easily you become distracted when you are praying, reading the Bible, or listening to a sermon? That is because Satan is attacking your mind to take your mind off of the Lord and His Word.
Paul warns us in II Cor. 10:4-5 concerning this type of spiritual warfare and tells us that we need to be “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exhalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought [take it as a prisoner of war] to the obedience of Christ.” This is only possible through the power of the Holy Spirit, as our Shepherd anoints our heads with oil.
Even Jesus had His head anointed by God prior to beginning His earthly ministry. He was baptized by John the Baptist, and as He came up out of the river Jordan, the Holy Spirit (God’s anointing oil) was poured out from heaven upon Him bodily as a dove and sat upon Him.
Jesus was called “Christ,” which means “the anointed one.” Peter tells us in his sermon at the house of Cornelius, in Acts 10:38, that “God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power…”. That anointing occurred at the time of His baptism, as a sign that He was, indeed, the Christ, the Messiah, the Anointed One sent from God.
Kings and priests were also anointed for service by having oil poured on their heads. The anointing of David as King by Samuel is a good example of this and is described in I Sam. 16:12-13: “…And the Lord said, Arise, anoint him [David]: for this is he. Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren: and the Spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward…”.
Ex. 29:5-7 describes the anointing of the high priest, Aaron, for his priestly ministry. Verses 5-6 tell us that Moses was to put the priestly garments on Aaron after he had been washed in water. Verse 7: “Then shalt thou take the anointing oil, and pour it upon his head, and anoint him.”
Jesus’ anointing at the time of His baptism was not only to confirm that He was the Christ, the Messiah, but also that He was to be both King and Priest. But how does that apply to us? Would you be surprised to know that God has also chosen us to serve Him as spiritual kings and priests? John reveals this to us in Rev. 1:5-6: “…Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, And hath made us kings and priests unto God and His Father…”.
We are therefore anointed with the Holy Spirit, even as Jesus was anointed, for the purpose of ministering the Word of God (in word and deed) to others and to intercede for them in prayer as spiritual priests. He has also anointed us to reign in heaven with Jesus as kings to reign in life now to be overcomers and not to serve the desires of the flesh. As faithful sheep, let us yield to our Shepherd and allow Him to not only anoint our heads with His oil but to fill us to overflowing with the Holy Spirit for the purpose of ministering as kings and priests unto God and to serve others.
To be continued