Dr. M. DeWayne Anderson http://www.mdanba.com Growing in the knowledge of the Lord... Sun, 14 Jan 2018 08:00:18 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://i0.wp.com/www.mdanba.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/cropped-pict0121_resize-1.jpg?fit=32%2C32 Dr. M. DeWayne Anderson http://www.mdanba.com 32 32 37587642 I am having trouble sitting down http://www.mdanba.com/2018/01/14/i-am-having-trouble-sitting-down/ Sun, 14 Jan 2018 08:00:18 +0000 http://www.mdanba.com/?p=6596

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Ephesians 2:4–7 (NKJV) 4But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

God has planned a place of rest in Christ Jesus.

  • All of God’s gifts are an act of His grace. He has demonstrated His grace and mercy throughout time. We have seen His mercy and grace demonstrated throughout the Bible.
  • It began with Adam and Eve in the garden.
    • Before they were given the charge to care for the garden that God planted, they entered into God’s Sabbath day of rest. Every blessing that Adam and Eve entered into was a result of God’s labor. They entered into the finished work of God’s goodness.
  • When Israel was brought out of Egypt’s bondage, they were helpless to save themselves.
  • In grace and power, they were brought out by God’s mighty hand.
    • They were amazed at God’s power to save them. In infinite wisdom and power, God provided the land of promise. He told them that they would possess the gate of their enemies. God took them to the land and showed them the bounty that He had prepared for them. When they did not believe, they were not able to enter into His rest.
  • The rest that God has provided is not just for Israel but for all those who will trust and obey.

Hebrews 4:3-6 (NKJV) 3For we who have believed do enter that rest, as He has said: “So I swore in My wrath, ‘They shall not enter My rest,’ ” although the works were finished from the foundation of the world. 4For He has spoken in a certain place of the seventh day in this way: “And God rested on the seventh day from all His works”; 5and again in this place: “They shall not enter My rest.” 6Since therefore it remains that some must enter it, and those to whom it was first preached did not enter because of disobedience,

Hebrews 4:9–11 (NKJV) 9There remains therefore a rest for the people of God. 10For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His. 11Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience.

Think about this.

God has made it possible for you to enter into His blessing through rest in Christ.

Since Jesus has passed through the heavens and has obtained a place of honor at the Father’s right hand, you can come boldly to the throne of grace to obtain mercy and grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:14-16)

There is a practical component of this rest in Christ that every believer needs to find.

How do we find the help we need?

There is a good illustration of this trust and rest in the story of Gideon in the Old Testament.

The story starts back in the beginning of Judges 6.

  • The children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord.
    • As a result, the hand of Midian prevailed against Israel for seven years. Every time Israel planted their fields, the Midianites, Amalekites and people of the East would come up against them. They would come in such large numbers that they destroyed the produce of the earth and left nothing for Israel. Every time their enemies came, God’s people hid in dens, caves and strongholds in the mountains.
    • So Israel became greatly impoverished, Judges 6:1-6.

When they cried out to the Lord, He sent a prophet.

    • The prophet of God reminded them that He was the Lord their God, and they did not have to fear.
    • In fear of the Midianites, Gideon was threshing wheat in the winepress.

About that time, the Angel of the Lord came and sat under the terebinth tree in Ophrah.

Nothing just happens with God.

Judges 6:12-14 (NKJV) 12And the Angel of the Lord appeared to him, and said to him, “The Lord is with you, you mighty man of valor!” 13Then Gideon said, “If the Lord is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all His miracles which our fathers told us about?” 14Then the Lord turned to him and said, “Go in this might of yours, and you shall save Israel from the hand of the Midianites. Have I not sent you?”

Now, God had a plan for His people and he had a man.

  • Gideon did not think very much of himself.
    • He thought the Lord had made the wrong choice. He said, “O my Lord, how can I save Israel?” God said, “Surely I will be with you, and you shall defeat the Midianites as one man.”
  • Sometimes when God says “trust Me, I have a plan,” all we can see is our weakness.
  • Sometimes all we can see is how strong the enemy is and how numerous the conflict.
  • God’s first assignment was for him to, “go out and tear down the altar to Baal and build an altar to God on top of the site and use the wood of the image to burn the sacrifice to the Lord.”
    • Gideon thought the best time to do it was in the middle of the night.

In the morning, everyone in the city was enraged when they found the altar and image of Baal destroyed.

  • What happened got around.

Baal was the god of the Midianites, Amalekites, and people of the East.

  • Then the Midianites, Amalekites, and the people of the east gathered together and prepared for war.

When they gathered for war, the Spirit of the Lord came upon Gideon, and he blew a trumpet.

  • 32,000 men of Israel’s tribes came out to fight against Midian.
  • Even with all of the armies of Israel gathering behind him, Gideon felt like he was the wrong man in the wrong place.
    • He needed a sign from the Lord.
    • He was new to this trusting in the Lord with all of his heart.

After God confirmed His word, Gideon and all who camped with him arose to go toward the camp of Midian.

God had an issue with the number of warriors that Gideon had.

    • God told him that 32,000 warriors was too many.
    • God told him to send the fearful and afraid home.
    • 22,000 of them walked away.

Then God said, “You still have too many.”

  • So he put them to the test and all but 300 men were sent away.

This is where you have to learn to sit down and rest in God.

Have you been diminished to a place where you cannot do it on your own?

  • God wants His people to put their whole trust in Him.
  • If we walk or work in our own strength, God does not get the glory.
  • Humanly, it feels good having 32,000 warriors standing with you.

So, Gideon was down to 300 men.

  • “What do we do now?”

Judges 7:12 (NKJV) 12Now the Midianites and Amalekites, all the people of the East, were lying in the valley as numerous as locusts; and their camels were without number, as the sand by the seashore in multitude.

    • Have you ever felt like saying, “but God, I am diminished?
    • How am I going to have any victory when my enemy has come against me in such strength?
    • Have you ever felt like walking away before the next conflict?

What are they going to do now?

  • God told Gideon to take his servant Purah down into the enemies’ camp, and you shall hear what they say, and your hands will be strengthened against the camp.
  • They snuck into the enemies’ camp and heard two men talking about their dreams.
    • One man said a loaf of barley bread tumbled into the camp of Midian and struck it and it fell and the tent collapsed.
    • The other man said: “This is nothing else but the sword of Gideon. Into his hand God has delivered the whole camp of Midian.”
    • You may need to hear that all of Satan’s schemes and devices have been put under the Lord’s feet.
    • You need to hear that Christ Jesus has defeated every principality and power and ruler of darkness.

When Gideon returned to the camp of Israel he knew what to do.

  • God had been telling him that he could trust Him.
  • God was not discouraged because the enemy had come out with great numbers.
  • God wanted Gideon to see the victory that was ahead.

Here is a battle plan.

Judges 7:15–16 (NKJV) Gideon said, “Arise, for the Lord has delivered the camp of Midian into your hand.” 16Then he divided the three hundred men into three companies, and he put a trumpet into every man’s hand, with empty pitchers, and torches inside the pitchers.

  • You cannot hold your sword and do what God wants you to do.
  • The only way into victory was resting in God’s ability to defeat their enemy.

Judges 7:17–18 (NKJV) 17And he said to them, “Look at me and do likewise; watch, and when I come to the edge of the camp you shall do as I do: 18When I blow the trumpet, I and all who are with me, then you also blow the trumpets on every side of the whole camp, and say, ‘The sword of the Lord and of Gideon!’ ”

Judges 7:22 (NKJV) 22When the three hundred blew the trumpets, the Lord set every man’s sword against his companion throughout the whole camp; and the army fled to Beth Acacia, toward Zererah, as far as the border of Abel Meholah, by Tabbath.

Sitting is an attitude of rest.

Something has been finished.

God knows how to bring you into victory.

King Jehoshaphat and the people of Judah faced a similar situation in 2 Chronicles 20.

  • A great multitude came against them from beyond the sea.
  • Everyone was paralyzed with fear.

They did not know what they were going to do?

  • All of the men, women and children in Judah came and stood before the Lord.
  • When you don’t know what to do, turn to the Lord.

The Lord had a message for them in their time of distress.

God said, “Do not be afraid nor dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God’s.”

2 Chronicles 20:17 (NKJV) 17You will not need to fight in this battle. Position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the Lord, who is with you, O Judah and Jerusalem!’ Do not fear or be dismayed; tomorrow go out against them, for the Lord is with you.”

Are you having trouble sitting down?

Are you still trying to work it out?

How can you apply this to your life?

  • First, you need to see that Jesus has already gained the victory and is sitting in a position of power.
    • When He sat down at the right hand of the Father, all principalities, powers and rulers of the darkness had been put under His feet. Jesus has already conquered your greatest enemy. He is in a position of rest, because He has won. Your enemy has already been defeated.
  • Second, you have been invited to come and sit with Jesus.
    • There is a place of victory for you with Christ. The battle you are facing is not yours, it is God’s.
    • Can you trust the Lord enough to send 22,000 of your defenses away?
    • Are you still trying to work it all out on your own?
    • The Lord said, “The battle is not your’s but God’s.”
    • Can you say, “Lord, I believe that you are working it out.”
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Walking http://www.mdanba.com/2018/01/13/walking/ Sat, 13 Jan 2018 09:00:08 +0000 http://www.mdanba.com/?p=6602

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The Christian life must begin with absolute trust in the finished work of Jesus Christ.

We must learn to rest completely and confidently in Him.

This faith and trust relies on Christ as our righteousness.

It looks to Jesus the Author and the Finisher of our faith.

We have learned many things by sitting with Christ.

Ephesians 1:4, He chose us in Christ.

Ephesians 1:7, In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.

Ephesians 1:10, In Him all things in heaven and earth are gathered together.

Ephesians 1:11, In Him also we have obtained an inheritance.

Ephesians 1:13, In Him you also trusted.

Ephesians 2:10, We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works.

Ephesians 2:14, He is our peace.

Ephesians 3:12, In Him we have boldness and access with confidence through faith.

That is why God has raised us together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, Ephesians 2:4-6.

After we become proficient in wholly trusting in Christ’s finished work, we must learn to walk.

Although we sit with Him in the heavenly places, we must walk in this world.

The Epistles talk much about walking.

Ephesians 2:10 …we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

Ephesians 4:1 …walk worthy of the calling with which you were called.

Ephesians 5:2 …walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us…

Ephesians 5:8 Walk as children of light.

Ephesians 5:15 Look carefully then how you walk, not as fools but as those who are wise.

Colossians 1:10 …walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.

Colossians 2:6 As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him.

Walking is the practical progression of trusting Christ enough to sit with Him.

  • Your walk is changed because you were made to sit with Christ in the heavenly places.
  • When we fully trust in Him, our conduct will be changed.
  • The function of the “body of Christ” is not independent from the “mind of Christ” or the “position of Christ.”
  • We have been made partakers of Christ’s heavenly position and victory.
  • We are no good if our earthly walk does not exhibit Christ’s glorious victory and power.
  • Our walk must demonstrate that we have been made to sit down with Christ in the heavenly places.

How are we supposed to walk?

First, walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, Ephesians 5:2.

  • This is not just walking loved by God.
  • Walking in love requires us to be imitators of God as dear children, Ephesians 5:1.
  • When we walk in love as Christ has loved us, there are behaviors we must forsake, Ephesians 5:3-7.
    • We should walk worthy of the Lord.

Second, walk in the light of the Lord, Ephesians 5:8-14.

  • The children of light give practical proof of the light they have been made to sit in with Christ.
    • Your exposure to the victory and glory of Christ will change your walk.
  • When you become children of light, you will bear and  share the fruit of the Spirit as you walk.
    • Bearing fruit on the inside must have an outward expression.
    • It is no good saying, “I have love, joy, and peace” if you do not have an outward expression of love, joy, and peace.
    • Do you have any unfruitful actions and activities?
    • Are you involved in any shameful works or works of darkness?
  • You may need to go and sit down with Christ some more.

Third, be very careful how you walk, not as fools but as wise, Ephesians 5:15-20.

  • A wise person redeems the time, for the days are evil.
  • Don’t be careless and reckless in the way you walk.
  • What does that mean?
    • Take advantage of every opportunity.
    • He gives two examples.
      • Do not be drunk with wine, which is a disregard of the consequences of one’s actions.
      • Be filled and stimulated with the Holy Spirit.
  • If we walk in love as Christ walked, we will not walk as fools.

1 John 1:7 (NKJV) If we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sins.

So, how do we walk worthy of the Lord?

First, consider that you have been raised with Christ and have been made to sit with Him in heavenly places.

  • If you have been raised with Christ and have been sitting with Him, your old ways should be changing.
    • If you still practice your old walk of life you must lay it down.
    • Put away falsehood and speak the truth.
    • Be angry and sin not.
    • Be kind and forgive each other.
    • Submit yourselves to one another.
    • Do not provoke one another.
    • Be obedient to God as dear children.

Have you ever tried to walk as Christ walked?

What does that mean?

  • Jesus said, “you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.”

How can you do it?

    • Walk as God’s children.
    • Walk in the power of the Holy Spirit.
    • Walk in Christ’s rest.
  • Everyone who can sit with Christ can walk.

When Gideon was told to diminish his army, he knew that 300 men could do nothing without God’s help.

    • Their enemy was too strong.
    • Gideon and his army were too small and too weak.
    • Only God could cause him to win the battle in those conditions.
  • When they came out against the multitude, his walk depended on God.
    • Gideon told the three hundred to do what he did and say what he said.

Judges 7:18 (NKJV) 18When I blow the trumpet, I and all who are with me, then you also blow the trumpets on every side of the whole camp, and say, ‘The sword of the Lord and of Gideon!’ ”

    • He was walking the way God wanted him to walk.
    • He did not have a sword in his hand, but He knew that God was fighting with him.
    • He could win because he could trust God.

After you are made to sit with Christ, then you can walk right.

    • Walking right is not just personal effort.
    • When I sit with Christ, I learn of His glory.
    • When I sit with Christ, I learn of His power and authority.
    • When I sit with Christ, I discover the life that is in Christ.

Ephesians 2:10 (NKJV) 10For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

Philippians 2:13 (NKJV) 13For it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.

Until we are willing for God to work in us, it is useless for us to try to do it.

Look at the fruit of the Spirit.

Have you tried to live the fruit of the Spirit without God doing it in you?

  • Take patience.
    • Have you ever tried to be patient when you did not feel patient?
  • How about joy?
    • In the midst of your struggles, have you tried to show the fruit of joy.
  • You can do this with all of the fruit of the Spirit.
    • Without God working in us we fall short.
    • In His presence is where we find fullness of joy.
    • In Christ, we can walk in love.
    • In Christ, we have peace.

How can we walk right?

Ephesians 3:16 (NKJV) 16that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man,

What we walk in is what God has first put in us.

You can never walk in the victory that is in Christ Jesus until you have Jesus on the inside.

This is how it worked with the Apostle Paul.

The Apostle Paul had a revelation of Christ on the Damascus Road that changed his life.

  • He was busy trying to do what he thought was God’s will.
    • He was very zealous about what he thought was right.
      • Many people are that way.
      • They try to do it on their own.
    • He did not realize that he was resisting the Holy Spirit and fighting against the Lord Jesus Christ.
  • That glorious day, the Lord Jesus interrupted his plans.
    • That glorious day, the light of God’s glory shined down on him.
    • That day, he was stopped in his path.
      • He was walking the wrong way.
      • His path and plan was altered.
  • Not only was he knocked off his donkey, he was stopped until he was filled with the Holy Spirit.
  • After he was filled with the Holy Spirit, he came to realize that Christ was the hope of glory.
    • Before Christ, he struggled to do the right thing but was always a wretched failure.
    • He knew what to do, but he was not able to do it.

That was when the Apostle Paul had the revelation that he had to put all his trust in Christ.

He found the secret to walking.

Romans 8:1 (NKJV) 1There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.

  • Having the doctrine of Christ is not enough.
  • It is impossible to walk according to the flesh and walk right.
  • Walk suggests conduct and behavior, but it also means progress.
    • To walk is to proceed or follow on.
  • What is your goal?
    • Don’t walk as the foolish or unwise.
    • We are told to redeem the time for the days are evil, Ephesians 5:15-17.
  • Your walk will be very important in the end.

How are you going to have a satisfactory end of your walk?

Philippians 1:6 (NKJV) Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.

Have you spent enough time sitting with Jesus?

Have you found out that you make a big mess of things without Him?

  • He wants you to come to complete confidence in this.
  • He will finish what He has started if you will put your trust in Him.
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The Ministry of Christ, Part 53 http://www.mdanba.com/2018/01/09/the-ministry-of-christ-part-53/ Tue, 09 Jan 2018 08:00:23 +0000 http://www.mdanba.com/?p=6588

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Passion Week – Thursday – Friday

At the conclusion of His prayer, Jesus spoke to Peter, James, and John.

Jesus’ prayer had been in great agony and intercession for Himself, His disciples, and for all believers.

Jesus betrayal, Matthew 26:47-56; Mark 14:43-52; Luke 22:47-53; John 18:3-13

Matthew 26:45–46 (NKJV) 45Then He came to His disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners. 46Rise, let us be going. See, My betrayer is at hand.”

John 18:2–3 (NKJV) 2And Judas, who betrayed Him, also knew the place; for Jesus often met there with His disciples. 3Then Judas, having received a detachment of troops, and officers from the chief priests and Pharisees, came there with lanterns, torches, and weapons.

  • In Matthew 26:14, Judas Iscariot contracted with the chief priests to betray Jesus for thirty pieces of silver.
  • Luke says the chief priests, elders and captains of the temple were with the multitude.
  • Two groups of troops and the religious leaders came out to take Jesus.
  • The detachment of Roman soldiers were between 200 and 600.
  • The officers of the temple guard were Levitical officers who were responsible for guarding and keeping order in the temple.
    • The temple officers were under the command of the Sanhedrin or Jewish council.

Mark 14:44 (NKJV) 44Now His betrayer had given them a signal, saying, “Whomever I kiss, He is the One; seize Him and lead Him away safely.”

Matthew 26:49 (NKJV) 49Immediately he went up to Jesus and said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” and kissed Him.

Luke 22:48 (NKJV) 48But Jesus said to him, “Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?”

Matthew 26:50 (NKJV) 50But Jesus said to him, “Friend, why have you come?” Then they came and laid hands on Jesus and took Him.

  • Jesus was not surprised by the things that were happening.
  • He was unarmed, but He was in control.

John 18:4–6 (NKJV) 4Jesus therefore, knowing all things that would come upon Him, went forward and said to them, “Whom are you seeking?” 5They answered Him, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus said to them, “I am He.” And Judas, who betrayed Him, also stood with them. 6Now when He said to them, “I am He,” they drew back and fell to the ground.

  • Jesus’ statement “I am He,” was a manifestation of His deity and power.
    • The revelation was so powerful that the multitude went backward and fell to the ground.

Since Jesus had such authority and power, why did He allow them to take Him?

John 18:7–11 (NKJV) 7Then He asked them again, “Whom are you seeking?” And they said, “Jesus of Nazareth.” 8Jesus answered, “I have told you that I am He. Therefore, if you seek Me, let these go their way,” 9that the saying might be fulfilled which He spoke, “Of those whom You gave Me I have lost none.”  10Then Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant, and cut off his right ear. The servant’s name was Malchus. 11So Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword into the sheath. Shall I not drink the cup which My Father has given Me?”

Was it not the right thing for Peter to defend Jesus?

What does it mean to “drink the cup which My Father has given Me?”

Luke 22:51 (NKJV) 51But Jesus answered and said, “Permit even this.” And He touched his ear and healed him.

  • “Permit even this” referred to Jesus treatment by the crowd.

Why did Jesus heal Malchus’ ear?

  • Jesus’ nature and character had not changed.

Matthew 26:52–56 (NKJV) 52But Jesus said to him, “Put your sword in its place, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword. 53Or do you think that I cannot now pray to My Father, and He will provide Me with more than twelve legions of angels? 54How then could the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must happen thus?” 55In that hour Jesus said to the multitudes, “Have you come out, as against a robber, with swords and clubs to take Me? I sat daily with you, teaching in the temple, and you did not seize Me. 56But all this was done that the Scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled.” Then all the disciples forsook Him and fled.

  • The action of the multitudes is a fulfillment of the prophets.
  • Read Isaiah 50:6 and Isaiah 53:2-11

Luke 22:52–53 (NKJV) 52Then Jesus said to the chief priests, captains of the temple, and the elders who had come to Him, “Have you come out, as against a robber, with swords and clubs? 53When I was with you daily in the temple, you did not try to seize Me. But this is your hour, and the power of darkness.”

Mark 14:50–52 (NKJV) 50Then they all forsook Him and fled. 51Now a certain young man followed Him, having a linen cloth thrown around his naked body. And the young men laid hold of him, 52and he left the linen cloth and fled from them naked.

Why did the disciples forsake Him and flee?

Jesus before Caiaphas the high priest. (Matthew 26:57-68; Mark 14:53-65; Luke 22:54-68)

Matthew 26:57–58 (NKJV) 57And those who had laid hold of Jesus led Him away to Caiaphas the high priest, where the scribes and the elders were assembled. 58But Peter followed Him at a distance to the high priest’s courtyard. And he went in and sat with the servants to see the end.

  • The high priest’s courtyard was part of his palace.

Why did Peter follow at a distance?

  • John 18:15-16 tells us that Peter and another disciple followed Jesus.
    • That other disciple was known to the high priest and went into the courtyard of the high priest.
    • Peter stood at the door outside the courtyard.
    • Then the other disciple spoke to the servant girl who kept the door and brought Peter in.

Luke 22:54–62 (NKJV) 54Having arrested Him, they led Him and brought Him into the high priest’s house. But Peter followed at a distance. 55Now when they had kindled a fire in the midst of the courtyard and sat down together, Peter sat among them. 56And a certain servant girl, seeing him as he sat by the fire, looked intently at him and said, “This man was also with Him.”  57But he denied Him, saying, “Woman, I do not know Him.” 58And after a little while another saw him and said, “You also are of them.” But Peter said, “Man, I am not!” 59Then after about an hour had passed, another confidently affirmed, saying, “Surely this fellow also was with Him, for he is a Galilean.” 60But Peter said, “Man, I do not know what you are saying!” Immediately, while he was still speaking, the rooster crowed. 61And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how He had said to him, “Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” 62So Peter went out and wept bitterly.

Matthew 26:59–68 (NKJV) 59Now the chief priests, the elders, and all the council sought false testimony against Jesus to put Him to death, 60but found none. Even though many false witnesses came forward, they found none. But at last two false witnesses came forward 61and said, “This fellow said, ‘I am able to destroy the temple of God and to build it in three days.’ ” 62And the high priest arose and said to Him, “Do You answer nothing? What is it these men testify against You?” 63But Jesus kept silent. And the high priest answered and said to Him, “I put You under oath by the living God: Tell us if You are the Christ, the Son of God!” 64Jesus said to him, “It is as you said. Nevertheless, I say to you, hereafter you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven.” 65Then the high priest tore his clothes, saying, “He has spoken blasphemy! What further need do we have of witnesses? Look, now you have heard His blasphemy! 66What do you think?” They answered and said, “He is deserving of death.” 67Then they spat in His face and beat Him; and others struck Him with the palms of their hands, 68saying, “Prophesy to us, Christ! Who is the one who struck You?”

After dawn on Friday, Jesus was condemned by the Sanhedrin. (Matthew 27:1; Mark 15:1; Luke 22:66-71)

Luke 22:66–71 (NKJV) 66As soon as it was day, the elders of the people, both chief priests and scribes, came together and led Him into their council, saying, 67“If You are the Christ, tell us.” But He said to them, “If I tell you, you will by no means believe. 68And if I also ask you, you will by no means answer Me or let Me go. 69Hereafter the Son of Man will sit on the right hand of the power of God.” 70Then they all said, “Are You then the Son of God?” So He said to them, “You rightly say that I am.” 71And they said, “What further testimony do we need? For we have heard it ourselves from His own mouth.”

Judas’ remorse and suicide, Matthew 27:3-10; Acts 1:18-19

Matthew 27:3–5 (NKJV) 3Then Judas, His betrayer, seeing that He had been condemned, was remorseful and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, 4saying, “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.” And they said, “What is that to us? You see to it!” 5Then he threw down the pieces of silver in the temple and departed, and went and hanged himself.

  • It is believed that Judas hanged himself with a rope and the tree limb broke and he fell into a plot of land called Akel Dama or the Field of Blood in Hinnom Valley.

Matthew 27:6–10 (NKJV) 6But the chief priests took the silver pieces and said, “It is not lawful to put them into the treasury, because they are the price of blood.” 7And they consulted together and bought with them the potter’s field, to bury strangers in. 8Therefore that field has been called the Field of Blood to this day.  9Then was fulfilled what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying, “And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the value of Him who was priced, whom they of the children of Israel priced, 10and gave them for the potter’s field, as the Lord directed me.”

Acts 1:18–19 (NKJV) 18(Now this man purchased a field with the wages of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst open in the middle and all his entrails gushed out. 19And it became known to all those dwelling in Jerusalem; so that field is called in their own language, Akel Dama, that is, Field of Blood.)

Jesus  is taken to Pilate for the first time – In the Praetorium, Matthew 27:2-14; Mark 15:1-5; Luke 23:1-5; John 18:28-38

Matthew 27:1–2 (NKJV) 1When morning came, all the chief priests and elders of the people plotted against Jesus to put Him to death. 2And when they had bound Him, they led Him away and delivered Him to Pontius Pilate the governor.

John 18:28 (NKJV) 28Then they led Jesus from Caiaphas to the Praetorium, and it was early morning. But they themselves did not go into the Praetorium, lest they should be defiled, but that they might eat the Passover.

Luke 23:2–5 (NKJV) 2And they began to accuse Him, saying, “We found this fellow perverting the nation, and forbidding to pay taxes to Caesar, saying that He Himself is Christ, a King.” 3Then Pilate asked Him, saying, “Are You the King of the Jews?” He answered him and said, “It is as you say.” 4So Pilate said to the chief priests and the crowd, “I find no fault in this Man.” 5But they were the more fierce, saying, “He stirs up the people, teaching throughout all Judea, beginning from Galilee to this place.”

John 18:29–38 (NKJV) 29Pilate then went out to them and said, “What accusation do you bring against this Man?” 30They answered and said to him, “If He were not an evildoer, we would not have delivered Him up to you.” 31Then Pilate said to them, “You take Him and judge Him according to your law.” Therefore the Jews said to him, “It is not lawful for us to put anyone to death,” 32that the saying of Jesus might be fulfilled which He spoke, signifying by what death He would die. 33Then Pilate entered the Praetorium again, called Jesus, and said to Him, “Are You the King of the Jews?” 34Jesus answered him, “Are you speaking for yourself about this, or did others tell you this concerning Me?” 35Pilate answered, “Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered You to me. What have You done?” 36Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here.” 37Pilate therefore said to Him, “Are You a king then?” Jesus answered, “You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.” 38Pilate said to Him, “What is truth?” And when he had said this, he went out again to the Jews, and said to them, “I find no fault in Him at all.”

Jesus before Herod Antipas the Tetrarch, Luke 23:6-12

Luke 23:6–12 (NKJV) 6When Pilate heard of Galilee, he asked if the Man were a Galilean. 7And as soon as he knew that He belonged to Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent Him to Herod, who was also in Jerusalem at that time. 8Now when Herod saw Jesus, he was exceedingly glad; for he had desired for a long time to see Him, because he had heard many things about Him, and he hoped to see some miracle done by Him. 9Then he questioned Him with many words, but He answered him nothing. 10And the chief priests and scribes stood and vehemently accused Him. 11Then Herod, with his men of war, treated Him with contempt and mocked Him, arrayed Him in a gorgeous robe, and sent Him back to Pilate. 12That very day Pilate and Herod became friends with each other, for previously they had been at enmity with each other.

Jesus before Pilate the second time, Matthew 27:15-26; Mark 15:6-15; Luke 23:13-25; John 18:39-19:16

Luke 23:13–17 (NKJV) 13Then Pilate, when he had called together the chief priests, the rulers, and the people, 14said to them, “You have brought this Man to me, as one who misleads the people. And indeed, having examined Him in your presence, I have found no fault in this Man concerning those things of which you accuse Him; 15no, neither did Herod, for I sent you back to him; and indeed nothing deserving of death has been done by Him. 16I will therefore chastise Him and release Him” 17(for it was necessary for him to release one to them at the feast).

John 18:39–40 (NKJV) 39“But you have a custom that I should release someone to you at the Passover. Do you therefore want me to release to you the King of the Jews?” 40Then they all cried again, saying, “Not this Man, but Barabbas!” Now Barabbas was a robber.

Matthew 27:26 (NKJV) 26Then he released Barabbas to them; and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered Him to be crucified.

John 19:1–16 (NKJV) 1So then Pilate took Jesus and scourged Him. 2And the soldiers twisted a crown of thorns and put it on His head, and they put on Him a purple robe. 3Then they said, “Hail, King of the Jews!” And they struck Him with their hands. 4Pilate then went out again, and said to them, “Behold, I am bringing Him out to you, that you may know that I find no fault in Him.” 5Then Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. And Pilate said to them, “Behold the Man!” 6Therefore, when the chief priests and officers saw Him, they cried out, saying, “Crucify Him, crucify Him!” Pilate said to them, “You take Him and crucify Him, for I find no fault in Him.” 7The Jews answered him, “We have a law, and according to our law He ought to die, because He made Himself the Son of God.” 8Therefore, when Pilate heard that saying, he was the more afraid, 9and went again into the Praetorium, and said to Jesus, “Where are You from?” But Jesus gave him no answer. 10Then Pilate said to Him, “Are You not speaking to me? Do You not know that I have power to crucify You, and power to release You?” 11Jesus answered, “You could have no power at all against Me unless it had been given you from above. Therefore the one who delivered Me to you has the greater sin.” 12From then on Pilate sought to release Him, but the Jews cried out, saying, “If you let this Man go, you are not Caesar’s friend. Whoever makes himself a king speaks against Caesar.” 13When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he brought Jesus out and sat down in the judgment seat in a place that is called The Pavement, but in Hebrew, Gabbatha. 14Now it was the Preparation Day of the Passover, and about the sixth hour. And he said to the Jews, “Behold your King!” 15But they cried out, “Away with Him, away with Him! Crucify Him!” Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your King?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar!” 16Then he delivered Him to them to be crucified. Then they took Jesus and led Him away.

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What does it mean to sit with Christ? http://www.mdanba.com/2018/01/06/what-does-it-mean-to-sit-with-christ/ Sat, 06 Jan 2018 09:00:10 +0000 http://www.mdanba.com/?p=6581

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To help us discover what it means to sit with Christ, we must see where He is and what this means.

Watch closely the fact that by God’s mighty power He raised Christ and by grace made us sit with Him.

Then see how God is going to show His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

Ephesians 2:4–7 (NKJV) 4But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

  • The key to receiving God’s exceeding riches of His grace is discovered by sitting together with Christ.

Ephesians 1:17–23 (NKJV) 17That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, 18the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, 19and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power 20which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, 21far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come. 22And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, 23which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.

This discovery demonstrates the awesome position and privilege that we have in this life in Christ.

We need to discover:

  • the hope of His calling.
  • the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints
  • the exceeding greatness of His mighty power which the Father worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead
  • Christ’s position at the Father’s right hand
  • Christ’s authority in that position
  • How all of that impacts the church

Everything that Christ accomplished has been brought down to our account.

  • It is His, but the Father has given it to us with Christ.
    • Without Him, we have nothing.
    • But, in Christ we receive it all.
  • We have the hope which is laid up for us in heaven, Colossians 1:5.
        • That hope is an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil, Hebrews 6:19.
  • The riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints encompasses everything Christ has received.
        • There are two ways to understand this.
        • First, the saints are His inheritance.
        • Second, it means everything that the Father has given to His Son we will share as His Bride.
  • God’s power that raised Christ is exceeding great power.
        • His power is able to bring all this to pass.
        • God exercised and energized the greatness of His power when He raised Christ from the dead.
        • Then God extended that great power toward everyone who believes.
          • God does not depend on your ability to achieve this.
          • He does it by His own mighty power.
  • Christ has been seated at the Father’s right hand, far above all principality, power, might, dominion, and every name that is named.
        • First, this is a position of rule, authority, power and dominion that Christ has received.
            • The extent of this is far above every other.
          • Second, He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church.
            • The church is to share in His boundless dominion.
            • Make it personal.

God has raised you up to sit together in the heavenly places in Christ.

We need to discover the depth and richness of these benefits that are ours in Christ Jesus.

What do we receive since we are “raised and made to sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus?”

In the Old Testament, God made provision for His benefits.

Psalm 103:1–5 (NKJV) 1Bless the Lord, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name! 2Bless the Lord, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits: 3Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases, 4Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies, 5Who satisfies your mouth with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

  • Consider then the depth of the present and eternal benefits that are made available in Christ Jesus.
    • This is your position of rest in Christ Jesus.

You have been invited to sit down in heavenly places in Christ Jesus and enjoy what He has achieved in His cross, resurrection, ascension and exaltation to the right hand of the Father.

    • He has made us partakers of His life, victory, and exalted position.
    • All of His benefits are ours in Christ Jesus.
    • He forgives all our iniquities.
        • In Christ, He abundantly pardons and makes us alive in Christ Jesus our Lord.
    • He heals all your diseases.
        • The provision for your healing is part of your rest in Christ.
        • He is the source of your healing.
    • He redeems your life from destruction.
        • In Christ, you are mighty through God to pull down strongholds.
        • Satan’s access is broken in Christ Jesus.

The exceeding riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus should be considered here.

Jesus gave a parable of the great supper.

Luke 14:17 (NKJV) He said to those who were invited, “Come, for all things are now ready.”

You have been invited to come and sit with Christ in heavenly places, for all things are ready.

  • We talk about heaven our eternal home.
    • Heaven is our blessed hope.
    • We look forward to the rest that we will have when we sit with Christ in that place.
  • These benefits in Christ have already started.
    • He is not just talking about sitting with Christ when we get to heaven.
    • He is talking about the present and eternal “sitting with Christ.”

Every benefit that Christ Jesus has gained in His victory is already being freely bestowed on us in Christ. (Ephesians 1:6-7)

“God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ.” (Ephesians 1:3)

Do you understand the present reality that God has “made you sit in heavenly places in Christ Jesus?”

What does this mean?

  • How do we receive forgiveness of sins?
  • Why will the Father pour out the Holy Spirit on us?
    • Since Jesus died on the cross, your sins are forgiven.
    • Since He is exalted to the throne, you are given power from on high.
  • When you put your faith and trust in the finished work of Jesus Christ heaven’s resources are available.
    • There is no need for you to wait for salvation until you can merit it.
    • There is no need for you to wait for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.

The invitation has been given, “Come, for all things are ready.”

  • God wants to show you “the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus,”

(Ephesians 2:7).

  • So, God says: “Come and sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” (Ephesians 2:6)

He has made this possible for you through Christ Jesus.

What happened to Christ Jesus has also happen to us in Him.

What then does this mean to us?

Galatians 2:20 (NKJV) 20I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.

Romans 6:6 (ASV 1901) 6knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away, that so we should no longer be in bondage to sin.

  • Rather than constantly living in defeat, you can live in victory.
  • Sin does not have to rule your life.
  • You don’t have to be in bondage.
  • Since Jesus is free, you are free.

Ephesians 2:13 (NKJV) 13But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.

  • God has brought you near.
  • You have been invited in Christ Jesus to partake of heaven’s best.
]]> 6581
Sitting with Christ http://www.mdanba.com/2018/01/06/sitting-with-christ/ Sat, 06 Jan 2018 08:00:50 +0000 http://www.mdanba.com/?p=6574

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Every true believer should be in pursuit of a greater discovery of life in Christ.

  • What is this life in Christ really like?
  • What are the benefits of this life in Christ?
  • What is the power of this life is Christ?

If your Christian life is to be pleasing to God, it must be correctly adjusted to Him in all things.

Since we are “redeemed through His blood” and have received “the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace,” we should press on to discover everything that God has made available to us in Christ. (Ephesians 1:7-12)

  • We all need to discover the depth of the riches that God has provided for all of us who have trusted in Christ.
  • As a result,  “we should be unto the praise of His glory.” (Ephesians 1:12)

We want to discover three things:

  1. Our position in Christ
  2. Our life in the world
  3. Our attitude toward the enemy

If we want to be useful to the Lord, we must be thoroughly adapted to God’s hand in all three areas. God is not just adapting us to an overcoming life in this world, He is adjusting us to fit properly into His hands.

Ephesians 2:4–7 (NKJV) 4But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

This is the secret of the new life that we have in Christ.

  • In the past, we walked according the course of the world.
  • Your new life begins in Christ Jesus.

Look closely at what He has done for us.

God has made us alive together with Christ.

How did He do this?

He did it by mercy, through love, with Christ.

First, by mercy.

  • God stepped beyond your goodness or works of righteousness.
  • He did not wait until you proved you were worthy.
  • He took mercy on us.

Second, through love.

  • God took the initiative because He loved you.
  • The amazing thing about this is He did this while we were unlovely.
    • We all were acting poorly.
    • That does not describe our behavior thoroughly.
    • We were doing all manner of evil deeds.
    • We were working against God.
    • But, God in mercy and love stepped in to save us.

Third, He did it with Jesus Christ.

  • Jesus provided the necessary purification of sins.

Hebrews 1:3 (ESV) After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.

  • Now He has provided a new life for those who put their trust in Him.

Notice what God has done for us through Christ.

Ephesians 2:6 (NKJV) 6and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.

We should break that down.

First, He raised us up together with Christ.

  • Have you discovered that you were crucified with Christ?
    • When Jesus went to the cross, He took and bore away your sins.

2 Corinthians 5:21 (NKJV) 21For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

    • Your sickness was laid upon Him.

Matthew 8:17 (NKJV) “He Himself took our infirmities and bore our sicknesses.”

  • When Christ arose in victory, it was for you.
  • Notice that Ephesians 2:6 says He “raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.”
    • God took the initiative to lift you up.
    • The extent of that takes you out of what you have been.

Colossians 3:1 (NKJV) 1If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God.

You need to make a discovery here.

Where are you living?

Are you still snared by the old life?

  • The power and victory that is needed in your life has already been attained.
  • Our natural tendency is to try to do this on our own.

How can we attain our goal without doing it ourselves?

  • God has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ.

Second, He made us to sit together with Christ in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.

  • This is not attained by your human effort.
  • The One who raised Christ from the dead has done this.
  • He has blessed us with every spiritual blessings in the heavenly places in Christ. (Ephesians 1:3)
  • We are invited to sit down and enjoy what God has done for us in Christ.

What does it mean to “sit down?”

  • When we sit down, we are in a position of rest.
  • You have taken the load off your feet.
  • When you sit down, you are not carrying your load.

This is what God has done for you in Christ.

  • God has put the load on Christ.
  • He has become your burden bearer.
  • Back in the Old Covenant on the Day of Atonement, the priest took two rams.
    • The first was killed, and its blood was for a covering.
    • On the second, the priest confessed the sins of the people on its head.

Do you understand what Jesus did?

Hebrews 1:3 (ESV) After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.

  • He put away your load.
  • He sat down when all things were dealt with.

Now, He invites you to come and sit down with Him and enjoy the privileges and blessings of His sacrifice.

Have you discovered the release from your burden in Christ?

Are you still trying to work it all out?

  • Adam was created on the sixth day.
    • He had no part in those first six days of work.
    • He was created at the end of God’s work.
  • God worked six days and then He rested on the Sabbath.
    • God’s seventh day was Adam’s first day.
    • The first day of Adam’s life was a day of rest.
    • God worked before he rested.
    • Man entered into God’s rest and finished work.
        • Then he worked.

Since God’s work of creation was truly completed, Adam’s life could begin with rest.

The message of the Gospel is similar.

  • God has completed the work of redemption, and we can do nothing to merit it.
  • By faith, we enter directly into Christ’s finished work.

Jesus Christ has become your rest.

Hebrews 4:9–10 (NKJV) 9There remains therefore a rest for the people of God. 10For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His.

When you are resting in Jesus, you are resting from your own labors.

  • You are resting on His righteousness.
  • You are resting in His victory.

The scripture says that we who have believed do enter into rest.

  • You can enter His rest by faith.
  • Take God’s rest as your rest.
  • Take God’s work as your work.
  • All the sin is defeated.
  • All the victories are won in Christ.
  • The healing is completed in Christ’s finished work.
  • All the blessings are given.

We all need to make this discovery.

Ephesians 1:18–23 (NKJV)

18the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, 19and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power 20which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, 21far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come. 22And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, 23which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.

What God did for Jesus, He is doing for you.

  • God has given you a position of victory in Christ.
  • You need to have this discovery about your new life in Christ.
  • God has provided a place of rest from all those things that have tormented you.
  • He has brought us into the finished work of His Son and He says, “please sit down.”
    • Stop trying to carry that load.
    • Stop trying to work it out.
    • Let Jesus be your righteousness, peace and joy.
    • Let His victory over sin and death be your portion.
    • Let Him be your Savior, Healer, and Deliverer.
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The Ministry of Christ, Part 52 http://www.mdanba.com/2018/01/02/the-ministry-of-christ-part-52/ Tue, 02 Jan 2018 08:00:13 +0000 http://www.mdanba.com/?p=6506

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The place where this prayer of intercession occurred may be difficult to determine. We know that it occurred after they left Jerusalem following the Passover meal. It appears that this prayer may be part of Jesus’ prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane.  Remember that Peter, James, and John were having difficulty staying awake to watch and pray with Jesus.  Matthew, Mark, and Luke recorded Christ’s prayer in the garden. The Lord was in such great agony that His sweat was as great drops of blood. Mathew, Mark, and Luke’s account demonstrate the intensity of the agony Christ was in during this prayer.

  • Jesus’ prayer was broken into three sections.
  • He came to His disciples and found them asleep three times.

There are three sections of the prayer that is in John 17.

John shows the depth of His prayer of intercession.

  1. He prayed for Himself.
  2. He prayed for His disciples.
  3. He prayed for all believers.

Jesus’ intercessory prayer – John 17:1-26

Intercession for Himself – John 17:1-5

See what you can learn by observing Christ Jesus in prayer.

John 17:1–3 (NKJV) 1Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said: “Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You, 2as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him. 3And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.

  • He lifted His eyes to heaven.

Why did He lift His eyes to Heaven?

  • Jesus is interceding in prayer for Himself.
    • He has come to this hour knowing what was ahead of Him.

What hour has come?

  • Jesus is looking ahead to His death, burial, and resurrection.

What does Jesus mean, “glorify your Son?”

  • If Jesus remains in the grave, He would be proven to be a fraud.

How is God’s Son going to glorify the Father? (verse 2-3)

  • One of the fundamental reasons that Jesus came into the world was to do what verse 3 says.
  • “That they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus whom You have sent.”

Who are “they?”

John 17:4–5 (NKJV) 4I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do. 5And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.

What kinds of things did Jesus do that glorified the Father on earth?

What “finished work” is Jesus referring to?

  • The glory that Jesus had before the world was created is beyond what has been revealed.
  • Jesus is ready to return to the unfiltered glory that He had before His incarnation.
  • Nothing in Jesus’ intercession prayer for Himself indicates that He is unprepared or unwilling to finish His assignment.
  • Jesus said, “I have done everything You wanted Me to do.”
  • His assignment was completed.

Intercession for His Disciples – John 17:6-19

John 17:6–7 (NKJV) 6“I have manifested Your name to the men whom You have given Me out of the world. They were Yours, You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word. 7Now they have known that all things which You have given Me are from You.

What does it mean to “manifest Your name”?

  • Jesus perfectly revealed the Father to them.
  • He revealed the Father’s nature, character, and attributes.
  • He did the work and spoke the word of the Father.

John 17:8–9 (NKJV) 8For I have given to them the words which You have given Me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came forth from You; and they have believed that You sent Me. 9“I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for those whom You have given Me, for they are Yours.

  • Jesus told His disciples everything the Father gave Him.
  • The second part of verse 8 is equally important.
  • They have known surely that I came forth from You; and they have believed that You sent Me.
    • They have received His words.

What happened as a result of their receiving His words?

Why did Jesus only pray for those the Father had given Him and not for the world?

  • In other places He prayed for the unbelievers.
  • He came so that the world through Him might be saved.
  • Jesus is praying for those He represents to the Father.

Who are those whom You have given Me?

John 17:10–11 (NKJV) 10And all Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine, and I am glorified in them. 11Now I am no longer in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep through Your name those whom You have given Me, that they may be one as We are.

  • Notice the complete and perfect unity the Son had with the Father.
  • Jesus possessed perfect equality with the Father.

Why is Jesus praying as if He was no longer in the world?

  • Jesus wanted the Father to keep through His name those the Father has given Him.
  • Jesus wants all that the Father has given Him to be as united as He and the Father are.

How can we do that?

John 17:12–13 (NKJV) 12While I was with them in the world, I kept them in Your name. Those whom You gave Me I have kept; and none of them is lost except the son of perdition, that the Scripture might be fulfilled. 13But now I come to You, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have My joy fulfilled in themselves.

  • Notice that Jesus is so connected to the Father in prayer that He is “out of this world.”

How did Jesus keep and guard those the Father gave Him?

  • With what is about to happen, Jesus is concerned about their survival.

John 17:14–19 (NKJV) 14I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 15I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. 16They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 17Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth. 18As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. 19And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth.

Why is the Word of the Father so important for survival?

Intercession for All Believers – John 17:20-26

  • Now Jesus is taking up every believer in His prayer.
  • Jesus is praying for you.
  • Listen carefully to these words.

John 17:20–21 (NKJV) 20“I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; 21that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.

  • Read verse 21 out loud.

Why do we need unity among believers?

Why is it a testimony to the world when we are one?

John 17:22–23 (NKJV) 22And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: 23I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.

  • Jesus is sharing His glory with believers.
  • This glory is recognizable in our fellowship with one another and with the Father and His Son Jesus Christ.
    • Our fellowship with one another and with the Father and Son should be without division.
    • Through the power of the Holy Spirit, believers will experience profound spiritual intimacy with the Father and the Son.

1 John 4:13 (NKJV) 13By this we know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit.

Is there any other way that we will share in the glory of the Father and the Son?

John 17:24 (NKJV) 24“Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.

Where does Jesus want all believers to be?

1 Corinthians 13:12 (NKJV) 12For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.

John 17:25–26 (NKJV) 25O righteous Father! The world has not known You, but I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me. 26And I have declared to them Your name, and will declare it, that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.”

  • This is the ultimate goal that the Lord has for you.
  • He wants everyone that has believed to experience the Father’s love.
    • Jesus wants you to experience the same love of the Father that He experienced.
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“Learn of Me” – “I AM” http://www.mdanba.com/2017/12/30/learn-of-me-i-am/ Sat, 30 Dec 2017 08:00:51 +0000 http://www.mdanba.com/?p=6492

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Matthew 11:29 Amplified “Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am gentle (meek) and humble (lowly) in heart, and you will find rest (relief and ease and refreshment and recreation and blessed quiet) for your souls.”

Jesus said: “Learn of Me,” then He began revealing who He was and what He was like.

  • He said: “I am gentle and humble in heart.”
  • We need to know who Jesus really is.
  • We need to know more than what we read or hear about Jesus.

When John the Baptist introduced Him at the Jordan River, he said Jesus was the Son of God.

  • He saw the Holy Spirit descend on Jesus Christ in the form of a dove.
  • He heard the Father from heaven say: “This is My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.”
  • Everyone had difficulty believing in Jesus.

Jesus’ “I AM” statements help reveal Who He is.

“I AM the bread of life” (John 6:35, 41, 48, 51)

  • He is the bread that supplies life.

“I AM HE” (John 4:26; 8:24, 28; 18:5, 6, 8)

  • He is the Messiah.
  • He is the answer for the world.
  • He is the solution for your difficulty.

“I AM the light of the world” (John 8:12)

  • He gives light to the world.
  • He is the One who exposes sin and provides salvation.

“I AM the door of the sheep” (John 10:7, 9)

  • He protects, shields and provides entrance into God’s blessings.

“I AM the good shepherd” (John 10:11, 14)

  • He is the Lord our Shepherd.
  • The good shepherd lays down His life for His sheep.

“I AM the resurrection and the life” (John 11:25)

  • Anyone who believes in Him receives life.

“I AM the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6)

  • He is the way to the Father.
  • He is the true revelation of the Father.
  • He gives us real life.

“I AM the true vine” (John 15:1, 5)

  • You can have complete confidence and security in Him.
  • He supplies everything that you need.

It is not enough for Jesus to know Who He is.

Jesus asked His disciples what everyone else was saying about Him.

  • Some said He was John the Baptist.
  • Some people thought He was Elijah or Jeremiah.
  • Other people thought He was one of the prophets.
    • It was easier to believe that He was someone from the Old Testament.

Matthew 16:15–17 (NLT) 15Then he asked them, “But who do you say I am?” 16Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” 17Jesus replied, “You are blessed, Simon son of John, because my Father in heaven has revealed this to you. You did not learn this from any human being.”

“Who do you say I am?”

  • Simon Peter said: “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”

How can we learn the truth about Jesus Christ?

  • Jesus said, “You are blessed, Simon son of John, because my Father in heaven has revealed this to you. You did not learn this from any human being.”
  • To discover who Jesus Christ is requires an action from heaven.
  • If you are going to really know Jesus, you need the help of the Holy Spirit.

When the Holy Spirit comes, He will convince people of the truth of who Jesus is.

  • The Holy Spirit will take all of the necessary steps to help you discover and know Jesus Christ in your heart.

We need to know Who Jesus is.

  • Jesus does not fit the mold of other religious leaders.
    • He is different than Moses, Elijah, or John the Baptist.
  • Historical evidence about Jesus is astounding.

His claims to be the Son of God were substantiated with many infallible proofs.

His teachings were ultimate.

      • Everything He said carried the supreme authority of the Father in heaven.
      • He never had to retract or change His word or mind.
      • He never had to apologize for errors or failures.
      • He never had to revise or reconsider.
      • He never had to guess or suppose.
      • He spoke with certainty.

There is no greater certainty than “I AM.”

John 8:58 NKJV Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.”

Jesus possessed the eternal certainty of knowing Who He was.

  • He knew that He was the all powerful and eternal Son of God.
    • He was before Abraham, Moses, Adam and Eve.

While declaring the absolute timelessness of His deity, “I AM”, He said: “for I AM gentle and humble in heart” (Matthew 11:29)

  • He had this timeless position without arrogance or pride.
  • He knew who He was.
  • Since He had this confidence, He was able to declare it with a gentle and humble heart.

Philippians 2:6–7 (NKJV) 6Who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, 7but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men.

  • Although He was in the form of a man, Jesus knew that He was equal with God.

Philippians 2:8-11 (NKJV) And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross 9Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, 10that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

  • Listen carefully to these words.
    • He is equal with God.
    • He has a name that is above every other name.
    • He has been highly exalted by God the Father.

How can you really know who Jesus is?

  • You can know Jesus by experiencing the reality of His redemption, reconciling, and saving grace.
    • Only Jesus can pay the price to clear the debt we owed.
    • Only Jesus can restore us to peace, joy and love with the Father.
    • Only Jesus can.

By grace and mercy, God is making known the inward reality of Christ.

Galatians 4:6–7 (CEV) 6Now that we are His children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts. And his Spirit tells us that God is our Father. 7You are no longer slaves. You are God’s children, and you will be given what he has promised.

  • After Christ returned to the Father in heaven, God sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts.
    • This is God’s work within us.
    • Right now, the Holy Spirit is making the reality of Jesus Christ known in our hearts and lives.
    • Right now, the Holy Spirit is working in you.

What does it really mean to know Jesus Christ?

John 8:31–33 (NKJV) 31Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. 32And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” 33They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s descendants, and have never been in bondage to anyone. How can You say, ‘You will be made free’?”

  • As Jesus spoke, many believed in Him.
  • Then He said, “If you keep on obeying what I have said, the truth will set you free.” (CEV)
  • They did not understand this word “free,” for they had never been a slave.
  • How could they be made free?

John 8:34–36 (NKJV) 34Jesus answered them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. 35And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. 36Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.

  • “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

When you really know Jesus, you are made free.

  • If the Son makes you free, you shall be “free indeed.”
  • Look at those words, “free indeed.”

Knowing Jesus makes you free from the powers of sin.

In John 14, Jesus helped His disciples discover Who He was.

  • This discussion took place in the last week that Jesus was with them.
  • For three years, Jesus showed them Who He was.
    • He showed them His power.
    • He walked on water, released captives, and raised the dead.
    • He healed the multitudes of sick.
    • He fed them and protected them.
    • They saw Him.

John 14:9 (NKJV) 9Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?

How could they not know Him?

“Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time?”

  • You could put your name there.

How could they discover Who Jesus really is?

  • Watching Jesus do miracles was not enough.
    • It is important for believers to see what Jesus does.
    • We need to know that He is a miracle worker.
    • We need to know He heals the sick.
    • We need to know He has power over life.
    • We need to know He can forgive sins.
  • Listening to His teaching was not enough.
    • His words are truth and they are life.
    • His words are filled with the authority of the Father.
  • Walking with Him and eating with Him was not enough.
    • We need to experience the care and supply of the tender Shepherd.
    • Seeing how He lived and died is important.

Something has to happen so that they could really discover Who Jesus is.

John 16:13–14 (NIV84) 13But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on His own; He will speak only what He hears, and He will tell you what is yet to come. 14He will bring glory to Me by taking from what is Mine and making it known to you.

  • When the Holy Spirit comes in, He will guide you into all truth.

How will the Holy Spirit help you discover Christ?

  • The Holy Spirit will take from what belongs to Christ and convey it to us.
  • He helps us discover the authority, wisdom, and power of Christ.
  • He glorifies Christ in everything He does.
  • By working in us and through us, He continually magnifies and glorifies Christ.
  • He is not just giving us lessons about Christ.
  • The Holy Spirit is working Christ’s nature and power into us.
  • Every gift, blessing, and miracle is given to help you discover Christ.
  • Every help, encouragement and work that He does is to bring you into a greater discovery of Jesus Christ.

This discovery of Christ is what makes you a Christian.

  • The discovery is much more than an intellectual pursuit of Christ.
  • It is much more than an emotional feeling about Christ.

It is Christ in you.

  • “Christ in you” is the hope of glory.
  • “Christ in you” is the power of God’s Spirit living and working in you.
  • “Christ in you” changes your nature and destiny.

The Holy Spirit is working in you to cause you to discover “all that Christ is.”

  • He is not satisfied with a mediocre change in your life.
  • The Holy Spirit is changing your old nature into a new nature.
  • He is taking that unloving and bad temperament and making you a new person in Christ.
  • He will not stop until the old is gone and the new has come.

The Holy Spirit is not working on the basis of what you have been over the period of your short life.

    • He is taking from the wealth, power, and victory of Christ and is working that into your life.
  • He is not establishing your faith and victory on the basis of your past works, failures or feelings.
    • He is not leaving you alone to live on the strength of your own goodness.

Have you read the acts of the apostles?

  • By no means had they acquired sinless perfection.
  • They were still involved in the discovery of Christ.
  • They were constantly pressing on to know the Lord in the power of His resurrection.
  • They wanted to be conformed to the image of Christ.

That is where the Holy Spirit comes in.

  • We are not left to practice the Christian life on our own.
    • Jesus promised that the Father would send the Holy Spirit to help you in all of your weaknesses.
  • Where we are weak or in trouble, the Holy Spirit comes in and helps us.
    • He constantly speaks to our inward man.
    • He says, “You are doing very poorly in that.”
    • He says, “Let the power of Christ work in that area.”
    • He says, “You are feeling inadequate, so, let Me give you boldness, strength, and encouragement there.”

The Holy Spirit does not want you to develop a greater reliance and dependence on your own strengths.

  • He says, “Look to Jesus Christ and live.”
  • He says, “There are riches of Christ’s glory and grace for you in that area.”
  • He says, “Here is some rest, peace and deliverance for your situation.”

The Holy Spirit is conforming us into the nature and character of Christ.

  • You will never reach a point in this life where you can dispense with this faith and trust in Christ.
  • The further you go in life the more you will realize that everything is through faith in Jesus Christ.
  • Our confidence is in Him.

Galatians 2:20 NIV I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.

We are still looking unto Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith.

He is the only One who can complete our salvation.

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The Ministry of Christ, Part 51 http://www.mdanba.com/2017/12/27/the-ministry-of-christ-part-51/ Wed, 27 Dec 2017 08:00:23 +0000 http://www.mdanba.com/?p=6480

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As we closed our last session, Jesus was in the Garden of Gethsemane praying.

Peter, James and John were having difficulty staying awake to watch and pray with Jesus.

The Synoptic Gospels, Matthew, Mark and Luke, go from Jesus telling Peter that he will deny Him to the garden.

Sometime after Jesus washed their feet and told Peter he would deny Him, Jesus gave His disciples His final words.

Jesus’ parting words – John 14 – 16

  • This section in John is not part of the Olivet Discourse.
  • Jesus is addressing their troubled hearts and the events that are going to happen.
  • I believe these parting words were spoken to them just before Jesus went into the Garden to pray.
  • Jesus comforts His disciples – John 14:1-4

John 14:1–4 (NKJV) 1“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. 2In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. 4And where I go you know, and the way you know.”

Why do these words bring comfort to believers?

Where was Jesus going?

  • By listening to Thomas, not all of them knew where Jesus was going.

How could they know?

  • Jesus the Way to the Father – John 14:5-14

John 14:6–7 (NKJV) 6Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. 7“If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him.”

  • They did not understand, so, Philip said, “Lord show us the Father.” (John 14:8)

John 14:9-10 (NKJV) 9Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works.

  • If they really knew and understood Him, they would not need to see His works or hear His words.
    • His words and works testified about His relations with the Father.

Why are His words and works important?

Why is believing in Jesus so important?

John 14:12–14 (NKJV) 12“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. 13And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.

  • To prepare all believers for future ministry, Jesus told them what they would do.

How can believers do the works of Jesus and even greater works than what Jesus did?

  • He promises the Holy Spirit – John 14:15-26

John 14:15–16 (NKJV) 15“If you love Me, keep My commandments. 16And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever—

John 14:21 (NKJV) 21He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.”

John 14:23 (NKJV) 23Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.

What is the value of knowing and keeping Christ’s words?

Who is the promise of the Holy Spirit for?

What will the Holy Spirit help them to do and be?

John 14:22 (NKJV) 22Judas (not Iscariot) said to Him, “Lord, how is it that You will manifest Yourself to us, and not to the world?”

  • The promise of the Father is not to the world, but to those who love Jesus and keep His words.

John 14:26 (NKJV) 26But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.

  • Jesus gives His peace – John 14:27-31

John 14:27 (NKJV) 27Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

  • Jesus was telling them that He was going away, and they were troubled.
    • He did not want their faith in Him to be weakened.
    • Then Jesus told them that He would no longer talk much with them. (John 14:30)
    • His betrayal was near at hand.
  • Jesus the True Vine – John 15:1-11
    • The Vine – Branch relationship
  • We have discussed the vine – branch relationship at length in other studies.
    • At this time, Jesus wanted them to know how dependent they were on their relationship with Him.

John 15:5 (NKJV) 5“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.

John 15:7 (NKJV) 7If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.

  • We need to see this and understand the depth of meaning that is involved in this relationship with Jesus.

John 15:10–11 (NKJV) If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. 11“These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.

  • We receive a wealth of comfort, power, peace and joy in keeping His commandments and abiding in His love.
  • Christ’s command, love one another – John 15:12-17

John 15:12 (NKJV) 12This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.

John 15:16–17 (NKJV) 16You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you. 17These things I command you, that you love one another.

  • True fruit in believer’s lives will be revealed when they love one another.
    • The importance of love (Christ’s love) in believers should not be underestimated.
    • Our love for one another produces true Christian fruit.
  • Believer’s relationship with the world – John 15:18-25

John 15:18–19 (NKJV) 18“If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. 19If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.

Why should believers not be “of the world?”

  • The witness of the Holy Spirit – John 15:26-27

John 15:26–27 (NKJV) 26“But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me. 27And you also will bear witness, because you have been with Me from the beginning.

What is the testimony of the Spirit?

What does that mean?

  • The cost of discipleship – John 16:1-16

John 16:1–4 (NKJV) 1“These things I have spoken to you, that you should not be made to stumble. 2They will put you out of the synagogues; yes, the time is coming that whoever kills you will think that he offers God service. 3And these things they will do to you because they have not known the Father nor Me. 4But these things I have told you, that when the time comes, you may remember that I told you of them. “And these things I did not say to you at the beginning, because I was with you.

  • While Jesus was with them, He bore the brunt of the conflict from the religious leaders and the world.
    • They observed how Jesus handled this conflict.
    • When He left them, they would become the point of attention and would face persecution.

How can they survive the cost of discipleship?

John 16:7-15 (NKJV) 7Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. 8And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: 9of sin, because they do not believe in Me; 10of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; 11of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged. 12“I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. 14He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. 15All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you.

Why is the coming of the Holy Spirit so important?

  • Prediction of Christ’s Death and Resurrection – John 16:16-33

John 16:16 (NKJV) 16“A little while, and you will not see Me; and again a little while, and you will see Me, because I go to the Father.”

  • Jesus was talking about His death, burial, resurrection and ascension back to the Father.

John 16:20 (NKJV) 20Most assuredly, I say to you that you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice; and you will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will be turned into joy.

John 16:22 (NKJV) 22Therefore you now have sorrow; but I will see you again and your heart will rejoice, and your joy no one will take from you.

  • After saying this, Jesus again refers to the great change that is about to occur after His return to the Father and when the Holy Spirit comes.
  • Both of these events will give believers in Christ great authority and power.

John 16:23–24 (NKJV) 23“And in that day you will ask Me nothing. Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you. 24Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.

John 16:26–27 (NKJV) 26In that day you will ask in My name, and I do not say to you that I shall pray the Father for you; 27for the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me, and have believed that I came forth from God.

  • Remember that the Lord was preparing them for the hour that was coming.
    • He was about to be betrayed, taken and falsely accused, humiliated, beaten, and crucified.
    • As a result, they would be scattered and would deny Him.

John 16:32–33 (NKJV) 32Indeed the hour is coming, yes, has now come, that you will be scattered, each to his own, and will leave Me alone. And yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me. 33These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

How can they survive?

How can their faith make it through the interval of time between His betrayal and resurrection?

  • John 17 gives us Jesus’ prayer of intercession for Himself, His disciples and for all believers.

 

]]> 6480
The Christmas Story http://www.mdanba.com/2017/12/23/the-christmas-story/ Sat, 23 Dec 2017 08:00:57 +0000 http://www.mdanba.com/?p=6467

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The Gospel is the good news of the Savior.

Isaiah 9:6–7 gives a view of the good news.

Read it out loud.

Isaiah 9:6–7 (NIV) For to us a child is born, to us a Son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the greatness of His government and peace there will be no end.

From the time of Adam, the world was looking for the moment when God would send the Messiah.

  • At God’s appointed time, Christ was born.

What made it the right time for the Savior?

It happened when the world and God’s people were in crisis.

  • 606 years before Christ, God’s people were carried away into Babylonian exile.
    • Their homeland was plundered as punishment for their unfaithfulness to God.
    • They went from sin into slavery and captivity.
    • So many people were taken into captivity that the land was deserted and only the poor remained.
    • The darkness of their captivity was intense.
  • In 445 BC, Nehemiah rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem.
  • The Old Testament closed about 400 years before the birth of Christ.
    • They were dark years for the world.
  • There was no open witness of the presence of God.
    • Israel had no true prophet of God.
    • They practiced the forms and rituals of worship, but God was not there.
    • The radiant glory of God no longer rested on the Ark of the Covenant or in the Holy of Holies.
  • Everyone was watching for the Messiah, the King of Kings.

Throughout those 400 years, the world went through cataclysmic changes.

  • After the fall of the Assyrians, the Babylonians came into power.
    • The world was constantly facing the devastation of wars.
    • The Persian, Greek, Egyptian, Syrian, Maccabean, and Roman Empires followed in succession.
  • Wars were frequent.
  • In one period of 125 years, so many battles occurred that they could not be numbered.
  • The world was charged with fear and uncertainty.
  • The Greek king, Antiochus Epiphanes had polluted and plundered the temple of God.
  • Then the mighty Roman Empire, governed by Augustus Caesar, took control of the world.

The consequences of complacency toward God impacted everyone.

It was a good time for the King of Glory to come.

  • People were anxious for peace, safety, and an answer from heaven.

2 Chronicles 7:13–14 (NKJV) 13When I shut up heaven and there is no rain, or command the locusts to devour the land, or send pestilence among My people, 14if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

In man’s dark hours, God always has a remedy, a REDEMPTIVE PLAN.      

Isaiah 9 is a prophecy of hope and light for people who walked in darkness.

  • The prophecy is about the coming Christ, the Messiah of the world.
  • Isaiah saw a great light.
    • He had a message of hope for the whole world that was crashing in.
    • He saw the dawning of a new and bright day for a dark world.
    • When Jesus the Messiah came, the light would be a blinding reality.
    • A new day of blessing, deliverance, and hope was coming for the land that was in the shadow of death.

When hope was gone, God’s deliverance came.

  • God’s redemptive plan was going to unfold before the world.
  • What happened was not exactly what everyone expected.

It started like this.

An angel of the Lord appeared to Zacharias and proclaimed the birth of John, (Luke 1:10‑17).

  • Elisabeth, his aged wife, would conceive a miracle son.
  • That son would go before the Messiah in the spirit and power of Elijah, (Luke 1:17).
  • The time was at hand for the coming of the Messiah.

About the same time, the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary.

  • She had been chosen to be the mother of the Messiah, (Luke 1:26‑35).

Then an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream.

  • He informed him that Mary his betrothed bride was with child of the Holy Spirit, (Matthew 1:18-24).
  • He would be Immanuel, “God with us.”
  • His name would be “JESUS”, for He will save His people from their sins.

Luke 2:1–7 (NIV84) 1In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2(This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3And everyone went to his own town to register. 4So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

While shepherds attended their flocks at night, an angel of the Lord spoke to them.

Luke 2:10–12 (NIV84) 10But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. 12This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

Suddenly, the night sky was filled with a multitude of angels praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom His favor rests.”

All of heaven was rejoicing.

This is GOOD NEWS.

Luke 2:15–16 (NKJV) 15So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger.

Luke 2:21–24 (NKJV) 21And when eight days were completed for the circumcision of the Child, His name was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before He was conceived in the womb. 22Now when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were completed, they brought Him to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord 23(as it is written in the law of the Lord, “Every male who opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord”), 24and to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the law of the Lord, “A pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.”

When the prophets Simeon and Anna saw the Child, they blessed the Child, and rejoiced that they had seen God’s salvation, and the redemption of His people had come.

  • Then they prophesied of His sorrows.

Matthew 2:1‑12 tells us the wise men saw His star in the east and came to worship Him.

  • But, King Herod tried to kill the child, Matthew 2:13.

Led by an angel of the Lord, Mary and Joseph with the Child fled to Egypt to escape Herod’s wrath, (Matthew 2:13‑15).

Isaiah 9:6–7 (NIV) For to us a child is born, to us a Son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the greatness of His government and peace there will be no end.

  • God the Father did not send a radiant king to sit on a throne.
    • Christ did not come riding a white horse.
    • He did not have shinning robes and crowds of slaves and armies.
    • He did not come with riches and great possessions.
  • Jesus came to an obscure village, to a virgin.
    • He came to a dark and troubled world.
    • He came down to a hopeless generation.
    • He came as a BABY IN A MANGER.
  • He did not come in power, although He possessed the Omnipotent power of God.
  • He did not come in great authority, although legions of angels would obey His slightest command.
  • He did not come in royalty, although He had dwelt with His Father in the glories of heaven.
  • He was not wealthy, although He had all of the riches of heaven at His disposal.
  • He did not come with majesty.
  • He did not come with terrible banners and triumphal entries with kingly honor.
  • He was born in a stable.
  • He was raised as a carpenter’s son.
  • He never owned a house and did not have a place to rest His head.
  • He did not own a horse or a donkey to ride.
  • He walked the dusty roads of Judea.
  • He lived in obscurity and was hated by religious leaders.
  • The only time He had royal robes on His back was when they mocked Him.
  • He died as a thief and an outcast on a cross.
  • He was buried with the rich in a borrowed tomb.
  • He arose from the dead.
  • He ascended to glory.
  • He reigns as King of Kings and Lord omnipotent.

This is the Gospel of Good NEWS

  • He was not accepted by all men.
  • Many refused to listen to His doctrine.
  • They preferred His miracles to what He said.
  • They wanted to eat from His hand, but did not want to listen to His Word.
  • They did not accept Him for what He was.
    • They called Him Beelzebub, the prince of demons.
    • They called Him a liar and a deceiver.
    • He was a friend of gluttons, drunkards, tax collectors, and sinners.
  • Shepherds fell down at His feet and worshiped Him.
  • Herod tried to destroy Him, because he knew what manner of Child this was.
  • Wise men traveled from afar and gave Him gifts.
  • Many followed Him, but others rejected Him and cast Him out.
  • Those who had faith were healed by Him.

Who was this man?

Isaiah tells us He is called WONDERFUL.

  • He came to deliver man from sin.
  • He came that they might have life.
  • He preached the good news to the poor.
  • He is Wonderful because He healed the broken hearted.
  • He is Wonderful because He preached deliverance and released captives.
  • He gave sight of the blind.
  • He gave freedom to the downtrodden.
  • He gave hope to the oppressed.
  • He healed the broken.
  • He declared the acceptable year of the Lord, (Luke 4:18‑19).

He is called COUNSELOR.

  • He has the solution to every problem, care, and concern.

He is the MIGHTY GOD.

  • He arose victorious over hell, death, and the grave.
  • He conquered sin, Satan, and every power of evil.
  • All of the powers of Satan are subject to Him.

He is the EVERLASTING FATHER.

  • His Kingdom and reign shall never end, He is everlasting.
  • He rules in power and might forever.
  • His dominion is from eternity to eternity.

He is the Prince of Peace.

  • He is the Author of peace.
  • He has a kingdom of peace.
  • The most troubled soul can find peace in Him.

Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end.

  • It is established in heaven forever.

He is the man with a crown of thorns and a purple robe.

He is my King.

Isaiah 53:2–3 (NKJV) 2For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, And as a root out of dry ground. He has no form or comeliness; And when we see Him, There is no beauty that we should desire Him. 3He is despised and rejected by men, A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.

This is Jesus.

  • He is God’s gift to all humanity.
  • He is the Light of Life.
  • He is the only man who can give you peace, true joy, and love.
  • He is the reason the angels sang: “Joy to the World …the Lord has come.”
  • He is the only source of peace on earth.

His name is Jesus.

  • He is the One who went to the cross to purchase your salvation.
  • He has come that you may have life more abundantly.

His name is JESUS!

]]> 6467
The Ministry of Christ, Part 50 http://www.mdanba.com/2017/12/20/the-ministry-of-christ-part-50/ Wed, 20 Dec 2017 08:00:37 +0000 http://www.mdanba.com/?p=6458

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Passion Week – Thursday

What will they do with Jesus?

  • During the Passover Meal, Jesus informed them that one of them would betray Him.

Listen to their response.

Matthew 26:20–22 (NKJV) 20When evening had come, He sat down with the twelve. 21Now as they were eating, He said, “Assuredly, I say to you, one of you will betray Me.” 22And they were exceedingly sorrowful, and each of them began to say to Him, “Lord, is it I?”

  • It appears that they all distrust themselves.
  • They are all suspect to failure.
  • Then they try to determine who it would be that would betray Him.

Matthew 26:25 (NKJV) 25Then Judas, who was betraying Him, answered and said, “Rabbi, is it I?” He said to him, “You have said it.”

  • Then Judas being full of the devil, fled from the house into the darkness.

Strife Among the Disciples – Luke 22:24-30

Luke shows a dispute that arose among the disciples after Judas fled from the house.

Luke 22:23–24 (NKJV) 23Then they began to question among themselves, which of them it was who would do this thing. 24Now there was also a dispute among them, as to which of them should be considered the greatest.

What initiated the dispute among them?

  • Even among the faithful, Satan’s entrance brings doubt, question and dispute.

Have you noticed how Satan takes advantage of any opportunity to sow discard among the faithful?

Look at Jesus’ response to their dispute.

Luke 22:25-27 (NKJV) 25And He said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them, and those who exercise authority over them are called ‘benefactors.’ 26But not so among you; on the contrary, he who is greatest among you, let him be as the younger, and he who governs as he who serves. 27For who is greater, he who sits at the table, or he who serves? Is it not he who sits at the table? Yet I am among you as the One who serves.

Why would Jesus be disappointed at their attitude about being the greatest in the kingdom?

(Their attitude and dispute was not godly, but was a result of Satan’s entrance.)

Luke 22:28–30 (NKJV) 28“But you are those who have continued with Me in My trials. 29And I bestow upon you a kingdom, just as My Father bestowed one upon Me, 30that you may eat and drink at My table in My kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”

  • Those in the room with Jesus had continued with Him from the beginning.
    • They had been a part of all of His trials.
  • They all should remember the honor that is going to be bestowed on them.
  • Jesus said, “I bestow upon you a kingdom, just as My Father bestowed one upon Me, that you may eat and drink at My table in My kingdom, and sit on thrones…”
  • They were acting totally out of character.

Washing the Disciples’ Feet – John 13:2-17

As a response to their disputing, Jesus did something that amazed and disturbed them.

  • John 13:2 shows us when this occurred.

John 13:2 (NKJV) 2And supper being ended, the devil having already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray Him,

  • It was usual and customary in Palestine to wash a guest’s feet.
    • It was an insult to guests if the host did not provide water to wash their feet.
      • Usually a guest would wash their own feet.
      • Many people take their shoes off when they enter their home.
    • It was a sign of honor for a host to have a servant wash a guest’s feet.

John 13:3–4 (NKJV) 3Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God, 4rose from supper and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself.

  • Pay attention to that first phrase.
    • “Knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God.”
    • What Jesus was about to do was from the position that He had with the Father.
      • He is acting as an agent of the Father.
      • He is not threatened by stooping down to minister to those below Him.
    • When we know who we are, we know how to act.

John 13:5-9 (NKJV) 5After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded. 6Then He came to Simon Peter. And Peter said to Him, “Lord, are You washing my feet?” 7Jesus answered and said to him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but you will know after this.” 8Peter said to Him, “You shall never wash my feet!” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me.” 9Simon Peter said to Him, “Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head!”

Why did Peter say, “You shall never wash my feet?”

What cleansing is Jesus referring to when He says, “If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me?” (1 John 1:9)

  • 1 John 1:9 – “if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

What things did this foot washing symbolize?

John 13:10–17 (NKJV) 10Jesus said to him, “He who is bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean, but not all of you.” 11For He knew who would betray Him; therefore He said, “You are not all clean.” 12So when He had washed their feet, taken His garments, and sat down again, He said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? 13You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am. 14If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you. 16Most assuredly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him. 17If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.

  • Remember that they were in a dispute over who was the greatest among them.

What does Jesus want His disciples to do? Wash feet? Something else?

Immediately after this, Jesus took them out to the Mount of Olives.

  • This was the Lord’s last trip to the Garden of Gethsemane on the west side of the Mount of Olives.
  • They are not prepared to hear what He is about to say.

Matthew 26:31–32 (NKJV) 31Then Jesus said to them, “All of you will be made to stumble because of Me this night, for it is written: ‘I will strike the Shepherd, And the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’ 32But after I have been raised, I will go before you to Galilee.”

What is the difference between stumbling and betraying?

Matthew 26:33 (NKJV) 33Peter answered and said to Him, “Even if all are made to stumble because of You, I will never be made to stumble.”

Luke 22:31–34 (NKJV) 31And the Lord said, “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. 32But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.”

What was different in Simon Peter and Judas?

Luke 22:33–34 (NKJV) 33But he said to Him, “Lord, I am ready to go with You, both to prison and to death.” 34Then He said, “I tell you, Peter, the rooster shall not crow this day before you will deny three times that you know Me.”

Jesus’ prayers in Gethsemane – Matthew 26:36-46; Mark 14:32-42; Luke 22:40-46

Jesus’ Intercessory prayer – John 17:1-26 is the prayer Jesus prayed just before He was arrested.

Pay close attention to the various events while Jesus is in the Garden of Gethsemane.

  1. Jesus took His disciples to Gethsemane and asked them to sit in a certain place while He went a little further to pray, (Mark 14:32).
    1. He told them to “pray that you may not enter into temptation,” (Luke 22:40).
    2. This is significant after what He just told them.
  2. Then He took Peter, James, and John with Him, and He began to be troubled and deeply distressed, (Matthew 26:37; Mark 14:33).
    1. His soul was exceedingly sorrowful, even to death, (Matthew 26:38; Mark 14:34).
    2. He asked them to “stay here and watch with Me,” (Matthew 26:38; Mark 13:34).
  3. Jesus withdrew about a stone’s throw from the three and knelt down and prayed, (Matthew 26:39; Mark 14:35-36; Luke 22:41-42).
  4. Heaven was at attention to the events in the Garden.
    1. “An angel appeared to Him from heaven, strengthening Him,” (Luke 22:43).
    2. Can you imagine sleeping after seeing an angel with Christ in the garden?
  5. Judas was with the chief priests and elders making final arrangements to betray Jesus, (Matthew 26:47-49; Mark 14:43-52; Luke 22:47-53; John 18:1-11).

The Lord’s prayer in the garden was in three segments.

  • At the end of each segment, Jesus came to Peter, James, and John and found them sleeping.
  • We will look at these segments in two different settings.
    • Matthew, Mark and Luke record a short version of the Lord’s prayer in Gethsemane, (Matthew 26:39-46; Mark 14:35-42; Luke 22:41-46)
    • John records a lengthier prayer of intercession, (John 17:1-26).

Matthew 26:39 (NKJV) 39He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.”

What does “let this cup pass from Me” mean?

  • Jesus was facing extreme physical suffering.
  • The sinless Son of God was taking the load of the sins of the world and facing separation from His Father, (2 Corinthians 5:21; Galatians 3:13; Hebrews 12:2; 1 Peter 2:24)
  • Jesus was taking the brunt of God’s wrath against the entire sin-filled world, (Galatians 3:13).

Matthew 26:40–46 (NKJV) 40Then He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “What! Could you not watch with Me one hour? 41Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” 42Again, a second time, He went away and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if this cup cannot pass away from Me unless I drink it, Your will be done.” 43And He came and found them asleep again, for their eyes were heavy. 44So He left them, went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words. 45Then He came to His disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners. 46Rise, let us be going. See, My betrayer is at hand.”

 

Next week we will look at Jesus’ prayer of intercession.

 

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“Learn from Me” http://www.mdanba.com/2017/12/16/learn-from-me/ Sat, 16 Dec 2017 08:00:15 +0000 http://www.mdanba.com/?p=6441

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Matthew 11:28–29 (NKJV) 28Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

Look at these words “Learn from Me.”

What does the Lord want us to do?

  • He wants us to learn and do what He says.
    • He is taking the position of the Rabbi, Teacher, and Priest.
  • He expects more than the teacher-student relationship.
    • The Lord wants us to spend enough time with Him that we know His words and we experience His person and power.
    • He is calling us to come into His fellowship.
    • Come and sit at His feet.
  • When we respond, we begin learning not only His words, but His heart.

The invitation is to those who labor and are heavy laden.

  • Are you familiar with labor?
    • Some translations use the word “weary.”
    • That is the result of labor.

The word “labor” [κοπιάω] – (kop-ee-ah´-o) means those who are tired from hard toil, feel fatigue, work, labor, or effort.

The word “heavy laden” [φορτίζω] – (for·tid·zo) means to be heavy burdened or loaded down.

It is important to look at what Jesus has been saying to get true understanding.

Matthew 11:27 (NKJV) 27All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father. Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.

  • Jesus is talking about truly knowing God.
    • Learning God and the ways of God had become a heavy load.
    • The oppressive codes and religious load had become hard.
  • There is a new covenant and better access to God.
    • The Lord came for this reason.
    • He wants to take and bear away from us the burden and weariness.
    • The key to this is for us to come and “Learn of Me” or “Learn from Me.”

We are entering the school of Jesus Christ.

  • We must learn Jesus Christ.
    • In the school of the prophets, the students were trained to become teachers of religion.
    • They were schooled in hearing and recognizing the true voice of God and how to minister that word with grace and wisdom.
    • Samuel was the founder of the School of Prophets.
    • Samuel learned the voice of God in the house of Eli, when God spoke to him.

Ephesians 4:20–21 (NKJV) 20But you have not so learned Christ, 21if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus:

Jesus said, “Come… and learn from Me.”

The Apostle Paul, under the direction of the Holy Spirit, made a great distinction when he left out the word “from or of.”

  • Our goal is not just to hear what Jesus says as a teacher, but to learn the Teacher.
  • “Learn Me.”
    • Many people have learned what Jesus said, but they have not learned Christ.
    • We have been called into the fellowship of Jesus Christ, God’s Son.
    • Now, we must learn Him.
  • We are being called by Christ to know come and know Him.

Look at Matthew 11:28-29 again.

After Jesus said, “COME AND LEARN,” His next statement was, “I AM.”

  • That is why we are entering the School of Christ.
    • We need to learn from Him.
    • He is the LESSON and the TEACHER.
    • Our focus is turned on Him.
  • What is Jesus like?
    • What can we learn from careful observation of Him?
    • What can we learn by being in His presence?
    • We need to hear what He says.
    • We need to learn from what He does and who He is.
    • Listen to what Jesus says and see how He handles life.
    • We want to learn and know His character and behavior.
  • Right now, you are in the school of Christ.
    • The Holy Spirit is bringing you into the presence of Jesus.

Do you remember how Elisha came under the ministry of Elijah?

  • Elisha was busy with the business of his farm life.
    • His life’s work was tilling the soil and caring for his cattle.
    • Then Elijah came by and dropped his mantle on his shoulders.
    • From that moment, Elisha was in pursuit of the Spirit and power that was upon Elijah.
    • He was not satisfied until a double portion of the Spirit that was on Elijah fell on him.
    • All during the time that he was constantly learning at the feet of Elijah
    • He was learning.
    • When the Spirit came upon him, he went out in power and did the works of Elijah.

Learning Christ is our goal.

The Apostle Paul gives us some clarity about this.

Galatians 1:15–16 (NKJV) 15But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace, 16to reveal His Son in me, that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately confer with flesh and blood,

He said: Galatians 1:15-16 Amplified “…set me apart [even] before I was born and had called me by His grace” God “saw fit and was pleased to reveal (unveil, disclose) His Son within me…”

Then in 2 Corinthians 12:2–4 (NLT) 2I was caught up to the third heaven fourteen years ago. Whether I was in my body or out of my body, I don’t know—only God knows. 3Yes, only God knows whether I was in my body or outside my body. But I do know 4that I was caught up to paradise and heard things so astounding that they cannot be expressed in words, things no human is allowed to tell.

Then he said: Philippians 3:10 NLT I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead.”

I want to know Christ.

  • That is our goal.
    • We want to be exposed to more and more of Jesus Christ.
    • My soul, mind, and whole being wants to know more and more of Jesus.
    • We want to know the power of His resurrection.
    • We want to know Him and live in Him.
    • We want the same Spirit.
    • We want the same life and resurrection.

Learning Christ cannot be achieved without the active work of the Holy Spirit.

  • We may attempt to learn Christ.
  • We may learn of the various aspects of His character, nature, and teaching.
  • We can study about His works, miracles, and sufferings.
  • We can know His historical and earthly life.

Only the Holy Spirit can properly reveal Christ to us.

  • We desperately need the Holy Spirit’s anointing and help.

John 16:13-15 (NASB95) 13“But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. 14“He will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose it to you. 15“All things that the Father has are Mine; therefore I said that He takes of Mine and will disclose it to you.”

It is not enough to know of the love of God.

  • His love is the greatest love.
    • His love brought us in from the dark.
    • His love accepted us when we were not loveable.
  • We must know more about our Lord.
  • We know of His love, joy, peace, kindness, mercy, grace, faith, righteousness, holiness, goodness.
    • We can talk about it and rejoice in all that we have received.

We need the Holy Spirit to make Christ real and alive in us.

When we started learning Christ, our problem was the weakness of the flesh.

  • We are like His disciples.
    • We have walked with Him, and He has taught us.
    • He has shown us His miracles.
    • We have been blessed by His provision.
    • We have listened to His words.
    • We have been healed by His power.
    • We have been delivered through His authority.
  • We need the Holy Spirit to come and show us Christ.

Revelation 1:10 (NKJV) “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet…”

  • When he turned, he had a revelation of Jesus Christ in all of His power and glory.

Revelation 1:17–18 (NKJV) 17And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. But He laid His right hand on me, saying to me, “Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last. 18I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen.”

  • By the power of the Spirit, John saw Jesus Christ as he had never seen Him.

Jesus was telling His disciples: “Learn from Me… and you will find rest for your souls.” Matthew 11:28-29

  • We need the Holy Spirit’s help.
  • We need the vibrant, vigorous, and animated work of the Holy Spirit, if we are going to learn Christ.
  • We are not searching to learn about His love, grace, mercy, power, peace, joy, kindness, faith.
  • We know much about that.

We need to learn Christ.

  • Learning Christ brings us into His victory, power, and life.
  • Learning Christ affects us on the inside and on the outside.
  • Learning Christ will make His power more real in our lives.
  • Learning Christ affects our outreach to one another and the world.
  • Learning Christ builds us up in this faith.
  • Learning Christ teaches us to trust the Father.
  • Learning Christ shows us the power that overcomes the world.
  • Learning Christ demonstrates His glory, mercy, and grace to others.
  • Learning Christ brings His love, joy, peace, grace, mercy, and power alive in our lives.
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We Have Found Him http://www.mdanba.com/2017/12/14/we-have-found-him/ Thu, 14 Dec 2017 23:30:49 +0000 http://www.mdanba.com/?p=6436

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Matthew 2:1–2 (NKJV) 1Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, 2saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.”

  • For thousands of years, people were looking for the Messiah.
  • All of a sudden, wise men from the East saw His star arise and came looking for Him.
  • After His birth, He was hidden in obscurity.
  • During those years, Jesus was raised in a carpenter’s home.
  • Very little is said about His first thirty years, (Luke 3:23)

While John the Baptist was baptizing in the Jordan, he recognized Jesus, the Lamb of God.

  • After he saw the Spirit descend from heaven like a dove and remain on Jesus, John said: “This is the Son of God.” (John 1:29-34)
  • After that declaration, two of John’s disciples started following Jesus.

John 1:40–45 (NKJV) 40One of the two who heard John speak, and followed Him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. 41He first found his own brother Simon, and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which is translated, the Christ). 42And he brought him to Jesus. Now when Jesus looked at him, He said, “You are Simon the son of Jonah. You shall be called Cephas” (which is translated, A Stone). 43The following day Jesus wanted to go to Galilee, and He found Philip and said to him, “Follow Me.” 44Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. 45Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found Him of whom Moses in the law, and also the prophets, wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.”

What does it mean to find Him?

  • To find Him is to find the Alpha.
    • If you want to find the beginning of all things, you must find Him.
    • He is the Source.
  • To find Him is to find Life.
    • In Him is life.
    • When God created man, He breathed the breath of life into his nostrils.
  • To find Him is to find the way, the truth and the life.
    • Jesus is the only path to the Father.
  • He is the Door.
    • He is the only access to God’s salvation and blessing.
  • To find Him is to find the glory of God.
    • When the disciples saw Him, they beheld His glory, the glory of the only begotten of the Father.
  • To find Him is to find the Maker.
  • To find Him is to find the Mediator.
    • There is no other mediator between God and man but the Man, Jesus Christ.
  • To find Him is to find Salvation.
    • There is no hope of salvation without Jesus.
  • He is the Messiah, the Anointed One, the Christ.
    • He is the One sent from God to bring salvation to man.
  • To find Him is to find the Omega.
    • All things find their conclusion in Him.
    • Everyone will stand before Him and give account.

Isaiah 9:6-7 (NKJV) For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7Of the increase of His government and peace There will be no end, Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, To order it and establish it with judgment and justice From that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.

We have found Him!

When God sent His Son into the world, people were facing the same issues many face today.

  • They were faced with the perplexities and difficulties of sickness, disease, and death.
  • They had family and social issues.
    • Many had separations, divorce, and family problems.
    • They knew the struggle of lost fortunes and friends.
    • They were troubled with the oppression of slavery and bondage.
    • Many experience the chains of servitude.
    • Families knew the pain of their loved ones being carried away to strange lands.
  • They faced the heart break of loss.
    • They experienced the loss of life and property.
    • They lost their dreams and security.
    • They faced loss of health and hope.

Just like you, they needed real solutions to real problems of life.

  • When God sent His Son into the world, their religious systems had failed to give real answers.
    • The Roman and Greek gods and goddesses were powerless.
      • Neither Diana, Artemis, Zeus nor Apollo could help them.
    • The Philistine’s gods could not relieve their distresses.
      • Their gods of wood and stone had no answer.
      • All they gained was greater sorrow and bondage.
    • Their sages or soothsayers brought no relief.
    • None of their wise men or doctors had true answers for their difficulties.
      • Their remedies and therapies were empty.
      • Their stories and riddles could not bring release.

Even the religion of the Jews had become a system of laws and codes without the power of God.

  • They offered numerous sacrifices and offerings that produced no lasting changes.
  • Their ceremony and sacrament continued, but they found no relief.
  • Even God became weary with their sacrifices.
  • Every year they came for atonement.
    • All they got was a judicial reprieve.
    • Guilt and shame lay heavy on their souls.

All humanity needed a Redeemer.

  • They needed One who would offer true relief for their heavy and dark hearts.
    • They could not find Him.
  • They needed someone who could remove their burden, guilt, and shame.
    • No one could help.
  • There was no savior or redeemer for sinful men.

All humanity needed a Savior.

What does it mean to find Him?

Andrew said, “We have found the Messiah.”

  • The Old Testament foretold the Messiah’s coming.
  • The prophets kept the expectations of the Jews alive.
    • They said: “In the fullness of the times, the Messiah would come.”
    • When He would come, life would be better.
    • He would come with blessing and deliverance.
    • He would bring redemption, salvation, and restoration.
    • He would bring reprieve, peace, and hope.

Galatians 4:4–5 (NKJV) 4But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.

Andrew found Him.

Then Peter found Jesus.

Philip met the One that Moses and the prophets wrote about.

Philip told Nathanael, “We have found Him.”

What did they find?

  • They found the Messiah
  • He is called the Christ.
  • He is the One the Angels announced.
    • “Glory to God in the Highest and on earth peace toward men.”
  • He is the One the wise men found.
    • They came to worship Him.
  • John came before Him announcing that He is the One.
  • He is the Christ, the Anointed of the Father.
  • He is Jehovah Jireh, the Lord our provider, John 1:29.
  • He is Jehovah Rapha, the Lord our healer, Matthew 8:16-17.
  • He is Jehovah Mekoddish, the Lord our Sanctifier, Hebrews 10:10-14.
  • He is Jehovah Raah, the Lord my Shepherd.
  • He is the Lord of Hosts, Matthew 26:53
  • He is our Peace, Luke 1:78-79
  • He is the Lord our Shepherd, John 10:11
  • He is Jehovah Tsidkenu, the Lord our Righteousness, 1 Corinthians 1:30.
  • He is El Olam, the everlasting God.
  • He is El Shaddai, the Lord almighty.
  • He is Jehovah Shalom, the Lord is Peace.
  • He is our Savior, Matthew 1:18-25
  • He is Jehovah Shammah, the Lord is there.
  • He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

Andrew said, “We have found the Messiah.”

Have you found Him?

  • He is the One that the Father appointed to break the oppression of sin.
  • He is the One who came to release captives.
  • He is the One who came to remove heavy burdens.
  • He is the One who came to redeem.

Philip said: “We have found Him of whom Moses in the law, and also the prophets, wrote.”

Andrew, Simon Peter, Philip and Nathanael found Him.

Here is the invitation for you today.

  • If you have not found Him…
  • If Jesus Christ is not real in your life…
  • If your life has not been changed by the power and glory of the Messiah…
  • If you are still struggling with guilt, shame, and the bondage of sin…

You must come and see.

  • Come and see what Jesus Christ can do for you.
  • Come and see how He will save your soul.
  • Come and see that He will forgive you.
  • Come and see that He will heal and cleanse.
  • Come and have your heavy burden lifted.
  • Come and He will give you rest.
  • Come and He will baptize you in the Holy Spirit.
  • Come and He will sanctify your soul.
  • Come and He will provide your need.

Jesus saw Philip and Nathanael coming.

  • The Lord already knew what kind of man Nathanael was.
  • He was overwhelmed that Jesus Christ knew.

You need to know this.

  • The Lord already knows everything you have done.
  • He knows all about your past.
  • He knows your life and actions.
  • He knows what you need.

When Nathanael came to Jesus, that was just the beginning.

  • Jesus told him that he would see things he had never seen before.
  • Jesus told Nathanael that heaven would be opened.

If you will openly respond to Jesus Christ, your life will truly change.

  • This is a response to Jesus Christ.
  • If you truly find Him today, you are going to be changed.
  • Your bondage is about to break.
  • Your burden is going to fall away.
  • You are going to find true joy and peace.
  • Your life is going to change.

I want to invite you to come and see.

Come and find Jesus.

 

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The Ministry of Christ, Part 49 http://www.mdanba.com/2017/12/12/the-ministry-of-christ-part-49/ Tue, 12 Dec 2017 08:00:34 +0000 http://www.mdanba.com/?p=6315

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Passion Week – Thursday

The Jews and Judas plot – Matthew 26:1–5, 14-16; Mark 14:1-2,10-11; Luke 22:1-6

Preparation for Passover Matthew 26:17-19; Mark 14:12-16; Luke 22:7-13

The Passover Meal Matthew 26:20; Mark 14:17-18; Luke 22:14-18

Tonight, we will be studying the Lord’s last Passover meal celebration before His death.

  • Jews had this celebration every year in Jerusalem.
  • The Seder (SAY-der) included special foods which symbolized the events of the Exodus from Egypt.
  • For the Jew, Passover is a celebration of their exodus from slavery.
  • For the Christian, Passover is that and much more.
  • It is the celebration of our Lord’s sacrifice and our future resurrection.
  • The Jewish celebration of Passover (Seder) followed a particular order that was called the Haggadah.
  • Haggadah means “telling.”

The Jews and Judas plot – Matthew 26:1–5, 14-16; Mark 14:1-2,10-11; Luke 22:1-6

Matthew 26:1–2 (NKJV) 1Now it came to pass, when Jesus had finished all these sayings, that He said to His disciples, 2“You know that after two days is the Passover, and the Son of Man will be delivered up to be crucified.”

  • This was the last thing that was recorded on Tuesday.
  • After this statement, Jesus had His disciples prepare for the Passover.

Luke 22:1–2 (NKJV) 1Now the Feast of Unleavened Bread drew near, which is called Passover. 2And the chief priests and the scribes sought how they might kill Him, for they feared the people.

  • Matthew tells us this took place in the palace of the high priest.
  • The palace of Caiaphas, the high priest was located southwest of the Temple.
  • Matthew tells us the chief priests, scribes and the elders of the people assembled to plot “to take Jesus by trickery and kill Him.” (Matthew 26:3-4)

Luke 22:3–4 (NKJV) 3Then Satan entered Judas, surnamed Iscariot, who was numbered among the twelve. 4So he went his way and conferred with the chief priests and captains, how he might betray Him to them.

  • This is the first mention of Satan entering into Judas.
  • Judas was first inclined to betray Jesus after Mary anointed Jesus with the costly fragrant oil at Simon’s house.

Luke 22:5–6 (NKJV) 5And they were glad, and agreed to give him money. 6So he promised and sought opportunity to betray Him to them in the absence of the multitude.

  • Matthew says they counted out to him thirty pieces of silver.
  • So, Judas left the Jewish leaders to work out his treachery, looking for an opportunity to betray Jesus.

Mark 14:12-16 (NKJV) 12Now on the first day of Unleavened Bread, when they killed the Passover lamb, His disciples said to Him, “Where do You want us to go and prepare, that You may eat the Passover?” 13And He sent out two of His disciples and said to them, “Go into the city, and a man will meet you carrying a pitcher of water; follow him. 14Wherever he goes in, say to the master of the house, ‘The Teacher says, “Where is the guest room in which I may eat the Passover with My disciples?” ’ 15Then he will show you a large upper room, furnished and prepared; there make ready for us.” 16So His disciples went out, and came into the city, and found it just as He had said to them; and they prepared the Passover.

  • The Lord foreknew the route of the man, the location, the large furnished upper room, and that the man would be willing to allow them to use it.
  • To prepare for the Passover, the disciples had to prepare the unleavened bread and acquire the paschal lamb.
    • The lamb had to be slain by the priests and roasted whole.
    • Thousands of lambs were slaughtered by the priests for the Passover.

The Passover Meal Matthew 26:20–29; Mark 14:17-18; Luke 22:14-18

Luke 22:14–16 (NKJV) 14When the hour had come, He sat down, and the twelve apostles with Him. 15Then He said to them, “With fervent desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; 16for I say to you, I will no longer eat of it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.”

The Passover Meal was opened with the Festival of Lights.

  • Congregation: Blessed art Thou, O Lord our God, King of the universe, who has sent Thy Son, Jesus the Messiah, to be the light of the world and our Lamb, that through Him we might have eternal life. May your light shine on this house, and bring us peace. 
  • LIGHT CANDLE
  • Let us pray…Dear heavenly Father, we give thanks that You loved us so much that You sent Your one and only Son, Jesus, as our Lamb of Sacrifice. You have been gracious through the years and have brought us through much.  As we “sprinkle the blood of Your Lamb upon the doorposts of our hearts,” we pray that you will continue bless us, our children, and our children’s children.  In the name of your precious Son we pray. 

After the festival of lights is the Kiddush.

  • The Passover was begun with an act of sanctification, remembering God our Father as Creator, Giver of rest, and Redeemer.
  • The Kiddush – was a prayer of sanctification over the Shabbat. It was done to remember the spilled blood of the Passover Lamb.

We should rededicate ourselves to God so that our hearts and minds fully realize what we owe to God for His goodness, redeeming power, and for the many ways God has blessed His people.

CONGREGATION:  Blessed be the Lord our God, Who has given us gifts of grace, not through our merits, but only because of His abounding love and mercy, and has called us to proclaim good news of salvation for all who turn to Him.  We thank Him for our deliverance and for showing His love by sending Jesus into the world to save us from sin.”

Then Jesus gave them the first cup of the fruit of the vine.

Luke 22:17–18 (NKJV) 17Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, “Take this and divide it among yourselves; 18for I say to you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.”

Karpas – The Passover feast included the use of a sprig of parsley (karpas).

  • The parsley represented the branch of hyssop which was dipped into the lamb’s blood and applied to the doorpost of their houses in Egypt.
  • Salt water was on the table to represent the tears shed while they were in the bondage of slavery.
  • The parsley was passed around and everyone would dip a piece of it into the salt water and eat it.
  • It reminded them that God in His goodness and mercy brought them out of bondage.

Mark 14:17–18 (NKJV) 17In the evening He came with the twelve. 18Now as they sat and ate, Jesus said, “Assuredly, I say to you, one of you who eats with Me will betray Me.”

This probably took place during the part of the meal that was called the matzah.

John 13:24–27 (NKJV) 24Simon Peter therefore motioned to him to ask who it was of whom He spoke. 25Then, leaning back on Jesus’ breast, he said to Him, “Lord, who is it?” 26Jesus answered, “It is he to whom I shall give a piece of bread when I have dipped it.” And having dipped the bread, He gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon. 27Now after the piece of bread, Satan entered him. Then Jesus said to him, “What you do, do quickly.”

John 13:30 (NKJV) 30Having received the piece of bread, he then went out immediately. And it was night.

After Judas left, Jesus introduced the Lord’s Supper.

Matthew 26:26 (NKJV) 26And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.”

Break the bread and hand out to the people.

Matthew 26:27–29 (NKJV) 27Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. 28For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. 29But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s kingdom.”

  • This was the last cup of the Passover meal.
  • Jesus reserved this cup for the introduction of the new covenant.
  • He said, “My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.”
  • The new covenant that is in His blood was the last part of the Passover, and the introduction of a new hope.
  • The Lord saved the best covenant until last.

Matthew 26:30 (NKJV) 30And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.

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Part 1, Into His Glory http://www.mdanba.com/2017/12/09/part-1-into-his-glory/ Sat, 09 Dec 2017 08:00:46 +0000 http://www.mdanba.com/?p=6308

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 Colossians 3:1–4 (NKJV) 1If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. 2Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. 3For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.

We are interested in sharing in the glory of Christ.

There are two phases of His glory of which the Father has qualified us to be partakers.

  1. The ultimate glory of Christ will be revealed when the redeemed are resurrected into the presence of God in heaven.
  2. There is an immediate glory that is revealed in the life changing power of Christ.

We are familiar with the ultimate glory that awaits the redeemed of the Lord.

  • “When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.”
    • This appearance with Christ will be without the things that have defiled and brought harm.
    • We who have experienced the immediate change have this hope.
    • When Christ appears, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.
    • This entrance into His presence has been the hope that has sustained the household of believers.

The Apostle Paul spoke by the Holy Spirit about this in 2 Corinthians 5.

2 Corinthians 5:2–4 (NKJV) 2For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with our habitation which is from heaven, 3if indeed, having been clothed, we shall not be found naked. 4For we who are in this tent groan, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed, that mortality may be swallowed up by life.

Do you have that earnest desire?

It is difficult to even imagine the glory that awaits us in Christ.

When we experience the immediate and present glory that is revealed in the life-changing power of Christ, we should “set our mind on things above.”

  • This is why we think about heaven.
  • This is why we think about the joy that awaits us.
  • This is why we think about no more sorrow, sighing or dying.
  • This is why we think about robes of white.
  • There will be no more sickness, separation, or crying.
  • Every day, the things of heaven should be on your mind.
  • Every day, you should be thinking about being in the presence of the angels of glory.
  • Every day, you should be thinking about the glory of God around the throne.
  • Set your mind on things above.

How can we be prepared for that ultimate glory and transition?

We must experience the change that occurs when Christ appears in our lives.

What do we know about this immediate glory?

How can we have Christ’s glory in our lives?

Don’t miss the depth of the discovery of Christ that causes this mortality to be swallowed up by life.

  • We cannot afford to miss the victorious life that brings us into the experience of living without condemnation.
  • Have you discovered the life of being clothed?
  • Are you crying out to God to be “further clothed with Christ?”

In Colossians 1:27 it says: “Christ in you, the hope of glory.”

We need to discover the depth of what this life in Christ is like.

  • What does it mean for us?
  • How does it change us?
  • What do we have in Christ that we cannot enjoy without Him?
  • How does Christ in us improve our fellowship with the Father?
  • How does the Holy Spirit help us in this discovery of Christ?
  • What do we look like when we discover the depth of His glory, grace and power?
  • When Christ appears, what is the glory that happens in us?

You can see that the discovery of Christ is much deeper.

  • It probes the depth of the riches of God’s grace, mercy and power.
  • It brings about the changes in us that are necessary for us to dwell in His presence without condemnation.
  • The discovery of Christ brings us into the revelation of the depths of His love.
  • The discovery demonstrates a new fullness of joy that the world cannot comprehend.
  • The discovery of Christ envelopes us in His peace.
  • The discovery of Christ shows us His patience with us.
  • The discovery of Christ reveals His faithfulness, power, and victory.

As we discover Him, the old members of our life must fall under subjection and obedience to Christ.

1 John 5:4–5 (NKJV) 4For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. 5Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?

How can the “old members” of our lives remain?

  • As we discover Christ in all of His glory and power, we will freely lay aside evil passion and desires.
  • We will put off anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, and filthy language out of our mouth.
  • We will not lie to one another, since we have put off the old man with his deeds.

Beloved, you need to discover Christ.

Let the Holy Spirit bring you to Him.

  • Ask the Holy Spirit to show you Christ.
  • Ask Him to take the veil away from your eyes.
  • Ask Him to quicken your understanding that you may know Christ in all of His glory and power.

“When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory,” (Colossians 3:4).

May this be the meditation of your heart and mind this season.

Listen to these words of Jesus:

Matthew 11:28-29 (NIV) “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” 

Do you want to discover Him?

  • He will take you into His own realm of glory right now.
  • The discovery will remove the weariness and burden.
  • The discovery will bring you into His glory.

 

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Why Christmas? http://www.mdanba.com/2017/12/09/why-christmas/ Sat, 09 Dec 2017 08:00:38 +0000 http://www.mdanba.com/?p=6299

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To truly understand the reason for Christmas, we must take a look at what happened in the beginning.

Thousands of years ago, God began creating.

Genesis gives the account of God’s creation.

Genesis 1:1–3 (NKJV) 1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. 3 Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light….

On the sixth day of creation, God made man.

Genesis 1:26 (NKJV) Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

Genesis 1:27 (NKJV) So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.

Genesis 1:28 (NKJV) Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

Genesis 1:31 (NKJV) Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

  • When God was finished creating, everything was very good.
  • To crown His creation, God made man in His own image and likeness.
    • We were wonderfully made and blessed by God.

Have you ever thought what it looks like to be made in the image of God?

  • We were made to be loving, kind and compassionate.
  • We were made to be righteous, good and true.
  • We were made strong, creative, and thoughtful.
  • We were made to fellowship with the eternal God.

Everything that we yearn for are the things we were made for.

  • It is amazing that we are moving away from God in search of what can be found only in Him.
    • We look for meaning and purpose.
    • We look for hope and fulfilment.
    • It cannot be found in the ashtrays of the world.

Adam and Eve bathed daily in what we thirst for.

  • In the morning, the sun gently kissed them awake with another perfect day.
    • There were no storms or cloudy days.
    • There was no cold or scorching heat.
      • It is hard for us to imagine a perfect day.
    • The garden was rich in every pure blossom imaginable.
      • The scent was intoxicating.
    • The best food was laid before them.
      • All they desired promoted health and strength to their bodies.
    • Crystal clear waters were abundant to both drink and bathe in.
    • All of the animals watch with amazement at the man and woman that God placed over them.

To crown their days, God Almighty came down and walked and talked with them in the cool of the day.

  • His presence poured life into their souls.
  • His words wove unspeakable images in their hearts.
  • They were known by God, face to face.
  • There were no secrets, shame, sorrows, or tears.
  • There was no loneliness or brokenness.
  • Their moments and days were rich with joy, peace and love.

God loved them with an everlasting love.

David stood in awe of this.

He said, “When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have ordained, What is man that You are mindful of him, And the son of man that You visit him?” (Psalm 8:3-4)

We live in a world that looks with awe at very little.

Think about this for a moment.

The God of the universe has chosen man.

  • God wants you to know Him.

Can you even begin to understand the significance of that statement?

  • God wants to have fellowship with YOU!!!
  • He wants to bring you near to His holy presence.

Why Christmas?

  • To wound God and destroy His prized creation, Satan and the fallen angels decided to try to corrupt and beguile God’s new creation.
  • Satan came to Eve and Adam to tempt them to disobey God.
    • At that very moment, when they ate the forbidden fruit, suddenly everything changed.
    • Suddenly they were arguing bitterly.
    • They began accusing each other.
    • They blamed others for their weaknesses.
    • Suddenly they were trying to cover themselves with fig leaves.
    • Hiding in the bushes, they were overwhelmed by guilt and shame.
    • Suddenly, life was hard.
    • Suddenly, there was pain.
    • Suddenly, death began to reign.

How could they ever come back into fellowship with God?

Why would God consider sending His Son into a sin darkened world?

  • Didn’t God know what they did?
  • Didn’t He see the bitterness in their souls?
  • Didn’t He see the stain and corruption of sin?
  • Didn’t He know their guilt and shame?
  • Didn’t He know how far they had fallen from Him?
  • Didn’t He see how wicked they had become?

When you consider the condition of things, it is hard to imagine why God would send His Son.

Why Christmas?

Why would God send His one and only Son to earth?

If you want to find the real reason for Christmas read John 3:16.

John 3:16–17 (NKJV) 16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

Christmas is an expression of God’s love for man.

  • It grieved and wounded the heart of God when Adam and Eve disobeyed.
    • Sin always has that impact on God.
    • God is grieved when anyone of Adam’s race sins.
  • It is hard to imagine how their sin affected God.
    • Sin brought the curse.
    • Sin brought sickness and death.
    • Sin brought pain and hardship.
    • Everything felt the power of God’s curse.
  • All creation was suffering by their choice.

In Genesis 3:21, God took pity on them.

  • Those who were made in His image and likeness were broken and soiled.
  • They were naked and ashamed.

So, God wrapped them with a covering.

Why is there a Christmas?

  • Human beings are still suffering with shame and weakness.
  • We still needing a covering.

So, God sent His one and only Son into the world to cover us with His righteousness.

  • He didn’t just send Him to a manger in Bethlehem.
  • God Himself, holy, perfect, spotless, stepped in to take that sin upon Himself.

Romans 5:6 (NLT) When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners.

Romans 5:8 (NKJV) But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

2 Corinthians 5:21 (NKJV) For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

Why is there a Christmas?

Let me sum it up in these words:

  • For God so loved.
  • God loved you.
  • God still loves you.
  • He is still willing to cover you with His love through the sacrifice of His Son.

 

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The Ministry of Christ, Part 48 http://www.mdanba.com/2017/12/05/the-ministry-of-christ-part-48/ Tue, 05 Dec 2017 08:00:26 +0000 http://www.mdanba.com/?p=6293

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Passion Week – Tuesday/Wednesday

Jesus had been meeting with the people in the Temple grounds.

  • Daily He came to Jerusalem from Bethany and spoke openly to them.
  • Since they had rejected Him and did not believe, Jesus pronounced judgment on them, turned and went away.
  • Jesus ended His dialogue by warning them their house was left to them desolate, (Matthew 23:37-39).

The next two chapters are called the Olivet discourse.

Matthew 24:1–3 (NKJV) 1Then Jesus went out and departed from the temple, and His disciples came up to show Him the buildings of the temple. 2And Jesus said to them, “Do you not see all these things? Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down.” 3Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”

Jesus gave several prophecies about coming events in Matthew 24-25, Mark 13, and Luke 21:5-36.

These events refer to things that will happen after His death, burial and resurrection.

  • Temple Destroyed, Matthew 24:1-3; Mark 13:1-4; Luke 21:5-7.
  • Tribulation, Matthew 24:4-26; Mark 13:5-23; Luke 21:5-24.
  • Second Coming of Christ, Matthew 24:29-31; Mark 13:24-27; Luke 21:25-28.
  • Parable of the Fig Tree, Matthew 24:32-35; Mark 13:28-31; Luke 21:29-33.
  • Warning to be Watchful, Matthew 24:36-51; Mark 13:32-37; Luke 21:34-36.
  • Ten Virgins, Matthew 25:1-13.
  • Ten Talents, Matthew 25:14-30.
  • Judgment Day, Matthew 25:31-46.

Jesus’ prophecy about the coming judgment is revealed in three phases.

  1. The destruction of Jerusalem
  • Solomon’s temple was destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 BC.
  • The second temple was built under the leadership of Zerubbabel and Joshua, Haggai 1:1.
  • Their work was completed in 516 B.C
  • The second temple was renovated by Herod the Great in 20 B.C. but was not completed until A.D. 64.
  • Six years later in fulfilment to the Lord’s prophecy, in 70 A.D. the temple was completely destroyed by the Romans.
    • The destruction left no signs of the location of the temple.
  1. Prevailing conditions until the end, Matthew 24:4-14.
  • Jesus’ prophecy describes religious, political, and social troubles that will prevail until the end.
  • Clues to this are in verses 6, 8, and 14.

Matthew 24:4–14 (NKJV) 4And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. 5For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. 6And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 7For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. 8All these are the beginning of sorrows. 9“Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. 10And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. 11Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. 12And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. 13But he who endures to the end shall be saved. 14And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.

  • Verse 13 is key to all of us.

What does it mean, “he who endures to the end shall be saved?”

It is important for us to remember that these signs refer to events that will happen during the church age.

  • As the day of the Lord approaches, we will see an increase of these signs.
  1. The tribulation and coming of Jesus at the end of the world, Matthew 24:15–51.

Many prophecies have dual interpretations or relate to more than one event.

  • The abomination of desolation of Matthew 24:15 most perfectly relates to the conditions in the end when Jesus Christ returns.
  • Some relate the actions of Antiochus Epiphanes 168 B.C. to Daniel’s prophecy of the abomination of desolation, (Daniel 9:27).
    • His abominations included setting up a heathen altar and cutting off true worship of God.
  • The abomination of desolation has also been related to events in 70 A.D. when the temple was destroyed by the Romans.

Matthew 24:15–20 (NKJV) 15“Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place” (whoever reads, let him understand), 16“then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17Let him who is on the housetop not go down to take anything out of his house. 18And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes. 19But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! 20And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath.

  • Christians that listened to Jesus’ warning fled to Pella, near the Sea of Galilee.
  • Josephus witnessed the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70.
    • He said over one million Jews died in one day.
  • The greater fulfilment of Christ’s prophecy relates to the tribulation of the end time.
    • For this to be fulfilled in the end, the temple will have to be rebuilt in Jerusalem, and Jews will once again enter into temple worship.

Matthew 24:21–26 (NKJV) 21For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. 22And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened. 23“Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There!’ do not believe it. 24For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 25See, I have told you beforehand. 26“Therefore if they say to you, ‘Look, He is in the desert!’ do not go out; or ‘Look, He is in the inner rooms!’ do not believe it.

Second Coming of Christ, Matthew 24:29-31; Mark 13:24-27; Luke 21:25-28.

The Lord Jesus Christ is coming back to earth.

Matthew 24:27 (NKJV) 27For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.

For every reference to Christ coming to earth to live and die on the cross, there are over twenty references to His second coming.

  • He is coming again as a crowned King who will rule with a rod of iron.
  • We read and study much about His being wounded and bruised for our iniquities and having stripes for our healing.
  • There are at least twenty more references to Him coming with a crown, honored and worshiped.
  • One out of thirty verses in the New Testament refer to the second coming of Christ.
  • This is why it is so important for believers to have a good understanding of the second coming of Christ.

Hebrews 9:28 (NKJV) 28So Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.

Acts 1:11 (NKJV) “This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.”

After Jesus prophesied about His second coming, He gave warnings and signs of the times.

 

Parable of the Fig Tree, Matthew 24:32-35; Mark 13:28-31; Luke 21:29-33.

In the parable of the fig tree, Jesus said you know when the fig tree puts on leaves that summer is near.

Matthew 24:33 (NKJV) 33So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near—at the doors!

Warning to be Watchful, Matthew 24:36-51; Mark 13:32-37; Luke 21:34-36.

Matthew 24:36–37 (NKJV) 36“But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only. 37But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.

Matthew 24:38–39 (NKJV) 38For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, 39and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.

  • Within this warning to be watchful, Jesus gave the illustration of two servants, Matthew 24:45-51; Luke 12:41-48.
    • Jesus said the master will come on a day when the servant is not looking for him and in an hour that he is not aware of.

Ten Virgins, Matthew 25:1-13.

In the parable of ten virgins, Jesus taught about the need to be prepared for His return.

  • The wedding procession is to be a joyful event.
  • Five virgins are prepared for an unexpected delay.
  • Five were foolish to be unprepared.

What does Jesus mean, “but while the bridegroom was delayed?”
Matthew 25:6–8 (NKJV)
6“And at midnight a cry was heard: ‘Behold, the bridegroom is coming; go out to meet him!’ 7Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps. 8And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’

What is the oil for their lamps?

Ten Talents, Matthew 25:14-30.

We have looked at a similar parable in Luke 19:11-27.

Matthew 25:14–15 (NKJV) 14“For the kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far country, who called his own servants and delivered his goods to them. 15And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his own ability; and immediately he went on a journey.

  • It is noteworthy that the master did not give them more than they were willing or able to handle.
  • However, with each one he expected the same kind of response.
  • The Lord does not expect the person with one talent to yield the same result as the person with five.
  • He does expect faithfulness to do what we can.

Is God unjust to require faithfulness and obedience?

Judgment Day, Matthew 25:31-46.

Matthew 25:31 (NKJV) 31“When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory.

  • On the day of judgment, the Lord will separate those who are prepared for His kingdom from those who are not prepared.

Matthew 25:34 (NKJV) 34Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:

Matthew 25:41 (NKJV) 41“Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels:

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The Ministry of Christ, Part 47 http://www.mdanba.com/2017/11/28/the-ministry-of-christ-part-47/ Tue, 28 Nov 2017 08:00:15 +0000 http://www.mdanba.com/?p=6288

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Passion Week – Tuesday

The Sadducees had just questioned Jesus about the resurrection.

When the Pharisees saw that they did not have success, they approached Jesus with a question about the commandments.

Remember, they felt they were the authority on the Law of Moses.

The Widow’s Mite – Mark 12:41-44; Luke 21:1-4

Mark 12:41 (NKJV) 41Now Jesus sat opposite the treasury and saw how the people put money into the treasury. And many who were rich put in much.

  • The treasury was inside the Women’s court in the Temple compound.
  • These brazen chests were called trumpets because of the appearance of their openings.
  • This story is referring to one of thirteen money chests into which gifts were placed.
  • Nine chests were for temple tax, sacrifice-tribute, and gifts of money in place of sacrifices.
  • Four chests were for freewill offerings for wood, incense, decorations and burnt offerings.

Mark 12:42 (NKJV) 42Then one poor widow came and threw in two mites, which make a quadrans.

  • A mite was a small copper coin.
  • A mite was worth less than a fourth of a penny.
  • A quadrans was a copper Roman coin that had a value of 3/8 a penny.

Mark 12:43–44 (NKJV) 43So He called His disciples to Himself and said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all those who have given to the treasury; 44for they all put in out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all that she had, her whole livelihood.”

Does God pay attention to the percentages of our giving? Why or why not are percentages important?

Matthew 6:3–4 (NKJV) 3But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly.

How should we give?

2 Corinthians 9:6–7 (NKJV) 6But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. 7So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.

Jesus predicts His death – John 12:20-36

  • Jesus was still in the Temple when this group of Greeks came to see Him.

John 12:20–22 (NKJV) 20Now there were certain Greeks among those who came up to worship at the feast. 21Then they came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida of Galilee, and asked him, saying, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” 22Philip came and told Andrew, and in turn Andrew and Philip told Jesus.

  • These Greeks represent certain Gentiles who had converted to Judaism.
  • By coming to Jerusalem to worship at the feast, they demonstrated that they had embraced the Jewish religion.
  • They are in Jerusalem for the feast of Passover.
  • This section represents the introduction of salvation coming to the Gentiles.

As soon as they came, Jesus indicated that the hour had come for Him to die and be raised from the dead.

Before we go into this dialogue, remember that Jesus is speaking to these Greeks and to His disciples.

John 12:23 (NKJV) But Jesus answered them, saying, “The hour has come that the Son of Man should be glorified.”

  • Prior to this, the Lord told them that His hour had not yet come.
  • All of a sudden, the hour has come for Jesus to be glorified.
    • “Glorified” refers to His death and resurrection.

From this time forward, Jesus knows that His hour has come.

John 12:24 (NKJV) Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain.

  • Jesus is primarily speaking of Himself.
  • Unless He dies and is buried, new life is not possible.
  • His death and resurrection make eternal life possible.

John 12:25–26 (NKJV) 25He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor.

  • These two verses refer to Jesus and all who hear these words.
  • Two views of life are referred to in this text.
    1. This present life with its temporary pleasures
    2. Eternal life
  • Everyone must develop personal priorities in life.
    • People with correct priorities put God first.

What does it mean to “love one’s life?”

What does “if anyone serves Me, let him follow Me” mean?

What is the reward of that kind of life?

Jesus models for us living with correct priorities.

John 12:27 (NKJV) “Now My soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save Me from this hour’? But for this purpose I came to this hour.”

  • This verse shows the agony that the Lord was already in over His impending death.
  • This demonstrates the human struggle that the Lord had with walking in obedience to the Father.
  • “Troubled” indicates acute distress or agitation.
  • Before Gethsemane, Jesus was feeling the distress and agony of the cross.
  • He is determined to follow God’s eternal will and plan, even though it required great suffering and death.

John 12:28–29 (NKJV) 28Father, glorify Your name.” Then a voice came from heaven, saying, “I have both glorified it and will glorify it again.” 29Therefore the people who stood by and heard it said that it had thundered. Others said, “An angel has spoken to Him.”

  • By saying “Father, glorify Your name”, Jesus is offering Himself fully to the Father.

How had the Father’s name been glorified by Jesus?

John 12:30–32 (NKJV) 30Jesus answered and said, “This voice did not come because of Me, but for your sake. 31Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out. 32And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself.”

  • Jesus did not need encouragement to persevere in doing the Father’s will.
  • This voice was for their sake.

Why did they need to hear “this voice?”

  • Jesus is prophesying the destruction of Satan and his kingdom.
  • Satan’s power, the power of sin, is about to be broken.
  • “Now” refers to the cross.

John 12:32–33 (NKJV) “And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself.” 33This He said, signifying by what death He would die.

John 3:14 (NKJV) And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up.

John 12:34 (NKJV) 34The people answered Him, “We have heard from the law that the Christ remains forever; and how can You say, ‘The Son of Man must be lifted up’? Who is this Son of Man?”

  • Isaiah 9:7 prophesied that “of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, to order and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of Host will perform this.”
  • They could see the Christ that was eternal.

Who is the Son of Man that must be lifted up?

John 12:35–36 (NKJV) 35Then Jesus said to them, “A little while longer the light is with you. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you; he who walks in darkness does not know where he is going. 36While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light.” These things Jesus spoke, and departed, and was hidden from them.

Discourse on Unbelief – John 12:37-50

John 12:37–38 (NKJV) 37But although He had done so many signs before them, they did not believe in Him, 38that the word of Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spoke: “Lord, who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?”

  • What Jesus did before them should have been enough to convince them that He was the Son of God.
  • There are consequences for not believing what God revealed to them.
  • It is interesting that they could quote the prophets about the eternal nature of the Christ and miss the prophecies about His suffering.

John 12:39–41 (NKJV) 39Therefore they could not believe, because Isaiah said again: 40“He has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts, Lest they should see with their eyes, Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, So that I should heal them.” 41These things Isaiah said when he saw His glory and spoke of Him.

Why would God blind their eyes and harden their hearts?

What does God expect of them and us?

John 12:42–43 (NKJV) 42Nevertheless even among the rulers many believed in Him, but because of the Pharisees they did not confess Him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue; 43for they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.

  • Their actions brought their own condemnation.

John 12:44–50 (NKJV) 44Then Jesus cried out and said, “He who believes in Me, believes not in Me but in Him who sent Me. 45And he who sees Me sees Him who sent Me. 46I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in Me should not abide in darkness. 47And if anyone hears My words and does not believe, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. 48He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him—the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day. 49For I have not spoken on My own authority; but the Father who sent Me gave Me a command, what I should say and what I should speak. 50And I know that His command is everlasting life. Therefore, whatever I speak, just as the Father has told Me, so I speak.”

  • If anyone rejects the word and works of Christ, they are rejecting the Father who gave Him command.
  • The result of that rejection is the loss of everlasting life.
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My Confession Under God’s Shadow http://www.mdanba.com/2017/11/18/my-confession-under-gods-shadow/ Sat, 18 Nov 2017 08:00:52 +0000 http://www.mdanba.com/?p=6279

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Psalms 91:1-2

There is a certain place of safety and rest that is a refuge, fortress, and place of trust.

  • Abraham’s descendants found this place during their wilderness wonderings.
  • Moses said they would not go forward without the covering of God’s presence.
  • David must have found this shelter under the shadow of the Almighty.
  • Listen to his description of this secret place.

Psalm 91:1–2 (NKJV) 1He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. 2I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.”

David had many confessions about the Lord Most High.

  • He said, “the Lord is my Shepherd.”
  • He is my “refuge and my fortress.”
  • He is my “rock and my deliverer.”
  • He said, “You will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.”
  • He is my “light and my salvation.”
  • He is my “sword and shield.”
  • He is the “strength of my life.”
  • He said, “You will hide me and keep me safe.”
  • He is my “helper.”
  • He is my “song.”
  • He is my “God.”

The confession of your mouth will help you in the times of your troubles and distresses.

  • Out of David’s mouth came words of confidence and trust in God Almighty.

Today let’s take these three confessions from Psalms 91:2.

First, “I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge.”

  • A refuge is a place of protection and safety from danger or trouble.

Where is this refuge?

The Old Testament talks about the place of safety.

  • Noah was in the ark of safety.
  • Under the pillar of fire and the pillar of cloud, Israel was safe.
  • David said, “He will hide me in the shelter of His tabernacle and set me high upon a rock.” Psalms 32:7

In the recent hurricanes and floods, many people searched for a place of refuge.

  • Some climbed on top of their car to get out of the flood.
  • Some got on top of their home.
  • Many found their place of refuge was not able to protect them in the storm.

When God is your refuge, you are in a place of safety.

Second, “I will say of the Lord, He is my fortress.”

  • A fortress is not only a place of safety, it is a place of defense.
  • This has been a constant confession and declaration of God’s people.
    • They knew their enemies were too great if God did not fight their battles.
    • They knew their strength would fail them.
    • They knew they were too few in number and were too weak.

What is a fortress?

  • A fortress is a high tower that stands above my troubles.
  • It is a rock of defense that keeps standing through the ages.
  • It is a shelter that can withstand the storm.
  • It is a strong place that cannot be moved.
  • It is a place under the shadow of the Almighty.

Isaiah said, God covered His people with the shadow of His hand. (Isaiah 51:16)

David said this place is where God preserves His people in Psalms 144.

Psalm 144:1–2 (NKJV) 1Blessed be the Lord my Rock, Who trains my hands for war, And my fingers for battle— 2My lovingkindness and my fortress, My high tower and my deliverer, My shield and the One in whom I take refuge, Who subdues my people under me.

Third, “I will say of the Lord, in Him I will trust.”

  • This confession will calm your soul when the enemy comes in.
  • You can say this about the Lord.

Psalm 20:7-8 (NKJV) 7Some trust in chariots, and some in horses; But we will remember the name of the Lord our God. My heart trusted in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart greatly rejoices, and with my song I will praise Him.

  • This trust sinks way down in your heart and soul.
  • I am helped.

Psalm 32:10 (NKJV) He who trusts in the Lord, mercy shall surround him.

  • This confession of trust carries with it many benefits.
  • His mercy surrounds me.

2 Samuel 22:31 (NKJV) 31As for God, His way is perfect; The word of the Lord is proven; He is a shield to all who trust in Him.

  • Stop and think about what God has said to you.
  • Since He is a tried and proven, God you can trust in His shield.

Psalm 37:3–4 (NKJV) 3Trust in the Lord, and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. 4Delight yourself also in the Lord, And He shall give you the desires of your heart.

  • Do you hear what He is saying?
  • You can feed on God’s faithfulness.
  • Even when the enemy encamps around you, the Lord keeps on sustaining you.
  • This is why we delight in the Lord.
  • When you delight in Him, your desires are satisfied.

Psalm 37:5–6 (NKJV) 5Commit your way to the Lord, Trust also in Him, And He shall bring it to pass. 6He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light, And your justice as the noonday.

What is the confession of your mouth?

  • The Bible tells us that “out of the abundance of your heart your mouth speaks.”
    • You cannot truly confess this unless your heart is fixed on God.
    • I know what God is and what He has done for me, therefore I will say this of the Lord.
  • When you settled down under His shadow, out of the overflow of His blessings you will say these things of the Lord.

You need to keep on reminding yourself about the faithfulness of the Lord your God.

  • He is almighty and eternal.
  • He knows all things and can do all things.
  • He is above all, over all, and He upholds all things.
  • He has all power, all wisdom, and all knowledge.
  • He has never learned or forgotten, for He knows all.
  • He has never missed an appointment, for He is always there.

The key to all of these blessings is to keep on trusting God and settle down and dwell under His shadow.

  • There is virtue in staying in place with God.
  • Don’t move from this place of safety and refuge.
  • God wants you to dwell in this blessing place.
  • He wants you to rest in His faithfulness.

When you start saying this about God and confess all that He has done for you, thanksgiving will flow out of your mouth.

  • It is a natural process for God’s people to offer thanks for all that the Lord has done.
  • We could praise Him for eternity for all of His benefits.

Psalm 103:1–17 (NKJV) 1Bless the Lord, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name! 2Bless the Lord, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits: 3Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases, 4Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies, 5Who satisfies your mouth with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. 6The Lord executes righteousness And justice for all who are oppressed. 8The Lord is merciful and gracious, Slow to anger, and abounding in mercy. 10He has not dealt with us according to our sins, Nor punished us according to our iniquities. 11For as the heavens are high above the earth, So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him; 12As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us. 13As a father pities his children, So the Lord pities those who fear Him. 14For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust. 15As for man, his days are like grass; As a flower of the field, so he flourishes. 16For the wind passes over it, and it is gone, And its place remembers it no more. 17But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him, And His righteousness to children’s children,

Do you see why we have such a strong confession?

  • From deep in your heart and soul start lifting up praise and thanksgiving to the Lord your God.
  • Give God your highest praise.
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The Ministry of Christ, Part 46 http://www.mdanba.com/2017/11/15/the-ministry-of-christ-part-46/ Wed, 15 Nov 2017 21:35:07 +0000 http://www.mdanba.com/?p=6273

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Passion Week – Tuesday

The Sadducees had just questioned Jesus about the resurrection.

When the Pharisees saw that they did not have success, they approached Jesus with a question about the commandments.

Remember, they felt they were the authority on the Law of Moses.

The Great Commandment – Matthew 22:34-40; Mark 12:28-34

Matthew 22:34–36 (NKJV) 34But when the Pharisees heard that He had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. 35Then one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, and saying, 36“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?”

  • Mark tells us this lawyer was a scribe.
    • The lawyers were the scribes of the Pharisees.
    • They considered that they were the most conservative students of the Law of Moses.
    • They tried to shape the religious life of the Jews through their traditions.
    • Since they thought they were the custodians of the Law of Moses, they felt they had the right and duty to question Jesus.

Which is the great commandment in the law?

Jesus answered by quoting the Jewish confession of faith called the Shema.

  • It is called the shema because it begins with the Hebrew word “hear” – [shema].
  • The “shema” is found in Deuteronomy 6:4-5.

Deuteronomy 6:4–5 (NKJV) 4“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one! 5You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.

  • The blessing for obeying this command is found in Deuteronomy 11:13-21.

Mark 12:29–31 (NKJV) 29Jesus answered him, “The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. 31And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”

  • In Matthew, Jesus said: “On these two commandments all the Law and the Prophets are based.”
    • If anyone could perfectly love God and their neighbor they would fulfill all of the requirements of the Law and Prophets.

Why is love the sum of all moral obligations? Why are the Law and Prophets based on love?

  • The first commandment summarizes the first four ten commandments that give man’s relationship to God.
  • The second gives the essence of commandments five through ten, which teach how to love one’s neighbor.

Mark 12:32–33 (NKJV) 32So the scribe said to Him, “Well said, Teacher. You have spoken the truth, for there is one God, and there is no other but He. 33And to love Him with all the heart, with all the understanding, with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbor as oneself, is more than all the whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.”

  • Notice that the scribe said that love to God and one’s neighbor is more important than religious ceremonies.
    • He knew the value of love.
  • Public display of piety (religiousness) without inward personal holiness is useless.
  • God looks on the heart.
    • When the inward man is right with God, outward actions will please God.

Mark 12:34 (NKJV) 34Now when Jesus saw that he answered wisely, He said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” But after that no one dared question Him.

  • You are not far from the kingdom of God.
    • He was near but not in.

How is it possible to be near but not in?

When the Pharisees dared not ask another question, Jesus asked them a question.

Whose Son is Jesus? – Matthew 22:41-46; Mark 12:35-37; Luke 20:41-44

Matthew 22:41–42 (NKJV) 41While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, 42saying, “What do you think about the Christ? Whose Son is He?” They said to Him, “The Son of David.”

  • The “Son of David” is a Messianic name that is associated with Jesus’ miracles and healings.

Why is Christ considered to be the Son of David?

How can Jesus the Christ be the Son of David and the Son of God? (Read Jeremiah 23:5-6 for help.)

Jeremiah 23:5–6 (NKJV) 5“Behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord, “That I will raise to David a Branch of righteousness; A King shall reign and prosper, And execute judgment and righteousness in the earth. 6In His days Judah will be saved, And Israel will dwell safely; Now this is His name by which He will be called: THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS

Matthew 22:43–45 (NKJV) 43He said to them, “How then does David in the Spirit call Him ‘Lord,’ saying: 44‘The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at My right hand, Till I make Your enemies Your footstool” ’? 45If David then calls Him ‘Lord,’ how is He his Son?”

  • If they answered this question, they would have to understand the virgin birth and accept Jesus as the Christ.
  • If the Pharisees would have accepted Jesus as the Messiah, they could have entered into the Kingdom of God.

Matthew 22:46 (NKJV) 46And no one was able to answer Him a word, nor from that day on did anyone dare question Him anymore.

The next discourse is one of five lengthy discourses in Matthew. (Matthew 23–25)

The main theme of this discourse relates to judgment for rejecting the Messiah.

Judgment on the Scribes and Pharisees – Matthew 23; Mark 12:38-40; Luke 20:45-57

  • In Mark and Luke, the Lord’s judgment on the scribes and Pharisees is much shorter and includes the same warnings.

Luke 20:45–47 (NKJV) 45Then, in the hearing of all the people, He said to His disciples, 46“Beware of the scribes, who desire to go around in long robes, love greetings in the marketplaces, the best seats in the synagogues, and the best places at feasts, 47who devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense make long prayers. These will receive greater condemnation.”

  • Jesus was warning the crowd of the scribes and Pharisees.
    • They try to look religious, but their actions are wrong.
    • They had high talk and a low walk.

Matthew gives a clear word about their behavior.

Matthew 23:1–3 (NKJV) 1Then Jesus spoke to the multitudes and to His disciples, 2saying: “The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. 3Therefore whatever they tell you to observe, that observe and do, but do not do according to their works; for they say, and do not do.

Why did Jesus tell them to observe whatever they tell you, but do not do what they are doing?

Matthew 23:4-5 (NKJV) For they bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers. 5But all their works they do to be seen by men. They make their phylacteries broad and enlarge the borders of their garments.

  • A phylactery is a small black leather cube or box that has portions of scripture inside.
    • The use of phylacteries was Orthodox and pious Jews attempt to fulfill the requirements of Exodus 13:9, 16; Deuteronomy 6:8; Deuteronomy 11:18.

What good is it to carry a huge Bible if you do not do what it says?

  • God wanted them to continually keep the words of the Law before them and allow those words to guide their activities.
    • They reduced spiritual commands to physical activities.
    • They felt that the larger their phylactery, the more spiritual.
  • The borders of their garments were trimmed with blue cords.
    • These cords were intended to remind them that they were God’s special people.
  • They overlooked the spiritual lesson and satisfied themselves with a larger phylactery and longer fringes.

Matthew 23:6–12 (NKJV) 6They love the best places at feasts, the best seats in the synagogues, 7greetings in the marketplaces, and to be called by men, ‘Rabbi, Rabbi.’ 8But you, do not be called ‘Rabbi’; for One is your Teacher, the Christ, and you are all brethren. 9Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. 10And do not be called teachers; for One is your Teacher, the Christ. 11But he who is greatest among you shall be your servant. 12And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.

Why is humility so important? How did Jesus humble Himself?

In Matthew 23:13-36, Jesus pronounces EIGHT WOES of condemnation on the scribes and Pharisees.

  1. They don’t enter the kingdom of heaven and do not allow others to enter. (vs. 13)
  2. They take widows’ houses and cover it up by making long prayers. (vs.14)
  3. They took huge efforts to make converts to their philosophy and then made their converts more wicked than they were. (vs. 15)
  4. Their reasoning was flawed. If you swore by the temple you were not obligated to pay, but if you swore by the gold of the temple you had to perform your vow. (vss. 16-22) [Gifts given for carnal motives are valueless.]
  5. They paid the full tithe but ignored justice, mercy, and faith.
  6. They maintained an outward religious morality, but their hearts were filled with extortion and self-indulgence. (vss. 25-26)
  7. They whitewashed their hypocrisy and lawlessness to outwardly appear righteous to others. (vss. 27-28)
  8. They built tombs of the prophets and adorned monuments for the righteous and said they would not have killed the prophets. (vss. 29-30)

After pronouncing these woes, Jesus told the scribes and Pharisees what would happen to them.

Matthew 23:31–36 (NKJV) 31“Therefore you are witnesses against yourselves that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. 32Fill up, then, the measure of your fathers’ guilt. 33Serpents, brood of vipers! How can you escape the condemnation of hell? 34Therefore, indeed, I send you prophets, wise men, and scribes: some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues and persecute from city to city, 35that on you may come all the righteous blood shed on the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. 36Assuredly, I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation.

Jesus is saying they fill up the measure of their father’s quilt.

  • The scribes and Pharisees were responsible for all of the unjust deaths of righteous people.

This chapter that contains the woe of the Lord Jesus ends with His tears over Jerusalem.

Matthew 23:37–39 (NKJV)

37“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing! 38See! Your house is left to you desolate; 39for I say to you, you shall see Me no more till you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’ ”

 

This grief-filled lament over Jerusalem comes as a result of the eight woes of the Lord Jesus.

  • The Lord takes no pleasure in the desolation and destruction of those He loves.
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Still Thankful http://www.mdanba.com/2017/11/11/still-thankful/ Sat, 11 Nov 2017 09:00:01 +0000 http://www.mdanba.com/?p=6265

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Living thankful is a direct result of the impact that God has on our lives.

  • We have seen some of the reasons to rejoice in the Lord our God with glorious shouts of thanksgiving.
  • These shouts of thanksgiving will continue to increase until they have the sound of many waters and the sound of mighty thunderings. (Revelation 19:6)
    • In every stage of life, we should remember that the Lord God Omnipotent reigns.

The Psalms of David often gives voice to the cries of our hearts.

  • He shows us the highs of great triumph and trust and the profound lows of deep valleys.
  • Most of us have known both of those times.
    • We have rejoiced with great joys.
    • We have experienced the distresses of troubles that plague us day and night.
    • Sometimes with the food of our sorrows and troubles comes the question, “Where is your God?”

Psalm 42:3  (NKJV) My tears have been my food day and night, While they continually say to me, “Where is your God?”

Psalm 42:4  (NKJV) When I remember these things, I pour out my soul within me. For I used to go with the multitude; I went with them to the house of God, With the voice of joy and praise, With a multitude that kept a pilgrim feast.

Does that sound like you?

  • You remember the voice of your soul crying out with joy and praise.
  • You remember times with other believers when the house of God was filled with cries of thanksgiving.

While still in deep discouragement, David cried out.

Psalm 42:5  (NKJV) Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted (discouraged) within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him For the help of His countenance.

Psalm 42:10  (NKJV) As with a breaking of my bones, My enemies reproach me, While they say to me all day long, “Where is your God?”

Have you been going through a great valley experience?

Is your soul aching for the Lord God to come to your aid?

Psalm 42:11 (NLT) Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again— my Savior and my God!

  • Listen to what David did when he was cast down.
  • He said to himself, “Look up! God is still your help.”

While he was still in that valley, listen to the words of his testimony.

Psalm 3:1–8 (NKJV) 1Lord, how they have increased who trouble me! Many are they who rise up against me. 2Many are they who say of me, “There is no help for him in God.” Selah 3But You, O Lord, are a shield for me, My glory and the One who lifts up my head. 4I cried to the Lord with my voice, And He heard me from His holy hill. Selah 5I lay down and slept; I awoke, for the Lord sustained me. 6I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people who have set themselves against me all around. 7Arise, O Lord; Save me, O my God! For You have struck all my enemies on the cheekbone; You have broken the teeth of the ungodly. 8Salvation belongs to the Lord. Your blessing is upon Your people. Selah

David is demonstrating the practice of lifting up your eyes to the Lord who made heaven and earth.

  • Have you found the Lord to be a present help in the time of your trouble?
  • Is the Lord your healer and the supplier of your need?
  • Have you found that He is your defense on the right hand and on the left?
  • Has He become your strength and your life?

The more we learn about the Lord our God, the more we will “still be thankful.”

  • When the waters of trouble surge all around you, lift up your head and rejoice, for the Lord is your salvation.
  • When the fire of adversity is raging, He is your peace and safety.
  • When the enemy has encamped all around you, the Lord is your high tower and rock of defense.
  • When your iniquities and sins drag you down and almost destroy your soul, He becomes your righteousness and the lover of your soul.

This is why we still cry out with thankful hearts.

1 Chronicles 16:34 (NKJV) Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.

Did you hear that?

  • God is good!
  • God’s mercy endures forever.
  • Just think about that.
    • When everything around you seems to be bad, look up to the God of your salvation.
    • When your trouble has encamped around you like an army, remember the Lord has not forsaken you.
    • When your soul is distressed with the trouble of it all, God is still your very present help.

When I consider these things, my mind goes back to declarations of Psalms 23.

  • Look at these familiar words in a different way.

Psalm 23:1–6  (NLT) 1The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need. 2He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams. 3He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name. 4Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me. 5You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies. You honor me by anointing my head with oil. My cup overflows with blessings. 6Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the Lord forever.

Why are we still thankful?

  • When everyone else would be filled with fear and dread, we have hope.
  • When everyone else would be hungry and deprived, we are taken care of and fed.
  • When everyone else would be having restless days and nights, we rest under God’s care.
  • Through every storm and adversity, we have peace that passes understanding.

We should put this into practice right now.

Psalm 24:7–10 (NKJV) 7Lift up your heads, O you gates! And be lifted up, you everlasting doors! And the King of glory shall come in. 8Who is this King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, The Lord mighty in battle.  9Lift up your heads, O you gates! Lift up, you everlasting doors! And the King of glory shall come in. 10Who is this King of glory? The Lord of hosts, He is the King of glory. Selah

Stop right now and start giving God more praise and thanksgiving.

 

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Why Should We Be Thankful? http://www.mdanba.com/2017/11/11/why-should-we-be-thankful/ Sat, 11 Nov 2017 08:00:23 +0000 http://www.mdanba.com/?p=6260

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We all have many things that we should be thankful for.

  • Some of them are trivial.
    • Like Kleenex and coffee
  • Some of them are crucial to existence.
    • Like clean water and a safe place to sleep
  • Some are gifts from family.
  • Some are due to the thoughtfulness of friends.
  • I have many reasons to be thankful.

The variety of good things keep life from being dull.

I am thankful for the things I often take for granted.

  • I am thankful for sight, sound, taste, hearing, and feeling.
    • Sometimes we complain about noise.
      • I am just glad I can hear.
    • We don’t like some of the things we see.
      • I am just glad I can see.
    • The coffee is too hot or too cold.
      • I am glad I know the difference.

Once I get past myself, I find that there are many things out there that I am thankful for.

I specifically want to address thanks to God.

I am thankful that God is incomprehensible.

God is not like man or any other god.

When Ezekiel saw the glory of God, he was looking at something language could not adequately describe.

  • Watch his description of God’s glory.
  • Immediately you realize that there is no one like the almighty God.
  • His language describes things we have never seen.
  • When the vision of God begins, Ezekiel sees four living creatures.
    • Once you get past the appearance of those colossal cherubim, we see God sitting on a throne.

Ezekiel 1:26-28 (ESV) And above the expanse over their heads there was the likeness of a throne, in appearance like sapphire; and seated above the likeness of a throne was a likeness with a human appearance. And upward from what had the appearance of his waist I saw as it were gleaming metal, like the appearance of fire enclosed all around. And downward from what had the appearance of his waist I saw as it were the appearance of fire, and there was brightness around him. Like the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud on the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness all around. Such was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord. And when I saw it, I fell on my face, and I heard the voice of one speaking.

I am thankful that God is incomprehensible because:

  • God is not limited like we are.
  • He has power, wisdom, and glory that we do not have.
  • His knowledge, power and understanding is infinite.
  • He is high above whatever we imagine Him to be.
  • He is of infinite greatness.
  • His infinite creations are far below what He is.
  • We do not have the capacity to see beyond the ends of His creation.
  • God is incomprehensible.

Yet, God has revealed Himself in such a way that we may know and experience His power, love, and glory.

I am thankful that God is self-existent.

John 5:26 (AMP) For even as the Father has life in Himself and is self-existent, so He has given to the Son to have life in Himself and be self-existent.

  • The Lord God is not the creation of thoughtful men.
  • He has no beginning or ending.
  • Before the beginning of time, God existed.
  • He was before the creation.

God is self-existent.

  • We want to discover the origin of things.
  • Ultimately, we have to confess that everything was made by Someone.

Yet, the One who created all things was created by no one.

What bearing does God’s self-existence have on us?

  • We are totally dependent on His existence.
    • Because God is self-existent, we can rely on Him for life, health, and strength.
    • Because God is self-existent, we can trust Him and believe.
    • He is not dependent on the circumstances or situations that we face.
    • He is greater than our trouble, trial or perplexity.
  • Because God is self-existent, we do not fear the loss of all of the things He sustains.
  • We have a Rock and Strong Tower to run to in our troubles.

I am thankful that God is self-sufficient.

Psalm 121:1–8 (NKJV) 1I will lift up my eyes to the hills—From whence comes my help? 2My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth. 3He will not allow your foot to be moved; He who keeps you will not slumber. 4Behold, He who keeps Israel Shall neither slumber nor sleep. 5The Lord is your keeper; The Lord is your shade at your right hand. 6The sun shall not strike you by day, Nor the moon by night. 7The Lord shall preserve you from all evil; He shall preserve your soul. 8The Lord shall preserve your going out and your coming in From this time forth, and even forevermore.

The concept of the all-sufficiency of God is incomprehensible.

  • God does not need or lack anything.
  • He is the source and sustainer of all life.
  • God does not change.
  • He holds His position by His own power.
    • Nothing is above Him.
    • Nothing is beyond Him.
    • No one can promote Him.
    • No one can degrade Him.

If we were all to become blind so that we could not see the sun, that would not keep the sun from shinning.

If everyone should become an atheist, it could not affect God in any way.

  • God needs no defenders.
  • God cannot be helped.
  • He needs no assistance.

Since God is self-sufficient, I know that He can supply all my need by His own riches in glory through Christ Jesus.

I am thankful that God is eternal.

Psalm 90:2 (NKJV) Before the mountains were brought forth, Or ever You had formed the earth and the world, Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God.

The concept of everlasting is difficult to understand.

  • We look at the eternal mountains and hills.
    • But there was a time when the mountains were not there.
  • Everlasting is beyond our ability to understand.
    • We can imagine a million years from now.
    • But, the eternal God has no boundaries.
  • We cannot put marks of time on the existence of God.
    • He never began to exist.
    • He is the uncreated God.
    • He is not affected by the changes of time.
    • God dwells in eternity but all time dwells in God.

I am thankful that God is eternal because I need help in my moment of time.

  • I need Someone who knows what my beginning and the ending will be.
  • I don’t have all of the answers for the perplexities of things that are coming.
  • I need Someone who can help me navigate life.

I am thankful that God is infinite.

Deuteronomy 7:21 (NKJV) For the Lord your God, the great and awesome God, is among you.

Psalm 139:7–8 (NKJV) 7Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? 8If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.

  • He is unlimited in all of His ways.
    • His power is unlimited.
    • His knowledge is unlimited.
    • He is infinite in His wisdom.
  • We are different than God.
    • Man’s knowledge grows exponentially.
    • Man’s knowledge is increasing.
  • God has remained constant.
    • He cannot increase above infinite.
  • God is infinite in all of His ways.
    • He is measureless, limitless, and boundless.

Since God is infinite, we turn to Him from our limited supply to find that He has no limits.

  • He is infinite in grace and mercy.
  • His love is measureless.
  • When I don’t have the strength, wisdom or resources, God is able to help me.

I am thankful that God is immutable.

When we say that God is immutable, we mean that God never changes.

James 1:17 (NKJV) Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.

Hebrews 13:8 (NKJV) Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

He has never deviated from what He has been.

  • God can never have more mercy, grace, or love.
  • He cannot get better or worse.
  • He cannot improve or deteriorate and become weak.

The immutability of God helps us most because we are constantly changing.

  • Since God never changes, we have strong faith.

God never changes.

  • His mood never changes.
  • His love and affections never cool off.
  • He never loses enthusiasm.
  • Since God never changes, we have strong hope that His promise remains true.
  • Whatever He has said, He will do.

I am thankful that God is omniscient.

The knowledge of God is validated and confirmed by His vast creation.

Hebrews 4:13 (NKJV) And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.

  • Our God possesses perfect knowledge of the past, present and the future.
    • He has never learned or forgotten.
    • No one has instructed Him.
    • He has no teacher.
  • God instantly and effortlessly knows all His creations.
  • He knows all things perfectly.
  • He knows the beginning and the end of all things.
  • Since God is self-existent and self-contained, He knows what no creature can ever know.
    • He knows our frame and remembers that we are dust.
    • Since He knows our personal pain and affliction, He is able to personally and compassionately help us.
    • Whatever may happen, God knows and cares as no one else can.

He said, “Do not fear and be worried about what you shall eat, drink or have an anxious mind. Your Father knows what you need.” (Luke 12:27-32)

I am thankful that God is omnipotent.

God is able to do whatever is consistent with His own character and being.

Revelation 19:6 (NKJV) And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude, as the sound of many waters and as the sound of mighty thunderings, saying, “Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns!”

The word ‘Almighty” only refers to the Lord our God.

  • Daily we face the weakness of our flesh.
  • We are confronted with the power of the enemy.
  • But, we are sustained by the Omnipotence of God.
  • God possesses an incomprehensible potency of power.
    • The Psalmist said: “Power belongs to God.”

As a result of His power, we can say: “Nothing is too hard for the Lord”

I am thankful that God is omnipresent.

Omnipresent means that God is everywhere present with His whole being, power, and knowledge at all times.

  • In Psalms 139, David asked the question about the unfettered presence of God.
    • He concluded that God is everywhere.
    • He is close to everything.
    • He is next to everyone.
  • This helps us to know that God is here in all of His being.
  • Right now, right here He is present.
    • Since God is infinite and knows no limits, there can be no limits to His presence.
    • There is no place beyond Him.
      • God is over all things.
      • God is under all things.
      • God is outside all things.
      • God is inside all things.
      • God is not to be excluded.
      • He is not above only.
      • He is wholly beneath and wholly above.
      • He is wholly within and wholly without.
    • He is always near us.
    • He is present in all parts of His world.
    • He is closer to us than our thoughts.

We should continue in our thankfulness for God.

  •  He is faithful.
  • He is good.
  • He is just.
  • He is gracious.
  • He is merciful.
  • He is love.
  • He is holy.
  • He is sovereign.
  • He is God.

Psalm 63:1–8 (NLT) 1O God, you are my God; I earnestly search for you. My soul thirsts for you; my whole body longs for you in this parched and weary land where there is no water. 2I have seen you in your sanctuary and gazed upon your power and glory. 3Your unfailing love is better than life itself; how I praise you! 4I will praise you as long as I live, lifting up my hands to you in prayer. 5You satisfy me more than the richest feast. I will praise you with songs of joy. 6I lie awake thinking of you, meditating on you through the night. 7Because you are my helper, I sing for joy in the shadow of your wings. 8I cling to you; your strong right hand holds me securely.

Psalm 75:1 (NLT) 1We thank you, O God! We give thanks because you are near. People everywhere tell of your wonderful deeds.

Psalm 86:5 (NKJV) 5For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive, And abundant in mercy to all those who call upon You.

Psalm 86:12–13 (NKJV) 12I will praise You, O Lord my God, with all my heart, And I will glorify Your name forevermore. 13For great is Your mercy toward me, And You have delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol.

Psalm 86:10 (NKJV) 10For You are great, and do wondrous things; You alone are God.

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The Ministry of Christ, Part 45 http://www.mdanba.com/2017/11/07/the-ministry-of-christ-part-45/ Tue, 07 Nov 2017 08:00:55 +0000 http://www.mdanba.com/?p=6255

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Passion Week – Tuesday

  • The Lord is still on the Mount of Olives teaching.
    • It is evident from the dialogue of the texts that the crowd is mixed.
    • Jesus is not just addressing the disciples but also the chief priest, Pharisees and Sadducees.
    • Jesus is still addressing Israel’s rejection to enter the kingdom.

Tuesday – The Marriage Feast, Matthew 22:1-14

  • This parable contains kingdom principles.
    • The marriage refers to the wedding feast in Revelation 19:6-9.

Revelation 19:6–9 (NKJV) 6And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude, as the sound of many waters and as the sound of mighty thunderings, saying, “Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns! 7Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.”

Notice the sound of celebration at the announcement of the wedding of the Lamb.

What did the voice of celebration sound like?

  • The reason for the sound of rejoicing is two-fold.
    • First, the time for the marriage has come.
    • Second, the bride of Christ has made herself ready.

Revelation 19:8–9 (NKJV) 8And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. 9Then he said to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!’ ” And he said to me, “These are the true sayings of God.”

Watch what happened in the parable of the marriage feast.

Matthew 22:1–3 (NKJV) 1And Jesus answered and spoke to them again by parables and said: 2“The kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who arranged a marriage for his son, 3and sent out his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding; and they were not willing to come.

  • The King is God and the Son is Jesus Christ.
  • This is the first stage of the invitation.
    • This announcement was sent out in advance.
    • It is evident that the first invitation went to Israel.
    • Preparations for the feast were still being made.

What was their response to the invitation?

Matthew 22:4 (NKJV) 4Again, he sent out other servants, saying, ‘Tell those who are invited, “See, I have prepared my dinner; my oxen and fatted cattle are killed, and all things are ready. Come to the wedding.” ’

  • This is the second stage of the invitation.
  • The Lord said everything was prepared for those who were invited.

Watch their response.

Matthew 22:5–7 (NKJV) 5But they made light of it and went their ways, one to his own farm, another to his business. 6And the rest seized his servants, treated them spitefully, and killed them. 7But when the king heard about it, he was furious. And he sent out his armies, destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city.

God takes this invitation very seriously.

  • Jesus was referring to Israel’s rejection of Him.
    • God has made plans for a great celebration.
    • John the Baptist, Jesus, and the disciples had been ignored and persecuted.
  • Jesus said the banquet was prepared.

Notice how Israel’s rejection opened the door for the Gentiles.

Matthew 22:8–11  (NKJV) 8Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy. 9Therefore go into the highways, and as many as you find, invite to the wedding.’ 10So those servants went out into the highways and gathered together all whom they found, both bad and good. And the wedding hall was filled with guests. 11“But when the king came in to see the guests, he saw a man there who did not have on a wedding garment.

What kind of people responded to the call to come to the wedding banquet?

  • The invitation of the gospel is broad.

Revelation 22:17 (NKJV) And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.

Does God’s grace and mercy relieve us from individual preparedness?

  • Although the invitation of the gospel is broad, individual preparation is required.

What does it mean to not have on a wedding garment?

Revelation 3:18 (NKJV) 18I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see.

Revelation 19:8 (NKJV) 8And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.

Since God requires certain acts of righteousness, how do we meet His requirement?

Romans 8:3–4 (NKJV) 3For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, 4that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

Matthew 22:12–14 (NKJV) 12So he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you come in here without a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless. 13Then the king said to the servants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ 14“For many are called, but few are chosen.”

  • It appears that the king was surprised that he came in there without a wedding garment.
  • The free gift of God is readily available to any who will put their trust in Jesus Christ.

Ephesians 2:8–9 (NKJV) 8For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9not of works, lest anyone should boast.

Tuesday – Question of Taxes , Matthew 22:15-22; Mark 12:13-17; Luke 20:20-26

Mark 12:13–14 (NKJV) 13Then they sent to Him some of the Pharisees and the Herodians, to catch Him in His words. 14When they had come, they said to Him, “Teacher, we know that You are true, and care about no one; for You do not regard the person of men, but teach the way of God in truth. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?

  • The Herodians were a Jewish political party that were loyal to Herod the Great and the Roman Empire.
    • Luke says spies were sent who pretended to be righteous to attempt to catch Jesus in His words.

Mark 12:15–17  (NKJV) 15Shall we pay, or shall we not pay?” But He, knowing their hypocrisy, said to them, “Why do you test Me? Bring Me a denarius that I may see it.” 16So they brought it. And He said to them, “Whose image and inscription is this?” They said to Him, “Caesar’s.” 17And Jesus answered and said to them, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” And they marveled at Him.

  • Jesus did not establish a civil government.
    • He refused to support or speak against the Roman government.
  • He said, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”

What does it mean to “give to God the things that are God’s?”

Tuesday – Sadducees’ Question the Resurrection, Matthew 22:23-33; Mark 12:18-27; Luke 20:27-40

Matthew 22:23–24 (NKJV) 23The same day the Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to Him and asked Him, 24saying: “Teacher, Moses said that if a man dies, having no children, his brother shall marry his wife and raise up offspring for his brother.

  • Pay attention to the fact that the Sadducees did not believe in the resurrection.
  • The Sadducees held as their authority the Pentateuch or first five books of the Bible.
  • In Deuteronomy 25:5-6, the law required the widow who has no son be married to her husband’s brother.
    • This was done to raise up a name for his brother in Israel.
    • It was called the law of the levirate marriage.

Matthew 22:25–30 (NKJV) 25Now there were with us seven brothers. The first died after he had married, and having no offspring, left his wife to his brother. 26Likewise the second also, and the third, even to the seventh. 27Last of all the woman died also. 28Therefore, in the resurrection, whose wife of the seven will she be? For they all had her.” 29Jesus answered and said to them, “You are mistaken, not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God. 30For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels of God in heaven.

  • To the Sadducees, the resurrection of the dead posed so many problems that it was not reasonable and could not be possible.
  • Jesus’ reply has two points.
    • First, they were ignorant of the Scriptures.
    • The Bible never says the husband-wife relationship will continue in heaven.
    • Men and women will be as the angels, that never marry nor or given in marriage.

Matthew 22:31–33 (NKJV) 31But concerning the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was spoken to you by God, saying, 32‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.” 33And when the multitudes heard this, they were astonished at His teaching.

  • Second, they were ignorant of the power of God.
  • If God is able to create men from the dust of the ground, can He not refashion those who died into new and glorious bodies?

Jesus is referring to Exodus 3:6.

Exodus 3:6 (NKJV) 6Moreover He said, “I am the God of your father—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look upon God.

  • Notice that God did not say, “I was the God of your father,” but “I am the God of your father.”
  • Jesus is declaring the truth of life after death and the resurrection.
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Much more the blood of Christ… http://www.mdanba.com/2017/11/04/much-more-the-blood-of-christ/ Sat, 04 Nov 2017 07:00:01 +0000 http://www.mdanba.com/?p=6185

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Hebrews 9:11 (NKJV) But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation.

Hebrews 9:12 (NKJV) Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.

Hebrews 9:13 (NKJV) For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh,

Hebrews 9:14 (NKJV) How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

I want to talk with you about the greatest power to help you through the difficulties of your life.

Notice how the blood of Christ has much more power to work in you.

Christ’s blood has power to cleanse your conscience.

  • Think about this for a moment.
  • This is the area where we all have our greatest battles.

Christ’s blood has the power to enter and effect change inside of your being.

  • The Old Testament sacrifices had an external effect on the flesh to purify.
    • They were clean on the outside, but they were still hurting on the inside.
  • The blood of Jesus does much more.
    • The blood of Jesus helps us in the struggle over how we live.
    • The blood of Jesus has power to cleanse our conscience so that we can properly serve God.
    • This cleansing power gives us the ability to live without condemnation.

Romans 7:24–25 (NKJV) O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!

  • This is the key for each of us.
  • Jesus Christ is the answer for the weakness of your flesh.
    • That weakness affects your mind, body, and will.
  • The blood of Jesus Christ has the power to “cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God.”
    • What does that mean?

The Apostle Paul was impressed with the weakness of the flesh.

  • He said that he was a terrible sinner.
  • He kept saying that he wanted to do the right things, but was so weak in his flesh that he constantly failed.
    • We all can identify with that.
    • Have you ever said, “that is the last time I am going to do that, to find yourself humiliated by your failure?”
    • Your flesh is weak.
    • You wanted to serve God without condemnation.
    • You wanted to give God the proper service.
    • You wanted to live a life of love for God.
    • But, you failed.
    • When you failed, you became humiliated and condemned.

This is where the power of the blood of Jesus works in our lives.

  • Where you were not able to serve God blamelessly, God stepped in to help.
  • Watch how far God goes to bring you into this new life of rejoicing and freedom.

Romans 8:2–3 (NKJV) 2For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. 3For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh,

Jesus did not just come to this earth to live in the flesh.

  • He came down to the cross.
  • He came down to give His life’s blood.
  • He did this so He could make it possible for you to live free of condemnation.

The blood of Christ accomplishes MUCH MORE than you could do on your own.

We need to see again the simplicity of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Romans 1:16 (NKJV) For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes.

As soon as you put your trust in the blood of Jesus Christ, this “power of God” works in your life.

This brings about one of the greatest changes you will ever experience.

1 John 1:7 (NKJV) …the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.

  • This “cleansing” affects your innermost being.
  • It gets all of the way down into your conscience.
    • Conscience is “self-awareness that judges to see if our actions are in harmony with moral standards.”

Proverbs 20:27 (NKJV) The spirit of a man is the lamp of the Lord, Searching all the inner depths of his heart.

  • If your conscience is not clear, you are living in condemnation.

1 John 3:21 (NKJV) Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence toward God.

This change not only affects your past conduct, it directs you down the avenues you ought to go.

You don’t have to live a wretched life of failure and death for the blood of Jesus Christ has set you free.

To guarantee your success, God has given you His Spirit to dwell and work in you.

Romans 8:9–11 (NKJV) 9But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. 10And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.

This life in the Spirit is the life of freedom from condemnation.

Romans 8:1 (NKJV) There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.

  • When God cleanses your conscience by the blood of Jesus Christ, He has a new life in mind.
    • He has planned and provided a life of no condemnation for you.
    • He has provided life.

2 Corinthians 2:14–15 (NKJV) 14Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.15For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.

Think about the change this has made.

  • “God always leads us in triumph in Christ.”
    • That is a huge transition from a life of self-condemnation and death.
    • The blood of Jesus Christ God’s Son has made us free.
  • This change is so dramatic that it “diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.”
    • I like that word “diffuses.”
    • It means “to cause something to be fully known by clearly revealing and disclosing it.”
  • When Jesus makes you free, you can throw off the rags of your death.
    • The life of defeat and death is conquered.
    • The fragrance of death has been conquered with life.
    • You can live in the glorious liberty of a child of God.
    • You can really live free from condemnation.
]]> 6185
The Much More Life http://www.mdanba.com/2017/11/03/the-much-more-life/ Fri, 03 Nov 2017 21:43:59 +0000 http://www.mdanba.com/?p=6188

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To see this more clearly, look at these two verses.

Colossians 1:27 (God’s Word Translation) God wanted His people throughout the world to know the glorious riches of this mystery—which is Christ living in you, giving you the hope of glory.

2 Corinthians 12:9 (NKJV) And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.”

Here are the two contributors.

  1. We come to God with our weaknesses.
  2. He comes to us with the glorious riches of Christ.

We need to know how this works.

God wants all of His people to enjoy these glorious riches that belong to Christ.

There are two possibilities.

  1. Christ comes to us in His glory externally and reveals all of our weaknesses.
  2. Christ lives in us and gives us all of His strength.

This is the failure of many believers.

  • They have an external relationship with Christ that does not get into them or impact their life.
    • They see His glory and His power.
    • They witness His holiness and purity.
    • They are constantly living under the condemnation of their weaknesses.
    • They struggle to maintain a peace with God.

God has something much better for all His people that is described in the words “Christ in you.”

This is the difference that is described in 2 Corinthians 12:9“My  grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.”

  • When Jesus truly lives on the inside, you are not stuck in the wretchedness of your weaknesses.
  • Christ in you gives you hope of a glorious life.
  • Christ in you makes up for the deficit of your weakness.

When we consider the “much more life,” we need to see what God has provided for us in Christ.

Reflect back with me to the tremendous things that we have in Christ.

  • The new creation is in Christ.
  • The new life is in Christ.
  • Acceptance is in Christ.
  • Redemption is in Christ.
  • Sanctification is in Christ.
  • A hope and future is in Christ.
  • Spiritual blessings of God are in Christ.
  • Peace is in Christ.
  • Effective prayer is only in Christ.
  • Strength and riches are in Christ.
  • Eternal purpose is in Christ.
  • The promises of God are in Christ.
  • Escape from condemnation is in Christ
  • The perseverance of the saints is in Christ.
  • The gathering together into one is in Christ.
  • Bonds of suffering believers are in Christ.
  • The “No Separation” is in Christ.
  • The perfect man is in Christ.
  • We are helpers together in Christ.
  • All the churches are in Christ.
  • The dead are in Christ.
  • There is One New Man in Christ.
  • We are complete in Christ.
  • In Christ, we have rest.
  • In Christ, heaven is opened.
  • In Christ, is spiritual fullness.
  • In Christ is living water.
  • In Him we live, and move, and have our being.

Do you see what God has done for us in this “much more life?”

  • We are weak, but He is strong.
  • What Jesus achieved is now made available to us through this new life in Christ.
  • His righteousness, sanctification, faith, power, and peace are lived out in us.

In every situation where our weakness would be the overwhelming testimony, ‘Christ in us’ demonstrates His strength.

Here is how this is revealed.

  • When I would be disturbed and frightened, He gives me His peace.
  • When I would be wretched and sad, He gives me His joy.
  • When I would be in despair and misery, He gives His hope.
  • He becomes for us peace, joy, hope, love, wisdom, might, authority, and power.

Do you remember the way that we are rooted and grounded in Christ?

  • When we become rooted and grounded in Christ, His blessing and favor is worked out through our lives.
    • His grace is worked into us.
    • His mercy becomes our portion.
    • His love begins to be expressed in us and through our actions.
    • His joy remains in us and is made full.
    • His power is demonstrated in us.

The “inner working” of “Christ in you” has the capacity to produce the evidence of Christ’s victory and life.

2 Corinthians 2:14–15 (NKJV) 14Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.15For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.

This describes the brand new nature and character that is in us.

  • This is an unworldly aroma.
  • It is not natural.
  • It is a nature and character that is governed by the Holy Spirit within you.

We have become partakers of the nature and character of Christ working in us.

  • He is giving us His nature.
    • His nature is mercy and grace.
    • His nature is love and joy.
    • His nature is kindness and goodness.
    • His nature is patience and longsuffering.
    • His nature is forgiveness and acceptance.
    • His nature reaches out and helps others.
    • His nature is self-sacrificing.

Something new is working in you.

  • He has picked you up and carried you along.
  • He has given you ‘new life’ in Christ Jesus.

2 Corinthians 6:16 (NKJV) 16And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will dwell in them And walk among them. I will be their God, And they shall be My people.”

 

Do you remember how the glory of God descended on the tabernacle in the wilderness?

  • God established a holy place where He would come down and fellowship with His people.
  • The Lord God would descend in His glory and power and fill the holy place.
    • From there He directed His people.
    • From there His glory was known.
    • From there their sins were atoned.
    • From there they received mercy and grace.
    • From there God gave direction and guidance for His people.

God has done something new in you.

He said: “I will dwell in them And walk among them. I will be their God, And they shall be My people.”

 

Think about the potential and power that God created when He said, “Christ in you.”

This is what is working in you.

Psalm 11:4  The LORD is in His holy temple…

His glory and Spirit has descended and has taken up residence in His temple.

 

The result of this is the fruit of Christ and the fruit of the Spirit in your life.

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The Ministry of Christ, Part 44 http://www.mdanba.com/2017/11/01/the-ministry-of-christ-part-44/ Wed, 01 Nov 2017 07:00:45 +0000 http://www.mdanba.com/?p=6177

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Passion Week

Tuesday – Finds the fig tree withered – Teaches on Faith, Matthew 21:18-22; Mark 11:11-14, 20-24

Matthew and Mark give the story of the withered fig tree.

On Monday, the Lord cursed the fig tree because it had no fruit.

  • Matthew said the fig tree withered away immediately.
    • Think about the fig tree’s rapid response to the Lord’s command.
  • Mark said all the disciples saw the tree wither away.
    • This happened before their eyes.

Mark 11:20–22 (NKJV) 20Now in the morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots. 21And Peter, remembering, said to Him, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree which You cursed has withered away.” 22So Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God.

Immediately after the disciples saw that the tree had dried up from the roots, Jesus taught about faith.

Throughout the Bible, the fig tree is an illustration of the nation of Israel.

Jesus often took the negative events of life and taught positive lessons.

Here is an incredible lesson on the power of authoritative prayer.

Mark 11:23–24 (NKJV) 23For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. 24Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.

Watch the components of this authoritative prayer.

  1. Speak to the mountain.
    • This involves defining and addressing the “mountain.”
    • In this text, Jesus spoke to a fig tree.
  2. Tell the mountain what it is to do.
    • “Be removed and be cast into the sea.”
    • This is definitive and specific.
  3. Do not doubt in your heart.
    • Doubt and unbelief has no place in the heart of the person who prays with authority.

James 1:6–7 (NKJV) 6But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. 7For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord;

How can we remove doubt from our inner most being?

  1. “Believe that what you say will be done.”
    • When Jesus cursed the fig tree, He knew it would die.
    • The disciples were amazed at the speedy response of the fig tree.

When should authoritative prayer be answered?

  1. Matthew said the tree withered away immediately.
  2. Mark said when they came back by on Tuesday the tree had dried up from the roots.
  3. You will have whatever you say.

Mark 11:24 (NKJV) Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.

List some events that demonstrated the Lord’s authority.

Tuesday – Jesus’ Authority Questioned, Matthew 21:18-22; Mark 11:27-33; Luke 20:1-8

Luke 20:1–2 (NKJV) 1Now it happened on one of those days, as He taught the people in the temple and preached the gospel, that the chief priests and the scribes, together with the elders, confronted Him  2and spoke to Him, saying, “Tell us, by what authority are You doing these things? Or who is he who gave You this authority?”

  • “These things” refer to various facets of His life and ministry.
    • Jesus just cleansed the temple the day before.
      • The Priest had given their approval for the money changers and vendors to set up their businesses.
      • Who gave Jesus authority to usurp their authority?
    • They questioned His authority to heal, do miracles, and teach in the temple.
    • Jesus’ actions were not sanctioned by the chief priest, scribes, or elders.
      • He did not have their approval to teach.
      • They did not approve His miracles on the Sabbath.

Where did Jesus get the authority to do “these things?”

Luke 20:3–6 (NKJV) 3But He answered and said to them, “I also will ask you one thing, and answer Me: 4The baptism of John—was it from heaven or from men?” 5And they reasoned among themselves, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ He will say, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’ 6But if we say, ‘From men,’ all the people will stone us, for they are persuaded that John was a prophet.”

Why was John the Baptist’s message so important?

Luke 20:7–8 (NKJV) 7So they answered that they did not know where it was from. 8And Jesus said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.”

  • Their refusal to answer Jesus disqualified them to question Him.
  • In response to refusal to answer, Jesus taught the parable of two sons.

Tuesday – Parable of the Two Sons, Matthew 21:28-32

Matthew 21:28–31 (NKJV) 28“But what do you think? A man had two sons, and he came to the first and said, ‘Son, go, work today in my vineyard.’ 29He answered and said, ‘I will not,’ but afterward he regretted it and went. 30Then he came to the second and said likewise. And he answered and said, ‘I go, sir,’ but he did not go. 31Which of the two did the will of his father?” They said to Him, “The first.” Jesus said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you that tax collectors and harlots enter the kingdom of God before you.

Who were the religious leaders condemning when they said “the first?”

Matthew 21:32 (NKJV) 32For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him; but tax collectors and harlots believed him; and when you saw it, you did not afterward relent and believe him.

  • The tax collectors and harlots were like the first son.
    • They made no pretense of listening to John the Baptist, but later they repented and followed Jesus.
    • Sinners entered the kingdom, while the self-righteous religious leaders did not believe.

What does “John came to you in the way of righteousness” mean?

         (John preached repentance and faith.)

Tuesday – Parable of the Vineyard Owner, Matthew 21:33-46; Mark 12:1-12; Luke 20:9-18

  • Jesus is still addressing the religious leaders about His authority and their response to His ministry.
    • He spoke about Israel being prepared as God’s fruitful vineyard.
    • This is a quote from Isaiah 5:1-7.

Matthew 21:33 (NKJV) 33“Hear another parable: There was a certain landowner who planted a vineyard and set a hedge around it, dug a winepress in it and built a tower. And he leased it to vinedressers and went into a far country.

  • This is a message of God’s care over Israel.
    • God placed a hedge around Israel.
    • He built a watchtower.
    • He chose and separated them from every other nation and people.
    • He preserved them as His own distinct people.
    • His providential care was given so they would produce fruit for God.

Isaiah 5:4 (NKJV) 4What more could have been done to My vineyard That I have not done in it? Why then, when I expected it to bring forth good grapes, Did it bring forth wild grapes?

Matthew 21:34–36 (NKJV) 34Now when vintage-time drew near, he sent his servants to the vinedressers, that they might receive its fruit. 35And the vinedressers took his servants, beat one, killed one, and stoned another. 36Again he sent other servants, more than the first, and they did likewise to them.

  • God gave the care of His “vineyard” to the religious leaders.
    • God gave careful instructions to the priests and Levites.
  • God repeatedly sent prophets and messengers to cause them to return to Him with fellowship, love and purity.
    • They persecuted and treated them badly.

Matthew 21:37–39 (NKJV) 37Then last of all he sent his son to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ 38But when the vinedressers saw the son, they said among themselves, ‘This is the heir. Come, let us kill him and seize his inheritance.’ 39So they took him and cast him out of the vineyard and killed him.

Jesus is telling them that they knew that He was the Son of God.  They were without excuse in this.

How did they know that Jesus was the Son of God?

Look closely at verse 39.

Jesus is prophesying about what the religious leaders are about to do to Him.

Matthew 21:40–41 (NKJV) 40“Therefore, when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those vinedressers?” 41They said to Him, “He will destroy those wicked men miserably, and lease his vineyard to other vinedressers who will render to him the fruits in their seasons.”

Look how they knew what the “owner of the vineyard” would do.

Matthew 21:42 (NKJV) 42Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures: ‘The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone. This was the Lord’s doing, And it is marvelous in our eyes’?

The leaders of Israel rejected Jesus and said He was useless.

Isaiah 53:3 (NKJV) 3He is despised and rejected by men, A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.

Matthew 21:43–44 (NKJV) 43“Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken from you and given to a nation bearing the fruits of it. 44And whoever falls on this stone will be broken; but on whomever it falls, it will grind him to powder.”

Who is the nation that will receive the kingdom of God?

1 Peter 2:9 (NKJV) 9But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;

Matthew 21:45–46 (NKJV) 45Now when the chief priests and Pharisees heard His parables, they perceived that He was speaking of them. 46But when they sought to lay hands on Him, they feared the multitudes, because they took Him for a prophet.

 

 

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God of Much More, Part 2 http://www.mdanba.com/2017/10/28/god-of-much-more-part-2/ Sat, 28 Oct 2017 08:00:30 +0000 http://www.mdanba.com/?p=6118

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We have seen how God gives us grace, mercy and peace.

Watch how God just keeps on giving much more.

Luke 12:24–28 (NKJV) 24Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap, which have neither storehouse nor barn; and God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds? 25And which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? 26If you then are not able to do the least, why are you anxious for the rest? 27Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 28If then God so clothes the grass, which today is in the field and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will He clothe you, O you of little faith?

Every time I read the Word of God I see something new. The things that the Lord considered to be the most insignificant are huge to us. Jesus just told us that the God of much more knows how to take care of us. His care goes far beyond the grace, mercy, and peace that we need to enter and remain in His presence. His “much more” care refers to everything that we have need of. Jesus spoke of God’s ability to supply covering for your body as well as your soul.

God can do this because He is the God of “MUCH MORE.”

Why would God do this?

Matthew 7:11 (NKJV) If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!

There are several clues for us here.

  1. You have a heavenly Father.
  2. Your heavenly Father is better.
    1. He is a good, good Father
  3. He delights in giving good things to those who ask Him.

He is the God of MUCH MORE because He is our heavenly Father.

You have a Father that is so good that He delights in doing good.

Part of good is known in the good gifts that God gives His children.

Jesus said, “Your Father in heaven gives much more.”

He is the God of MUCH MORE because He is better than earthly fathers.

         Your heavenly Father is a good, good Father.

         That’s who He is.

James 1:17 (NKJV) Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.

When the descendants of Abraham went into the Land of Promise, it was a good land. God had prepared “it” for them.

There was a dual purpose in God doing good for them.

  1. God was fulfilling His good promise to Abraham.
  2. God wanted everyone to know that He does much more than anyone else can do.
    1. When they arrived in the land, it was flowing with richness and sweetness.

Philippians 2:13 (NKJV) For it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.

 

He is the God of MUCH MORE because He delights in giving good things to those who ask Him.

  • Over and over Jesus gave this promise.
    • He said, “Ask, and it will be given to you.” (Matthew 7:7)
    • He said, “If you knew who it is who says, ‘Give me drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.” (John 4:10)
      • What He gave was better than what the woman at the well had ever received.
    • In John 16:22-24, Jesus said “ask the Father in My name and He will give it to you.”
    • He said, “Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.”

What kind of heavenly Father can do that?

  • He is the God of MUCH MORE.
  • He has MUCH MORE grace and mercy than you have asked for.
  • He has MUCH MORE power than you have needed.
  • He has MUCH MORE good gifts than you have received.
  • He is the God who heals all of your diseases.
  • He is the God who supplies all of your need according to His riches in glory.
  • He is the God who forgives all your sins and iniquities.
  • He is full of compassion.
  • He is abundant in loving kindness and tender mercies.
  • He know how to help you in all of your distresses and needs.

Psalm 103:1–5 (NKJV) 1Bless the Lord, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name! 2Bless the Lord, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits: 3Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases, 4Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies, 5Who satisfies your mouth with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

That is the kind of heavenly Father we have.

  • The psalmist knew what He does.
    • He forgives
    • He heals
    • He redeems
    • He crowns your life with loving kindness and tender mercies
    • He satisfies your mouth with good things
    • He renews your strength

As I have evaluated the things that God does, I have noticed that His blessings are much more.

Proverbs 10:22 (NKJV) The blessing of the Lord makes one rich, And He adds no sorrow with it.

Since He is the God of MUCH MORE, He does things no one else can do.

  • He restores my soul.
  • He leads me through the deep valley of the shadow of death, and I do not fear.
  • He causes me to fear no evil.
  • He sustains and feed me in the presence of my enemies.
  • He anoints my head with the oil of joy and my cup runs over.
  • His mercy and goodness follows me all the days of my life.
  • He has prepared an everlasting place for me in His house. (Psalms 23)

We should offer Him our highest praise.

He is the God of MUCH MORE.

]]> 6118
The God of Much More http://www.mdanba.com/2017/10/28/the-god-of-much-more/ Sat, 28 Oct 2017 07:00:18 +0000 http://www.mdanba.com/?p=6115

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Throughout the Bible, we see the God of infinite supply.

He always demonstrates that He is the God of much more.

  • He is Jehovah – Jireh, the God who supplies all your need, according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:19)
  • He is the God of all grace and mercy, who forgives all your iniquities, (Psalms 103:3).
  • He is Jehovah – Rapha, the God who heals all your diseases, (Psalms 103:3).

We have seen this demonstrated in the promise of God to Abraham.

  • God told him that he would bless and multiply him.
  • God’s blessing was so great that it extended beyond his son Isaac.
  • God said He would multiply him until his descendants would be as the stars of the heaven and the sand of the seashore.
  • Then God gave him a bonus blessing that his descendants would possess the gates of their enemies.

Romans 5:1–2 (NKJV) 1Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

Notice how God loads us down with His blessings.

  1. He justifies us by faith in Jesus Christ.
  2. He gives us peace through the Lord Jesus Christ.
  3. He gives us access into this grace in which we stand.
  4. He causes us to rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.
  5. Then when trouble and tribulations come, He causes them to produce good and not evil.

Romans 5:3–4 (NKJV) 3And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; 4and perseverance, character; and character, hope.

  • God is not finished.
  • He is the God of much more.

Romans 5:5–11 (NKJV) 5Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. 6For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. 7For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. 8But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. 10For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. 11And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.

Watch what God does for you.

Romans 5:9 (NKJV) Much more then, having now been justified by His blood…

God starts blessing us by justifying us by His blood.

  • This is the wonder-working power of the blood of Jesus.
  • He took us when we were dirty rotten sinners.
  • He took us while we were still guilty of sin.
  • He laid our sins upon Jesus Christ who shed His blood for us on Calvary.
  • By doing this, we have been declared righteous.
  • Our state of alienation from God has been changed.

By His blood, we shall be save from wrath.

Romans 5:9–10 (NKJV) Much more… we shall be saved from wrath through Him.

  • This wrath is both present and future condemnation
  • In Romans 1:18 – we see that God’s wrath is against all ungodliness.
    • There are immediate consequences of sin.
    • There are continued consequences of sin.
    • There are eternal consequences of sin.

This is where the God of much more steps in.

  • The blood of Jesus Christ God’s Son settles the issues against us.
  • We should be destroyed and face the full consequences of our sin.

Romans 5:9 (NKJV) Much more then, …we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son

  • The death of Jesus Christ God’s Son has reconciled us to God.
  • Left to our own devices, we would still be enemies of God.
    • Do you know what it is like to be an enemy of God?
    • Nothing works right when your enemy is God.
  • God has intervened in our hopelessness.

When we could not help ourselves, God stepped in with pure grace.

Romans 5:10 (NKJV) much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.

Think about all of the power that God has invested to keep us by the life of Jesus!

We have not even started understanding His keeping power.

The abundant grace of God is a mighty strong power.

In Jesus’ life, we have found a place of shelter and calm assurance.

What Jesus accomplished has brought to us an abundance of grace and righteousness.

Romans 5:17 (NKJV) Much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.

  • God just keeps giving grace upon grace.
  • The result of that grace is the gift of righteousness through Christ.
  • The end of this grace and righteousness is a reign of life.

Romans 5:20b–21 (NKJV) But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more, so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

What is the consequence of that sin in your life?

  • All who have sinned know some of the frustration and pain of the consequence of sin.
    • You have experienced the condemnation of sin.
    • You have faced the burden and shame of sin.
    • You have walked under the curse of sin.

God wants to change things in your life.

  • God wants His grace to reign in your life through righteousness.
  • Grace and righteousness produce different kinds of consequences in your life.

When grace reigns through righteousness, the result is eternal life.

Here is the blessing of this kind of life.

  • You don’t have to wait until you get to heaven to walk in this newness of life.
  • Oh what at change in our lives.
    • He sets us free right now.
    • We immediately receive a new joy that does not pass away.
    • The consequences of our lives change.
  • We did walk with a sentence of death.
    • We now live in newness of life.
  • We did live under the dominion of condemnation.
    • We now live under the glorious liberty of children of God.
  • We were slaves to sin and a life of death.
    • Through the blood of Jesus we are free.

What fruit did you have in that life?

Do you remember where you were headed?

Do you remember what it cost?

One of my favorite verses shows us the change that the God of much more makes in our lives.

Romans 8:1–3 (NKJV) 1There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. 2For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. 3For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh,

Here is the blessing of the God of much more.

The condemnation that was upon you that brought those terrible consequences has been put away.

Every judgment and sentence of death that was against you has been set aside.

God has done something wonderful for you.

God sent His own Son to show you that He is the God of much more.

  • Through Jesus Christ, God keeps on blessing and blessing.
  • Through Jesus Christ, He opens the windows of heavens blessings.
  • He keeps pouring out blessing on top of blessing.
  • He saves you and He heals you.
  • He satisfies and fills you.
  • He pours out the Spirit of life upon you and gives you joy.

 

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The Ministry of Christ, Part 43 http://www.mdanba.com/2017/10/25/the-ministry-of-christ-part-43/ Wed, 25 Oct 2017 07:00:41 +0000 http://www.mdanba.com/?p=6112

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Passion Week

Sunday – The Triumphal Entry – Matthew 21:1-11; Mark 11:1-11; Luke 19:29-44; John 12:12-19

The Lord’s last journey into Jerusalem begins with the great celebration at Bethany.

  • He stopped at Bethany to have the meal at Simon the Leper’s house.
  • Then Jesus went to Jerusalem.

The four Gospels give significant attention to the closing events of Jesus’ earthly ministry. The Sunday after Mary anointed Jesus with the oil of spikenard, Jesus went from Bethany up to Bethphage and descended the Mount of Olives into Jerusalem.

Review the map of the events of the Passion Week.

Matthew 21:1–2 (NKJV) 1Now when they drew near Jerusalem, and came to Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, 2saying to them, “Go into the village opposite you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her. Loose them and bring them to Me.

Two theories are offered to explain this event.

  1. The Lord knew the owner from a previous encounter, and he offered Jesus the assistance.
  2. This event demonstrated the omniscience and authority of the Lord. Everything happened just as it was predicted.

Everything about the event demonstrated God’s foreknowledge and divine power.

Matthew 21:3–5 (NKJV) 3And if anyone says anything to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord has need of them,’ and immediately he will send them.” 4All this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying: 5“Tell the daughter of Zion, ‘Behold, your King is coming to you, Lowly, and sitting on a donkey, A colt, the foal of a donkey.’ ”

Zechariah 9:9 (NKJV) “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, Lowly and riding on a donkey, A colt, the foal of a donkey.”

This is a prophetic pinpoint to Jesus Christ the Messiah. Here is the King of Kings, coming into Jerusalem just as Zechariah saw.

Matthew 21:6–9 (NKJV) 6So the disciples went and did as Jesus commanded them. 7They brought the donkey and the colt, laid their clothes on them, and set Him on them. 8And a very great multitude spread their clothes on the road; others cut down branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9Then the multitudes who went before and those who followed cried out, saying: “Hosanna to the Son of David! ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’ Hosanna in the highest!”

When the multitude shouted “Hosanna in the Highest” and “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!”, what was expected?

By entering into Jerusalem in this manner, Jesus  deliberately showed Himself to be the Messiah.

The phrases “Son of David” and “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord” clearly identify the Messiah.

He is coming in the authority of Jehovah to do His will.

Prior to this event, Jesus avoided this kind of display.

This takes us into the purpose of Christ Jesus’ coming.

Hebrews 10:5–7 (NKJV) 5Therefore, when He came into the world, He said: “Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, But a body You have prepared for Me.

6In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You had no pleasure. 7Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come— In the volume of the book it is written of Me— To do Your will, O God.’ ”

Look at the next verse of Zechariah’s prophecy.

Zechariah 9:10 (NKJV) 10I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim And the horse from Jerusalem; The battle bow shall be cut off. He shall speak peace to the nations; His dominion shall be ‘from sea to sea, And from the River to the ends of the earth.’

The multitudes thought that Jesus was coming into Jerusalem to set up His throne.

Revelation 19:11–16 (NKJV) 11Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. 12His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. 13He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. 14And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. 15Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. 16And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS

What did Jesus tell His disciples was going to happen when He went to Jerusalem? (Read Matthew 20:18-19)

Matthew 20:18–19 (NKJV) 18“Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and to the scribes; and they will condemn Him to death, 19and deliver Him to the Gentiles to mock and to scourge and to crucify. And the third day He will rise again.”

Watch carefully what Jesus did when He entered into Jerusalem and into the temple.

Mark 11:11 (NKJV) 11And Jesus went into Jerusalem and into the temple. So when He had looked around at all things, as the hour was already late, He went out to Bethany with the twelve.

Malachi 3:1 says, “The Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple.”

What did Jesus do in the Temple?

         This is the center of Jewish religious life.

Are their activities leading the people toward true worship of God?

After entering the temple, Jesus retired for the evening in Bethany with His friends.

Monday – three events happened.

  • Cursing of the Fig Tree – Matthew 21:18-20; Mark 11:12-14, 20, 21

The story of the fig tree is covered on two days. It started Monday morning on the way to Jerusalem.

Mark 11:12–14 (NKJV) 12Now the next day, when they had come out from Bethany, He was hungry. 13And seeing from afar a fig tree having leaves, He went to see if perhaps He would find something on it. When He came to it, He found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs. 14In response Jesus said to it, “Let no one eat fruit from you ever again.” And His disciples heard it.

The fig tree looked good from a distance. Mark tells us it was not the season for figs.

Do you think Jesus knew that?

Since Jesus was always teaching His disciples, there must be something more He was saying.

Hosea 9:10 says, “I saw your fathers as the firstfruits on the fig tree in its first season.”

In Luke 13:6-9, Jesus gave a parable of the fig tree that had no fruit.

The owner said, “Cut it down.”

The keeper of the vineyard said, “Let it alone this year also, until I dig around it and fertilize it. If it bears fruit, well. But if not, cut it down.”

Since Israel is often referred to as a fig tree, what prophetic meaning is in the cursing of the fig tree?

What is Jesus be saying about Israel?

  • Cleansing of the Temple – Matthew 21:12-13; Mark 11:15-17; Luke 19:45-46

Mark 11:15-19 (NKJV) 15So they came to Jerusalem. Then Jesus went into the temple and began to drive out those who bought and sold in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves. 16And He would not allow anyone to carry wares through the temple. 17Then He taught, saying to them, “Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations’? But you have made it a ‘den of thieves.’ ” 18And the scribes and chief priests heard it and sought how they might destroy Him; for they feared Him, because all the people were astonished at His teaching. 19When evening had come, He went out of the city.

The cleansing of the Temple demonstrates the Lord’s sovereignty over the House of God.

Over the process of years, the temple courts had become a religious market place where fraudulent transactions occurred. A doctrine of accommodation had been adopted. The priests had defiled the Temple by making what was holy profane. The Temple was supposed to be the holy house of God. They had made it a market and den of thieves. Vendors were selling animals and goods for sacrifices. The tables of money changers was another item of convenience for worshippers. Upon cleansing the Temple, Matthew tells us that Jesus healed the blind and the lame.

  • Healing in the Temple – Matthew 21:14

Matthew 21:14 (NKJV) 14Then the blind and the lame came to Him in the temple, and He healed them.

This once again demonstrates the purpose for the Lord’s coming.

Luke 4:18–19 (NKJV) 18“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed; 19To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.”

Matthew 21:15-17 (NKJV) 15But when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that He did, and the children crying out in the temple and saying, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” they were indignant 16and said to Him, “Do You hear what these are saying?” And Jesus said to them, “Yes. Have you never read, ‘Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants You have perfected praise’?” 17Then He left them and went out of the city to Bethany, and He lodged there.

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Conquering Past Failures http://www.mdanba.com/2017/10/21/conquering-past-failures/ Sat, 21 Oct 2017 08:00:00 +0000 http://www.mdanba.com/?p=6020

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Don’t allow your past failures to control your future.

Moses was sent by God to bring the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob out of bondage.

  • God had a 400-year plan of deliverance.
  • God told their patriarch Abraham that He would bring them out and into a wide and spacious land.
  • God had everything ready for a glorious entrance into a Promised Land.

From the moment that God brought them out of the gates of their bondage, the people began to complain.

  • They despised every divine intervention.
  • God delivered them from oppression, but they wanted to go back.
  • God defeated Pharaoh’s armies, but they complained about God’s provision.
  • God brought them to the border of the Promised Land, but they complained about the giants and the walled cities.

Think about it. 

  • God had giants build cities they would inhabit.
  • God had other people plant vineyards and prepare fields.
  • God even told them that the enemies that rise up against them would be defeated.
  • He said, “they shall come out against you one way and flee before you seven ways.”
  • The Lord said He would command blessing on their storehouses and everything they set their hands on.

God’s promise, provision, and protection was amazing.

God wanted the world to see how He blessed His people.

The blessing was not just for them. It was a testimony for the world to see how good God is to His people. God did this so the world would know His promise and blessing on them. He was going to bless their possessions and their generations. He was going to open His own good treasure for them. The blessings God had prepared for them was so bountiful and rich they would not have to borrow from anyone.

When they came to the Wilderness of Paran, God sent spies into the good land He had prepared.

He wanted them to see how good things were. When they came back only Joshua and Caleb had a good report. They said the land was evil and the inhabitants were giants. Their descriptions were an attack on God.

As a result of their word and complaint, the whole congregation spent 40 years wondering in the wilderness.

Hebrews 3 tells us they hardened their hearts and rebelled in the wilderness. As a result, they were not able to enter the rest of God’s blessing. They missed the blessing because having heard God’s promise, they rebelled and died in the wilderness. (Hebrews 3:16-17)

After forty years of the wilderness, God brought Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob’s descendants back to the border of His blessings.

Have they learned anything from their past?

Is their past going to be the predictor of their future?

Joshua 1:1-9 (NKJV) 1After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, it came to pass that the Lord spoke to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ assistant, saying: 2“Moses My servant is dead. Now therefore, arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them—the children of Israel. 3Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given you, as I said to Moses. 4From the wilderness and this Lebanon as far as the great river, the River Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and to the Great Sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your territory. 5No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life; as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you. 6Be strong and of good courage, for to this people you shall divide as an inheritance the land which I swore to their fathers to give them. 7Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go. 8This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. 9Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

That is a good word from the Lord.

God wants you to conquer past failures.

This word to Joshua and the congregation is a renewal of the things God had told Moses.

“As I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you. Be strong and of good courage, for to this people you shall divide as an inheritance the land that I swore to their fathers.”

What are they going to do?

Are past failures going to control their progress?

God wanted to get them on the other side of the Jordan.

Jordan represents many things. Chilly Jordan has been a symbol of death to the old life and entrance into the new.

Joshua 1:10–11 (NKJV) 10Then Joshua commanded the officers of the people, saying, 11“Pass through the camp and command the people, saying, ‘Prepare provisions for yourselves, for within three days you will cross over this Jordan, to go in to possess the land which the Lord your God is giving you to possess.’ ”

The Land of Promise was on the other side of Jordan.

On the other side, God was giving them rest and that good land.

God wanted them to remember and know what He was giving them.

Before they could enter the land, they had to cross to the other side of the Jordan.

Before they could progress, God gave them words of encouragement.

  1. Be strong
  2. Be of good courage
  3. Do not be afraid
  4. Do not be dismayed
  5. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.

These are good words to help all of us conquer past failures.

Just as Moses had done, Joshua sent spies into the land, especially Jericho.

Ten of Moses’ spies brought a word of discouragement and fear.

Just before they were sent into the land, Joshua rehearsed this command to the people.

“The Lord your God is with you wherever you go just as He was with Moses. Only be strong and of good courage.”

The spies went into the land and immediately had to hide in the house of Rahab the harlot.

The king of Jericho was in hot pursuit of the spies. She hid the men on her roof with stalks of flax.

Before she went to bed that night, Rahab spoke to the two men.

Her report was amazing.

  • She said, “the inhabitants of the land are fainthearted because of you.”
  • We have heard how the Lord dried up the Red Sea.
  • We heard how you came out of Egypt.
  • We heard what you did to the two kings of the Amorites.
  • We heard and our hearts melted, and we lost all courage.
  • We heard that the Lord your God, He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath.

When you face the enemies of past failures, do this.

Listen to God say, “The Lord your God is with you wherever you go just as He was with Moses. Only be strong and of good courage.”

After a few days, Joshua and the whole camp rose early and prepared to cross over the Jordan as the Lord commanded.

He told everyone to “sanctify themselves, for the Lord will do wonders among you,” Joshua 3:5. They took up the ark of the covenant and went to the edge of the water of the Jordan. As soon as the feet of the priest who bore the ark of the Lord touched the waters of the Jordan, the water was cut off.

God said the waters of the Jordan shall be cut off and stand as heap.

God commanded twelve men, one from every tribe, to take a stone from the Jordan as a memorial for Israel.

Those stones were a reminder for the children of Israel of what God had done for them. Then about 40,000 men dedicated themselves for battle.

Remember, when the last generation saw their walled cities, their hearts fainted and they complained to God.

Joshua 5:1 (NKJV) 1So it was, when all the kings of the Amorites who were on the west side of the Jordan, and all the kings of the Canaanites who were by the sea, heard that the Lord had dried up the waters of the Jordan from before the children of Israel until we had crossed over, that their heart melted; and there was no spirit in them any longer because of the children of Israel.

God is amazing.

  • He does not want the failures of the past to control your future.
  • He has caused your enemy to tremble and lose heart.
  • He has planned your success.

You need to celebrate the victory that God has brought you through.

That was one of the problems in their past. When God brought them through the Red Sea and defeated Egypt’s mighty army, they quickly forgot. You need to celebrate your victories.

Now, God’s ways are not always man’s ways.

God had a plan for their success and entrance into the Land of Promise.

Jericho was in the way.

God knows how to remove the Jericho that is in your way.

Joshua 6:7-10 (NKJV) God said to the people, “Proceed, and march around the city, and let him who is armed advance before the ark of the Lord.” So it was, when Joshua had spoken to the people, that the seven priests bearing the seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the Lord advanced and blew the trumpets, and the ark of the covenant of the Lord followed them. The armed men went before the priests who blew the trumpets, and the rear guard came after the ark, while the priests continued blowing the trumpets. 10Now Joshua had commanded the people, saying, “You shall not shout or make any noise with your voice, nor shall a word proceed out of your mouth, until the day I say to you, ‘Shout!’ Then you shall shout.”

Joshua 6:15-16 (NKJV) 15But it came to pass on the seventh day that they rose early, about the dawning of the day, and marched around the city seven times in the same manner. On that day only they marched around the city seven times. 16And the seventh time it happened, when the priests blew the trumpets, that Joshua said to the people: “Shout, for the Lord has given you the city!

Joshua 6:20 (NKJV) 20So the people shouted when the priests blew the trumpets. And it happened when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, and the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat. Then the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city.

God has a plan for your victory.

Listen to God say, “The Lord your God is with you wherever you go just as He was with Moses. Only be strong and of good courage.”

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Unshakable Confidence in God http://www.mdanba.com/2017/10/21/unshakable-confidence-in-god/ Sat, 21 Oct 2017 07:00:36 +0000 http://www.mdanba.com/?p=6016

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You should know that you have not touched the surface of what God wants to do for you.

  • He has more planned than you have dreamed.
  • He has a greater portion of His Spirit for you.
  • He has more power than you have experienced.
  • He wants to give you more of His favor and blessing.

For that to happen, you have to stir yourselves up and believe God for bigger things.

  • Stretch your faith.
  • Enlarge your vision.
  • Expect God to do more.
  • God can do the unexpected.

God wants you to grow and increase in every area of your life.

  • He wants to bless you more.
  • He wants to use you more.
  • He wants to fulfill your dreams and desires.
  • He wants to meet your needs.

You have to do your part.

  • You cannot be lazy or let your guard down.
  • The enemy wants to steal from you.
  • You have to stand strong against the things that attempt to drag you down.
  • Resist them in the name of Jesus.

You can have unshakable confidence in God.

You can have unshakable confidence that does not waver regardless of what comes or goes. Unshakable confidence comes by knowing that God is well able to see you through anything that happens.

God is looking for spiritually tough people.

You will never experience God’s best if your faith is weak and timid. If you get down and discouraged every time trouble comes, you will never experience God’s best.

God never promised that everything would be easy.

He did promise that He would be with us and give the strength that we need.

In Isaiah 40:31 God said, “If you wait on the Lord, your strength will be renewed.”

In Deuteronomy 28:7 He promised, “Your enemy will come against you one way and they will flee before you seven ways.”

John 16:33 (AMP) Jesus said, “In Me you may have [perfect] peace and confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer [be confident]! For I have overcome the world.”

So, get your hopes up and have faith in God.

Since God is your help and strength, you can stand strong and not give up or give in. Since God is your source, you can continue with unshakable confidence.

In Ephesians 6:13 Paul said: “Put on the whole armor of God so that you may be able to withstand in the evil day and having done all to stand.”

He said an evil day is coming.

  • What do we do when dreams are shattered?
  • What do we do when we get devastating news or disaster strikes?
  • What do we do when we feel numb from it all?
  • What do we do when we face hopeless situations?
  • What do we do when we don’t know what to do?

That is when we must hold on to that unshakable confidence in God.

In 2 Chronicles 20, King Jehoshaphat and the people of Judah faced an impossible situation.

Their evil day arrived, and three large armies surrounded them and were ready to attack.

In 2 Chronicles 20:2, Jehoshaphat’s men rushed to give him the bad news.

  • They said, “A great multitude has come against us.”
  • This was terrible news.
  • No one wants to get that kind of report.
  • They said, “the enemy will be here any day.”
    • “We are outnumbered 10 to 1.”
    • “We don’t have a chance.”

They wanted the king to tell them what to do.

Has that ever happened to you? Everyone was looking at you for the answer. That was the worst news the King had ever heard. It was a certain death sentence.

Some may have expected him to say, “Gather all your stuff. Get everybody together. Let’s not just sit here and die. Let’s try to outrun them.”

  • There was no place to run or hide.
    • They were totally surrounded.
    • The enemy was attacking from every direction.
  • Everything looked like sudden and total destruction.
  • They would be wiped out.

We all face similar situations.

Have you received devastating news? There seems to be no escape. The doctor says, “Nothing can be done.” Your friend or loved one walked away or refuses to have anything to do with you.  Your employer says, “We have to let you go.”

What do you do when trouble hits hard and knocks your wind out?

The first thing we usually do is weep.

There’s nothing wrong with that. God created us to be emotional beings. We are not immune to feelings.

I believe King Jehoshaphat cried uncontrollably before God.

People in the Bible were just ordinary people. They had feelings and emotions just like we do.

God made us to feel things.

  • We feel happiness.
  • We feel joy.
  • We feel peace.
  • We feel sadness.
  • We feel anger.

Don’t let anyone convince you that it is wrong to weep when tragedy hits your life.

Some of the greatest people in the Bible wept.

  • Abraham wept at the death of Sarah.
  • Hannah wept with bitter anguish before God.
  • Job wept in the midst of his trial.
  • Joseph wept when his brothers came.
  • Peter wept bitterly after he denied the Lord.
  • Mary stood outside the tomb weeping.
  • Jesus wept at the tomb of Lazarus.

Psalm 34:18 “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and he sees those who are crushed in spirit.”

After you cry, stir up your unshakable confidence in God.

Stand up strong and resist the enemy.

Some of you have gone through great trials.

  • You have had great difficulties and tough times.
  • You have had many struggles in life.
  • You have shed many tears.
  • God sees every tear that you shed.

Ecclesiastes says there is a time for weeping and a time to dry your tears.

Storms of life and difficult days come to all of us.

Psalms 55:18 “God redeems my soul in peace from the battle that was against me. For there were many against me.”

God always gives the strength and power you need to make it through the dark times of your life. He will give you strength to come out victoriously.

When you are tempted to give up, that is the time to hold on with unshakable confidence in God.

In Psalm 23, David said: “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death.”

You will have to go through your period of weeping and grief. You will go through that period of sorrow.

He did not stop there.

He said, “I will fear no evil; for You are with me.”

Psalms 30:5 says, “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy is going to come in the morning.”

Jehoshaphat received the worst possible news.

That is when he demonstrated unshakable confidence in God.

  • His kingdom was given a death sentence.
  • His enemies were closing in.
  • He was badly shaken at the news.
  • He fell into a period of grief and weeping.

Watch what he did next.

2 Chronicles 20:3 says, “after he feared, he set himself to seek the Lord.”

He invited everyone to join him in prayer. They gathered before God at the temple. Then they turned their faces up toward the heavens.

King Jehoshaphat prayed this powerful prayer.

2 Chronicles 20:5-12 says, “Oh Lord God, there is no God in the heavens except You. There is no god like You. You are so strong, so mighty, so powerful. Who can stand against You? You have delivered us out of the land of the heathen. And You have given this land freely to Your friend, Abraham. And You promised that his descendants would have it from now on. And God, we are his descendants. But now God, these three mighty armies are coming against us. But we know God, You have the power to stop them. We know nothing is too hard for You. But God we stand here in our own power and in our own might, in our own ability. We don’t have any strength to stand against this mighty army. We don’t know what to do God. But our eyes are upon You.”

  • When your life seems hopeless and you cannot see a solution…
    • When you do not know what to do…

Turn your eyes toward the God who can do all things.

  • He is the omnipotent, all powerful Creator.
  • Focus your eyes upon Jehovah-Jireh, the Lord your Provider.
  • Think about El Shaddai, the God Who is more than enough.
  • He is Jehovah Rapha, the Lord that healeth thee.

Lift your hands to the heavens like Jehoshaphat did and do three things.

  1. Remind God who He is.
  2. Remind God and thank Him for what He’s done for you in the past.
  3. Remind God of the promises in His Word that you are standing on.

Pray something like this.

  • Father God, You are the true and living God.
  • By Your word, You spoke all things into existence.
  • There is no power greater than Your power.
  • Thank You for all that You have done for me.
  • You called me out of the darkness into Your marvelous light.
  • You chose me, saved me, and redeemed me.
  • You washed me in Your blood and made me completely clean.
  • You have made me a new creature in Christ Jesus.
  • Father, I thank You for every healing and miracle.
  • Thank You for every time You spared my life.
  • You have protected me from danger.
  • You said that I can come boldly to the throne of grace to find mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

God, I have a great big need now.

  • Psalms 34:18 says, “many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers us out of them all.”
  • Isaiah said, You will “go before me and make the crooked places straight and the rough places smooth.”
  • Deuteronomy said, “You would defeat my enemies. When they come against me one way, You will cause them to flee seven different ways.”
  • Romans and Corinthians says, I am “more than a conqueror” and “You always cause me to triumph.”

I am surrounded by trouble.

  • In the natural, I don’t see how I will make it through.
  • In the natural, I don’t see how my family will ever come into Your kingdom.
  • But, God I am not focusing on the natural.
  • I am not focusing on my circumstances.

Lord God, my complete trust and confidence is in You.

  • My eyes are completely focused on You.
  • You are a supernatural God.

Build up your confidence in the God Who does not fail.

God will meet you at your point of need. Focus your attention on God’s awesome greatness. Think about the times God has helped you. Think about the times God made a way for you.

Stop thinking about the tragedy and turmoil that is surrounding you.

Stop listening to the enemies’ report and plan. Stop listening to all the reasons why you will not make it through.

Look past your situation and see yourself in victory.

The Psalmist said, “I will lift up my eyes to the hills – Where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.” (Psalms 121)

Jehoshaphat was surrounded by those armies.

He said, “God, we don’t know what to do, but our eyes are upon you.” When they started looking up towards the heavens, something supernatural happened.

God supernaturally moved in.

The Bible says, “the spirit of the Lord came upon Jehaziel and he began to prophesy.”

2 Chronicles 20:15 (NLT) He said, “Listen, all you people of Judah and Jerusalem! Listen, King Jehoshaphat! This is what the Lord says: Do not be afraid! Don’t be discouraged by this mighty army, for the battle is not yours, but God’s.”

You can have unshakable confidence in the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords in your time of need.

God said “You are not even going to have to get involved in the battle.”

Proverbs 21:31 “Go ahead and prepare for conflict, but victory comes from our God.”

God told them to do something very strange.

He just said, “the battle is not yours, but God’s.” Then He said: “march down toward the enemy and attack them.”

In the natural, that didn’t make sense.

They were outnumbered 10 to 1. In the natural, that was terrible strategy.

God knows what He is doing in your time of difficulty.

Let God be God. When we don’t understand Him, we must learn to trust Him and be obedient to Him.

In verse 17, God said, “You are not going to have to fight in this battle.”

Just go out and take your position, stand still, and see the deliverance of the Lord. He said, “Fear not, be not dismayed, for when you go down into that battle tomorrow morning, I’m going to be right there in the midst of you.”

Jehoshaphat demonstrated unshakable confidence in God.

  • He put the singers and the musicians out in front of his army.
  • With every step they shouted loudly, “The Lord is good and His mercy endures forever.”
  • “The Lord is good and His mercy endures forever!”
  • With every step they gained more confidence.

Verse 22 says, “when they began to sing and shout the praises of God, the Lord caused their enemies to get confused and begin to fight among themselves.”

When Jehoshaphat arrived in the enemy’s camp, they were already defeated.

God brought confusion in the enemy’s camp and they destroyed each other.

Our God is an awesome God! He told the people to gather up the spoils. There was so much cattle, money, clothing, and jewelry that it took three days to haul it off.

They went back to Jerusalem rejoicing and shouting the praises of God.

Don’t try to suppress the good news about what God has done for you.

Hold on to this unshakable confidence in God.

Keep your eyes on the Most High God and He will always bring you through with victory.

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The Ministry of Christ, Part 42 http://www.mdanba.com/2017/10/17/the-ministry-of-christ-part-42/ Tue, 17 Oct 2017 21:38:25 +0000 http://www.mdanba.com/?p=5916

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The Last Months

The Lord is making His last journey into Jerusalem. He is going through Jericho on the way to Jerusalem.

  • Zacchaeus – Luke 19:1-10
  • Parable of Ten Minas – Luke 19:11-27
  • Anointing Jesus’ feet at Bethany – Matthew 26:6-13; Mark 14:3-9; John 12:2-8

Zacchaeus – Luke 19:1-10

Follow the story of Zacchaeus in Luke 19.

Luke 19:2 (NKJV) 2Now behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus who was a chief tax collector, and he was rich.

What have we learned about the reputation of tax collectors?  

Zacchaeus was a chief tax collector.

He probably had other tax collectors that gathered the money, and he probably got a commission. Jericho was on a major road going east and west. It was a collection point for taxes on produce that was being transported to markets. Due to this arrangement, he became very rich.

         Why were tax collectors hated?

Luke 19:3–4 (NKJV) 3And he sought to see who Jesus was, but could not because of the crowd, for he was of short stature. 4So he ran ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see Him, for He was going to pass that way.

Zacchaeus was curious about this Man that was being followed by such a large crowd.

He ran ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree.

Although he was curious, it does not appear that he wanted to have an encounter with Jesus. Sycamore trees have many branches and are good for climbing.

Everything that Jesus did was directed by a divine appointment.

It appears that part of the reason for going through Jericho was for Zacchaeus.

Luke 19:5 (NKJV) 5And when Jesus came to the place, He looked up and saw him, and said to him, “Zacchaeus, make haste and come down, for today I must stay at your house.”

How did Jesus know who this little man was?

Knowing his name and where he was is a strong indication that Jesus had a divine appointment. He called him by name and told him, “I must stay at your house.”

This is the only time mentioned that Jesus invited Himself into someone’s house.

Why did Jesus need to stay at his house?

         Look at verses 9-10 for a clear explanation.

Luke 19:9–10 (NKJV) 9And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham; 10for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”

Luke 19:6–7 (NKJV) 6So he made haste and came down, and received Him joyfully. 7But when they saw it, they all complained, saying, “He has gone to be a guest with a man who is a sinner.”

This joyfulness is the response that sinners have when Jesus comes. Everyone is not impressed when sinners respond to Jesus. The crowd thought Zacchaeus was a bad investment in the Lord’s time.

Jesus said, “the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which is lost,” (verse 10).

We would all be up a tree if the Lord did not come to save us.

Notice the change that happened when Zacchaeus received Jesus into his life.

Luke 19:8 (NKJV) 8Then Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord, I give half of my goods to the poor; and if I have taken anything from anyone by false accusation, I restore fourfold.”

Should we expect people to change when Jesus comes into their lives? How much change?

Parable of Ten Minas – Luke 19:11-27

This is the Lord’s last teaching to His disciples.

Jesus taught this immediately after He said, “The Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which is lost.” It appears that Jesus is still speaking to the crowd at Zacchaeus’ house. The parable explains what God expects from those to whom He has invested His resources. Since this is a mixed group of His disciples and the crowd, the message serves a dual purpose. Listen to the parable with both of these groups in mind.

Luke 19:11 (NKJV) 11Now as they heard these things, He spoke another parable, because He was near Jerusalem and because they thought the kingdom of God would appear immediately.

Jesus was attempting to correct the false assumption that He was going to Jerusalem to immediately set up His kingdom. This parable describes the responsibility to remain vigilant in service until He returns.

Luke 19:12–13 (NKJV) 12Therefore He said: “A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom and to return. 13So he called ten of his servants, delivered to them ten minas, and said to them, ‘Do business till I come.’

 A kingdom is where someone rules.

There are two phases of the kingdom of God.

  • The first is the immediate rule and reign of God in believer’s lives.

This is why we pray: “Your kingdom come, may your will be done on earth as it is in heaven,” (Matthew 6:10).

  • The second phase of the kingdom of God is realized when Christ sets up His future kingdom.

At that time all things will be made new, (Revelation 21:4-5).

A mina was not a coin but a specific weight of silver.

The mina was usually fifty shekels. Sixty shekels was about a pound and a half. A mina was three months’ wage. A mina was a significant amount of silver for the ten servants to receive and invest.

Luke 19:14 (NKJV) But his citizens hated him, and sent a delegation after him, saying, ‘We will not have this man to reign over us.’

The word “citizens” refers to the crowd Jesus is talking to.

What is the difference in the meaning if Jesus is only speaking to His disciples?

The remainder of the parable describes the certainty of the Lord’s rule.

Luke 19:15-27 (NKJV) 15“And so it was that when he returned, having received the kingdom, he then commanded these servants, to whom he had given the money, to be called to him, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading. 16Then came the first, saying, ‘Master, your mina has earned ten minas.’ 17And he said to him, ‘Well done, good servant; because you were faithful in a very little, have authority over ten cities.’  18And the second came, saying, ‘Master, your mina has earned five minas.’ 19Likewise he said to him, ‘You also be over five cities.’ 20“Then another came, saying, ‘Master, here is your mina, which I have kept put away in a handkerchief. 21For I feared you, because you are an austere man. You collect what you did not deposit, and reap what you did not sow.’ 22And he said to him, ‘Out of your own mouth I will judge you, you wicked servant. You knew that I was an austere man, collecting what I did not deposit and reaping what I did not sow. 23Why then did you not put my money in the bank, that at my coming I might have collected it with interest?’ 24“And he said to those who stood by, ‘Take the mina from him, and give it to him who has ten minas.’ 25(But they said to him, ‘Master, he has ten minas.’) 26‘For I say to you, that to everyone who has will be given; and from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him.

27But bring here those enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, and slay them before me.’ ”

What do their actions say about the three servants?

Remember, the Lord gave this parable as He was nearing Jerusalem.

If the Lord delays setting up His earthly kingdom, what should their response be?

Mary anoints Jesus’ feet at Bethany – Matthew 26:6-13; Mark 14:3-9; John 12:2-8

Jesus is getting very close to Jerusalem now. The cross is before Him. The time schedule has become more critical. Bethany is just outside of Jerusalem.

John 12:1 (NKJV) 1Then, six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus was who had been dead, whom He had raised from the dead.

That Passover is just before His betrayal. Many things have already been put into motion at this time that precipitates the Lord’s crucifixion. Mark tells us the supper was at the house of Simon, who had been a leper. John tells us that Mary, Martha, and Lazarus were present.

John 12:2 (NKJV) 2There they made Him a supper; and Martha served, but Lazarus was one of those who sat at the table with Him.

Maybe this was a banquet to celebrate the miracles of Jesus. The man who was dead and the man who was a leper were present. That would have been some interesting discussion to hear around the table. These people were eyewitnesses to Jesus’ ministry. Martha was serving the food. Lazarus was sitting at the table with Jesus. Mary was at Jesus feet.

John 12:3 (NKJV) 3Then Mary took a pound of very costly oil of spikenard, anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil.

Nard or spikenard was a costly fragrant oil from northern India. Matthew said the oil was in an alabaster jar or flask. Matthew and Mark said she poured it on His head as He sat at the table. John said she anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped His feet with her hair. This was an act of adoration and worship. True worship always caries a fragrance that fills the house. Mary’s action caused quite a stir in the house.

John 12:4–6 (NKJV) 4But one of His disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, who would betray Him, said, 5“Why was this fragrant oil not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?”  6This he said, not that he cared for the poor, but because he was a thief, and had the money box; and he used to take what was put in it.

Matthew said, “His disciples who saw it were indignant at the waste.” John said it was Judas who would betray Him. His true nature was showing.

Why would a thief and a greedy person be in the house with true worshippers?

True worship and adoration caused Judas’ true nature to be revealed.

Why do the insincere get upset when true worshippers give their praise and glory to God?

John 12:7–8 (NKJV) 7But Jesus said, “Let her alone; she has kept this for the day of My burial. 8For the poor you have with you always, but Me you do not have always.”

This event at Simon’s house so negatively affected Judas that he sought opportunity to betray Jesus.

Matthew 26:14–16 (NKJV) 14Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests 15and said, “What are you willing to give me if I deliver Him to you?” And they counted out to him thirty pieces of silver. 16So from that time he sought opportunity to betray Him.

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The Day the Manna Ceased http://www.mdanba.com/2017/10/14/the-day-the-manna-ceased/ Sat, 14 Oct 2017 07:30:33 +0000 http://www.mdanba.com/?p=5826

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2 Chronicles 16:9 (NKJV) For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him.

God had a plan for  the children of Israel when He brought them out of Egypt.

God showed Himself strong by taking His people across the Red Sea and destroying Egypt’s armies. Then God took them to Sinai and revealed His glory. God was letting His people see that He is the almighty God.

Those were glorious days at the foot of Mount Sinai. God came down in the midst of His people. They came to recognize and know the power of God’s voice and presence. From the day that the Tabernacle was raised up, the cloud covered it. From evening until morning, it appeared as fire. It was always covered by the cloud by day and the appearance of fire by night. Throughout those days, God maintained His people and strengthened them. Every day God’s people were given heaven’s bread.

God knows how to show Himself strong on behalf of His people. His wisdom, knowledge, and power never fail. God is faithful. What He has promised, He will also perform.

Numbers 10:11-13 (NKJV) Now it came to pass on the twentieth day of the second month, in the second year, that the cloud was taken up from above the tabernacle of the Testimony. 12And the children of Israel set out from the Wilderness of Sinai on their journeys; then the cloud settled down in the Wilderness of Paran. 13So they started out for the first time according to the command of the Lord by the hand of Moses.

God was taking His people into the Promised Land.

The promise that God made to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob was about to be fulfilled.

Say it out loud:  “God Is Faithful To His Promises.”

God did not bring His people out of Egypt to let them die in the wilderness. God prepared a place for them.

When the glory of God appeared to Abraham in Mesopotamia, God said, “Get out of your country and from your relatives, and come to a land that I will show you.” (Acts 7:2-8)

God told Abraham that his descendants would dwell in bondage and oppression 400 years. Then God promised that they would come out of bondage and serve Him in the place the God of glory prepared for them.

Say it out loud again:  “God Is Faithful To His Promises.”

Can you imagine what it would be like to be free from oppression and bondage, and be given access to the great promise of the God of glory?

Numbers 13:1–3 (NKJV) 1And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 2“Send men to spy out the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the children of Israel; from each tribe of their fathers you shall send a man, every one a leader among them.” 3So Moses sent them from the Wilderness of Paran according to the command of the Lord, all of them men who were heads of the children of Israel.

Numbers 13:17–18 (NKJV) Then Moses sent them to spy out the land of Canaan, and said to them, “Go up this way into the South, and go up to the mountains, and see what the land is like:

Numbers 13:20 (NKJV) Be of good courage. And bring some of the fruit of the land.” Now the time was the season of the first ripe grapes.

God is always on time.

God had a plan that was ripe and ready. The land lay before them, (Numbers 13). God kept telling them: “Be of good courage and do not be afraid.” The land truly flowed with milk and honey. The brought back fruit from the valley of Eshcol. Two men carried a branch with one cluster of grapes between them on a pole. They also brought pomegranates and figs.

God had the land ripe and ready for His people.

Everything was set for them to enter into His blessing.

The people did exactly the opposite of what God told them.

The went into the land and they were afraid and lost all of their courage. Then, once again the people did what they did before. They complained. All they could see was the strong people and fortified cities. All they could see were giants and walls.

God had prepared all of those things for His people.

All they had to do was continue walking with the God Who opens seas and destroys enemies. Just stay under the cloud and under the fire of God.

They had a longstanding promise that God would give them the land.

God told them when He would do it and He told them where it would happen. Joshua and Caleb tried to convince them that the Lord was able to deliver that good land into their hands. Fear and doubt consumed their hearts and minds. They did not believe that the Lord was able to do it.

Numbers 14:1–2 (NKJV) 1So all the congregation lifted up their voices and cried, and the people wept that night. 2And all the children of Israel complained against Moses and Aaron, and the whole congregation said to them, “If only we had died in the land of Egypt! Or if only we had died in this wilderness!”

God became so angry with them that He was ready to kill them. Then Moses interceded for the people and reminded God that He was longsuffering and abundant in mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression. (Numbers 14:18-19)

After their complaint and rebellion, the children of Israel had to spend forty years wondering in the wilderness.

Have you ever missed the blessing of God?

God wanted to do one thing and you went the other direction. God prepared the blessing of His bounty, but you did not believe. God opened the door, but you did not walk through.

Numbers 14:36-38 tells us “The men that returned from the land and made the congregation complain by bringing a bad report died by the plague before the Lord.”

After they complained and rebelled and God sent the plague, the children of Israel said, “We will go up to the place which the Lord has promised, for we have sinned.” (Numbers 14:39-40) They thought they could walk back into God’s blessing after they had complained and rejected it.

After that, the children of Israel wondered in the wilderness forty years.

Exodus 16:35 (NKJV) And the children of Israel ate manna forty years, until they came to an inhabited land; they ate manna until they came to the border of the land of Canaan.

God is a good God.

God is longsuffering and abundant in mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression.

God never does forsake His word or His promise.

What He has said, that He will do. Although they sinned, God was merciful and continued giving them daily bread from heaven.

God is a good God.

God made a promise with Abraham that his descendants would inherit that land. God was specific down to the place and the time. They were brought by God to the border of His promise but could not enter because of unbelief. Forty years later, all of those who rebelled against God lay dead in the wilderness. God had fed them and given them water to drink. God protected them and kept them. But they died in the wilderness and did not receive the promise.

There is a message here for every one of us.

God has a plan for your life and future. He knows that plan and is working everything out so that you may live in the glory of God’s blessing. Don’t miss God by unbelief.

The lesson from the story demonstrates the wisdom, power and glory of God.

When God made a promise to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob He had no plan for failure. Their descendants failed God, but God did not fail His people.

Joshua 5:10-12 (NKJV) Now the children of Israel camped in Gilgal, and kept the Passover on the fourteenth day of the month at twilight on the plains of Jericho. And they ate of the produce of the land on the day after the Passover, unleavened bread and parched grain, on the very same day. Then the manna ceased on the day after they had eaten the produce of the land; and the children of Israel no longer had manna, but they ate the food of the land of Canaan that year.

When the manna ceased, the children of Israel were inside the land of their blessing.

God brought Abraham’s seed into the land He had promised. The land had not changed. It was still a rich land that was overflowing with the bounty that God had prepared. Back in Numbers 14:20, God said, “All the earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord.”

This prophecy was twofold.

First, it refers to the glory that God prepared for His people when they inhabited His promise and blessing.

Second, it refers to the fuller blessing that is coming when the Lord, the King of Glory, sets up His throne and reigns in power.

When God gave them manna, it was not supposed to be a staple for forty years. Manna was God’s temporary supply to carry them into the greater provision of God’s promise.

When they walked into the Land of Promise, the manna ceased.

God has provided something better than temporary blessings.

  • Hebrews 6:9 – better things accompany your salvation
  • Hebrews 7:19 – a better hope by which we draw near to God
  • Hebrews 7:21-22 – God has sworn to a better covenant
  • Hebrews 8:6 – Jesus Christ is the Mediator of this better covenant
  • Hebrews 10:35 – Better possessions are promised
  • Hebrews 11:16 – a better country and a better city
  • Hebrews 11:40 – God has provided us something better
  • Hebrews 12:24 – Jesus Christ is the Mediator of the new covenant, and His blood speaks of better things

Don’t get weary along the way.

God is prepared for tomorrow. He will carry you through. He is Jehovah-Jireh, the Lord who will provide. These better things are what God has promised. Get ready.

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I will go! http://www.mdanba.com/2017/10/14/i-will-go/ Sat, 14 Oct 2017 07:00:24 +0000 http://www.mdanba.com/?p=5831

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The story of Isaac and Rebekah – The Church and Christ

Revelation 21:10–11 (ESV) 10And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great, high mountain, and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God, 11having the glory of God, its radiance like a most rare jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal.

There are many wonderful stories in the Bible.

These stories relate historical events. Many of these stories reveal something about the Lord Jesus Christ. They preview Christ’s coming, His love, suffering and death for sinners.

One of the most profound examples of this is found in the story of Isaac and Rebekah. Within this one story are many types.

A type is a person, event, or symbolism that helps reveal God’s redemptive plan. Abraham is a type of God the Father. Isaac is a type of Jesus. Eliezer is a type of the Holy Spirit. Rebekah is a type of the Church.

Genesis 24:1–9 (ESV) 1Now Abraham was old, well advanced in years. And the Lord had blessed Abraham in all things. 2And Abraham said to his servant, the oldest of his household, who had charge of all that he had, “Put your hand under my thigh,” 3that I may make you swear by the Lord, the God of heaven and God of the earth, that you will not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell, 4but will go to my country and to my kindred, and take a wife for my son Isaac.” 5The servant said to him, “Perhaps the woman may not be willing to follow me to this land. Must I then take your son back to the land from which you came?” 6Abraham said to him, “See to it that you do not take my son back there. 7The Lord, the God of heaven, who took me from my father’s house and from the land of my kindred, and who spoke to me and swore to me, ‘To your offspring I will give this land,’ he will send his angel before you, and you shall take a wife for my son from there. 8But if the woman is not willing to follow you, then you will be free from this oath of mine; only you must not take my son back there.” 9So the servant put his hand under the thigh of Abraham his master and swore to him concerning this matter.

This story reveals God’s search for the bride of Christ.

Eliezer, the type of the Holy Spirit, was sent to search for a bride. 

Abraham charged Eliezer to find a bride that was not worldly or profane. The narrative records his journey.

God has a plan for the bride of Christ.

His plan is made clear through this story.

Eliezer was sent out to find the bride.

He did not know who she was or where she was.

When he found her, he had to win her heart.

When the Holy Spirit found you, He had to win you to Christ.

The way that Eliezer did this does not seem logical.

Genesis 24:10-14 (ESV) 10Then the servant took ten of his master’s camels and departed, taking all sorts of choice gifts from his master; and he arose and went to Mesopotamia to the city of Nahor. 11And he made the camels kneel down outside the city by the well of water at the time of evening, the time when women go out to draw water. 12And he said, “O Lord, God of my master Abraham, please grant me success today and show steadfast love to my master Abraham. 13Behold, I am standing by the spring of water, and the daughters of the men of the city are coming out to draw water. 14Let the young woman to whom I shall say, ‘Please let down your jar that I may drink,’ and who shall say, ‘Drink, and I will water your camels’ —  let her be the one whom you have appointed for your servant Isaac. By this I shall know that you have shown steadfast love to my master.”

Before Rebekah knew anything about Isaac or Eliezer’s mission, a plan of God was set in motion.

Eliezer prayed, “O LORD, God of my master Abraham, give me success today.”

You should know that God is in hot pursuit of the bride of Christ.

God knows the plans He has for you.

Eliezer did everything he could to set the stage for God to work. 

Watch this happen.  Here he is at the well with his camels.

Here is the test.

Let it be that the woman to whom I say:Please let down your jar that I may drink,’ and she who answers, ‘Drink, and I will water your camels also’ be the one.

Before he finished praying, Rebekah came out with her jar to draw water. Not only was she willing, verse 16 says the young woman was very beautiful.

Eliezer knew that she was everything that Isaac could want for his wife.

Notice her spontaneous willingness to give him a drink and to water the 10 (ten) camels.

She was willing to empty at least 4 barrels of water to satisfy the thirst of the camels.

She did this not knowing what was going to happen.

While you were a stranger, God started looking for you and had a plan to draw you into His blessing.

Rebekah was just being kind to a wandering stranger.

         She didn’t know he was looking for a bride.

When she responded, Eliezer gave her elaborate gifts.

He gave her a gold nose ring and two gold bracelets. These were extra-ordinary gifts for drawing water. Eliezer had more in mind than payment for kindness.

The Holy Spirit is in pursuit of a bride for Christ.

God, the Holy Spirit knows how to win you over.

When the Holy Spirit found us, we were going with another fellow.

We had other distractions and plans. But, the Holy Spirit knows the plans that the Lord has for us and He has not given up. The Holy Spirit knows how to win your heart. He will keep working until you respond.

Genesis 24:23–27 (ESV) 23He said, “Please tell me whose daughter you are. Is there room in your father’s house for us to spend the night?” 24She said to him, “I am the daughter of Bethuel the son of Milcah, whom she bore to Nahor.” 25She added, “We have plenty of both straw and fodder, and room to spend the night.” 26Then the man bowed down his head and worshiped the Lord. 27And he said, “Blessed be the Lord God of my master Abraham, who has not forsaken His mercy and His truth toward my master. As for me, being on the way, the Lord led me to the house of my master’s brethren.”

Rebekah immediately ran and told her mother’s household everything that happened.

Her brother Laban, hurried to the well and found the man. He was standing by the camels near the well and brought him to their house.

When he arrived at the house, they unloaded the camels and provided straw for the camels.

When food was set before him, Eliezer said, “I will not eat until I have told you what I have to say.”

Genesis 24:34–35 (NKJV) 34So he said, “I am Abraham’s servant. 35The Lord has blessed my master greatly, and he has become great; and He has given him flocks and herds, silver and gold, male and female servants, and camels and donkeys.

My master sent me to his father’s family to get a wife for his son.

I asked my master, ‘What if the woman will not come back with me?’ He replied, ‘The Lord, before whom I have walked, will send his angel with you and make your journey a success.’ You shall get a wife for my son from my father’s family.

Then Eliezer told them what happened at the spring.

Genesis 24:47-56 (ESV) I asked her, ‘Whose daughter are you?’ She said, ‘The daughter of Bethuel, Nahor’s son, whom Milcah bore to him.’ So I put the ring on her nose and the bracelets on her arms. 48Then I bowed my head and worshiped the Lord and blessed the Lord, the God of my master Abraham, who had led me by the right way to take the daughter of my master’s kinsman for his son. 49Now then, if you are going to show steadfast love and faithfulness to my master, tell me; and if not, tell me, that I may turn to the right hand or to the left.” 50Then Laban and Bethuel answered and said, “The thing has come from the Lord; we cannot speak to you bad or good. 51Behold, Rebekah is before you; take her and go, and let her be the wife of your master’s son, as the Lord has spoken.” 52When Abraham’s servant heard their words, he bowed himself to the earth before the Lord. 53And the servant brought out jewelry of silver and of gold, and garments, and gave them to Rebekah. He also gave to her brother and to her mother costly ornaments. 54 And he and the men who were with him ate and drank, and they spent the night there. When they arose in the morning, he said, “Send me away to my master.” 55Her brother and her mother said, “Let the young woman remain with us a while, at least ten days; after that she may go.” 56And he said to them, “Do not hinder me, since the Lord has prospered my way; send me away so that I may go to my master.”

This story shows the urgency of the Holy Spirit to get us to Christ.

There is no time for delay. The Holy Spirit will not put it off till tomorrow.

Eliezer said: “Do not hinder me, since the Lord has prospered my way; send me to my master.”

But the family was not ready. Give us some time to prepare. Some decisions in life are personal. No one can make this decision for you.

Genesis 24:57–58 (ESV) They said, “Let us call the young woman and ask her.” And they called Rebekah and said to her, “Will you go with this man?” She said, “I will go.”

It was only right for her to have reservations.

         Rebekah had never seen the man.

All she knew about Isaac was what Eliezer told her. She had every reason to want to know more about what she was getting into.

Listen to her faith when she said, “I WILL GO.”

1 Corinthians 2:9-10 (NKJV) “But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him. But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.”

The Holy Spirit knows how to win us over to the Lord Jesus Christ.

He tells us about Jesus. He shows us His grace and goodness. He gives us His joy and peace. He knows about His home in heaven. He tells of a future and a hope. The Holy Spirit knows how to shine the light on Jesus Christ. The riches in Christ are great and real. The Holy Spirit tells us about the Body of Christ. The Holy Spirit reveals your new home. He knows all about the sacrifice Christ has made for you. He is busy telling us about Christ.

Rebekah said: “I will go.”

Rebekah was not sure what it meant when she said: “I will go.”

Genesis 24:59 (ESV) So they sent away Rebekah their sister and her nurse, and Abraham’s servant and his men.

This was a walk of faith.

Rebekah arose and they rode on the camels and followed the man to meet Isaac.

The camel is a perfect example of church and this life.

Sometimes the JOURNEY is hard. There are long dry spells. We are thirsty and hungry. We are tired of riding this camel in this barren land.

I am glad this WORLD IS NOT MY HOME.

We often get weary, worn and tired on this journey.

We need comfort with words of hope.

Eliezer never left Rebekah on the journey.

I don’t know exactly what you are going through, but the Holy Spirit has never left your side. The Comforter abides. The Christian experience is hard sometimes.

Rebekah STAYED ON THE CAMEL…

Many people are tempted to stop or walk away. Many turn back on their journey.

It is hard to stay on the camel.

Many people have forsaken church and are trying to make it on their own.

Rebekah may have had doubts and questions about Isaac on the journey.

I have never seen the man. Is he as good as Eliezer says? Can I trust this man’s report? How can I know it is true?

You need to know that the anointed Word is accurate.

You need to see the Christ of the Bible. Hear what the Holy Spirit says about Christ. He is fairer than ten thousand. He is the bright and morning star. The love of Christ took Him to the cross for you.

You can believe everything He says about Jesus.

The journey was long, and the sun was going down on their journey.

Rebekah was getting tired and weary.

Bride of Christ, the journey is almost over.

The way has been long. The battles have been many. Troubles and pains have been heavy.

Don’t give up now.

Listen to the Holy Spirit: “You are too close to turn back now.”

Listen to what He is saying to you.

If you listen, the Holy Spirit will speak to you.

He knows your burden and care. He knows your stress and weariness.

Eliezer said, “this is the last hill.”

Come on Rebekah, “Keep going on!” Don’t give up now.

The Christian trip is nearly over…

There is VICTORY AHEAD… through the blood of Jesus.

“I WILL GO” means more than a wedding.

When Rebekah said “I will go”, it meant a long hard trip on a camel. This was a commitment

It is worth anything you will face in life.

Genesis 24:63-65 (ESV) And Isaac went out to meditate in the field toward evening. And he lifted up his eyes and saw, and behold, there were camels coming. And Rebekah lifted up her eyes, and when she saw Isaac, she dismounted from the camel and said to the servant, “Who is that man, walking in the field to meet us?” The servant said, “It is my master.” So she took her veil and covered herself.

The dust and sweat of the trip put a mark on Rebekah.

Revelation 21:4 (NKJV) “And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”

“I will go means” – THE  WEDDING OF THE BRIDE.

We will receive a new robe for our back. We will have a new crown for our head and ring for our finger. We will sing a new song. We will have a new life and renewed joy. We will have a new home and a new name. He will take us to the wedding supper of the Lamb. Christ will take us to the mansion He has prepared.

MANY HAVE SAID “I WILL GO.”

I have determined to go all the way. Many have started but have given up on the way. They have taken the engagement ring off. They have said, “I want to go my own way.”

It is worth the trip.

Don’t give up now.

Genesis 24:64-65 (NKJV) “Then Rebekah lifted her eyes, and when she saw Isaac she dismounted from her camel; for she had said to the servant, “Who is this man walking in the field to meet us?” The servant said, “It is my master.” So she took a veil and covered herself.”

1 Thessalonians 4:14-17 (ESV) For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.

AND SHE BECAME HIS WIFE….

 

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The Ministry of Christ, Part 41 http://www.mdanba.com/2017/10/10/the-ministry-of-christ-part-40-2/ Tue, 10 Oct 2017 07:00:48 +0000 http://www.mdanba.com/?p=5822

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The Last Months

  • Laborers in the Vineyard – Matthew 20:1-16
  • Christ’s Sufferings Foretold – Matthew 20:17-19; Mark 10:32-34; Luke 18:31-34
  • James and John’s Ambition – Matthew 20:20-28; Mark 10:35-45
  • Blind Men Healed – Matthew 20:29-34; Mark 10:46-52; Luke 18:35-43

Jesus is in the process of preparing His disciples for His sufferings and crucifixion.

During this process, He wants them to know that the Father will reward those who labor for Him.

Laborers in the Vineyard – Matthew 20:1-16

This parable discusses the reward of true and faithful disciples. A landowner hired laborers at various times during the day. The landowner represents God. The various times indicate the various periods of time during the ages.

  • Abraham’s descendants were the first to receive promise and commission by God.
  • At the end of the “day,” the Gentiles were brought into the grace of God through Christ.

There are two key phrases in this parable.

  1. Whatever is right I will give you.
  2. It is lawful for me to do what I wish with my own things.

God is demonstrating grace and mercy to those He calls.

         Each of us should trust God’s grace and mercy. God always does the right thing.

All of the laborers in God’s vineyard share the same kingdom and blessing. Think about the term “whatever is right I will give you,” (Matthew 20:4, 7).

Is God unjust if He rewards others that have served Him for less time and have not suffered as much? (Matthew 20:13-15) What if everyone gets the same reward?

What does the term “the last will be first, and the first last” mean? Who were “the first”?

Christ’s Sufferings Foretold – Matthew 20:17-19; Mark 10:32-34; Luke 18:31-34

Mark gives more detail about this event. This is the third time Jesus spoke with them about His death and resurrection. Jesus progressively goes into more detail about what is going to happen.

Mark 8:31 (NKJV) And He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.

Mark 9:31 (NKJV) For He taught His disciples and said to them, “The Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of men, and they will kill Him. And after He is killed, He will rise the third day.”

Mark 10:32 (NKJV) Now they were on the road, going up to Jerusalem, and Jesus was going before them; and they were amazed. And as they followed they were afraid. Then He took the twelve aside again and began to tell them the things that would happen to Him:

Why are they amazed and afraid?

Mark 10:33–34 (NKJV) 33“Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and to the scribes; and they will condemn Him to death and deliver Him to the Gentiles; 34and they will mock Him, and scourge Him, and spit on Him, and kill Him. And the third day He will rise again.”

Jesus was completely aware of the impending danger that He faced by going to Jerusalem.

With knowledge of His impending suffering, how could Jesus boldly go to Jerusalem?

Isaiah 50:6–7 (NKJV) 6I gave My back to those who struck Me, And My cheeks to those who plucked out the beard; I did not hide My face from shame and spitting. 7“For the Lord God will help Me; Therefore I will not be disgraced; Therefore I have set My face like a flint, And I know that I will not be ashamed.

James and John’s ambition demonstrates a popular Jewish belief that Jesus had come to establish an earthly kingdom at that time.

James and John’s Ambition – Matthew 20:20-28; Mark 10:35-45

Watch both accounts of this story to understand it.

Matthew 20:20–21 (NKJV) 20Then the mother of Zebedee’s sons came to Him with her sons, kneeling down and asking something from Him. 21And He said to her, “What do you wish?” She said to Him, “Grant that these two sons of mine may sit, one on Your right hand and the other on the left, in Your kingdom.”

Mark 10:35–37 (NKJV) 35Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to Him, saying, “Teacher, we want You to do for us whatever we ask.” 36And He said to them, “What do you want Me to do for you?” 37They said to Him, “Grant us that we may sit, one on Your right hand and the other on Your left, in Your glory.”

James and John were thinking of personal gain.

Have you ever wanted to be first or best?

Their understanding of what was about to happen was limited to immediate and earthly events. The multitudes thought Jesus was going to Jerusalem to rule on the throne of David. Many people only see what brings the temporary gain that Jesus can give. If Jesus’ kingdom was only earthly and political, the eternal realities of Christ’s coming could not be realized. The path to the glories of the kingdom come through Christ’s suffering and the cross.

Mark 10:38 (NKJV) But Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you ask. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?”

What did they think they were asking?

­­­What does “baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with” mean? (Luke 12:50)

Luke 12:50 (NKJV) But I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how distressed I am till it is accomplished!

What distressed Him?

Mark 10:39–40 (NKJV 39They said to Him, “We are able.” So Jesus said to them, “You will indeed drink the cup that I drink, and with the baptism I am baptized with you will be baptized; 40but to sit on My right hand and on My left is not Mine to give, but it is for those for whom it is prepared.”

Notice that Jesus is subject to the authority and direction of the Father.

The phrase “is not mine to give,” defers the authority to His heavenly Father. The ultimate authority of all things is in the Father’s will and power.

How did Jesus demonstrate this divine authority of the Father in His earthly ministry?

After Jesus spoke to James and John about this, the remaining ten disciples were displeased with them.

Mark 10:42-44 (NKJV) But Jesus called them to Himself and said to them, “You know that those who are considered rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. 43Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant. 44And whoever of you desires to be first shall be slave of all.

What is the opposite of the servant attitude? How do we develop the servant attitude? Can this be forced on others?

What is the guiding principle of the servant’s attitude?

Mark 10:45 (NKJV) 45For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”

How did Jesus serve others?

Blind Men Healed – Matthew 20:29-34; Mark 10:46-52; Luke 18:35-43

Matthew, Mark and Luke record the healing of the blind man when Jesus went out of Jericho.

This is the last healing miracle before the Passion week. All three gospels give somewhat different accounts of the miracle. Matthew says there were two blind men. Mark said blind Bartimaeus was sitting by the road begging. Luke said a blind man was sitting by the road begging. In all three Gospel accounts, the blind said, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” All three records the multitude rebuking the blind for crying out. The blind cried out all the more. Jesus responded with, “What do you want Me to do for you?” The blind said, “Lord, Rabboni, that I may receive my sight.” Matthew says, He touched their eyes and they received sight. Mark and Luke said, “Receive your sight, your faith has made you well.”

Look at the story that is recorded in Mark 10:46-52.

Mark 10:46-52 (NKJV) 46Now they came to Jericho. As He went out of Jericho with His disciples and a great multitude, blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the road begging. 47 And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” 48 Then many warned him to be quiet; but he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” 49 So Jesus stood still and commanded him to be called. Then they called the blind man, saying to him, “Be of good cheer. Rise, He is calling you.” 50And throwing aside his garment, he rose and came to Jesus. 51So Jesus answered and said to him, “What do you want Me to do for you?” The blind man said to Him, “Rabboni, that I may receive my sight.” 52 Then Jesus said to him, “Go your way; your faith has made you well.” And immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus on the road.

What part did faith have in the healing of the blind man?

How did Bartimaeus demonstrate faith?

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God Cares About YOU http://www.mdanba.com/2017/10/07/god-cares-about-you/ Sat, 07 Oct 2017 08:00:13 +0000 http://www.mdanba.com/?p=5819

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In Isaiah 40:1, God said “Comfort, yes, comfort My people!”

Isaiah 40:2 (NKJV) “Speak comfort to Jerusalem, and cry out to her, That her warfare is ended, That her iniquity is pardoned; For she has received from the Lord’s hand Double for all her sins.”

Most of us know something about troubles that burden us down.

God wants you to know that He is interested in your recovery and comfort. God wants to help you in your times of distress. He is so interested that He has provided double for all your sins. The term “double” suggest that more than enough has been given from the Lord’s hand to bring comfort.

You want to know how God is going to do that.

Go back to the beginning if you want to understand how God can help you. Go all of the way back in time to when there was nothing but God. That was when God spoke.

Psalm 33:6 (NKJV) By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, And all the host of them by the breath of His mouth.

It is hard for us to really understand the vast power of the Lord our God. Consider the power of His word. By the word of the Lord everything was made that is made.

Acts 17:24 tells us that “God, made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth.”

Try to understand how great that is.

  • God spoke and things came into existence. We have difficulty understanding because God’s creation is so vast and awesome.
  • Our God is great. Consider the expanse of the universe.
  • Our God is great. Consider the complexity of the structure of the things He has created with the word of His mouth.
  • Consider how God has measured, controlled and maintained all things.

Your God is a great God.

Isaiah 40:12 (NKJV) 12Who has measured the waters in the hollow of His hand, Measured heaven with a span And calculated the dust of the earth in a measure? Weighed the mountains in scales And the hills in a balance?

We don’t even know how to consider this. The Lord your God is greater than the universe. He is greater than the stars and planets. He is greater than the mountains and the floods.

Isaiah 40:21 (NKJV) Have you not known? Have you not heard? Has it not been told you from the beginning? Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth?

Isaiah 40:22 (NKJV) It is He who sits above the circle of the earth, And its inhabitants are like grasshoppers, Who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, And spreads them out like a tent to dwell in.

How big is our God?

Isaiah 40:26 (NKJV) Lift up your eyes on high, And see who has created these things, Who brings out their host by number; He calls them all by name, By the greatness of His might And the strength of His power; Not one is missing.

We are responsible to look up and consider the greatness of our God.

Romans 1:20 (NKJV) For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead.

  • God is revealing Himself to you in everything He has made.
  • He is constantly maintaining control over His creation.
  • Watchfully, He brings out their host by number and calls them all by name.

Stop and think about that.

God knows all of the billions of stars and planets by name. He knows every solar system. God is demonstrating the greatness of His might and the strength of His power.

How do we know this?

Not one of the host of heaven is missing. It is hard to comprehend that God is responsible for holding the most distant star in place.

What does this have to do with you?

Jacob and Israel felt that God did not know the way that they took.

Isaiah 40:27 (NKJV) Why do you say, O Jacob, And speak, O Israel: “My way is hidden from the Lord, And my just claim is passed over by my God”?

Have you ever felt that God did not know what you were going through?

Have you felt that you were going it on your own?

Jacob and Israel said, “God is not paying attention to us! He doesn’t care how we are treated.” Listen to God’s reply to their complaint and distress.

Isaiah 40:28 (NKJV) Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, The Creator of the ends of the earth, Neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable.

God is both everlasting and exists apart from the limitations of His creation.

He neither faints nor is weary. He is omnipotent and beyond understanding. His understanding is unsearchable.

Because God is who He is and does what He does, we have these promises that are sure.

Isaiah 40:29–30 (NKJV) He gives power to the weak, And to those who have no might He increases strength. 30Even the youths shall faint and be weary, And the young men shall utterly fall,

Everyone is being addressed. God is talking to the young and the old. When you are weak, He gives power. When your might fails, God increases your strength.

Isaiah 40:31 (NKJV) But those who wait on the Lord Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.

Look at that word “wait.”  It means to stay where you are and delay action until God takes action.

Isaiah 30:15 (NKJV) For thus says the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel: “In returning and rest you shall be saved; In quietness and confidence shall be your strength.”

In Isaiah 49:23 God says, “those who wait shall not be ashamed.”

Waiting on the Lord brings confident expectation and hope.

David said, “I waited patiently for the Lord; and He inclined to me, and heard my cry. He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my steps.” (Psalms 40:1-2)

How can we develop this confidence that enables us to wait?

Stop what you are doing and consider how great God is.He has not lost one star. He has not forgotten one name. He has never fainted or grown weary. His knowledge and understanding is not able to be understood or searched. He has all the power and might. He knows what to do with your situation.

Isaiah 40:31 (NKJV) But those who wait on the Lord Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.

  • They shall renew their strength.
    • Are you feeling weak?  Almighty God will give you strength.
  • They shall mount up with wings like eagles.
    • In Psalms 103:5, He says He will satisfy your mouth with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagles. God does not want you to be under your problems, but above them.
  • They shall run and not be weary.
    • Weariness is the reluctance to experience any more. The weary want to quit. The weary want to stop running. He is not talking about sitting and being weary. He says your activity level is not going to diminish. You will run.
  • They shall walk and not faint.
    • Fainting is both physical exhaustion and losing consciousness. Sometimes the troubles and trials of life make you faint. You want to withdraw.

You can have this assurance and help because God is almighty and has not failed.

God cares about you.

God wants you to know that He knows the way that you are taking. He knows your struggle and pain. He knows every attack of the enemy that you face. He has not passed you over. He has not ignored your struggle. He knows your tears and cries. He sees and knows. He is not limited by your abilities. Your God is great and mighty.

God cares about you.

If God has not failed in maintaining the universe, He will not fail you. Our God is a mighty God.

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Thank God for the Manna http://www.mdanba.com/2017/10/07/thank-god-for-the-manna/ Sat, 07 Oct 2017 07:00:30 +0000 http://www.mdanba.com/?p=5815

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The children of Israel had been brought out of Egypt by God’s mighty hand.

On the fifteenth day of the second month after they departed from Egypt, the people did something that you probably never do.

The whole congregation of Israel complained. They began thinking about the pots of meat and bread they ate in Egypt. When they were in Egypt, they wanted out.

Have you ever had those kinds of days?

You remembered sitting around Momma’s table. You just got hungry for beans and cornbread and some home fried quail, mashed potatoes and gravy and fried okra.

They began saying “You have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.” (Exodus 15:1-3)

Exodus 16:4 (NKJV) Then the Lord said to Moses, “Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you. And the people shall go out and gather a certain quota every day…”

God is so good to supply our need.

Exodus 16:35 (NKJV) 35And the children of Israel ate manna forty years, until they came to an inhabited land; they ate manna until they came to the border of the land of Canaan.

God was on time every day.

He told them, “In the morning you shall see the glory of the Lord.” (Exodus 16:7)

God said, “This shall be seen when the Lord gives you meat to eat in the evening, and in the morning bread to the full.” (Exodus 16:8)

Every morning they woke up to find the ground covered with manna.

Manna was an unusual thing. The word “manna” means, “what is it?” It was God’s provision for His people. Every nutrient they needed was in the manna that fell from heaven.

God was giving them heaven’s bread.

The magnitude of God’s blessing is amazing. The camp of Israel had 600,000 men plus women and children. God’s provision was extravagant. Not only did God feed them, their garments did not wear out, neither did their feet swell throughout the forty years. (Deuteronomy 8:9)

The whole congregation of Israel was walking under God’s blessing, covering and provision.

God’s blessing became a regular routine of their lives.

He was always on time. Every morning the ground was covered with manna from heaven. Six days a week God sent them fresh bread from heaven. On the sixth day, God sent down enough blessing from heaven so they would not need to gather on the Sabbath.

During that whole season, every enemy was scattered before them.

(Numbers 10:35)

God is faithful.

After enjoying God’s daily blessings and provision, the people complained.

Numbers 11:1 (NKJV) Now when the people complained, it displeased the Lord; for the Lord heard it, and His anger was aroused. So the fire of the Lord burned among them, and consumed some in the outskirts of the camp.

God does not consider His blessings lightly. The image of this is frightening.

The people are standing in the door to their tents complaining. Instead of the pillar of fire being a wall of protection against their enemies, the fire of the Lord burned among them and consumed some.

Numbers 11:2–3 (NKJV) 2Then the people cried out to Moses, and when Moses prayed to the Lord, the fire was quenched. 3So he called the name of the place Taberah, because the fire of the Lord had burned among them.

What were they complaining about?

Numbers 11:5–6 (NKJV) 5We remember the fish which we ate freely in Egypt, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic; 6but now our whole being is dried up; there is nothing at all except this manna before our eyes!”

Their complaint was so great that Moses heard the people weeping throughout their families.

The anger of the Lord was greatly aroused and Moses was also displeased.

Moses told the Lord, “Where am I to get meat to give to all these people? For they weep all over me, saying, “Give us meat, that we may eat.” He was so weary with them that he said, “I am not able to bear all these people alone, because the burden is too heavy for me.”

They were not just complaining about not having meat, they were saying they had it better back in Egypt.

They were despising the things that God had done for them. They were not considering every blessing that the Lord had daily loaded upon them. They forgot the burden and sorrow they had in Egypt. They forgot the pain and distress of their slavery.

God heard them saying, “It was well with us in Egypt.” (Numbers 11:18-20)

Numbers 11:18–20 (NKJV) …Therefore the Lord will give you meat, and you shall eat. You shall eat, not one day, nor two days, nor five days, nor ten days, nor twenty days, but for a whole month, until it comes out of your nostrils and becomes loathsome to you, because you have despised the Lord who is among you, and have wept before Him, saying, “Why did we ever come up out of Egypt?”

Moses could not understand how the Lord was going to give meat to that multitude of people.

Numbers 11:22-23 (NKJV) 22Shall flocks and herds be slaughtered for them, to provide enough for them? Or shall all the fish of the sea be gathered together for them, to provide enough for them?” 23And the Lord said to Moses, “Has the Lord’s arm been shortened? Now you shall see whether what I say will happen to you or not.”

God did not consider His blessing to be a small thing.

When they complained about God’s blessing, watch what God did.

Numbers 11:31 (NKJV) Now a wind went out from the Lord, and it brought quail from the sea and left them fluttering near the camp, about a day’s journey on this side and about a day’s journey on the other side, all around the camp, and about two cubits above the surface of the ground.

The quail were fluttering about the camp for miles in every direction about three feet above the ground.

Numbers 11:32 (NKJV) And the people stayed up all that day, all night, and all the next day, and gathered the quail (he who gathered least gathered ten homers); and they spread them out for themselves all around the camp.

The one who gathered the least amount of quail had 10 homers. A homer is roughly the amount a donkey could carry. A homer was about 11 bushels or a 55 gallon drum of quail.

Once again, God demonstrated that nothing was too hard for Him.

Numbers 11:33 (NKJV) But while the meat was still between their teeth, before it was chewed, the wrath of the Lord was aroused against the people, and the Lord struck the people with a very great plague.

God’s message is clear.

You should thank God for the manna.

Don’t ever forget the things that God is doing for you every day.

What has the Lord been doing for you?

He woke me up this morning and started me on my way. He has been blessing me all day long. He has healed my body and touched my mind. He saved and He has delivered. He has defeated my enemy and put him under my feet. He has kept me and blessed. He has supplied and helped. He has prospered and covered.

Every morning you should thank God for the manna.

Lift up your voice before the Lord and thank Him for the blessings that you have received.

Lamentations 3:21–23 (NKJV) 21This I recall to my mind, Therefore I have hope. 22Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not. 23They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.

Psalm 103:1–5 (NKJV) 1Bless the Lord, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name! 2Bless the Lord, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits:  3Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases, 4Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies, 5Who satisfies your mouth with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

Thank God for the manna.

Manna is God’s daily blessing. Manna is what God has provided and promised in Christ. Manna is God’s grace and mercy for your daily need.

Thank and praise God for the manna.

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The Ministry of Christ, Part 40 http://www.mdanba.com/2017/10/04/the-ministry-of-christ-part-40/ Wed, 04 Oct 2017 07:00:43 +0000 http://www.mdanba.com/?p=5807

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The Last Months

  • The Persistent Widow – Luke 18:1-8
  • The Pharisee and the Tax Collector – Luke 18:9-14
  • Let Children Come To Me – Luke 18:15-17
  • The Rich Young Ruler – Luke 18:18-30
  • The Reward for Sacrifice – Luke 18:28-30

Jesus is entering into a series of instructions to His disciples. When this finishes, the Lord enters the passion week and His sufferings.

The Persistent Widow – Luke 18:1-8

This parable is encouraging for all types of prayer, but it is especially important in times of testing. Jesus compares the unjust judge with God.

The judge who is much inferior to God demonstrates the value of persistence.

Luke 18:1–8 (NKJV) 1Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart,

1 Thessalonians 5:17 “pray without ceasing.”

There are two encouragements in this verse.

  1. Pray always.
  2. Do not give up.

Both of these refer to persistence in prayer.

What is the difference in these?

Galatians 6:9 (NKJV) 9And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.

Watch how persistence paid off for this widow.

Luke 18:2–3 (NKJV) saying: “There was in a certain city a judge who did not fear God nor regard man. 3Now there was a widow in that city; and she came to him, saying, ‘Get justice for me from my adversary.’

What does his attitude toward God show us?

The unjust judge had no regard for other’s need or position. The widow came to get justice. Someone was oppressing her. This sounds like many people who go to God in prayer.

What does that mean “to get justice from our adversary?”

Luke 18:4–5 (NKJV) 4And he would not for a while; but afterward he said within himself, ‘Though I do not fear God nor regard man, 5yet because this widow troubles me I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.’ ”

He was not impressed with her or her need.

Why did the judge help her?

Luke 18:6–7 (NKJV) 6Then the Lord said, “Hear what the unjust judge said. 7And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them?

If the unjust judge would grant the widow’s request, how much more will the heavenly Father hear you?

Do you remember what Jesus said about the birds of the air and the lilies of the field? (Luke 12:22-31) What did the Lord say He would do for you?

Luke 18:8 (NKJV) I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?”

Here the Lord says God will avenge them speedily.

How does God avenge us?

“Will the Lord find faith on earth when He comes?” is an encouragement to constant vigilance and prayer.  Don’t give up when delays come. Keep on praying and trusting God.

The Pharisee and the Tax Collector – Luke  18:9-14

The Lord is addressing prayer and access to God. The Pharisee was praying with a self-righteous attitude. The tax collector humbled himself before God. The Pharisee stood distant from others and prayed to himself and God. While praying, he considered other petitioners.

Luke 18:11–12 (NIV84) 11The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. 12I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’

Notice the tax collector’s attitude and prayer.

Luke 18:13 (NKJV) 13And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’

Then Jesus told which one of these men went away from the temple justified.

Luke 18:14 (NKJV) 14I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

Why is humility before God so important?

Is it wrong to remind God of all of the things we have done for Him?

Jesus continued the subject on humility in prayer.

Let Children Come To Me – Luke 18:15-17; Matthew 19:13-15; Mark 10:13-16

Luke 18:15 (NKJV) Then they also brought infants to Him that He might touch them; but when the disciples saw it, they rebuked them.

Why were the disciples annoyed by this invasion into the Lord’s time?

Why was it important to Jesus to allow the parents to bring the infants to Him?

Luke 18:16 (NKJV) But Jesus called them to Him and said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God.

Jesus’ concern for children indicates that the Lord came for people of all ages.

Some cultures believe that children are a burden until they can contribute to the family.

Two important messages are included in the phrase “for of such is the kingdom of God.”

The kingdom of God belongs to those who have childlike faith and humility.

Any child that comes to Jesus should be permitted to do so.

Luke 18:17 (NKJV) 17Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.”

The Rich Young Ruler – Luke 18:18-30; Matthew 19:16-30; Mark 10:17-31

Luke 18:18 (NKJV) Now a certain ruler asked Him, saying, “Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”

We are all interested in eternal life.

Who can be good enough to be saved?

Luke 18:19 (NKJV) So Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God.”

Jesus did not even assign goodness to Himself.

Luke 18:20 (NKJV) “You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery,’ ‘Do not murder,’ ‘Do not steal,’ ‘Do not bear false witness,’ ‘Honor your father and your mother.’ ”

To answer his question, Jesus told him to perfectly obey the law. If anyone could perfectly obey the law of God, they can be righteous before God.

James 2:10 (NKJV) For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all.

What is different in this man’s attitude and a little child?

Luke 18:21 (NKJV) And he said, “All these things I have kept from my youth.”

The man was trained in the way he should live. Godly parents have this duty to their children.

Luke 18:22 (NKJV) So when Jesus heard these things, He said to him, “You still lack one thing. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”

Notice that Jesus did not condemn him for his efforts in obeying the law. The Lord was able to see the details of his life. Jesus saw the one thing that was lacking.

Jesus was not adding a new requirement for salvation.

“If you want to be saved, sell everything you have and give it to the poor.”

What does this command refer to?

Luke 18:23 (NKJV) But when he heard this, he became very sorrowful, for he was very rich.

What does his attitude demonstrate?

Luke 18:24–25 (NKJV) 24And when Jesus saw that he became very sorrowful, He said, “How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God! 25For it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”

Is Jesus saying a rich man cannot be saved?

Many people believe that riches are a sign of God’s blessing.

Deuteronomy 28:1-8 talks about God’s blessings.

It says they would be blessed in the city and country. The fruit of their bodies and lives would increase. Their basket and bowl would be full. They would be blessed coming and going. The disciples had trouble understanding this statement.

Luke 18:26–27 (NKJV) 26And those who heard it said, “Who then can be saved?” 27But He said, “The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.”

If the rich who were blessed had trouble being saved, how can anyone be saved?

Jesus is not condemning riches. The whole matter is “can God trust you with wealth?”

The Reward for Sacrifice – Luke 18:28-30, Matthew 19:27-29; Mark 10:28-30

Luke 18:28–30 (NKJV) Then Peter said, “See, we have left all and followed You.”

Luke 18:29–30 (NKJV) 29So He said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or parents or brothers or wife or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, 30who shall not receive many times more in this present time, and in the age to come eternal life.”

This statement lets us all know that everything we do for the kingdom of God has its own reward.

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The Effect of the Truth http://www.mdanba.com/2017/09/30/the-effect-of-the-truth/ Sat, 30 Sep 2017 08:00:47 +0000 http://www.mdanba.com/?p=5795

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Don’t believe the lie.

We are familiar with Isaiah 53.

From it we learn the price of our redemption and the reward that comes through our Savior. From the promise of Isaiah 53, the Lord makes a perpetual covenant of peace in Isaiah 54.

Isaiah 54:1-6 (NKJV) “Sing, O barren, You who have not borne! Break forth into singing, and cry aloud, You who have not labored with child! For more are the children of the desolate Than the children of the married woman,” says the Lord. “Enlarge the place of your tent, And let them stretch out the curtains of your dwellings; Do not spare; Lengthen your cords, And strengthen your stakes. For you shall expand to the right and to the left, And your descendants will inherit the nations, And make the desolate cities inhabited. “Do not fear, for you will not be ashamed; Neither be disgraced, for you will not be put to shame; For you will forget the shame of your youth, And will not remember the reproach of your widowhood anymore.” “For your Maker is your husband, The Lord of hosts is His name; And your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel; He is called the God of the whole earth.” For the Lord has called you like a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, like a youthful wife when you were refused,” says your God.”

Isaiah 54:14 (NKJV) In righteousness you shall be established; You shall be far from oppression, for you shall not fear; and from terror, for it shall not come near you.

Listen to the Amplified translation.

Isaiah 54:14 (AMP) You shall establish yourself in righteousness… you shall be far from even the thought of oppression or destruction, for you shall not fear, and from terror, for it shall not come near you.

The Lord is saying this with absolute certainty.

You will be established on a foundation of righteousness. You will be far from oppression. You will certainly not be afraid. You will be far from terror. It will certainly not come near you.

The accuser wants you to believe there is no hope or relief from oppression and terror.

He wants you to think there is no relief from your famine and barren condition. He will say you are stuck in your barren condition.

From the time when Abram and Sarai first married, she was barren.

You must be careful about what you hear. In an attempt to alleviate her shame, Sarai gave her maid Hagar to her husband. Sarah had been barren for 90 years. When God told her she was going to have a child, she laughed. After being barren for so long, it was hard for her to believe what God said.

When you believe the lie, you enable the liar.

Job said, “What I have feared has come upon me.” (Job 3:25)

Fear is the thief’s access point to enter in to steal, kill and destroy. Fear is an agreement with Satan’s words and work. When you receive the word of the accuser, you open the door to his activity. He has no authority unless you believe his lie.

When you believe the lie, you enable the liar.

The Lord said, “In righteousness you shall be established.”

Righteousness takes us back to Isaiah 53.

It tells us what Jesus Christ did for us on the cross and through His sufferings. What the blood of Jesus has accomplished in your life has been settled in righteousness. Righteousness will be your foundation.

Don’t allow the accuser to bring you into fear over things that have been put under the blood of Jesus.

Isaiah 54:4 (NKJV) “Do not fear, for you will not be ashamed; Neither be disgraced, for you will not be put to shame; For you will forget the shame of your youth, And will not remember the reproach of your widowhood anymore.

Since the Lord is fighting our battles, we will not be disgraced.

Isaiah 54:5 (NKJV) For your Maker is your husband, The Lord of hosts is His name; and your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel; He is called the God of the whole earth.

Remember Who has taken you to be His bride.

The Lord is not saying you will not have conflict.

Isaiah 54:15 (NIV84) If anyone does attack you, it will not be My doing; whoever attacks you will surrender to you.

The Lord is saying “your enemy will fall before you.” You will no longer live in fear of attack, exile, or oppression. God has a different plan.

Isaiah 54:10 (NKJV) For the mountains shall depart and the hills be removed, But My kindness shall not depart from you, Nor shall My covenant of peace be removed,” Says the Lord, who has mercy on you.

Isaiah 54:17 (NKJV) No weapon formed against you shall prosper, And every tongue which rises against you in judgment You shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, And their righteousness is from Me,” Says the Lord.

This is your inheritance in Christ.

The Lord is saying the mountains shall depart, but My kindness will not depart from you.

Why will this happen? How can it happen?

Go back to Isaiah 53 if you need to. See what the Lord has done so that He can establish your righteous foundation.

Isaiah 54:1 (NASB95) “Shout for joy, O barren one, you who have borne no child; Break forth into joyful shouting and cry aloud, you who have not travailed; For the sons of the desolate one will be more numerous than the sons of the married woman,” says the Lord.

What God told natural Israel, He is telling you.

The barren one broke forth in joyful shouting and cries of joyful anticipation before a child was born. The one who had no child and no husband rejoiced. Before there was a change, she rejoiced. The enemy may mock the barren and say they shall be ashamed. The barren have no fruit. The barren are without reason for joy.

Now the Lord says “The desolate have reason for hope.”

The Lord has a different message.

You can face the thing where you are most barren and desolate with joyful anticipation.

How can we do that?

The promise is logical and sensible when you know Who made the promise.

You can rejoice because “your Husband is your Maker and your Redeemer.” (vs. 5)

This chapter becomes more logical and possible after what God said in Isaiah 53.

His wounds and bruises are powerful and efficient. He has taken and borne our griefs and sorrows. He was smitten and afflicted to relieve our oppression and distresses. These things were done so that you may be healed. He will heal your body and your soul. He did this thing so you may break free from your desolation and ruin. What He has said, He will do. God does not lie. What He has said, He will also perform. He is no respecter of persons. He is the same yesterday, today and forever.

When God gives you a promise, He has already settled the issue in your future.

Jeremiah 29:11 (NLT) For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”

God has already settled the issue that you will face tomorrow. Tomorrow when you call upon Him in prayer, He will listen to you. When you seek Him, you will find Him when you search with all your heart. When you seek Him and find Him, the Lord is going to take action and remove your shame. Then the Lord told Jeremiah that He would restore your fortunes.  (Jeremiah 29:11-14)

God is telling us through Isaiah, “I know your barrenness. But, where you have been barren, I am going to make you fruitful.”

“Where you have been lacking, I am going to make you abound.”

He told Israel to “stretch out the curtains of your dwellings, spare not; lengthen your cords and strengthen your pegs.” (Isaiah 54:2)

Before there was an increase, God said get ready for my blessings. God settled the debt before anything happened.

Isaiah 54:4 (NASB95) “Fear not, for you will not be put to shame; and do not feel humiliated, for you will not be disgraced; But you will forget the shame of your youth, and the reproach of your widowhood you will remember no more.

Isaiah 54:5 (NASB95) “For your Husband is your Maker, Whose name is the Lord of hosts; And your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel, Who is called the God of all the earth.

He is going to take care of any deficit. He is going to multiply. He is going to heal your hurt. He will take away the reproach of your past.

Don’t believe the lie. The enemy will say it cannot happen. Your past will try to tell you there is no hope.

The Lord says, “Fear not, for you will not be put to shame.”

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Preparations for Your Miracle http://www.mdanba.com/2017/09/30/preparations-for-your-miracle/ Sat, 30 Sep 2017 07:00:06 +0000 http://www.mdanba.com/?p=5786

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David made preparations to build the house of the Lord, but God did not allow him to build it.

After David had died, his son Solomon took up the work to build a house of God.

In 2 Chronicles 5, Solomon finished the work on the house of the Lord and brought the dedicated things into the house of God.

“When the priest came out of the Most Holy Place and the Levites who were singers began praising and thanking the Lord, the house of the Lord was filled with a cloud; for the glory of the Lord filled the house of God.” (2 Chronicles 5:11-14)

Then Solomon, the elders of Israel, and all of the people dedicated the Temple of God.

Watch how Solomon entered into his prayer and listen to his words.

Solomon stood before the Temple with the assembly of Israel and spread out his hands toward heaven.

Then he knelt down and said: “Lord God of Israel, there is no God in heaven or on earth like You, Who keeps Your covenant and shows mercy and loving-kindness to Your servants who walk before You with all their hearts.” “You have kept your promises and what you have spoken with your mouth and fulfilled it with your hand.” (2 Chronicles 6:12-17)

As he was praying and dedicating the temple, he considered how awesome and great God is.

He said, “Will God actually dwell with men on the earth? Behold, heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain You. How much less this house which I have built!

Yet hear the prayer and supplication of Your servant, O Lord my God. Listen to my cry and prayer which your servant is praying before You: that Your eyes may be open toward this temple day and night, toward the place where You said You would put Your name, that You may hear the prayer which your servant makes toward this place. May You hear the supplications of Your servant and Your people Israel, when they pray toward this place. Hear from heaven Your dwelling place, and when You hear, forgive.” (2 Chronicles 6:18–21)

After Solomon prayed, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and sacrifices; and the glory of the Lord filled the temple. (2 Chronicles 7:1-2)

That is what you want to happen when you pray. God showed Solomon and everyone present that He was listening and had answered his prayer. Everyone present bowed their faces to the ground and worshiped and praised the Lord saying: “For the Lord is good, For His mercy endures forever.”

2 Chronicles 7:12-14 (NKJV) Then the Lord appeared to Solomon by night, and said to him: “I have heard your prayer, and have chosen this place for Myself as a house of sacrifice. When I shut up heaven and there is no rain, or command the locusts to devour the land, or send pestilence among My people, If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

Here are preparations for your miracle.

First, you need to humble yourself before God.

If you want God’s help in your times of trouble, you need to humble yourself and submit to Him. Don’t try to come to God and tell Him how good you are and how much you deserve His favor. Humble yourself before God.

Second, you need to pray to God.

God answers prayer. When you have need, you must humble yourself and pray.

Proverbs 15:29 tells us “God hears the prayer of the righteous.”

James 5:16 says, “The earnest, fervent prayer of a righteous man has great power and produces wonderful results.” (NLT)

Elijah prayed like that seven times, and God sent rain.

Third, you need to seek God’s face.

What does it mean to seek God’s face? Moses must have known what that meant.

He had been in the presence of God and wanted to know God more. Cast aside your burdens and cares. Make room for some time for God. Enter into His presence and seek the Lord. Start speaking out of your whole heart to the Lord. Ask God to teach you where and how to seek and find Him. Seeking God is an activity that is practiced throughout the Bible. If you are needing miracles, you need to lay aside your need and burden and seek the Lord.

Fourth, you need to turn from your wicked ways.

Do you know what is wrong in your heart and ways? Search your heart and don’t allow yourself to be comfortable with your destructible ways. This turning from your wicked ways opens up the windows of heaven for blessings in your life. The greatest blessing I have ever received came after times of repentance and turning to God. God cannot bless you if you are not willing to turn.

Fifth, the windows of heaven are opened.

God says, “I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14) God is setting you up for a miracle.

He said, “I will hear…”

There are a few things you need to do, and then God is going to open heaven. When He hears your prayers, miracles are going to happen. God is going to change situations and circumstances you are dealing with.

Are miracles possible?

If God exists, then miracles are possible. He is the God of all miracles. Miracles are special acts of God. If God hears your prayers, the answer is on the way. You need to hear this in your inner man today. God wants to do something great in you.

How do I know that?

Look at the great efforts that God has taken to insure that you will receive your miracle.

Isaiah 53:4–5 (NKJV) 4Surely He has borne our griefs And carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted. 5But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.

Do you believe that Jesus did that for you?

Take some steps right now to receive your miracle from God. You need to humble yourself before God. Start praying and seeking the face of God. Turn from your wicked ways and turn to God. Then God said, “I will hear.”

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The Ministry of Christ, Part 39 http://www.mdanba.com/2017/09/26/the-ministry-of-christ-part-39/ Tue, 26 Sep 2017 07:00:34 +0000 http://www.mdanba.com/?p=5780

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The Last Months

  • Christ’s instructions to disciples – Luke 17:1-10
    • The Peril of Offending – Luke 17:1-2
    • Forgiveness – Luke 17:3-4
    • Faith – Luke 17:5-6
    • Profitable servants – Luke 17:7-10
  • Discourse on the Second Coming Luke 17:20-37

Jesus is entering into a series of instructions to His disciples. This is covered in Luke 17 through Luke 19:27. Interspersed with these instructions are some events that happen in this short process. When this finishes, the Lord enters the passion week and His sufferings.

The Peril of Offending – Luke 17:1-2

Luke 17:1 (NKJV) 1Then He said to the disciples, “It is impossible that no offenses should come, but woe to him through whom they do come!”

Look at that word ‘offenses.’

The Greek word is σκάνδαλονa, (skandalon) –  1. a trap, probably of the type which has a stick which when touched by an animal causes the trap to shut—‘trap.’ 2. A stumbling block, obstacle that causes one to sin. 3. Offense, an obstacle which offends.

Jesus is referring to things that a person says or does that may cause another to sin or be hurt.

Look at the Amplified Bible translation of this verse.

Luke 17:1–2  (AMP) 1AND [Jesus] said to His disciples, temptations (snares, traps set to entice to sin) are sure to come, but woe to him by or through whom they come! 2It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.

Now Jesus uses the word σκανδαλίζω – [skan·dal·id·zo] for offend.

The meaning is saying more than what we think of when we say “they were offended.” That means their feelings were hurt.

Jesus is saying something different than that. He is talking about putting a stumbling block in another’s way to cause them to trip and fall.

Luke 17:2 (AMP) 2It would be more profitable for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were hurled into the sea than that he should cause to sin or be a snare to one of these little ones [lowly in rank or influence].

This kind of offense is enticing a person to sin. This offense removes trust and entices one to abandon what they should trust and obey. To offend then means to cause someone to withdraw from Christ and get entangled in sin.

Forgiveness – Luke 17:3–4

Luke 17:3–4 (NKJV) 3Take heed to yourselves. If your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. 4And if he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times in a day returns to you, saying, ‘I repent,’ you shall forgive him.”

After Jesus just said don’t be an “offense” to others, He talks about not holding on to grudges. If anyone sins against you, Jesus has a formula for dealing with those sins.

What does Jesus say? What does the word “rebuke” mean?

What part does forgiveness have to do with your attitude before you “rebuke” your fellow Christian? (Ephesians 4:32)

How often do we have to forgive?

These kinds of teachings are difficult to receive.

Should not the person that sins against you have to ask forgiveness seven times every day?

Why is it important for us to practice forgiveness?

Faith – Luke 17:5-6

Luke 17:5–6 (NKJV) 5And the apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith.” 6So the Lord said, “If you have faith as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be pulled up by the roots and be planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.

They wanted Jesus to give them greater faith.

Why do we need greater faith?

Jesus’ response explained the value of true faith, regardless of its size. He said the least amount of true faith has miraculous possibilities. Jesus’ answer indicates the power of faith in removing the difficulties of life.

Why is faith so powerful?

Profitable servants – Luke 17:7-10

Remember that the Lord is teaching His disciples.

Luke 17:7–10 (NKJV) 7And which of you, having a servant plowing or tending sheep, will say to him when he has come in from the field, ‘Come at once and sit down to eat’? 8But will he not rather say to him, ‘Prepare something for my supper, and gird yourself and serve me till I have eaten and drunk, and afterward you will eat and drink’? 9Does he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I think not. 10So likewise you, when you have done all those things which you are commanded, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants. We have done what was our duty to do.’ ”

Jesus is discussing the master-servant relationship.

In Luke 6:46, Jesus said: “Why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do the things which I say?”

In this parable, the Lord is teaching the proper attitude of the servant. He is not talking about slavery, but He is talking about having the right attitude toward God. Everyone who has made Jesus Lord of their lives should have this attitude. The servant attitude does not consider that they are worthy of thanks or praise for doing their duty. When we walk in obedience, we have only done what we are supposed to do. If we do everything required and more, we have not surpassed our duty.

Luke 17:10 (NKJV) 10So likewise you, when you have done all those things which you are commanded, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants. We have done what was our duty to do.’ ”

Are we walking in obedience if we have to be told to do what we know we should do?

Discourse on the Second Coming – Luke 17:20-37

Jesus is being asked about the coming of the kingdom of God. Without denying the completion of the kingdom at the end of time, Jesus acknowledged the spiritual reality that the kingdom is available to everyone who receives Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

Luke 17:20–21 (NKJV) 20Now when He was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, He answered them and said, “The kingdom of God does not come with observation; 21nor will they say, ‘See here!’ or ‘See there!’ For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you.”

What does it mean, “the kingdom of God does not come with observation?”

The Pharisees were preoccupied with end-time signs. Jesus taught that there was no basis for predicting the date of God’s coming kingdom.

Look at verse 21 from the Amplified.

Luke 17:21 (AMP) 21Nor will people say, Look! Here [it is]! or, See, [it is] there! For behold, the kingdom of God is within you [in your hearts] and among you [surrounding you].

Jesus presented two realities of the kingdom of God that they missed. It is present in your hearts and embodied in Him. The reality of the kingdom in your hearts must not be missed.

Why is this so valuable and necessary?

Mark 13:32 (NKJV) “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.

Matthew 24:36 (NKJV) “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only.

How should we live knowing that the coming of the Lord is without sign or time?

Matthew 24:44 (NKJV) 44Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.

Luke 12:40 (NKJV) 40Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”

Although no one knows the day or hour of the Lord’s return, Jesus shows some things that must happen.

Luke 17:22–23 (AMP) 22And He said to the disciples, The time is coming when you will long to see [even] one of the days of the Son of Man, and you will not see [it]. 23And they will say to you, Look! [He is] there! or, Look! [He is] here! But do not go out or follow [them].

What does “The time is coming when you will long to see [even] one of the days of the Son of Man,” mean?

Luke 17:24 (AMP) 24For like the lightning, that flashes and lights up the sky from one end to the other, so will the Son of Man be in His [own] day.

The day of the Lord will come instantly and without warning.

Luke 17:25 (NLT) 25But first the Son of Man must suffer terribly and be rejected by this generation.

Before the Lord will come in power, He must suffer.

Why was this hard for them to understand?

After speaking of His death, Jesus gave some signs of the end times.

Jesus referred to two days of judgment.

Luke 17:26–27 (NKJV) 26And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: 27They ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all.

What happened in the day of Noah?

Luke 17:28–29 (NKJV) 28Likewise as it was also in the days of Lot: They ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built; 29but on the day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all.

What happened in Lot’s day?

Luke 17:30 (NKJV) 30Even so will it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed.

(For reference: Matthew 16:27; 1 Corinthians 1:7; Colossians 3:4; 2 Thessalonians 1:7; 1 Peter 1:7; 4:13; 1 John 2:28)

There are two definite things that happened that will be repeated in the day that Jesus is revealed in glory and power.

  1. Sinful lifestyles will continue.
  2. The day of the Lord will happen unexpectedly.

Jesus demonstrates this in the next paragraph.

Luke 17:31–32 (ESV) 31On that day, let the one who is on the housetop, with his goods in the house, not come down to take them away, and likewise let the one who is in the field not turn back. 32Remember Lot’s wife.

The reference to Lot’s wife is a warning against being entangled with the world.

Luke 17:33 (ESV) 33Whoever seeks to preserve his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life will keep it.

Jesus is talking about caring for the body and not caring for one’s soul.

Luke 17:34–36 (ESV) 34I tell you, in that night there will be two in one bed. One will be taken and the other left. 35There will be two women grinding together. One will be taken and the other left.” 36Two men will be in the field: the one will be taken and the other left.”

When the Lord returns, there will be a definite separation.

These are warnings of coming judgment on those who remain after the Lord comes and takes His awaiting bride.

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God’s Holy Church: Dwelling in the Presence of Jehovah http://www.mdanba.com/2017/09/23/gods-holy-church-dwelling-in-the-presence-of-jehovah/ Sat, 23 Sep 2017 07:00:31 +0000 http://www.mdanba.com/?p=5778

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Revelation 21:3-6 (NKJV) And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God.  And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.” And He said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts.

God’s people will know and enjoy the great glory and power of Jehovah’s presence more than ever before.

God will dwell with us. This will be a permanent dwelling place in His glory and presence.

We can hardly understand this now.

1 Corinthians 13:12 (KJV) 12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

We really know very little about the open glory of God’s presence. What we experience and know now is brief and temporary.

Isaiah 64:3–4 (NKJV) 3When You did awesome things for which we did not look, You came down, The mountains shook at Your presence. 4For since the beginning of the world Men have not heard nor perceived by the ear, Nor has the eye seen any God besides You, Who acts for the one who waits for Him.

Very few people had a face-to-face encounter with God.

  • After Jacob wrestled with God, he said: “I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved,” (Genesis 32:30).
  • In Numbers 12:6-7, God said: “I make Myself known in a dream to the prophets… with My servant Moses… I speak face to face.”
  • When Moses stood before the burning bush, God revealed Himself as the great “I AM WHO I AM.” He is the God of Abraham. He is the God of heaven and earth. He is the Creator of all things.

The children of Israel did not know God as Moses did on the mountain. They did not stand face-to-face in His glory. They heard about Him, but they did not know Him. Hearing about Him is not knowing Him.

They prayed to Him, but did not know Him. Praying to Him is not knowing Him.

When Moses showed up in Egypt with the might of God’s power, they did not fully understand. They were not prepared for the sovereign God. They were not prepared for a God who could part seas and lead them across on dry ground.

  • We marvel at their exposure to God throughout the exodus. God came down to lead them out of bondage. He protected and guided them. For forty years His mighty power and hand delivered them from their enemies. God brought them into the land of promise.

Every fable and story they had about God had to be confronted with fact.

The awesome power of Jehovah was shown in the ten plagues in Egypt. No one in Egypt was familiar with the glory and power of the living God. The God of Moses had sovereign power over the gods of Egypt.

Pharaoh and the Egyptians dismissed the miracles as a product of a natural occurrence.

Many people today do the same thing when God does great things.

Frogs, flies, lice, bitter water, water turning to blood could not turn their hard hearts.

They tried to dismiss the might of God’s actions as a result of nature turned wild.

Moses knew that it was the almighty God that was striking a blow against Egypt.

As Israel crossed the Red Sea, they all witnessed the awesome power of God.

The pillar of fire stood between Egypt’s army and God’s people. Every event was evidence of the sovereign and almighty God.

The great “I AM” came down to help them. Although they did not understand, they were forced to see the might of God. Nothing they encountered was too great for God.

I AM WHO I AM was present to help them. He did not change to come to their aid.

In the exodus, we begin seeing what it must be like to dwell continually in God’s presence.

In His presence, there was covering. In His presence, there was protection. In His presence, was provision. In His presence, no one was sick. In His presence was His glory. In His presence, His power and miracles was seen. In His presence, the people were humbled. In His presence, enemies were defeated. Even nature responded to His presence. His power and glory was greater than they thought. They were exposed to God throughout the Exodus.

Yet, they could not enter God’s rest because they did not believe. When God came down on Sinai, He said: “I will take you as My people, and I will be your God.”

He said, “I will bring you into my promises.”

They were totally unprepared for His presence, power and holiness.

They trembled and hid. The almighty God Jehovah had come down.

God was not coming down to condemn them.

  • He was coming down for fellowship.
  • He was there to help them.
  • They could not stand to dwell in His presence.
    • They were unworthy and sinful.
  • He is Holy.
    • They were weak and faulty.
  • He is almighty.
    • They were slaves.
  • He is sovereign and supreme.
    • They were little.
  • He is awesome in power and glory.
    • They were helpless.

At the end of time, everything is going to be different.

God will be the same, but we will be different.

The angels of Heaven will still be proclaiming: “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of His glory!”

The holiness of the Lord will fill the whole earth.

Revelation 21:3 (NKJV) “The Tabernacle of God will be with men, and He shall dwell with them, and they shall be His people, God Himself will be with them and be their God.”

The Lord God omnipotent will dwell with His people. His glory shall be known.

Moses, Isaiah, Habakkuk, Job, Ezekiel, and John did not experience or know what will be known then.

What they experienced was full of awe and glory. They trembled in the power of God’s presence. They could not fully enter what God was revealing.

One of the most awesome words that has been spoken is in Revelation 21:3.

“God shall dwell with them.”

The words of John’s revelation parallel the exodus and the end.

The words of John’s revelation parallel the exodus and the end.

  • In the exodus, their enemies were crushed.
    • In the end of time, Satan will be destroyed and God’s people will rejoice.
  • Egypt was destroyed in the Red Sea.
    • The False Prophet, the Antichrist, and the hordes of Satan’s angels will be cast into the lake of Fire.
  • The Lord God Almighty carried them into the Land of Promise.
    • The Lamb of God will lead us beside the Waters of Life into Paradise.
  • The Lord gave them peace.
    • The Lord will give a peace that never ends.
  • The I AM WHO I AM claimed them as His own.
    • The Lord who reigns forever and forever will claim us as His bride.
  • The land flowed with milk and honey and the fruit of the land was tremendous.
    • The riches of that heavenly land are beyond human comprehension.

What they experienced cannot be compared with what will happen when we live for eternity in His presence and are changed to His likeness.

Matthew 13:43 (NKJV) Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!

We are looking for that day when the redeemed of the Lord shall dwell in the unveiled presence of God.

“We shall be like Him for we shall see Him as He is.”

I want to see Him as He is and be changed. Are you longing to see Him?

 

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The Ministry of Christ, Part 38 http://www.mdanba.com/2017/09/19/the-ministry-of-christ-part-38/ Tue, 19 Sep 2017 23:18:09 +0000 http://www.mdanba.com/?p=5774

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The Last Months 

  • Parable of the Unjust Steward Luke 16:1-13
  • Parable of Rich Man and Lazarus Luke 16:19-31

During the last months before the Lord’s crucifixion, Jesus gave many parables.

Matthew 13:10 (NKJV) 10And the disciples came and said to Him, “Why do You speak to them in parables?”

Matthew 13:13 (NKJV) 13Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.

All of the parables are rich with messages from the Lord.

They are intended to instruct believers so they may grow and have abundance. The two parables we are considering refer to stewardship. Luke spends more time than the other gospels in discussing money. These two parables that talk about this subject are only found in Luke.

The Unjust Steward – Luke 16:1-13

This is one of the most difficult parables to understand. On the surface it appears to justify cheating. The rich man represents God. The steward is entrusted with managing another’s goods.

Luke 16:1 (NKJV) He also said to His disciples: “There was a certain rich man who had a steward, and an accusation was brought to him that this man was wasting his goods.

The man was incompetent and was wasting the rich man’s goods.

What is another term that could be used for what he did with those goods?

Luke 16:2 (NKJV) “So he called him and said to him, ‘What is this I hear about you? Give an account of your stewardship, for you can no longer be steward.’”

He was called to give an account of the way he had handled his employer’s property and money. When he was dismissed, the steward quickly developed a plan for his future.

Luke 16:3–7 (NKJV) 3“Then the steward said within himself, ‘What shall I do? For my master is taking the stewardship away from me. I cannot dig; I am ashamed to beg. 4I have resolved what to do, that when I am put out of the stewardship, they may receive me into their houses.’ 5“So he called every one of his master’s debtors to him, and said to the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’ 6And he said, ‘A hundred measures of oil.’ So he said to him, ‘Take your bill, and sit down quickly and write fifty.’ 7Then he said to another, ‘And how much do you owe?’ So he said, ‘A hundred measures of wheat.’ And he said to him, ‘Take your bill, and write eighty.’

What do you call that kind of action?

No one would approve of his fraudulent actions.

Luke 16:8 (NKJV) 8So the master commended the unjust steward because he had dealt shrewdly.

Since the rich man represents God, why was the steward commended for his actions?

Carefully read the first part of Luke 16:8.

The man’s actions were not praised, but his shrewd foresight or prudence was. He considered his situation, looked to the future, and planned for it. Jesus was saying that we should sacrifice present gain for future reward.

Luke 16:8b–9 (NKJV) “For the sons of this world are more shrewd in their generation than the sons of light. And I say to you, make friends for yourselves by unrighteous mammon, that when you fail, they may receive you into an everlasting home.”

We can learn from the people of the world. Use everything that you have to win the lost. The steward took action while he could to form friendships for his times of need.

What kinds of things can we use to make friends that last for eternity?

Luke 16:10–11 (NKJV) 10He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much. 11Therefore if you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches?

What is the “least” referring to? When do we know that God can trust us?

He is talking about the things we are entrusted with.

Luke 16:12–13 (NKJV) 12And if you have not been faithful in what is another man’s, who will give you what is your own? 13“No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.”

Notice the distinction between what is yours and what belongs to another.

In this parable, Jesus is talking about God.

How do we handle all of the blessings the Lord has given us?

The Rich Man and Lazarus – Luke 16:19-31

The Lord continues to discuss stewardship with the parable of the rich man and Lazarus.

There are two points that should be noted before we enter into this parable.

  1. Riches do not equal righteousness.
  2. The rich man was not in Hades because he was wealthy.

How can we be saved? How much money do you have to have to be saved?

Beyond stewardship, Jesus reveals some depth of information about eternal rewards.

Luke 16:19–31 (NKJV) 19“There was a certain rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and fared sumptuously every day. 20But there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, full of sores, who was laid at his gate, 21desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table. Moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. 22So it was that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man also died and was buried. 23And being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. 24“Then he cried and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.’ 25But Abraham said, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted and you are tormented. 26And besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, so that those who want to pass from here to you cannot, nor can those from there pass to us.’ 27“Then he said, ‘I beg you therefore, father, that you would send him to my father’s house, 28for I have five brothers, that he may testify to them, lest they also come to this place of torment.’ 29Abraham said to him, ‘They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.’ 30And he said, ‘No, father Abraham; but if one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ 31But he said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead.’ ”

This parable shows us several things about hades or hell.

  • Hades and paradise were two chambers of the underworld.

Hades is hell. Abraham’s bosom is a place of bliss. Sheol is the abode of the dead in the underworld without distinction of righteousness or wickedness. The grave is not the same thing as hell.

Psalm 16:10 (NKJV) 10For You will not leave my soul in Sheol, Nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption.

Psalm 86:13 (NKJV) 13For great is Your mercy toward me, And You have delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol.

  • Hell is a place of torments.
  • Hell is a place of knowledge.
  • Hell is a place of recognition (know others condition).
  • Hell is without water or relief.
  • Hell is a place of flames.
  • Nothing good can be taken to hell.
  • There is a great gulf fixed between torment and paradise.
  • No one can get from hell to paradise or this world.

We also learn several things about the paradise of God.

  • It is a place in the bosom of God (Abraham’s bosom is the paradise of God.) (Revelation 21:4)

2 Corinthians 5:8 (NKJV) 8We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.

Ecclesiastes 12:7 (NKJV) 7Then the dust will return to the earth as it was, And the spirit will return to God who gave it.

  • Angels of God carry the righteous to paradise.
  • It is a place of comfort and rest.
  • It is a place of good things.
  • It is a place of cool water.

Where is paradise now?

Ephesians 4:8–10 (NKJV) 8Therefore He says: “When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive, And gave gifts to men.” 9(Now this, “He ascended”—what does it mean but that He also first descended into the lower parts of the earth? 10He who descended is also the One who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things.)

2 Corinthians 12:2 (NKJV) 2I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago—whether in the body I do not know, or whether out of the body I do not know, God knows—such a one was caught up to the third heaven.

2 Corinthians 12:4 (NKJV) 4how he was caught up into Paradise and heard inexpressible words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.

Revelation 2:7 (NKJV) 7“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.” ’

Revelation 22:2 says the tree of life grows on both sides of the river of water of life that proceeds from the throne of God.

Who is responsible for warning people about the torments of hell and the paradise of heaven? (Luke 16:29)

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What is The Reward of the Saints? http://www.mdanba.com/2017/09/16/what-is-the-reward-of-the-saints/ Sat, 16 Sep 2017 08:00:10 +0000 http://www.mdanba.com/?p=5761

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Revelation 22:12–13 (NKJV) 12“And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work. 13I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last.”

Revelation 20:12-15 (NKJV) And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. 14Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.

The reward of the saints of God are numerous and beyond comprehension.

There are at least three kinds of blessings or rewards that we receive from God.

  • We receive some blessings or rewards every day.
  • We receive present blessings that last for eternity.
  • God has prepared eternal future blessings.

None of us can know all of the blessings that God has prepared for us every day.

These kind of blessings are not lasting, but they are very real. They are spiritual, physical, or emotional blessings. They are blessings that affect body, mind and spirit. Many times we are blessed just because we came into the presence of God.

The body, mind and spirit reacts and responds to the awesome presence of God.

We are blessed when we recognize that God is near.

These temporary blessings are very real.

Watch what happened when God was near His people.

Israel had all of their need supplied when God was with them in the wilderness.

The house of Obed-Edom was blessed as long as the Ark of God was in his house.

Mary, Martha, and Lazarus were blessed when Jesus showed up and Lazarus was called out of the grave. Many people who followed Christ were blessed by His signs, wonders, and miracles.

We rejoice with great joy when the Lord blesses us.

We are blessed because we pay our tithes. We are blessed because we obey our parents. We are blessed because we bless those that God has blessed. We are blessed because we do what God wants us to do. We are blessed when we are healed.

These are temporary blessings.

Lazarus lived and died again. When the Ark of God was removed from Obed-Edom’s house, the blessing ceased. None of us want to miss any of God’s temporary or earthly blessings.

There are blessings that are greater that are eternal in nature.

Some of your eternal blessings start now and extend throughout the future.

Every believer has received those kinds of blessings.

Have you been saved from your sins?

Anyone who has been saved and forgiven knows this kind of blessing. The burden is lifted and the joy of the Lord floods in. These emotional and spiritual blessings affect us right now but have eternal consequences.

We have not understood the end of our salvation. The hope we have for today is wonderful. Our salvation affects us right now. The burden rolls away. We experience the immediate joy of sins forgiven. This produces a lasting change in our lives. The old is done away, everything is made new. We do not have to wait until we get to heaven to know the joy of salvation and life eternal.

Your salvation has not been completed yet.

Salvation has present and eternal rewards. We are immediately changed, yet, there is a greater change coming. When we see Jesus, we shall immediately be changed and be like Him. Then our salvation shall be completed.

Several things fit into this category of blessing.

There are rewards that we receive now that continue throughout eternity. There is a blessing in leading the lost to the Lord.

Paul said they are “our hope, joy or crown of rejoicing in the presence of the Lord at His coming.” (1 Thessalonians 2:19)

The Psalmist said, “weeping my endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning,” (Psalms 30:5)

The prayers of the saints become the incense that is held in golden bowls in heaven. We are blessed when we pray, and heaven will be full of the aroma of the prayers of the saints. There is blessing in reading the Word and hiding it in our heart. Right now the Word keeps us from sinning. When we stand before Him on the judgment day, the promises of the Word will be fully known. Almost everything that you do before the Lord has an immediate and lasting reward.

There are eternal future blessings.

We have been anticipating these blessings. We only know about these things, but we have not experienced them.

What are the eternal future rewards of the saints?

We have looked at the potential for these blessings.

God is preparing to bless you with these eternal future blessings.

Stop and think about this.

John 14:2–3 (NKJV) 2In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.

God created everything that now is in 6 days.

What kind of preparations is He making for us?

God has prepared these blessings for those who love Him. Jesus talked about this preparation. We can only imagine what He has prepared for us.

God has revealed some of these blessings in terms that we can understand.

John saw that Holy City in Revelation 21.

We have nothing to compare with the things he described.

He saw the light and the glory of the city.

No prophet of God has been able to fully describe the glory of God and His presence.

He saw the wall.

We cannot imagine walls of jasper. Jasper is multicolor with white, green, blue, brown, yellow, red, gray, or black colors.

The twelve gates are each one pearl.

He saw the streets and the foundations.

The streets were of purest gold as transparent glass. We have never seen gold that pure.

Revelation 21:19–20 (NKJV) 19The foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with all kinds of precious stones: the first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third chalcedony, the fourth emerald, 20the fifth sardonyx, the sixth sardius, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst.

The city is four-square.

We have never seen a city that is 1,380 to 1,500 miles long on each side. We have never known of a mountain that is 1,500 miles high. Everything that John saw is beyond our comparison.

The wonders of what God has prepared are almost incredible.

We cannot understand the depth of the riches of heaven. We have never seen or known the glory of God like the glory that will be there. We have never known the fellowship of the Father, Son, or the Holy Spirit like we will know then.

What can be the reward of the saints?

Everything that will be in heaven will be a reward.

  • We will have a new body, (1 Corinthians 15:42).
  • We will have a new name, that no one else knows, (Revelation 2:7).
  • We will have a new home, eternal, (John 14:2-3).
  • We will have a crown of life, (James 1:12).
  • We will have a new robe of white, (Revelation 4:4; 6:11; 7:9, 13,14).
  • We will be in the presence of the angels of heaven. We will eat at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, (Revelation 19:9).
  • We will eat of the tree of life, (Revelation 2:7; 22:2, 14).
  • We will drink of the fountain of the water of life freely, (Revelation 21:6; 22:1, 17).
  • Part of the reward of the saints in heaven will be the absence of everything that has caused us trouble, tears, death, or pain, (Revelation 21:4).

These kinds of blessings are for everyone who enter into the joy of the Lord. All of these things are just the beginning of the joys that await us.

Some will have rewards in heaven that others do not have.

Those who have labored to store up precious things in heaven will have a greater reward. Those who have been persecuted for Christ, and have been falsely accused for Christ will have great reward in heaven. (Matthew 5:11-12) Someone will be given the reward of sitting at His right hand and another at His left in glory, (Mark 10:37-40).

The greatest reward is Jesus Christ.

Revelation 22:12 (NKJV) 12 “And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work.

Did you really hear that?

Jesus said, “My Reward is with Me.”  Where Christ is… we have the Reward. Without Christ there is no reward. What joy it shall be when we see Christ!

You need to know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord. If you are faithful, you shall be rewarded. If you overcome, you will be rewarded. If you endure to the end, you will be rewarded.

Revelation 22:12-13 (NKJV) 12 “And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work. 13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.

 

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God’s Holy Church: The Reward of the Saints http://www.mdanba.com/2017/09/16/gods-holy-church-the-reward-of-the-saints/ Sat, 16 Sep 2017 07:00:11 +0000 http://www.mdanba.com/?p=5757

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Revelation 22:12–13 (NKJV) 12“And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work. 13I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last.”

Those who belong to Jesus are certain to receive the reward of the Lord.

Colossians 3:24 says, “You will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.”

In Isaiah 62:11 the Lord wants His holy people to know, “Your salvation is coming; Behold, Christ’s reward is with Him, and His work before Him.”

Matthew 10:41–42 (NKJV) 41He who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward. And he who receives a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward. 42And whoever gives one of these little ones only a cup of cold water in the name of a disciple, assuredly, I say to you, he shall by no means lose his reward.”

In Romans 14:10-12 it says,  “we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ… and each of us will give a personal account to God.”

Where shall we receive these eternal rewards?

2 Corinthians 5:10 (NKJV) For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.

We want to receive the reward of the saints.

The Lord brings a just reward for whatever you do.

It is not just an earthly reward, it is an eternal and heavenly reward.

It is not gathered from men. This world cannot afford the eternal reward that you will receive for serving Christ.

When the redeemed are gathered into heaven, there will be a time of judgment and reward.

It will be the reward of the inheritance that is in Christ. The reward is going to varied and deep. It will be according to the riches of glory that are in Christ Jesus. We will be rewarded according to the work that we have done. It will be an everlasting treasure. It will be equal to the glorious presence of God.

God does not hand out trash. It will not be a trophy to hang on the wall. It will not be a certificate of honor or recognition.

Believers will be rewarded for stewardship.

Do you remember the Lord’s parable about the talents?

It is found in Matthew 25.

A man delivered talents to three of his servants. He gave one five talents, to the next two, and to the last he gave one. They handled their talents with their ability and desire. The one with five talents doubled his talents. The one with two talents doubled his also. The person who had one talent dug in the ground, and hid his lord’s money.  When their master returned, they had to give an account and received their rewards.

  • When the first gave his account, his lord said, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’
  • The person who received two talents, also received the word, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’
  • The third man with one talent came with fear. He knew his lord reaped where he did not sow. He knew he gathered where he did not scatter seed. He said, I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is” So, he gave back what had not been used. He should have done something with it. The master took the talent and gave it to the one who had ten talents. The master said, Cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

The Lord gave another parable about a landowner who had a vineyard, (Matthew 20:1-16).

He hired laborers for his vineyard throughout the day. He told the workers that he would pay them a silver coin for their labor. The one who worked all day was paid the same as the one who worked an hour. Some complained that they did not get more for working through the heat of the day. Jesus said, the landowner had the right to do as he wanted with what was his. Do not be envious when God shows mercy to those who do less.

1 Corinthians 4:5 (NKJV) Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord comes, who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the counsels of the hearts. Then each one’s praise will come from God.

Jesus defined heavenly rewards with earthly values.

He talked about talents and money. Heaven’s reward is greater than money.

The Lord is talking about an eternal reward and escaping the torment of outer darkness. He refers to the blessing of being accepted in Christ.

Your reward will be according to the things you treasure.

Matthew 6:20 (NKJV) Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.

Galatians 6:7 (NKJV)  Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.

We are all interested in heaven’s treasures. Those treasures are different from the things we have on this earth.

What do you think it means, “whatever we sow, we will also reap?”

He watches how we use what we have been given. He takes notes on stewardship, attitudes, and giving. These things are important to God.

There is a reward coming.

He said, “we shall reap what we sow.”

There are special rewards for those who lead others into righteousness.

Daniel 12:3 (NKJV) Those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the firmament, And those who turn many to righteousness like the stars forever and ever.

The Apostle Paul told the believers in Thessalonica they were his hope, joy and crown of rejoicing in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming.

Nothing can compare with heaven’s glory. We think we know, but in reality we do not.

Daniel said the righteous will shine like the stars forever and ever.

After Moses saw the Lord, the scripture says his face did shine or glow. The glory on Moses’ face passed away. There is a glory that awaits us. This scripture says that they shall shine as stars forever.

Jesus said there is a reward for caring for the needy.

Matthew 25:35-36 (NKJV) I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; 36I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’

Your acts of kindness will be rewarded.

Matthew 25:37 (NKJV) Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.

Matthew 10:42 (NKJV) And whoever gives one of these little ones only a cup of cold water in the name of a disciple, assuredly, I say to you, he shall by no means lose his reward.

Even a cup of cold water does not go unnoticed. There will be a reward.

There are special rewards for those who are persecuted for Christ’s sake.

Matthew 5:11-12 (NKJV) 11“Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. 12Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Jesus said your reward will be great in heaven! Can you even imagine what a great reward would be in heaven?

2 Timothy 2:12 (NKJV) 12 If we endure, We shall also reign with Him. If we deny Him, He also will deny us.

You may have to endure some things. You may have to go through temptations and trials. There is a reward coming.

James 1:12 (NKJV) 12Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.

You can rejoice while you are enduring. If you are reviled, you can rejoice.

The reward of the saints will be given in heaven.

If we endure, we shall reign with Him, (2 Timothy 2:12). He says, rejoice and be exceedingly glad… for great is your reward in heaven, (Matthew 5:12). The Lord says, “rejoice and leap for joy, for indeed your reward is great in heaven,” (Luke 6:23). “We will be rewarded openly.” (Matthew 6:4, 6, 18).

The rewards will be great. They will be openly given. They will be seen and known. We will be rewarded for what we do. The rewards will be greater than the cost or suffering that we endure. They will be eternal rewards. The rewards will be radiant in glory.

Your reward can only be measured by the power, wisdom, and glory of the omnipotent, omniscient God.

God has rewards that are above and beyond the blessing of our salvation,

(1 Corinthians 3:14-15). The reward shall be for our faithfulness and not our success or the amount done, (Matthew 25:23).

Salvation is by grace and is totally free of works.

There are clear contrasts between salvation and the rewards in heaven.

  • Salvation is for the lost, Matthew 18:11.
  • Rewards are for the saved, Proverbs 13:13.
  • Salvation is offered to all who believe, Acts 16:31; Hebrews 10:39.
  • Jesus said His reward is given to everyone according to their work, Revelation 22:12.
  • Salvation is a free gift, Isaiah 55:1; Romans 6:23.
  • Rewards are for our own labor, 1 Corinthians 3:8.

What kind of rewards are waiting for you in heaven?

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The Ministry of Christ, Part 37 http://www.mdanba.com/2017/09/13/the-ministry-of-christ-part-37/ Wed, 13 Sep 2017 07:09:59 +0000 http://www.mdanba.com/?p=5754

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The Last Months

  • Recovering what is lost – Luke 15
    • Parable of the Lost Sheep – Luke 15:1-7; Matthew 18:12-14
    • Parable of the Lost Coin – Luke 15:8-10
    • Parable of the Prodigal Son – Luke 15:11-32

In Luke 15, Jesus gave three parables about recovering what is lost. The purpose for the parables is found in verses 1-3.

Luke 15:1–3 (NKJV) 1Then all the tax collectors and the sinners drew near to Him to hear Him. 2And the Pharisees and scribes complained, saying, “This Man receives sinners and eats with them.” 3So He spoke this parable to them, saying:

The Pharisees and teachers of the Law thought these people were hopeless sinners. Since nothing could be done to help them, why allow them to listen to His teaching?

Why would Jesus entertain or allow tax collectors and sinners to come near to Him?

Since they felt that there was nothing that could be done to help the degenerate population, Jesus gave these three parables on being lost.

Parable of the Lost Sheep – Luke 15:4-7; Matthew 18:12-14

Watch the value the shepherd places on one sheep.

Luke 15:4 (NKJV) 4“What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost until he finds it?

The Lord is represented in this text as a Shepherd.

When the shepherd realizes that one of his sheep is lost, what does he do?

Where does He find the lost sheep?

In this setting with the Pharisees and scribes, Jesus acknowledges there are people outside their groups. There are “lost sheep” in the wilderness.

Luke 15:5–6 (NKJV) 5And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. 6And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!’

The Lord does not stop searching until He finds the lost.

What is included in Jesus’ search for the lost?

What does the Shepherd do when He finds lost sheep?

It is indeed an act of grace that the Shepherd of our souls is searching for us when we were lost.

What do you think “he lays it on his shoulders” means?

Why does the Lord rejoice when the lost are found?

Luke 15:7 (NKJV) 7I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance.

What happens in heaven when the sinner repents?

Parable of the Lost Coin – Luke 15:8-10

Watch how the woman searches for the lost coin.

Luke 15:8 (NKJV) 8“Or what woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp, sweep the house, and search carefully until she finds it?

Why did she carefully search for the lost coin?

Have you ever lost something that was really valuable to you? How did you search for it?

The more we value what is lost, the more carefully we search.

Luke 15:9–10 (NKJV) 9And when she has found it, she calls her friends and neighbors together, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the piece which I lost!’ 10Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

In both of these parables, Jesus said there is rejoicing in heaven when one sinner repents. It is amazing to see that all heaven and the angels of heaven rejoice when the sinner repents.

Why is there rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents?

Who is involved in this celebration in heaven?

Why does a repentant sinner bring more joy than a ceremonially clean Pharisee?

Parable of the Prodigal Son – Luke 15:11-32

God the Father is seen as the man with two sons.

Remember the setting of the giving of the parable. Tax collectors and sinners came near to Jesus at this dinner the Pharisees had for Jesus.

Luke 15:11–12 (NKJV) 11Then He said: “A certain man had two sons. 12And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the portion of goods that falls to me.’ So he divided to them his livelihood.

Why did the younger son want his portion of his inheritance ?

The father gave both of his sons their proper share.

“From the Lord we receive the reward of the inheritance.” (Colossians 3:24; Ephesians 5:5)  We should not waste what God has given us.

Luke 15:13–14 (NKJV) 13And not many days after, the younger son gathered all together, journeyed to a far country, and there wasted his possessions with prodigal living. 14But when he had spent all, there arose a severe famine in that land, and he began to be in want.

What is prodigal living?

What did he do with his possessions? Why do people spend large amounts of money on “the pleasures of sin”?

As soon as his inheritance was gone, a famine arose.

What kind of famine arises when anyone wastes the inheritance that God gives?

Luke 15:15–16 (NKJV) 15Then he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. 16And he would gladly have filled his stomach with the pods that the swine ate, and no one gave him anything.

Sin will take you farther than you want to go and will cost you more than you are willing to pay.

Who did he join with after he lost everything?

Jews looked at working with swine to be very distasteful.

Pigs were among the unclean animals in the Law, (Leviticus 11:24-28). Anyone who touched the carcass of an unclean animal became unclean.

After he had wasted his inheritance, he was ready to go into the pig pins.

Before he left his father’s care, he would have never considered doing this.

This happens to anyone that wastes God’s blessings and goes into prodigal living. It may start with a single act of disobedience or rebellion against God. If not repented of, sin always takes the rebellious into self-destructive actions and activities.

Luke 15:19 (NKJV) 17“But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! 18I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you, 19and I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants.” ’

How far down does a sinner have to go before they come to themselves?

When he came to himself, he was ready to go home. Coming to oneself is a critical part of repentance.

What does “he came to himself” mean?

When the Holy Spirit works on the sinner, what is this called? Why is this necessary?

The humility the prodigal experienced was a complete change from his attitude when he left home.

Luke 15:20 (NKJV) 20“And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him.

This is a demonstration of the heavenly Father’s attitude toward the lost. The Father rejoices when a sinner comes home. God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9)

Luke 15:21 (NKJV) 21And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.’

When the son left, he did not consider his rebellion to be sin. Now he who was privileged and blessed is willing to serve wherever his father desires.

Watch the Father’s response to the return of his son.

Luke 15:22-24 (NKJV) 22“But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet. 23And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry; 24for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ And they began to be merry.

This is a parallel statement to “there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” (vs. 10) We should rejoice when the sinner comes home.

There should be more rejoicing when a sinner repents and comes back to God.

Watch the attitude of the older son.

Luke 15:25–32 (NIV84) 25“Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. 26So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on. 27‘Your brother has come,’ he replied, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’ 28“The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. 29But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. 30But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’ 31“ ‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. 32But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ ”

  • What was wrong with the elder son’s attitude? Why was it wrong for him to feel that way?
  • What did the father say was his?
  • Why did he have trouble rejoicing over his prodigal brother?
  • When the sinner comes back, how should we receive them?
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God’s Holy Church: Just before Christ returns http://www.mdanba.com/2017/09/09/gods-holy-church-just-before-christ-returns/ Sat, 09 Sep 2017 08:00:57 +0000 http://www.mdanba.com/?p=5738

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1 John 3:2-3 (NKJV) 2 Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. 3 And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.

There are two phrases that we need to watch closely.

Now we are children of God” and “we shall be like Him.”

We are “now the children of God.”

We already have had a change come upon us. We know what we were before that change. We have been brought out of the kingdom of darkness and into the light. We have the new life within us. We rejoice every day in the magnitude of that change. There is a greater change coming.

“We shall be like Him.”

This mortal body shall be changed to immortality. This corruptible body will put on incorruption. Our entire being – soul, spirit and body – earnestly desires that change. We are ready to be done with trouble and trials. We are ready to be done with the tempter and his devices. We are ready to put on that new heavenly body that is free from all of this struggle, toil, and strife. We are ready to be like our Lord. We are ready to be in heaven.

Yet, there remains some time before that happens.

We do not know how much time remains. It could be any moment. It could be at night or noon. We know that our change is coming.

Do you believe that the Lord could come any moment?

Since Christ could come at any moment, we should watch what God says about the church in the end.

Certain things must happen in the church.

This is not the time to be looking for a future fulfilment of God’s promises. These are the days these great events will take place. The Lord has planned this great awakening and outpouring of the Holy Spirit for the church.

The church started in the fire of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.

They had signs, wonders, and miracles. They had gifts and callings of the Holy Spirit. Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors and Teachers were placed by God in the early church. Thousands of people were daily added to the church. They had a radical form of Christianity. They cast out devils and delivered the oppressed. Many signs, wonders, and miracles accompanied their witness of Christ.

That was then, this is now.

What started in the fire of a Pentecostal outpouring of the Holy Spirit will end with a renewal of that Holy Spirit outpouring on all flesh. The last days are going to be days of the Holy Spirit.

Listen to what God says about the days you are living in.

Isaiah 44:3-4 (NKJV) 3For I will pour water on him who is thirsty, And floods on the dry ground; I will pour My Spirit on your descendants, And My blessing on your offspring; 4They will spring up among the grass like willows by the watercourses.

God is going to pour His Spirit and blessings out. The result will be immediate growth and life.

Ezekiel 11:19 (NKJV) 19Then I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within them, and take the stony heart out of their flesh, and give them a heart of flesh.

The old dead and hard heart is going to be replaced with a new heart and new spirit. God’s people will be sensitive and responsive to His touch.

Joel 2:28-32 (NKJV) “And it shall come to pass afterward That I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your old men shall dream dreams, Your young men shall see visions. 29And also on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days. 30“And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth: Blood and fire and pillars of smoke. 31The sun shall be turned into darkness, And the moon into blood, Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord. 32And it shall come to pass That whoever calls on the name of the Lord Shall be saved. For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be deliverance, As the Lord has said, Among the remnant whom the Lord calls.

John 7:38 (NKJV) “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.”

1 Timothy 3:15 (NKJV)I write so that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.

Do you see what he is saying about the church?

You are the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth. God is prepared and is sending a flood of His Spirit on this generation.

Just as people prepare for a natural disaster, the church should prepare for this outpouring of the Holy Spirit. There are some things that we must do to be ready.

To demonstrate the great need for preparation, God warns about things that are weak or wrong in the last day church.

1 Timothy 4:1–2 (NIV) 1The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. 2Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron.

The end of the church age is a time of great diversity within the church.

In Joel 2:28-32, the man of God testified of a great end-time revival.

God said He is going to restore things that have been destroyed by Satan. When God restores, He does not just restore it to its previous condition. God gives double for your troubles. He does not delay, but causes things to spring forth speedily. What has been destroyed by Satan, spiritual fatigue, and spiritual poverty will be restored.

Joel said, God is going to open the windows of heaven and pour out a downpour of rain of the Spirit.

The effect of this rain will be a restoration. The things that are lacking and destroyed in God’s people will be restored. The people of God will not be put to shame. God will be in the midst of His people. When the Holy Spirit is poured out everyone in the church will be affected.

Changes are coming in the church.

We should compare Joel’s prophecy and what Paul says together.

Joel said there will be a great revival of restoration.

The Spirit is being poured out. Healing, deliverance, and restoration will take  what the enemy has stolen and destroyed.

Paul said a great apostasy and falling away is coming.

Many will depart from the faith or withdraw. Many will listen and follow lying spirits and teachings from demons. They will speak lies while claiming to be God’s children. They will be religious but insensitive to God. They do not see or hear what the Spirit is saying to the church. They will have a tolerance of immorality and a lack of integrity.

In the atmosphere of the greatest revival the world has ever known, evil will be present.

What will the Church be like just before the Lord calls us home?

  • On one side, there will be a great falling away.
    • On the other side, there will be a great revival and awakening.
  • On one side, there will be hypocrisy and a seared conscience.
    • On the other side, there will be a great awakening and renewal of spiritual gifts.
  • On one side, hearts will be hardened and evil.
    • On the other side, they will be changed from glory to glory by the Spirit of the Lord.

2 Peter 3:17-18 (NKJV) 17 You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked; 18  but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.

You have a choice in this.

What manner of person are you going to be?

What kind of Church is the Lord coming back for?

Ephesians 5:25–27 (NKJV) Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.

The Lord’s Church is going out of this world in a blaze of glory and power.

  • We will be leaving this world in victory.
  • We will be leaving this world as overcomers.
  • We will be going home without spot or wrinkle.
  • We will be leaving this world full of the Holy Ghost.
  • We will be leaving in the power and victory of the cross of Christ.
  • We will be leaving covered in the blood of the Lamb.
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God’s Holy Church: What shall we be? http://www.mdanba.com/2017/09/09/gods-holy-church-what-shall-we-be/ Sat, 09 Sep 2017 07:00:39 +0000 http://www.mdanba.com/?p=5735

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We are all interested in our eternal future. We want to know what tomorrow holds. What shall we be like when we get to heaven?

1 John 3:2–3 (NKJV) 2Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. 3And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.

1 Corinthians 15:50–53 (NKJV) 50Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption. 51Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed— 52in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.

There is a great change coming.

This corruptible, (perishable, weak, earthly) body must have a change. God has already decided what that change will be. He said we will be changed into a specific image and likeness. We cannot determine what we shall be.

When Christ shall appear, we shall be like Him.

A wonderful, glorious, and marvelous change is going to take place in all of us. John said we do not know the full extent of that change. It has not been revealed to us what we shall be.

We know several changes that will take place.

Your body is going to have a change. We will have a new body that is incorruptible. Incorruptible means not subject to death or decay. Incorruptible means everlasting.

Incorruptible means that we will be free from trouble and trial, sorrow and sickness, pain and death. Our bodies will go through an immediate change. This mortal shall put on immortality. When Christ calls the dead out of the grave, they will have a new body. We who are still alive will be changed.

1 Corinthians 15:35 (NIV84) 35But someone may ask, “How are the dead raised? With what kind of body will they come?”

This question has been asked for centuries.

What kind of body will it be?

1 Corinthians 15:42-44 (NCV) It is the same with the dead who are raised to life. The body that is “planted” will ruin and decay, but it is raised to a life that cannot be destroyed. When the body is “planted,” it is without honor, but it is raised in glory. When the body is “planted,” it is weak, but when it is raised, it is powerful. The body that is “planted” is a physical body. When it is raised, it is a spiritual body. There is a physical body, and there is also a spiritual body.

1 Corinthians 15:51–52 (ESV) 51Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed.

There is a great change coming!

1 Corinthians 15:53–54 (ESV) 53For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. 54When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.”

We are going to have a new body that will not be subject to death and dying.

We will have a spiritual body. That spiritual body will be in the likeness of Christ’s resurrected glorified body.

1 John 3:2 (ESV) 2Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when He appears we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him as He is.

What shall we be?

Our change is coming. His resurrected body was not subject to death, sickness, or pain.

When Christ arose, He had conquered hell, death and the grave.

He arose with a new body of victory. When He arose, His new body was recognizable to those who were yet corruptible flesh and blood.

When John saw the Lord in all of His glory, He beheld His majesty.

What a wonderful change that took place after Christ ascended to the right hand of the Majesty on High.

“He was wearing a long robe with a sash across His chest. His head and his hair were white like wool, as white as snow. His eyes flashed like a flame of fire. His feet glowed like bright bronze as it is refined in a furnace, and His voice was like the sound of many waters. From His mouth came forth a sharp two-edged sword, and His face was like the sun shining in full power at midday.” (Revelation 1:13-15)

John had no doubt Who he saw.

He knew it was Jesus. He knew it was the glorious Lord. He knew he saw the Ever Living One. He knew that He was Victor and Conqueror. He is the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last.

John said: “I fell at His feet as dead.” Revelation 1:17

We do not know exactly what kind of body we will have.

We know we will be like Christ. We know we will be able to dwell for eternity in the unveiled presence of God Almighty. We will be made the pure and holy bride of Christ, Revelation 21:9; 19:7. We shall see, know, and have fellowship with Him.

We will walk with Him in white, Revelation 3:4. We will have a victor’s crown of gold upon our heads, Revelation 4:4.

There is a great change coming.

We shall be changed.

Revelation 21:4-7 (NKJV)  And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.” 6 And He said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts. 7 He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son.

There is a great change coming.

All things will be made new. What a glorious day of rejoicing that will be.

It is hard for us to understand the dramatic change that is coming.

One of the best illustrations we have seen is when Lazarus was brought back to life in John 11.

Mary and Martha sent for Jesus when Lazarus became sick. Jesus came, but Lazarus was already dead. Jesus told them to roll away the stone from the place where Lazarus lay dead. Martha said, “Lord, by this time there is a stench, for he has been dead four days.” Jesus said, “Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?” So they rolled away the stone and Jesus cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth!” He who had died came out bound hand and foot with grave clothes, and his face was wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said, “Loose him, and let him go.”

Something better than that is going to happen.

1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 (NKJV) For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.

There is a great change coming.

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The Ministry of Christ, Part 36 http://www.mdanba.com/2017/09/05/the-ministry-of-christ-part-36/ Tue, 05 Sep 2017 19:17:41 +0000 http://www.mdanba.com/?p=5731

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The Last Months

  • The Pharisee’s Supper – Luke 14:1-33
    • Man with Dropsy Healed – Luke 14:1-6
    • Parable on Humility – Luke 14:7-14
    • Parable of the Great Supper – Luke 14:15-24
    • The Cost of Discipleship – Luke 14:25-33

The Pharisee’s Supper – Luke 14:1-33

Luke 14 covers the events that took place at a Sabbath dinner at the house of one of the rulers of the Pharisees. This supper was not a genuine act of hospitality.

Luke 14:1 (NKJV) 1Now it happened, as He went into the house of one of the rulers of the Pharisees to eat bread on the Sabbath, that they watched Him closely.

They were looking for reasons to find fault with Jesus. While there, Jesus did one miracle and told three parables.

Man with Dropsy Healed – Luke 14:1-6

Luke 14:2–4 (NKJV) 2And behold, there was a certain man before Him who had dropsy. 3And Jesus, answering, spoke to the lawyers and Pharisees, saying, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?” 4But they kept silent. And He took him and healed him, and let him go.

Dropsy is a symptom and not a specific disease. It would be known as edema today, a condition that causes an excessive fluid retention in the tissues.

Why did Jesus ask, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?”

When they did not answer, Jesus “took him and healed him, and let him go.”

Luke 14:5–6 (AMP) 5And He said to them, Which of you, having a son or a donkey or an ox that has fallen into a well, will not at once pull him out on the Sabbath day? 6And they were unable to reply to this.

After this, Jesus told a parable to those who were invited to the Pharisee’s house.

Jesus obviously noticed how the guest were looking to get the best places at the table. In the parable, Jesus gives instructions in humility.

Parable on Humility – Luke 14:7-14

Luke 14:8–11 (NKJV) 8“When you are invited by anyone to a wedding feast, do not sit down in the best place, lest one more honorable than you be invited by him; 9and he who invited you and him come and say to you, ‘Give place to this man,’ and then you begin with shame to take the lowest place. 10But when you are invited, go and sit down in the lowest place, so that when he who invited you comes he may say to you, ‘Friend, go up higher.’ Then you will have glory in the presence of those who sit at the table with you. 11For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

What is wrong with seeking the best place or place of honor?

Why is humility a more desirable attribute?

Philippians 2:5–8 (NKJV) 5Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 6who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, 7but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. 8And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.

Jesus gave us the perfect attitude of humility. The Son of God took on the form of a bondservant. The extent of His humility is seen in His full obedience.

What does obedience have to do with humility?

Luke 14:12-14 (NKJV) 12Then He also said to him who invited Him, “When you give a dinner or a supper, do not ask your friends, your brothers, your relatives, nor rich neighbors, lest they also invite you back, and you be repaid. 13But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind. 14And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you; for you shall be repaid at the resurrection of the just.”

Why not invite people who can return the invitation?

Parable of the Great Supper – Luke 14:15-24

Luke 14:15 (NLT) 15Hearing this, a man sitting at the table with Jesus exclaimed, “What a blessing it will be to attend a banquet in the Kingdom of God!”

Jesus’ parable of the great supper is a reference to this marriage supper of the Lamb.

Revelation 19:7–9 (NKJV) 7Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.” 8And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. Then he said to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!’ ” And he said to me, “These are the true sayings of God.”

Jesus told them it was not enough to be invited.

Luke 14:16–17 (NKJV) 16Then He said to him, “A certain man gave a great supper and invited many, 17and sent his servant at supper time to say to those who were invited, ‘Come, for all things are now ready.’

The invitation into the Kingdom is massive.

Revelation 22:17 tells us whoever is thirsty, let him come and take of the water of life.

Excuses for not accepting the invitation.

Luke 14:18–20 (NLT) 18But they all began making excuses. One said, ‘I have just bought a field and must inspect it. Please excuse me.’ 19Another said, ‘I have just bought five pairs of oxen, and I want to try them out. Please excuse me.’ 20Another said, ‘I just got married, so I can’t come.’

Who are these people who make these excuses?

Why is it important to respond to the invitation?

Luke 14:21-24 (NLT) “The servant returned and told his master what they had said. His master was furious and said, ‘Go quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and invite the poor, the crippled, the blind, and the lame.’ 22After the servant had done this, he reported, ‘There is still room for more.’ 23So his master said, ‘Go out into the country lanes and behind the hedges and urge anyone you find to come, so that the house will be full. 24For none of those I first invited will get even the smallest taste of my banquet.’ ”

What is the danger of not responding to Christ’s invitation?

The Cost of Discipleship – Luke 14:25-33

Luke 14:25–27 (NKJV) 25Now great multitudes went with Him. And He turned and said to them, 26“If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple. 27And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.

What is a disciple?

Why is the Lord’s disciple to live a life of self-denial and commitment to God regardless the cost?

Remember that Jesus is talking about the cost of discipleship.

Luke 14:28-33 (NKJV) 28For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it— 29lest, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, 30saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’ 31Or what king, going to make war against another king, does not sit down first and consider whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? 32Or else, while the other is still a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks conditions of peace. 33So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple.

Jesus is talking about total commitment. The message of this parable is total denial of selfish interest for Jesus. Those words “forsake all” indicate the extent of commitment.

Have you ever forsaken all for anything or anyone?

Look at those words “cannot be My disciple.”

Considering the cost, why should we want to be His disciple?

What is the cost and reward?

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God’s Holy Church: Evidence http://www.mdanba.com/2017/09/02/gods-holy-church-evidence/ Sat, 02 Sep 2017 08:00:16 +0000 http://www.mdanba.com/?p=5723

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God wants to demonstrate evidence of the lasting change that has happened in you.

After Moses saw the burning bush and went aside, he was changed. (Exodus 3:1-8)

Standing on holy ground, He spoke face to face with God. When he knew He was the God of his father, Moses hid his face for he was afraid to look on God. He could not stand to look on the fire that drew him to that place.

Moses’ relationship with God continued to grow until the evidence of God’s presence was upon and within him.

Moses was made bold and mighty by coming into the presence of God.

Elijah was a great man of God.

He had more evidence of God’s power than the mantle he wore. He knew God’s power, presence, and voice. He challenged an evil generation, and they heard God’s voice through Elijah.

When the mantle of Elijah fell on Elisha’s shoulders, he forsook everything to follow the man of God.

He anticipated the day of the double portion of the Spirit. After Elijah ascended to heaven in a chariot of fire, Elisha received the evidence of a double portion.

Throughout the New Testament era, evidence of God’s mightiness was demonstrated in signs, wonders, and miracles.

When the Holy Spirit was poured out, God sent down a mighty rushing wind and tongues of fire. The supernatural, omnipotent God was among them.

The upper room was not the only place where evidence of God’s mightiness was witnessed. Prison houses trembled and chains fell off. Places of worship were filled with God’s glory.

Supernatural things happened because God was near.

God was interested in more than the shaking and rattling of buildings. God was interested in changes that would produce evidence of Holy Ghost power and might. God wanted to transform people into the holy and powerful church of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Something must change us that produces evidence of God’s presence, power, and might.

Elisha wanted more than the relic of Elijah’s ministry.

He did not ask for the mantle. He only wanted more of the Spirit that rested on Elijah.

What happened to the 120 in the upper room brought dramatic changes in their lives.

They did not go around talking about the wind and fire. They were changed and there was evidence. By the power of the Spirit, they began taking their world and doing the works of Christ. They spoke, worshipped, and prayed in tongues.

The gifts of the Spirit equipped them to demonstrated evidence of the resurrected Christ. The transforming power of God was working in their lives. Their testimony changed. They had the power of the resurrected Christ within.

Watch how God changed their lives.

The Apostle Paul reminded the Corinthian church and us of their past.

  • They became one of the most influential and spiritual churches.
  • They came out of idol worship and paganism.
  • They had participated in sexual sin, committed adultery, were male prostitutes and homosexuals. They had been thieves and greedy people.
  • They had been drunkards, abusive, and cheaters.
  • They had been very unrighteous.
  • Some were even witches and sorcerers.
  • That was before the change occurred.

Something dramatic happened to them and there was EVIDENCE of the CHANGE.

1 Corinthians 6:11 (NKJV) But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.

When the Holy Spirit’s power came upon them, there was evidence of the change.

They were made a new creation in Christ Jesus.

  • Everything in their lives was different.
  • They became other’s minded.
  • The love of Christ was evidenced through them.
  • They became givers.
  • They walked in the power of the Spirit of Christ.
  • They started sharing the wonderful message of the gospel of Christ.
  • They were made mighty through God to pull down the strongholds of the adversary.
  • They began learning that there was a power working in them that was greater than the power of the world.
  • They grew in the knowledge of the Lord and became mighty through God to pull down Satan’s strongholds.
  • These are not statements of intent and hope for believers.
  • This was more than ambition and goal.

Jesus said, “when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, you shall receive power and shall be my witnesses to the end of the earth.”

The Holy Spirit was sent to empower and equip the whole church.

While Jesus Christ walked around ministering, He said: Luke 4:18-19 (NKJV) 18“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed; 19To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.”

When the Holy Spirit came down upon the church they received that same power, anointing, and Spirit that was on Jesus Christ. After the Holy Ghost came upon them, they started doing the same works that Jesus did.

Jesus said this would happen.

John 14:12-13 (NKJV) 12 Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. 13 And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.

When Elijah ascended into heaven, Elisha received a double portion of the Spirit that was on Elijah.

After Jesus went back to the Father, the same Spirit and anointing that raised Christ from the dead was upon them.

1 John 2:27 (NKJV) The anointing which you have received from Him abides in you.

The anointing and Spirit of God is working in them.

There was evidence of the change.

The Apostle Paul spoke to the Roman church about the evidence of God’s help.

He said: “I have legitimate reason to glory in my work for God, in what I have accomplished through Christ Jesus.”

He was enthusiastic about all Christ Jesus did through him. He said his preaching was accompanied with miracles, mighty signs, and wonders by the power of God’s Spirit.

We need evidence of this same mighty power today.

The Lord had a purpose in asking the Father to send the Holy Spirit down. He wanted to make such dramatic changes in us that we would become world changers. He wanted to turn the world up-side-down. He wanted to break every chain and loose every captive. God wants to equip and empower the church today to show evidence of the resurrection of Christ.

Because of the severe persecutions the early church faced, they began to feel weakened and fearful.

In Acts 4, they knew that they could not combat the evil that was arrayed against them without God’s help.

They prayed: “Lord, look on their threats, and grant to Your servant that with all boldness they may speak Your word, by stretching out Your hand to heal, and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of Your holy Servant Jesus.” (Acts 4:29-30)

Acts 4:31 (NKJV) 31And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness.

We need evidence of the power of the Holy Spirit in us.

We must pray, “Lord stretch out Your hand and heal. Lord send signs and wonders and miracles through the name of Jesus.”

May the evidence of the power of the Gospel spring upon us. May evidence of the presence of the Holy Spirit give us new boldness, power and signs, wonders and miracles. God, come down on us and change us.

We must have the evidence of the Spirit of the resurrected Christ in our midst and in our lives.

  • We must see evidence of the supernatural power of God in our lives and ministries.
  • We must have power over sin and Satan.
  • We must have power over sickness and disease.
  • We must have power to live in victory.
  • We must bear evidence of the Spirit.
  • We need a testimony of power.

We are facing a world that is full of evil and we must have evidence that is irrefutable and undeniable. Something must happen in us that the world sees. Something must happen to us that shakes the world.

The Church must become so influential in the city and the world that it cannot be ignored.

The only way this can happen is by the Spirit of God falling on us. The Holy Spirit must come down. We must have the power of God work in us like we have never had before.

 

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Sabbath Rest http://www.mdanba.com/2017/09/02/sabbath-rest/ Sat, 02 Sep 2017 07:00:44 +0000 http://www.mdanba.com/?p=5718

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Do any of you remember the Sunday blue laws?

Where we lived, Sunday was a day for God, church, and rest. You got to take a nap on Sunday afternoon, even if you did not want one. On Sunday, everything closed but church. Sunday was a day to honor God.

The Lord’s day has changed dramatically. It has become a time for recreation and pleasure. Sunday is football, sports, shopping, boating, swimming, and if I have time, church and God.

In the beginning, God prepared a day of rest.

Hebrews 3:8–11 (NKJV) 8Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, In the day of trial in the wilderness, 9Where your fathers tested Me, tried Me, And saw My works forty years. 10Therefore I was angry with that generation, And said, ‘They always go astray in their heart, And they have not known My ways.’ 11So I swore in My wrath, ‘They shall not enter My rest.’ ”

God promised a specific kind of rest.

Hebrews 4:1–3 (NKJV) 1Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it. 2For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it. 3For we who have believed do enter that rest.

Pay attention to this “entering His rest.” We who have believed do enter that rest.

Hebrews 4:6–7 (NKJV) 6Since therefore it remains that some must enter it, and those to whom it was first preached did not enter because of disobedience, 7again He designates a certain day, saying in David, “Today,” after such a long time, as it has been said: “Today, if you will hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts.”

Hebrews 4:9–10 (NKJV) 9There remains therefore a rest for the people of God. 10For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His.

Let’s dig into what God is telling us about His rest.

God brought Israel out of Egypt into a place of rest and blessing. When they came to the border of God’s blessing, they doubted God was able to do what He said. So, for forty years they wandered in the wilderness. For forty years they saw God’s mighty works. For forty years they tested and tried God.

The promise of God remained for them.

God delivered them from Egypt’s power. The plagues over Egypt showed God’s mighty power. They saw God’s strong and mighty arm. God brought them through the Red Sea.  He was concerned with their comfort and need. He warmed and guided them at night with a pillar of fire. He shielded them from the sun with a cloud by day.

1 Corinthians 10:4 tells us “they all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ.”

But most of them perished and their carcasses fell in the wilderness because they did not believe.

They were protected.

Their shoes and clothes did not wear out. None of them were sick.

Their great deliverance was of God.

God made a way of escape and sustained them. He brought them to the land of their promised rest. He said their enemies would not prosper against them. He promised deliverance, victory, and provision.

This was God’s rest for them.

         This was God’s promise. Yet, they failed to enter into His rest.

In Genesis 31, Jacob started back to Bethel.

Genesis 31:3 (NKJV) 3Then the Lord said to Jacob, “Return to the land of your fathers and to your family, and I will be with you.”

  • Not long after he started back, Jacob encountered Laban, his old enemy.
  • Then, Esau and 400 men come out to meet him, Genesis 32:9-12.

Jacob was filled with fear.

He wasn’t sure that the God who called him was able to keep him.

So, Jacob devised a plan.

Jacob was always a schemer. He split his people into two bands. Then he called on the Lord for help and protection from Esau, his brother. He could recite God’s promise. God said “I will make your descendants as the sand of the sea, which cannot be  numbered.” God had offered Jacob proof of His faithfulness and  protection. God had blessed him and had given him everything he possessed.

Jacob was a victim of his own unbelief and faithlessness.

He lost sight of God when he saw his enemies. In Jacob’s eyes, God was not able to keep him.

Many people are just like Jacob.

They wrestle with their own fear. They are not sure that God can help them in the time of their trouble and need.

Their god is a fair weather god.

When everything is great, He is God. When the enemy is on the run, He is God. When they are loaded with blessings, He is God.

God is very specific about His promise to you.

God does not lie. Your faith and confidence must be rooted in God’s faithfulness and word. God does not fail.

  • Many people say, “Greater is He that is in me.”
  • They say, “I am the righteousness of God in Christ.”
  • They confess “I stand complete in Christ.”
  • They profess “I am standing on the promises.”
  • But they cannot stand in full assurance of faith because they have no confidence toward God.

They trust their own devices. They do not know that God is faithful.

The God who brought us this far is going to help us now.

We must learn to cease from our own labors and strivings and find rest in God.

We must learn to say: 2 Chronicles 20:12 God… “we don’t know what to do, but our eyes are upon You.”

God has promised rest for the believer.

This rest is not temporary or dependent on life’s circumstances. This rest does not depend on your wisdom, might or strength.

This rest depends on God and His faithfulness.

“He who enters God’s rest has ceased from his own labors.” (Hebrews 4:10)

  • To enter His rest you have to trust that God can set you free and remove your guilt and sin. You need to know that He can save you. He can keep you.
  • Trust the cleansing blood of Christ. The blood of Christ can wash and make you clean.
  • Rest in the finished work of Calvary. You don’t have to add anything to it. It is finished just like He said.
  • Stand on His promise. That is the only safe place. Depend on His provision. His supply never runs out.

When you are resting in Jesus, you are resting from your own labors.

You are resting on His righteousness.

But, I really try to be good.

You are resting on His victory.

I am striving to stop my habit. I really strive to believe.

He is our rock and our fortress.

You can find rest under the shadow of the Almighty.

Trust God’s ability to do it. If He started this in us, He is able to finish it.

You can rest in Jesus Christ.

2 Corinthians 5:17 (NKJV) 17Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

They stood on verses like:

Psalm 91:14-16 (NKJV) “Because He has set His love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him on high, because he has known My name. He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him, And show him My salvation.”

Psalm 118:17 (NKJV) “I shall not die, but live, And declare the works of the Lord.”

James 1:12 (NIV) “Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.”

The scripture says that we who have believed do enter into rest.

We enter His rest by faith. Take God’s rest as your rest. Take God’s work as your work. Take Christ unto you.

Enter today.

Enter as you are by faith. All the promises of God are yes and amen to those who believe. All the victories are won in Christ. All the sin is defeated. All the blessings are given.

There is peace in this rest.

We have peace at all times, if we rest in the Lord. In the worst storm of life, we still have peace.

This is unqualified trust in God.

He is able. He will do it. The Lord omnipotent reigns.

Stand confident in what God has said.

Accept His word above all else that is seen or known. You will find rest in the storm. You will find rest in the fire and flood. His rest is for you in sickness and health.

Isaiah 28:12 (NKJV) “This is the rest with which You may cause the weary to rest,” And, “This is the refreshing”; Yet they would not hear.

Will you hear?

In Jesus Christ, you can find rest.

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The Ministry of Christ, Part 35 http://www.mdanba.com/2017/08/30/the-ministry-of-christ-part-35/ Wed, 30 Aug 2017 17:05:34 +0000 http://www.mdanba.com/?p=5711

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The Last Months

  • Woman Healed of Her Infirmity – Luke 13:10-17
  • The Narrow Gate – Luke 13:23-30
  • Christ Mourns over Jerusalem – Luke 13:31-35

When the disciples saw the man who was born blind, they asked “Who did sin that he was born blind?”

The woman in this text was crippled by a spirit of infirmity from the Devil.

Woman Healed of Her Infirmity – Luke 13:10-17

Luke 13:10–11 (NKJV) 10Now He was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath. 11And behold, there was a woman who had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bent over and could in no way raise herself up.

This spirit of infirmity was more than a sick attitude about life. Many physical problems are a direct result of unhealthy thoughts and emotions. Unforgiveness, jealousy, hatred, and envy will eat away at one’s health. To receive healing, the heart needs to be cleansed. Jesus told the paralyzed man, “your sins are forgiven you.” (Matthew 9:1-8; Mark 2:1-12; Luke 5:16-26)

In James, sin and sickness are somehow related.

James 5:14–15 (NKJV) 14Is anyone among you sick? 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. 15And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.

Prayer, confession, forgiveness, and healing are connected. There are three Biblical reasons for sickness: Satan, human decision, and the fall of man.

Ultimately all sickness is the result of the curse from Adam and Eve’s sin.Had they not sinned, Satan would not have access.

Psalm 31:10 (AMP) For my life is spent with sorrow and my years with sighing; my strength has failed because of my iniquity, and even my bones have wasted away.

What was the source of sorrow, sighing, the loss of strength and bones wasting away?

Sin destroys emotional and physical strength. Many of life’s problems are caused by personal sin. God has provided relief for the curse of sin.

Isaiah 35:10 (AMP) And the ransomed of the Lord shall return and come to Zion with singing, and everlasting joy shall be upon their heads; they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

Every born again person has been redeemed by the blood of Jesus. It is the children’s portion for sorrow and sighing to be replaced with joy and gladness. (Matthew 15:26)

In Luke 13, the woman had a spirit of infirmity and was bound for eighteen years and could not raise herself up.

This demonstrates the awful power of Satan to afflict the body as well as the soul and spirit. Physical disorders can occur when people are oppressed or possessed by demons.

Luke 13:12-13(NKJV) 12But when Jesus saw her, He called her to Him and said to her, “Woman, you are loosed from your infirmity.” 13And He laid His hands on her, and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God.

Jesus took the initiative to release and heal her. He did not wait for her to ask for help.

Why did Jesus take action before the woman called for help?

If we are not healed before we ask the Lord, what should we do?

What did Jesus say and do to bring the healing and deliverance?

Watch the attitude of the ruler of the synagogue when the woman was healed.

Luke 13:14 (NKJV) 14But the ruler of the synagogue answered with indignation, because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath; and he said to the crowd, “There are six days on which men ought to work; therefore come and be healed on them, and not on the Sabbath day.”

Remember the Pharisees and Jewish leaders felt that Jesus did not have the proper authority to do these things.

Why did God give the Sabbath? (Mark 2:27-28)

Mark 2:27–28 (NIV84) 27Then he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. 28So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.”

Throughout the Lord’s ministry He faced controversy over the Sabbath.

Why do you think the Lord continued doing miracles on the Sabbath?

Luke 13:15-16 (NKJV) The Lord then answered him and said, “Hypocrite! Does not each one of you on the Sabbath loose his ox or donkey from the stall, and lead it away to water it? So ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has bound—think of it—for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath?”

Jesus was saying “you think more of your ox or donkey than you do of people.”

Should those bound and afflicted by Satan be loosed?

Luke 13:17 (NKJV) And when He said these things, all His adversaries were put to shame; and all the multitude rejoiced for all the glorious things that were done by Him.

The Narrow Gate – Luke 13:23-30

Luke 13:23–24 (NIV84) 23Someone asked him, “Lord, are only a few people going to be saved?” He said to them, 24“Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to.

We want to know the answer to this question: “Are only a few people going to be saved?”

Why is the door or gate narrow? Matthew 7:13 Who or What is the door or gate?

Luke 13:25 (NIV84) Once the owner of the house gets up and closes the door, you will stand outside knocking and pleading, ‘Sir, open the door for us.’ “But he will answer, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from.’

Who is knocking? When are they knocking? Why will they not be given entrance?

Luke 13:26-28 (NIV84) 26“Then you will say, ‘We ate and drank with You, and You taught in our streets.’ 27“But He will reply, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from. Away from Me, all you evildoers!’ 28“There will be weeping there, and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but you yourselves thrown out.”

These are sad words for many who have had fellowship with Christ.

Why is it possible to have had fellowship with Christ and not be able to enter?

What is required to be saved?

Luke 13:29-30 (NIV84) 29People will come from east and west and north and south, and will take their places at the feast in the kingdom of God. 30Indeed there are those who are last who will be first, and first who will be last.”

This a message for the evangelization of the world. People from all over the world will be saved.

Revelation 7 talks about those who have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

Revelation 7:9–10 (NKJV) 9After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, 10and crying out with a loud voice, saying, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!”

Revelation 7:17 (NKJV) 17for the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”

God’s salvation reaches beyond our natural borders. There will be many surprises in heaven.

Christ Mourns over Jerusalem –  Luke 13:31-35

Luke 13:31–32 (NKJV) 31On that very day some Pharisees came, saying to Him, “Get out and depart from here, for Herod wants to kill You.” 32And He said to them, “Go, tell that fox, ‘Behold, I cast out demons and perform cures today and tomorrow, and the third day I shall be perfected.’

Jesus had no plans to discontinue His ministry. He would continue until He was perfected on the third day.

To what is “the third day I shall be perfected” referring? (Luke 24:46; Acts 10:40; Hebrews 2:10)

Luke 13:34 (NKJV) “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, but you were not willing!

Why is Jesus mourning and weeping over Jerusalem?

Luke 13:35 (NKJV) See! Your house is left to you desolate; and assuredly, I say to you, you shall not see Me until the time comes when you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’ ”

What time is Jesus referring to when they will say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord?’ (Luke 19:37-38; Matthew 21:1-9; Mark 11:1-10; John 12:12-13)

John 12:12–13 (NKJV) 12The next day a great multitude that had come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, 13took branches of palm trees and went out to meet Him, and cried out: “Hosanna! ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’ The King of Israel!”

 

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God’s Holy Church: Lasting Changes http://www.mdanba.com/2017/08/26/gods-holy-church-lasting-changes/ Sat, 26 Aug 2017 17:15:20 +0000 http://www.mdanba.com/?p=5702

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Ephesians 5:25–27 (NKJV) Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.

The Lord’s church is in the process of a radical change.

He is taking us from the destitution and corruption of our old life into the image and likeness of His Son. He is taking us from devastation into glory. The blood of Jesus Christ is making lasting changes in His church. We are being changed by the power of God. We are being changed in the presence of God from glory to glory. We are being changed by the power of the Holy Ghost.

Some changes are dramatic and immediately noticeable.

It is hard to miss when the blind see, the deaf hear, and the lame walk. We notice when the cancer is cursed and vanishes. We rejoice when the dead are brought back to life. We shout for joy when addiction is broken. Miracles grab our attention.

Beyond physical transformations, we pay attention to the spiritual changes that happen.

We rejoice when the bound and oppressed are freed. We are made glad when we are made clean. We celebrate with the angels of heaven when a sinner is saved.

These spiritual changes affect our innermost being. We see them in ourselves and in others. The physical changes affect the body.

Many people get excited about the temporary effects of coming into God’s presence.

Someone is touched and rejoices and we get excited. Someone weeps, rejoices, and is made glad.

The scripture gives many supernatural effects of God’s presence and power that most of us have not known.

The mountain quaked and trembled when God came down. The whole congregation trembled with fear when God spoke. Fire and smoke covered the mountain. The skin of Moses’ face did shine when he came near to the almighty Jehovah God, (Exodus 34:29‑30).

The sound of a mighty wind rushed into the house where they assembled, and tongues of fire sat on them. Everyone in the house spoke in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.

When Paul was stopped on the Damascus road, a light from heaven shone all around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice from heaven. When he left that place, scales came over his eyes and he was blinded. (Acts 9:18)

Most of these things have never happened again.

We are interested in the temporary, physical, and emotional touch of God.

It affects us spirit, soul and body. It causes us to tremble. We feel something. It moves us. It causes us to weep and rejoice.

We need more than a temporary anointing or an emotional touch of God’s presence and power.

We need something that brings permanent changes and lasting benefit. I am all for every emotional and physical evidence of God’s presence. We need more of that touch that affects us deeply. We need more dreams, visions, and gifts of the Spirit.

We need permanent changes in us.

What profit is a vision, a sound of rushing wind, or even fire coming into the house and settling on each one, if there is no change in us? We need more than a temporary shining face.

Something that changes us must happen when God comes down.

We are too needy to settle for temporary touches and thrills of God’s power. We have too many battles to win. We need to be changed.

What is the benefit of an anointing or glory if we leave the same way we came?

What benefit if we have a good word and are not changed?

We need deliverance that destroys the power of Satan and sin. We need relief that binds the strong man that has bound our soul. We must have forgiveness that breaks the curse and the chain.

We need more when God comes down.

We need to be changed in the presence of God.

When God comes down, it must effect our destiny. When God comes down, it must effect our soul. It must effect our whole being.

God never intended His presence, power, and glory to be insignificant or of little consequence in our life.

When the mantle fell over Elisha’s shoulders, he was changed.

He felt something more than the cloth of the coat. There was more to it than that.

There was a change in his heart and destiny. He was ready to leave everything he had worked hard to acquire. The change made him want to follow Elijah.

He was ready to do anything to receive the fullness of the Spirit that was upon Elijah. He carried water. He became a servant.

God had greater plans for the anointing that came upon Elisha.

Elisha was to be more than a companion and friend. He was going to be a prophet in Elijah’s place.

When Elijah ascended to God in the chariot of fire, Elisha was ready.

When the mantle fell down from the chariot, the double portion of the Holy Spirit came upon him. He left that place striking the water of Jordan. He went in the power of the Spirit of Elijah.

When the Spirit fell on the 120 in the upper room, more happened than those initial evidences.

They saw the manifestations of fire, wind, and glory. The congregation rejoiced in the Holy Spirit. There was more to it than their praises. They felt the thrill and excitement of the moment.

What was the purpose of the Holy Spirit’s descent?

They received the power of God’s Spirit. They were to be enabled to live a testimony. They became living examples of the resurrected Christ.

When the Holy Spirit came down, something was activated in them.

They received such power that believers were added to the church daily. After the Spirit came down upon them, they walked and lived in that power and boldness.

After the Spirit came down on them, signs, wonders, and gifts of the Holy Ghost followed them. The Spirit worked with them confirming the Word that was spoken with complementing signs and miracles. They were mightily used and equipped with gifts of the Spirit. Their lives were never the same.

Paul, Peter, James, Philip, and Stephen received more than a thrilling touch of the Spirit of God.

They were changed. The power of God’s Spirit was on them and worked through them. The change was dramatic. Their lives were filled with the glory and force of God’s presence and power.

Everyone was not so powerfully effected by the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.

All some got was a feeling or thrill of the power and presence of God. They heard the message. They felt excited. They wanted to get involved, but they did not receive power.

Ananias and Sapphira were touched by the Spirit of compassion that came upon the church.

They were in the midst of a church that was full of Holy Spirit power and life. But, Satan filled their heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and they fell dead in the presence of the apostles. All they wanted was praise and approval.

Elymas, the sorcerer had been in the meeting when the Spirit of God was dealing with Sergius Paulus.

He refused to accept the word and work of the Holy Spirit and did not want others to receive what he was not willing to accept.

Paul, being full of the Holy Spirit, confronted Elymas and said: “O full of all deceit and all fraud, you son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, will you not cease perverting the straight ways of the Lord? And now, indeed, the hand of the Lord is upon you, and you shall be blind, not seeing the sun for a time.” (Acts 13:10-11)

Simon was in the meeting when several had been baptized in the Holy Spirit. (Acts 8:18-20)

He knew the disciples had something he did not possess. They could lay hands on people and they would receive the Holy Spirit. Even though others received and were changed, he refused to be changed by the Spirit of God.

You need to know that God is coming down to make changes.

He is coming down to change the way you do things.

He is coming down to empower you and effect your life.

He will make lasting changes in your life, if you surrender and submit to Him. His glory will only excite you, if you refuse to let Him change you. His power will only move you, if you don’t surrender. He wants to do more than give a temporary excitement or joy. Give Him permission to come in and work. Surrender to the Holy Spirit’s power and work. He will cleanse, fill, release, and help you. His touch will transform you and change you into a new person.

You will be changed. You will not be the same.

Are you ready for God to do something in you?

He is coming down. He said He would do it in these last days. God is ready to flood you with His Spirit.

 

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God’s Holy Church: God Came Down http://www.mdanba.com/2017/08/26/gods-holy-church-god-came-down/ Sat, 26 Aug 2017 07:00:13 +0000 http://www.mdanba.com/?p=5695

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Isaiah 64:1-12; Acts 2:1-4

There are notable times when God came down and had contact with people and they were changed.

Isaiah 64:1-5 (NKJV) 1Oh, that You would rend the heavens! That You would come down! That the mountains might shake at Your presence— 2As fire burns brushwood, As fire causes water to boil— To make Your name known to Your adversaries, That the nations may tremble at Your presence! 3When You did awesome things for which we did not look, You came down, The mountains shook at Your presence. 4For since the beginning of the world Men have not heard nor perceived by the ear, Nor has the eye seen any God besides You, Who acts for the one who waits for Him. 5You meet him who rejoices and does righteousness, Who remembers You in Your ways.

When God came down, they saw His almighty power.

They were under the cloud or the fire. In the presence of Jehovah, they heard God’s voice. Sometimes they did not see Him, but the Spirit of the Lord came down upon them. They witnessed His power, wind, fire, and heard His voice.

It was dramatic what happened when God came down.

Jesus told His disciples to stay in Jerusalem and wait for the Promise of the Father.

They were to wait until God came down.

Acts 2:1–4 (NKJV) 1When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. 4And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

Watch what people were doing when God came down.

  • Everyone was not pursuing God.
  • Some were running for their lives when God came down.
  • Some were in rebellion against God and His people when God came down.
  • Some were doing evil and God came down and stopped them.
  • Some were in a prayer meeting and waiting when the Spirit of God came down upon them.

God came down in various circumstances.

Deuteronomy 4:29 (NKJV) 29But from there you will seek the Lord your God, and you will find Him if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul.

This is what we anticipate to be normal. I need God, so I call and HE comes to me. I am seeking God and all of a sudden He shows up. I am fasting and praying, and God is revealed.

Watch the record of man’s activities when God came.

Adam and Eve were familiar with the presence of God.

In Genesis 3:8, they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day. This time they were not ready for God to show up. Circumstances had changed for Adam and Eve. God came down and Adam and Eve felt the need to duck and cover from God. Sin changed their condition, and they were not ready for God.

Yet, God came down.

Jacob was running for his life.

He had cheated his brother out of his birthright. He had received blessings from his father by deceit. He was running toward Haran when the sun set. He came to a certain place and stayed the night. He took a stone, put it at his head and laid down to sleep.

“He dreamed, and behold, a ladder was set up on earth, and its top reached to heaven; and there the angels of God were ascending and descending on it.” (Genesis 28:12)

At the top of the ladder stood the Lord God of Abraham. Nothing had changed in his heart or attitude. He thought it was a good solitary place to rest. He was tired and laid down.

When he awoke he said, “Surely the LORD is in this place and I did not know it. And he was afraid and said, How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God and this is the gate of heaven!” (Genesis 28:16-17)

Moses was tending his father-in-law’s sheep.

The Bible does not tell us that he was involved in  any prayer or spiritual activity.

He was just watching sheep when he saw the burning bush that was not consumed. When he turned aside, he met the Lord God on holy ground.

God came down.

Moses was not prepared for what happened. He was turning aside because he saw a fiery bush, but He encountered God.

Saul was chasing his father’s lost donkeys.  (1 Samuel 9)

He was not on a spiritual journey. He was looking for donkeys. When he exhausted his search, his servant said the man of God can show us the way we should go. God told Samuel to anoint Saul to be commander over Israel. When he was anointed, nothing appeared to happen. When he met a group of prophets, the Spirit of the Lord down came upon him and he was turned into another man.

In the year the King Uzziah died, Isaiah saw the Lord. (Isaiah 6)

The death of Uzziah was traumatic for Isaiah. The temple and physical surroundings faded from view and Isaiah had an open encounter with God.

When Isaiah saw the Lord he cried out, “Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips, And I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen the King, The LORD of hosts.” (Isaiah 6:5)

Isaiah was undone when the Lord came down.

Saul, who became Paul, was breathing threats and murder against the Lord’s disciples. (Acts 1:9)

He had received letters from the synagogues of Damascus to bring believers bound to Jerusalem. On his journey down the Damascus road, the Lord came down. Saul fell to the ground when he saw a light from heaven and heard the voice of Jesus. After Ananias laid his hands on him, he received his sight and was filled with the Holy Spirit.

God came down many other times in the Bible.

  • Ezekiel saw the Lord.
  • John saw the Lord on Patmos.
  • Peter was speaking to Cornelius’ household when the Holy Spirit fell on them.

Many were occupied with other things when God came down.

Some were seeking the Lord and found His rest, comfort and help. (2 Chronicles 14:7, 22:9, 26:5; Psalms 34:4) Some were in rebellion and the Lord came down.

Some had an evil heart and the Lord came down. Some were ready for murder and the Lord came down upon them.

There is no normal activity that causes God to come down.

We want to say it was because they were in the upper room and because they were in prayer. Or, it was because they had one mind and one heart. Or, it was a result of whatever they did. They must have done something that made it happen.

Jesus said “wait until God comes down.”

God came down because He wanted to come down.

He came down when they wanted Him to come down and when they were not ready. God’s Spirit came when He wanted to and to the extent He wanted to. God came down when there was sin in their hearts and when they repented. He came when they were unprepared and when they would rend their hearts before God.

But God came down.

This is God’s sovereign action.

He blesses and He curses whom He will. He comes down when He wants. He pours out His Spirit wherever He desires. He manifests His glory and His power as He will.

But God comes down.

When He does come down, His power is known. When He does come down, His glory is revealed. When He does come down, things change.

Isaiah 64:1–2 (NKJV) 1Oh, that You would rend the heavens! That You would come down! That the mountains might shake at Your presence— 2As fire burns brushwood, As fire causes water to boil— To make Your name known to Your adversaries, That the nations may tremble at Your presence!

Later, Isaiah told God, “we are all like an unclean thing and all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags. We fade as a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.” (Isaiah 64:6)

Then Isaiah said: “There is no one who calls on Your Name, who stirs himself up to take hold of You.” (Isaiah 64:7)

That sounds to us like a justifiable reason for God to stay away.

The people were unrighteous. Their iniquities took them from God. No one was praying No one was seeking God.

Why would God want to come down?

Why should He come down?

It is for that very reason that God must come down in power.

Our sins are great. Our prayer is weak. Our iniquities have drawn us away.

Isaiah knew this.

  • If God does not come down, there will be no renewal, awakening, or revival.
  • If God does not come down, we will not be healed or restored.
  • If God does not come down, we will be lost.

Watch this.

  • When He came down, sin was exposed.
  • When He came down, people repented.
  • When He came down, revival broke out.
  • When He came down, lives were changed.
  • When He came down, the unclean were cleansed.
  • When He came down, disease was broken.
  • When He came down, sinners became saints.

We must have another divine visitation.

God must come down and rescue and restore. That is why the church has pursued the Lord. This is why the patriarchs and prophets cried out for God to “Come and save us.” They cried for God  to “Come down and deliver us…” “God revive us again.”  (Psalms 85:6-7) “Cause your people to rejoice in You.”

Isaiah 55:6–7 (NKJV) 6Seek the Lord while He may be found, Call upon Him while He is near. 7Let the wicked forsake his way, And the unrighteous man his thoughts; Let him return to the Lord, And He will have mercy on him; And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon.

2 Chronicles 7:14 (NKJV) “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

This could be the day when God comes down. Your great need will be met. Your body will be healed. Your soul will be cleansed and saved.

God come down.

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The Ministry of Christ, Part 34 http://www.mdanba.com/2017/08/22/the-ministry-of-christ-part-34/ Tue, 22 Aug 2017 21:59:50 +0000 http://www.mdanba.com/?p=5677

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The Last Months

  • Raising Lazarus – John 11:1-46
  • Retirement to Ephraim – John 11:54

After the confrontation with the Pharisees in Jerusalem at the Feast of Dedication (Hanukkah), Jesus went away beyond the Jordan River. (John 10:40-42)

He went to where John was baptizing first at Bethabara. (John 1:28)

         Once again, many believed in Him there.

Raising Lazarus – John 11:1-46

John 11:1-6 (NKJV) 1Now a certain man was sick, Lazarus of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha. 3Therefore the sisters sent to Him, saying, “Lord, behold, he whom You love is sick.” 4When Jesus heard that, He said, “This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it.” 5Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. 6So, when He heard that he was sick, He stayed two more days in the place where He was.

This is a good lesson of what we should do when we have need.

We should call on the Lord. Mary and Martha loved and trusted the Lord. They had a specific expectation of what the Lord would do.

What did they expect Jesus to do? Did Jesus do what they expected?

God’s timing is not by our schedule or plans.

John 11:7-8 (NKJV) 7Then after this He said to the disciples, “Let us go to Judea again.” 8The disciples said to Him, “Rabbi, lately the Jews sought to stone You, and are You going there again?”

After the last two events in Jerusalem, the Jews took up stones to stone Him.

He healed the man born blind, and after He forgave the adulterous woman He said, “I am the Light of the world.” (John 8:59; John 10:32) His disciples were not ready to go back into that environment.

John 11:9–10 (NKJV) 9Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours in the day? If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world. 10But if one walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him.”

What is Jesus telling them?

John 11:11–15 (NKJV) 11These things He said, and after that He said to them, “Our friend Lazarus sleeps, but I go that I may wake him up.” 12Then His disciples said, “Lord, if he sleeps he will get well.” 13However, Jesus spoke of his death, but they thought that He was speaking about taking rest in sleep. 14Then Jesus said to them plainly, “Lazarus is dead. 15And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, that you may believe. Nevertheless let us go to him.”

Was Jesus happy that Lazarus was dead? If not, why did He say this?

John 11:16 (NKJV) 16Then Thomas, who is called the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with Him.”

The disciples were convinced that if Jesus went back to the area, He would be killed. They were so committed to Jesus that they were willing to go die with Him.

Why does this statement not fit in with God’s plan?

John 11:17–19 (NKJV) 17So when Jesus came, He found that he had already been in the tomb four days. 18Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, about two miles away. 19And many of the Jews had joined the women around Martha and Mary, to comfort them concerning their brother.

Watch Martha’s dialogue with Jesus.

John 11:20-22 (NKJV) 20Now Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met Him, but Mary was sitting in the house. 21Now Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died. 22But even now I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give You.”

What is she saying?

Jesus recognized her faith and trust, but he wanted her to stretch her faith.

John 11:23–24 (NKJV) 23Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” 24Martha said to Him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”

What she heard was not what Jesus said. What Jesus said should be compared with what He told His disciples two days earlier.

What did Jesus say to His disciples? What did He say to Martha?

Why is it easier to believe in the resurrection “in the last day” than “raising the dead today?”

John 11:25–27 (NKJV) 25Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. 26And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” 27She said to Him, “Yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.”

What is Jesus saying to Martha?

This is a critical statement for what Jesus is about to do for this family.

What is the significance of Martha’s statement in verse 27?

We are about to get a glimpse of the humanity of Christ in the next few verses.

John 11:28–36 (NKJV) 28And when she had said these things, she went her way and secretly called Mary her sister, saying, “The Teacher has come and is calling for you.” 29As soon as she heard that, she arose quickly and came to Him. 30Now Jesus had not yet come into the town, but was in the place where Martha met Him. 31Then the Jews who were with her in the house, and comforting her, when they saw that Mary rose up quickly and went out, followed her, saying, “She is going to the tomb to weep there.” 32Then, when Mary came where Jesus was, and saw Him, she fell down at His feet, saying to Him, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.” 33Therefore, when Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her weeping, He groaned in the spirit and was troubled. 34And He said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to Him, “Lord, come and see.” 35Jesus wept. 36Then the Jews said, “See how He loved him!”

Why did Jesus groan in the spirit and was troubled? Why did Jesus weep?

What is different in sorrow and grief in Christian’s death?

Why would Jesus weep when He knew the plan that He had to raise Lazarus from the dead?

John 11:37 (NKJV) 37And some of them said, “Could not this Man, who opened the eyes of the blind, also have kept this man from dying?”

Is this a statement of faith or criticism?

Notice that Jesus’ humanity did not interrupt the miracle.

John 11:38–39 (NKJV) 38Then Jesus, again groaning in Himself, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay against it. 39Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the sister of him who was dead, said to Him, “Lord, by this time there is a stench, for he has been dead four days.”

Why did Jesus tell them to “take away the stone?” He could have commanded the stone to roll away.

Have you ever had a roll away the stone experience?

What did Jesus expect when the stone was rolled away?

John 11:40 (NKJV) Jesus said to her, “Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?”

Throughout His human emotion, Jesus had faith that a miracle was going to happen and Lazarus would live again.

John 11:41–42 (NKJV) 41Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead man was lying. And Jesus lifted up His eyes and said, “Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. 42And I know that You always hear Me, but because of the people who are standing by I said this, that they may believe that You sent Me.”

This prayer indicates that Jesus had been interacting with the Father throughout this event. We often do that. We may not be praying out loud, but on the inside our troubled soul is crying out to God.

Why did Jesus say: “because of the people who are standing by I said this?”

John 11:43–44 (NKJV) 43Now when He had said these things, He cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth!” 44And he who had died came out bound hand and foot with graveclothes, and his face was wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Loose him, and let him go.”

After Lazarus had been raised from the dead, the Pharisees and the chief priests gathered a council and looked for ways to put Jesus to death. (John 11:45-53)

Retirement to Ephraim

John 11:54 (NKJV) 54Therefore Jesus no longer walked openly among the Jews, but went from there into the country near the wilderness, to a city called Ephraim, and there remained with His disciples.

Why did Lazarus’ being raised affect the Pharisees and chief priests so negatively?

What does Lazarus’ being raised say to us?

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God’s Holy Church: The Power of God’s Presence http://www.mdanba.com/2017/08/19/gods-holy-church-the-power-of-gods-presence/ Sat, 19 Aug 2017 19:22:52 +0000 http://www.mdanba.com/?p=5664

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While Moses was still in Egypt, he came to realize that he was not an Egyptian.

He tried to deliver Israel with human effort, but found he was not able to achieve success.

He felt the call of God, but He did not know God’s way. This says much to every one of us. We can never do God’s work without God’s help. We must follow God into the victory. When Moses got ahead of God, he knew his life was in jeopardy, so he left Egypt and went to Midian.

In Exodus 3, Moses came face to face with God on Horeb, the mountain of God.

There on the back side of the desert, he saw God’s glory and power in the fiery bush. This was Moses’ first time to hear the voice of God. God said, “take your shoes off for you are on holy ground.” In God’s presence, Moses hid his face because he was afraid to look upon God.

This was a tremendous entrance into God’s presence.

Most of us would be blessed to stand on holy ground.

Yet, Moses’ fellowship with God was somewhat limited.

On holy ground, he heard the voice of God. God said He came down to deliver His people. Then, God showed Moses how He was going to reveal His power and glory to the world.

Moses enjoyed this initial fellowship with God.

David said, “Blessed is the man You choose, and cause to approach you.” (Psalms 65:4)

This was Moses’ first experience in the presence of the holy God. He was standing on holy ground facing God’s glory, presence and power. Then God spoke to him and sent him to deliver His people from bondage. Throughout those days in Egypt, God demonstrated His power and great glory. When they came out of Egypt, God led them with the pillar of cloud and fire. It was a sign to everyone of God’s presence among His people.

When they came to Sinai, God told Moses to bring up Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel and worship from a distance.

Exodus 24 tells us, “they saw the God of Israel.”

“Under His feet there appeared what looked like a pavement of sapphire stone, as clear as the heavens.”

They saw God and ate and drank in His presence.

Exodus 24:12 (NKJV) Then the Lord said to Moses, “Come up to Me on the mountain and be there; and I will give you tablets of stone…”

When Moses went up into the mountain, a cloud covered the mountain, and the glory of the Lord rested on Mount Sinai.

Exodus 24:17–18 (NKJV) 17The sight of the glory of the Lord was like a consuming fire on the top of the mountain in the eyes of the children of Israel. 18So Moses went into the midst of the cloud and went up into the mountain. And Moses was on the mountain forty days and forty nights.

Those were powerful days in God’s presence. This was much greater than the glory of the burning bush. For forty days, Moses dwelt in the presence of God and talked with God. When the people saw that Moses delayed coming down from the mountain, they broke off their golden earrings and Aaron fashioned a molded calf. The wrath of God was so great that He was ready to consume them, but Moses pleaded with the Lord. He said, “they can go into the land, but I will not go with them.” (Exodus 33)

After that, Moses took his tent and pitched it outside the camp.

He called it the tabernacle of meeting.

Exodus 33:9-11 (NKJV) And it came to pass, when Moses entered the tabernacle, that the pillar of cloud descended and stood at the door of the tabernacle, and the Lord talked with Moses. 10All the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at the tabernacle door, and all the people rose and worshiped, each man in his tent door. 11So the Lord spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend.

Moses was in the tabernacle when the pillar of cloud descended and he spoke to the Lord face to face.

In God’s presence, Moses interceded for Israel.

Exodus 33:12-16 (NKJV) 12Then Moses said to the Lord, “See, You say to me, ‘Bring up this people.’ But You have not let me know whom You will send with me. Yet You have said, ‘I know you by name, and you have also found grace in My sight.’ 13Now therefore, I pray, if I have found grace in Your sight, show me now Your way, that I may know You and that I may find grace in Your sight. And consider that this nation is Your people.” 14And He said, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” 15Then he said to Him, “If Your Presence does not go with us, do not bring us up from here. 16For how then will it be known that Your people and I have found grace in Your sight, except You go with us? So we shall be separate, Your people and I, from all the people who are upon the face of the earth.”

He valued God’s presence so much that he was not willing to go one step without the presence of God. God said, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”

Now that Moses has everything in order… he has one request.

Exodus 33:18 (NKJV) And he said, “Please, show me Your glory.”

Try to understand this.         He was on holy ground at the burning bush. He was on Sinai when the fire of God descended. He walked under the pillar of cloud and pillar of fire. The pillar of cloud was standing at the tabernacle door and Moses was talking face to face with God.

“Please, show me Your glory.”

This is critical to Moses.

He wants to know more of God. He wants more of God’s presence, power, and glory.

Exodus 33:19-23 (NKJV) 19 Then He said, “I will make all My goodness pass before you, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before you. I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.” 20 But He said, “You cannot see My face; for no man shall see Me, and live.” 21 And the LORD said, “Here is a place by Me, and you shall stand on the rock. 22 So it shall be, while My glory passes by, that I will put you in the cleft of the rock, and will cover you with My hand while I pass by. 23 Then I will take away My hand, and you shall see My back; but My face shall not be seen.”

 

Then God told him to cut two tablets of stone and come up to Mount Sinai in the morning. God was going to meet Moses on the rock.

Moses wanted to get closer.

Why not be satisfied with the revelation he had? Why not be satisfied with the fellowship and knowledge of God?

Moses learned that there was a place by God.

God said: “You cannot see My face and live. For no man shall see Me and live.” God said: “Here is a place by Me, and you shall stand on the rock.” “While My glory passes by, I will put you in the cleft of the rock, and cover you with My hand while I pass by.” “I will put my hand over the cleft of the rock.”

Moses wanted to come to that place.

Do you want to enter God’s presence?

There is a place of God’s presence.

David knew the presence of God.

David said, “Do not cast me away from Your presence, and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.” (Psalms 51:11)

Elijah had a similar experience to what Moses had.

God told Elijah to go out and stand on the mountain before the Lord, (1 Kings 19:11-13).

“The Lord passed by and a great and strong wind tore into the mountain, and broke the rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind.

After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake.

After the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire.”

Don’t stop with the physical responses to the presence of God.

Then Elijah heard a still small voice.

When he heard the voice, Elijah knew it was God. Elijah wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood in the entrance of the cave.

There is more to the presence of God than manifestations of glory, power, fire, and wind.

We must go past the physical responses of creation to the almightiness of God. We may want to see these responses, (the wind, earthquake, and fire).

People who have been in His presence want more than that.

Elijah wanted to hear the still small voice of God. Moses wanted to know God, not just the earth shaking and the mountain trembling.

What can we find in His presence?

Psalm 16:11 (NKJV) 11You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

Why did David desire to dwell in the house of the Lord?

  • In His presence is the path of life, fullness of joy and pleasures that do not end.
  • It was the place where God’s glory dwelt.
  • It was the place to find goodness and mercy.
  • It was the place to behold the beauty of the Lord.

In Matthew 28:20, Jesus said, “I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

Why is that important?

In Matthew 28:18-19 Jesus said, “All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth. God therefore and make disciples… baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.”

The One who has all authority in heaven and on earth is with us. His presence enables us to change the world.

In Acts 10:38 the writer says: “God anointed Jesus with the Holy Spirit and with power, and He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.”

God’s presence made a difference in the results. Healing and deliverance was expected because “God was with Him.”

Look in your Bible for times God says, “I will be with you.”

Look where God gave an impossible assignment and He said, “Don’t worry, I will be with you.”

  • “I will walk among you and be your God, and you shall be my people.” (Leviticus 26:12)
  • The verses before this says:
  • “You shall chase a hundred and a hundred shall put ten thousand to flight.
  • I will give you rain in its season, the land shall yield its produce.
  • You shall eat your bread to the full, and dwell in safety.
  • I will make you fruitful, multiply you, and confirm My covenant with you.
  • I will give peace in the land.
  • You will lie down and none will be afraid.”
  • “I will be with you and the water will not overflow you and the fire will not burn you,” (Isaiah 43:2).
  • “I will be with you and no man shall be able to stand before you,” (Joshua 1:5).
  • “They will fight against you, but they shall not prevail against you. For I am with you,” says the Lord, (Jeremiah 1:19).
  • “I the Lord your God, will hold your right hand, Saying to you, “Fear not, I will help you,” (Isaiah 41:13).
  • When the presence of the Lord is with you, you can go in peace, (Judges 18:6).
  • In His presence is rest, (Exodus 33:14).
  • In His presence is fullness of joy, (Psalm 16:11).
  • In His presence is healing and deliverance, (Acts 10:38)

Can we come into His presence and know God?

James 4:8 (NKJV) 8Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.

2 Chronicles 15:2 (NKJV) The Lord is with you while you are with Him. If you seek Him, He will be found by you; but if you forsake Him, He will forsake you.

Regardless of the depth of your exposure to God’s glory, there is more when you enter into His presence.

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God’s Holy Church: Overcoming http://www.mdanba.com/2017/08/19/gods-holy-church-overcoming/ Sat, 19 Aug 2017 07:00:45 +0000 http://www.mdanba.com/?p=5657

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When the Lord appeared to John on Patmos, He spoke about the overcoming church. This overcoming message is from your Lord Jesus Christ.

Revelation 2:7 (NKJV) “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.”’

Revelation 2:11 (NKJV) “He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death.”’

Revelation 2:17 (NKJV) “To him who overcomes I will give some of the hidden manna to eat. And I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it.”’

Revelation 2:26 (NKJV) He who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations.

Revelation 3:5 (NKJV) He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.

Revelation 3:12 (NKJV) He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name.

Revelation 3:21 (NKJV) To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.

God has planned for His holy church to overcome.

We have been called into a glorious relationship and fellowship with the Father and the Son. We have been entered into the fellowship of the Holy Spirit. In this fellowship, God wants to bring you into a greater fullness and joy. He wants His church to dwell in His presence.

The Lord told John to write down the things he saw and send the letters to the church.

When John saw the church, there was much they were facing and had to overcome.

That word “overcome” means: to subdue, conquer, prevail, or to get the victory.

We are going to face some situations, opposition, and spiritual and physical needs.

The Lord wants the church to know that He has planned for you to rise up and overcome.

1 Peter 5:6-9 (NKJV) 6Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, 7casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. 8Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. 9Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.

NIV84 V8Be self-controlled and alert.

1 Peter 5:10-11 (NKJV) 10But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. 11To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.

Watch the different ways the enemy came against the first-century church.

  • Some practiced pagan feasts and orgies.
  • They had false apostles, prophets and teachers.
  • Some lost their first love for the Lord and were lukewarm.
  • Some lost their passion to do God’s work.
  • Some practiced and taught immorality and idolatry.
  • They worked and lived where the synagogue and throne of Satan was.
  • Satan brought on persecution and tribulation.
  • Temptations and trials were thrown at them.
  • Sexual immorality and idolatry was practiced around them, and some within the church were encouraged to participate.
  • Some of the church were given over to sexual immorality.

In that atmosphere, the Lord said He had a church.

This sounds like a miracle. You need to see this.

God will always have a church.

Here is the Lord’s message to the Church.

First, I know what you are facing.

You need to personalize this.

  • The Lord God Almighty knows what you are facing.
  • He knows Satan’s battle plan against you.
  • He knows what you have been going through.
  • He knows every test, trial and trouble.
  • Satan may be doing his best to destroy you.
  • He may be pressuring you to compromise.
  • He may be trying to entice you to do evil.
  • He is attempting to drag you down and make you weak.
  • He is trying to make you worry and fret.
  • He is hindering you anyway he can.
  • He wants to make you slow and sluggish.
  • He wants to draw you away from the truth.

There is good news.

The Lord knows what you are facing.

You may be tempted, tested, and tormented. You may feel lonely, abandoned, and forsaken. You may feel weak, weary, and worn.

The Lord of glory is walking in the midst of the Church and He knows what you are facing.

Revelation 1:17-18 (NKJV) 17“Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last. 18I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death.

You can overcome because the Lord has already conquered what you are facing.

Second, the Lord is telling you “don’t give up.”

Do you hear this in the Lord’s message?

  • Don’t surrender to compromise.
  • Don’t yield to sinful desires.
  • Don’t get away from the truth.
  • Don’t yield to Satan’s evil strategy.
  • Don’t grow cold and uncaring.
  • Don’t stop now, keep pressing on.
  • Don’t let the fire go out.
  • Stir up the gift of God that is in you.
  • Purify yourself in the Lord.

It is hard to resist the devil with the all of the things he is doing. It feels like he is camping where the church lives. He is seeking to destroy your soul and kill your light.

Hear the loving and urgent message of the Lord.

He is calling His Church. Every word of this message is filled with the Lord’s love for His church.

  • In love He is pursuing His beloved church.
  • In love He reproves, rebukes and exhorts.
  • In love He draws us to the altar of prayer and repentance.

Listen to the Lord’s message of love.

If He did not love you, He would abandon you to Satan’s vile works.

If He did not love you, He would allow you plunge downward to destruction.

Jeremiah 31:3 (NKJV) The LORD said: “Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.”

The third message to His church was, “resist the Devil.”

Satan has come in like a roaring lion. He is seeking someone to devour. You do not have to be lunch meat. Stand up and be strong in the Lord against Satan.

The Lord said, “resist the Devil.” You can overcome Satan in every way he comes against you.

2 Timothy 1:7 (NKJV) For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. You are mighty through God.

Stop looking at yourself through Satan’s glasses. You can defeat Satan and everything he throws at you.

The blood of Jesus Christ is powerful to cover, cleanse, and heal. You have been washed in the blood of Jesus Christ. There is glorious power in His blood. The name of Jesus that is in you is greater than the kingdom of darkness that is arising around you.

Greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world. Resist the devil.

Philippians 2:5 (NKJV) Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.

Guard your heart and mind. If you have the mind of Christ, you will overcome the enemy when he comes against you.

What does it mean to have the mind of Christ?

Your mind is full of love, joy, and peace. Your mind is full of faith and trust. You are full of the power and might of the Holy Ghost. Your mind is full of and meditating on the Word of God day and night.

The fourth thing the Lord said to His church is, “you can overcome.”

You can conquer and win the victory. It is hard to understand the depth and height of the victory that is available to the church.

How great is the victory?

When John was shown the church, he saw deep trouble and complete victory.

Matthew 16:18-19(NKJV) 18I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. 19And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth  will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”

This victory is greater than all of Satan’s devices and power.

Watch what the Lord has prepared for the overcomer.

  • They shall eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God. (Revelation 2:7)
  • They shall not be hurt by the second death. (Revelation 2:11)

They will not spend eternity in the lake of fire.

  • They will eat of the hidden manna. They shall receive a white stone, and their new name will be written on it. (Revelation 2:17)
  • They will sit with Him on His throne. They will receive Christ as their reward. (Revelation 2:25-28)
  • They will walk with Christ in white, for they are worthy. Their name shall be written in the Book of Life. The Lord will confess their name before the Father. (Revelation 3:5-6)
  • Jesus said, “I will make them a pillar in the temple of My God.” The name God will be written on them and the name of the city of God. (Revelation 3:12-13)

Revelation 21:6–7 (NKJV) 6And He said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts. 7He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son.

This is marching orders for the church. Rise up Church. Be strong in the Lord. You can overcome.

]]> 5657
The Ministry of Christ, Part 33 http://www.mdanba.com/2017/08/16/the-ministry-of-christ-part-33/ Wed, 16 Aug 2017 15:00:29 +0000 http://www.mdanba.com/?p=5646

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Events of the year of opposition.

  • Parable of the Good Shepherd John 10:1-17
  • Conflict at the Feast of Dedication         John 10:22-39
  • Beyond Jordan John 10:40-42

Parable of the Good Shepherd – John 10:1-17

Jesus was continuing a conversation with the Pharisees regarding the man that was born blind. Jesus was showing His true identity to the Pharisees. The Pharisees assumed that they were the spiritual guides for the people.

The parable begins with two images of Jesus.

  • He is the shepherd who leads the sheep through the door into the safety of the sheepfold.
  • He is the door by which the sheep enter. Jesus said that He was “the door” (v.7) and “the good shepherd” (v. 11). He is the Way into safety and He is the Provider and Keeper.

John 10:1–2 (NKJV) 1“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.

2But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.

What does this say about the Shepherd and the thief? What is the difference between them?

There is only One legitimate entrance into the sheepfold.

John 10:3 (NKJV) 3To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.

The doorkeeper – Several possibilities have been presented.

  • Old Testament prophets who foretold the coming of Christ.
  • John the Baptist, the forerunner of Christ.
  • The Holy Spirit who opens the door for the entrance of Jesus.
  • Undershepherds who point people to Jesus.

Since Jesus is the door, who is the doorkeeper?

The doorkeeper gives legitimacy to the shepherd.

John 10:4-5 (NKJV) 4And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. 5Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.”

Sheep know the voice of their shepherd.

Why is it so important for believers to know the Lord’s voice?

If a stranger enters the sheepfold, the sheep run away from him because they do not know his voice.

How can we learn or know the Lord’s voice?

John 10:7–10 (NKJV) 7Then Jesus said to them again, “Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. 8All who ever came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them.

This analogy of Jesus being the door demonstrates how He lays down His life for His sheep.

John 10:9–10 (NKJV) 9I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. 10The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.

Two opposites are mentioned here.

The One who saves, gives life, fullness, abundance, and prosperity is the Door.

The thief comes to steal, kill and destroy. God, through Jesus Christ, presents us with goodness, life, and everything that is necessary for life.

Joel 2:26 (NKJV) 26You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied, And praise the name of the Lord your God, Who has dealt wondrously with you; And My people shall never be put to shame.

2 Peter 1:3-4 (NKJV) 3as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, 4by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature.

Remember, Jesus is addressing the Pharisees.

As we read this section determine who are the hirelings.

John 10:12–13 (NKJV) 12But a hireling, he who is not the shepherd, one who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf catches the sheep and scatters them. 13The hireling flees because he is a hireling and does not care about the sheep.

Who are the hirelings?

Why would Jesus say this when He was talking to the Pharisees?

John 10:11, 14-15 (NKJV) 11“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.

14I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own. 15As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep.

What do we learn about the good shepherd?

What is the difference between the good shepherd and the thief?

What is the difference between the good shepherd and the hireling?

John 10:16 (NKJV) 16And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd.

Who are the “other sheep?”

The next paragraph refers to the Lord’s death.

He ties His death with the story of the good shepherd.

John 10:17–18 (NKJV) 17“Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. 18No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father.”

After Jesus gave this parable, He told them they could not take His life from Him. He said He had the power to lay it down and take it up again.

What does this mean?

After Jesus said this, there was another division among the Jews.

Why were they divided over Jesus?

Conflict at the Feast of Dedication – John 10:22-39

The feast of dedication was instituted in 165 B.C. by Judas Maccabaeus to observe the restoration of worship and dedication of the temple after it had been defiled by Antichus Epiphanes in 167 B.C. It was called the Feast of Lights, or Hanukkah. Jesus was in Jerusalem for the Feast.

John 10:22–24 (NKJV) 22Now it was the Feast of Dedication in Jerusalem, and it was winter. 23And Jesus walked in the temple, in Solomon’s porch. 24Then the Jews surrounded Him and said to Him, “How long do You keep us in doubt? If You are the Christ, tell us plainly.”

Jesus answered them with one of the greatest promises for believers and those who hear His voice.

John 10:25–26 (NKJV) 25Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in My Father’s name, they bear witness of Me. 26But you do not believe, because you are not of My sheep, as I said to you.

John 10:27–30 (NKJV) 27My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. 28And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. 29My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand. 30I and My Father are one.”

Every believer should memorize this text. There is a place of security for all who put their trust in the Lord. This reference should bring great consolation to your soul.

Jesus is your Good Shepherd. No one is able to snatch you from His hand.

He paid the ultimate price so that you may enjoy this uninterrupted peace, security, and joy.

When Jesus finished saying this, the Jews took up stones again to stone Him.

Why did they want to stone Him? (John 10:33)

They said, “You blaspheme because You, being a Man, make Yourself God.”

Jesus attempted to speak to them once again, but they sought again to seize Him, but He escaped out of their hand. (John 10:39)

Beyond Jordan – John 10:40-42

John 10:40–42 (NKJV) 40And He went away again beyond the Jordan to the place where John was baptizing at first, and there He stayed. 41Then many came to Him and said, “John performed no sign, but all the things that John spoke about this Man were true.” 42And many believed in Him there.

We can add our amen to that. “Everything that John spoke about this Man is true.”

]]> 5646
God’s Holy Church: From Glory to Glory http://www.mdanba.com/2017/08/12/gods-holy-church-from-glory-to-glory/ Sat, 12 Aug 2017 16:29:52 +0000 http://www.mdanba.com/?p=5637

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The Christian life is a progression of experiences.

We come out of spiritual death into fellowship with God and spiritual life in Christ.

We are born by the Spirit into the body of Christ and sustained and enriched by the Holy Spirit

John 3:5-8 (NKJV) Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ 8The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

Everyone that enters the kingdom of God must be born of the Spirit.

Galatians 5:24-25 (NKJV) 24And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

Many aspects of the Christian life can only be enjoyed by the walk in the Spirit.

The best words and most fervent worship and prayer is empty if the Holy Spirit is not involved.

Philippians 3:3 (AMP) 3For we [Christians]… who worship God in spirit and by the Spirit of God and exult and glory and pride ourselves in Jesus Christ, …put no confidence or dependence [on what we are] in the flesh and on outward privileges and physical advantages and external appearances.

Our confidence is in the life of the Spirit. True worship God is in the Spirit.

Do you believe that God wants to bring you closer to Himself?

To go deeper, we must be led by the Holy Spirit. We cannot go to the highest glory without the Spirit.

1 Corinthians 2:13-16 (NKJV) 13These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 14But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.  15But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one. 16For “who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him?” But we have the mind of Christ.

How can we know the things God wants to reveal?

The mind of Christ is only revealed by the Spirit of God.

Flesh and blood cannot reveal the things of God. Only the Spirit of God can take what belongs to God and reveal those things to us.

The walk in the Spirit has been revealed in the lives of men and women of history.

It is amazing to watch the progression that God uses to bring us into His presence and glory.

In Exodus 3, Moses was out on the back side of the desert tending the sheep.

When he saw the fiery bush, he turned aside. When the Lord noticed that Moses turned aside, He said, “Moses, Moses!” Moses responded to the voice, “Here I am.” Then God told Moses that he was on holy ground. Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look upon God. Then God spoke openly to Moses and revealed Himself, commissioned and empowered him.

In Ezekiel 1, God’s hand was upon Ezekiel.

Ezekiel looked… and God showed him a great storm coming from the north. He looked… and God showed him a great whirlwind that was driving the storm. He looked… and God showed him mighty cherubim. He looked… and God revealed His throne and glory. When he saw.. Ezekiel fell down in the dust. Then He heard a voice.

Ezekiel 2:1–2 (AMP) 1AND HE said to me [Ezekiel], Son of man, stand upon your feet and I will speak to you. 2And the Spirit entered into me when He spoke to me and set me upon my feet, and I heard Him speaking to me.

Ezekiel 37:1 (AMP) “THE HAND of the Lord was upon me, and He brought me out in the Spirit of the Lord and set me down in the midst of the valley;”  and God gave him a revelation.

Ezekiel could not have that revelation without the Spirit of God. THE HAND of the Lord brought him out in the Spirit.

In Revelation 1:9, John was on the isle called Patmos for the Word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.

That means he was serving God. He was living a testimony of Jesus Christ. He was on Patmos for the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ. He was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day. While in the Spirit, John was given a greater revelation of Jesus Christ.

Revelation 4:1-2 (NKJV) 1After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven. And the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying, “Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after this.” 2Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne set in heaven, and One sat on the throne.

Follow this progression that leads to the revelation of Christ and the glory of God.

  1. “After these things”

John had been in the Spirit. He knew the power of God. He saw Christ and was dedicated to Him.

After these things…

  1. “I looked”

This is critical to an ongoing revelation of Christ. We go no further with God, if we do not look.

  1. “He beheld”

When he looked there was something to behold. This is so basic. Those who hunger and thirst find. To those who knock, the door will be opened. Those who look will see.

  1. “A door was standing open in heaven.”

This gets exciting quickly. A door is open in heaven to those who look for God.

  1. When John saw the open door, he heard a voice saying, “come up here.”

We cannot force open a door in heaven. God must open the door. When God opens the door, He will call you closer. This place of fellowship is known when God opens the door and says “come.”

  1. God said, “I will show you things…”

Come up here and see. God wanted to show John things which must take place.

This goes very rapidly now.

  1. “Immediately, I was in the Spirit.”

How long did it take to get to this point of revelation?

Let’s go back and look again.

John was a man of the Spirit of God. He was on Patmos for the Lord and his testimony. This testimony was powerful because he was full of the Holy Spirit. Not only had he been filled with the Spirit, he was still being in the Spirit.

We cannot be without the Holy Spirit.

There were days when the Spirit of God was heavy on John.

In Revelation 1, John was in the Spirit, and saw the Lord. The Spirit of God is enveloping him and showing Him the glory of God. He was worshiping and praying in the Spirit. He was close to the Lord. He was looking for more from God. He had ears to hear and eyes to see what the Spirit was revealing.

By the Spirit, John looked and beheld a door that was standing open in heaven.

Then he heard a voice saying, “Come up here, and I will show you things.” From a position of glory, John had a greater revelation of God’s glory.

Revelation 4:2–11 (NKJV) 2Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne set in heaven, and One sat on the throne. 3And He who sat there was like a jasper and a sardius stone in appearance; and there was a rainbow around the throne, in appearance like an emerald. 4Around the throne were twenty-four thrones, and on the thrones I saw twenty-four elders sitting, clothed in white robes; and they had crowns of gold on their heads. 5And from the throne proceeded lightnings, thunderings, and voices. Seven lamps of fire were burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God. 6Before the throne there was a sea of glass, like crystal. And in the midst of the throne, and around the throne, were four living creatures… 8The four living creatures… do not rest day or night, saying: “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, Who was and is and is to come!” 9Whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne, who lives forever and ever, 10the twenty-four elders fall down before Him who sits on the throne and worship Him who lives forever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying: 11“You are worthy, O Lord, To receive glory and honor and power; For You created all things, And by Your will they exist and were created.”

Is this kind of revelation only for John to see and for him to tell?

The Lord told us that there are things that can only be revealed after the Holy Spirit comes. He will pour His Spirit on your sons and daughters, old men and young men, men and women. He will declare and reveal Christ.

John had a revelation of Jesus Christ.

Listen to what Jesus said about this.

John 16:13-15 (NKJV) 13However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. 14He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. 15All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you.

It is natural and normal for the Holy Spirit to open heaven for those who are looking, responding, and moving with Him.

Do you want a greater revelation of Jesus Christ?

Do you hunger for fuller fellowship with the Father?

Are you thirsting for a closer walk with God?

How can you come into this place where the Holy Spirit will open heaven for you?

First, you must have a close walk with God.

You cannot go on into a greater revelation of Christ until you have given your life to him. He will take you from glory into more glory.

From salvation, go on with God.

Those who seek the Lord shall find Him. Those who knock on the door shall find it opened. Those who ask shall receive. Follow on into worship and cleansings. Follow on into the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Follow the Spirit into a greater prayer life. Follow Him to Christ.

He will lead you into a fullness of the Spirit.

He will bring you into spiritual songs, prayer, and praises. He will bring you into an unveiled revelation of Christ. He knows the way into the holy place. He will transform your worship, prayer and praise. He will take you from glory into a greater glory.

John saw the Lord, the resurrected Christ.

The Lord was in the midst of the church. He heard words of comfort, correction, and promise. He was encouraged, reproved, and enlightened.

Then, as John continued looking on, he saw a door was standing open in heaven.

A voice called out to Him. At the call of heaven, he entered a higher revelation.

He stepped into the Spirit and was transported into a different dimension.

All of a sudden, He was in heaven and saw the glories of God and the glories of the throne. God showed him the glories prepared for the church. He heard the worship of angels, and the redeemed.

God wants to bring you into a greater revelation of His glory.

He wants to reveal Christ to you in a greater way. He is opening a door for more glorious fellowship.

Do you have eyes to see and ears to hear what the Sprit is saying to the Church?

He is saying, “come up a little higher and I will show you things to come.”

]]> 5637
God’s Holy Church: The Storehouse http://www.mdanba.com/2017/08/12/gods-holy-church-the-storehouse/ Sat, 12 Aug 2017 07:00:15 +0000 http://www.mdanba.com/?p=5632

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The Christian life is a progression of experiences. We come out of spiritual death into fellowship with God and spiritual life in Christ. We are born by the Spirit into the body of Christ and sustained and enriched by the Holy Spirit

John 3:5-8 (NKJV) Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ 8The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

Everyone that enters the kingdom of God must be born of the Spirit.

Galatians 5:24-25 (NKJV) 24And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

Many aspects of the Christian life can only be enjoyed by the walk in the Spirit.

The best words and most fervent worship and prayer is empty if the Holy Spirit is not involved.

Philippians 3:3 (AMP) 3For we [Christians]… who worship God in spirit and by the Spirit of God and exult and glory and pride ourselves in Jesus Christ, …put no confidence or dependence [on what we are] in the flesh and on outward privileges and physical advantages and external appearances.

Our confidence is in the life of the Spirit. True worship God is in the Spirit.

Do you believe that God wants to bring you closer to Himself?

To go deeper, we must be led by the Holy Spirit. We cannot go to the highest glory without the Spirit.

1 Corinthians 2:13-16 (NKJV) 13These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 14But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.  15But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one. 16For “who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him?” But we have the mind of Christ.

How can we know the things God wants to reveal?

The mind of Christ is only revealed by the Spirit of God.

Flesh and blood cannot reveal the things of God. Only the Spirit of God can take what belongs to God and reveal those things to us.

The walk in the Spirit has been revealed in the lives of men and women of history.

It is amazing to watch the progression that God uses to bring us into His presence and glory.

In Exodus 3, Moses was out on the back side of the desert tending the sheep.

When he saw the fiery bush, he turned aside. When the Lord noticed that Moses turned aside, He said, “Moses, Moses!” Moses responded to the voice, “Here I am.”

Then God told Moses that he was on holy ground. Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look upon God. Then God spoke openly to Moses and revealed Himself, commissioned and empowered him.

In Ezekiel 1, God’s hand was upon Ezekiel.

Ezekiel looked… and God showed him a great storm coming from the north. He looked… and God showed him a great whirlwind that was driving the storm. He looked… and God showed him mighty cherubim. He looked… and God revealed His throne and glory. When he saw.. Ezekiel fell down in the dust. Then He heard a voice.

Ezekiel 2:1–2 (AMP) 1AND HE said to me [Ezekiel], Son of man, stand upon your feet and I will speak to you. 2And the Spirit entered into me when He spoke to me and set me upon my feet, and I heard Him speaking to me.

Ezekiel 37:1 (AMP) “THE HAND of the Lord was upon me, and He brought me out in the Spirit of the Lord and set me down in the midst of the valley;”  and God gave him a revelation.

Ezekiel could not have that revelation without the Spirit of God. THE HAND of the Lord brought him out in the Spirit.

In Revelation 1:9, John was on the isle called Patmos for the Word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.

That means he was serving God. He was living a testimony of Jesus Christ. He was on Patmos for the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ. He was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day. While in the Spirit, John was given a greater revelation of Jesus Christ.

Revelation 4:1-2 (NKJV) 1After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven. And the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying, “Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after this.” 2Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne set in heaven, and One sat on the throne.

Follow this progression that leads to the revelation of Christ and the glory of God.

  • “After these things” – John had been in the Spirit. He knew the power of God. He saw Christ and was dedicated to Him.

After these things…

  • “I looked” – This is critical to an ongoing revelation of Christ. We go no further with God, if we do not look.
  • “He beheld”-When he looked there was something to behold. This is so basic. Those who hunger and thirst find. To those who knock, the door will be opened. Those who look will see.
  • “A door was standing open in heaven.” – This gets exciting quickly. A door is open in heaven to those who look for God.
  • When John saw the open door, he heard a voice saying, “come up here.” – We cannot force open a door in heaven. God must open the door. When God opens the door, He will call you closer. This place of fellowship is known when God opens the door and says “come.”
  • God said, “I will show you things…” – Come up here and see. God wanted to show John things which must take place.

This goes very rapidly now.

  • “Immediately, I was in the Spirit.”

How long did it take to get to this point of revelation?

Let’s go back and look again.

John was a man of the Spirit of God. He was on Patmos for the Lord and his testimony. This testimony was powerful because he was full of the Holy Spirit. Not only had he been filled with the Spirit, he was still being in the Spirit.

We cannot be without the Holy Spirit.

There were days when the Spirit of God was heavy on John.

In Revelation 1, John was in the Spirit, and saw the Lord.

The Spirit of God is enveloping him and showing Him the glory of God. He was worshiping and praying in the Spirit. He was close to the Lord. He was looking for more from God. He had ears to hear and eyes to see what the Spirit was revealing.

By the Spirit, John looked and beheld a door that was standing open in heaven.

Then he heard a voice saying, “Come up here, and I will show you things.” From a position of glory, John had a greater revelation of God’s glory.

Revelation 4:2–11 (NKJV) 2Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne set in heaven, and One sat on the throne. 3And He who sat there was like a jasper and a sardius stone in appearance; and there was a rainbow around the throne, in appearance like an emerald. 4Around the throne were twenty-four thrones, and on the thrones I saw twenty-four elders sitting, clothed in white robes; and they had crowns of gold on their heads. 5And from the throne proceeded lightnings, thunderings, and voices. Seven lamps of fire were burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God. 6Before the throne there was a sea of glass, like crystal. And in the midst of the throne, and around the throne, were four living creatures… 8The four living creatures… do not rest day or night, saying: “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, Who was and is and is to come!”

9Whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne, who lives forever and ever, 10the twenty-four elders fall down before Him who sits on the throne and worship Him who lives forever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying: 11“You are worthy, O Lord, To receive glory and honor and power; For You created all things, And by Your will they exist and were created.”

Is this kind of revelation only for John to see and for him to tell?

The Lord told us that there are things that can only be revealed after the Holy Spirit comes. He will pour His Spirit on your sons and daughters, old men and young men, men and women. He will declare and reveal Christ.

John had a revelation of Jesus Christ.

Listen to what Jesus said about this.

John 16:13-15 (NKJV) 13However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. 14He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. 15All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you.

It is natural and normal for the Holy Spirit to open heaven for those who are looking, responding, and moving with Him.

Do you want a greater revelation of Jesus Christ?

Do you hunger for fuller fellowship with the Father?

Are you thirsting for a closer walk with God?

How can you come into this place where the Holy Spirit will open heaven for you?

First, you must have a close walk with God.

You cannot go on into a greater revelation of Christ until you have given your life to him. He will take you from glory into more glory.

From salvation, go on with God.

Those who seek the Lord shall find Him. Those who knock on the door shall find it opened. Those who ask shall receive. Follow on into worship and cleansings. Follow on into the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Follow the Spirit into a greater prayer life. Follow Him to Christ.

He will lead you into a fullness of the Spirit.

He will bring you into spiritual songs, prayer, and praises. He will bring you into an unveiled revelation of Christ. He knows the way into the holy place. He will transform your worship, prayer and praise. He will take you from glory into a greater glory.

John saw the Lord, the resurrected Christ.

The Lord was in the midst of the church. He heard words of comfort, correction, and promise. He was encouraged, reproved, and enlightened.

Then, as John continued looking on, he saw a door was standing open in heaven.

A voice called out to Him. At the call of heaven, he entered a higher revelation.

He stepped into the Spirit and was transported into a different dimension.

All of a sudden, He was in heaven and saw the glories of God and the glories of the throne. God showed him the glories prepared for the church. He heard the worship of angels, and the redeemed.

God wants to bring you into a greater revelation of His glory.

He wants to reveal Christ to you in a greater way. He is opening a door for more glorious fellowship.

Do you have eyes to see and ears to hear what the Sprit is saying to the Church?

He is saying, “come up a little higher and I will show you things to come.”

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The Ministry of Christ, Part 32 http://www.mdanba.com/2017/08/08/the-ministry-of-christ-part-32/ Tue, 08 Aug 2017 07:00:11 +0000 http://www.mdanba.com/?p=5626

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Events of the year of opposition.

  • Man Born Blind Healed – John 9:1-41

Why do bad things happen to good people?

In looking at the story of the man born blind, the question has been asked, “Why do bad things happen to good people?” The disciples asked a question that many people ask.

John 9:2 (NKJV) 2And His disciples asked Him, saying, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”

We all want to know why things happen. If you are the blind man, you want to know why this happened to me.

Why do bad things happen to good people?

When tragedy happens, many people question and challenge their belief that God is good and powerful. There are several basic truths we need to understand.

  1. God is totally good and desires the well-being of His creation.

To understand this, we should study and know the nature and character of God.

James 1:17 (NKJV) 17Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.

When we know the nature and character of God, it helps us settle many of these questions.

What do you know about God’s nature and character that would cause you to say “God is good”?

  1. God is totally against evil.

In the beginning, God created the world and everything within it and God said: “It is good.” God did not go about creating things that were evil or that would destroy or cause pain. When God said, “It was good,” He was not just admiring His own work. That would not have been a bad thing, because a good and perfect God does good work. What God created had a character and nature that was good. Everything bore the fundamental nature or imprint of the Creator. That goodness would have perpetually continued had sin not entered.

Genesis 2:16–17 (NKJV) 16And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; 17but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”

Why do bad things happen to good people?

When sin entered, the curse fell upon everything that God had made. Sin always has consequences.

Romans 5:12 (NIV) 12Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned.

That is physical, spiritual and eternal death.

Genesis 3:14-19 describes the curse.

The curse affected everything that God created. Everything experienced the fall and the curse of sin. As time progressed over the millennium, this fallen condition progressed.

By the time of Noah, wickedness became great.

Genesis 6:5 (NKJV) Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

Due to that wickedness, God brought judgment on the entire earth. People with evil thoughts do evil things.

Genesis 6:11 (NKJV) 11The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence.

(Psalms 14:1-3; Matthew 15:19; Romans 1:28-32)

Genesis 6:6 (NKJV) And the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart.

Genesis 6:7 (NKJV) So the Lord said, “I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them.”

Why would God destroy rather than rehabilitate?

Genesis 6:8 (NKJV) But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.

Why did Noah survive?

Genesis 6:9 (NKJV) 9This is the genealogy of Noah. Noah was a just man, perfect in his generations. Noah walked with God.

Genesis 7:1 (NKJV) 1Then the Lord said to Noah, “Come into the ark, you and all your household, because I have seen that you are righteous before Me in this generation.

Grace relates to the goodness of God.

  1. The fruit or wages of sin is death.

Romans 5:12 (NKJV) Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned.

Romans 3:23 (NKJV) For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

The only way to fix the world is to remove all sin and evil.

Even after the judgment and destruction by flood, man’s hearts were not made perfect. Knowing the consequences of sin does not make one righteous.

As long as evil is present there will be trouble in the world.

Although God prefers to do good to all of His creation all the time, He is a holy God and cannot by-pass sin. The Bible tells us the wages of sin is death.

Psalms 51:5 AMP I was brought forth in a state of iniquity; my mother was sinful who conceived me [and I too am sinful].

When Jesus Christ died upon the cross, a new age of grace was entered.

If God did not punish evil, He would not be a holy and righteous God. Jesus Christ provided the grace whereby we may be saved and find relief from the curse of sin.

Romans 6:23 (NKJV) 23For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

God’s grace and mercy are amazing.

Ephesians 2:8–10 (NKJV) 8For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

Since we are all sinners, every good thing that happens to us is an act of God’s grace.

Why do bad things happen to good people?

  1. Satan is the adversary and he works hard to destroy everything good that God creates.
  • He roams around like a lion, seeking what he may devour, 1 Peter 5:8.
  • He is a murderer and liar and has been from the beginning, John 8:44.
  • He seeks to steal, kill and destroy, John 10:10.

Since Satan’s motive is to do harm and cause havoc, we should not be surprised when bad things happen.

Ephesians 6:12 (NKJV) 12For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.

Since we contend with spiritual hosts of wickedness, we must learn how to resist them in steadfast faith, 1 Peter 5:8-9; Ephesians 6:10-18.

Why do bad things happen to good people?

  1. We contend with evil people.

2 Timothy 3:12–13 (NKJV) 12Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. 13But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.

Matthew 24:9–14 (NKJV) 9“Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. 10And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. 11Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. 12And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. 13But he who endures to the end shall be saved. 14And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.

What would happen if God would just get rid of all of the evil people?

Why do bad things happen to good people?

  1. In this text we see that the man was born blind.

Jesus said the blindness was not a consequence of personal sin.

John 9:3 (NKJV) 3Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him.

Is God unjust if we have problems even though we have done everything right?

Romans 9:20–23 (NKJV) 20But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against God? Will the thing formed say to him who formed it, “Why have you made me like this?”

21Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor?  22What if God, wanting to show His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, 23and that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for glory…

He is a sovereign God.

Lamentations 3:21–23 (NKJV) 21This I recall to my mind, Therefore I have hope. 22Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not. 23They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.

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You are the Church of the Living God http://www.mdanba.com/2017/08/05/you-are-the-church-of-the-living-god/ Sat, 05 Aug 2017 08:00:51 +0000 http://www.mdanba.com/?p=5616

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1 Timothy 3:15 (NKJV)  But if I am delayed, I write so that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.

Matthew 16:18 (NKJV) Jesus said: “On this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.

Ephesians 2:19-22 (NKJV) 19Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God,  20having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, In whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, 22in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.

1 Peter 2:5 (NKJV) You also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

You are God’s Holy Church.

The Lord is building His Church out of a people that He has called out of the world. The temple of the Holy Ghost will be built out of people. It is one temple that is being constructed out of faulty vessels.

It is a miracle what the Lord has done.

He took us when we were strangers and foreigners. He washed and cleansed us and made us His own. He sanctified and justified us through the blood of His Son. He made us the TEMPLE of the Holy Ghost. We are living stones built upon Jesus Christ the Solid Rock, our Foundation.

God has fashioned us together to make His Church.

Your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost. All together we make the church.

It is amazing to see what the Lord has done.

He has taken people who could not fit together. He has made them a temple of the Holy Spirit. He fitted us together and made us grow together to become a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.

It is amazing what the Lord has done.

We were not worthy of such honor and glory. We were unworthy sinners.

We were unfamiliar to God and His ways. By the good pleasure of His will, and to the praise of the glory of His grace, God has made us accepted in the Beloved, Jesus Christ. (Ephesians 1:5-6)

Ephesians 2:22 (NKJV) In whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.

This is a very important word from God. By what God has done for us in Christ, we are built together for a dwelling place of God IN the Spirit.

The Holy Spirit, Who is living in you, is constantly and consistently building you up into what makes up the Church. He is preparing you to be presented to Christ. This preparation is making you a glorious church. This preparation is removing the spots and wrinkles. This preparation is making you holy and without blemish. He is conforming and changing us into a house of God.

Look what the Lord has done.

1 Corinthians 6:9-11 (NKJV) 9Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, 10nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. 11And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.

This is amazing!

We should be praising God. He has taken sinners. He has taken the worst sort of people. He has saved us by grace. He is conforming us by the regeneration and renewal of the Holy Ghost. He has made us accepted in the Beloved.

He is making us what we ought to be.

1 John 3:2-3 (NKJV)  Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.

God is making us to become His holy church without spot or wrinkle or any such thing.

He is working on us. We are constantly being made more like Jesus. We may not be perfect, but He is perfecting us.

He is conforming us into Christ’s image and likeness.

He is refining and purifying us. We shall be like Him. This gives us joy in sorrows. This gives us purpose in tribulations. This gives a purpose through pain.

The Lord knows what He is doing. He is using everything we face to perfect His image in us. He has us in the refining fire, and we shall come out as pure gold. We belong to Him. He is working on us. Satan has nothing in us because we belong to Jesus. We have surrendered to the Lord Jesus Christ.

He is working to make us what we ought to be. When He is finished, we will be like Him. We are on the right Foundation.

He is drawing us to Christ. Everything that does not fit, He is taking away. Everything that fits, He is refining so that it is closer to Christ.

He is changing us by the blood of Christ. He is washing and cleansing. He is regenerating and redeeming. He is refreshing and renewing. He is changing us by His power. Every spiritual bondage is being broken. Every power of Satan is being defeated. His power is greater than anything Satan can lift against us. He is changing us by the Holy Spirit.

The Spirit of God is working mightily in us.

He will not stop until everything measures up to Christ. He is changing us by the Word of God.

His Word is a sharp two-edged sword. His Word digs down into the deepest parts of our soul and spirit.

He is changing us to make us holy. He is making you the Temple of God.

You are being made to be a residing place for God. He will dwell in us. He will fill us with His glory. He will fill us with His power. He will fill us with His holiness.

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Wear the Whole Armor of God http://www.mdanba.com/2017/08/05/wear-the-whole-armor-of-god/ Sat, 05 Aug 2017 07:00:59 +0000 http://www.mdanba.com/?p=5611

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Ephesians 6:10-11 NKJV 10Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

We must see what this armor really is.

Isaiah gave similar imagery when describing the Messiah.

Isaiah 59:17 (NKJV) For He put on righteousness as a breastplate, And a helmet of salvation on His head; He put on the garments of vengeance for clothing, And was clad with zeal as a cloak.

Isaiah 11:4–5 (NKJV) 4But with righteousness He shall judge the poor, And decide with equity for the meek of the earth; He shall strike the earth with the rod of His mouth, And with the breath of His lips He shall slay the wicked. 5Righteousness shall be the belt of His loins, And faithfulness the belt of His waist.

The believer should be armored with the same things that the Lord is covered with.

What do these things represent?

  • You must walk in truth and righteousness.
  • Be strong in faith.
  • Know the certainty of your salvation.
  • Be filled with the Word of God and meditate on it day and night.
  • Walk in peace.
  • Prayer should not be an afterthought but the source of strength in your life.
  • Your life should be marked by prayerfulness, supplication, and intercession in the Spirit.
  • Be watchful in the Spirit.

The Spirit of God is encouraging a strong relationship with the Father.

  • He is calling you to walk in the Spirit.
  • Be Holy Spirit filled and directed.
  • He is calling you to a life of purity and righteousness.
  • He is calling you to be a representative of Christ where ever you are in this world.
  • You cannot make it in this world without His help.
  • He is saying: “Be Holy for I am Holy.”
  • He is saying: “Walk in My strength and authority.”

This armor of God refers to the life and lifestyle of the Spirit-filled believer.

  • You must be strong in prayer.
  • You must be strong in faith.
  • You must be strong in the Word of God.
  • You must be strong in the Lord in your inner man.
  • You must be strong in the Lord in your trust in God.
  • Do not fluctuate or waver in your daily walk.

You must be strong in the Lord.

Satan is going to come against every believer in Jesus Christ. You will think the attack is against you, but it is really against Christ in you. Since you belong to Jesus Christ, Satan is coming against you.

  • Every scheme of the Devil is coming against you.
  • Every falsehood is coming.
  • Every deviation from the truth.
  • Every perversion from faith in Christ.
  • Every doubt and confusion.
  • Every ambush and despair.
  • Every sickness and disease.

I am telling you this to let you know that God has provided the way for your victory.

Think a minute about the promises and prophecies of God for the end time believer. You should know that nothing that God has promised shall fail. He will achieve everything He has promised. God is faithful to bring you into the things He has promised. Yet, God has forewarned us about the last days.

2 Timothy 3:1-5 (NKJV) 1But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: 2For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, 4traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!

If you are planning on making it through in these evil days, you need all the help that God is giving. God has promised wonderful help for the Church.

Acts 2:17-19 (NKJV) 17‘And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your young men shall see visions, Your old men shall dream dreams. 18 And on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days; And they shall prophesy. 19 I will show wonders in heaven above And signs in the earth beneath: blood and fire and vapor of smoke.

Did you hear what the Lord has promised for these days?

He is sending a Holy Spirit revival. This is God’s plan for this time. When trouble increases, get ready for God to send an overwhelming outpouring of the Holy Spirit. The outpouring of His Spirit is going to equip and empower believers to overcome in these last days. The greatest outpouring and equipping of the Spirit and power of God is for the last days.

The Holy Spirit is encouraging believers to be strong.

Ephesians 5:8–11 (NKJV) 8For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light 9(for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), 10finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. 11And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.

Ephesians 5:14-18 (AMP) Therefore He says, Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall shine (make day dawn) upon you and give you light. 15Look carefully then how you walk! Live purposefully and worthily and accurately, not as the unwise and witless, but as wise (sensible, intelligent people), 16Making the very most of the time [buying up each opportunity], because the days are evil. 17Therefore do not be vague and thoughtless and foolish, but understanding and firmly grasping what the will of the Lord is. 18And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery; but ever be filled and stimulated with the [Holy] Spirit.

Since we know what kind of day we are living in, we must be prepared.

God has a plan for your victory. God has already invested heavily in the success of His church. Watch how God has prepared to achieve His plan.

Ephesians 5:25–27 (ESV) …Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her, 26that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27so that He might present the church to Himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.

He is talking about you!

You need some irrefutable defense for your existence.

You need a testimony that the power of Christ is in you.

The Holy Spirit inspired the writer of Ephesians to tell the church to put on and wear the WHOLE ARMOR OF GOD.

If we do this we will have the ability to stand in the evil day and overcome everything Satan brings against us.

What does it mean to be clothed with and wear the whole armor of God? 

God has provided full armor so you can stand in the evil day. He has prepared His church for victory.

Would you rather be strong or weak?

Would you rather be ready or caught unprepared?

  • I want everything God can give to make me strong.
  • I want more of the Holy Spirit power and life.
  • I want to walk in the Spirit.
  • I want to make my salvation sure.
  • I want to know God and His Word better.
  • I want to learn the heart and mind of God.
  • I want to rid my life of anything that opens a door to evil.
  • I want more of God and more of His Spirit.
  • I want to be made strong in the Lord and the power of His might.
  • I want to get ready for God to use me more.
  • I am ready for an outpouring of the Holy Ghost.
  • I want everything that is possible.
  • I want every spiritual gift.
  • I want every grace and blessing.
  • I want to walk under the shadow of the Almighty God.
  • I want to be filled and covered.
]]> 5611
The Ministry of Christ, Part 31 http://www.mdanba.com/2017/08/02/the-ministry-of-christ-part-31/ Wed, 02 Aug 2017 16:09:13 +0000 http://www.mdanba.com/?p=5606

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Events of the year of opposition.

  • Man Born Blind Healed – John 9:1-41

At the conclusion of John 8, the Jews took up stones to throw at Jesus. He hid Himself and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by. After leaving the temple, Luke 10 shows Him at the house of Mary and Martha. Mary and Martha’s house in Bethany was about 1.5 miles on the south-eastern slope of the Mount of Olives. In our text today, Jesus is back in Jerusalem and is passing by a man who was born blind.

Man Born Blind Healed – John 9:1-41

Isaiah prophesied about the Messiah opening the eyes of the blind.

  • Isaiah 42:7 To open blind eyes…
  • Isaiah 29:18 …the deaf shall hear …the blind shall see.
  • Isaiah 35:5 …the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped.

Throughout His ministry, Jesus healed the blind.

This is the only mention of one born blind being healed.

John 9:1 (NKJV) Now as Jesus passed by, He saw a man who was blind from birth.

What is so different about one being healed that was born blind? What does this show?

John 9:2 (NKJV) 2And His disciples asked Him, saying, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”

Who sinned?

If one was sick or suffers, the presumption was that it was punishment for sin.

For a quick answer to this, read Romans 5:12; 3:23.

Romans 5:12 (NKJV) Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned.

Romans 3:23 (NKJV) For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

Sickness, pain and death result from one man’s sin.

Who sinned?

There are two assumptions mentioned in the John 9:1-2.

We want to discover why they had these assumptions.

First, the baby sinned while in the womb.

Since he was born blind, he sinned before birth.

Deuteronomy 28:15-68, shows several curses that come as a result of personal sin.

Jeremiah 31:30 (NKJV) But every one shall die for his own iniquity; every man who eats the sour grapes, his teeth shall be set on edge.

Can a baby commit acts of sin while in the womb?

Psalms 51:5 AMP I was brought forth in a state of iniquity; my mother was sinful who conceived me [and I too am sinful].

Second, the parent’s sin resulted in the baby being in that condition.

Exodus 20:5; 34:7 and Numbers 14:18 says: “God by no means clears the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generation.”

Jeremiah 31:29 “Fathers have eaten sour grapes. And the children’s teeth are set on edge.

Lamentations 5:7 “our fathers sinned… we bear their iniquities.

In this situation, Jesus rejected both ideas.

Jesus’ response does not deny universal sinfulness.

John 9:3–5 (NKJV) 3Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him. 4I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work. 5As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”

No one else has to sin for evil, bad circumstances, sickness or disease to occur. When sin entered in Genesis 3, so did the curse. The curse brings every kind of evil and condition that we contend with. As difficult as it is for us to understand, sometimes we must confront our giants so that God’s glory and power may be known.

Give Biblical examples when God turned what looked like disaster into something that brought Him glory?

John 9:6–7 (NKJV) 6When He had said these things, He spat on the ground and made clay with the saliva; and He anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay. 7And He said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which is translated, Sent). So he went and washed, and came back seeing.

Why did Jesus make clay to anoint the man’s eyes and tell him to “go, wash in the pool of Siloam?”

Note:

  • Elisha required Naaman the Syrian to dip seven times in the Jordan River, 2 Kings 5:10-13.
  • In Mark 8:23, Jesus spat on the blind man’s eyes and put His hands on him.
  • In Luke 6:10; Jesus told the man with a withered hand to stand in front of the crowd and stretch out his hand.

The pool of Siloam was the termination point of a tunnel that Hezekiah had made to bring water into Jerusalem, (2 Kings 20:20; 2 Chronicles 32:30).

The tunnel was driven through the rock of the temple mount into the inner city. Water flows from Spring Gihon to the Pool of Siloam.  Today the pool is 50 feet long and 5 feet wide and lies 16 steps below street level.

The result of the man’s obedience and his healing brings the conversation for the remainder of the chapter.

First, the man went and washed and came back seeing, John 9:7.

Everyone was amazed because he was born blind.

Second, the people began to argue, John 9:8-10.

They could not believe that he was the same man. They thought it was someone who looked like him. The man said: “I am he.”

Third, praise to Jesus, John 9:11.

John 9:10–11 (NKJV) 10Therefore they said to him, “How were your eyes opened?” 11He answered and said, “A Man called Jesus made clay and anointed my eyes and said to me, ‘Go to the pool of Siloam and wash.’ So I went and washed, and I received sight.”

As a result of the tumult that was caused by this miracle, they brought the healed blind man to the Pharisees.

Why did they bring him to the Pharisees?

They respected their opinion in religious matters. Pharisees originated among the Hasidim (“pious ones”) and the Hasid (“holy ones”). The word Pharisee means “separate ones.” Pharisees took pride in their positions in the community. Pharisees valued the Torah – Law (first five books of the Bible).

They were known for their oral traditions of the Law. They believed their oral traditions were the truth. The Jews admired the Pharisees for their “piety.”

John 9:13-33 is a conversation between the Pharisees, the parents, people of the community, and the healed blind man.

The Pharisees had said if anyone confessed Jesus was the Christ, they would be put out of the Synagogue. This added to the foundation for debate.

First, they asked the man about what happened.

He said, “He put clay on my eye, and I washed, and I see.” The Pharisees believed that since Jesus “violated” the Sabbath by making clay, He was a false prophet and could not be from God. They said, “Jesus was a sinner.” Some said, “how could a sinner do such signs?” They asked the blind man, “What do you say about Him because He opened your eyes?”   He said, “He is a prophet.”

Second, the Pharisees confronted his parents.

Is he your son? Was he born blind? How does he see? They were afraid of the Pharisees because they did not want to be put out of the Synagogue. The synagogue represented the people of the whole community. To be put out of the synagogue would mean a loss of business, prestige, and community fellowship. His parents said: “He is of age; ask him.”

John 9:24–25 (NKJV) 24So they again called the man who was blind, and said to him, “Give God the glory! We know that this Man is a sinner.” 25He answered and said, “Whether He is a sinner or not I do not know. One thing I know: that though I was blind, now I see.”

What did they mean by “Give God the glory?”

His reply infuriated them.

“Whether He is a sinner or not I do not know. One thing I know: that though I was blind, now I see.”

John 9:30-34 (NKJV) 30The man answered and said to them, “Why, this is a marvelous thing, that you do not know where He is from; yet He has opened my eyes!  31Now we know that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does His will, He hears him. 32Since the world began it has been unheard of that anyone opened the eyes of one who was born blind. 33If this Man were not from God, He could do nothing.” 34They answered and said to him, “You were completely born in sins, and are you teaching us?” And they cast him out.

Why did the Pharisees react in this way to what he said?

John 9:35–36 (NKJV) 35Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when He had found him, He said to him, “Do you believe in the Son of God?” 36He answered and said, “Who is He, Lord, that I may believe in Him?”

Notice that the man did not know Who Jesus was.

John 9:37–38 (NKJV) 37And Jesus said to him, “You have both seen Him and it is He who is talking with you.” 38Then he said, “Lord, I believe!” And he worshiped Him.

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Enlargement Through Conflict http://www.mdanba.com/2017/07/29/enlargement-through-conflict/ Sat, 29 Jul 2017 07:00:09 +0000 http://www.mdanba.com/?p=5588

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Ephesians 6:10–13 (NKJV) 10Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

God’s plan is to enlarge His people.

The Letter to the Ephesian church corresponds with what God told Israel in the Book of Joshua.

In Joshua, God told His people that He had already given them the land. (Joshua 1:1-9)

  • God said, “I will be with you. I will not fail you nor forsake you.”
  • “Be strong, confident, and of good courage.
  • “Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon I have given you.”
  • The promised land was their possession, they just had to go in and possess it.
  • The LORD said, “No man shall be able to stand against you all the days of your life.”
  • “Be strong and very courageous and carefully obey all My commandments.”
  • “The Book of the Law shall not depart out of your mouth, continually meditate on My Word day and night, and do not deviate from it.”
  • “Observe and do according to all that is written in it, then you will be successful and prosperous in everything you do.”
  • “Be strong and courageous!”
  • “Do not be afraid, intimidated, or discouraged.”
  • “For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

With the Lord God Almighty, the matter was already concluded.

When they actually came into the land, they found they had to fight for every inch of the land.

They found giants, walled cities, and enemies with advanced weaponry. The Psalmist said, “If it had not been the Lord who was on our side, we would have been swallowed up alive.” (Psalms 124)

There was no contradiction in what God said and what they faced.

They took a stand and entered into what God provided and had already done. They fought from a position of victory. It was a case of faith possessing what God had spoken and provided.

They had to take their inheritance by faith and courage, and they were enlarged by their possession.

Everything God gave them was possessed by force. Their enemy constantly said they could not have what God had given them. They were confronted by the challenge of taking what belonged to them.

This is exactly the position we find ourselves in here and now.

By strong faith, we must claim and take what the Lord has given us. We must stand strong and advance into every blessing and promise that God has given.

We are all in a spiritual battle for the things God has promised and given us through Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 1:9 (NKJV) God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Every blessing that God has provided in Christ Jesus is involved in this spiritual battle.

This includes the fullness of the Spirit and fullness of joy. This battle contends for our fellowship with the glorious Christ who is seated on the right hand of the Father. We are contending for that fullness which is in Christ.

God has called us into the fellowship of His fullness. He has sent us His Spirit.

He has given us a full measure of joy, peace, and the stature of the fullness of Christ. (Ephesians 4:13)

He wants you to be full and enjoy the bounty of the endless richness that is in Christ. That is the promise and provision that God has richly prepared for us in Christ Jesus.

Just like the children of Israel, the possession of any fragment of spiritual fullness and enlargement comes through great CONFLICT.

With Israel as with us, the enemy is still in the land. Even though the land of God’s blessing has been given, the enemy is in the land.

You will never have anything God has promised without confronting Satan over it.

  • Satan will attempt to hinder your progress and blessing.
  • You have a right to God’s blessings that are in Christ.
  • You have a right to salvation and sanctification.
  • You have a right to the fullness of the Spirit.
  • You have a right to full and free cleansing and freedom from condemnation.
  • Jesus Christ has promised this to you.

This is the PROMISED LAND of our inheritance.

Even when God told Israel He would subdue and incapacitate their enemies before them, the enemy was in the land. God did not go ahead and drive out the enemy.

  • He gave them that assignment and authority.
  • He said, “You go in and possess the land.”
  • He said, “Do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go.”
  • He said, “Keep the words of this Book in your mouth and meditate on it day and night.”
  • He said, “I will make your way prosperous and you will have good success.”

Through the cross of Christ, your enemy is defeated and everything God has promised is secured for us.

Yet, the enemy is in the land. God wants you to have strong faith and courage so that you may experience this position of victory in Christ. God has promised and provided this for you in Christ Jesus.

We have been given this power and authority to gain victory through Christ.

Isaiah 43:1–3 (NKJV) “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine. 2When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, Nor shall the flame scorch you. 3For I am the Lord your God, The Holy One of Israel, your Savior…”

  • Every mountain that is conquered… the Lord is with you.
  • Every valley that you go through… the Lord is with you.
  • Every river that is crossed… He has not forsaken you.
  • Every enemy that is defeated… He is fighting with you.

Your inheritance in Christ is twofold.

  • The Lord has an inheritance in believers. The Lord’s people are the Lord’s inheritance.
  • The other side of this is the Lord is the inheritance of believers. What He has promised is available to us. He is our victory. We can enjoy everything He has called us into in Christ.

It is easy to get our eyes off the PRIZE and only look at the physical conflict and temporary victories.

There is more to your victory than a healing and deliverance. The greater blessing is Christ.

Have you gained Christ in your victory?

Look closely at Ephesians 6:10-20.

We need spiritual strength to overcome the enemy. You need spiritual strength today. Our spiritual measure is a matter of how strong we are in the Lord. The focus is on the your strength “in the Lord.”

Ephesians 6:10 (NKJV) Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.

This is the measure you are called into. You must have a strong union with Christ if you are going to have success in any spiritual conflict.

Pay attention to the life and ministry of Christ and the conflict that He faced.

Everything He did was evidence of the conflict and war Satan was waging. Jesus constantly faced battles with the forces of darkness that were attempting to destroy lives.

When Christ met the lame and blind, He stood strong. When the deaf or the leper came by, He ministered in the strength of the Spirit. When He met dead or the dying, He was not weakened. He was strong in ministry to the oppressed and demon possessed.

Jesus Christ lived and functioned in spiritual might and strength.

Without that might and strength in conflict and confrontation, He would be a weak Christ. The Lord demonstrated the measure of His spiritual power when He confronted opposition.

Satan and his kingdom arose to oppose the Lord.

Satan and his kingdom were subdued and defeated by the Lord. Through the cross, Christ conquered the prince of the world and cast him out. (John 12:31-32)

John saw the resurrected and glorified Christ.

Jesus said to him: “Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last. I AM He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death.” (Revelation 1:17-18)

Having conquered, He has the keys in His hands.

The measure of Christ in the church is seen in our spiritual strength.

When you are strong in the Lord, victory is ahead. We are here to rise up in Christ.

“Be strong in the Lord and the power of His might.”

Since the enemy of your soul will try to break in, you must be covered and strengthened in every area.

Satan will come in many ways. He will attack your mind, feelings, emotions, affections and desires. He will fight dirty. He does not care if he destroys us. He wants to bring you down. He wants to thoroughly wound, destroy, and leave you half dead on the side of the road.

The Holy Spirit inspired these words.

“Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.”

God has provided armor that addresses every kind of spiritual conflict that you can face.

In Christ, you have adequate defense for every assault of Satan.

You cannot afford to be weak in any area or effort.

  • Be strong in the Lord in your prayer life.
  • Be strong in the Lord in your faith.
  • Be strong in your knowledge of the Word of God.
  • Be strong in the Lord in your inner man.
  • Be strong in the Lord in your trust in God.
  • Be strong in the Lord as you stand on the power of the blood of Christ.
  • Be strong in the Lord.

Keep on strengthening your faith in God. Stay full of the Holy Spirit. Don’t give any room for Satan. If we remain strong in the Lord and in the power of His might, victory is coming. You can stand strong in the Lord Jesus Christ. When you do, victory is coming your way.

When Israel went into the Land of their Promise, the land was overrun with the blessings of God.

The land was extremely fertile. The land was flowing with God’s blessing. There were springs and rivers and fountains. God’s promise was before them. All they had to do was be strong in the Lord and go in and possess the land.

God said, “I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you. Be strong and of good courage…” (Joshua 1:5-6)

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The Ministry of Christ, Part 30 http://www.mdanba.com/2017/07/26/the-ministry-of-christ-part-30/ Wed, 26 Jul 2017 16:43:32 +0000 http://www.mdanba.com/?p=5580

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Events of the year of opposition.

  • Parable of the Good Samaritan – Luke 10:25-37
  • At the Home of Martha and Mary – Luke 10:38-42

When we left the last session, Jesus revealed that He was the great I AM.

When He said this, those in the Temple “took up stones to throw at Him; but Jesus hid Himself and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.” (John 8:59) Remember those Jews in the Temple said Jesus was a Samaritan and had a demon, (John 8:48).

Parable of the Good Samaritan – Luke 10:25-37

It is important to observe the dialogue that is just before the parable of the Good Samaritan. The lawyer in this text was an expert in the Law of Moses.

Luke 10:25–26 (NKJV) 25And behold, a certain lawyer stood up and tested Him, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” 26He said to him, “What is written in the law? What is your reading of it?”

The lawyer was testing Jesus with the question, “Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

Teacher comes from the word διδάσκαλος [didaskalos], which means one who provides instruction.

Throughout the gospels, the disciples called Jesus both “Teacher” and “Rabbi.”

“Rabbi” –  ῥαββί  [rhabbi /hrab·bee/] is a title of respect meaning, master, my great one, or my superior.

The distinction in “teacher” and “Rabbi” is subtle. This lawyer’s use of the word “teacher” was not a statement of respect, but challenge. Remember that the lawyers and Pharisees did not recognize Jesus as qualified to teach them. Jesus said the scribes and Pharisees love to be called “Rabbi.”

Matthew 23:8 (NKJV) 8But you, do not be called ‘Rabbi’; for One is your Teacher, the Christ, and you are all brethren. Rather than answering the man, Jesus asked him “What does the law of Moses say? How do you read it?”

Luke 10:27 (NKJV) 27So he answered and said, “ ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,’ and ‘your neighbor as yourself.’ ”

What are the two parts to his answer?

What is the degree of this devotion or love?

Luke 10:28 (NKJV) 28And He said to him, “You have answered rightly; do this and you will live.”

In Matthew 19:17 Jesus said: “If you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.”

Are we no longer to keep the commandments since Christ died on the cross and we have been given grace?

Ephesians 2:8 (NKJV) For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God.

Galatians 2:16 (NKJV) Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified.

Does salvation by faith in Christ release us from obeying the commands of God?

Luke 10:29 (NKJV) 29But he, wanting to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

The suggestion implies there must be some limit to my duty to love. He was looking for the minimal obedience. Jesus looks for unconditional obedience. “Who is my neighbor” emphasizes worthiness rather than the attitude of love.

As a response to this dialogue, Jesus gave the Parable of the Good Samaritan – Luke 10:30-37

Luke 10:30 (NKJV) 30Then Jesus answered and said: “A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, who stripped him of his clothing, wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.

The road from Jerusalem to Jericho descends about 3,325 feet in 17 miles. It was known as the “Way of Blood” because of bandits and the difficult terrain.

Luke 10:31-37 (NKJV) 31Now by chance a certain priest came down that road. And when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. 32Likewise a Levite, when he arrived at the place, came and looked, and passed by on the other side. 33But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion. 34So he went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and he set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. 35On the next day, when he departed, he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said to him, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I come again, I will repay you.’ 36So which of these three do you think was neighbor to him who fell among the thieves?” 37And he said, “He who showed mercy on him.” Then Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”

There are probably two ways to interpret this parable.

First, we should show mercy to others in need.

Second, when looking back at the lawyers and Pharisees comments about the Lord, Jesus was like the Good Samaritan.

Why is the Parable of the Good Samaritan an attack on the practices of the priests and Levites?

What can we learn from this parable?

In continuation of the theme of this parable, we are given contrasts between Mary and Martha.

At the Home of Martha and Mary – Luke 10:38-42

Jesus just had the dialogue with the lawyer. They discussed loving the Lord your God “with all your heart,  all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.” (Luke 10:27)

In the Parable of the Good Samaritan, Jesus showed a specific level of compassion and care. Now Jesus entered the home of Martha and Mary.

Watch their attention to the Lord.

Luke 10:38-39 (NKJV) Now it happened as they went that He entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house. 39And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word.

Why was it so important to sit at Jesus’ feet?

Luke 10:40 (NKJV) 40But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.”

Which one of the two sisters was demonstrating love for the Lord?

What did Jesus say was the one thing that is needed?

Luke 10:41–42 (NKJV) 41And Jesus answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. 42But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.”

What is the most important thing in life?

Was Martha doing the wrong thing?

All of the lessons in this study relate to the value we place in the Lord. He is the Lord and Master. He is the One who takes castaways and binds up their wounds, pouring in oil and wine. He is the One who pays the full cost for our recovery. He is more valuable than anything else.

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Ephesians 6, Part 2: The Whole Armor of God http://www.mdanba.com/2017/07/22/ephesians-6-part-2-the-whole-armor-of-god/ Sat, 22 Jul 2017 08:00:03 +0000 http://www.mdanba.com/?p=5568

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Ephesians 6:11 (NKJV) Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

Putting on the whole armor of God requires changing the focus of our trust and how we live.

Our environment is so filled with foes that we do not have to offend to become a target. We all face the schemes and strategies of evil. Preparing for this requires being well fortified in Christ. How to do this is the subject of this text.

Being unprepared produces a vulnerability that can bring harm, misfortune, or calamity.

Most people today live with a guarded suspicion about the potential for evil and harm.

God has provided the believer in Christ Jesus the armor of God so that you may be able to stand.

The Christian life is warfare.

Ephesians 6:12 (NKJV) For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.

How do we fortify ourselves with weapons that are strong enough to provide protection we need?

It is evident that the attack of evil does not just seek the believer. Many unbelievers are held captive to evil forces. They have become prey to the “principalities, powers, the rulers of the darkness of this age, and the spiritual hosts of wickedness.”(Ephesians 6:12)

Since we are in spiritual warfare, we must have devices and full armor that can withstand every evil attack.

The letter to the Ephesian Christians concerned the nature of our enemy. He revealed the character of the struggle we must put forth to live a victorious Christian life. We should know that we are not just contending with the natural problems of the flesh.

This passage contains relevant truths for each of us as we walk strong in the Lord and the power of His might.

1 Peter 5:8 (NKJV) Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.

Rather than looking at Satan’s schemes, we need to focus on the strength believers have and how to embrace and increase our strength.

It is not God’s will for you to be defeated, devoured, or destroyed by the devil.

Ephesians 6:10 (NKJV) Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.

That word “finally” is a key for your success. It comes from the word λοιπός [loipon /ly·pon] It means from this time on, for the future, henceforth, or for the rest. This provision is that from now on you will be strong. Put a “finally” in your language. From now on, choose to walk strong in the Lord  and in the power of His might. This is an end of Satan’s success in his schemes over your life.

You should know that man was not created to be held in dominion by Satan and be destroyed.

God created us to be free. We are the crown of God’s creation. God made us different from all of the rest of creation. Man was created in God’s image and likeness. We are free to live in harmony with God or with evil. We are free to do good or evil. We are free to choose the way of faith and faithfulness. We can walk in fellowship with God or out of fellowship.

When Adam and Eve sinned, God had to provide a way for humanity to come back into harmony with Him.

Through the blood and cross of Christ, victory has been gained, and Satan has been defeated. Now, through Christ Jesus every believer has been given the ability to live in liberty.

Galatians 5:1 (NKJV) Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.

To achieve this “finally” (from now on strength) God offers and provides everything that is necessary for your strength, might, and victory in Christ Jesus.

Ephesians 6:10–11 (NKJV) 10Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

We must put on the whole armor of God.

It is not enough that God provides the armor. Each believer must put on this armor and utilize it. This is one of the problems some believers have.

Many believers in Jesus Christ have trouble putting on the whole armor of God and daily wearing it.

To stand against the wiles (schemings) of the devil you must “put on the whole armor.” There is no reason for believers to suffer defeat in their spiritual life. We have God-given strength and might to stand.

For this to work, you must put it on.

We know how to put things on. You put your clothes and shoes on before you came to church. It was an exercise of will and determination to do it.

It is absolutely essential that we use the equipment provided by God to wage war successfully.

God has provided the belt of truth for you.

You must walk in truth. Truth is not just the truth of the gospel. This is the believer’s integrity and faithfulness.

God has provided a bulletproof vest of righteousness.

This breast plate of righteousness is not just the cleansing that took place when you were saved. This includes the sanctified righteous living.

Romans 6:12–14 (NKJV) 12Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. 13And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. 14For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.

Satan’s darts are sent to destroy your righteousness. Satan wants to destroy you here. Sanctifying righteousness guards your heart against Satan’s attack.

Shod your feet with the gospel of peace.

This text does not refer to spreading the gospel, but being enabled to stand and be stable. The gospel gives us the ability to stand in peace in the midst of the assault.

God has provided a shield of faith for you.

Do everything that is necessary to keep your faith strong. Strong faith offers protection and covering for the body and the armor. Your shield of faith will give you strength to endure. The faith you have been given will sustain you when the darts come in. Do not let your faith down when the attack comes.

God has provided a helmet of salvation for you.

You are covered by God’s saving grace. You have to know that you have been saved. Then you must hold on to the salvation which has been delivered to you.

God has provided the sword of the Spirit for you.

The sword of the spirit is quickened word of God. The word used for “word of God” is ῥῆμα [rhema]. Rhema is that “word” which has been uttered by the living voice, the thing spoken, the word. You need to have the written word (logos) hidden in your heart that you might not sin against God. The sword of the Spirit is the living word out of the mouth of God.

This Word of God is a weapon against every attack. When the enemy of your soul is on a rampage, you need to maintain contact with the throne of God. You need to hear what God is saying. Many times the Spirit of God will quicken the Word that is hidden in your heart and give it new life.

Your success in conflict is dependent on the manner in which you “put on” the armor God has provided.

You cannot afford to be sloppy about this. Your victory is certain if you will prepare yourself.

You cannot be victorious if you neglect to use what God has provided.

Ephesians 6:13–14 (NKJV) Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore…

When we make all of the necessary preparations with the full armor of God, we are ready and able to stand.

You do not have to be overwhelmed and knocked out by Satan’s attack. God has invested in your victory. You need to do some things to prepare yourself to stand.

This word for “stand” means: to be established, made firm, to continue safe and sound, stand unharmed, to stand ready or prepared. That is exactly what you need.

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Ephesians 6, Part 1: Be Strong in the Lord http://www.mdanba.com/2017/07/22/ephesians-6-part-1-be-strong-in-the-lord/ Sat, 22 Jul 2017 07:00:15 +0000 http://www.mdanba.com/?p=5561

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Ephesians 6:10 (NKJV) 10Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.

The Apostle was encouraging believers to be strong in the power that overcomes your challenges.

This is strength and might that hell’s gates cannot resist or conquer. This is the same power that worked in Jesus Christ. God has made this same power and might available to you. With everything that you encounter, you need this strength, power, and might for daily living.

Where do you find strength for living?

Some seek for strength for living in the securing of a good education.

An education can open some doors for your life. It does not guarantee the strength when life’s pressures come.

Some seek for strength by acquiring financial security.

Money can solve many problems we all face, but not all of them. Money cannot buy peace of mind, deep and lasting joy, or contentment.

Many seek strength for living through meaningful relationships.

We cannot overestimate the value of good friends. True friends are rich blessings from God, but they cannot meet our every need.

The apostle Paul said that strength sufficient to cope with life’s problems only comes from the Lord.

Our text says, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might.”

He wrote these words from a vast resource of personal experiences.

Paul knew the height and depth of God’s joy and fellowship with strong Christian friends. He suffered many terrible experiences. He had fallen into deep discouragement. He had been stoned and left for dead. He knew how to be abased and how to abound.

He said you need to “be strengthened in the Lord, and in the power of His sufficiency.”

He found the strength and might he needed in Jesus.

Where do you find strength for living?

Philippians 4:13 (NKJV) I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

He learned how to rely on the Lord while facing the depths of despair and the height of success.

Paul was aware of Satan’s methods.

The enemy came against him with various schemes of attack.

He said that you must have help from the outside.

Your only hope of victory is found in the strength that God gives. You need help from above.

Our Lord promised spiritual vitality that is needed to live victorious lives.

Acts 1:8 (NLT) “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be My witnesses …to the end of the earth.”

Jesus was telling believers to not attempt this without the power of the Holy Spirit.

What Jesus commissioned them to do could only happen with Spirit-filled and strengthened people. Our hands are empty without His power. We are inadequate without His strength. This gift of the Holy Spirit is for life, work, and survival. Being filled with the Spirit and being strong in the Lord is not optional.

Paul encouraged  believers in Ephesus to be strong in the power of the Holy Spirit.

He said: “let the Holy Spirit fill and control you,” Ephesians 5:18. Let His strength embrace and have you.

These are inescapable necessities if you are going to be strong and overcome evil.

You need the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit is the Father’s personal gift to every believer.

Acts 2:38 (NKJV) Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”

As soon as you believe and put your faith in Jesus, you shall receive the Holy Spirit.

Notice the total lack of vagueness or uncertainty.

         “You shall receive the Holy Spirit.”

Galatians 3:13-14 (NKJV)Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us …that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.”

God’s gifts are His personal gifts to us.

The gift of the Holy Spirit brings the evidence of God’s personal presence. The Holy Spirit is the Father’s gift for every one of His children.

In John 14:16, Jesus said He would “ask the Father and He will give you another Helper, the Spirit of Truth.”

Then in Luke 11:13 Jesus said, “How much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!”

1 Corinthians 3:16 shows the certainty of this.

“Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?”

Do you know that God has given you this precious gift of the Holy Spirit?

The Holy Spirit is the Father’s precious gift to each of his children.

When God gives His Holy Spirit, He gives us the most precious gift of all.

Why is the Holy Spirit so important for us?

The Holy Spirit helps us to know we are God’s children.

Romans 8:16 (NKJV) The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God.

You need that inner witness that says everything is right between you and God.

The Holy Spirit assists us in our prayer life.

Romans 8:26-27 (NLT) The Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. 27And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will.

This is one of the most powerful aides that you can find.

The Holy Spirit has been given to help you in your weaknesses. The Holy Spirit knows exactly how to help you.

How will He help you?

You will have times you will not know how to pray. You will not know how to navigate your situations. The Holy Spirit is there to intercede to the Father for you.

Why is the Holy Spirit so important for us?

The Holy Spirit will lead you in right paths as you try to be worthy children of God

Romans 8:14 NKJV) For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.

This is decisive guidance for the paths we walk. If you know you are a child of God, the Holy Spirit is helping you. If you have the Spirit of God, He is living in you and leading you. When the Holy Spirit is in His proper place in your life, He will do His work, and you will have a deep calming assurance.

Why is the Holy Spirit so important for us?

Through the Holy Spirit, God gives you life.

Romans 8:11 (NKJV) But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.

It is the function of the Holy Spirit to give life. The life that He gives is vitality for living and hope and a future through Jesus Christ.

Why is the Holy Spirit so important for us?

The Holy Spirit is the Father’s gift to His children.

The Holy Spirit is the divine seal and guarantee that God will complete what has been started within us.

Ephesians 1:13-14 (NKJV) …having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.

Why is the Holy Spirit so important for us?

Jesus said the Holy Spirit would dwell with them forever.

John 14:16  The Father will give you another Helper, who will never leave you.

That word Helper is much broader than it appears. The Holy Spirit is your helper, comforter, advocate, and counselor. Jesus said the Holy Spirit is a permanent gift for you. He is constantly present to help you.

Why is the Holy Spirit so important for us?

In 2 Timothy 1:7, Paul wrote to Timothy when he was going through a rough time in life.

He said, “God has not given us a spirit of fear.” Have you ever been full of fear?

He said, “He has given us a spirit of power, love, a calm and well-balanced mind, discipline and self-control.

This power and might is available in adequate supply.

As soon as you recognize your weakness, cast yourself on to His grace. His sustaining presence will give you His strength.

When you evaluate the Apostle Paul’s life, he was often weak, had needs, faced infirmities and distresses. (2 Corinthians 12:9-10)

         Does his life sound like yours?

In every situation, he said:  “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13) Jesus Christ wants to bring God’s strength into your life.

He will do it as you trust Him, follow Him and allow the Holy Spirit into your life.

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The Ministry of Christ, Part 29 http://www.mdanba.com/2017/07/18/the-ministry-of-christ-part-29/ Tue, 18 Jul 2017 21:29:48 +0000 http://www.mdanba.com/?p=5555

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Events of the year of opposition.

  • The Adulterous Woman – John 8:1-11
  • “I AM” the Light of the World – John 8:12-59

Jesus went to the Mount of Olives – John 8:1

After the Feast of Tabernacles, Jesus went to the Mount of Olives, where He spent the night.

John 8:2 (NKJV) Now early in the morning He came again into the temple, and all the people came to Him; and He sat down and taught them.

The scribes and Pharisees were still furious about Jesus.

Looking for another opportunity to accuse Him, they found a woman caught in adultery. Jesus refused to enter into a debate about her guilt.

John 8:7 (NKJV) 7So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.”

Convicted, they all walked away. When no one but the woman and the Lord remained, Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.” (John 8:11)

“I AM” the Light of the World – John 8:12-59

John 8:12 (NKJV) 12Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”

Jesus’ “I AM” statements

The I AM statements relate to His being the Son of God.

  • John 6:35 – “I am the Bread of life.”
  • John 8:12 – “I am the Light of the world.”
  • John 10:7, 9 – “I am the Door.”
  • John 11:25 – “I am the resurrection and the life.”
  • John 14:6 – “I am the way, and the truth, and the life.”
  • John 15:1 – “I am the true vine.”
  • John 18:6, 8 – In the garden, Jesus said: “I AM He.”

Look closer at this word, “I am the Light of the World.

John 8:12 (NKJV) “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”

The Jewish religious leaders were agitated with Jesus. He tells them, “I am the light of the world.”

What does this say about those religious leaders? If He is the Light, what are they?

John 8:13 (NKJV) 13The Pharisees therefore said to Him, “You bear witness of Yourself; Your witness is not true.”

Why is Jesus’ witness true?

John 8:14 (NKJV) 14Jesus answered and said to them, “Even if I bear witness of Myself, My witness is true, for I know where I came from and where I am going; but you do not know where I come from and where I am going.

What does knowing where He came from and where He is going have to do with His witness?

No earthly witness is capable of validating His claims because of His divine origin. He is able to speak with an authority that the religious leaders did not have.

Why is Jesus’ testimony exempt from their scrutiny?

John 8:15–18 (NKJV) 15You judge according to the flesh; I judge no one. 16And yet if I do judge, My judgment is true; for I am not alone, but I am with the Father who sent Me. 17It is also written in your law that the testimony of two men is true. 18I am One who bears witness of Myself, and the Father who sent Me bears witness of Me.”

How did the Father give testimony of Jesus?

John 8:19 (NKJV) 19Then they said to Him, “Where is Your Father?” Jesus answered, “You know neither Me nor My Father. If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also.”

He came to reveal the Father and they did not receive Jesus.

John 8:20 (NKJV) 20These words Jesus spoke in the treasury, as He taught in the temple; and no one laid hands on Him, for His hour had not yet come.

In Herod’s temple the “treasury” was a name given to the “court of the women.” According to the Mishnah (Middot 2:5) the Women’s Court contained the treasury.  Along the colonnade that ran around the court and against the wall were 13  trumpet-shaped boxes for the contributions of worshippers. Nine were for receipt of what was legally required of worshipers and four were for voluntary gifts. Jesus sat opposite the treasury watching people put money in when the widow gave two  copper mites. Women were not allowed further into the Temple.

Jesus is in the treasury and they could not lay their hands on Him to take Him.

John 8:21–22 (NKJV) 21Then Jesus said to them again, “I am going away, and you will seek Me, and will die in your sin. Where I go you cannot come.” 22So the Jews said, “Will He kill Himself, because He says, ‘Where I go you cannot come’?”

Why were these words so important to His audience? Why would they “die in their sin?”

John 8:23-24 (NKJV) 23And He said to them, “You are from beneath; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. 24Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.”

What does Jesus mean: “I am He?”

John 8:25 (NKJV) 25Then they said to Him, “Who are You?” And Jesus said to them, “Just what I have been saying to you from the beginning.

Christ had made this clear to them in many ways.

Why could they not understand and know who He was?

John 8:26–30 (NKJV) 26I have many things to say and to judge concerning you, but He who sent Me is true; and I speak to the world those things which I heard from Him.” 27They did not understand that He spoke to them of the Father. 28Then Jesus said to them, “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and that I do nothing of Myself; but as My Father taught Me, I speak these things. 29And He who sent Me is with Me. The Father has not left Me alone, for I always do those things that please Him.” 30As He spoke these words, many believed in Him.

What does it mean “when you lift up the Son of Man?”

Read: John 12:32; John 3:14-15

Freedom – Slavery and Abraham’s Children – John 8:31-59

Many of them believed in Him. In response to their belief, Jesus gave this test of true discipleship.

John 8:31–32 (NKJV) 31Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. 32And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

We know what that means, but they did not understand it. They did not see that they were in bondage to sin.

How does continuing in His word bring freedom?

John 8:33 (NKJV) 33They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s descendants, and have never been in bondage to anyone. How can You say, ‘You will be made free’?”

They thought they were ‘free’ since they had a religious heritage.

Why does religious heritage not bring salvation?

John 8:34–36 (NKJV) 34Jesus answered them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. 35And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. 36Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.

What does it mean to be a slave of sin? (Romans 6:16)

Romans 6:16 (NKJV) 16Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness?

John 8:37-38 (NKJV) 37“I know that you are Abraham’s descendants, but you seek to kill Me, because My word has no place in you. 38I speak what I have seen with My Father, and you do what you have seen with your father.”

Who is their “father” that Jesus is referring to? Did they know what Jesus was saying?

John 8:39(NKJV) 39They answered and said to Him, “Abraham is our father.”

Why did they say that?

John 8:39–41 (NKJV) Jesus said to them, “If you were Abraham’s children, you would do the works of Abraham. 40But now you seek to kill Me, a Man who has told you the truth which I heard from God. Abraham did not do this. 41You do the deeds of your father.” Then they said to Him, “We were not born of fornication; we have one Father—God.”

Jesus made it clear that they are doing Satan’s work.

John 8:42–47 (NKJV) 42Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and came from God; nor have I come of Myself, but He sent Me. 43Why do you not understand My speech? Because you are not able to listen to My word. 44You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.  45But because I tell the truth, you do not believe Me. 46Which of you convicts Me of sin? And if I tell the truth, why do you not believe Me? 47He who is of God hears God’s words; therefore you do not hear, because you are not of God.”

Why is Jesus speaking like this to them?

John 8:48–49 (NKJV) 48Then the Jews answered and said to Him, “Do we not say rightly that You are a Samaritan and have a demon?” 49Jesus answered, “I do not have a demon; but I honor My Father, and you dishonor Me.

These are two of the worse things they could say to Jesus. “You are a Samaritan and have a demon.”

John 8:50-52 (NKJV) 50And I do not seek My own glory; there is One who seeks and judges. 51Most assuredly, I say to you, if anyone keeps My word he shall never see death.”

What Jesus is saying to them will be made clear after He is crucified and arises from the dead.

What does it mean he shall never see death?

John 8:53 (NKJV) 53Are You greater than our father Abraham, who is dead? And the prophets are dead. Who do You make Yourself out to be?”

Who is Jesus?

John 8:54–58 (NKJV) 54Jesus answered, “If I honor Myself, My honor is nothing. It is My Father who honors Me, of whom you say that He is your God. 55Yet you have not known Him, but I know Him. And if I say, ‘I do not know Him,’ I shall be a liar like you; but I do know Him and keep His word. 56Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad.” 57Then the Jews said to Him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?” 58Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.”

Notice the “I AM” reference. This relates back to Exodus 3:14.

Exodus 3:14 (NKJV) 14And God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And He said, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’ ”

John 8:59 (NKJV) 59Then they took up stones to throw at Him; but Jesus hid Himself and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.

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Heaven And Hell Are Real http://www.mdanba.com/2017/07/15/heaven-and-hell-are-real/ Sat, 15 Jul 2017 16:26:47 +0000 http://www.mdanba.com/?p=5546

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Americans say heaven and hell are real, but they disagree who goes there.

  • 53% say salvation is in Christ alone.
  • 41% say people who have not heard of Jesus Christ will get into heaven.
  • 30% say people still have a chance to go to heaven after they die.
  • Americans say hell is a real place, but you have to be really bad to go there.
  • 67% say most people are basically good, even though everyone sins a little.
  • Only 18% say small sins should lead to damnation.
  • 2% of Americans believe they are going to hell.

Revelation 22:18-21 (NIV84) 18I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book. 19And if anyone takes words away from this book of prophecy, God will take away from him his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book. 20He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus. 21The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people. Amen.

The Bible talks about heaven and hell like they are real places.

John 5:28–29 (NKJV) 28Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice 29and come forth—those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.

If you believe the Bible, you must believe in heaven.

  • Heaven is mentioned in 681 verses of the Bible.
  • Hell – 32 times
  • Hades – 11 times
  • Lake of fire – 14 times in 4 verses
  • Eternal punishment – Matthew 25:46
  • Eternal judgment – Hebrews 6:2

2 Peter 2:4 (NKJV) 4For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment.

God created the angels to be eternal beings.

They were made to dwell with God and serve Him forever. All of the fallen and the holy angels are eternal beings. One of the great joys we have is that God has prepared hell for the angels that sinned. We will not have to contend with the tempter forever. Hell was purposefully created by God as a place of prison and a house of torment for fallen angels. As terrible as hell is, a great day of judgment awaits when death and hell will be thrown into the lake of fire.

Revelation 20:14 (NKJV) 14Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.

Revelation 20:10 (NKJV) 10The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.

God created man to have eternal fellowship with Him.

We were created to exist throughout the endless ages. God created us in His image and likeness so that we could dwell with Him.

Sin entered and brought about a separation from God.

The only way back into that fellowship with God is through the Lord Jesus Christ.

What do we need to know about hell?

When Jesus taught about hell, He referred to Gehenna in the Valley of Hinnom.

The Valley of Hinnom was a deep gorge south of Jerusalem. The children of Israel burned their children to Molech in the Valley of Hinnom. (Jeremiah 32:35) Jeremiah said the Valley of Hinnom would become the Valley of Slaughter, (Jeremiah 7:31-32; 19:2, 6)

In Christ’s time, there was a continual fire in Gehenna to burn trash, refuse, dead animals and felons. Jesus referenced Gehenna several times when He was speaking of the judgment of hellfire.

Matthew 10:28 (NKJV) 28And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

The worse thing that can happen to you in this life cannot compare to what will happen in hell. After speaking about the terrible destruction of hell, Jesus gave a tremendous word of encouragement.

Matthew 10:29–31 (NKJV) 29Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will. 30But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.

This is a message of grace and mercy from the Lord. Don’t be afraid, the Lord will take care of you.

Matthew 10:32–33 (NKJV) 32“Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. 33But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven.

Some people think that hell is a place for an eternal party with their wild friends.

In Matthew 13, Jesus talked about hell as a furnace of fire.

He was talking about the wheat and the tares.

Matthew 13:38–43 (NKJV) 38The field is the world, the good seeds are the sons of the kingdom, but the tares are the sons of the wicked one. 39The enemy who sowed them is the devil, the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are the angels. 40Therefore as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of this age. 41The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness, 42and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth. 43Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!

Nothing about hell is pleasant.

In Matthew 25, Jesus said hell is eternal.

Matthew 25:31 (NKJV) 31“When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory.”

Matthew 25:41 (NKJV) 41“Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels.”

Matthew 25:45–46 (NKJV) 45Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ 46And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

If you listen to Jesus, you get a good understanding of what hell is going to be like.

It is not just outer darkness. It is a place of fire, torment and eternal punishment.

Hell is real.

Heaven is better.

Hebrews 11:16 (NKJV) 16But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.

We need to know that heaven is real. Heaven is better than any other place.

1 John 3:2–3 (NKJV) 2Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. 3And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.

Jesus described heaven as His Father’s house.

John 14:1–3 (NKJV) 1“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. 2In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.

There is no better place than heaven.

Jesus told John in Revelation 2:7.

Revelation 2:7 (NKJV) 7“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.” ’

Heaven is the paradise of God.

Revelation 21:3-7 (NKJV) 3And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. 4And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”  5Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.” 6And He said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts. 7He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son.

Heaven

There is a place of crying and death.

Heaven is a place without death, sorrow, or crying.

There is a place of great pain and wailing.

Heaven is a place without pain.

There will be no more sickness, sorrow or dying. God is going to take away everything that causes troubles, distresses and woe.

Heaven is a better place.

1 Corinthians 2:9–10 (NKJV) 9But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” 10But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.

The Holy Spirit has revealed some of the things that God has prepared for us.

Isaiah 65:17 (NKJV) 17“For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; And the former shall not be remembered or come to mind.

When referring to the blessings that await, John saw the glory of the New Jerusalem.

He talked about gates of pearl and walls of jasper, and streets of gold. He said there is no need of the sun or of the moon, for the glory of the Lamb of God is the light. He said there will be no night or anything that defile in that city.

Heaven is better.

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Where is God when I need Him? http://www.mdanba.com/2017/07/15/where-is-god-when-i-need-him/ Sat, 15 Jul 2017 07:00:42 +0000 http://www.mdanba.com/?p=5542

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Job 23:8–9 (NKJV) 8“Look, I go forward, but He is not there, And backward, but I cannot perceive Him; 9When He works on the left hand, I cannot behold Him; When He turns to the right hand, I cannot see Him.

Sometimes it is difficult to understand what God is doing or where He is.

Have you struggled trying to find and know God’s will, ways, and works?

Have you ever looked back and noticed that the hand of the Lord has been on all your life?

Sometimes you felt completely alone. You need to know that God has never left you.

Suspended on the cross with a bloody, beaten body, Jesus was searching for the Father.

He cried out, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?”—which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Matthew 27:46

He never questioned His relationship with the Father.

Jesus was saying, “I don’t understand why I can’t see you here.” He felt abandoned and alone.

We often struggle when we don’t know where God is or what He is doing.

It is hard to remain calm in uncertain times. We look for evidence of His presence.

We want to know if He has heard us and what He is doing about it.

Often we only see how God has worked when we look back.

During the storm, we wonder where He is and what He is doing. It is in the storm where we need Him and depend on Him most. If He does not help us, we will die.

We all will have times when we just need to find God.

The search for God is a primary part of worship.

We search for things we value. The fact that we search for Him indicates that He has become essential and precious to us.

Our worship recognizes that God is the only answer for our need.

Worship declares that God is worthy of our attention.

Our need causes us to pursue God.

If we desperately need Him, nothing else can satisfy. As soon as you seek Him, you have made the conscious decision that He is your only help.

There are no manuals that give step by step instructions on how to seek the Lord.

Hebrews 11:6 (NET) 6Now without faith it is impossible to please Him, for the one who approaches God must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who seek Him.

How we pursue God is personally experienced in the urgency of the moment.

Some seek Him quietly with soft tears. Some raise their hands and praise and adore Him with shouts of adoration. Some cry aloud and spare not.

There are no rules.

We just seek Him with our whole hearts.

That strong desire causes us to press past our weaknesses into His presence.

Whatever you do, don’t let this moment pass you by! We don’t have all the answers.

The only one who has all of the answers is God.

The Bible declares, “Seek, and you shall find” (Matthew 7:7).

Many things that are available to us will not be found without an all‑out search.

Seeking God takes focus. Our search cannot be distracted.

It was that kind of moment when the disciples awoke Jesus in the back of the boat. (Matthew 8:24-25) They cried out, “Lord, save us! We are perishing.”

Who knows what will happen when we search for God with all our hearts?

Have you grown weary of human answers?

Desperate times require more than good advice.

We need a word from God.

We must find God.

Job was going through an absolute crisis.

His finances were gone. His property was destroyed. All of his children were lost. Then he became ill. His breath was offensive to his wife, and his close friends abhorred him, (Job 19:17).

In one day, his life was radically altered.

Isaiah 55:6–7 (NIV84) 6Seek the Lord while He may be found; call on Him while He is near. 7Let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts. Let him turn to the Lord, and He will have mercy on him, and to our God, for He will freely pardon.

It is terrifying when you see no help coming.

Job said, “Behold, I go forward, but He is not there,” (Job 23:8).

Comfort comes when you know that the present adversity is about to end. What can you do when it appears the problem will never cease?

Job was saying, “I see no help, no sign of God in the future.”

That is Satan’s trick to make you think no help is coming.

Have you ever said: “If it does not change, I cannot make it?”

Job was desperately looking for some shred of hope.

Frustrated, he confessed, “Behold, I go forward, but He is not there,” (Job 23:8a).

“I can’t find God where I thought He would be.”

Have you said that the storm will soon be over?

The day passed and the same storm beat against your life. You felt that God missed His appointment. You thought He would move by now! You kept thinking, “Where is He?”

Psalm 77:8–9 (NKJV) 8Has His mercy ceased forever? Has His promise failed forevermore? 9Has God forgotten to be gracious? Has He in anger shut up His tender mercies? Selah

You need to know that God has not forgotten you.

God knows when and how He is going to bless you! Just hold on. I know what God is going to do because I have seen what God has done.

But Job said, “Looking back, I could not perceive Him,” (Job 23:8).

Have you ever said: “Why did this happen?” “Why have I had this struggle?”

Sometimes life seems to have no purpose.

These are times that try our hearts and our faith. These are the times we need answers! We want to know why.

Where is the God who pulled all of those dry bones back together?

Where is the Potter who remolds broken pieces?

The truth is: God is never far away.

Job knew that only God could bring the answer.

Do you understand the power of God’s presence?

Have you ever considered the mere power of His presence? He doesn’t have to do anything but be there, and it is over.

How could the three Hebrew men survive the fiery furnace?

They were in the most trying moment of their lives. They did not know if the Lord would deliver them, but they knew that He was able. Everyone was saying, ‘Burn them alive!’  So, they made the furnace seven times hotter. They landed in the flames terrified and trembling.

The fire was all over them.

Their ropes were ablaze, but their skin seemed undisturbed.

What was going on?

All of a sudden they realized they were not alone!

The fourth Man in the fire made the difference.

His presence created protection in the crisis.

Did the fire go out because He was there? No, the fire still burned.

The fire lost its power to destroy when God was present.

In His presence we learn… “No weapon that is formed against you shall prosper!” (Isaiah 54:17)

Psalm 16:11 (NKJV) 11You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

Job was sitting in sackcloth and ashes searching through the rubbish of his life looking for God.

Only God’s presence could bring comfort to his pain!

Have you searched for more of God’s grace?

Your search suggests that you value Him and recognize His ability. He is not far away.

Look closer.

He is in the furnace with you.

He is never far from those who want to be in His presence. Stop listening to the enemy of your soul. He wants to convince you that you are alone.

Job 23:8–9 (NASB95) 8“Behold, I go forward but He is not there, And backward, but I cannot perceive Him; 9When He acts on the left, I cannot behold Him; He turns on the right, I cannot see Him.

Everywhere Job looked he could find no evidence of Him.

Keep on holding on.

We don’t always know what the Lord is doing. You may think He has forgotten you!

Sometimes we just do not see what God is doing.

God has not forgotten His promises.

God has not forgotten!

Sometimes God moves and works openly. Sometimes God shakes the mountains when He comes to our aid.

Sometimes He works silently in the shadows.

You cannot see Him. You do not know what He is doing. It appears that He is not there, but He is!

You have been going through a time when you cannot see what God is doing.

You have not seen the mighty power of God. You keep going through fiery trials.

God is with you right now.

He is operating in a different way.

It is hard to trust Him when you can’t see Him!

That is exactly what He wants you to do.

He wants you to trust Him when you see the Red Sea opening up and when you wonder where He is.

His methods may not make sense to you, but His results are wonderful.

Job concluded that “God knows the way that I take.”

When I don’t know where He is, He always knows where I am.

God has never taken His eye off you.

Job said, “When He has tried me…” (Job 23:10b).

The word “when” makes me want to shout. God has a plan for bringing you out. He knows how to increase our strength when we have none. He keeps on giving new mercies for our old problems!

Job said: “I am coming out of this like pure gold.”

I may not come out today or tomorrow, but God is bringing me out!

]]> 5542
The Ministry of Christ, Part 28 http://www.mdanba.com/2017/07/11/the-ministry-of-christ-part-28/ Tue, 11 Jul 2017 22:57:37 +0000 http://www.mdanba.com/?p=5525

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Events of the year of opposition.

At the Feast of Tabernacles John 7:1-53
Jesus’ brothers do not believe John 7:1-9
Christ Secretly goes to the Feast John 7:10-13
Teaching in the temple courts John 7:14-52
His doctrine – authority John 7:14-21
Origin from the Father John 7:25-31
Departure to the Father John 7:32-36
Living Water John 7:37-39
Confused Over Christ John 7:40-52

Luke 9:51 (NKJV) 51Now it came to pass, when the time had come for Him to be received up, that He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem.

Knowing that His time was nearing, Jesus started toward Jerusalem.

As He went to Jerusalem, he passed through Samaria and Galilee.

Jesus’ brothers do not believe – John 7:1-9

John 7:1 (NKJV) 1After these things Jesus walked in Galilee; for He did not want to walk in Judea, because the Jews sought to kill Him.

The events in John 6 took place shortly before Passover which happens in April.

The Feast of Tabernacles happens in October.

The Feast of Tabernacles signified that God dwells with His people.

During this six month time, Jesus walked in Galilee.

Jesus sent out the seventy during that six-month period of time.

John 7:2-3 (NKJV) 2Now the Jews’ Feast of Tabernacles was at hand. 3His brothers therefore said to Him, “Depart from here and go into Judea, that Your disciples also may see the works that You are doing.”

Mark 6:3 tells us Jesus’ brothers were James, Joses, Judas and Simon.

They had faced the criticism of their Synagogue about Jesus the carpenter.

The Nazareth synagogue had rejected Jesus because His brothers and sisters were with them.

John 7:4–5 (NKJV) 4 “For no one does anything in secret while he himself seeks to be known openly. If You do these things, show Yourself to the world.” 5For even His brothers did not believe in Him.

His unbelieving brothers wanted Him to go to Jerusalem to settle the messianic question.

         Jerusalem was the religious capital.

His brothers wanted Him to show off His glory, if He was indeed who He said He was.

Remember, the prevailing belief was that when the Messiah came He would establish His kingdom on earth.

John 7:6–7 (NKJV) 6Then Jesus said to them, “My time has not yet come, but your time is always ready. 7The world cannot hate you, but it hates Me because I testify of it that its works are evil.”

Why couldn’t the world hate His brothers?

 


Jesus was living on a different time schedule than they were.

They could come and go as they pleased.

Jesus’ actions were on the Father’s schedule.

John 7:8–9 (NKJV) 8You go up to this feast. I am not yet going up to this feast, for My time has not yet fully come.” 9When He had said these things to them, He remained in Galilee.

Why did Jesus not want to go to the feast with His brothers?

 


Christ secretly goes to the Feast – John 7:10-13

John 7:10–13 (NKJV) 10But when His brothers had gone up, then He also went up to the feast, not openly, but as it were in secret. 11Then the Jews sought Him at the feast, and said, “Where is He?” 12And there was much complaining among the people concerning Him. Some said, “He is good”; others said, “No, on the contrary, He deceives the people.” 13However, no one spoke openly of Him for fear of the Jews.

Why did Jesus go to the Feast secretly?

 


There were many varying ideas about the Messiah and who He really was.

These varying ideas caused the crowds to draw several conclusions about Jesus.

This chapter presents a series of conclusions on Jesus.

John 7:5 – He was not who He said

John 7:12 – He is a good man

John 7:40 – He is a prophet

John 7:20 – He was a deluded madman with a demon

John 7 – He was a seducer.

John 7:26 – He was a man of courage.

John 7:46 – No man ever spoke like this Man!

John 7:26, 27, 31, 41, 42 – He is the Christ.

John 7:13 – They were afraid to talk about Him.

John 7:31 – Some believed what they saw and heard.

John 7:50 – Nicodemus defended Jesus to the council.

With these varying conclusions being discussed, Jesus teaches in the temple.

Christ teaching in the temple courts – John 7:14-52

His doctrine – authority – John 7:14-21

Origin from the Father – John 7:25-31

Departure to the Father – John 7:32-36

Living Water – John 7:37-39

Confused Over Christ – John 7:40-52

His doctrine – authority – John 7:14-21

John 7:14–15 (NKJV) 14Now about the middle of the feast Jesus went up into the temple and taught. 15And the Jews marveled, saying, “How does this Man know letters, having never studied?”

They could not understand where Jesus achieved His learning and wisdom.

Only a disciple of an accredited teacher was allowed to expound the Scriptures to the council.

No Rabbi ever spoke on his own authority.

Jesus had not been a disciple in Rabbinic school.

How does this Man know letters, having never studied?

This is the same argument the Sanhedrin had against Peter and John, Acts 4:17.

This Galilean carpenter, without training, was daring to quote and explain Moses and the Law to them.

John 7:16–17 (NKJV) 16Jesus answered them and said, “My doctrine is not Mine, but His who sent Me. 17If anyone wills to do His will, he shall know concerning the doctrine, whether it is from God or whether I speak on My own authority.

Jesus is showing them where He got His authority.

John 14:10 (NKJV) The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works.

John 7:18–19 (NKJV) 18He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory; but He who seeks the glory of the One who sent Him is true, and no unrighteousness is in Him. 19Did not Moses give you the law, yet none of you keeps the law? Why do you seek to kill Me?”

Why were they seeking to kill Him?

Look at John 7:23 – Jesus  said, “You are angry with Me because I made a man completely well on the Sabbath.”

He had just told the lame man to take up his bed and walk on the Sabbath, (John 5:8-16).

Jesus’ actions did not fit in with their traditional teaching and orthodoxy.

He did things on the Sabbath that they did not allow.

Origin from the Father – John 7:25-31

After their previous questions about His authority, there were some who became more angry with Him.

John 7:25–27 (NKJV) 25Now some of them from Jerusalem said, “Is this not He whom they seek to kill? 26But look! He speaks boldly, and they say nothing to Him. Do the rulers know indeed that this is truly the Christ? 27However, we know where this Man is from; but when the Christ comes, no one knows where He is from.”

The crowds were surprised to see Jesus preaching in the Temple courts.

They knew how hostile the authorities were against Him.

John 7:28–31 (NKJV) 28Then Jesus cried out, as He taught in the temple, saying, “You both know Me, and you know where I am from; and I have not come of Myself, but He who sent Me is true, whom you do not know. 29But I know Him, for I am from Him, and He sent Me.” 30Therefore they sought to take Him; but no one laid a hand on Him, because His hour had not yet come. 31And many of the people believed in Him, and said, “When the Christ comes, will He do more signs than these which this Man has done?”

Departure to the Father – John 7:32-36

John 7:32 (NKJV) 32The Pharisees heard the crowd murmuring these things concerning Him, and the Pharisees and the chief priests sent officers to take Him.

The Pharisees were an important sect of Judaism.

         They numbered about 6,000.

They held a strict interpretation of the Law and embraced many oral traditions.

They felt they were the guardians of Jewish traditions.

They realized something had to be done with Jesus.

John 7:33–34 (NKJV) 33Then Jesus said to them, “I shall be with you a little while longer, and then I go to Him who sent Me. 34You will seek Me and not find Me, and where I am you cannot come.”

Living Water – John 7:37-39

John 7:37–39 (NKJV) 37On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. 38He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” 39But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.

Confused Over Christ – John 7:40-52

After saying this, the division and confusion intensified.

Some said, “Truly this is the Prophet.”

Others said, “This is the Christ.”

Still others wondered how He could be the Christ since He came from Galilee.

John 7:45–46 (NKJV) 45Then the officers came to the chief priests and Pharisees, who said to them, “Why have you not brought Him?” 46The officers answered, “No man ever spoke like this Man!”

Some of the Pharisees said, “Have any of the rulers of the Pharisees believed in Him? But this crowd that does not know the law is accursed.”

John 7:50–51 (NKJV) 50Nicodemus (he who came to Jesus by night, being one of them) said to them, 51“Does our law judge a man before it hears him and knows what he is doing?”

 

The division and confusion was so great that the meeting broke up and everyone when to his own house.

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How To Pray For One Another http://www.mdanba.com/2017/07/08/how-to-pray-for-one-another/ Sat, 08 Jul 2017 16:14:33 +0000 http://www.mdanba.com/?p=5520

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Ephesians 3:14–21 (NKJV)

14For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, 16that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, 17that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— 19to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. 20Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, 21to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

How should we pray for each other?

Ephesians 3:16 (NKJV) 16that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man,

First, that God would strengthen you with might through His Spirit in your inner man.

The inner being refers to our reason, conscience, and will.

How is God going to strengthen you on the inside?

We should pray that God would strengthen others according to His own riches in glory. The word strengthen means to be strong, to be courageous, to become powerful.

We should pray that God will strengthen others with might through His Spirit in the inner man.

You can have strength and resistance against evil by the Holy Spirit working on the inside. No one is more powerful and resistant to evil than the person who receives strength through the Holy Spirit. “Strengthened with might” is literally to “become mighty by His power.” That word “might” indicates the potential to exert force in performing a function.

Pray for others to be strengthened with might through the Holy Spirit in their inner being to enable them to live victoriously.

How should we pray for each other?

Ephesians 3:17 (NKJV) 17that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love,

This is a continuation of the prayer for inner strength.

Second, we should pray that Christ may dwell on the inside.

The word “dwell” means a permanent residence. We should pray that Christ settles down and resides in you. The only way we are going to be able to overcome the chaos that is in our world is through Christ in us. We appreciate the strength He gives for temporary and urgent needs. This is a prayer of the continual abiding presence of Christ within our lives.

How this is going to happen?

How should we pray for each other?

Ephesians 3:17–19 (NKJV) 17that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— 19to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

Third, we should pray that your root and foundation would be in love.

I want you to be firmly rooted in the depth of Christ’s love. May your roots reach out to the breadth, depth, length, and height of His love.

“Comprehend” is a powerful word.

Comprehend comes from the Greek word katalambano. Comprehend means “to make it one’s own, to take possession of, to fully understand.” We should be praying that your roots would go so deep that they “comprehend” the full breadth, depth, length and height of Christ’s love.

What is the meaning of the breadth, depth, length, and height of Christ’s love?

This is the boundless nature of the love of Christ. Pray that you may know how great is His love. We should pray that you would begin to detect, understand, and take possession of this love of Christ.

How should we pray for each other?

Ephesians 3:19 (NKJV) “That you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”

Fourth, we should pray that you are filled with all the fullness of God.

We should be praying that you will be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. We know that it is impossible for anyone to contain all of the fullness of God.

So, what does this mean?

How can we know, experience and enjoy that fullness of God?

Colossians 2:9–10 (NKJV) 9For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; 10and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power.

We want this fullness for every believer.

This fullness is expressed in Ephesians 1:3.

Ephesians 1:3 (NKJV) 3Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ.

Every spiritual blessing is found in this fullness in Christ.

God does not want you to exist in spiritual brokenness and poverty.

He wants you to be blessed with every spiritual blessing. He wants you to dive deep into the spiritual blessings that are in Christ. Paul prayed that this fullness might be experienced in each one. May you go deeper into this fellowship in Christ.

To demonstrate the method to this victory, the Apostle Paul showed us how God accomplishes this.

How is God going to accomplish this?

Several Greek words for power and work are used in Ephesians. In Ephesians 3:20-21 he uses three of these words.

Ephesians 3:20–21 (NKJV) 20Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think…

First, God is the One “who is able” – tō dynamenō

  • God has the power, skill, and resources to do this.
  • He has the proficiency and intelligence to do this.
  • God is able.

Ephesians 3:20–21 (NKJV) 20Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power

Second, God has the “power” – dynamis

  • God has the strength, power, and ability.
  • This power is inherent in Him.
  • This power resides within Him.
  • This is enough power to perform miracles.
  • This is power to heal.
  • This is power to break every chain of bondage.
  • This is power to bring about His desired result.
  • God has the power.

Ephesians 3:20–21 (NKJV) 20Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, 21to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

Third, that “works” – energeō – in believers.

  • God is operative and effective in you.
  • He is working and putting out the power to achieve His desired effect.
  • He is able to achieve the desired result.
  • He is displaying His presence and activity.
  • He is showing His power in you.

What does this mean?

God is ready to show Himself strong in your behalf. He is ready to achieve the working of this in your life. He has invested Himself in the success of this prayer.

We should pray…

  • That God would strengthen you with might through His Spirit in your inner man.
  • That Christ may dwell on the inside.
  • That your root and foundation will be in love.
  • That you are filled with all the fullness of God.
]]> 5520
How should I live? http://www.mdanba.com/2017/07/08/how-should-i-live/ Sat, 08 Jul 2017 07:00:43 +0000 http://www.mdanba.com/?p=5513

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One of the great questions of life is, “How should I live?”

Jesus gave the answer in several different ways.

In John 8, a group of Scribes and Pharisees brought a woman they had caught in adultery.

They sat her in the middle of the crowd and asked Jesus what He wanted them to do to her. You could tell from their actions that they were ready to stone her. They reminded Jesus that Moses in the law commanded us that such should be stoned.

Jesus did something that was unexpected by the crowd. He stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger, as though He did not hear. (John 8:6) The crowd kept on asking, “what do you say?” “What should we do with such?”

John 8:7 (NKJV) 7 So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.”

One by one, they started leaving, beginning with the oldest even to the last. Finally, there is no one but the woman and Jesus.

John 8:10–11 (NKJV) 10 When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, “Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?” 11 She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.”

When she had no accusers, Jesus had a special message for her and anyone who has been forgiven.

“Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.”

When you are free, go and sin no more.

Jesus found a man who had been lame for thirty-eight years sitting at the pool of Bethesda.

Jesus asked him if he wanted to be made well. Jesus told the man “arise, take your bed, and walk.” Immediately, the man was healed and took up his bed and walked.

John 5:14 (NKJV) 14 Afterward Jesus found him in the temple, and said to him, “See, you have been made well. Sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you.”

The Lord expects those He helps to go and stop living a life of sin.

Did you know that the Lord has made it possible for you to live free from the power of sin in your life?

Go and sin no more.

Jesus was teaching a lawyer in Luke 10:25-37.

The man wanted to know what he should do to inherit eternal life. Jesus asked him what the law said.

Luke 10:27-28 (NKJV) So he answered and said, “ ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,’ and ‘your neighbor as yourself.’ ” 28 And He said to him, “You have answered rightly; do this and you will live.”

Then Jesus continued teaching the lawyer with the Parable of the Good Samaritan.

Luke 10:30–37 (NKJV)

30Then Jesus answered and said: “A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, who stripped him of his clothing, wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. 31Now by chance a certain priest came down that road. And when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. 32Likewise a Levite, when he arrived at the place, came and looked, and passed by on the other side. 33But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion. 34So he went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and he set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. 35On the next day, when he departed, he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said to him, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I come again, I will repay you.’ 36So which of these three do you think was neighbor to him who fell among the thieves?” 37And he said, “He who showed mercy on him.” Then Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”

We should be people of mercy.

The purpose for Jesus’ teaching was to bring Christians into the abundant life. In John 15, Jesus was talking about the fruitful life of believers.

John 15:4–5 (NKJV) 4Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. 5“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.

After talking about our relationship with Him as the vine and the branch, He spoke about love.

John 15:12 (NKJV) 12This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.

The quality and depth of that love has been examined by every believer. Truly no one ever loved you more than Jesus.

To help you know how you should live, Jesus gave these instructions.

John 15:16–17 (NKJV) 16You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you. 17These things I command you, that you love one another.

We all know that we should bear fruit. We know that we cannot bear fruit unless we have a vital connection with the Lord Jesus Christ. We know that by abiding in Christ, we have access to the bounty that comes from Him. Look closely at the Lord’s command in these two verses.

“Go and bear fruit.”

“Love one another.”

When Jesus sets you free from the burdens and chaos of your old life, He wants you to experience this new abundant way of living.

The abundant life is indeed a new way of living.

It is a new life without the control and bondage of sin. It is a new life of caring for others. It is an other’s centered life. When we see our neighbor in need, we are pulled into action. It is a life of fruitfulness and love.

This new abundant life leaves no one unloved by the side of the road.

You are loved.

Jesus perfectly demonstrated this by the way He lived and ministered.

  • He saw the lame, blind, deaf.
  • He saw the leper and demon possessed.
  • He saw the grieving and outcast.
  • He saw the isolated and lonely.
  • He saw those in trouble in the storm of their life.
  • He saw the hungry and thirsty.
  • He saw the accused and rejected.
  • He did not pass them by and ignore their cries, need, or condition.
  • It was impossible for Him to ignore and walk on by.

John 10:10 (NKJV) 10The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.

There are some that can leave circumstance and people in worse condition. There are some who can ignore the pain and hurt. Jesus said, “I have come to give life more abundantly.”

How should you live?

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The Ministry of Christ, Part 27 http://www.mdanba.com/2017/07/05/the-ministry-of-christ-part-27/ Wed, 05 Jul 2017 07:00:00 +0000 http://www.mdanba.com/?p=5509

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Events of the year of opposition.

  • Seventy Sent Out – Luke 10:1-24
  • Rejection by the Samaritans – Luke 9:51-56
  • Healing Ten Lepers – Luke 17:11-19

In the same manner that Jesus commissioned the twelve and sent them, Jesus sent the seventy.

Seventy Sent Out – Luke 10:1-24

Luke 10:1 (NKJV) 1 After these things the Lord appointed seventy others also, and sent them two by two before His face into every city and place where He Himself was about to go.

The number that were sent out varies from 70 to 72 depending on the translation used. There is no correct answer for the variation in texts. Some believe that a scribe changed the number to coincide with the number of regions or kings. Others feel the number seventy represents the number of elders in Israel.

Most of the time when we think about the Lord’s disciples, we think about the twelve. There were many others who regularly followed Him that He could use in this ministry.

This commission for the seventy was similar to what Jesus told the twelve to do in Matthew 10:5-14.

They were sent to every city and place where Jesus was about to go. They were  sent to prepare the way of the Lord. They were being sent out as lambs among wolves. Their mission was so urgent they were not to take a purse, bag or sandals, and to greet no one on the road.

When they arrived at their destination, they were not to move from house to house. The Lord told them to “heal the sick and tell them the kingdom of God has come near you.” (Luke 10:9)

Why is divine healing so important in the gospel message?

The Holy Spirit has consistently confirmed the presence of God by healing the sick. Healing the sick was practiced throughout the Book of Acts.

James 5:13–16 (NKJV) 13 Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms. 14 Is anyone among you sick? 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. 15 And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. 16 Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.

Before sending them out, Jesus pronounced a woe on Korazin, Bethsaida, and Capernaum.

Jesus said miracles were performed in those cities. As in Matthew 11:20, Jesus rebuked cities in which His miracles had been done because they did not repent.

According to Jesus’ statements in Luke 10:13-15, the purpose for miracles is to bring repentance.

Why should great and mighty works, signs and wonders, miracles, and healing bring repentance?

To reemphasize their commission, Jesus elevated what they would say and do.

Luke 10:16 (NKJV) 16 He who hears you hears Me, he who rejects you rejects Me, and he who rejects Me rejects Him who sent Me.”

Jesus gives His authority and support to those who go out representing Him.

Luke 10:17 (NKJV) 17 Then the seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.”

Why were they amazed at this?

Luke 10:18 (NKJV) 18 And He said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.”

Jesus was not telling them that He saw Satan being cast down at that exact moment. He was saying that Satan’s power has been broken and that he was subject to Jesus’ authority.

To clarify that, read the next verses.

Luke 10:19-20 (NKJV) 19 Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.

20 Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven.”

This explains the disciples’ healing ministry. When they healed the sick, it represented the authority that God had given to Christ.

Luke 10:21-24(NKJV) 21 In that hour Jesus rejoiced in the Spirit and said, “I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and revealed them to babes. Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in Your sight. 22 All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, and who the Father is except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.” 23 Then He turned to His disciples and said privately, “Blessed are the eyes which see the things you see; 24 for I tell you that many prophets and kings have desired to see what you see, and have not seen it, and to hear what you hear, and have not heard it.”

What had they seen that the wise and prudent did not see?

Rejection by the Samaritans – Luke 9:51-56

Luke 9:51–56 (NKJV) 51 Now it came to pass, when the time had come for Him to be received up, that He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem, 52 and sent messengers before His face. And as they went, they entered a village of the Samaritans, to prepare for Him.

Notice that Jesus is preparing for His departure. The time for Him to be received up was approaching so He set His face to go toward Jerusalem.

Luke 9:53–56 (NKJV) 53 But they did not receive Him, because His face was set for the journey to Jerusalem. 54 And when His disciples James and John saw this, they said, “Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, just as Elijah did?” 55 But He turned and rebuked them, and said, “You do not know what manner of spirit you are of. 56 For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them.” And they went to another village.

After the transfiguration, Jesus had to go to Jerusalem and present Himself as the Messiah.

On Jesus’ way to Jerusalem, He sent out the seventy to go ahead of Him.

Why did the Samaritans reject Him and the seventy?

Why not call down fire on the unbeliever and rebellious?

Healing Ten Lepers – Luke 17:11-19

Luke 17:11–13 (NKJV) 11 Now it happened as He went to Jerusalem that He passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee. 12 Then as He entered a certain village, there met Him ten men who were lepers, who stood afar off. 13 And they lifted up their voices and said, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!”

This is the second time in Luke that lepers were healed, ( Luke 5:12-16). In Luke 5, Jesus touched the leper and immediately the leprosy left him. In both cases, Jesus told them to show themselves to the priests.

The Law required lepers to withdraw from other people.

They also had to cry out, “Unclean! Unclean!” (Leviticus 13:45-46)

Luke 17:14 (NKJV) 14 So when He saw them, He said to them, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And so it was that as they went, they were cleansed.

Notice that Jesus spoke to them while they were standing afar off.

Why did Jesus tell them to go show themselves to the priests?

Luke 17:15–16 (NKJV) 15 And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, returned, and with a loud voice glorified God, 16 and fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks. And he was a Samaritan.

As soon as they turned to go to the priests, they were healed. The Samaritans had just refused to receive Him and now Jesus heals a Samaritan. This one recognized what had been done for him.

His act of worship demonstrates that he recognized Jesus as God’s Son. This act of mercy and healing demonstrates the availability of God’s grace and mercy for all people.

What does the lack of gratitude of the nine demonstrate?

The larger part of the people accepted all of His mighty acts, but did not want to accept Him as the Messiah.

Luke 17:17–19 (NKJV) 17 So Jesus answered and said, “Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine? 18 Were there not any found who returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?” 19 And He said to him, “Arise, go your way. Your faith has made you well.”

This one received more than the cleansing of leprosy. The King James Version says: “Thy faith hath made thee whole.” The terminology indicated deliverance and salvation. This one man had a complete healing that addressed every area of his need.

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Courage: Living without fear http://www.mdanba.com/2017/07/01/courage-living-without-fear/ Sat, 01 Jul 2017 07:30:09 +0000 http://www.mdanba.com/?p=5498

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Isaiah 43:1-3 (NKJV) 1 But now, thus says the Lord, who created you, O Jacob, And He who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine. 2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, Nor shall the flame scorch you. 3 For I am the Lord your God, The Holy One of Israel, your Savior.”

Isaiah 43:5 (NKJV) “Fear not, for I am with you.”

Courage comes from the Hebrew word that means to “show oneself strong.”

When Moses was about to be taken away, he called all of God’s people together and gave them this message.

Deuteronomy 31:6 (NKJV) 6 Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.”

To reinforce the message, Moses called Joshua and spoke to him in the sight of all the people.

Deuteronomy 31:7-8 (NKJV) “Be strong and of good courage, for you must go with this people to the land which the Lord has sworn to their fathers to give them, and you shall cause them to inherit it. 8 And the Lord, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.”

This is still a good message to God’s people.

“Be strong and of good courage… the Lord is going before you.”

God has plans for you to inherit everything that Jesus Christ paid for. For you to do that, you must have the spirit of a conqueror. To accommodate this courage, you need to know that the Lord has not changed.

Hebrews 13:5-6 (NKJV) For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” 6 So we may boldly say: “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear.”

Hebrews 13:8 (NKJV)

8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

How can we live without fear?

How can we have courage when we face real life challenges? How can we stand strong when we are facing giants in our land? The Bible gives us several illustrations of this courage in times of great challenge.

Moses sent ten spies into the land of their inheritance.

They went through the land of the Amalekites, Hittites, Jebusites, Amorites and the Canaanites.

Two reports were given to the congregation.

Numbers 13:30 (NKJV) Caleb said, “Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it.”

Numbers 13:31 (NKJV) 31 But the men who had gone up with him said, “We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we.”

Sometimes in life, you are going to hear conflicting reports.

Whose report are you going to believe?

When Israel heard the evil report, they lost all courage. They lost sight of the power of God. Fear gripped their souls and they were ready to march back into bondage. Joshua and Caleb kept telling them the Lord will help us. They said “do not fear the people of the land.” “Their protection has been removed from them, and the Lord is with us; do not fear them.” (Numbers 14:9) The congregation was so filled with fear they wanted to stone Joshua and Caleb.

Gideon was a great example of courage.

In Judges 6, Gideon rose up and destroyed the altar of Baal.

Shortly after that, all of the Midianites, Amalekites and the people of the East gathered together in the Valley of Jezreel.

Joshua gave that valley to Ephraim and Manasseh, (Joshua 17:14-18).

When those armies came up to attack, the Spirit of the Lord came upon Gideon, and he blew the trumpet.

Thirty-two thousand warriors from Israel responded.

God said that was too many. God said, “tell the fearful and afraid to go home.”

Twenty-Two thousand returned home.

God said, “you still have too many warriors.”

The ten thousand that remained went down to the water.

When God was finished, Gideon had three hundred men.

Judges 7:9-11 (NKJV) It happened on the same night that the Lord said to him, “Arise, go down against the camp, for I have delivered it into your hand. 10 But if you are afraid to go down, go down to the camp with Purah your servant, 11 and you shall hear what they say; and afterward your hands shall be strengthened to go down against the camp.” Then he went down with Purah his servant to the outpost of the armed men who were in the camp.

When Gideon and Purah got down there, their enemies were as numerous as locusts, and their camels were without number.

If you have enough courage to see your enemy, God can show you the plan for your victory.

When Gideon came near the enemies camp, a man was telling his dream to a companion. He said: “God has delivered Midian and the whole camp over to the sword of Gideon.”

With three hundred men, God gave the victory.

Saul and Jonathan were in Gibeah of Benjamin, (1 Samuel 13:16-23).

Raiders from the Philistines came out in three companies to Michmash. There were no blacksmiths in all of Israel. So on the day of battle, neither sword or spear could be found in the hand of any of the people. (vs. 22) There were about six hundred men with Saul and Jonathan. They are on the battlefield without swords or spears.

The Philistine garrison was between the passes.

There were two sharp rocks on either side of the pass.

1 Samuel 14:6-7 (NKJV) Then Jonathan said to the young man who bore his armor, “Come, let us go over to the garrison of these uncircumcised; it may be that the Lord will work for us. For nothing restrains the Lord from saving by many or by few.” So his armorbearer said to him, “Do all that is in your heart. Go then; here I am with you, according to your heart.”

This does not sound like a good plan of action.

  • Several things sound flawed in Jonathan’s plan.
  • Two unarmed men against a garrison of armed men.
  • The Philistines were in a position of power.
    • They were on top of the pass.
    • Jonathan and his armor bearer were crawling up to them on their hands and knees.

1 Samuel 14:9–10 (NKJV) 9 If they say thus to us, ‘Wait until we come to you,’ then we will stand still in our place and not go up to them. 10 But if they say thus, ‘Come up to us,’ then we will go up. For the Lord has delivered

them into our hand, and this will be a sign to us.”

1 Samuel 14:12 (NKJV) 12 Then the men of the garrison called to Jonathan and his armorbearer, and said, “Come up to us, and we will show you something.” Jonathan said to his armorbearer, “Come up after me, for the Lord has delivered them into the hand of Israel.”

Within about a half an acre of land, they slaughtered twenty men.

All of a sudden there was a great terror and trembling among the Philistines.

The field and the people started shaking. The whole earth began to quake so that there was a very great trembling.

God is always looking for people of faith and courage.

The Psalmist said it for us.

Psalm 91:3–8 (NLT) 3 For He will rescue you from every trap and protect you from deadly disease. 4 He will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with his wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection. 5 Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night, nor the arrow that flies in the day. 6 Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness, nor the disaster that strikes at midday. 7 Though a thousand fall at your side, though ten thousand are dying around you, these evils will not touch you. 8 Just open your eyes, and see how the wicked are punished.

God wants you to trust Him so much that you can live without fear.

 

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Peace in Your Life http://www.mdanba.com/2017/07/01/peace-in-your-life-2/ Sat, 01 Jul 2017 07:00:33 +0000 http://www.mdanba.com/?p=5489

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Philippians 4:6-7 (NKJV) Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

1 Peter 5:6-7 (NKJV) Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.

Peace is the normal condition for those who believe and trust in Jesus Christ.

Do you enjoy that peace as a part of your daily life?

God’s word tells us to be anxious for nothing and to cast all our care upon Him. We are familiar with the Scriptures.

How do we do it?

How can we make this peace a practical part of our lives?

John 14:27 (NKJV) Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

Jesus’ statement was worded as though this was an inheritance of His peace.

Jesus left us His peace.

Living in turmoil, worry, anxiety, fear, and frustration is abnormal for the child of God.

God does not want you to live with a troubled mind. He has given you His peace.

Jesus interrupted the old course of things to give you His peace.

He did not want you to keep living with the trouble, chaos and burden of your old life. God has given all the help and protection you need so you can live in peace.

Listen to Psalms 91

Psalms 91:1-16 (NASB)1He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. 2 I will say to the LORD, “My refuge and my fortress, My God, in whom I trust!” 3 For it is He who delivers you from the snare of the trapper and from the deadly pestilence. 4 He will cover you with His pinions, and under His wings you may seek refuge; His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark. 5 You will not be afraid of the terror by night, or of the arrow that flies by day; 6 of the pestilence that stalks in darkness, or of the destruction that lays waste at noon. 7 A thousand may fall at your side and ten thousand at your right hand, but it shall not approach you. 8 You will only look on with your eyes and see the recompense of the wicked. 9 For you have made the LORD, my refuge, even the Most High, your dwelling place. 10 No evil will befall you, nor will any plague come near your tent. 11 For He will give His angels charge concerning you, to guard you in all your ways. 12 They will bear you up in their hands, that you do not strike your foot against a stone. 13 You will tread upon the lion and cobra, the young lion and the serpent you will trample down. 14 Because he has loved Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him securely on high, because he has known My name. 15 He will call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him. 16 With a long life I will satisfy him and let him see My salvation.”

God wants to bless you abundantly.

He always looks for ways to bless and show you His love.

There is no greater place of peace than under the shelter of the most high God.

Have you made Him your refuge and hiding place?

Watch this closely.

John 10:10 (NLT) 10The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.

The thief wants to bring havoc and chaos in your life.

What is the Lord’s purpose?

Jesus said, “I want to give you a rich and satisfying life.”

What does that kind of life look like?

Proverbs 10:22 (NLT) 22 The blessing of the Lord makes a person rich, and he adds no sorrow with it.

Here is a tremendous blessing for you.

Isaiah 43:2 (NLT) 2 When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.

We know that salvation has not guaranteed a trouble-free life.

You should know that you are going through some stuff.

We are going to encounter problems. We have our share of pain and suffering.

Everyone goes through seasons when things don’t work the way we want them to.

There are several seasons in life.

  • Seasons of joy
  • Seasons of sorrow
  • Seasons of new life
  • Seasons of death
  • Seasons of being young
  • Seasons of getting old

Here is the blessing.

God says: “I will be with you.”

Only God knows how to take you through it all.

Jesus said: “I have overcome the world.”

Every problem, pain, and suffering finds its end in this.

Jesus dealt with every situation that you can face.

John 16:33 (NLT) “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in Me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”

Jesus conquered the world for you.

Did you hear that?

There is victory in Jesus!

Isaiah 9:6 tells us He is: “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end.”

This peace that He gives has no end.

Just before the Lord’s return to the Father in heaven, He had a message of encouragement for you.

John 14:1 (NASB95) “Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me.

John 14:27 (NKJV) Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

Jesus is telling you to reign in your troubled soul.

Don’t allow events in your life to trouble you. Stop permitting yourself to be fearful, intimidated, and cowardly.

Don’t let the storm on the outside trouble you on the inside.

He has given you His peace. He has given you His righteousness, peace, and joy. This is your portion.

God has turned everything around for us on the account of what Christ has done.

Psalm 30:11–12 (NLT) 11 You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing. You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy, 12 that I might sing praises to you and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever!

How does God do that?

How does he turn mourning into joyful dancing?

Jesus Christ has taken your burden, sin and judgment and He has given you His peace, joy, and righteousness.

  • We were sinners filled with chaos.
  • We were like the world.
  • We were of the world.
  • We were without hope.
  • We had no way out.
  • We were without a future or hope.

But God, through Christ, has set us free.

Now we can live and walk in that new life.

Galatians 5:22 tells us we have been given the Holy Spirit’s love, joy and peace…

Romans 15:13 (NKJV) 13Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Hebrews 4 calls this a special rest for God’s people.

Hebrews 4:9–11 (NLT) So there is a special rest still waiting for the people of God. …So let us do our best to enter that rest.

A special rest is waiting for you.

         This is not just a one day a week rest.

Jesus Christ is your rest.

  • He brings relief from your weariness and pain.
  • He brings the rest of righteousness, peace, and joy.
  • He brings rest from the turmoil and chaos of life.
  • He brings rest from your distress and burden.

This is rest for you from the Lord Jesus.

This is supernatural rest.

You can have peace in your life.

  • You can have rest and peace in Christ.
  • His joy is your strength.
  • His joy is full of His peace.
  • In His presence there is peace of mind.
  • In His presence there is fullness of love.
  • In His presence there is fullness of joy.

He will give peace in your life.

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The Ministry of Christ, Part 26 http://www.mdanba.com/2017/06/28/the-ministry-of-christ-part-26-2/ Wed, 28 Jun 2017 07:00:42 +0000 http://www.mdanba.com/?p=5484

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Events of the year of opposition.

  • Taxes – God’s surprise supply – Matthew 17:24-27
  • Lessons in Capernaum
    • Humility – Matthew 18:1-5; Mark 9:33-37; Luke 9:46-48
    • Warning about offenses – Matthew 18:6-11; Mark 9:42-48
    • Lost Sheep – Matthew 18:6-11; Mark 9:42-48
    • When someone sins – Matthew 18:15-20
    • Forgiveness / the unmerciful servant – Matthew 18:21-35

After Jesus healed the demon possessed son and taught about faith, He privately told His disciples that He was about to be betrayed.

Mark 9:30–32 (NKJV) 30 Then they departed from there and passed through Galilee, and He did not want anyone to know it. 31 For He taught His disciples and said to them, “The Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of men, and they will kill Him. And after He is killed, He will rise the third day.” 32 But they did not understand this saying, and were afraid to ask Him.

Taxes, a surprise supply – Matthew 17:24-27

Matthew 17:24 (NKJV) When they had come to Capernaum, those who received the temple tax came to Peter and said, “Does your Teacher not pay the temple tax?”

When Jesus arrived in Capernaum, tax collectors were waiting for them. The temple tax was a half shekel each year to support the temple, (Exodus 30:13-15). The temple tax was initiated for the sanctuary in the wilderness. It was continued after the temple was constructed. In Nehemiah, the tax was one-third of a shekel of silver, (Nehemiah 10:32).

Matthew 17:25 (NKJV) He said, “Yes.” And when he had come into the house, Jesus anticipated him, saying, “What do you think, Simon? From whom do the kings of the earth take customs or taxes, from their sons or from strangers?”

Why did Peter say ‘yes’?

Jesus spoke before Simon Peter could speak to Him. Here is the King of kings and Lord of lords before the tax collectors.

In Matthew 22:17, the Pharisees plotted against Jesus regarding paying taxes to Caesar. In both instances, Jesus response was the same. “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” (Matthew 22:17-22)

Is it the right thing for King Jesus to pay taxes?

Matthew 17:26-27 (NKJV) Peter said to Him, “From strangers.” Jesus said to him, “Then the sons are free.” Nevertheless, lest we offend them, go to the sea, cast in a hook, and take the fish that comes up first. And when you have opened its mouth, you will find a piece of money; take that and give it to them for Me and you.”

Why did Jesus send Peter fishing for tax money?

The Lord always knows how to supply your need.

Have you ever had a miracle provision? What happened?

Lessons in Capernaum –

These lessons in Capernaum are a result of the disciples question, “Who then is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”

  • Humility – Matthew 18:1-5; Mark 9:33-37; Luke 9:46-48

Matthew 18:1 (NKJV) 1 At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”

The disciples were focused on an earthly kingdom. Many of the Jews anticipated the Messiah coming to set up an earthly kingdom. They had this view from the Old Testament prophets. They did not understand the prophesies about the suffering Savior.

Matthew 18:2-5 (NKJV) 2 Then Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them, 3 and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.” 4 “Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5 Whoever receives one little child like this in My name receives Me.”

Why is humility so important?

  • Warning about offenses – Matthew 18:6-11; Mark 9:42-48

Matthew 18:6-7 (NKJV) “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea. Woe to the world because of offenses! For offenses must come, but woe to that man by whom the offense comes!

Skandalizo (skan·dal·id·zo) means to “cause to sin, to offend, to cause a person to distrust, to cause one to stumble.” Jesus repeated this word and derivatives of this word multiple times in this section. He mentions several things about this, such as being an offense to others. He warns against allowing what you say, see or do to cause you to sin. Then Jesus talks about the consequences of skandalizo.

Matthew 18:6 (NKJV) “it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea.

Matthew 18:8-9 (NKJV) It is better for you to enter into life lame or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet, to be cast into the everlasting fire. It is better for you to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes, to be cast into hell fire.

Why is Jesus saying this?

We need to understand the eternal consequences of sin. The punishment for skandalizo (skan·dal·id·zo) is eternal punishment in hell fire.

  • Lost Sheep – Matthew 18:12-14; Luke 15:4-7

Matthew 18:12-14 (NKJV) 12 “What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them goes astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine and go to the mountains to seek the one that is straying? 13 And if he should find it, assuredly, I say to you, he rejoices more over that sheep than over the ninety-nine that did not go astray. 14 Even so it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.

Jesus is talking about restoring the erring believer.

Why is Jesus so interested in the “one” who went astray?

2 Peter 3:9 (NKJV) 9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

  • When someone sins – Matthew 18:15-20

Jesus just talked about not offending others and going after the one that has gone astray. Now, He addressed those who have been offended.

Matthew 18:15 (NKJV) “Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother.

This kind of action goes against the way we feel. If someone sins against you, offends you, Jesus said, “go and tell him his fault between you and him alone.”

Matthew 18:16-17 (NKJV) But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that ‘by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.’  And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church. But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector.

Jesus has offered a plan of action to stop the offending believer from continuing in sin.

Jesus wants us to be very persistent about this. Why?

The message behind this section is restitution. This is difficult for many offended believers to do. When someone sins against you, Jesus wants you to get to a place of forgiveness. Unforgiveness exacts its toll on our bodies, minds, and emotions. Jesus offered this plan of action, and then He gave instructions on forgiveness.

  • Forgiveness – Matthew 18:21-35

Matthew 18:21-22 (NKJV) 21 Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.”

Jesus concluded this discourse with the parable about the king that wanted to settle accounts with his servants.

He had a servant that owed him ten thousand talents. A talent of gold weighed about 200 pounds and a talent of silver about 100 pounds. The servant owed about three billion dollars. When the king saw that he could not pay, he forgave the debt that was owed him. That same servant found one of his fellow servants that owed him a hundred denarii, or about $5,000. The offending servant begged for patience. He said, “I will pay you all.”

Matthew 18:30 (NKJV) 30 And he would not, but went and threw him into prison till he should pay the debt.

Matthew 18:32-35 (NKJV) 32 Then his master, after he had called him, said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me. 33 Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant, just as I had pity on you?’ 34 And his master was angry, and delivered him to the torturers until he should pay all that was due to him. 35 “So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses.”

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My Chains are broken: But I still feel bound! http://www.mdanba.com/2017/06/24/my-chains-are-broken-but-i-still-feel-bound/ Sat, 24 Jun 2017 07:00:33 +0000 http://www.mdanba.com/?p=5467

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We have been looking at the power of the blood, the cross, and the name of Jesus.

It is so important for every believer to come to realize exactly what Jesus Christ has done for us.

The Apostle Paul spoke to the Corinthians about this.

Chains had been broken off their lives. He just spoke to the church about the negative things they had been in. God had brought them out. He celebrated with them about their victory in Christ.

1 Corinthians 6:11 (NKJV) 11And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.

There is so much relief when you are clean and right before God.

Then the Holy Spirit greater victories that God has prepared in Christ.

1 Corinthians 2:9–12 (NKJV) 9But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” 10But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.

Isaiah was given great insight into this victory and relief that is in Christ Jesus.

He prophesied about benefits that are in Christ. When Jesus visited the synagogue in Nazareth, He unrolled the scroll of the prophet Isaiah. From Isaiah 61, He affirmed the essence of His ministry.

Listen closely to what Jesus read.

Luke 4:18–19 (ESV) 18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, 19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

This is the basic ministry that the Lord gave the church. In the synagogue, Jesus did not read the other benefits of His ministry.

Jesus wants to do more than break chains that have held you captive.

He has planned something far better for you.

Isaiah 61:2-3, 7 expands on what Jesus came to do.

  • To comfort all who mourn.
  • To give beauty for ashes.
    • Ashes are a sign of failure and misery.
    • The Lord’s favor will lift up your countenance.
  • To give the oil of joy for mourning.
    • He will make you glad.
    • God wants His people to be dripping with joy.
    • When we put our trust in God, we shall have joy, everlasting joy.
    • Throughout the Psalms, they sang and shouted for joy.
  • To give the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.
    • That heavy, burdened, and failing spirit is going to leave.
    • He will clothe you with a garment of praise.
  • To give double honor instead of shame.
    • Instead of reproach and humiliation they shall have double honor.
  • Instead of confusion, they shall rejoice in their portion.
    • They shall not feel deprived in their portion.
    • He wants His people to know that “God supplies all of my need by His riches in glory.”
  • In their land they shall possess double.
    • He will make them prosper where they are.
    • You don’t have to be uprooted by the enemy.
  • Everlasting joy shall be theirs.

Look at the words of this prophecy.

Every one of these things should be in your life.

Can you receive this?

The Lord does not want to just break off the chains that have held you.

He wants to give new life with joy and rejoicing. This joy and rejoicing is substantial. You have reason to rejoice.

You need to realize what the Lord has done for you.

He applies His cure precisely to the point of your need.

When Jesus took the book of Isaiah and read these words, He had your relief in mind.

His mission was to comfort your broken heart.         He came to release you and give freedom. This is not just physical release. Jesus was looking at your spiritual need. He was looking at your emotional conditions. He knows where sin and Satan have brought you trouble.

You know this is true when you watch the Lord minister to broken, sick, and hurting people.

The Bible presents a case for your joy and relief.

Jesus said: “I have told you these things, that My joy and delight may be in you, and that your joy and gladness may be of full measure and complete and overflowing.” (John 15:11 AMP)

The Bible is a book about freedom.

Throughout history, humanity has constantly fallen into bondage and Satan’s trap. It is amazing to watch how God has always made a way out of those situations. God wants to make you free.

God will deal with every aspect of the tyranny of evil that has come against you. You don’t have to live with ashes on your head. You don’t have to live with mourning and heaviness. The Lord Jesus has come to give you a double portion of joy and rejoicing.

Whatever you are confronting, Jesus will set you free.

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Kick the old man out: I refuse to lose my joy. http://www.mdanba.com/2017/06/24/kick-the-old-man-out-i-refuse-to-lose-my-joy/ Sat, 24 Jun 2017 07:00:08 +0000 http://www.mdanba.com/?p=6077

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Have you noticed how much trouble you get yourself in?

Most of us have had problems with our old self.

Do you remember the day you came to God and lost the burden of your old life?

That was a day of great rejoicing and relief. What a relief when you gained victory over that old nature. It is blessed relief when the burden rolls away.

Here is what too many do.

After you have crucified your flesh and gained victory, you turned back to those old ways.

Have you ever done it?

Ephesians 4:22 (ESV) Put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires.

Colossians 3:9 (ESV) You have put off the old self with its practices.

Romans 6:6 (ESV) 6 We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin.

That looks good on paper. That old body of sin must be brought to nothing in our lives.

How do we keep the old man out?

Sometimes you have to kick the old man out of your life. You have to see what you are doing to yourself. Have you lost your joy because your old nature came back to life? Have you noticed that you started going back to things that you took to the cross? Have you got back into the old way of thinking? Have you let some things sneak in that you threw out of your life?

You have to become more persistent in dealing with those things that keep coming back.

Romans 8:1 (NKJV) 1 There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.

If you want to live with fullness of joy, you have to keep  that old flesh under the control of the Holy Spirit.

Romans 8:5–6 (NKJV) 5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. 6 For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.

Have you noticed that the more room you give your old fleshly self, the more room it takes?

  • You don’t have to live with that old nature and that old bondage.
  • You don’t have to live with that old jealous soul.
  • You don’t have to live with that broken heart.
  • You don’t have to live with mourning and affliction.

Sometimes you just have to say: “I refuse to lose my joy.”

God gave me this joy. God has made it possible for you to have continued joy.

Those who live according to the Spirit are setting themselves up for God’s blessing and favor.

So, how do we do this?

You have to kick the old man out.

Every time your old thought patterns start working, kick them out. Every time your old guilt and shame stick their heads into your life, kick them out. Every time you start getting depressed and burdened down, kick them out. Every time your heart begins to break over those old things, kick them out. Don’t let mourning and affliction of your soul into your life.

There is something positive you can do to insure that you are more successful.

Romans 8:10–11 (NKJV) 10 And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.

If you want this new life, you have to make room for Christ in you.

Let Him occupy the time and space He desires. If the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you He will give life.

Have you noticed that your old man and the Holy Spirit do not work together?

You have to kick the old man out and let the Holy Spirit in.

What can you expect to happen when the Holy Spirit comes in?

  • In Acts 1:8 Jesus said, “you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come.”
  • In Acts 13:52, “the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.”
  • Romans 14:17 tells us, there is “joy in the Holy Spirit.”
  • Romans 15:13 says, there is “joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
  • 1 Thessalonians 1:6 tells us there is “joy in the Holy Spirit.”

If you want to have love, joy, peace, contentment, faith, and hope you need to make room for the Holy Spirit.

Galatians 6:8 (NIV84) 8 The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.

We have to bring our old self to the cross. We have to crucify the flesh. We have kick the old man out.

Then you are ready for the Holy Spirit to move in with victory, power, life, and joy.

Romans 8:11 (NKJV) 11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.

Make room for the Holy Spirit. Let Him take over.

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The Ministry of Christ, Part 25 http://www.mdanba.com/2017/06/21/the-ministry-of-christ-part-25/ Wed, 21 Jun 2017 14:56:55 +0000 http://www.mdanba.com/?p=5461

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The Ministry of Christ can be easily divided into three periods of time.

First, the year of introduction.

Second, the year of popularity.

Third, the year of opposition.

  • Events of the year of opposition.

Healing the Demon Possessed Son – Matthew 17:14-21; Mark 9:14-29; Luke 9:37-42

Jesus gave Peter, James, and John an amazing preview into His glory. The events on the Mount of Transfiguration exposed the glory of the Father and the true identity of Jesus Christ. Immediately upon descending from the Mount, Jesus was confronted with the demon-possessed son.

Mark tells us there was a multitude around Jesus’ disciples and the scribes were disputing with them .

Mark 9:16 (NKJV) 16 And He asked the scribes, “What are you discussing with them?”

Before the scribes could answer, the boy’s father spoke up.

Mark 9:17–18 (NKJV) 17 Then one of the crowd answered and said, “Teacher, I brought You my son, who has a mute spirit. 18 And wherever it seizes him, it throws him down; he foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth, and becomes rigid. So I spoke to Your disciples, that they should cast it out, but they could not.”

Matthew 17:15–16 (ESV) 15 “Lord, have mercy on my son, for he has seizures and he suffers terribly. For often he falls into the fire, and often into the water. 16 And I brought him to your disciples, and they could not heal him.”

Here is a father making petition for his son. Watch the dialogue very closely.

His son was severely tormented by that evil spirit.

The father’s description indicates the intensity of the son’s torment.

Why did the man bring his son to Jesus’ disciples?

Matthew 10:8 (NKJV) 8 Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.

Mark 6:12–13 (NKJV) 12 So they went out and preached that people should repent. 13 And they cast out many demons, and anointed with oil many who were sick, and healed them.

Notice that the man said, “Your disciples could not cure him.” Upon hearing that, Jesus spoke to the multitude.

Mark 9:19 (NKJV) 19 He answered him and said, “O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you? Bring him to Me.”

Although Jesus is addressing the crowd, it is obvious that He was distressed over His disciples’ lack of power and authority.

Jesus expected His disciples to have the power and authority to do this.

It was part of the commission He had given them. Back in Matthew 10, Jesus gave them authority to do this.

Now they bring the man’s son to Jesus.

Mark 9:20 (NKJV) 20 Then they brought him to Him. And when he saw Him, immediately the spirit convulsed him, and he fell on the ground and wallowed, foaming at the mouth.

The mute spirit was a demon that also produced seizures and convulsions.

Why did the demon respond that way when they brought the son to Jesus?

These kinds of convulsions happened when demons came in contact with divine authority, (Mark 1:26; Mark 9:20).

Watch how Jesus responded.

Mark 9:21–24 (NKJV) 21 So He asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?” And he said, “From childhood. 22 And often he has thrown him both into the fire and into the water to destroy him. But if You can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” 23 Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.” 24 Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!”

We have heard those words often. “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.”

Do you think Jesus really meant that “all things are possible?”

The father did believe, but he did not know if his faith was strong enough. True faith sets no limits on God’s power.

Have you ever felt that your faith may not be strong enough?

1 John 5:14–15 (NKJV) 14 Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. 15 And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.

This kind of confidence in Him brings answers to our petitions.

Mark 9:25 (ESV) 25 And when Jesus saw that a crowd came running together, he rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, “You mute and deaf spirit, I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.”

It was not difficult for Jesus to remove the unclean spirit. The father wanted healing for his son. To bring the healing and deliverance, Jesus addressed the mute and deaf spirit. Jesus gave two commands to the evil spirit. “Come out of him” and “enter him no more.”

Mark 9:26–27 (NKJV) 26 Then the spirit cried out, convulsed him greatly, and came out of him. And he became as one dead, so that many said, “He is dead.” 27 But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose.

The evil spirit recognized Jesus and His authority. With rage the demon fled.

Why did the demon react that way?

The boy was totally exhausted and looked like he was dead. The evil spirit had been controlling his body. Breaking Satan’s power is like coming back to life.

Why were the disciples powerless over this situation?

Jesus gives several answers during this story.

Matthew 17:20–21 (NKJV) 20 So Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. 21 However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.”

First, Jesus said you must have faith.

How much faith is required?

According to what Jesus is saying, the amount of faith is not as important as having real faith.

What will happen when real faith is exercised?

The word ‘mountain’ refers to any obstacle, hindrance or humanly insurmountable problem.

Why should we expect answers in these areas?

For this to work properly, we must know God’s power, will, purposes, and provision. Our faith must be unwavering in this. This leads to the second reason the disciples were powerless.

Second, “this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.”

Some of the original manuscripts and some translations omit the reference to fasting. Many translations that include fasting have it in brackets or in italics.

Why did Jesus say they needed to fast and pray?

Consider the reason for fasting and prayer.

In the Old Testament, fasting was often associated with repentance, sorrow for sin, and terrible situations when it seemed that God did not act.

People who fasted in the Old Testament were characterized with sorrow, sackcloth, lamenting, and ashes. The Christian is not characterized by those things. We have been brought out of sorrow into joy. So, why should we fast and pray?

Fasting in the New Testament is a spiritual discipline practiced with prayer, to sharpen one’s focus or deepen one’s experience. This kind of fasting brings the petitioner closer to God and increases their faith and trust in God.

Jesus is referring to a type of prayer that is earnest and intense. When the scripture references fasting and prayer, there is always an urgency. This kind of prayer with fasting is earnestly seeking to know God, His will, His power, purposes, and provision.

Both fasting and prayer should bring us to a greater reliance on God.

We cannot become dependent on past successes. This kind of activity recognizes that the source of victory, power and success depends on God.

What is the purpose of fasting and prayer?

Jesus is indicating that fasting and prayer are necessary to move the supernatural world and give closer communion with God.

(Acts 13:2–3; Acts 14:23; and 1 Corinthians 7:5 for the practice of fasting in the early church.)

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Faith in the Name of Jesus http://www.mdanba.com/2017/06/17/faith-in-the-name-of-jesus/ Sat, 17 Jun 2017 08:00:19 +0000 http://www.mdanba.com/?p=5455

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Mark 16:17–18 (NKJV) 17 And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; 18 they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”

Those who believe in Jesus and place their faith and trust in Him shall have these signs following them.

Signs will follow those who believe and trust in Jesus. Believers shall do these things in His Name. Only believers have a right to the use the Name of Jesus and expect these things to happen.

The right to use His Name has been conferred upon His Church.

Every born-again child of God has a right to the name of Jesus Christ and all that name implies.

We have a four-fold right to use the name of Jesus.

First, we are born into the family of God.

The name belongs to the family. We have been brought into this name and all that it means.

Second, we are baptized into the Name.

Being baptized into the name of Jesus, means that we are placed into Christ Himself.

Third, Jesus gave us free use of His name.

We have been given the power of attorney. He said, “I give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” (Matthew 16:19) He said we could freely use His name.

Fourth, we are commissioned ambassadors of Christ to proclaim His name to the World.

When this authority is conferred upon us, we act as representatives of Christ.

We use the name of Jesus Christ because it is our right to use it.

How much faith does it take for you to use the name your parents gave you?

Most of us know who we are. That name was conferred on us from the beginning of our existence. If you have $1,000.00 in the bank, it does not take a conscious act of faith to write a check for $100.00. It is my money and I can use it if I want to.

Jesus Christ has made a tremendous investment for you by finishing the work the Father sent Him to do.

The name of Jesus represents all that He has accomplished and deposited.

All that Jesus Christ achieved when He finished the work the Father sent Him to do is invested in His Name.

Ephesians 1:3 (NKJV) 3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,

If you are a child of God you have a right to use the Name of Jesus.

You have this right because you have a place in the family. Since you are in Christ, you have this position and place in the family. If you are in the family, you know it.

The legal right to use of the name Jesus is associated with your position in Christ.

Since we are in Christ, we don’t have to try to have faith that we have a right to use the Name of Jesus.

Hebrews 3:14 (NKJV) 14 For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end.

Confidence means: freedom from doubt, trust, and assurance.

Our ability to become partakers of Christ is directly related to the confidence we have in Him.

Hebrews 11:1 (ESV) 1 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

Take a closer look at the word assurance or confidence.

It is the same word in the Greek.

  • Assurance comes from the Greek word hupostasis.
  • Hupostasis is a compound of two words.
  • Hupo – under
  • Histemi – stand, establish, to cause or make to stand, to place, put, set.

When we become partakers of Christ we are lifted or elevated to a new level of existence.

We are held up in this position by Christ. He is supporting, holding, and establishing us.

Jesus Christ has become our assurance and confidence.

Hebrews 1:2-3 reveals Christ as being in this position and relationship with the Father.

Hebrews 1:2 (NKJV) God…has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds;  3 Who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.

The Holy Spirit is describing the position that Christ has with the Father.

First, “Christ is the radiance of the Father’s glory.”

He constantly and consistently exhibits the brilliant radiance or brightness of the Father’s glory.

  • New Revised Standard Version says: “He is the reflection of God’s glory and the exact imprint of God’s very being.”
  • Amplified says: “He is the perfect imprint and very image of God’s nature, upholding and maintaining and guiding and propelling the universe by His mighty word of power.”

Jesus is the exact representation of God’s nature.

Second, He upholds all things by the word of His power.

The word “upholding” (phero – fer-o) means to carry, bear some burden, uphold, sustain.

Everything in the universe is upheld, maintained, guided, and propelled by His mighty word.

He upholds, elevates, sustains and maintains all things by the position He has inherited.

Do you understand the impact of this?

We see some of this in how Christ has lifted us from the depths of sin and has seated us with Him in heavenly places. We are brought up out of our past into this glorious victory that is in Christ Jesus.

Now, we have been elevated to a relationship in Christ that is consistent with Christ’s relationship with the Father.

You need to understand your position in Christ. We live far below that rich and glorious position.

Once you have been born again, your position in Christ is substantial.

Your position has been elevated in Christ. He has lifted you up to sit “with Him” in heavenly places. He has done this so that we may live in the victory, power, and favor that He has received.

We have such assurance and confidence because Christ has lifted us up and has given us a standing upon Himself.

While Jesus was here on earth, He reflected the character, attributes, and power of the Father.

He did that through His relationship with the Father and the Holy Spirit that had been sent from the Father. That is why Christ could address demons and diseases with boldness. That is why He could heal the sick and do wonderful works. Jesus Christ was the radiant glorious expression of the Father. On the basis of His relationship with the Father, He could enjoy the fruit of being the Father’s Own Son.

Christ Jesus has lifted you up into a new position of power and authority.

Once you realize your position in Christ and all that is available in Christ, your life will be radically changed.

Malachi 4:2 (NKJV) “But to you who fear My name the Sun of Righteousness shall arise with healing in His wings; And you shall go out and grow fat like stall-fed calves.”

Malachi 4:2 (NLT) 2 “But for you who fear my name, the Sun of Righteousness will rise with healing in his wings. And you will go free, leaping with joy like calves let out to pasture.

Jesus Christ is the substance and confidence upon which we stand.

  • He passed through death and came up into life.
  • He is our life – He gives us life
  • He is our healer – He heals all our diseases
  • He is our righteousness – He satisfies every claim for justice

Everything that Jesus was, did, is, and ever will be is the substance and confidence we stand upon.

On the basis of all of that, we have been given the right to use His Name.

When you use His name, Jesus – the living, healing, powerful Christ is present and working on your behalf.

Too many in the Church are fumbling with trying to believe, or attempting to have faith in Christ.

They want to experience the evidences of Christ’s victory. They want to be healed. They want to have this new abundant victorious life. They want to have joy.

But, they consistently fail.

This is the problem. The flesh cannot do it.

Romans 8:11 (NLT) 11 The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.

  • zoopoieo; to quicken, to vitalize, or revitalize, make alive, or give life. This quickening or life giving is necessary in us.

If the Spirit does not quicken and make you alive in Christ, you are still dead.

If the Spirit has made you alive in Christ, then you are alive.

You are alive in Christ.

His life is flowing through you. If you are alive in Christ, all that has been committed to the Church through Christ is yours. It is in you by the Spirit of God. The Holy Spirit is appropriating (assigning, reserving, setting aside) it and providing it in you, through Christ.

  • Salvation is yours.
  • Healing is yours.
  • Confidence is yours.
  • Boldness is yours.
  • Standing with the Father is yours.

The faith that produced salvation has brought us into relationship with Christ.

Now that you are in Christ, you must yield to the ever present work of the Holy Spirit.

In doing so, you will constantly be built up in Christ.

  • The Spirit of God will perfect you, comfort you, and diligently work in you.
  • The Spirit of God will conform (adapt, adjust) you and mold you into the image of Christ.
  • The Spirit of God will root and establish you in Christ.
  • The Spirit of God will manifest the life of Christ through you.
    • If you are in Christ, your walk will testify that you are in Christ.
    • If you are in Christ, your conversation will testify that you are in Christ.
    • If you are in Christ, your character will testify that you are in Christ.

Nobody has to try to convince me who I am.

I know who I am.

  • I have no identity crisis.
  • I may or may not like who I am.
  • I know who I am because I know my name.
  • I know who I am because I know my parent’s name.
  • I know who I am because I know my heritage.

As a child of God:

I know who I am and my confession is that:

  • I have been born into the family.
  • I have been washed in the blood of Christ.
  • I have new life in me.
  • I have the Spirit of God living within me.

My confession is a reflection of my position and confidence in Christ.

  • I know I am safe in Christ.

Therefore my confession reflects my standing.

  • I am not safe because I confess safety.
  • I confess I am safe because I am rooted and settled in Christ.

I have confidence in Christ.

  • This confidence in Christ produces boldness in the face of conflict.
  • This confidence in Christ makes faith reckless.
  • This confidence in Christ believes that nothing shall be impossible to those who put their trust in Him.
  • This confidence affects my prayer life.
  • This confidence affects my daily walk.
  • This confidence affects everything I do.

This confidence gives me boldness to use the name of Jesus.

 

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How To Use The Blood, Cross, and Name of Jesus http://www.mdanba.com/2017/06/17/how-to-use-the-blood-cross-and-name-of-jesus/ Sat, 17 Jun 2017 07:00:35 +0000 http://www.mdanba.com/?p=5450

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When David met Goliath on the battlefield, King Saul wanted David to cover himself in the king’s armor. David put it on and tried to prepare for battle. As soon as he put it on, David knew that he would fail if he went out against Goliath. Saul’s armor was a fleshly armor. It was the best armor of flesh that could be found. David knew that He could trust the Lord God Almighty to be his defense in the battle.

We need to know what we can trust.

You need to know the power of the blood, the cross, and the name of Jesus Christ.

  • They provide your covering and position in relation to the Father.
  • They provide covering in relation to your past, present, and future.
  • They provide covering in relation to righteousness, sin, and the spirit world.

The blood, the cross, and the name of Jesus Christ provide a basis for sustained standing and authority.

Before your next spiritual conflict with your flesh or Satan, you need to get under the protection of the blood, the cross, and the name of Jesus. Before we go to the Father in fellowship or intercession, you must come under the cover, protection, and benefits of the blood, the cross, and the name of Jesus.

You must be washed, cleansed, and covered by the blood of Christ.

You must come to the cross and crucify the flesh with Christ.

Our fellowship with the Father is through the blood and cross of Christ.

We must know and use the name of Jesus.

In the Exodus, Israel demonstrated the benefits of the covering of the blood of the lamb.

The sacrifice and the blood of the lamb illustrates the power of the blood of Christ.

God spoke to Moses and Aaron about this while they were in Egypt.

Exodus 12:3, 5, 7, 11, 13 (NKJV) 3 Speak to all the congregation of Israel, saying: ‘On the tenth of this month every man shall take for himself a lamb, according to the house of his father, a lamb for a household. 5 Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year. You may take it from the sheep or from the goats. 7 And they shall take some of the blood 11…It is the Lord’s Passover. 13 Now 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 the plague shall not be on you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.

The Passover was a prophecy of Christ’s atonement on the cross.

Israel was to be prepared to leave the bondage of Egypt.

They had done everything they could to prepare for their new life. They were to get ready for the Exodus, the trip out of slavery and bondage.       They had to get everything they were taking with them ready: their family, possessions, and animals. They were to prepare and eat the Passover meal and be ready to go.

Then God gave a warning about the terrible things that were about to take place.

God said He was coming through the land to execute judgment. The blood of the lamb was the only thing that would keep them safe.

The feast they enjoyed on the inside of the house was made possible by the blood that had been spilled and covered them on the outside of the house.

Their only protection from the death of judgment was the blood of the lamb.

The Passover was a prophecy of Christ’s atonement on the cross.

Christ perfectly fulfilled every detail of the feast. The word “Passover” literally means “to pass over” or “to spare.”

The Lord’s Passover provides the shelter and protection of the Almighty.

You should know that the blood of Jesus Christ is for your covering and protection.

In Luke 13:34 Jesus said, “How often I wanted to gather your children together for protection, as a hen gathers her brood under her wings.”

Jesus wants to cover you.

In Exodus 3:3-13, the Lord  gave directions for observing the feast of Passover.

Then in Exodus 3:14‑20, God told them to continue the celebration every year.

The lamb without blemish was central to the feast. The lamb belonged to Jehovah.

It was a sign of divine protection and preservation.

The “blood of the lamb” was a “sign” to God that the people were covered and protected.

The blood testified that God would “pass over” the house.

After the cross, Jesus Christ became the believer’s Passover.

He laid down His sinless life. He shed His innocent blood to cover and make atonement for our sins.

Just as Israel was covered from judgment by the blood of the lamb, we have the covering of the blood of Jesus Christ.

All the covering and protection you need is in Christ and His blood.

What impact does Christ’s blood have on the believer?

His blood provides forgiveness from sin and it’s curse.

Hebrews 9:22 (NIV84) …without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.

The blood of Christ brings reconciliation and peace.

Colossians 1:20 (NLT) 20 Through Him (Christ) God reconciled everything to Himself. He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth by means of Christ’s blood on the cross.

We have redemption by the blood of Christ.

Revelation 5:9–10 (NKJV) “For You were slain, And have redeemed us to God by Your blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation…

We have been cleansed through the blood of Christ.

Hebrews 9:14 (NKJV) How much more shall the blood of Christ, …cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

We have been sanctified through the blood of Christ.

Revelation 7:9 (ESV) “I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands,

Revelation 7:14–15 (ESV) “They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. 15 “Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in his temple; and He who sits on the throne will shelter them with His presence.”

We have been brought into fellowship and made able to serve the living God through the blood of Christ.

Hebrews 10:19 declares we have boldness and confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus.

Hebrews 9:14 His blood cleanses our conscience to serve the living God.

We have life through the blood of Christ.

We have victory over sin and Satan through the blood of Christ.

You can live in victory by the blood of Christ.

You can defeat every attack of Satan by the blood of Christ.

We have heavenly joy through the blood of Christ.

We have eternal fellowship with the Father through the blood of Christ.

How can I enjoy the benefits of the blood of Christ in my life?

The benefits of the blood of Christ are freely available to everyone who believes and receives Christ. The benefits are  available if you are indeed washed and cleansed in the blood. The benefits are for those who are redeemed and reconciled by the blood. The victory and benefit of the blood of Christ is available to you.

You need to know that Jesus died on the cross for you.

As soon as you put your faith and trust in Christ and His spilled blood, every benefit is yours.

Right now surrender to the blood of Christ as a covering. Right now, by faith believe that the blood will accomplish what the Word of God says it will do.

Put your whole trust in what God has said and in the power of the blood of Jesus Christ.

Look again at the example of the Old Testament Passover.

The Israelites had to be covered by the blood of the sacrifice lamb to be safe. Judgment and death were certain without the blood covering. They were protected from the judgment and curse by the blood of the sacrifice lamb. If they were not covered, they experienced the same judgment as Egypt. Certain death was upon anyone that was not covered.

To enjoy the benefit, they had to wholly trust in the power of the blood covering.

When they received the Word of God and acted on it, they were covered. They believed what Moses and Aaron told them. They prepared the Passover lamb. They killed the spotless lamb. They applied its blood as a covering over the door of their home.

The benefit of their act of faith was protection, safety, deliverance, victory, and redemption.

The benefit was only good as they remained covered.

  • If anyone went outside of the covering, there was no protection.
  • If you need cleansing, come to the blood.
  • If you need deliverance, come to the blood.
  • If you need to overcome, come to the blood.
  • If you need safety, come to the blood.
  • If you need redemption, come to the blood.
  • If you need sanctifying, come to the blood.

Once you come under the covering of the blood of Christ, you must put your faith and confidence in it.

The benefit of the blood covering cannot be attained by works of the flesh. By the works of the flesh, no one can be safe, clean, or delivered. Satan will try to shatter your faith and confidence in Christ’s blood.

Israel was only safe when they stayed behind the blood-covered house.

This requires the crucifixion of the flesh.

Let me explain this.

You will be tempted to do this by the works of the flesh.

The enemy of your soul wants you to trust in anything but the finished work of Jesus Christ.

Galatians 2:16 (NLT) “We know that a person is made right with God by faith in Jesus Christ, ….For no one will ever be made right with God by obeying the law.”

Romans 3:20 “By the works of the law no flesh shall be justified.”

Revelation 12:11 KJV “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.”

We are not saved, covered or delivered by the works of the flesh. Many people try “do it yourself” religion and access to God.

We must put our faith in the blood of Jesus Christ. The blood of Jesus Christ will do this for you. Let the blood of Christ be your covering. Rely on the precious blood of Christ.

What are we doing when we plead the blood of Jesus Christ?

We are saying:

  • “My faith is in the blood of Christ.”
  • “My confidence is in the blood of Christ.”
  • “The blood of Christ is my covering.”
  • “I am washed, cleansed, and justified by the blood of Christ.”
  • “I am committed to Jesus.”
  • “I am not trusting in my flesh.”
  • “I am trusting in Christ’s completed work.
  • “I trust in the cross and sacrifice of Jesus Christ my Savior.”

What does it mean to be covered with the blood of Jesus Christ?

When Israel applied the blood to the door post, they were putting their confidence in what God said. This was an act of faith. They were only safe by doing what God had required.

Look at this from God the Father’s point of view.

When the Father sees the blood of Christ, what does He see?

  • The Father sees the sacrifice of His Son.
  • The Father sees His Son.
  • The Father sees a perfect covering.
  • The Father sees perfect cleansing.
  • The Father sees perfect grace, mercy, and peace.
  • The Father sees the price for healing, deliverance, and victory.

Look at this from Satan’s point of view.

When Satan sees the blood of Christ:

  • Satan sees the very thing that defeated him.
  • Satan sees the thing that released captives and took back what he stole.
  • Satan sees the power of God.
  • Satan sees his strength made weakness.
  • Satan sees his devices failing.
  • Satan is made weak by the blood of Christ.

When you put all of your confidence in Christ’s blood, victory is coming.

  • There is power in the blood of Christ.
  • Satan is defeated.
  • Overcoming power is here.

They overcame the accuser, the devil, by the blood of the Lamb.

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The Ministry of Christ, Part 24 http://www.mdanba.com/2017/06/14/5443/ Wed, 14 Jun 2017 07:00:54 +0000 http://www.mdanba.com/?p=5443

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The Ministry of Christ can be easily divided into three periods of time.

First, the year of introduction.

Second, the year of popularity.

Third, the year of opposition.

Events of the year of opposition.

  • The Transfiguration – Matthew 17:1-9; Mark 9:2-10; Luke 9:28-36

Peter just said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus told Peter “flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 16:17)

They felt that they were beginning to understand who Jesus really was. Now Jesus is taking Peter, James, and John up on a high mountain and they are going to see His glory.

Luke tells us that Peter, John and James went up with Jesus to the mountain to pray. The mountain may have been Mount Hermon near Caesarea Philippi. Mount Hermon is 9,230 feet tall. It appears that this is another casual excursion into the place of prayer.

This was going to be more than another time of prayer. Luke says the three disciples became heavy with sleep. Mark and Matthew did not say anything about the prayer.

Often, we are unprepared for the divine appointments that God has prepared for us. We never know when we are just going for prayer, and God has something else in mind. He is prepared to show us His glory.

Watch this amazing transfiguration of Christ.

Matthew 17:1–9 (NKJV) 1 Now after six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, led them up on a high mountain by themselves; 2 and He was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light. 3 And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him. 4 Then Peter answered and said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here; if You wish, let us make here three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” 5 While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and suddenly a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!” 6 And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their faces and were greatly afraid. 7 But Jesus came and touched them and said, “Arise, and do not be afraid.” 8 When they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only. 9 Now as they came down from the mountain, Jesus commanded them, saying, “Tell the vision to no one until the Son of Man is risen from the dead.”

The Transfiguration

“Transfiguration” is from the Greek word metamorphoō. It means to change outwardly or visibly, to take on a different physical form or appearance. They were with Jesus and all of a sudden, He was transfigured before them.

His face shone like the sun and His clothes became as white as the light.

When this happened, they saw the Lord Jesus as they had not seen Him before. The radiance of His glory was seen in His face and in His garments. His glory was like the sun.

Mark was impressed with how white His clothes became. He said they were exceedingly white, like snow, as no one on earth could bleach them.

Moses had a similar experience when He was on the mountain with God.

Exodus 34:29–30 (NKJV) 29 Now it was so, when Moses came down from Mount Sinai (and the two tablets of the Testimony were in Moses’ hand when he came down from the mountain), that Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone while he talked with Him. 30 So when Aaron and all the children of Israel saw Moses, behold, the skin of his face shone, and they were afraid to come near him.

The glory of Christ’s transformation astounded the three disciples.

They witnessed several miracles, signs and wonders that demonstrated Christ’s divinity. In many ways, they were not able to take in His miracles and power. They were accustomed to seeing the human nature of Christ. As a man, they saw Him do miracles.

What kinds of miracles, signs and wonders did Jesus do that amazed them?

John 12:37–41 (NKJV) 37 But although He had done so many signs before them, they did not believe in Him, 38 that the word of Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spoke: “Lord, who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?” 39 Therefore they could not believe, because Isaiah said again: 40 “He has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts, Lest they should see with their eyes, Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, So that I should heal them.” 41 These things Isaiah said when he saw His glory and spoke of Him.

2 Corinthians 4:4 (NIV84) 4 The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

Now Peter, James, and John are being taken into a new realm of the revelation of Christ and the Father.

On the Mount of Transfiguration, they are allowed to view the essential glory of Christ and hear the voice of the Father. The transformation revealed something they had not witnessed before. They saw His glory. They witnessed the radiant glory of God. The glory of God is the sum of all His attributes. To see God’s glory is to behold Him.

Isaiah witnessed the glory of God when He saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple, (Isaiah 6:1-8). When Isaiah beheld the Lord on His throne, he knew he was unclean and unworthy.

Ezekiel saw the glory of God by the River Chebar, (Ezekiel 1:4-28). He said “the brightness of His glory was like a rainbow in a cloud, and there was brightness all around Him,” (Ezekiel 1:27-28).

Immediately after He was transfigured before them, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Christ.

Can you imagine being there? Peter, James, and John were listening to the conversation.

Mark 9:5–6 (NKJV) 5 Then Peter answered and said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good for us to be here; and let us make three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah”—6 because he did not know what to say, for they were greatly afraid.

This was such an amazing event that Simon Peter gave a short review of it in his epistle.

2 Peter 1:17–18 (NKJV) 17 For He received from God the Father honor and glory when such a voice came to Him from the Excellent Glory: “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” 18 And we heard this voice which came from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain.

While Peter was still talking about making three tabernacles, a glory cloud appeared.

Matthew 17:5–6 (NKJV) 5 While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and suddenly a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!” 6 And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their faces and were greatly afraid.

The Amplified Bible says: “A shining cloud [composed of light] overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, This is My Son, My Beloved, with Whom I am [and have always been] delighted. Listen to Him!” (Matthew 17:5)

This was no ordinary cloud. This is the cloud of God’s glory that surrounds His presence. Although they were confounded and afraid at the sight of the transfiguration of Christ, when the glory cloud appeared and the Father spoke, they could not stand.

Why does God reveal His glory?

2 Corinthians 3:16–18 (NKJV) 16 Nevertheless when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 18 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.

Every revelation of God’s glory has some transformative power in it. Entrance and exposure to God’s glory will change you. Our greatest change is coming when we shall see Christ as He is.

1 Corinthians 15:51–52 (NKJV) 51 Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed—52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

What glory awaits us when we shall behold Him!

Philippians 3:20–21 (NKJV) 20 For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.

1 John 3:2 (NKJV) 2 Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.

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The Blood, the Cross, the Name of Jesus http://www.mdanba.com/2017/06/11/the-blood-the-cross-the-name-of-jesus/ Sun, 11 Jun 2017 07:30:33 +0000 http://www.mdanba.com/?p=5433

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God has provided three distinct forces so that you may overcome: the blood, the cross, and the name of the Lord Jesus. Each of these are important matters in themselves. When we come up against the adversary, we need to know the weapons we have available. We must understand their value, meaning, and how they relate to our spiritual victory.

The Blood

The blood of Christ is mentioned often in the Word. The blood of Jesus Christ, specifically and primarily concerns cleansing and redemption unto life eternal. The blood of Christ is a power against sin and Satan’s legal ground.

Romans 8:21 (NKJV) “Creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.”

Since the fall of man, Satan has had legal grounds or rights to do the things that he does. Many people do not know that to be true. As soon as you turn your life to the Lord Jesus, you discover how deep in bondage you have been to Satan.

In relation to that, a prisoner never tries to escape if he does not know he is a prisoner. The Word of God tells us that the whole race and all of creation is now in bondage to the Devil. The power and the authority of Satan rests upon our sinful condition. Where there is sin, Satan has legal grounds to maintain his hold. By sin, Satan holds the whole race in chains.

By sin, Satan has legal rights to his position.

Those legal rights are established by the condition into which sin has captured us.

The blood of Christ relates to sin and Satan’s legal ground.

Romans 3:10 (NKJV) As it is written: “There is none righteous, no, not one.”

That is God’s standard.

By sin, everyone is under condemnation and death.

The initial petition of the unsaved sinner is to the blood of the Lord Jesus.

Hebrews 9:22 tells us “Without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sins.”

Know it or not, the unsaved sinner is truly in bondage to the Devil. They are imprisoned by Satan.

The only thing that can set them free is the blood of Jesus Christ.

To break those chains, the sinner must understand the importance of the blood of Jesus Christ.

He shall never get to God apart from that. We may struggle to break through or to break away, but we cannot without God’s help.

Only the blood of Jesus Christ can deliver us from the kingdom of Satan.

Your relationship to God must be on God’s foundation.

The only way to be accepted by God is in the Lord Jesus and by the cleansing of His blood.

The sinner’s initial petition is by the blood of Jesus Christ. We are redeemed by the precious blood of Jesus. Nothing else can ever save our soul.

The believer’s conflict with the accuser requires the blood of Jesus Christ.

In the past, Satan was master and lord of every sinner. Satan wants to bring everyone back into captivity.

To get you back into captivity, Satan must bring you back to the ground that has already conquered by the blood of Jesus.

Revelation 12:10 (NKJV) “For the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.”

Satan watches our movements. He seeks to cause us to move away from God’s will. He wants to draw you back into things that God has broken off your life.

Each of us has felt his work striving, tempting, and provoking us into sin.

  • As soon as you slip, Satan immediately pounces.
  • He accuses of sin and tries to bring condemnation.
  • He wants to smother you with condemnation.
  • He wants you to feel that God has forsaken you.
  • He wants you to feel out of fellowship with God.
  • He wants you to feel that there is no hope.

You need the precious blood of the Lord Jesus to stand against the enemy.

If you fall, don’t allow Satan to tell you that there is no hope for you.

The only way to deal with this is through the blood of the Lord Jesus.

Don’t try to defend yourself before Satan. Don’t try to say: “I am not a sinner; I have not made a mistake; I have not gone wrong.” We know we have.

Your petition is in the precious blood of Jesus.

First, turn to the Lord and confess your failure, repent, and acknowledge your mistake.

Second, the blood of Jesus Christ effectively cleanses from all sin.

Third, immediately reclaim the ground from the enemy.

You must use your weapon, the blood of Christ.

There is power in the blood of Jesus Christ. You must have faith in the blood of Christ. The precious blood of the Lord Jesus is our shield. No fiery darts of the wicked one can get through the blood of Jesus.

The initial victory over the enemy gained through the blood is now maintained by faith in the blood of Jesus.

Satan is looking for any opportunity to take you back to that old ground of condemnation and death.

Only the blood of Jesus can deliver and keep you.

Revelation 12:10–11 (NKJV) “Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down. 11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.

You can defeat the enemy with the blood of Jesus.

Notice two things in Revelation 12:10-11.

First, the enemy is the accuser: “The accuser of our brethren is cast down.”

Satan comes against us as an accuser.

Second, “They overcame and triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb.”

How did they conquer him by the blood of Jesus? They stood upon the ground of that blood of Jesus and the accuser lost his power.

The blood of Christ relates to sin.

The enemy wants to pull you out from that blood covering, and thereby defeat and destroy you.

We must keep standing on the precious blood and refuse to forsake that ground.

When you do, the accuser is cast down and he is overcome. You can stand against every attack of the accuser by the blood of Christ.

Say it out loud: “They overcame him because of t