SEEK YE FIRST THE KINGDOM
(Parts I to VII)
(Edited from 1987 and 1988 tapes)
F R I E N D,
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Yours in Him
Br. H a n o l a
(on behalf of all)
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C O N T E N T S
The following 7 parts of the message have been transcribed and edited from tapes as shown in the brackets.
PART D A T E PAGE
I (Oct.2, 1987) …………………………………………………………………… 1
II (Oct.23, 1987) ……………………………………………………………………7
III (Nov.13, 1987) …………………………………………………………………..15
IV (Jan.15, 1988) …………………………………………………………………..23
V (April 17, 1988)…………………………………………………………………..31
VI (May 13, 1988) …………………………………………………………………..42
VII (Sep.16, 1988) …………………………………………………………………..50
NOTE: Scripture references are from the Authorized King James Version of the Bible. No other version is used.
THE KINGDOM (Part I)
(Recorded on Oct.2, 1987)
This is a message from the Lord titled “SEEK YE FIRST THE KINGDOM”. To tell you the truth I have not the slightest idea how long this thing will be. This may go for several meetings because there is so much, it is impossible to absorb, but I feel this is so important. We talked about it already three weeks ago in this place and then I was about to continue in Don’s place ... and I was kept quiet, and today I know (why). First of all this is for all of us, wherever we stand with the Lord and with ourselves and secondly, I must say I did not see many things myself ... I thought I had a message but the Lord is showing that it was like an emmenthal cheese - lots of holes ... and there is really so much that I feel we should start again and at least repeat certain basic things. So we will go back to Matt. 6: 33. Now I believe that the Lord is giving this to us, granting certain truths from His Word for us to see what He has done, what He is doing today and what He is going to do in the future ... and how His Word really fits everything perfectly.
Now this Matt. 6:33 says ...the Lord speaks... “but seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you”... these ‘things’ which are mentioned in the verses before, and we said that the word “seek” had two meanings; and it is so and we will repeat this, but even the word “first” has two meanings. Let us first take the word “first”: that word “first” means exactly what it says – we are to seek FIRST of ALL things the kingdom of God ... first of all things the kingdom of God. And secondly, we are to seek it FIRST IN US and not outside of us!... because we will not find it outside; and if we find anything outside we will not understand it because we have not found anything inside first. The word “seek” has two meanings; whatever is said tonight belongs to born again Christians. The Lord does not speak to pagans, to unbelievers, He speaks to His children - and whatever is said and whatever references from the Word will be given belong to His true children. Next verse is Luke 17:21... where it is said again clearly by the Lord Himself, “the kingdom of God is within you” so we are not to look “lo here or lo there”, behold the kingdom of God is within us, so these two (verses) of course go together. If we are to seek the kingdom, we are to seek it within us, and so the last time we said ... we start seeking the kingdom within us if we are honest ... at least with ourselves ... and we find nothing. And then the second meaning of the word “seek” comes into the foreground. The Lord says: ‘you must first seek the King’... when we find the King, we find the kingdom because it is pretty difficult to find the kingdom without the King. It is probably impossible to find the kingdom without the King! And now we are therefore at the quest: we ought to start seeking the King.
Now let me say this: there are four stages in seeking. First: Jesus Christ is the Saviour. We know Christ as the Saviour first. And we know Him as nobody else, and this is at the time when we are converted ... and we know Him as the Saviour not because we were seeking Him but (because) He was seeking us. And we have not chosen Him but He chose us. And I have so many references ... and there is so much in the Scripture, that should we read it (all) we would be here till the morning. But the most important things that are associated with this point number one - Saviour - are these: this is stage number one. Number “one” is associated with His Saviourship, being Redeemer, being Saviour. This is number one, this is how we know Him. Number “one” in the Scripture always represents God, it is the number of God: unity, oneness, uniqueness, almightiness, sovereignty. That points to the fact that our salvation was a sovereign act of God, we had nothing to do with it ... except believe and receive it by our faith! I would like to say that this book “Number in Scripture” by Bullinger is not only very interesting but blessed and I found that what he is talking there about fits ... and this is that testimony, it fits into the Word of God as it is revealed ... everything fits.
Now we are going into two or three scriptures to see the point ... what means “Saviour”. It is number one and also there is one will, which was the will of the Father to save us. And because of that one will and His decision we are saved tonight ... and because we believed by faith ... but that faith was His gift to us anyway. So He even gave us the tool to get His gift and keep it.
So this all is pointing to the sovereignty of God, His will, His grace, His mind, His heart, His decisions. We were saved from before the foundations of the earth, the Lamb of God was slain from before the foundations of the world. Go to Eph.2:8 ... if you don’t know it by heart, I am sure it will refresh your memory. Eph.2:8 which I am sure we read many times: “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is a gift of God”... that not of yourselves ... neither grace nor faith was of ourselves, both were the gifts of God, so verse 9 is very fitting: “lest any man should boast”. And we all remember or should remember the time when we knew Christ as Saviour as a child knows the father and mother, the parents in its time of childhood. So we know or we knew Christ as the Saviour - being good, being pleasant, always pampering us, giving us good things and actually not requiring from us anything.
After we knew Christ as Saviour and after we passed a certain childhood, the Spirit of Christ began to reveal to us Christ as the Lord. Lord has number two. Number “two” in the Scripture is strife, separation, division, frustrations, because there is more than one will, there are two wills. Let’s go to Isaiah 55:6 and 7 ... we read last time all four verses, in fact we read 5 or 6 verses ... Is.55:6 says: “Seek ye the Lord while He may be found, call ye upon Him while He is near”. These two parts just of verse 6 suggest two things: that there will be a time when the Lord will not be found even should you start seeking. He says: “while He may be found” –even the Lord has logic. We do not walk by logic but the logic is that He may not be found at all times .... ‘call ye upon Him while He is near’ –that suggests He is not always near and He won’t be always near. Verse 7: “Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and He will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.” And I remember that these verses were liberally used by preachers, pastors, evangelists towards pagans - for salvation. Let me tell you that this is all wrong! Now let us read these verses again: “Let the wicked forsake his way”... can a Christian be wicked? ... “and the unrighteous man his thoughts” ... can a Christian be unrighteous? It took me years after the Lord persuaded me that this book called the Bible was never written for pagans! No matter how you try to rationalize it or explain it, it was never written for pagans. Nothing which is here was ever written for pagans because they can’t understand it anyway, they can’t accept it in any way ... this is a useless book for the world and for them. This is written only for those that can understand it. Notice what is the most important word in verse 7 of Is.55: “...RETURN...unto the Lord” ... no pagan was ever admonished to return unto the Lord, because he has never been with the Lord before! Is that not so? Is He not talking about Christians? Is He not talking about Israel, the chosen nation? ... (all Israel shall be saved - Rom. 11:26) ... about the saved people? The Spirit of Christ through Isaiah calls to the saved people, to the saved which are wicked and unrighteous and He tells them: ‘RETURN unto the Lord - return unto Him who saved you! Don’t seek the Saviour! ... you had known Him as Saviour ... seek the Lord because you were not running from the Saviour ... you were running from the Lord! And call upon Him while He is near.’
To me this gives the simple picture. Almost without exception every saved person came to a point of time where he started to run away from the Lord, and it was only a question for how long, not if. And that is described in another part of the Scripture. The whole story of a Christian who loves the Lord is described in the Song of Solomon ... you want to know something? If you read Song of Sol. chapters 1 and 2, you will read about your love with your Redeemer, knowing Him as the Saviour. And when you start reading chapter 3 you will find out that your Saviour disappeared one day from your horizon. He remained near by you so you could seek Him but at the same time He was too far for you to feel Him ... to feel His presence, to bask in His goodness.
If you go to Song of Solomon 3:1 ... this is a beginning when the Spirit of Christ begins a new stage in the life of a Christian ... and he is supposed to begin to seek Him as the Lord. This is the beginning of seeking Him as the Lord - the Song chapter 3 and on.
In verse 2 of the same chapter 3 this maiden, who represents the Christian who loves the Lord says: “I will rise now and go about the city in the streets, and in the broad ways I will seek Him” ... the Christian begins to seek Him, but seek Him as the Lord. “The watchmen that go about the city found me: to whom I said, Saw ye Him whom my soul loveth?” ... these Christians come to religious leaders, to pastors and they ask them: Where is the Lord? And their answer is not recorded, because they did not know themselves.
Verse 4: “It was but a little that I passed from them, but I found Him whom my soul loveth”... you have to go beyond what the hierarchy can tell you. You have to go beyond to find Christ as the Lord. Now, Luke 15:18 ... I would have never thought the Word of God to fit so beautifully and unless the Lord serves us the key and tells us, we can do nothing, we can find nothing. Luke 15:18 says: “I will rise and go” ... isn’t that a seeking of the Father? The prodigal son says: “I will arise and go to my father, and I will say unto Him: Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee”. That son was born in that father’s house and knew his father as a good father; as a child he received from the father everything he needed and he did not have to do anything, just play games. And after he started to work for him he began to be fed up with everything and he left the house. And the Lord had to bring him to circumstances where he was feeding himself with the pigs which he was feeding also; he had to come to himself, he was so deceived, so self-deceived and in such tragic circumstances, he had to come to himself. In verse 17 it says: “and when he came to himself”... he said: Am I not a stupid fool? (return unto the Lord! - Isaiah 55:7) ... mind you, this parable of the prodigal son goes from verse 11 to 42 and there is a treasure of information but we are not going into this (now), we are going into James. James 4:8 says: “Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double-minded.” ... these are not very Christian words ... James is not fooling around, he speaks the truth. That simply means that if we are not nigh to God, we have dirty hands and dirty hearts and are double minded and we do not know what we want! “Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness.” ... that’s not Christian either! Nobody preaches these things in any church because everybody is seeking laughter and joy. And James tells them the exact opposite. Why? Because they substitute their joy for the joy of God, which they know not. And they substitute their laughter for the laughter of God, which they know not ... “Draw nigh to God and He will draw nigh to you”... why is it not written “draw nigh to Jesus”? We are supposed to draw nigh to Jesus, aren’t we? No, we are not. God is there because we are supposed to draw nigh to God as the Lord and King, and not as Saviour. We can not even draw ourselves to God as Saviour ... “No man can come to me, except the Father which sent me draw him” ... no man can come to Me, no man can be saved unless “the Father which hath sent me draw him”! How can then we draw nigh to God for salvation? It’s impossible; we have to draw nigh to God as Lord and as King, which means He talks again to saved persons, to those who already knew God as Saviour and He tells them: ‘draw nigh to God, you are far from God, you became far from God after being saved. Therefore your hands are dirty, your hearts are dirty and you are double minded. You are sitting on a fence and don’t know on which side to jump’ ... and to them He says “be afflicted” ... and this goes well with some of the Psalms, where David is praising God that in His faithfulness He afflicted him and “It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I may learn Thy statutes.” (Ps. 119:71) ... Your statutes, Your precepts so that I might learn how to draw close to You! The Word of God fits. This verse is in John 6:44 : “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him”.
Are you seeing or beginning to see the difference between being saved and knowing Christ as Saviour and beginning to know Him as the Lord? There is a world of difference.
That is why the Lord comes as number two. The moment the Spirit begins to reveal Christ to us as the Lord and the moment we start obeying this call and we start going, we start getting into trouble, we start getting into strife, we oppose the Lord, we oppose His will ... there is a division, there is a separation. His Spirit lusts against us and we lust against Him. This is the mark of the beginning of seeking the Lord and this is contrary to all the preaching and all the religious literature that you can find - except Watchman Nee and some others who are telling this so nicely and so clearly. We can not find Him as the Lord without fighting it with our flesh, fighting it out; without strife, without frustration, without division; there is no way ... and that’s why nobody likes this stage and nobody rushes into it, because there is nothing pleasant in it. Your childhood is over ... let’s get on with it.
And the Lord picks up a whip and a rod ... not that He might really “give it to us”, but that He may correct us, chastise us and mold us into the image of Christ. This is THE GOAL of the Father!
And for a moment I want to go back again to number one - Saviour and His sovereignty. We looked at Ephesians 2:8, now, let’s look at ... Titus 1:1 which says: “Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God’s elect”. God has election both from the Old Testament and the New Testament, and the faith of this election was such that they considered Paul the servant of God. So he is introducing himself as a servant of God and apostle of Jesus Christ according to the faith of them that God elected, ...which also means that the rest of people did not believe about Paul anything. But the point which we want to make here is that God has election; we have not elected ourselves, we were elected ... this is sovereignty of God. If you go behind Hebrews into 1Peter 1:2, it says rather clearly: “Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father”. No matter how we try to imagine the foreknowledge of God, the main word here is elect. The same in 1Peter 2:9: “Ye are a chosen generation”... we were chosen before we were born. Rom.8:29 ... this is a famous verse with which many theologians wrestle because they can’t figure it out: “For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son”... we are being today conformed to the image of His Son because He foreknew us and therefore He predestinated us! The clearest ... since we were all pagans ... the clearest portion of the Word of God is in Acts chapter 13 (at least to our mind). Let us...well...Paul was going places preaching... in verse 45: “But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy, and spake against those things which were spoken by Paul, contradicting and blaspheming. Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the Word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles. For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set thee to be the light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth. And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the Word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed.” Now underline these words: “...as many as were ordained to eternal life believed” ... nobody else believed but those that were ordained out of the Gentiles! This is the sovereign election of God. And He ordains those whom He foreknew that out of their free will and faith they would allow and cooperate with Him to be conformed to the image of His son.
I know there is lot of it and I know we can’t digest all these things, but they will be recorded and so we can go back to the table and pick whatever we want. (Let me check something before I give you this verse because I have so many things here and so many colors that I don’t know myself what it means ... but the Lord is faithful and ... OK, this is just the reference to that lusting of the Spirit and the flesh ... when we were talking about the Lordship, seeking Him as the Lord ... I give you the reference - it is in Gal.5:17). The Lord is allowing us just to peek into His Word and see some things knitted together ... some pictures fitted together almost like a jigsaw puzzle, where He hands to us certain pieces and He shows where they fit, and shows a little part of the overall picture which must be so beautiful we can’t see it. Gal.5:17 says: “For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh” ... ALWAYS and in ALL things! There are no compromises ... “and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.” This is the seeking of the Lord.
So let me say this: we were converted, our time came, the heart was prepared for our salvation, we met Christ of God and we knew Him as our Saviour. And the heart was prepared according to Prov.16:1. We knew Him as Saviour. Sovereign God provided this salvation and we had nothing to do with it but accept it and enjoy it, cherish it, ... irrespective of whether we understood anything or not, irrespective of what we did and what we did not do, our salvation did not depend on ...(end of tape, side 1)... OK, so let me repeat this: when our heart was prepared according to Prov.16:1 by the Lord even for our salvation and we were saved by speaking out the testimony of our faith, we acknowledged Christ as Saviour, as the Son of God who died for us on the cross, saved us from our sins and we were saved; we proclaimed that - we were saved. Period. There was nothing more to be done, nor expected by God ... and we all may have felt differently. We may have had different emotions ... we may have been in different places, not necessarily in church ... it didn’t matter. The Lord knew the time we were saved and He was revealed to us as our Saviour.
After a certain time, when our childhood is over and this can be different with every human being ... for some people it may take a few years, for others it may take a few months or a year or two or three ... our spiritual childhood is over... the Lord alone knows when it is over, therefore I don’t even speculate. And then He comes and His Spirit begins to reveal Him to us as the Lord. And the division and the strife and all other things that are so unpleasant to our flesh begin to appear.
And the first thing He does is He separates Himself from us so that we don’t feel His presence, so that we would learn to walk by faith and not by our feelings. However, when He separates Himself from us (and our Saviour seems to have really gone back to heaven and we are left on our own) many Christians take it as a good chance to begin to live their old life... or at least a good opportunity not to go on unto perfection. It’s a grand chance to continue with our old habits, with our old life and not being delivered from it! And again, with some people this may take a few months, with others it may take 20 years ... and the Lord is patient and He does not let us go as easily as we think or as we might hope in our double mind ... and one day He does come back and He reminds us that procrastination does not pay and what we are trying to avoid is something we should desire with our whole being. Because without starting to know Him as the Lord there is NO WAY to obtain any of the fruits of the Spirit.
Notice one thing: in Gal.5:17 we read ... but if these things are not executed - if the Spirit would not lust against our flesh and would not cause us to do things that we hate to do ... and would not cleanse us from filthiness of flesh, which follows in verse 19, 20 and 21 - then the fruits which follow in verse 22 and 23 we won’t find! You can’t get and obtain verses 22 and 23 without first going through verses which are before them.
I am sure I am not talking mystery, this is not difficult to understand; what is difficult to imagine is how on earth are we going to do it. Well, let’s forget that, the Lord never says: “by thy power thou shall overcome”, He never says: “you are going to do it”. “I Am going to do it! But you ought to seek the King. You are not going to do what the King alone will do and can do, you are only to seek Him” ... and so you can read Song of Solomon, even chapter 5 which gives other stages of seeking the Lord. This stage of seeking the Lord and knowing Him as the Lord, even coming to the end of this stage, this point number two itself has certain sub-stages, has certain waves, has certain grades which we ought to pass, certain different widths and heights and depths of knowing Him as the Lord. And these stages are also described in Song of Solomon from chapter 3 right on ... right on to the end almost.
When we know Christ as the Lord, do we know Him as the King? A real theological question. What is the difference between the Lord and the King? I was pondering that. I believe we can’t seek and find the King before we know Him as the Lord. The King comes as number three: number three in the Scripture is always what? –divine perfection ... you are about to seek the divinely perfect King. “Three” is divine perfection, it represents the Trinity of God, it represents other things. One important thing we will mention also later on or next time ... and the truth I believe is this: We have to know Him as the Lord at least to some degree before we can seek Him and before His Spirit is ready to reveal Him to us as the King. While He is out to become our Lord (meaning we learn obedience towards Him), yet He may not reign over us as a supreme King. The King is supreme! You never speak against the King. The King is someone who has all the power, all authority, all sovereignty - He is supreme. Especially if He is the King of heaven and earth, and hell ... because He has the keys of heaven and hell.
So there is a difference between knowing Christ as Saviour, (then) as Lord ... full of strife, full of division, full of fighting, full of resisting Him ... and knowing Him as the King, because there is no strife anymore. You don’t strive with the Lord ... when you know Him as the King you don’t strive with Him ... you don’t resist Him because the time of our foolishness is past.
There is a lot to be said about the kingship and how to seek the King and how to actually find Him... and then He reveals the Kingdom because the Kingdom is in the King and with the King - and the King is living in us.
I feel that I should stop at this point ... there is a lot of food that we can chew on, and even individually this word applies to all of us in certain respects. What may apply to me may not apply to you; what may apply to some young people may not apply to older ones... the application of the Word of God ... your heart will tell you what applies to you... but there is a great practical value in the Word of God in that He shows us how He works. We know how we work and how we would work if it was left to us. But He does not leave these important things to us; He works Himself and it is for Him a pleasure to reveal not only Himself but how He works. His work is not top secret, but He must prepare us in our heart, in our mind, in our soul, in our spirit to be able to first even listen to what He has to say and, after we listen, to accept it. So there must be enough faith to get hold of it, because God never speaks in vain. He is not throwing His words around just because He has nothing better to do; He never speaks in vain and whatever He says brings forth fruit. It never ... not one word returns to Him void. This is a scripture. So the very fact that He grants us such a grace that He reveals Himself and certain ways how He works and how everything goes, is already a sign to us that we are prepared in our heart to accept that part of the Word that belongs to us, that is applicable to our own heart and soul at this hour. Do you believe that? Thank you Lord.
SEEK YE FIRST THE KINGDOM (Part II)
(Recorded on Oct.23, 1987)
Now before I say anything else, I would like to correct two things, which may give rise to a little misunderstanding in tape #1. In the message of “Opened and Closed Doors”, as I listened to that tape I thought they might give rise to a little misunderstanding. In “Opened and Closed Doors” I mentioned in one place that “people in wheelchairs shall enter the kingdom”, etc. etc. Now I did not mean that they will be wheeled into the kingdom; I mean the people who are in wheelchairs NOW, will enter the kingdom, will march in, on their own very healthy feet ... yes, that’s the right understanding.
The second place (is in) the first message “Seek ye First the Kingdom” – towards the end of that first part I am saying that “the Lord seems to disappear at a certain stage and goes far enough to be felt”. And I am there referring to Song of Solomon 3:1-2, I believe. There is one word missing here. The right words should be: “He goes far enough NOT to be felt”, which means He removes Himself from our natural senses. I don’t want to say now why ... well, we all know why, I hope ... basically the main reason being that He is beginning to teach us how to walk and live by faith, and not by feelings. That’s why He must (remove Himself) ... this is the only way how to do it: He must remove Himself from our feelings, otherwise we will never learn that. And we would never acquire the faith that we need. So these are the two places there which I thought should be mentioned and corrected.
And now this is the second part of that “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness” and I don’t know how much we remember from the last one. Forgive me if I sometimes speak slowly or I may even appear like I lost the end of my conversation and I am groping for words, ... I don’t have anything prepared. This is all I have, from this little card (3”x5”) I can speak for about 3 days. And truly I am trying to dig down into my heart, ... I am sharing my heart basically for two reasons: firstly – it’s always good. I am not trying to employ my brains, only to the degree that I understand what I am saying ... but the message was given to the heart, so out of the heart it should come forth. And secondly, this is my experience also, that at times when I am sharing, the Lord grants additional light “while I am speaking”. I am reading something and I know what it means and I know what He gave me and I am trying to say it, and then He gives something above it and beyond it, which I never thought or I never saw there before. That’s why it’s good to share heart. I have not written down any elaborations and I have not rehearsed anything in my basement.
Second part of the message “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God”... so we have said that we must first seek the King ... and then we find out that we must first find Him as the Lord. We first know Him as Saviour, then His Spirit is leading us and revealing Himself to us as the Lord, then He will reveal Him to us as the King. And then He will reveal Him to us as God.
Now, when we first went into Matthew 6:33 “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness” ... you don’t have to go there, I am sure that you remember it by now by heart ... it never crossed my mind that we may end up somewhere in Genesis, let alone with Sarah, or Abraham. I mean there was no connection whatsoever. Yet I gave you to read chapters 15,16,17,18 and 19 and I am sure that you all read it, you know it by heart. What I am going to show you now is just another proof of how the Lord moves sovereignly ... sovereignly! I mean if I should tell you what I have discovered with my own cleverness, you would be wasting your time here. I am telling you something, which the Lord sovereignly grants us. Does it make a difference? Because I am “lost” myself, you know. And behold, the Lord lead me right there to Isaiah. Let us read Isaiah chapter 51 ... we are seeking the Lord and we are following after righteousness, so the Lord is telling us something. And I testify before Him that this is His sovereign move. Otherwise I would never know what we are going to get out of Genesis. Is. 51:1 says “Hearken to me, ye that follow after righteousness, ye that seek the Lord” ... so He is telling us something, “look unto the rock whence ye are hewn, and to the hole of the pit whence ye are digged. Look unto Abraham your father, and unto Sarah that bare you: for I called him alone, and blessed him, and increased him.” Now on the basis of these two verses we are in Genesis and we are going to talk about Abraham. Because that man is going to show us things that we have never seen in all our life ... and what the Lord is doing and why is He doing it. And I know that these things are, at least at first sight, they are heavy food. We need weeks and weeks to digest sometimes, just to take a bite and then to chew on it, but there is no other way to serve it. Sometimes the Lord speaks to us or gives us something irrespective of how far we can understand; how far we can see or how far we cannot see anything. And we are supposed to take it by faith first ... absorb it or drink it in. In fact I understood very little from the beginning, but I was taking everything that I heard from the pastors ... in fact I had no other choice, right? But I was drinking it because I was thirsty. Many times the true understanding follows our acceptance of the Word as it is. And, in fact, I believe that you are more able to understand the Word of God than the theologians, who wrestle with it for centuries and never know what they are talking about.
God says to us tonight: “Hearken to me, ye that follow after righteousness” ... I do hope we are following after righteousness ... “ye that seek the Lord: look unto the rock whence ye are hewn, and to the hole of the pit whence ye are digged.” I don’t claim that I am infallible and that I know exactly what every word means. And this is not necessary, because these two verses are given to us as a confirmation of the Lord that we should look unto Abraham and Sarah for something when we are seeking the Lord and looking after righteousness. But on a marginal note about this rock or this hole of the pit: as I read it I got only a sense, which may be so, which may not be so ... but the Lord is saying (that) even Abraham and Sarah were hewn out of the rock. This earth is a rock, every planet is a piece of rock flying through space. It is nothing more than that. We are of this earth, we are hewn of this rock which is earth, and we are digged out of the hole of the pit. “The pit” is hell; we all know that, but “the hole of the pit” is the world ... the worldly system. This is a hole through which you get into the pit ... we were dug out of the hole of the pit, not out of hell, out of the world. So we were hewn out of this earth, which means created out of the rock and dust and dug out of this world. And so was Abraham and so was Sarah. God has not chosen any holy man from Ur of the Chaldees because there was none! He has not chosen any man of faith because there was none!
And on the basis of these two verses we are going to the Book of Genesis. We should go to chapter 15, I say we should but we won’t ... we are going to chapter 12 first. And in the meantime I would like to ask you one question: where did God speak to Abraham first? Where do you think God spoke to Abraham first? In what place? In Ur of the Chaldees? Who agrees with that? I agreed with that for about 10 years. I was taught that ... some far greater men than I am preached that, on radio, I mean everywhere. You could find this topic in many places: God called Abraham from Ur of the Chaldees - He spoke to him there ... and I tell you frankly, this is not really ... this does not have a big bearing on the message, this is a marginal note. And yet it’s not marginal, because when the Lord begins to show you some part of the Word, you are beginning to wonder whether we should not be deprogrammed of what we heard many times. I believe today God did not speak to Abraham (to Abram) in Ur of the Chaldees at all! Now, this is not an introduction to any kind of sensation, but I tell you only this much - again the sense I am getting out of this is: if God spoke to Abram in Ur of the Chaldees, then chapter 11 verse 31 would not be written as it is written! If God spoke to Abram, then this verse would be written ‘and Abram took Sarai and left’! But in verse 31 it says: “and Terah took Abram”! Abram did not take anybody; Terah was his father and he took Abram his son, and Lot the son of Haran, etc. to go to the land of Canaan. And why did Terah take Abram? Because God was drawing first the father, and I am beginning to believe God spoke first to Terah ‘get thee out of Ur of the Chaldees’, or He drew him out or He caused him to get out, or He showed him a dream, or He did something. But Terah had a good reason to pack his bags, take his family, and leave Ur of the Chaldees “to go into the land of Canaan”. And they came into Haran and dwelt there. So Terah changed his mind, he never arrived in Canaan ... and they dwelt there. They did not come there to change camels and pick up new fuel and continue; they dwelt there, they put roots down there. So they had to wait, or God waited until Terah died. Then He spoke to Abram in Haran. “NOW the Lord had said unto Abram” (Genesis12:1) ... because verse 32 in chapter 11 says “And the days of Terah were two hundred and five years: and Terah died in Haran”, now the Lord said unto Abram: “Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred”, and Haran was also his country and his kindred - it was in the region of Padaraman, something like that, which was north, quite a bit away from the Chaldees, and there was a large region of Mesopotamia, where the city of Nahor was, where he had a lot of folks. From there he got Rebecca for Isaac. This was his country and his kindred ... in other words “get thee out of your kindred ... and from your father’s house” who died (your father) “unto a land that I will show thee”. And that’s why in verse 5 it rightfully says: “And Abram took” – now he took because God spoke to him; in Ur of the Chaldees He spoke to Terah, that is why Abraham did not take anything - Terah took. I don’t know whether my sense is right or wrong, but when it comes to this Word of God I prefer to be open to it and be deprogrammed, or my faith be changed if it was wrong. Because many times what I learned was the logic of scholars. Now the Lord says: that logic is not good enough, it has holes. Now why I am saying that is not because it has any bearing on seeking the kingdom. I am saying that because the Lord sovereignly leads and shows you things and may show you things that are totally upside down compared to what you learned before. This thing about God speaking to Abraham ‘get thee out of Ur of the Chaldees’ - you know, it’s something old ... old, old, repeated in books, in sermons, everywhere. And I just stopped believing in that. And why is it not recorded that God spoke to Terah? (Perhaps) because Terah disobeyed; and that He showed him anything - Terah went half way and then they stopped ... he stopped, did not continue. It is written: “to go into the land of Canaan” – where they had never gotten. But in Gen. 12:5 when Abraham took Sarah and Lot - at the end of that verse: “to go into the land of Canaan; and into the land of Canaan they came.”! Now that makes the world of difference. Do you see that? That is why God took Abraham and that’s why we are going to look at Abraham and Sarah according to Isaiah 51 because the Lord is going to show us things that we need.
And the very first thing the Lord wants to show us is that Abraham and Sarah were hewn from the same rock we are hewn from and there is no difference! You are just like Abraham, because Abraham was just a man as we are and Sarah was a woman as anyone of you (women) is. And we are digged out of the world which is the hole of the pit, just as they were dug out. Let me say this: from roughly the beginning of chapter 12, two themes are running parallel. As I see it, two themes are running parallel: one theme concerns Abraham and his house and Lot and his house; the second theme is Abraham and Sarah and Isaac and everybody afterwards alone! This second theme is important for us, well, both are but we will first take the second theme or topic or picture.
Last time I asked you when was Abraham saved: when he believed. So he was not saved when he came out of Haran, or when he came out of Ur of the Chaldees he was not saved. These are interesting questions. It depends how we look at it ... one about salvation I shared with John. I was saved before I was born, but the day had to come in my life - and that applies to everyone! You were all saved before you were born, you were all saved before the garden of Eden but, of course you did not know about it. How could you, you had to be born first and you had to come in your life to the month, to the day, to the hour when you met the Lord. When your faith produced the fruit, you believed and you confirmed with your tongue your own salvation. In other words, this was a salvation that we felt, that we could confirm, that we know, that we remember. So the day had to come when I had to meet the Lord and confess, and repent and acknowledge with my tongue Him as Saviour. That was the act of confirming my own salvation or executing it for myself. God saved me before I was born ... I was saved. So when it comes to that, Abraham was chosen before the Lord founded this earth. He was saved, he was the father of nations before he was born, yet Abraham had to come to the hour and to the place where he executed his own salvation: in fact, when it was legally recorded (“...by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned”- Mat.12:37).
When was Peter saved? The great apostle Peter - was he saved when the Lord called him: “follow me”? What did he do? (not what we saw in the films) –he dropped the net and he followed the Lord ... was he saved at that time? Not at all; he was saved in the eyes of God ... but as such he was not. I was called out of a country in the middle of Europe, I did not even know it ... I mean God did not speak to me, yet, He took me out of there: “I brought thee forth from the heart of Europe over here” without speaking to me. It had to come, here, a certain day and a certain hour when He met me and I was saved when I believed. The same in Genesis, for example, Gen. 15:6: “And he believed in the Lord” –Abraham is saying - “and He counted it to him for righteousness”. This is the salvation of Abraham – Gen.15:6. In verse 7: “And He said unto him, I am the Lord that brought thee out of Ur of the Chaldees” - now, the Lord brought him out of Ur of the Chaldees without speaking to him (in Ur), just as He brought Israel out of Egypt without speaking to them (directly).
Now notice in verse 6: “And he (meaning Abram) believed in the Lord and He counted it to him for righteousness”. Notice the word “in”. He believed in the Lord, not only what the Lord said to him before in verse 5 and verse 4; it does not say he believed the Lord what He was saying to him; he believed in the Lord, that makes all the difference here.
When Christ asked His twelve who people were saying He was, they told Him all kinds of stuff. Then He asked: “Who do you say I am?”. And there was a typical quietness, everybody was speechless except Peter: he stood up and said, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God”. That was the salvation of Peter - he believed and he spoke with his tongue. And the others believed likewise, probably later on.
So that verse (Matthew 16:16): “And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.” – do you see what is happening? The Lord calls people, the Lord calls vessels, the Lord calls creatures hewn out of the earth, dug out of the world; in His own mind and heart and purpose He calls them. Some of them respond, some don’t. He brings them to a place where they finally believe and acknowledge that He is God, that He is the Saviour. They are saved at that time, not at the time of calling; and then there is a certain time spent until they begin to seek Him as the Lord. Why? You are still in Matthew: there Peter acknowledges Christ, then the Lord says in verse 17: “Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee: That thou art Peter”. He renamed Simon to Peter. So what happens? In verse 23 Peter right away is ‘goofing’ and the Lord says to him - He calls him Satan: “Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me”... that just means that Peter has not yet even begun to seek Christ as the Lord. He did not know Him as the Lord, he knew Him as Saviour ... because he does foolish things all the way; a big mouth, of course, as we know... but without knowing Christ as the Lord or seeking to know Him as the Lord.
Go back to Genesis: it is the same with Abraham ... and mind you, Peter again was the same man as we are; there was nothing different about him except he knew how to catch fish better than we do. But God sovereignly chose some of these ‘low’ men; He didn’t go to Herod’s palace to ask for advice, whether he (Herod) had some clever men. He went to the Sea of Galilee. So in Gen.15:6 Abraham is saved, this is his salvation. Chapter 16 – the great foolishness begins: “Now Sarai Abram’s wife bare him no children: and she had an handmaid, an Egyptian, whose name was Hagar. And Sarai said unto Abram, behold now” ... and at the end of verse 2 - the same thing that happened in the garden of Eden. Adam hearkened unto Eve, and here Abram hearkened to the voice of Sarai. And what you hear today on TV about the Middle East and all that war and all that mess, Iran, Iraq - you know where it all began? Right here, chapter 16 of Genesis, verse 3; this is where it all began.
So Abraham obviously did not have any idea that the Lord, who took him out of Ur of the Chaldees and later on from Haran, is the Lord. And he did not have the slightest idea that He is the almighty God. He only believed in Him, that was counted to him for righteousness; and then Abraham himself had to begin to learn all things for himself - just as we had to ... just as we do. You talk about marital squabbles? Look at that, Sarah brought Abram into this mess, and in verse 5 she says to him: “My wrong be upon thee”! It’s really nice ... ‘so you old fool, why did you do that? You should not have hearkened unto me’.
You talk about a man of faith? You talk about a holy man? He was everything but that; he started to be, the Lord was bringing him through mistakes, through foolishness, through things like that, as He is bringing us, to his senses. And in fact when Ishmael was finally born, which means the fruit of his foolishness began to grow into great nations (plural), God gave Abram ... and listen to that ... these are not only interesting things ... God gave Abram another 13 years. Thirteen ... you know what “thirteen” means now thanks to brother Bullinger; thirteen, we know, in the Scripture is always confusion, disorder, you name it - nothing good, nothing positive, nothing wise. Gen. 16:16 : “Abram was fourscore and six years old” – he was 86 years old when Ishmael was born. And in the next chapter, verse 1, Abram was 99 and the Lord appeared to him again. He gave him 13 years, the perfect confusion, so when he was 99, he was at the height of his confusion and the man did not know what to do. And he believed God, when He told him that he will be a father of the nations ... and he knew that Ishmael was not the guy to go through.
Imagine now, put yourself into his shoes: you are 99 years old and your wife is slightly younger - whatever, say 91 or 80. And somebody comes and tells you ‘I will make you a father of nations’ and you have not got a child of your own. Well, the best you can do is start laughing. That’s exactly what Abram did.
But you see ... note one thing, that’s why the Lord is bringing us into these things: until that time Abram was saved and he did not even start to seek the Lord as a Lord, and the Lord did not reveal Himself to him as the Lord. So he did all kinds of foolish things. Finally he is 99 – Gen. 17:1 says “And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the Lord appeared to Abram, and said unto him, “I AM THE ALMIGHTY GOD” ... do you know why He introduced Himself like that? Because He knew that poor Abram was at the end of every hope, confused, in despair. ‘Nigh unto unbelief’... almost willing to slide back into doubts and unbelief, into worry and everything else. Then God comes and says to him: Abram, I am not just a guy sitting somewhere on a cloud; “I am Almighty God” which means: you are going to SEE me as Almighty God, you are going to see that I can do anything!
And He says to him: “walk before me, and be thou perfect”. That’s exactly what our Lord is telling us; how He started His ministry on the Mount and He finished that sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5:48 “Be ye therefore perfect”. It is the same God, He knows what He told Abram. And notice another thing in Gen.17:5: “Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram”, which means “you will not be Simon, you will be Peter from now on”, and He tells Abram the same thing. Whenever God was going to do a drastic change in a human being, he renamed him: you shall not be Abram, “but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee” (note: Abraham = Abram with inserted h and a which accounts to 5, which is the number of grace), not “I shall make you” – “I have made you already and you don’t know it, so you will have to wait another year”. What that tells us is this: God gives us certain years from our salvation until we know for sure that we can do nothing! “I have made thee” – and Abraham was even more confused, because he looks and God says to him: “I have already made thee”. ‘How could you? I am even more useless than I was 10 years ago. What do you mean you have made me?’ You think that these thoughts were not going through his heart?
Now what happens, though, is that whenever the Lord begins to reveal Himself to us as the Lord, more than just Saviour ... much, much more ... He changes our name, which means He changes our very being. And then He separates us from the world, because what follows, in Gen. 17:10 “This is my covenant, which ye shall keep, between Me and you and thy seed after thee; Every man child among you shall be circumcised”. In verse 24: “And Abraham was ninety years old and nine, when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin”, even “Ishmael his son was thirteen years old, when he was circumcised” (and again 13 means here something). That means you are separated from the world, you are separated unto God, Who introduced Himself to you “I am The Almighty God”! You are not going to fool around any more!
Now thanks to brother Bullinger again, this is the first time God presented Himself like that to any man. The very first time God presented Himself to any man by saying “I am the Almighty God”. He never said that to anybody before, this is the first time in the Old Testament. Notice one thing ... we will return to Genesis ... but the same goes for 2Corinthians 6:16: “And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God has said: I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord,” ... which means be circumcised in your hearts ... “and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the LORD ALMIGHTY”! This is the first time in the New Testament God uses the same presentation “I am the Lord Almighty” and again it touches separation, circumcision.
And what follows in 2Cor.7:1, Paul says: “Having therefore these promises,” - similar promises that God gave to Abraham, having therefore these promises of God Almighty “dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.”
That was exactly what God Almighty began to do with Abraham and Sarah - cleanse them from filthiness of flesh and spirit because He introduced Himself to them as God Almighty and said “This is my covenant, ye shall be circumcised”. Of course, “circumcision” means also new beginning. Back to Gen. 17 :12, it says: “And he that is eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every man child in your generation, he that is born in the house, or bought with money of any stranger, which is not of thy seed”. Eight days: “eight” means new beginning ... no return!
God also in this introduction “I am God Almighty” means basically: “I am all sufficient, you don’t need to worry about a thing. You don’t have to beg for money, you don’t have to care what men will do unto you, you don’t have to care what will be tomorrow, you don’t have to worry where you will dwell, what you will put on yourself, what the people will say about you - you don’t have to care about a thing !!! Because I am all sufficient, supplying all your needs according to my riches and not the Goldbergs riches, all necessities!” And thereby we learn and know Him as the Lord and through His Lordship we will seek Him as King! And at the moment, I know, we don’t have yet any kind of picture: is there a difference between Lord and King? ... There is, there is a great difference, believe you me.
Now, in Gen.17:15 the same goes for Sarah: “And God said unto Abraham, As for Sarai thy wife, thou shalt not call her name Sarai anymore, but Sarah shall her name be. And I will bless her, and give thee a son also of her:” (who was barren) “yea, I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of people shall be of her. Then Abraham fell upon his face, and laughed” ... well, what else could he do? And if you think he was the only one who laughed, then you are wrong, because Sarah laughed also. In Gen. 18:12 Sarah laughed too. And not only that, Sarah spoke to God Himself and she lied to Him: “Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, After I am waxed old shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also? And the Lord said unto Abraham, Wherefore did Sarah laugh, saying, Shall I of surety bear a child, which am old? Is anything too hard for the Lord? At the time appointed I will return unto thee, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son. Then Sarah denied, saying, I laughed not”, she lied to God Himself! Why? Because she was scared to death. “And He said, Nay; but thou didst laugh.” Imagine, so there they were, they laughed. And God in His grace understood why. Because probably they were the first folks on the face of the earth that received such a promise at such a state.
And we are to look at Abraham and Sarah now to realize that we can not produce Isaac while we have power of our own! There is no way, folks. We will produce Ishmaels, we will produce nations. Abraham made trouble for today, not only because of Ishmael, but because he was the father of nations, because he had sons apart from Isaac and apart from Ishmael, ... he had concubines, he had sons, they grew, they formed nations and today they are all in trouble. So from chapter 15 and his salvation and his unwise things we came to chapter 17, his beginning as he started to seek the Lord as the Lord and God began to reveal Himself as God. And not only to reveal, but prove Himself to him that He is God and nothing is impossible for Him and nothing is too hard for Him. Then they were all circumcised, ... so chapter 17 is a chapter of separation. It is a chapter of separation.
As we know, Sarah did have a son and his name was Isaac – Gen. 21:1, “And the Lord visited Sarah as He had said, and the Lord did unto Sarah as He had spoken”, the Lord never speaks in vain, “for Sarah conceived and bare Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him. And Abraham called the name of his son that was born unto him, Isaac. And Abraham circumcised his son Isaac being eight days old, as God had commanded him. And Abraham was an hundred years old”; “hundred” means ten times ten. “Ten” also is in the Scripture the number of wholeness, something, which is complete, ordinal perfection; whereas at 99 he was one year short of it.
Now we know ... I don’t know whether I would go further than that now ... but I know that these people always typified someone. In fact, Abraham typifies God the Father, Isaac typifies Christ. His wife Rebecca typifies the Church: she came out of the country of Mesopotamia not knowing where she was going, she did not see Isaac, she loved him before she saw him. Abraham sent for her his servant and Isaac had no idea who would be coming, either. And when she came they fell in love right away and they were married. This is what is the Church - we don’t know our Bridegroom yet we love Him already; we are called out of the wilderness, out of Mesopotamia.
There are so many things, everything fits so beautifully. We know that Isaac and Rebecca had twins, which were fighting even before they were born - Esau and Jacob. Notice that it is always the younger son, which is chosen by God. Isaac was the youngest, Jacob was younger than Esau. Jacob had twelve sons, he who was greatest later on was not Reuben who was the first born, but the latest, which was Joseph. And in fact who was called from among them was Judah, and out of Judah came forth (after 10 generations) king David after the heart of God who was the youngest, forgotten among sheep. He slew Goliath, not Saul with his army. And notice how God makes selections - there is always one - he and the others. Like Noah after the flood comes with his three sons, Ham, Shem and Japheth. Shem was blessed, out of him come others; but out of Ham and Japheth - they are so called ‘others’, they are not chosen, God has nothing to do with them when it comes to a calling, a selection. Terah had three sons, God called Abraham; the others - there is not much mention about them. Out of Abraham come many sons. Only one counts, which is Isaac. Out of Isaac come others, only Jacob counts. Out of Jacob come twelve and others, only Judah counts. Out of Judah comes (after 10 generations) David, first Jesse his father, then David. David counts. Out of David come sons and daughters, only Solomon counts; the others we don’t even hear about. Even though they may be recorded - some of them just for the record - they don’t count.
Why does God choose like that? Well, there is a pattern obviously, but God goes after the heart always... always after the heart! He is choosing man after His own heart. He chose Abraham, not because he was the holy man in Ur of the Chaldees, but because he had a heart to learn obedience and faith. That is why God took him.
And he did learn obedience and faith quickly, to the point that he was the only man that ever lived that God ever tempted. It is written “God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth He any man”, is it not the Scripture? I don’t know where exactly, but I know it is written ... (James 1:13). Now, how about Gen.22:1? If you read that - what does it mean? Is there a contradiction? No! “And it came to pass after these things that God did tempt Abraham”. He tempted him, why? Because God made the only exception there and He does make exceptions to His rules and principles. And He has always good reasons to make an exception, just as it is written “no man hath seen God at any time” (John 1:18) and yet Moses saw Him, even though just the back part but he saw Him; Abraham saw Him.
He made exception because He was to demonstrate there something that He was going to do with Christ, which meant the salvation of mankind, which meant this book (Bible). Without this we would not have this book. We would not be sitting here talking about Abraham. There would be no need of Abraham, no need of Isaac, no need of Christ, no need of anything. That’s a good enough reason even for God to make an exception. And He did tempt him because this was a temptation. God gives you one son, when you are one hundred years old, after laughing a lot about it, then when he reaches a certain age, the same God asks you to kill him! And you know you have nobody else. And you know that through him you are supposed to be the father of the nations. Now that’s a temptation. And we can’t even put ourselves into his shoes ... (feel) what Abraham felt and what kind of faith he had to have. And he had to acquire it, through his walk with God.
So He chooses men after His heart, and women, that He knows are willing to walk, learn, have faith and love Him. He desires to be loved, God is not cut out of a piece of maple tree. He is a Being who desires love just as we desire ... we are made in His image and we desire to be loved. Why do you think God doesn’t desire it? So who is going to love Him? Who is going to praise Him? If we can’t, He promised that the stones of this rock called earth will start singing praises to Him, which are basically the same as we are, except we have souls and they don’t. You see?
You know how Jesus was entering Jerusalem and those nice guys Pharisees tempting Him again: how come you are having such an ovation? how come people are singing Hallelujah and Hosanna? And He told them, “if these should not sing praises, the stones would start singing”! The guys had no idea about anything, no idea.
This is one theme, the other theme is ... there is another theme, which runs parallel and it starts about in Gen. chapter 12. If you read chapters 15,16,17,18,19, please add to that 12,13,14. Because the next time the Lord allows to share, we will start from chapter 12. We will see things that are most unusual; most unusual and they have a direct bearing on us and what we see in the Church today, what we see outside of ourselves and what we see in ourselves.
So you see, ‘Seek ye first the Kingdom’ goes all the way from Matthew to Isaiah, to Genesis, to James ... it will go to Revelation, it will go to Song of Songs, it will go all over the place and you would not say this is so. How come, one little verse and the Lord may build out of it such a picture, from all corners of His Word. Abraham has such a bearing on it. Who would say that?
And he was seeking the kingdom, because he was seeking the City whose foundations were not made by the hands of men, but by the hands of God (Heb.11:10); he was seeking that, which is the kingdom, which is the new Jerusalem. He declares himself he was seeking the kingdom, but he first had to find the Lord as the Lord, and then as the King. There is so much more in that. Praise God!
SEEK YE FIRST THE KINGDOM (Part III)
(Recorded on Nov.13, 1987)
Praise God! We are back in Genesis chapter 12 and this is the third part of the message “Seek Ye First the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness”. And last time we said that from Genesis chapter 12 right through to 19 or so, two themes are running parallel, and one we shared was about Abraham himself and his walk with God. We took only “Abraham and Sarah and their walk with God”. That was one theme and I don’t know how (deeply) we have exhausted that or not, but we just spoke about that ... this was the second part of the message.
Now we are to pick up that second theme and this is “Abraham and Lot”, and what it means and what is the practical meaning of that for us. Now I believe that the book of Genesis was not written so that some few thousand theologians may argue for the next four thousand years ... or any other book of the Scriptures... and that God had a definite purpose when He had anything written. That it was for a purpose, not just for the people of that time but for everyone, because that is a part of the same book which ends with Revelation. So, if we live now in the last days as we all believe, what started in Genesis ends in Revelation ... in fact we cannot explain Revelation without Genesis. And when the Lord is sending us back to Abraham to look at him, everyone who is seeking the Lord, everyone who is seeking the righteousness of God ... and He says in the New Testament ‘seek ye first the kingdom ... and seek the righteousness of God’... so He is telling us today to look at Abraham. So fortunately the Book of Genesis is still around; we can look at it and draw from it. Now when I was led there first by the Lord and started to read, I didn’t know about Is.51:1, you see. And I was wondering myself, “Lord, what you are going to show us ... I mean these are very interesting things, but what has it for me, today, November 1987 in St.Lambert ... what am I supposed to draw from it? ... how it will affect me? ... or anyone else?”
But before we can really reap some practical fruit out of that - we have to read it, we have to see it, we have to digest it, we have to meditate on it; and then we have to go out with open eyes and observe ... and look at ourselves, at others ... and the Lord will remind us of Abraham, and Lot. And we will draw practical things out of it. Now I just ask Him to grant me also the ability to express it in the way that it would bring that spiritual food into our spirits - I am not here to satisfy the curiosity of human brains, there are plenty of such. This is far from me.
We have to go back to Gen. 11:31. Now we are in Genesis, we won’t leave Genesis, maybe only once we will go to some other book, but we are in Genesis chapters 12 and on; but we are going just a few verses back into chapter 11 ... namely verse 31: “And Terah” ...who was Abram’s father, of course “took Abram his son, AND Lot” who was his grandson, of course ... “and Lot” - now why did he take him I don’t know, but as I claimed the last time that God never spoke to Abram in Ur of the Chaldees but He spoke to him in Haran, so that God must have impressed or spoken to Terah. He took Abram, but he did not just take Abram, he took Lot - his father died, so he was an orphan. Nothing is written about his mother. There are things that we will never find in Genesis - which God did not consider important to put down. On the other hand what He did consider important He put down. So Terah took Abram and Lot. Now let’s go to chapter 12, after God spoke to Abram in verse 5: “And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot” ... so for some reason Lot was always taken. I don’t know whether he asked for it but he was always taken. God never called Lot, never spoke to him but they always took him! Lot got a ‘lift’ every time something happened. Now, after God spoke to Abraham, who was not yet Abraham but Abram, He called him and then ... after there was a shortage of food in the land of Canaan, he went down to Egypt. And Lot with him... in verse 10: “And there was famine in the land: and Abram went down into Egypt to sojourn there”.
Now let me say two things right here: Canaan was the Promised Land to Abraham and to his seed through Isaac, Jacob and the twelve tribes... and later Israel came after over 400 years, they got out of Egypt, they were brought back to the Promised Land. This Promised Land typifies the Kingdom of Heaven which is about to come. The crossing of Israel from the wilderness to Canaan across Jordan represents our entry into the Kingdom from the wilderness of this world. In Genesis chpts12,13,14, etc. while we talk about Abraham and Canaan, Canaan represents or typifies the territory for the future kingdom. This earth is a territory for the future Kingdom of Heaven, because it will be here. So we live now in the promised Kingdom physically, not in spirit, not in soul. When Abraham came ... or Abram first ... came to Canaan, he came to something that God promised him and which typifies the future kingdom. When he entered in, it did not become any kind of kingdom for Abraham, only after Joshua brought Israel back and they fought - and they had to fight - they subdued and divided the land, it became the kingdom of Israel. But when Abraham came in and Lot, it was just a territory that God showed Abram and said ‘this is your Promised Land, this shall be your kingdom in fact’. So it typifies a territory and we should bear it in mind because it will have a tremendous spiritual significance.
Now, in that territory famine had begun and Abraham had run out of food, so he went to Egypt. Egypt always represents the world; so whenever we run out of spiritual food, we run back to the world. The first thing that happened there: Abram sinned ... because, whenever we enter the world we start sinning. From Gen. 12:11 right down to verse 20, you can read it for yourselves. And he sinned - why? Because of fear. For no other reason. So when we come into the world we sin because of our fears - whenever we enter the world, we start sinning because of fears.
This is just a sideline to the main theme, because the main theme is “Abraham and Lot”, but it is maybe important to say that and the Lord tries to show us that everything, which is written here has a spiritual significance for us here today, and for every Christian for that matter.
Gen. chpt 13 - Abram went up out of Egypt and Lot with him. Verse 2: “And Abram was very rich in cattle, in silver, and in gold.” Verse 5: “And Lot also, which went with Abram, had flocks, and herds, and tents”, right? Now I want to say something else. We know today that Abraham was a righteous man and we read about his righteousness and we can still read about it in Genesis 15:6: “And he believed in the Lord and He counted it to him for righteousness.” We know that Abraham was a righteous man, not Abram, Abraham was a righteous man. Lot was a righteous man - we are talking about two righteous men. Righteous man means someone saved ... means they typify today’s Christians. Every Christian - a true born-again believer is a righteous person, because he believed and it was counted to him for righteousness. He was saved through faith ... this is the same thing ... just as Abraham was saved in Gen.15:6: “he believed in the Lord” - he not only believed what the Lord was saying - he believed IN Him, just as we believed IN Christ as Saviour, we were saved - it was counted to us for righteousness. These two men, Abraham and Lot, typify the Church, typify Christianity, typify Christians. Abraham typifies one segment of the Church, Lot typifies another segment of the Church ... in fact, so vividly that it is amazing.
Now let me re-read Gen. 13:2: “Abraham was very rich in cattle, silver and gold”, in verse 5: “and Lot also ... had flocks, herds, tents.” What is the difference between these two verses? Well, it says, “Lot also” ... so we may say Lot was also rich. It does not repeat the very same words, but let me say this now and let us try to see the significance of it: Abraham was rich in cattle, in silver, in gold. Lot had no silver and no gold! What does that mean? Since these two typify segments of the Church, one segment of the Church, represented by Abraham, has silver and gold, the other has only cattle and animals. Now “silver” always represents in the Scripture redemption and the cross and all the values that come with redemption. “Gold” represents royalty and divinity, divine nature - always. That means Abraham in addition to the cattle had the riches of redemption and the cross ... and he was yet Abram and he already had that silver. He had to go through those experiences of that “silver” later on, but he had it. When we were born, we were already rich in silver and gold - not in cattle - I never had any, but I had silver and gold ... but I am coming into the experience of it now. Whereas Lot had nothing of that nature, he had plenty of other things. That’s one thing.
Gen.13:7: “And there was a strife (is there a strife in the Church?) between the herdmen of Abram’s cattle and the herdmen of Lot’s cattle.” I don’t want to speculate (as to) what the herdmen typify and what the cattle typify, but there was a strife. Verse 8: “And Abram said unto Lot: Let there be no strife.” I wonder if it would have ever occurred to Lot to say such a thing to Abram. It took Abram to say to Lot “let there be no strife.” It almost seems like ... Lots don’t mind the strife, but Abrahams do.
“I pray thee, between me and thee, and between my herdmen and thy herdmen; for we be brethren.” Now underline the word “brethren” because Lot was not Abram’s brother, and I have never heard if there was a strife in families, that anybody would have said: ‘well, let’s finish, let us not argue, we are all brethren’ - they always said: ‘we are all relatives, we are all family, we are close kin’ or something like that; but if you have uncles and aunts there, and grandmas and grandpas and in-laws and what have you - you don’t say “brethren”, you say “family”. Now he (Lot) was his nephew and Abram was his uncle and yet he said “we are brethren”, which means Christians that typify Lot and those that typify Abraham are brethren. We are not talking here about family ties, ‘earthly’, we are talking about spiritual family. They were brethren before God and in a spiritual sense.
“Is not the whole land before thee?” he asks in verse 9 ...look at this territory of the kingdom, is it not before you? ... “separate thyself, I pray thee”... from me. Abram is telling him to separate himself. Today, Christians who are typified by Abraham also tell those that typify Lot “separate yourself, I pray” and even if we don’t say it, the Lord is doing it. The Lord saw to it that they were separated. In verse 10: “And Lot lifted up his eyes and beheld.” Do you know what that means “and Lot lifted up his eyes and beheld”? He has not lifted up his heart and said, ‘Abram, there is a way, even without separating. If we are brethren, then we are one. And we will cause these herdmen to stop this idiotic thing.’ But Lot looked and lifted up his eyes and beheld. So he accepted the call of Abram to separate. And secondly, he walked by sight and not by faith (2Cor.5:7). He had to behold that something was good and then choose it. In Gen. 13:11: “Then Lot chose him all the plain of Jordan” ... ‘to heck’ with Abram, let him go to those dry mountains, I am choosing this. You are not choosing something worse, you are choosing the best and ‘to heck’ with your brother what he will do.
Verse 12: “Abram dwelled in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelled in the cities of the plain”... which means not in Canaan! Abram dwelt in that territory which typifies the kingdom, whereas Lot got out of there ... “and pitched his tent toward Sodom”. So, the moment Lot separated himself from Abram, he left the territory of the kingdom! “Pitched his tent toward Sodom” - now see that he did not rush into Sodom, he pitched his tent toward Sodom ... how far is not written, maybe 5 miles ... but he pitched his tent on the plain facing Sodom, which means his intention was to get there. Now whether he was married already at that time or not nobody knows, maybe his wife was directing him, too ... “pitch your tent towards Sodom”. “But the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the Lord exceedingly” verse 13.
Verse 14: “And the Lord said unto Abram” underline this with red “after that Lot was separated from him” ...AFTER ... “Lift up now thine eyes” the Lord showed the kingdom to Abram after Lot was separated! The Lord is going to show us and is showing us the kingdom after we are separated from Lots! Do you understand that? Do you see that?
And we will read something else there - Abraham never said ‘to heck with Lot’. We will come to that. So verse 14: “And the Lord said unto Abram, after that Lot was separated from him, Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward: For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever.”... and not to Lot... ‘to thee will I give it for I called you alone’... you remember that ‘alone’ from Isaiah 51. He called him alone, ‘to thee ALONE I give it’. God promised the kingdom to Christians who are typified by Abraham ... ‘to you I have given the kingdom’. And God did not give it to Abraham because Abraham was ... or Abram, we are still talking about Abram ... because Abram was a terrific man, full of faith - he was not even righteous at that time, he was not even saved at that time; his salvation comes in chapter 15. He was still Abram; even we are not saved while we are still our old men, we must be renamed, then we are saved.
Now, if you read chapter 14 you will read about the kings and all those battles, how they rebelled, in the thirteenth year they rebelled, verse 4 ... we know what 13 means, today is the 13th (but we don’t rebel, because we are not in Sodom). Now, there was a skirmish and other kings came and fought against Sodom and they spoiled Sodom, they took the people and they took the goods and in verse 12 it says: “And they took Lot, Abram’s brother’s son who dwelt in Sodom”. Now in Gen. 13:12, he only pitched his tent toward Sodom, and then he was creeping towards the city until he ended up right there. So they took Lot from Sodom and his goods and departed. That’s what happens to Christians who are typified by Lot - they not only end up in Sodom, which is a place of God’s judgment, that’s what Sodom is, that’s what Sodom typifies, but they are even spoiled by pagans which are coming out of Sodom. They are taken out of that place by pagans and they lose everything. Now, I am talking spiritually, physically they can have a mansion with 15 rooms and a Rolls Royce, but spiritually they are depraved. They are taken by pagans, or they live in spiritual Sodom. Now, look at verse 14: “And when Abram heard that his brother”... not “that terrible guy”, that his brother ... “was taken captive, he armed his trained servants, born in his own house,” ... he didn’t hire an army ... “three hundred and eighteen, and pursued them unto Dan”. “Dan” means judgement. The tribe of Dan is also judgement. Again Abram says here, not “nephew” but his “brother” was taken captive. That shows who Abram was and who Christians are supposed to be who are typified by Abraham. So when my brother who is in Sodom is being destroyed or taken captive, I am supposed to rescue him. Not to tell him “I told you so, so tough luck, my brother, you are in Sodom”. Verse 16: “And he brought back all the goods, and also brought again his brother Lot.” This is the first time Lot was rescued from Sodom, this time by Abram. Now we know he will be rescued the second time. There is only one other thing here ... I don’t go into this tithing and Melchizedek, but I am going rather to verse 22: “And Abram said to the king of Sodom” ... in verse 23: “I will not take from (thee) a thread even to a shoelatchet, and that I will not take anything that is thine.” Abram never took from the world anything. Why? Because he was separated from the world. Abraham was separated from the world, he was separated from Egypt, he was separated from there even though he sojourned for some time there. He was separated from the various nations that lived in Canaan which were called Canaanites and they were all kinds. There were a number of them with different names: Hittites, Jebusites, etc., but he was separated from all of them, let alone from Sodom, of course. He would not take a shoelatchet from Sodom.
Now, in Gen. 15:1, the Lord presents Himself to Abram “I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward”. And Abraham said in verse 2: “Lord God, what wilt thou give me?” Now imagine ... you want to see Abram - what a foolish question. Abram says ‘Lord what will you give me’, after the Lord says to him “I AM your great reward” –don’t you see that? After all this, God comes to him ‘Abram, I am your great reward’ and Abram is looking at Him ‘now, Lord, what will you give me?’ We were in that stage too, I hope we passed it. Well, it’s even worse than Jacob, because God did not tell Jacob what He told Abram. Jacob bargained with God. He said “if you will do this and that, then will I...” but God comes here and tells Abram ‘I am your great reward, exceeding great reward’ and he asks Him “what will you give me?” So, to me that’s a foolish question, isn’t it? It shows where Abram still was - Abram was at the beginning of his salvation, beginning to learn that God in fact is his great shield and his great reward, his Deliverer, his Rock, his everything; this was the beginning of his learning process.
Then he is saved in verse 6 and the Lord prophesied to him how his seed will end up in Egypt in verse 13, they will be there for 400 years and in verse 14 the beginning of Exodus.
Now we will skip chapter 16 because we were in it last time and also chapter 17 and we go right to chapter 18: “And the Lord appeared unto him in the plains of Mamre: and he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day; and he lift up his eyes and looked, and, lo, three men stood by him: and when he saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed himself toward the ground, and said, My Lord, if now I have found favour in thy sight, pass not away, I pray thee, from thy servant: Let a little water, I pray you, be fetched, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree: and I will fetch a morsel of bread, and comfort ye your hearts; after that ye shall pass on: for therefore are ye come to your servant. And they said: So do, as thou hast said.” Here is Abraham now, oh yes, he is Abraham now.
Now, before I read anything else, I would like to say, this picture, sort of line, how the events follow, after all these things we read now and talked and mentioned about Abraham and Lot, here comes the moment, where in chapters 18 and 19 we are going to witness the times, which even for us is future. Because simply, chapter 18 typifies the Rapture of the Christians, of the Abrahamites, I might say ... Abraham and Sarah his wife meet God face to face. Now this is the time we meet the Lord face to face - this is the Rapture. After this Rapture the Lord turns towards Sodom. And we will come back and we will read some verses. The Lord turns towards Sodom, Sodom is destroyed. Sodom and Gomorrah typify the Great Tribulation; we talk about Armageddon, we talk about all these things from the Book of Revelation. This is typified by Sodom and Gomorrah, the wrath of God, the judgement of God. We know that there are verses in the New Testament where the Lord Himself says, He compares it in fact, He brings two references, one is: as the days of Noah were, so shall it be at the end of the world (Mat.24:37). And the second was: as it was in the days of Sodom and Gomorrah (Lk.17:26-30). So He brings these two in view. Now, the Flood ... He brought the Flood as a reference, because of people, because of what they were doing before the Flood, they are doing today actually. Yet He is... the Flood does not typify the judgement that is coming to this world, because the Flood was the judgement itself, it was the real thing. That was the judgement of the world! Everybody perished, everything perished. It was not an example, it was a real thing. After that, God gave a rainbow as a sign, before Noah there was never any rainbow. We see a rainbow today, the same thing, continuous from Noah. But Sodom and Gomorrah typify the judgement of the world which is coming. That is why in the days of Abraham, God did not burn down the whole world, but only two cities to show as an example.
So the fact that Abraham and Sarah met God face to face just before Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed means the Christians ... the Abrahamites ... will meet the Lord face to face before this Great Judgement comes. That is the Rapture. Secondly, “Lot also...”; these two words go right through, Lot also was delivered from being destroyed in Sodom and Gomorrah. We know that and every little child knows that, this story. That means the Christians, which are typified by Lot, even though they may go through the Tribulation period, they will be taken out of this world at the last trump (1Cor.15:52). Which means just before the fire falls, before the seven vials which is the “wrath of God”. The seventh seal, ... the seven trumpets don’t represent the wrath of God, the seven vials represent the wrath of God. So the time that Lot was taken out I would say was the time of the last trumpet. And at the last trumpet, the dead shall rise, this is the Rapture of the Church described in Corinthians and Thessalonians, which Paul describes. These are the people who typify Lot. I have no intention even to wait for the seventh trumpet. Now let’s get back to it and see what the Lord has here.
We say Lot was righteous and I have some reference if you want to find out where it is written: 2Peter 2:7,8 ... let’s go to verse 6: “And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly; and delivering just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked: (for that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds)” ... he is called righteous here by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit to Peter, so he was righteous. Yet when did he become righteous? That is a question. How come a righteous man lives in Sodom? Is it possible? Well, we know when Abram became righteous and was turned into Abraham (Gen.15:6) because he believed. And after that Abraham learned faith. And Abraham learned to walk with God all those years, so when it came to the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, Abraham recognized Him and worshipped Him. He (Abraham) says: “Tarry ye, I will provide water to wash your feet and bread and something to eat, rest and then you will go on”. Lot never walked by faith, Lot never recognized God; in fact God never appeared to him, so how could he? He never talked to Lot, He waited after Lot is separated and then He talked to Abraham. So how come he is righteous and when did he become righteous in fact? And here I think again we ought to realize that in God’s eyes everyone who is saved is righteous from the beginning. We were righteous before we were born because God knew us. So when God says “this righteous man”, I may not be saved, but in God’s eyes I am righteous because He knows me (and) I will experience salvation in my lifetime.
So I want you to compare for example this thing: I claim and believe that Lot became righteous about ‘five minutes before twelve’. I want you to read this and consider it in your heart what we read. Again chapter 18 and the Lord appeared unto Abraham “lo, three men stood by him; and when he saw them, he ran to meet them, etc, ... he bowed himself toward the ground, and said, My Lord, ... pass not away, I pray thee, ... wash your feet and rest yourselves ... I will fetch a morsel of bread... after that ye shall pass on.” Go to chapter 19, verse 1, just before Sodom is destroyed: “And there came two angels to Sodom at even; and Lot sat in the gate of Sodom”. Abraham sat in the door of his tent, he (Lot) sat in the gate of Sodom ... “and Lot seeing them rose up to meet them; and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground; And he said, Behold now, my lords ... wash your feet and ye shall rise up early, and go on your ways”... he did exactly what Abraham did. The first time he met God and he recognized Him. And I am sure he met God only because of the grace of God and because Abraham interceded for him, otherwise he would have not been saved. So there we are, five minutes before twelve, Lot is met by God by His grace and he recognizes God and he bows down and says almost the same thing as Abraham said.
Notice another thing, chapter 19, verse 1: “and there came two men”. These angels are called “men” in verse 10, for example, they were men. Chapter 18, verse 2, there were THREE men. What does it mean to you? Abraham meets God face to face! Whole God, we will meet the whole Lord Jesus Christ face to face, whereas Lot did not meet God in His wholeness. Notice another thing, chapter 18 after Abraham meets God and he proposes to Him this ‘and wash your feet and eat and then ye shall pass on’, verse 5, at the end: “and they said (these three men), so do”. You have it? Chapter 19 after Lot says the same thing at the end of verse 2: “And they said, Nay”. So God speaks to Lot: ‘No! You get out of this place, while there is time.’ It was grace enough for God to come and fetch him from that dunghole. Whereas He speaks differently to Abraham. You see the difference? And after that Abraham is going to ‘bug’ God by going from 50 righteous men down to 10 and God patiently takes it, because He knows his heart. If he ended up with 3, God would have listened to him because God knew there was only Lot anyway. So Abraham could have exhausted all numbers from 1000 down to 2, Sodom would have been destroyed anyway. But he is a friend of God. You cannot exhaust God’s patience by interceding for someone. In fact, Abraham talks to Him not in a very Christian way, reverent way; in Gen. 18:25 he tells God: “That be far from thee...”. To me that’s pretty bold to talk to God like that. In other words ‘don’t dare to do that’... but you dare to talk like that to your good friend.
So here is Abraham and Sarah, who is laughing to God’s face, in verse 12, and then lying to God’s face - and there is Lot in chapter 19. Now to show you further the face of Lot, as you read chapter 19, these wicked inhabitants of Sodom came to his house and in verse 7 Lot said to them: “I pray you, brethren”... he calls them brethren. These wicked homosexual pigs he is calling brethren! This is the state of the mind of Lot. Verse 8: “Behold now, I have two daughters which have not known man.” He is offering his own daughters to these pigs and at the same time he is lying to the face of these two angels and to everyone around because just a few verses down he is talking to his sons-in-law! So he says, “I have two daughters which have not known men”, yet they have been married for years and in verse 14: “And Lot went out, and spake unto his sons in law, which married his daughters”... so who can believe this guy? And yet, Lot was saved. Why? First: because of the intercession of Abraham - God meets him, or part of God, you might say, meets Lot in Sodom. They talk to him, these two angels from Heaven, and then Lot believes, ... he believes God’s word. That alone, folks, saves us. Just as Honza prayed tonight, without faith we are lost; we not only cannot please God, we are lost, period. There is nothing to add. Re-read chapter 19, verse 14, when the angels spoke to Lot and urged him to get out because God is going to destroy the city, “And Lot went out, and spake unto his sons-in-law, which married his daughters, and said, Up, get ye out of this place; for the Lord will destroy this city”... which means Lot believed what the angels were saying ... “But he seemed as one that mocked unto his sons in law.” I am not surprised at that, but Lot believed and he believed in the nick of time. And what happened - well exactly the opposite of what this “grand” Hollywood film was showing. The angels had to grab Lot and his wife and his two daughters and get them out from there, get them out of hell, really.
Verse 16: “While he lingered”... while Lot lingered ... I don’t know what else he was looking for, his bank account, or pipe, or something; he lingered ... “the men laid hold upon his hand” ... they grabbed him ... “and upon the hand of his wife, and upon the hand of his two daughters; the Lord being merciful unto him”. I believe that the Lord has been leading us into this to show us, in fact, that these chapters describe our days, they describe our Church, they describe Christians who walk by faith and learn to walk by faith as Abraham did. He was not born “a guy” full of faith, he was born nothing, just a bundle of vanity, just as we were born, an idolater, a common idolater, period. He walked or learned to walk by faith, he learned obedience to God to the degree that when God called him to sacrifice Isaac, he went. To me that’s the highest test of faith there can be! Even higher than what Job said, “Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him” (Job 13:15). This is the grandest statement of faith: even though God would slay me yet I would trust Him - this is faith. This (Abraham’s) is even greater faith because sometimes we value our son more than ourselves. God, in fact, tempted only one man and it was Abraham. Because this was a temptation, because it was so great a thing.
So Abraham learned to walk in faith with God. Therefore God met him face to face and his house, his wife. So God is not a male chauvinist, God met him and Sarah, face to face before the judgement of the world. And then Abraham interceded for Lot and for the righteous; not only for Lot, for all the righteous, if there be, peradventure, fifty. Who knows whether he was thinking about Lot, but Lot got back the second time into Sodom, otherwise he could not sit in the gate of that wicked city. So this is what Christians are doing. You get them once out of hell and they crawl there the second time! What else can God do, then? And this is the ... Lot’s rapture out of there represents the rapture of Christians typified by Lot at the last trump, at the very last trump, five minutes before twelve, just before the wrath of God comes to the world or upon the world. And it is described here in such detail that it can’t be described more clearly.
One last thing that I would like to say now here is ... if you are still back in chapter 19 ... well, we know that his wife turned into a pillar of salt; then the Lord rained upon Sodom and Gomorrah in verse 24. Verse 29: “And it came to pass, when God destroyed the cities of the plain, that God remembered Abraham, and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow”. So this was the direct intercession of Abraham. From verse 30 to verse 38 you have the sin of Lot and his two daughters, out of which came forth Moab in verse 37, the father of the Moabites and the children of Ammon, verse 38. Now, what does it mean? Does it mean anything to us? So now the judgement is dispensed on Sodom and Gomorrah, which means it typifies the judgement of the world and what comes ... is the kingdom. At the last trump Christians, typified by Lot, are taken out of the world (well, Abrahamites are out already and are taken) ... they meet the Lord in the air, they don’t go to Heaven. Do you remember that verse? They meet the Lord in the air ... and then comes the judgement of the world, which is typified by Sodom and Gomorrah. After that is finished, the Lord comes with His, back to the Earth and claims the kingdom, or establishes the kingdom. This is the beginning, day one of Heaven on earth, after Armageddon, after Antichrist, after the devil is bound for a thousand years and chained into the pit. So that is what is happening after Sodom and Gomorrah. After Sodom and Gomorrah Lot sins, he produces Moab and Ammon and these two lands of Moab and of Amon are outside of Canaan, which again proves they are out of the kingdom! These Christians are outside of the kingdom, they do not inherit the kingdom. Now I have this ... I want you to bear with me for a few more minutes.
Deuteronomy, chapter 2. Now remember, this Moab and Ammon were born and got their land after Sodom and Gomorrah, which means after the judgement of the world; Deut.2:9 : “And the Lord said unto me, Distress not the Moabites, neither contend with them in battle: for I will not give thee of their land for a possession; because I have given Ar unto the children of Lot for a possession.” Israel got nothing out of the land of Moabites for a possession and if you look at a map, Moab is to the east of Canaan outside of the Promised Land. (Question - was not Ruth a Moabite? Yes, she was a Moabite but she is an exception. We don’t talk now about Ruth, but I am sure it has million of other significances, this Ruth, in history. But she came from Moab, yes, and she married Boaz and there are significances, too, but Moab as such was outside of the kingdom). And nobody was supposed to even harass them ...like Joshua. God says ‘I will not give you any part of the land for a possession’ which means forget it, this is not the kingdom. Verse 19: “And when thou comest nigh over against the children of Ammon, (the other guy) distress them not, nor meddle with them: for I will not give thee of the land of the children of Ammon any possession; because I have given it unto the children of Lot for a possession.” And Ammon is outside of Canaan, it’s outside of the Promised Land. This is outside of the kingdom. Do you see that? So the Christians who are like unto Lot shall not inherit the Kingdom of Heaven, they have eternal life and they will inherit the eternal life after the Millennium, after the Last Judgement, and in the meantime they will live outside of the kingdom, just as Lot and all his people were living outside of the Promised Land.
I am not going to continue, because... the tape is coming to an end. But we praise God for His Word!
SEEK YE FIRST THE KINGDOM (Part IV)
(Recorded on Jan.15, 1988)
Now before we go into the Scripture, before we continue where we ended last time, I would like to make one remark ... which perhaps I should have made at the beginning. But it came to me tonight ... it might have been the Lord who showed me something. And the remark is this: there probably are statements, not one, two ... but maybe even more, on the tape, which I made, which may be in seeming contradiction with certain verses of the Scripture. You always can find a verse somewhere which may seem contradictory to what I said ... firstly; secondly, there could be statements which are not only seeming contradictions but which may not be right in the eyes of God and I would like to freely admit that I am not infallible, I am not God, I don’t know everything ... and that I am not afraid to make a mistake. In fact should the Lord reveal such mistakes to me we should all rejoice ... I should rejoice ... and I will, because I want to be corrected and that would be a blessing.
So I am not afraid to make a mistake or lose my reputation because I have none. I have nothing to lose as you know my reputation in the religious world is zero ... praise God! So since I have nothing to lose I can as well admit to mistakes. However, when it comes to apparent contradictions, I would like to give only one advice ... and I found out one already, that is why I am inserting this remark now. The one that if you listen to the end of part three and the talk about the Rapture of Christians typified by Lot or by Abraham and then you re-read some of the verses in the New Testament, namely in 1Cor. chapter 15 or 1Thess. (I don’t know exactly what part, but) these two major places in the New Testament ... if you re-read some of these verses, some, one or two verses or just a few words may stand in apparent contradiction. I would like to say that that should not be an obstacle to further listen and ponder this sharing, because from my own experience I know that this is always, always dangerous to take a verse from the Bible or two or three adjacent verses and try to interpret them, explain them by themselves ... or one single verse by itself and forgetting the rest of the Bible. It never works ... it never works, it never shall work! There are only a few exceptions when we can do it ... you know when you have a verse such as “Jesus wept”... you don’t need to study the Bible to understand that. But the golden rule is: never do that, because even when it may appeal to our logic that this must be so, it may not be so and the Lord has ways which we don’t know. So we must constantly come to Him and appeal to Him for the right interpretation, for the right light of any of His Word.
So this was my remark and now... we finished last time, I believe, in Genesis chapter 19. At the end of that chapter talking about Lot and his sin with his two daughters, the birth of the Moabites and the children of Ammon and that was the end of that part and that second theme that runs parallel from Genesis chapter 12. This second theme was entitled “Abraham and Lot”. Now we should continue... you may remember that sometime ago I told you to read the book of Colossians ... you remember or you forgot? ... you remember that. Now we are not going there now, but we will go there later, but I tell you why. When I came to the end of message part III and again... of course I was in chapter 19 of Genesis and I was pondering the Book of Colossians, I could not see myself or visualize myself making that jump. And something was always missing. I said, how could I jump from Sodom and Gomorrah to the Book of Colossians? And so I was pondering that. Then I was reminded that in fact the Lord allowed us ... when we talked about the Moabites and the Ammonites ... the Lord gave us a peek into two verses in Deuteronomy. Do you remember that? So I was pondering that. Then finally I realized that there is one springboard from this whole topic or in this whole topic from the Old Testament to the New Testament ... and that is not Genesis. What would you say is that springboard? Don’t forget we are talking about the Kingdom of Heaven, and what is typified by the Kingdom of Heaven or what typifies the Kingdom is the Promised Land. So, lo and behold, I was led to the Book of Deuteronomy ... that is exactly where we are going and this will be part IV of this message.
Now in this part I will sing you a song ... I know some of you are laughing but don’t worry ... fear not! It will not be that bad. I have realized that the Book of Deuteronomy is the song of Moses. So when we go through that book we will sing the song of Moses. You talk about revelations, you talk about thinking about the message ... well if I was thinking about what to say tonight, I tell you I would not even be speaking, but the moment I prayed I realized the Lord is here to refresh ... He immediately starts with giving you a revelation. And this is the first one ... among others.
So here is Moses who typifies Christ as Deliverer, as Messiah, as Redeemer coming to the end of his task, finishing, towards the end of his life’s journey and task, he is in fact being turned into someone who typifies someone else and not Christ. But this man who typifies Christ as Redeemer and Deliverer sings a song to Joshua, who typifies Christ as Conqueror. Then we have Solomon who sings a song too, who typifies Christ as King in the Kingdom already. You see, are you beginning to see the beauty of the Word of God? I’ll tell you something ... I think we know very little of it and we see very little, but the Lord is here to reveal His beauty. Now in the Book of Deuteronomy which is the song of Moses ... he is singing this to Joshua before they crossed the river Jordan and so, since the crossing of river Jordan typifies our crossing to the Kingdom of Heaven, then this song is really applicable to our days! These are the last days of Israel on “that side of Jordan”, we are in the last days on “this side of the Kingdom”. Furthermore, Jordan typifies death.
Before we read anything here let me just say a few of these words which are in my heart. Jordan typifies death. Note a few things, for example, it joins two seas: the Sea of Galilee with the Dead Sea. The Sea of Galilee is a living sea, full of fish, full of life, fresh water, you could drink from it, perhaps not today but in the days of the apostles you probably could have. And then, it joins the other sea where I don’t advise you to drink from - the Dead Sea and that is why it is called dead - there is no life. So it joins... it’s born in life, in the Sea of Galilee where the Lord ministered, and it flows to the Dead Sea where there is no life and where the Lord never ministered. In fact, He was never there. Furthermore, the Lord was baptized in the Jordan being buried in the waters of baptism. We are being buried with Him in the waters of baptism (Rom.6:4). He was buried there which, of course, typifies His death. We come to other things: the Ark of the Covenant when it rested at the bottom of the Jordan (Joshua 3:15-17) also typifies Christ but in different meaning ...now... this is already ... we are jumping too much ahead. But I am just trying to say that this Jordan typifies death. Now, they were in ... all Israel were in the wilderness on that side of the Jordan, which means on the side of wilderness, as we are on this side of death and also in the wilderness. And our Moses’ are being shown the kingdom and they are also being told ‘thou shalt not see it’ –you will not go in. And they are singing a song to Joshuas who are going in.
Deut.1:1: “These be the words which Moses spake unto all Israel on this side Jordan in the wilderness” –this is a song of Moses. You can just briefly jump into Deut. 31:30, in the last verse is written: “And Moses spake in the ears of all the congregation of Israel the words of this song, until they were ended.” So this is a song of Moses.
Chapter 1, verse 3 and 5: “And it came to pass in the fortieth year, in the eleventh month, on the first day of the month” –forty years, after forty years they came to this place and in verse 5: “On this side Jordan, in the land of Moab, began Moses to declare this law, saying” –these are the last days of Israel in the wilderness on this side of the Jordan. It just indicates that after 40 years of wandering, Israel... all of it, all of Israel, came to this place and these were the last days of Israel in the wilderness on that side of the Jordan - and it corresponds to our day - all of the Church is now on this side of the Kingdom and death, physical death in the wilderness. We are still in the wilderness, the world is wilderness and let us not mix up “earth” with the “world”. We are in the wilderness of the world, not the earth. When the Kingdom comes it shall come to the same earth and it shall not be wilderness.
Verse 8: “Behold” ... you can read it two ways: “behold the land” you can underline the words behold the land or you can read it “behold, I have set the land before you”. Moses is singing to them: ‘behold the land’, ‘I have set the land before you.’ Now if you go to Matthew 6:33 ... this verse in Mat.6:33 is the verse which began our whole journey: “But seek ye first the Kingdom of God”. Now to seek the Kingdom of God corresponds to verse 8 of Deuteronomy 1 when it says: “go in and possess the land”. And I want you to go to Luke 17:21 ... it is a verse which we also quoted, as a second verse when we began this journey and it says: “Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the Kingdom of God is within you”. Now this verse can also be read in two ways: ‘behold the Kingdom’ which corresponds to verse 8 in Deuteronomy chapter 1 ‘behold the land before you’ or it could be read ‘behold I have set the Kingdom of God within you’. Now ‘I have set’ is not there, but this is the meaning, the Lord has set the Kingdom within us ... ‘behold I have set the Kingdom of God within you’ and this corresponds with verse 8 being read ‘behold I have set the land before you’. Whereas the land is territory in front of Israel, the Kingdom of God is territory within us, the new man being the king, the conqueror. All throughout this song of Moses we will note in fact a marvelous beauty of the Word of God and a corresponding picture in the New Testament. We all know by now or should know that what is written in the Old Testament has a spiritual meaning and the picture must be found in the New Testament in one way or another.
Deut. 1:17... that song commands Israel saying: “Ye shall not respect persons in judgement” –this is the beginning of instructions or commandments of the Spirit of God to Israel before they go in and possess it, so this is, in fact, extremely important to us. We are in the days, the last days on this side of the Kingdom and the Lord is giving us instructions - how to get in and possess it and what to do in it. He says already “ye shall not respect persons in judgement; but ye shall hear the small as well as the great; ye shall not be afraid of the face of man; for the judgement is God’s”. Now, I am sure you know James 2, you can read verses 1-9; basically this portion of the Scripture corresponds to that verse 17 in Deuteronomy chapter 1 and the core of it is in verse 9: “But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin”, in fact, “and are convinced of the law as transgressors”. So the same commandment is in verse 1 “My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons”, in other words, you are not to respect persons in the sense of assessing them in spirit. So the same Spirit of God through James is telling us in chapter 2, verses 1–9 or 10 the same thing which the Spirit of God speaks through Moses in Deuteronomy chapter 1, verse 17 and we ought to see and realize these parallels because this is the same God. We are not talking about God of Old Testament and some new God of the New Testament.
We are still in Deuteronomy chapter 1 ... (I made myself plenty of remarks now on this paper because that little old paper I had from the beginning was not very good) ... in verse 35 and verse 37 we read: “Surely there shall not one of these men of this evil generation see that good land, which I sware to give unto your fathers”... we may as well read until verse 40. Verse 36: “Save Caleb the son of Jephunneh; he shall see it, and to him will I give the land that he has trodden upon, and to his children, because he hath wholly followed the Lord”. Verse 37: “Also the Lord was angry with me”, Moses says, “for your sakes, saying, Thou also shalt not go in thither. But Joshua the son of Nun, which standeth before thee, he shall go in thither: encourage him: for he shall cause Israel to inherit it. Moreover your little ones, which ye said should be a pray, and your children, which in that day had no knowledge between good and evil, they shall go in thither, and unto them will I give it, and they shall possess it.”
I wonder what you would get out of these five verses and how is it tied to the Kingdom of Heaven. You know, normally, I read these things a few times before and I never saw anything ... anything, I mean extra ordinary, and this is exactly the difference when the Lord does give you a certain light about something you see it differently, you read it differently, you understand it differently and that’s the difference. Now what the Lord is saying here ... this has a tremendous (importance) also ... it has a relationship with the Kingdom of Heaven and with Christians. Now already in verse 35 the Lord says: “surely there shall not one of these men of this evil generation see (the Kingdom of Heaven) that good land” –not one of them shall enter the Kingdom of Heaven - what evil generation is that? Is He talking about some pagans in China or Roman Empire? No! ... yes, He is talking about Israel. That evil generation died out in the wilderness, all unbelievers from Israel died out in the wilderness, and the Lord says ‘not one of them shall see the Kingdom’. And then notice, there are four points to notice: first, Caleb, in verse 36 ‘he shall see it’; point number two is in the next verse: Moses, ‘he shall not see it’; point number three: verse 38 – Joshua, ‘he shall go in’, point number four – little children shall go in. Now when it comes to the Kingdom, this is what we ought to say at this point: Moses at this stage does not represent or typify Christ anymore, he typifies here in fact the leadership which even today preaches the Word, leads the flock, ministers to the flock, and smites the Rock with their rods, which the Rock is Christ and they may not even know they are doing it, but they are! And these are those Moses’, including some evangelists as we know and the Lord says they shall not enter in. So who shall enter? ... only two kinds of people - Caleb and Joshua because they both typify certain Overcomers. Caleb and Joshua typify certain Overcomers or certain types of Overcomers - these will enter in - and the little children!
Now, let us first go to Numbers, which is just the previous book, chapter 14 and verse 6. Should you read chapter 13 of Numbers, you would read about how Moses sent spies to the Promised Land. Now in chapter 14 two of the spies which were included were Caleb of the tribe of Judah and Joshua of the tribe of Ephraim. Verse 6 of Numbers 14 says: “And Joshua the son of Nun, and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, which were of them that searched the land, rent their clothes: and they spake unto all the company of the children of Israel, saying, The land, which we passed through to search it, is an exceeding good land” –and I am saying to you, even all Calebs and Joshuas today are able to say it to brethren, ‘we have been seeking through the Kingdom and it is beautiful, get in and possess it’. That’s what they are telling them, “if the Lord delights in us, then He will bring us into this land, and give it us; a land which floweth with milk and honey. Only rebel not ye against the Lord, neither fear ye the people of the land; for they are the bread for us;” etc. and etc., in other words, we don’t ... we will not read about the whole account but out of all these spies only these two Joshua and Caleb came with faith and gave a good report of the land, of the Promised Land. And the rest of the spies were against it and all the congregation of Israel were against it! For example, in verse 10: “But all the congregation bade stone them with stones”, and in verse 11: “And the Lord said unto Moses, How long will this people provoke me? and how long will it be ere they believe me, for all the signs which I have shewed among them?” ... so when we come to Deuteronomy chapter 1, verse 36, Caleb, and in verse 38 Joshua are these two believers which typify the Overcomers. Now obviously we can re-read Revelation chapters 2 and 3 which is also the last correspondence of the Lord to the Church and see who is going to the Kingdom... (only) the Overcomers and these Overcomers are typified by Caleb and Joshua.
In addition, Joshua, in addition to typifying Overcomers, typifies Christ in terms of being Conqueror. How do we know that? Well, re-read verse 38: “But Joshua the son of Nun, which standeth before thee, he shall go in thither: encourage him: for he shall cause Israel to inherit it”... underline the word cause. Caleb did not cause Israel, Joshua alone will cause Israel to inherit it. The Lord Jesus Christ alone will cause us to inherit the Kingdom and none of us will do it. Do you see the difference or the addition? Joshua, being this type of Christ as Conqueror. This verse “he shall cause Israel to inherit it”, in fact, can be tied with the Book of Revelation . Let us read Revelation chapter 19 and verse 11 ... we start reading: “And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and He that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns; and He had a name written, that no man knew, but He Himself. And He was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and His name is called The Word of God” ... of course we talk about Christ Himself ... “And the armies which were in heaven followed Him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of His mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it He should smite the nations: and He shall rule them with a rod of iron: and He treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God”. Now notice: He is coming as Conqueror to obtain His Kingdom, the armies are following Him and in verse 15 He is there to smite the nations on earth, which is the territory of the Kingdom of Heaven ... are you following me or am I going too fast? Now, go to Deuteronomy 7:1: “When the Lord thy God shall bring thee into the land whither thou goest to posses it, and hath cast out many nations before thee” and then He names them and then in verse 2 He says: “And when the Lord thy God shall deliver them before thee; thou shall smite them”... that’s exactly what Christ is going to do, smite the nations and here Joshua is going to do it, “and utterly destroy them;” ... in fact... “thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor shew mercy unto them” Christ is not going to show mercy, He is coming as Conqueror on a white horse, He is not coming as a humble Deliverer on an ass... sitting on an ass, He is coming as Conqueror on a white horse, as a King and He is going to smite the nations and rule them with a rod of iron. Now that’s why Joshua, because he is the one who will cause Israel to inherit it, he typifies (also) Christ as Conqueror.
Go to Matthew 18:3, the Lord Jesus said: “Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the Kingdom of Heaven”! Now don’t tell me that this does not correspond with verse 39 of Deuteronomy chapter 1 ‘your little children shall enter in’ - don’t you see the beauty of the Word of God? – “unto them shall I give it, and they shall possess it.”... the end of verse 39. When I was first reading it I was really singing it - this is the song of Moses, perhaps he did not even realize what he was singing, but we today can (realize). Deuteronomy chapter 2 is a place where, in fact, the Lord gave us a peek at the end of part III and we will again go into this plus one more verse, we will read verse 5: “Meddle not with them; for I will not give you of their land, no, not so much as a foot breadth; because I have given mount Seir unto Esau for a possession”. Verse 9: “And the Lord said unto me, Distress not the Moabites, neither contend with them in battle: for I will not give thee of their land for a possession; because I have given Ar unto the children of Lot for a possession.” Verse 19: “And when thou comest nigh over against the children of Ammon, distress them not, nor meddle with them: for I will not give thee of the land of the children of Ammon any possession; because I have given it unto the children of Lot for a possession.”
Now notice that, in fact, all three verses describe a certain land which was given to the possession of Lot, Lot’s two sons and to Esau. And Lot and all this land is on the other side of the Jordan, they are not in the Promised Land but, furthermore, notice that Lot was a brother to Abraham, so we are talking about brethren. Esau was a brother to Jacob, the first born of Isaac, another type of Christ and yet his possession was outside of the Kingdom. That ought to have a practical impact on us also and on Christians. They ought to realize that they are brethren who even today dwell outside of the Kingdom and will not enter the Kingdom. In fact, these can be brethren, which were converted before us, in other words, Esau was the first born of Isaac and Rebecca. Isaac typifies Christ as the Lamb of God, Rebecca typifies the Church. Now their firstborn son will never see the Kingdom and the second born, which was Jacob, was not much better, because he disputed with God as a businessman trying to make deals with Him; and the Lord... I don’t want to go into this now because this is a long story ... but, nevertheless, he was the father of Israel ... the twelve tribes ... because he was renamed ‘Israel’ just as Abram was renamed to ‘Abraham’. Isaac was never renamed to anything. And so this Jacob, this “fox” from the Old Testament is, in fact, getting into the Kingdom and Esau his brother is not! And obviously there are reasons for that and we ought to realize that this is happening today, we have Esaus walking in the Church and we have Jacobs walking in the Church... right? All that we read has a practical meaning for us for today even though we may not see it tonight but the Lord is going to show us in practice. One practical lesson, perhaps, would be: don’t try to drag any Esaus into the Kingdom! Don’t meddle with Esaus ... don’t try to possess any of what they have because I am not going to give you even one inch of that. Don’t harass Lots ... don’t you see that there? Re-read it! Don’t harass Lots, I am not going to give you anything what is theirs. Now if you say there is no practical value in that then I don’t know where there is. Now it may not ... when I read for the first time in my life Deuteronomy, I honestly have to admit I was thinking why is this book in the Bible, you know, because you can’t tell left from right. And when you read Chronicles even more so ... Lord spare me ... why should I read all that “stuff”; but today I ask the Lord to forgive me because I was a stupid fool, an idiot and blind as a bat! [And now when You are opening our eyes we see the beauty of Your Word (Lord), and connections and relationships that we could not dream about before.] And we are just beginning, you see... really I was trying just to pick up the most important but who knows what is the most important ... in other words, I was picking whatever touched my heart, wherever I felt “this is a real beauty” –you know, I just picked it, period. Don’t despise the day of small things.
In chapter 2 and verse 7 ... we are always in Deuteronomy, we are going out only for references, but we always return to the Book of Deuteronomy and will return until we finish it. Chapter 2, verse 7: “For the Lord thy God hath blessed thee in all the works of thy hand: He knoweth thy walking through this great wilderness”... the Lord is telling us in the Book of Deuteronomy that He knows our walk, He is telling us in Mark chapter 6 He is watching us how we row ... this is the same thing! ... “these forty years the Lord thy God hath been with thee; thou hast lacked nothing.” Now Matthew 28:20... what it says... I am sure that there are other verses which would fit that, like when the Lord sent out the first disciples and told them not to take with them any script or purse or anything. And when they came back He asked them, ‘Have you lacked anything?’ and they said, ‘No’, well this is also the same thing, you can relate it to Deuteronomy. In this verse (Mat.28:20) the Lord is saying: “...lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world” ... I am with you alway, which for sure corresponds to or paints the color of verse 7, Deuteronomy 2: ‘I have been with thee’. In fact, from this we can say the Church lacked nothing! Since the day of conception the Church lacked nothing, it does not mean that the Church was never in need or miserable because Israel (also) lacked nothing yet they were miserable. They were murmuring, they never knew what they wanted actually, so I am not talking from the viewpoint of Israel, I am talking from the viewpoint of God. In His eyes they lacked nothing, they had everything in Him (during) all that wandering in the wilderness.
So that if I had nothing but this verse, we can say the Church likewise, throughout the journey in this wilderness for this two thousand years... the Church never lacked anything. God was always with the Church, nevertheless, not to be much different from Israel, we tried hard to be rebellious, just as they were, we tried hard to rebel, we tried hard to murmur, we tried hard to complain about everything, we tried to be miserable very efficiently just as they and so I would say we are no better than they were. But the Lord always had the Remnant in Israel and He always had the Remnant in the Church - and thank God we are the Remnant.
I don’t have... without going to the New Testament I would like to read Deuteronomy chapter 4 and verse 1 and 2 just because of its beauty and because of its importance. Because the Lord is telling us this tonight also with respect to the Kingdom: “Now therefore hearken, O ye Church of Jesus Christ, hearken unto the statutes and unto the judgements, which I teach you, I Christ Jesus, for to do them”. Now we also without going to the Book of James, I think in chapter 1, verse 22 he says “do the word lest ye be deceived”, so this is also... the Lord is saying ‘do them, do them, don’t study them, don’t discuss them, do them that ye may live’ which means: if you don’t do them you don’t live! You debate but you are dead debaters ... “do them that ye may live and go in and possess the land”. In other words, if we don’t do the judgements and the statutes of the Lord as He, in fact, increased them in the New Testament and made them more difficult, unless we do them we shall not live and we shall not go in to possess the Kingdom! Verse 2: “Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you”... oh, this is a beauty ... “neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you.” Now where would you find in the New Testament the picture of this? The Book of Revelation - ‘don’t add to this book, nor take away’... can you find out the references in the Book of Revelation just for the sake of some people who would like to have it? Chapter 22, verse 19, this is at the end of the book, you see, now: “if any man shall take away from the words of the Book of this prophesy, God shall...” ...mind you, some people may say ‘this is just the Book of Revelation’ but this is not so. The whole Word of God is prophecy when it comes to that ... “God shall take away his part out of the Book of life,” which means: you shall not live! That exactly corresponds to verse 2 of Deuteronomy, chapter 4: “...and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.” Verse 18: “If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book”. So... in fact, I didn’t even have this reference marked on my little paper here but there are always references. This is the picture, it also testifies that the same Lord is speaking, the same God is speaking to Israel and to the Church!
Maybe we can go a little further, Deuteronomy 6:4,5: ... and this is a beauty ... “Hear, O Israel ... Hear O Church: The Lord our God is one Lord:” ...this is a famous statement for Israel... “And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might”. Now, Mark chapter 12 ... I want you to read it ... Mark 12:29-30, the Lord says: “The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.” – and the very easy one, yes? Now I want you to tell me what is the difference ... because what we see now is the relationship of Deuteronomy with the words of the Lord in the new Testament and what is He telling us before we end up in the Kingdom. But another thing ... there is always a greater depth to everything, there is always a greater depth ... if we should just notice this and we say “oh, look at that Mark 12 is exactly the same as Deuteronomy 6” and then we go on ... we would miss again something very important. Now what should we notice? That’s a question ... (what) to notice here and what is the practical value of comparing these two scriptures ... you wouldn’t even try to find for yourselves? Well, read both again and re-read both yourselves and tell me if there is anything that we should notice or draw from it. Deuteronomy chapter 6, verses 4 and 5, Mark chapter 12, verses 29 and 30. They correspond, its the same living tie between the New Testament and the Old as in many other verses ... where the Spirit of the Lord is speaking Himself to Israel and here to the Church exactly the same thing, yes?
1Cor. 2:13 ... all these living ties that the Lord is showing us between the Book of Deuteronomy, for example, and all over His New Testament show and prove that as He was dealing with Israel in the physical He is dealing with us in the spiritual sense... that’s true. Now that principle applies always and it will not be discarded, however, there is something else here. Now it is true that in Deuteronomy 6:5 the “mind” is missing. Is that important? Why? Why is the mind missing in Deuteronomy - you see it’s so easy to skip that and not notice it and, perhaps, if I would not have asked that, we would have skipped that, nobody would notice that the “mind” is missing there. I was reading it through until when the Lord brought me back. He had to bring me back too, because I was skipping it, because this is natural, yes, and He says ‘now notice something’ –so I re-read this and I re-read that and I am saying: aha, “mind” is missing. Well, why is the “mind” missing? Does it have any significance to us in 1988 in Montreal? ... Yes, the Old Testament was written for our admonition and for our education (1Cor.10:11) and obviously not just to make the Bible thicker. But what is that teaching or what is that significance? ... we say, you see, we may not even perceive the value of it and I am free to tell you especially tonight that most of the prayers today were said because of this difference. How many prayed for a renewed mind? Now, you see, the “mind” is missing ... I want you to read one key verse from Philippians, one key verse ...not just a verse...in the Book of Philippians which you will not find anywhere in the Old Testament no matter what you do and the Lord never required Israel to do that because He knew it was impossible. Philippians chapter 2, verse 5 ... do you see the significance of it now, why the Lord added the word mind in the New Testament? - because we are supposed to enter the real Kingdom, not just a physical representation of something. The Promised Land ... you did not have to have the mind of God to enter the Promised Land and smite the Canaanites or run to Jericho and kill some people over there. You did not have to have the mind of Christ. If you want to rule with Him in the Kingdom you had better have His mind because the ruling will not be with tanks or MX missiles, it will be with the Spirit (of a sound mind).
So the typical feature of the Overcomers also is that they are acquiring the mind of Christ; we ought to be one in faith, one in mind, one in soul, one in everything, one in purpose, one in will ... do you remember His grand prayer in the gospel of John 17:11 where the Lord prayed to the Father that we may be one, that “they may be one as we are”? If you re-read that grand prayer, we can’t, perhaps, even realize the depth of it and the beauty of it. So the real value of this one little detail is in addition that the same Spirit is talking through Moses singing the same song to them telling them this is the grandest commandment “hear ye o Israel”. So the Lord is telling us the same thing here in the New Testament plus He adds mind which has such a great significance.
Most of our troubles are, in fact, in our mind, we oppose God with our mind, we resist Him, we resist His Will because our mind does not like many things. It stands in the way of our faith, if you can not raise the dead today it’s because you don’t think it’s possible. If your mind would not stand in the way you could raise the dead. We don’t do miracles because we don’t think it’s rational or possible or desirable... what would people think if I started raising the dead? So I don’t ... but the same Lord who was raising the dead is living in us so, my goodness, He is able to raise the dead through us. He is able to heal people, He is able to turn people around - if they desire, that’s another thing.
Perhaps it would be desirable now that you would re-read the Book of Deuteronomy from 1:1 to the last letter, really the whole Book, because we will go through the whole Book. I have so much here trying to pick up just what the Lord was like throwing in front of me, you know ... like a farmer throwing grain in front of chickens, so they try to grab everything they can. There is so much of it, I am sure that He has much more than we can absorb or even believe but all this has a spiritual and practical importance for us, we are not just reading it because it’s really interesting to see some relationships, the Word of God was written for practical reasons. I say, Amen.
SEEK YE FIRST THE KINGDOM (Part V)
(Recorded on April 17, 1988)
Today is Friday April 15th, 1988. The message is “Seek ye first the Kingdom”, part V, and we are going to where we stopped the last time which was quite a while ago. The Book of Deuteronomy, chapter 6, we had the last time... did you read chapter 7 and on in the book of Deuteronomy? You did ... but you forgot ... ‘the Lord is a witness’. I don’t want to go back again and repeat things but (there is) maybe one thing we should realize again. This book is a song of Moses where he sings to Joshua and to Israel before they were supposed to cross the river Jordan and get into the Promised Land which typifies our crossing to the Kingdom of Heaven.
And so, Moses sings this song and we are being given by the Lord a peek into the truth, even of this book and how it relates to the New Testament; what it typifies in spiritual sense; how it applies to the Church (which is spiritual Israel); what practical value it has for us today; not us as theologians just to know more about the Bible, but what practical value it has. And we have already drawn some practical things out of it. So even now, as we start with chapter 7, let us have this and keep this in mind and in heart what we are reading. This is a transitional period of Israel after wandering for 40 years in the wilderness, finally standing before the Promised Land; the Church after wandering 2000 years in the wilderness, finally standing before the Kingdom. This is what it means. We should read it from this viewpoint and we should draw out of it all the practical things that the Lord can show us.
So we start with Deut.7: 1: “When the Lord thy God shall bring thee into the land whither thou goest to possess it,...”, which means the Kingdom of Heaven, “...and hath cast out many nations before thee, ...” and now He names the various nations which were in Canaan “... seven nations greater and mightier than thou;” verse 2: “And when the Lord thy God shall deliver them before thee; thou shalt smite them, and utterly destroy them; thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor shew mercy unto them.” Now, this also typifies the judgement of nations – and then we go to Matthew 25. We will frequently go to the New Testament so, please, keep your finger in Deut., chapt.7, or put some paper there, and with the other fingers go to Matt., chapt.25 (this is one reason the Lord gave us more than one finger), from verse 31 practically to the end, which means verse 46. What is being described is the “judgment of nations”, which is so called, and I will read just a couple of things here.
You have Matt.25:31: “When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:”, which means He shall obtain His Kingdom, “And before him shall be gathered all nations:” ...including the ‘Canaanites’, the nations that typify Canaanites... “and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:” , and then He (the Lord Himself) further speaks here and in verse 46: “And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.” Of course, these nations which are so called “goat nations” shall go away into everlasting punishment. You can read at home all this part of chapt.5 which typifies the judgement of the nations which is the first event when the Kingdom is set up or being set up.
Now the same thing is being sung by Moses to Joshua: You will go in and judge the nations therein and you shall smite them and you shall destroy them, etc. Now we go to Revelation, chapt.19. The Book of Rev., chapt.19, verse...let’s start reading from verse 11, which again is the same thing, it is the setting up of the Kingdom, and the coming of the King to posses His Kingdom: “And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.” The Lord Christ Jesus “His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name was called The Word of God.” (John 1.1 says the same) “And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should SMITE the nations:”. The same word is used here, in fact, “and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.” That is what Joshua did in the Promised Land, he was smiting the nations and ruling them with a rod of iron and treading the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of God upon them. This was a judgement of God upon them, not the judgement of Joshua; he was just executing that wrath of God. God commanded him: Go and smite; that’s why we know that Joshua typifies Christ as a Conqueror, whereas Moses typifies Christ as a Deliverer and Messiah. Do you see the relationship of Deut.7:1,2 with Rev.19:15 and the book of Matthew?
Back to Deuteronomy, the same chapter 7, verses 6 to 8. The Lord is also giving them the reason why He is doing all this: “For thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God: the Lord thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth,”. So today we can ... the same Spirit is telling us or talking to us the same way: You are a holy people unto me, you have been chosen; you are a special people unto me above all the people that are on the face of the earth! Verse 7: “The Lord did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people.” Now, we have so many parallel things in the New Testament that we could not exhaust them today. Let us peek into one or two. Concerning verse 6, go to Gospel of John 15:19, the Lord Jesus says: “If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.” This attests or confirms what the same Spirit says through Moses in Deut.7:6. We can go also to another part of the Scripture, namely, 1Peter 2:9: “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light.” This more or less was spoken to Israel in very similar words. This is still the same song. Here, the Spirit sings it through Moses to Israel, then through Peter to the Church.
Back to Deut.7:7: “The Lord did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people.” Now, we know that Israel were very few in number. Now, what this verse corresponds with, for example is Luke, chapter 12. You probably know this verse that we are going to read; it is verse 32. The Lord Himself says: “Fear not, LITTLE FLOCK; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the Kingdom.” Here the “little flock” means the “few people”. We are not talking about masses or armies, He speaks to a little flock. Also, Matthew 22:14: “For many are called, but FEW are chosen.”
Now mind you these two references (the last two) “many are called but few are chosen” and in Luke “the little flock”, the Lord talks to the Church. He is not giving the same comparison because when Moses speaks to the people in Deut.7:7 he compares Israel to the world, to the nations of the world, and he is telling them: You are the fewest people, a very, very small nation. Whereas the Lord in the New Testament speaks to the Church. He is telling them... He is speaking to the “little flock”; He is not speaking to the whole Church. Even here “many are called, but few are chosen” ...and yet we may use this comparison with Deut.7:7 simply because the Church is now the great Entity called out of the whole world. And now within that world of Christians, there are these few, or this little flock, that were chosen. But these verses correspond to Deut.7:7. In other words, the Lord is not choosing because of quantity, but quality ... and, because of His love, He choses what He loves!
Now let’s go to Deut., chapt.8. We will read verses 1,2,3,5. Deut.8:1: “All the commandments which I command thee this day shall ye observe to do, that ye may live, and multiply, and go in and possess the land which the Lord sware unto your fathers.” Now, obviously we are automatically drawn back to James. James 1:22, let us turn there just to refresh your memory. You should know this verse by heart now: “But be ye DOERS of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.” Whatever we hear, whatever the Lord tells us, whatever the Lord sends our way and we just see it, observe it, hear it, read it but don’t do it ... we always deceive ourselves! Because only through doing it can we come to the truth and out of darkness and see the light not through reading something... not just through reading. We must come into the living experience of that word either by having done it in the past and then when we read it - we read life! Or doing it and observing the life during that performance of that word. So He gives us commandments and if we don’t do them we are not going to possess the land! That’s what Deut.8:1 means also: “that ye may live and multiply and go in and possess the land”. Mind you, when something is important, the Lord keeps repeating it. The same thing is in Deut.4:1, almost to the word: “Now therefore hearken, O Israel, unto the statutes and unto the judgements, which I teach you, for TO DO them, that ye may live, and go in and possess the land...”. The Lord didn’t make mistakes in editing His Book, or that He overlooked something which was repeated. He saw to it that it was repeated, and not only once. You will find verses in Psalms, in Proverbs, elsewhere, which are repeated word by word, exact replicas, and you might ask why. Well, why?
Deut.8:2: “And thou shalt remember all the way which the Lord thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no.” Now, there is so much in the New Testament concerning this verse that we could not possibly go through that. Let us peek into one or two (places). 1Peter 5:6 is a verse that one of our brothers here knows by heart for a long time: “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time.” Humbling business is expressed there. This is a command of the Spirit through Peter. Of course, from the beginning we don’t know how to do it, but the Lord knows how to bring us to that. 2Cor.13:5, for example: “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith;( ...or whether ye be in wishful thinking),... PROVE your own selves...” –prove your own selves. In Deut.8:2, the Lord says: “I led you forty years to PROVE you, to humble you” –now here the Spirit through Paul says: You prove yourselves! That means it’s not just the Lord’s business now to do it while we are sitting somewhere in the middle of the wilderness; but we are to cooperate with Him to prove our own selves! According to Phil. 2:12: “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling” –that comes under this fact also, “prove your own selves”.
Now when we come back to Deut.8:2, and I was pondering this a little and I give you again just a kind of sideline to this... the Lord gave us 70 years to live, right? This is the latest limit - 70 years - it is written in Psalms 90:10. Now, for example, I was thinking this way: I was saved when I was 30, now I am 50 and I have 20 years to go, theoretically speaking, to 70. And, lo and behold, I would be saved 40 years... and it came to me that, in fact, these 40 years in the wilderness for Israel typify the 40 years in the wilderness of a Christian - from his salvation to his entering into the Kingdom or being ready (to enter). Because during those 40 years the Lord is proving that Christian, humbling him... it takes 40 years to humble our hearts, to prove us; it’s not very encouraging, is it? We might think in terms of 4 weeks but the Lord says: 40 years. Now, perhaps, I am a perfect example if I am to live another 20 years; then I should be ready to enter the Kingdom. Right? That’s pure mathematics; now I don’t want to go along with that, but these 40 years, in my belief, these 40 years may typify the 40 years of a single Christian walking through wilderness, coming out of Egypt, which means being saved, going through wilderness until he or she comes to the river Jordan which typifies death and, crossing that, the Kingdom is waiting. Or, when it comes to the Church as a Body, and these 40 years are multiplied by 50, you get 2000 years! And 50 equals 5 times 10; now 10 is “ordinal perfection”, it is representing wholeness of something, anything, and 5 is grace, of course. 5 times 10 equals grace times wholeness times 40 years - you get 2000 years of the Church going through wilderness from its birth till it will enter the Kingdom. Isn’t that something? I don’t know if my sense is right there but I’m telling you this because it struck me. It may well be so.
In verse 3: “and he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by (bread alone) bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord doth man live”. What I would like to mention here is two things: He humbled thee, which means the Lord succeeded in the 40 years to humble them and to humble us. In other words, He has finished what He has started; the Spirit accomplishes what He starts. Secondly, that “man does not live by bread alone”; this of course fits with Matthew 4:4; when the Lord spoke, He used the same words. Do you want to go to Matthew 4:4? And the Lord was tempted, “But he answered and said: It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone...”, and that is why I used this word “alone” because I remembered Matthew’s verse, but in Deuteronomy it doesn’t say “alone” it says “only”.
Now, Deut.8:5, “Thou shalt also consider in thine …head...” ahhh... you said heart! Is there a difference? There is a big difference. Why is the Lord using the word “heart” and not “head”? Can you “consider” anywhere else but in your head? Well, of course you can. “Thou shalt consider in thine HEART, that, as a man chasteneth his son, so the Lord thy God chasteneth thee.” Do you agree with that? Now you can read Heb.12:6-8, Book of Hebrews written by Paul, as I believe and I am sure, “For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.” If we are not chastened and if we don’t receive any such things from the Lord, we are in trouble! May I repeat that - we are in trouble! So, if those Christians who never knew pain and chastening, pain of any kind, even physical pain, even sickness, even anguish, even frustrations, even problems, in soul, in body, in spirit; if they never knew that, they are in big trouble! And, if for no other reason, they will know it thereafter, they will have to keep up with it for 1000 years because this world was not created for fun, and Christians were not brought to this world to have a Disney Land like Jimmy Bakker built. This is the wilderness where the Lord is proving us and humbling us and not sending us millions of dollars to have fun on Christian roller coasters. Do you see how the Word of God fits from the Old to the New Testament because this is the same Word, because the same Word is called the Lord Christ? We are talking about the Person; we are not talking about some publisher in the United States, we are talking about the Living Word.
Deut. 9:6-7, let’s go first to verse 6: “Understand therefore, ...”, Moses is still singing to them: you folks ... “understand therefore that the Lord thy God giveth thee NOT this good land to possess it for thy righteousness; for thou art a stiffnecked people.” Moses dared to sing such a song to them, but when we sing the same song to the Church, they will stone us. Verse 7: “Remember, and forget not, how thou provokedst the Lord thy God to wrath in the wilderness: from the day that thou didst depart out of the land of Egypt, until ye came unto this place, ye have been rebellious against the Lord.” Now you can say the same thing to the Church today: Since the day you were founded until this day, you have been rebellious against the Lord thy God! And the Lord is not going to give thee the Kingdom because you are good but for His righteousness’ sake. And we are not going to enter the Kingdom because we are ‘goodies’ but because we said in our hearts that we would do His Commandments, we would obey the Lord.
Now the day of departure from Egypt, when the Lord speaks here in verse 7, the day of the departure out of the land of Egypt, of course, typifies the day of our salvation. From the day we were saved we have been rebellious against the Lord! And yet, the Lord gave us gifts. We talked about tongues; yes, this is one of the gifts and all those that speak in tongues or sing in tongues are deceived! ...and I was deceived myself because I thought I had the fullness of the Spirit... and they have the fullness of nothing! They have just a gift and they may be more rebellious than the people who don’t speak in tongues. And now I will show you right away where (it is found). And not only that, some people receive the gift of prophecy... we have plenty of prophets and they prophesy, but even should you prophesy, it doesn’t mean you are not rebellious against the Lord or that you may not be a false prophet misusing the gift, putting in your own stuff, mixing it with the Word of God and thinking you can get away with it. You can’t! Go to Psalm 68, and I am sure these things... some of these things must surprise people but the Word of God and the Truth always surprise. If we are willing to hear His Truth and accept it, we always must be surprised, to say the least, if not shocked, if not embarrassed, if not anything else. Psalm 68... now we talk here about the Lord Jesus, verse 18, the Spirit says through David: “Thou hast ascended on high, thou hast led captivity captive, thou hast received gifts (from the Father) for men (that you will save); yea, for the REBELLIOUS also, that the Lord God might dwell among them.” Now go to Eph.4:8 just to have again a connection with the New Testament. I didn’t want to do that, but since this is an important point... Eph.4:8...let’s read first Eph.4:4: “There is one body and one Spirit even as ye are called in one hope of your calling. One Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all (which means: the Father of the Church and Israel) who is above all, through all and in you all.” He is talking about the Church, right? Verse 8: “Wherefore he saith (who is He? - the Spirit of God through David), When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men”. This is the Lord Jesus when He ascended up on high after His resurrection. He led captivity captive... what it means is: He captured him who had us as captives, so He led “captivity captive” and gave gifts unto men. Immediately after the Ascension of the Lord, the Spirit descended and gave gifts unto men - unto those which were saved, and these gifts are described in 1Cor. chapt. 12 - the nine gifts of the Spirit.
So when you go back to Psalm 68:18: “Thou hast ascended on high, (Lord Jesus after Your resurrection) thou hast led captivity captive: thou hast received gifts(from the Father) for men; (that You saved that He has given You) yea, for the rebellious also,” which means there are plenty of rebellious prophets and pastors and evangelists and people who heal sicknesses and who raise the dead and who sing in tongues and all of them! The gift of the Spirit does not mean you are not rebellious! That’s what I want to say here.
So, back to Deut.9:7 : “Remember, and forget not, how thou provokedst the Lord (from the day you were saved you have been rebellious against the Lord)...” and I would prefer to be on the safe side before the Lord and say: forgive me, Lord, because I am not sure about myself. The same chapter, verses 23 and 24: “Likewise when the Lord sent you from Kadeshbarnea, saying, Go up and possess the land which I have given you; then ye rebelled against the commandment of the Lord your God, and ye believed him not, nor hearkened to his voice. Ye have been rebellious against the Lord from the day that I knew you”. What that means also towards the Church - well I believe that at some point in the early Church the Lord commanded the Church to go and possess the Kingdom and they believed not, and therefore he extended our wilderness trip to 2000 years! On one hand we should thank God that it happened, because otherwise I don’t know how we would exist; but on the other hand this is what I believe and I am not going into this any deeper. I am just mentioning it as a point of interest here.
Now go to Matthew, chapter 22, if you read Matt., chapter 22 from the beginning to verse 14, which we already made as a reference, you will find out something interesting. It’s a parable where in verse 2 it says: “The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son, And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they WOULD NOT COME. Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage”
–they would not come...nobody would come! Then in verse 9: “Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage. So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests.” ...both bad and good... notice not only good, bad and good ... “and the wedding was furnished with guests.” Now you can relate this part with Deut.9:23 - they were bidden to go to the Promised Land and THEY WOULD NOT! And I’m sure they had five million excuses why not, and we are not going to read them... and some of them are recorded. (Oh, there are plenty of big people... we look like grasshoppers in their sight). Now the Lord says: who cares how you look? I told you something and you don’t believe Me which means you are making Me a liar! You little puny human being is making Me, your Creator, a liar! That’s what I am concerned about not some big guy somewhere in Canaan.)
Deut.9:24: “Ye have been rebellious against the Lord from the day that I knew you.” you shouldn’t question that... this is the Word of God. Let’s go back to Matt.21:28, Lord Jesus again saying a pearl, a piece of His wisdom: “But what think ye? A certain man had two sons; and he came to the first, and said, Son, go work today in my vineyard. He answered and said, I will not:..”, that’s nice isn’t it; a son says to his father - forget it, “...but afterward he repented and went. And he came to the second, and said likewise. And he answered and said, I go, sir: and went not. Whether of them twain did the will of his father? They say unto him, The first. Jesus saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That the publicans and the harlots go into the Kingdom of God before you.” It means those that God called first and they say “no” – they are the publicans and the harlots, but later on they repent. And the religious people say “oh, yes, yes, yes, sir” but they do nothing. Do we draw some practical picture from this Word? I hope so because I do. Deut.9:9, just again one point of reference, Moses says here: “When I was gone up into the mount to receive the tables of stone, even the tables of the covenant which the Lord made with you, then I abode in the mount forty days and forty nights, I neither did eat bread nor drink water”. Now that, of course, goes with Matthew 4:1 and that shows how Moses typifies the Lord Jesus. And it is a different picture because Moses... it is also written somewhere and I don’t know exactly where, that Moses was the meekest man on earth. Do you remember that? Well the Lord Jesus was the meekest, too, because when He came, He came for Salvation, He came as meek, He came not sitting on a white horse as a King. That’s why Moses typifies him as Jesus the Man, the Deliverer, the Messiah who was to suffer, to humble Himself etc. Whereas Joshua comes forth with a sword and he smites the nations in the Promised Land - that typifies the Lord as a King. He is not going to enter His Kingdom as a meek kind of fellow and anybody can spit on Him. He is going out, and out of His mouth comest out a sharp sword which is the Word of God, which typifies the sword of Joshua. Joshua crossed the river Jordan with a sword in his hand; he did not come with an olive branch offering peace. And everybody in that Promised Land was trembling in his boots when Joshua crossed the river Jordan. You can read it again back how they entered in... maybe we will come to it later. Do you remember Jericho? Was the Word of God right about the inhabitants? They feared Israel before Israel knew that they feared.
Deut., chapt.11, and I’m jumping over many things but I’m picking up what the Lord seems to just throw down as ripe olives so that we can capture and eat. Deut.11:10, “For the land, whither thou goest in to possess it, it is not as the land of Egypt, from whence ye came out, where thou sowest thy seed, and wateredst it with thy foot, as a garden of herbs:”. What does it mean? What do you think these things might mean? It is a very important word, the Lord is saying the Kingdom where you are going is not like this world from where ye came out or from where I chose you, “where thou sowest thy seed and watereth it with thy foot as a garden of herbs”. Egypt, in fact, equals the world or typifies the world... the only water they have is the river Nile, otherwise it is a wilderness. And if the Nile should cease to flow, Egypt would die like a fly in a closed box. So they have that water there or in a well... they dig down which is ground water, basically, and imagine or remember they pump all their water by foot or by running animals around and using this Archimedean screw. Now they, maybe, have electric motors... but (before) they were pumping by foot.
Secondly, He mentions the garden of herbs. Now herbs are not really food for human beings. Are they? Not at all, I would not like to live on herbs anyway. In verse 11, though, which says: “but the land, whither ye go to possess it (which means the Kingdom), is a land of hills and valleys, (is not a flat table where you can see all the camels for 5000 miles) and drinketh water of the rain of heaven”. You don’t pump your life with your foot... it falls on you from heaven... “a land which the Lord thy God carest for”. What it means is: He does not care for Egypt; He does not care for the world, for this wilderness, in the same way that He cares for the Kingdom! ... “the eyes of the Lord (we are in verse 12) thy God are always upon it from the beginning of the year even unto the end of the year. And it shall come to pass if ye shall hearken diligently unto my commandments” and the most important word there is IF, “which I command you this day, to love the Lord your God, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul, that I will give you the rain of your land in his due season, the first rain and the latter rain, that thou mayest gather in thy corn, and thy wine, and thy oil. And I will send grass in thy fields for thy cattle, that thou mayest eat and be full”.
Now, at least, it was interesting for me to read this. We are not to draw our life by foot from the ground, we are to receive our life from heaven. And we are not to eat the herbs because this is not the food for human beings; but it is corn and wine and oil, in verse 14, and in verse 15, in fact, the cattle. Isn’t that so? And they each mean something, I don’t know how much time we can spend; you know, we can go into a verse and then pick up six or seven words and go into each word separately and cover it by other verses and we can be here till morning.
Now go to Matthew, chapt. 24; now we all know or should know that chapt. 24 of Matthew talks about the end times; it talks about the last days of the Church in this wilderness. This is the song of the real Jesus to the Church before they cross to the Kingdom. Right? So, there is no better chapter, I believe, in the whole New Testament which fits more the book of Deuteronomy - the song of Moses - than this chapter 24. Now in verse 4, we know before how the disciples came to the Lord and asked Him all kinds of things about the end of the world in verse 3, “when shall be the sign of thy coming and of the end of the world”, which means: when shall we enter the Kingdom? That’s what they were asking, too; they were interested in that. Verse 4: “And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you”. Now if He said anything else it would have answered the question more directly than this! This seems to be totally out of place. They ask Him about this and the Lord tells them “be careful that no man deceive you”.
Now go back to Deut., chapt. 11 and read verse 16. The same Spirit says through Moses, who typifies Jesus, “Take heed to yourselves, that your heart be not deceived”; and then, verse 17: “And then the Lord’s wrath be kindled against you, and he shut up the heaven, that there be no rain, and that the land yield not her fruit; and lest ye perish quickly from off the good land which the Lord giveth you”. Go back to Matthew 24, compare this verse again (verse 4 and then verse 21), “For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be”. Here the Lord is speaking... the real Lord Jesus is singing His song before the end of the world. He says “there shall be great tribulation” which includes the wrath of God! You can read about it all over the book of Revelation (chiefly in chapt.16).
The Lord is not going into detail here, but it includes the wrath of God. So Deut.11:17, says that there shall be great tribulation because: “then the Lords wrath shall be kindled” also against you. And the latter part of that verse: “and lest ye perish quickly from off the good land which the Lord giveth you”. In other words “take heed that you shall not be thrown out of the Kingdom” ...Matthew 8:12: “But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness:...” not pagans! the children of the Kingdom... they shall perish quickly from off the good land which the Lord gave them! That’s exactly what it fits because the Lord starts to talk from Matthew 7:21: “Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the Kingdom...” and then He goes on and He talks about even those who have the gifts, that prophesy, that raise the dead, that heal, that make many miracles, that cast out devils, and He tells them: “I never knew you!” That’s not very nice but that’s true! He never knew them and they never knew the Lord! They just exercised some of the gifts but they never knew the Giver Himself. And so, in chapter 8, verse 12, the Lord says (this is a direct speech of Jesus): “but the children of the Kingdom shall be cast out”.
Now we ‘good Christians’ always thought that these are the ‘terrible Israelites’, the stiff-necked house of Jacob, because such a thing cannot happen to us “great Christians”... but we are the children of the Kingdom just as well. In fact, here the Lord talks about the real Kingdom, not about the Promised Land, and we are more children of this Kingdom then Israel. We are the children of the Kingdom. So, if you re-read Deut.11:16-17 that’s what fits this direct speech of Jesus: “take heed to yourselves, that your heart be not deceived, and ye turn aside, and serve other gods, and worship them”.
You may say: we are not idolaters... Christians are not. Oh, they are! They have plenty of idols to worship, including the gifts of God. They may worship their knowledge, they may worship their tongues, they may worship their prophecies, they may worship other things, they may take pride and worship their great buildings, their ministries, their everything... they have plenty of idols. They can worship Oral Roberts more than God, and they do.
So, there are more examples. I have here another one – Matt.25. Matthew 25 speaks, of course, about the ten virgins and then He (Jesus), again, likens the Kingdom of Heaven to certain servants from verse 14 and on, He talks about the wicked and slothful servant, in verse 26. He was wicked and slothful because he was afraid, in verse 25; that is the real reason - he was afraid! People who are afraid, who live and act through fear all their life, are wicked servants because they have no faith and they are not even interested in having any! In verse 30: “And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” –that’s the same thing again. It’s exactly the same thing.
Back to Deut.11:26,27,28. Verse 26, the Spirit of God sings to this remnant of Israel, to these Overcomers in Israel: “Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse; A blessing, if ye obey the commandments of the Lord your God, which I command you this day:” –and the Lord seems to repeat this every now and then in every chapter! “And a curse, if ye will not obey the commandments of the Lord your God,” –and so, when we read these verses we say: “Ah, you know again, stiff-necked Israel... there is no such thing as a curse in the New Testament. We live under grace... the Lord Jesus Christ the meek will forgive us all our stupidities, and all our darkness, and He is just loving us and there is no terrible thing with Jesus the meek... no there is no such thing as a curse.” Well, I have something to tell you, the Church of Jesus Christ! This is the same Jesus who sings to the Church about the curse ...and I have not written this book called the Bible. I’m just led to it and speak it as the Lord is showing me. Gospel of John 14:21: “He that hath my commandments, ...” well, there are such things as commandments in the New Testament. We are not talking about the Ten Commandments from Mt. Sinai for ever, we are talking about the commandments of Jesus, “He that hath my commandments, AND KEEPEST THEM, (which means: he is doing them) he it is that loveth me; and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him and will manifest myself to him”.
Now, that’s very nice. I say Praise God for this verse; BUT has ever anyone read out of it the other side of the story? Every Word of God has two sides, every truth has two sides; that means also that he that does not have his commandments and keeps them not, does not love the Lord (no matter how many times he may say it, I don’t care) and that he is NOT loved of the Lord and of the Father; and the Lord will NOT love him and the Lord will NOT manifest Himself to him! That is the other side of the story! And if the Lord will not manifest Himself to him that means He can tell him: “I never knew you, ye workers of iniquity”. I never knew you - why? Because “I have never met you... I have never manifested Myself unto you”. Why? Because, “I did not love you”. Why? Because “You never loved Me!” That’s the end of questioning folks... that will be the end of questioning by every one. And if this truth does not strike the hearts of Christians, then nothing will!! And I am just beginning to show you what the Lord is showing to me.
Now, in verse 23: “Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him and we will come unto him and make our abode with him.” I want to re-read this John 14:21: “He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him and will manifest myself to him.” That means that the opposite is true also: I will NOT love him who does not keep My commandments! Now we know that the Lord loves all His Church; that’s true. He loves all of us with His love which passes our understanding. When it comes to our salvation, He loved all of us, He keeps loving all of us, He knows we will all meet and inherit eternal life... but this verse has nothing to do with that! This (verse) is not talking about salvation. Even the Lord loved His disciples and His “to be apostles” with different love, and He singled out one, namely this writer John, and He called him “the disciple that Jesus loved”, because He loved him more!
We talk about different love here, we are talking here about more intimate love, we are talking about the love of the Truth of God, about the love of His ways, about the love of His Judgements, about the love of Himself! We are not just desiring that God would love us so that we can fool around and have eternal life and bypass Hell. We are now returning our love to Him with all our soul, with all our mind, with all our heart, with all our strength by doing His commandments.
When I am saved, I don’t have to take this Book into my hand, I don’t have to read it, I don’t have to pray, I don’t have to go on my knees, I don’t have to do a thing... I’m saved! God knows that. I may not feel like being saved but I am saved - period! He does not require from me a thing! Because I was not saved because I was a “goody” anyway. I did not deserve it; so, when I got it, I got it! But when we talk about the Kingdom, when we talk about other things, when we are singing the song of Deuteronomy which is the song of Moses, and now we are comparing it with the song of Jesus in the New Testament, then we are talking about a totally different thing! Are you with me? So, when the Lord says here: “I will love him” He means different love – not the love of a sinner whom He saved! You can love Christians as other people and yet you love some more and deeper, and for different reasons than others. So it is with the Lord Jesus.
In John 14:23, “Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him...” –you see, the love of the Father... certain love of the Father is conditional upon our love! If I don’t love the Lord Jesus with a certain love, the Father will not love me! And I know there are verses: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son...” and we keep repeating this verse as if it was really something terrific. This verse is there only to show the Grace of God - that He loved the world, that He gave His Son. It doesn’t mean that the Father loves the world now! He loved it before the foundation of the world. But here He says even to His own chosen people, even to His own saved children: “If you don’t love My Son by keeping His commandments, I will not love you... I will not love you” ...that’s what He says here. We’d better believe it and accept it by faith. Our logic is too rotten to grasp this; we still would prefer to think that the Father loves us all with a terrific love while we are fooling around not actually doing the commandments of the Lord. And the Lord says: “No... you are all wrong! Verse 23: “...and we will come unto him”...unto such that keep My Word...not unto such that visit a Sunday sermon every Sunday somewhere in a building which has a cross on the roof!
Now, perhaps, the most vivid counterpart of this Deut.11:26,28, which talks about curse (“I set before you this day a blessing and a curse”) is found in 1Cor.16:22. Paul says... the Spirit of God says through Paul: “If any man love not the Lord Jesus (which means: keeps not His commandments) let him be CURSED at the coming of the Lord”! This is what “Anathema Maranatha” means: let him be Anathema Maranatha = let him be cursed at the coming of the Lord! And he is talking to the Corinthians, he is not writing to pagans in Siberia, folks. This verse was never preached in any Church because every Christian would probably feel like vomiting. This is the truth of God... that’s why Christians will be surprised at His coming (“I never knew you”).
Now, this curse is not to be equated with the curse of perishing and with a curse with which, say, the powers of darkness are cursed or pagans are cursed. They are cursed today already, the world is cursed today... this curse is the curse in terms of being the opposite of blessing. Certainly, if I am a Christian, saved by the blood of the Lord, and the very same Lord will bar me from entering His Kingdom, then you can’t call it a blessing! You can’t call it tough luck! The Spirit calls it CURSE. In a way, it is a curse. Deut. 11:26,28 equates with 1Cor.16:22 – write it down.
The same Spirit sings through Moses and Jesus the same song. Notice that this song is about the last days and about the coming of the Lord. Do you see that? What is your heart telling you about it? Is it possible that your mind... I don’t know what your mind can be telling you... you may be perplexed or scared or I don’t know what... but what is your heart telling you? Sometimes I feel it’s better to be shocked or scared and know the truth, because the truth shall set us free (Jn.8:32), than to still wallow in sweet deceptions. And when the time comes... I don’t want to be shocked and I don’t want anyone of you to be shocked! And that’s the reason that the Lord is giving us this very, very practical information and judgement and song which He is singing in our ears tonight... and to those that may hear it!
I have a little note here also: when we read in the Gospel of John 14:23 : “If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and WE WILL COME UNTO HIM”, ...We will come unto him... obviously, that refers to the last days also before the Tribulation. How do we know that? We already talked in Genesis... and we will go there just for a brief second. Do you remember Genesis?, chapter... we started with Abraham, yes? Gen.18:1,2,3,4, etc., you can equate (these) with Gospel of John 14:23, because Abraham kept His Words and the Father loved him and (“We will come unto him”) They did come unto him - just before Sodom and Gomorrah! The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit - the Three Men - They came. They did come unto him... doesn’t it fit this Word of God perfectly? Just before Sodom and Gomorrah They came unto Abraham; because, in chapter 19 Sodom and Gomorrah follows.
Deut.12:8; Moses keeps singing...I don’t know how they really received that song, it is not written, actually, but Moses keeps singing: “Ye shall not do after all the things that we do here this day, every man whatsoever is right in his own eyes.” Oh my Lord, Moses is singing and now the Lord Jesus is singing to our ears: When you are in the Kingdom you will not do after the things that you do here now because what you do here now “every man is doing what’s right in his own eyes”. But there, folks, forget it! Isn’t it so?
Go to John, chapt.5, Gospel of John 5:19 (this is “exactly” what we are doing! yes?) Jesus says: “...Verily, verily, I say unto you, The SON CAN DO NOTHING OF HIMSELF, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.” And the same in verse 30: “I can of MINE OWN SELF DO NOTHING: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.” So we likewise can say: We can do nothing of ourselves! And this is exactly what is to be related to Deut.12:8, where Moses tells them: Thus far you were all doing what was right in your own eyes, but in the Kingdom, in the Promised Land, you will not do that because you will do everything upside down; and those nations that you are supposed to smite, will smite you!
2Cor.5:7, “(For we walk by faith, not by sight:)”. In other words, if we do that then we automatically can not do Deut. 12:8! If we keep 2Cor.5:7 we automatically avoid Deut.12:8. You can’t walk by faith and not by sight and do whatsoever you see with your own eyes, because you don’t walk by sight... so forget your eyes. So, if I should walk by sight I would not be here tonight and probably many of you would not be here either, because what we saw was anything but encouraging, was anything but right, was anything but hopeful... but we don’t walk by that.
And faith comes from the Spirit, not from our wishful thinking. In the Kingdom we can not walk and do whatsoever is right in our own eyes. This will be impossible, therefore, if we do not learn not to do it here and if we don’t learn to walk by faith here, we will be useless in the Kingdom. Because there it will not be an option, it will be a duty. The nations will not be given the option to fool around or not, they will be ruled with a rod of iron by the meek Jesus Christ. Do you understand that? Can you see that? The Kingdom will not be what we perceive it to be by our logic.
Deut.12:9 : why was every man doing whatsoever was right in his own eyes? Because: “... ye are not as yet come to the rest and to the inheritance, which the Lord your God giveth you”, that’s why. Before we come to the rest ourselves and to the inheritance... what is our inheritance? What is our rest? Do you know? The Kingdom is our inheritance. And our rest? The Lord is our rest! So, our inheritance is the Kingdom, which is secondary; the rest is first and the rest is our Lord. We must come first to the Lord or to the King (“Seek ye first the Kingdom” – this is the message). We must first come to the King and then to the inheritance, which is the Kingdom. Then we will not do everything that is right in our own eyes. Mind you, you can cease doing it the moment you come to the Lord, because you see that what you would do, what is right in your own eyes, would be foolish anyway.
Now this verse of Deut.12:9 goes with Matthew 11:28 (your Bible will be worn out very quickly). Matt.11:28, this is one part, the Lord sings unto us: “Come unto me (because I am your rest) all ye that labour and are heavy laden (and all of you that do the works that are good in your own eyes) and I will give you rest”. And after you have this rest, you are ready for your inheritance. Isn’t that so? Ephesians, chapter 1, and we will also learn where those books are, Eph.1:10-14, “That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: (and not our will) That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession unto the praise of his glory.” We talk about rest and inheritance... there you have it.
We are back in Deut. 12:20, “When the Lord thy God shall enlarge thy border, as he hath promised thee, and thou shalt say: I will eat flesh, because thy soul longeth to eat flesh; thou mayest eat flesh, whatsoever thy soul lusteth after.” Now, there is another shock waiting... especially to the vegetarians and to the Jews and to the Seventh Day Adventists... because some Christians today, being, or considering themselves to be spiritual Israel they don’t eat pork, they don’t eat any unclean creatures and yet the Lord promised to Israel that they can eat unclean things! Isn’t that a paradox? Verse 22: “Even as the roebuck and the hart is eaten, so thou shalt eat them: THE UNCLEAN AND THE CLEAN shall eat of them ALIKE”! He is singing to Israel... Moses is singing to Jews, to Israel, and he is telling them: you will eat the unclean creatures, folks! I am not talking about blood now but, yes, except the blood – it is right next; but the point is this: when the Lord thy God shall enlarge thy border (in verse 20) and then you will long to eat flesh, you can eat anything you want, folks, no matter who says what.
Now, go to 1Timothy 4:1 and we will finish very quickly here: “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times in the last days some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. For EVERY CREATURE OF GOD IS GOOD, AND NOTHING TO BE REFUSED, if it be received with thanksgiving: For it is sanctified by the Word of God and prayer.” ...and that exactly fits with Deut.12:20–22. That exactly fits! This is the same song.
Deut.12:23–25, the Lord says: “Only be sure that thou eat not the blood: for the blood is the life; and thou mayest not eat the life with the flesh. Thou shalt not eat it; thou shalt pour it upon the earth as water. Thou shalt not eat it; that it may go well with thee, and with thy children after thee, when thou shalt do that which is right in the sight of the Lord.” ... and this fits exactly with Acts 15, the book of Acts 15:28-29. The Apostles “being assembled with one accord” (in verse 25) and then, in verse 28: “For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things; That ye abstain from meats offered to idols (because of their weak faith) and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well.”
Now, in addition to blood, the Apostles added meats offered to idols and strangled things because this was a point of contention and because, in fact, this was forbidden even in the Old Testament. The Lord doesn’t say in the Book of Deuteronomy or anywhere else that Israel may eat strangled harts or rabbits or meats offered to idols. We are talking about a different aspect of meats. In here, the Lord says (in the Book of Deuteronomy and 1Timothy) that creatures as such... their meat is good and nothing to be refused, clean or unclean, irrespective now of other things. But in the Book of Acts, the Apostles added strangled things, and things offered to idols, but these two verses fit, again, with Deut.12:23,24,25 ... this is the same song that the same Lord was singing.
Now, the same Spirit was singing through Moses and here through the Apostles or through Jesus Himself. And that song is the same, and that song is beautiful and I personally love it. Do you love it? Do you see the beauty of that? I praise God!
So, here we finish for the time being on our journey to the Kingdom and we praise God. Amen.
SEEK YE FIRST THE KINGDOM (Part VI)
(Recorded on May 13, 1988)
Today is Friday the 13th, again, and this is supposed to be Part VI. of the message “Seek Ye First the Kingdom” ... and we were in Deuteronomy chapter 12 last time and we were supposed to go back to Deuteronomy chapter 13 to continue. We are not going there now; if this is a surprise to you it is a surprise to me also because I have the message for this part VI, maybe even Part VII already, but ... before we go to the Book of Deuteronomy, I have something to share. We can consider it an “insert”, a “parenthetical portion” of this message “Seek Ye First the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness”.
And I believe that it is going to be an even more important part than any previous part even though we may not go to the Book of Deuteronomy at all. In fact, I brought with me here something which is a reprint or a transcript, I should say, of Part II. And we worship the Lord and pray to Him and we admire His ways and I tell you that we even prayed and expressed our trust that He is in our midst and He has blessings for us. Now, we may say it, even believe it, but how about those blessings? They are supposed to be something more tangible than just a word said. That blessing, in my opinion, not only opinion but in my belief, is that the Lord is going to bless us further by revealing further His ways how He walks, how He works. This is going to be anything but a scholarly lecture - this is going to be something that is life.
I fact, I pray to the Lord right now that that He would really move my heart so that would be a living blessing, that it would not be just a sharing or a teaching or anything but a real life of Christ, something living, something tangible, something that - you would not leave this place unchanged, but blessed! And I ask Him for this because, in fact, He arranges things and He arranged this sharing. And I am just as surprised as you are. And this is also another fact and proof that the Lord is moving and not any of us, actually.
In the beginning of Part IV, I inserted a remark and I re-listened again to the remark. I listened to it again and what I found was interesting. I am saying that in some of my statements there can be a controversy or there could be words which stand against the Scripture. Or we can always find a word in the Bible which can be a seeming contradiction or a real contradiction. Then I said: “I should rejoice if such mistakes happen and the Lord corrects them, and I should rejoice because that would be a blessing.” When I was recording this in the beginning of tape 4, the Lord was smiling because He had already one case, He had already one blessing. And it may be it is not the first one or the last one.
Then I also said something else. I said: “I am not afraid to make a mistake.” And I am going to share about that, too.
Now, I know that there is one brother who may know what I am going to talk about or what I am going to mention because as he edited this transcript of Part II, he came across the passage where I speak about Abraham and how God spoke to Abraham, or to Abram, in Ur of the Chaldees. And I expressed a thought that, in fact, when I read this portion of the Scripture in the Book of Genesis, I was moved ... I got a sense God never spoke to Abram in Ur, in the City of Ur of the Chaldees but that He spoke to him later, in fact, in Haran. Now, when I re-read the Book of Acts, chapter 7, verse 1 to 4, ...Stephen, being full of the Holy Spirit, talked to the Council and he mentioned about Abraham. He said that our father Abraham was visited by God who saw Him while he was in Mesopotamia before he came to Haran... and He spoke to him. This is an obvious seeming contradiction. Now, I would like to mention a couple of things here.
Number 1: These recordings are anything but scholarly teachings. I never sit in my basement surrounded by Dictionaries and by Concordances and by the Bibles of different versions and by Biblical Geography books, Biblical History books and by the books of famous writers and magazines ... researching the material. In fact, I have never done that and I will never do that! In fact, I have embarked on a very dangerous road because there is nothing around me but the Bible and the Lord! And I record these things so spontaneously that, in fact, I am putting on this tape a part of my heart and listeners whose hearts are beating and are living (they are not dead), could trace the movements of the heart of another brother - how it is moved. And, in fact, today I know because the Lord is revealing this to me. A living brother can trace not only that but the actual “seeking of the Kingdom” because we talk about the seeking of the Kingdom and we don’t know what it is! And we don’t know how it is done! Isn’t it so?
We all agree we should seek It because the Lord said so, but should we ask: “How?” how many people would answer? And so, sometimes while I am reading a Scripture or while I am pondering things or while I am speaking, the Lord may be moving me, the Lord may be granting me something which I never saw in my life; I never understood; I was never seeking after, in fact. And whenever He moves - I speak! Now the Lord may be granting you the pure truth, and yet, your heart may not be able to accept it perfectly and to convey it perfectly. And that’s why I said in the past and I am saying it again: “I don’t care about the state of my heart now and how perfectly I can accept from the Lord and how perfectly I can convey it.” And so, I am not only prone to make mistakes or speak things which the Lord would actually not agree with, I am not only prone to do that - I am doing it! And I am not doing it purposely but I am doing it because this is a part of the seeking of the Kingdom! And you will see why making an error is a blessing to me and to every listener!
And the Lord gave me an example. And I want to give it to you just as I received it. Imagine that you lost your house keys. Now, it happens to anybody...many times. You lost your house keys! And you go to your glove box in your little foyer ... and they are not there, because that’s where you keep them, and they are not there. So you go to the pocket of your jacket, of your overcoat, and they are not there. So you go to your living room and you spend 15 minutes searching your living room, and you find nothing. So you go to your kitchen, and maybe your wife helps you ... you are looking for your keys, they are not in your kitchen; you spent (there) another 15 minutes. And then you go to your bedroom and on your night table your keys are “smiling at you”. So you take them and you go.
Now, I want to ask you a question: Tell me and, please, don’t employ your brains only, but employ your heart ... in your own heart - was that quarter of an hour that you spent in your living room, was it your mistake? I am asking a question: Was it a mistake spending 15 minutes searching for your keys in the living room? No! Why? Why didn’t you go to your bedroom to pick them up? Do you know now what it means “seeking the Kingdom?” If you spent two weeks seeking something and you found nothing - that is not a waste of time! That is not a mistake!
If you read something and you come to a wrong conclusion - that is not your mistake! You are seeking something. So, in fact, that’s why I am not afraid to make any mistakes, and I am not afraid to draw any wrong conclusions, I am not afraid to pronounce any statement that is in my heart - because I AM SEEKING THE KINGDOM! And if you do that, then not only is the Lord not against you - but you are being blessed all the time! Because there is not such a thing as “seeking something” and not finding it! It is impossible, in fact! This is not my word, this is the Word of the Lord. It is impossible to seek something and not find it. (Lk.11:9; Mat.7:7).
But, in the meantime, in the process, it is not only possible, it is inevitable that you go from one blind alley to another. Now, is it a mistake to get into a blind alley while you are seeking the road to the Kingdom? If you had stopped searching for your keys in the pockets of your jacket, you would have never gone to the living room and to the kitchen, you would have never gone to the bedroom and you would have never found anything! And you would be facing the situation of either making duplicates, if you had any other spare keys, or change the locks in your house. But because those keys mattered to you, you started to search, you started to seek. In the moment you started to seek you are going through such experiences. Now ... first of all, do you agree with me?
Do you know what is the outcome of this? The outcome of this is that if you have never made an error - you are in trouble! If you are afraid to make an error - you will get NOWHERE! And I can say: “Thus saith the Lord”, because the problems, the errors, the blind alleys, the mistakes, the wrong conclusions - THEY ARE THE ONLY MEANS THROUGH WHICH YOU CAN FIND THE KINGDOM! Do you have ears to hear? That means you agree with me, but when it will be your turn - remember tonight, because this is not a teaching, this is something very living. The part of the life of a Christian is to seek out the Kingdom. For me it’s not really a “big deal” to return from Haran to Chaldea and say: “The Lord did appear to Abram before Haran and He did speak to him”. And I rejoice over that. Why? Because my heart is tested and the heart of every listener will be tested, too, because I know the Lord moved me in that place and He tested the openness of my heart. “Suppose, I would show you something different - are you ready to accept it?” And I say (to the Lord): “Yes, I am ready to accept anything from you.” I mean anything because my heart is open to the Lord. In fact, today I know, it’s not an opinion, it’s not even just a belief, I KNOW that the Lord has led me into this! He allowed me to pronounce that so that later on He can bring me to the Book of Acts and then He says: “How about now?” And I say: “Praise Your Name! Praise Your Name!”
And there is still ... there are many more things, many, many things. What can the Lord do out of a little thing? In fact, in this Part II, I am saying... I consider it a “marginal note”. I say here: “This does not have a big bearing on the message... this is a marginal note.” That’s what I am saying. And I am saying: “I don’t know whether my sense is right or wrong but when it comes to this Word of God, I prefer to be open to It, be deprogrammed, let my faith be changed if it was wrong.” Because many times what I learnt was the logic of scholars and I want to go beyond the logic of scholars because when you start researching things and you start employing your mind alone, then you surround yourself with books and you really research everything - you may come to something which is ... which looks perfect and smooth to be presented, to be typed, to be taped, to be preached, to be taught.
In the state I am now, I would reject it ...I don’t want it, and I tell you why - because these elaborations, these pieces of research work contain evil work! They contain evil work. Whereas, this kind of work (that I do), this kind of acquiring knowledge of the Lord has no evil work in it! It has errors - but no evil! There is no spirit of pride in it, there is no spirit of fear in it, there is no jealousy in it - there are no evil spirits in it. Are you with me? There are no evil spirits in it - I prefer this. I prefer to have a pure food with pieces of wood and stones in it because I can take those stones and throw them out and still end up with a pure food ... than to have a food which is “laced” with all kinds of poisons. You can’t get them out of it. So, either you eat that with all that stuff (poisons), or forget it.
There is another thing, though, I want to say. I do rejoice every time the Lord moves ... and Romans 8:28 still applies. You see, when you love God then ALL things work together for your own good and even for the good of those that may participate in it. So these things have been working for my good.
And there is yet something that I have to question because even when you take these two accounts from the Book of Acts and the Book of Genesis, they don’t say that God spoke to Abram in the City of Ur. They only testify that God appeared to him and spoke to him in Mesopotamia. Chaldea is a part of it and Haran is a part of it. But I still believe that the reason the Lord moved me at that place in the Book of Genesis, chapter 11, the last verse, and chapter 12 was because there are things that were never discovered. Now, to me ... I would say that the question: Where God spoke to Abram is totally immaterial. Whether He spoke to him in California, I don’t care. We should not care for that, in fact. The fact is that He did speak to him, that’s important. However, I think that it is not a marginal point because through that the Lord can show us thousand of other things.
And so, we come to the point … the great point where we speak about the seeking of the Kingdom, we share about it; this is the 6th part. I am sure that you agree with, I hope, most of what I said so far, that your heart testifies about that. The question now is: Are we really seeking it (the Kingdom)? Are we really seeking it? If a Christian is to seek, how is he to seek the Kingdom? How do you know someone is seeking the Kingdom and someone is not? Do you know? You see, if I had not made this error on the way, we would have never talked about that. And at this point, in fact, this is more important than Deuteronomy – chapter 13. And I am not putting down the Scripture because this is ... this is a living insert from the Lord.
How are you seeking the Kingdom? How do you know you are (seeking)? This is an extremely practical thing. We are not talking now about the Scriptures... we are talking now about our very own selves. A very practical thing, isn’t it? So, how do we know we are seeking the Kingdom? How does any Christian know he is seeking the Kingdom?
Now, again, there is so much in that that I don’t know what to start with or how long it will take. But, I will tell you something that the Lord reminded me of - and this is personal. This is very personal, but this is something that is practical. Of course, we know that there can be millions of Christians who are saved who are never seeking the Kingdom, who are never seeking anything. Why? It’s another matter. In my own case, the Lord reminded me that since day one when He met me, when I experienced my Salvation, since day one, since hour number one - and I want to underline this - I FIXED MY HEART TOWARD THE LORD! He reminded me of that a few times and He gave me examples.
I fixed my heart on the Lord ... or toward the Lord to such a degree that it influenced practical things in my life. Great decisions... to the degree that it influenced my job seeking... I wanted to stay right here in Montreal because ...the only reason I had was: my Church was here and I started to go there. You see, so the Lord granted me a job right here which at that time was a sheer impossibility to get - a job in my profession, at that time, in 1967, 1968. It was a sheer miracle! And it was a miracle and God gave it to me because I was not looking at the salary or at any other reasons but I wanted to stay here because my Church was here! That practical decision and the fruit of it was because I fixed my heart on the Lord.
Because of that, for example, since I began to go to Church and from the day one, I learnt about tithing - I made my decision - to tithe, because my heart was fixed toward the Lord. I am not saying it was easy and I was singing Psalms and it was very pleasant - but I made my decision! I made a step and I started. That is the point! not how I felt - my heart was fixed (and) because of that - I was ABLE to do that. I was able to make that decision and to do it.
And there were other things. The Lord reminded me of things in the Church when some people were talking about ushering as a “drag”... you know, ahhh. When I was offered this (job), I considered it a privilege, and I considered myself honored and I was doing the job faithfully as unto the Lord because my heart was fixed on Him. It never crossed my mind that this is a kind of “menial drag”. And when I was ready to teach the Bible class, they asked me to count money - so I was counting money and counting heads and making some kind of (statistics) evidence there ... I did it as unto the Lord. I was able to do such things because my heart was fixed on the Lord.
Once your heart is fixed on the Lord, He takes you because He is able to take you and put you on the road and teach you to seek the Kingdom. You can read this Bible for 150 years and never get anything and never find anything and, in fact, have no fruit out of it ...short of “showing off your knowledge.” That’s why I embarked on this “dangerous” road where I am directly recording my heart so that brethren whose hearts are living can get something valuable... that they can not get from anywhere else and from any other source. And I am not, actually, putting down scholars or any people who study the Bible. You see, some of them have 20 times greater knowledge of the Bible than I have. And they could really prepare a sermon. I mean, some of them know this Book “from cover to cover”, but - they don’t know the Lord! And I know Him. And I am not going to exchange this knowledge (for theirs).
Now, how do you know you are seeking the Kingdom? The Lord does not require any miracles from us but He is able to show us what we are really seeking! He is quite able to show us what we are really seeking. So the next question is: What is the desire of your heart tonight??? If I should start asking around: What is the real desire of your heart tonight? And, mind you, you may have legitimate desires, you know ... pay off your mortgage, pay off your car, pay off this or that; finally do that job which you planned for so long, finish something here, finish something there, finally go somewhere and visit a person, finally meet someone whom you are looking after, or looking for. The desires of your heart may be various and legitimate. And the fact is, that you are seeking that which your heart desires! And nothing else!
So, that explains why, for example, many Christians are working so diligently. They desire to have a certain function in their Church, they want to do this, they want to do that, they desire this, they desire that, they desire to visit, they desire to do things ... so they do them. The whole thing boils down to - heart.
I would prefer to understand the Word of God with my heart! And that is exactly what is happening to me. I am beginning to understand It with my heart, because I don’t want to understand letters ... I want to understand the WORD - WHO IS CHRIST! And unless our heart is fixed on Him, irrespective now in what condition, unless our heart is focused on Him (like these big antennas, you know, which are radio antennas which can turn around 360 degrees, you focus that antenna, you set it in a certain direction to receive signals from space) ... you have to set your heart at the angle toward the Lord to receive from Him. That is a precondition for any one. It is, I believe, basically the main cause why people don’t see, don’t hear and don’t understand anything - because their heart is not turned or fixed on the Lord.
One of the verses which struck me while I was yet very young Christian, maybe 5-6 years old, one of the verses which really struck me is found in Matthew chapter 13, and I want you to go there. In fact, we are going to read 3 or 4 verses there; Mat.13:13, “Therefore speak I (the Lord Jesus) to them in parables because they seeing see not and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias (Isaiah), which saith: By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see and shall not perceive.” Now, He is talking about today’s Christians not just Israel. Verse 14, this is the verse that struck me: “For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their HEART ...” now underline that word (heart) 5 times! I never knew before that a heart can understand, I always thought they must understand with their brains because the brain was the only thing we had for understanding. The Lord says: No! Your heart must understand! I am starting to understand the Scriptures by my HEART and not by my brains!
If you think you know anything from the Bible, I am telling you today in the Name of the Lord: You know nothing! Period. Nothing. That’s exactly what the Lord told me when I was having with Him a little prayer and I told Him I was ready to teach the adult Bible class in the Church. I studied the Bible diligently for years so I said: “When I received, why should I not give freely to them?” And the Lord told me exactly that: “You know nothing!” And that was not very pleasant, that was about 8 years ago (1979). And today, I still claim I know nothing, because the more He is showing me the less I (seem to) know, folks.
Mat.13:15 ... unless someone understands with his heart he cannot even be SAVED! Do you see that there? You know that to be converted, which means saved, you must understand with your heart. None of us was saved because we understood the Cross of Calvary with our brains and with our philosophy and with our mind! Because no man is able to really understand Calvary with his mind - it is a foolishness to every human mind! Today, I am beginning to understand Calvary with my heart. My mind can never do that, you see.
Seek ye first the Kingdom – this is Part VI and I don’t know how many more parts it will have. But it can have 55 parts (and) we may still be not able to seek it. There is something extremely practical and vital to seek it, to do it ... do your seeking. In fact, the Lord gave me another verse and it is in the Book of Revelation, chapter 22, the last chapter in the Book of Revelation. You know about verse 11, and some years back we already talked about it. Do you remember? “He that is unjust, let him be unjust still (which means: “still more”); and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still; and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still; and he that is holy, let him be holy still.” That is NOT a suggestion of the Lord! That is not a suggestion, that is not an option - that is a command! When the Lord commands you may be sure that these things must take place. So what is happening today is - people are either growing filthy or they are growing holy - there is no other way. And they which are seeking the Kingdom are growing holy, and the rest are growing more filthy! And the rest are growing more unjust ... they never knew what justice was, what righteousness was. You can never even find it unless you seek the Kingdom! The true righteousness is only in the Kingdom of Christ - which is to say - in the King!
Talking also about His commandments, notice in verse 14 that it is NOT written: “Blessed are they that READ His commandments” or “...they that PREACH His commandments”, “Blessed are they that PUBLISH His commandments” and “Blessed are they that DEBATE His commandments”. Nobody is blessed except they that DO His commandments! Right? The Lord wants to tell us today that there is no such creature that can be blessed without DOING His commandments! There is no creature under His sun that is blessed without doing His commandments. There is no way. “Blessed are they that DO His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may enter in through the gates into the City (of New Jerusalem)”. One of His commandments is: “Seek ye first the Kingdom ...” And folks, unless we do it ... also this commandment, in fact, FIRST, we don’t belong to Rev. 22:14.
We were not seeking the Kingdom because we never knew. We read it, we agreed with that verse, it was preached to us, but now the Lord is commanding us ... “it is not written in My Book in vain”. The first commandment, apart from loving the Lord with all your heart, and all your mind, and all your soul, and all your strength, seek ye FIRST among all things the Kingdom. And we know from the beginning of the message that the word “first” has 2 meanings, and one of the meanings is “seek ye first in your own self”, “seek ye first within” because you can’t find it without.
So, how do we know that we are seeking the Kingdom? I think that even in this the Lord can show us ... the Lord can show us on little things what we are (truly) seeking. And I did tell you at least twice or three times before: Don’t be afraid to make mistakes! Even when you start doing something, you will start doing mistakes, you will start doing errors, you will start “looking for your keys everywhere but where they are”. Which means, you will start looking for the Kingdom WHERE IT IS NOT! But it is not a waste of time! It is not your mistake - it is a stepping stone. Every “mistake” you make is a stepping stone, closer to the Kingdom and when you don’t take these steps you will never find the Kingdom. In fact, you will never enter in. Do you see what one error can do? Do you see what one little error can do?
I am not saying I will start making errors from now on - purposely! I never tried it and I will never try ... but the Lord proved very quickly what it means to “turn everything into a blessing”.
Now we should start chapter 13 of the Book of Deuteronomy, but I don’t think we will go far. Have you read this chapter in the meantime? You didn’t. So, maybe it is good to read chapters 13,15,18,28 and 30 and to the end of Deuteronomy. So we will not go into this continuation, and yet I will read a few verses from this chapter 13 of Deuteronomy. Are you there? Verse 1: “If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, and the sign or the wonder come to pass (which means: he spoke right, he prophesied right, he is doing everything right EXCEPT he leads you away from the Lord! because in verse 2 it says that the sign or the wonder come to pass), whereof he spake unto thee, saying: Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known and let us serve them. Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams: for the Lord your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.”
Moses talks here about two things, two facts. One is: you can have a prophet which typifies a minister, you can have a pastor, you can have an evangelist, you can have a teacher - who seems to do and prophecy right things and the things come to pass and, yet, he is leading you AWAY from the Lord! Now, he is not telling you exactly these words “let us go and serve other gods” but by doing what he is doing, by living what he is living, he is leading you to other gods! And other gods may be psychology, for example, building new cathedrals, building new schools, building anything. This is one fact. So the fact that some people speak right DOES NOT MEAN they are leading you to the Lord - they are leading you AWAY!
And secondly, the Lord your God proveth you whether your heart is fixed on him or whether your heart is fixed on anything else BUT Him! In verse 4: “Ye shall walk after the Lord your God, and fear Him, and keep His commandments, and obey His voice, and ye shall serve Him, and cleave unto Him.” Here’s number 6, this is for man to do, because there are six things the Lord desires: walk, fear (Him), keep (His commandments), obey, serve and cleave (unto Him). And today, the same applies to the Church. We are supposed to walk after the Lord and not before Him, we are supposed to fear Him, which we don’t, keep His commandments ...they were told to keep His commandments, we are told to DO His commandments, is there a difference? What difference is there? Because “Thou shalt keep the Sabbath holy”...you can keep it holy; you are able to keep any day as a rest, it is in our power to do that; I can keep a day holy. When He tells me “Be ye perfect”, I cannot keep that, I must DO it. And I can’t even do that. Obey His voice, serve Him and cleave unto Him.
We will stop here, but before we stop - go to Romans 12:2, “Be not conformed to this world but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind that ye may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect Will of God.” Now, in Deuteronomy 13:3 it says: “...the Lord your God proveth you” whether you love Him. Here, in addition to that, since the New Testament has greater demands on people than the Old, WE ARE to prove the perfect Will of God! Not God, He does not have to prove It, He knows It - we must prove It. He proves us and He searches our Heart but we must prove His perfect Will.
Galatians 6:4: “But let every man (EVERY MAN) prove his own work (whether it be in the will of God or not, whether it pleases the Lord or not, whether it brings forth fruit or not, whether it is gold, silver or precious stones or whether it is hay, stubble or wood - every man ought to prove his own work) and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone and not in another”. This word was made alive to me a few times already because I rejoiced in myself, because my work was proved. And nobody else could rejoice but I! And I did - so I testify to the truth of the Lord, the Living truth.
One more verse I have here, Hebrews 3:9 says: “When your fathers tempted Me, proved me, and saw My works forty years.” There is verse 12, “Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.” Any part of your heart where unbelief dwells is evil! Do you know that? Any part of your heart where unbelief dwells or reins is evil! It does not sound very nice but it’s a truth.
We will come back to the Book of Deuteronomy, chapter 13; we will not repeat the same things, of course, what we said tonight. But they, sort of, connect with my sharing which was again absolutely spontaneous. I looked up these two verses in the Scripture because they were brought to my memory by the Lord ... about the heart, how the heart must understand and not the brain. And our mind, our brain has a role ... I am not trying to get rid of it, it has a role, but we never start with it, we end with it. My heart must understand first - then my mind may understand, early or much later. And there are things in the Scripture which my heart understands and my mind doesn’t! And it doesn’t bother me.
So, the first thing to find out what we are seeking is to find out what our heart is fixed on, what or who. After we discover that, then the Lord enables you to start seeking the Kingdom within. Because this is the question of seeking Him inside of you. You will find out how difficult or impossible it is to do any of these things that we read in Deuteronomy, chapter 13, to walk with Him, to obey His voice... I mean, it is impossible! Nobody is doing it, except when your heart is fixed on Him and He enables you to even hear His voice! How can you obey His voice when you don’t hear it? But through Christ we can do all things. Amen? Because it is written in Phil. 4:13, “I can do ALL things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”
So with Him I can do all things - without Him I can do nothing! But even with Him I can do nothing; it does not mean when the Lord is here that I must do things! Do you understand that? When we are saved and Christ dwells in us, lives in our heart, down deep ... that does not mean that we are co-workers with Him and that we are even seeking to do anything WITH HIM! I can do all things through Him - but what things am I even trying to do THROUGH HIM? That is another story. And what things I am trying to do WITHOUT HIM is yet another story! Do you see what the Lord can do through every little thing? I am very happy because He has granted me this grace and even put me on this road. This is a dangerous road, this is not a conventional road, this is an unconventional road. You are not led on a paved road, this is a rocky road. But thank the Lord for that, I thank the Lord for everything.
Once your heart is fixed on Him, from thereon He takes over your sailing! He enables you to do even the decisions that you are unable to do. And that is a sign, or these things are signs that “you are seeking the Kingdom”. You are doing things which otherwise you would not be able to do and you are making a lot of mistakes. More of your thoughts about yourself and about others begin to prove wrong – that’s how you are beginning to see that you are seeking the Kingdom. Because we were wrong in everything, folks, in EVERYTHING!
We were wrong about ourselves, we were wrong about everybody else, we were wrong about God, we were wrong about His Word, we were wrong about everything. Now, how do you get out of that without making an error, I don’t know! “Good luck”! And I praise God and I will keep praising Him because His Spirit is doing miracles. He is doing the work that no man can do! And He can enable anyone to do a great work - provided that your heart is FIXED ON HIM! Do you say “Amen” to that? More loudly...so it is recorded! (proclamations of Amen follow). I hope it can be heard.
SEEK YE FIRST THE KINGDOM (Part VII)
(Recorded on Sep.16, 1988)
Today is Friday September 16th, 1988. This is Part VII of the message “Seek Ye First the Kingdom”. The last time we were in chapter 13 of the book of Deuteronomy we read a few things out of that chapter and we were going right back. And I feel I should re-read a couple of things which I read the last time simply because I received more light on it and I would not like to miss it.
“I ask You, Lord, at this moment to grant me Your Grace that we may go through this part and that we may finish it according to Your wisdom and Your desire; that we may have something practical out of it as you always led us into practical things in Your Word; and so, we pray for that in Your Name. Amen.”
Deuteronomy 13:1-3, “If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, And the sign or the wonder came to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them; Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the Lord your god proveth you to know whether ye love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.”
Now, we know there are false prophets, and we know that there are true prophets and I thought that there may not be anybody else but those two; but then there are prophets ...now we are talking here also about false prophets, obviously, false prophets lead you away from the Lord ...but lately I came to an understanding that there may be prophets who seem to be neither false nor true! They are seemingly true because they speak the things of the Lord and certain things do come to pass and yet they lead you away from the Lord! In other words, they lead you to other gods. Not by saying so, but by their actions, by their lives, by their attitudes, by everything else ...by their very life! They lead you away from the true God.
Also, dreamers of dreams ... it came to me also recently that, in fact, there are even well known persons, evangelists, who may be classified as “dreamers of dreams”. What does it mean? Well, I am not going to name any names because it has no purpose, but there are famous, famous evangelists, famous pastors, famous preachers, especially in the United States, who preach from the Bible, who talk about the Lord, less and less but they still talk about the Lord, they still mention the Name of Christ Jesus, they still mention the Name of our God, etc. YET, what they DO is – they REALIZE THEIR OWN DREAMS! They build crystal cathedrals, they build universities, they build hospitals, they build this and they build that, they build “grand ministries”, they are dreaming color dreams and they are trying to fulfill them, and to stick to them. They, in fact, belong right here in this verse.
They are dreamers of dreams. And even though they don’t tell us: “Let us go and serve other gods”, yet that’s what they do! And how can we say that? Well, they say they are the servants of God yet they break all His commandments in the Old Testament and in the New Testament! And they behave as if the New Testament was not written at all! And so, these people can say this or that and certain things may even come to pass and people say “Lo and behold” and yet by their actions and by their lives they lead away from the Lord and they cause people to serve other gods(!) - including money, including prosperity - the god of prosperity is now number one. And if the Lord Jesus does not make you to prosper, they tell you almost “well, forget Him”. They don’t tell you that but by their actions they do that.
The god of healing - unless you are perfectly healthy, you are no good Christian, unless you drive in a Cadillac, you are no good, something is wrong with you. They are dreamers of dreams. And it is written: “Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams”. Why? Because “the Lord your God proveth you to know whether you love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul” OR whether you prefer their dreams!
Then in verse 4 we read: “Ye shall walk after the Lord your God, and fear Him and keep His commandments, and obey His voice, and ye shall serve Him, and cleave unto Him.” Six things, six is the number of man, what man was called to do: walk, fear (Him), keep (His commandments), obey (His voice), serve (Him) and cleave (unto Him). I could give references to all six, in fact, if you want to quickly go to 1Thess.2:12. The Spirit of God through Paul is exhorting us that we would “walk worthy of God, who has called us unto His Kingdom and Glory.” And as you all know this is not the only verse where we have this word “walk”. How important is the word “walk” and it is the walk “after the Lord”, it is not a religious walk, the walk on our own ways which seem good in our own eyes, this is the “walk after the Lord”. And here you have it, that you would “walk worthy of God”.
They specify what type of walk we have to walk; our walk has to be “worthy of God” which just proves that anyone, any Christian who is to enter the Kingdom must be accounted “worthy of It”. So, It (the Kingdom) is not handed down automatically to every saved person. 2Thess.1:5, for example, Paul again speaks under the Spirit “...that ye may be counted worthy of the Kingdom of God”. “Ye” means “ye Christians”, he is not writing to pagans, he is writing to saved people (the Christians in Thessaloniki) and he writes “...that ye may be counted worthy of the Kingdom of God for which ye also suffer”. We are suffering for It.
The same also in verse 11: “Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of His goodness, and the work of faith with power.” I think that’s pretty clear.
When we talk about the second point “to fear Him”, well, 2Cor.7:1 which was also the subject of our prayer tonight, in fact in a certain way, says: “Having therefore these promises, (these promises which are before), dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” That verse also proves that without the fear of the Lord there is no holiness!
The Book of Acts 9:31, “Then had the churches rest throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria, and were edified; and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied.”
The third point is to “keep His commandments”. I think there are so many (references) in the New Testament that we just could not enumerate them. One is, for example, in the Gospel of John 14:15. This is a direct speech of the Lord: “If ye love me, keep My commandments.” By the way, He is not saying: “If ye love me, keep the Law”, we have noticed that, right? He is saying “...keep MY commandments”, because “MY commandments are FAR ABOVE all the Law! So if you were unable to keep the Law, forget My commandments, you can’t keep them because they are far above the Law. But if you love Me - you shall be able to keep them!”
Also, in verse 23: “Jesus answered and said unto him: If a man love Me, he will keep My words...” which means “My commandments”, too. If a man love Me, he will keep. The word “will” is straightforward there, “he will keep My words”. It’s not a question of “yea” or “nay” - it’s the question of love. “If you love Me, you shall keep...”
1Jn.2:3: “And hereby we do know that we know Him, If we keep His commandments”. That is to say, that if we do not keep His commandments, we not only don’t love Him, we don’t know Him! Do you agree with that? We not only don’t love Him, we don’t know Him. 1Jn.5:2 – I just picked up a few that I was led to as a chicken to a grain of wheat and I picked them up but believe me there are so many references – 1Jn.5:2, “By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep His commandments.” Now, in addition to everything else, if we love Him and keep His commandments - then we also love the other children of God! So if some brother tells me “I love you, I love you”, I would like to ask him one thing: “Do you keep His commandments?” And if he does not, then he cannot love me, because he cannot love God. Isn’t that clear? Any man who is not doing His commandments not only cannot love God, he cannot know Him and he cannot love His children, which is to say, his brethren, his brothers and sisters! This is how far we have come with the word “love”.
When it comes to the word “obey His voice”, which is the fourth point, see Rom.6:16, “Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey; his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have OBEYED FROM THE HEART that form of doctrine which was delivered you.” And I want to underline here the word “obeyed” and “heart” because in the past I always thought that it was enough to agree with a doctrine. When I say something and it is good, you say “Yes, I agree” and so we are one. Now, we may be in agreement and yet very far from the unity in faith and life and action. Because it is not enough to agree with a doctrine - we must obey it from the heart! When we obey it from the heart then that doctrine begins to have a living effect on us! If I would only agree that the theory of Salvation is pretty good, I would not be saved until now! I had to obey it from my heart, that doctrine, and repent. Then that doctrine took effect on me and I was saved! Obedience from the heart. So when the Lord talks about “obeying His voice” it is not only to agree with what God says but we must obey Him in what He says.
Now, there is still so much, let’s go to one more, Acts 5:32. In order to be saved, of course, and then to be sealed by the Holy Spirit, He must be given to us... “And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to them that obey Him.” God only gives His Spirit to them that obey Him, not who agrees with Him or who is willing to say, “Well, God exists.” That’s not enough. These are two typical examples for the word “obey”.
Point 5 – “serve Him”. Jn.12:26, the Lord speaks: “If any man serve Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be; if any man serve Me, him My Father will honour.” That is the word “serve”. We ought to serve Him and that also ...this verse tells us that if we are to serve Him, we must be there where the Lord is which automatically points to the fact that we must follow Him. When the Lord moves and I choose to stay, I cannot serve Him! Do you agree? So I have to follow Him ... I have to be where He is.
Rom.1:9, Paul says: “For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the Gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers.” Now another aspect of serving is here: unless we know how to serve God in the spirit, we don’t know how to serve Him with our soul and body! So I can give unto God my hands and feet and run around and I can give Him my tongue and speak, and speak, and I can give Him any part of my body and any part of my soul (but)... before I know how to serve Him in my spirit, I cannot (truly) serve Him! Do you agree with that? And what is interesting is that Paul starts to write Romans with such a statement and I believe he was led to do that also because, as ridiculous as it may sound, Paul as Saul of Tarsus was serving God with his hands and feet - he thought he was serving God very zealously, in fact. And now he writes: “...I serve Him with my spirit...”
And I believe that today, if not all then many of you can say “Amen” and can see the difference between serving the Lord in spirit first and in flesh. It is not so difficult to see that, I believe.
Col.3:24, “Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for you serve the Lord Christ.” What is missing here, for example, is the word “Church”, we should be serving the Church, we should be serving the Christians. But again, Paul being led by the Spirit writes: “...ye serve the Lord Christ.” What does it mean? Well, before we know and actually before we serve the Lord Christ Jesus, we cannot serve the Church! There is no way, and I will tell you why. For example, you step on a nail with your right foot, what is happening? Your hands are automatically reaching there stopping the bleeding, bandaging it or washing it, taking care of your right foot or leg. Now, how come? Your hands have no eyes to see, they have no ears to hear and they have no way of knowing what is happening to your right leg! And what is happening is that your head is commanding your hands to do that! And your hands are serving first the needs of your head! Because your head realizes there is something wrong with your leg and what needs to be done. And if we had no head and could live, our hands would not do that because there would be no one to command them, to direct them. The head is directing one member to take care of another member because the head alone knows why and how!
We don’t catch the action because it is so fast. When you go in the morning to the washroom and wash your face (I hope you do), you do it automatically; you don’t realize that your hands are always commanded by your head what to do! They do not wash the face because they know that it is 7 o’clock in the morning and they have to go down and take the water and splash your face. The hands are basically “dummy”, they don’t know anything - the head knows. And the head is commanding the hands to do it for the sake of the head!
So if we are trying to help the Church and know nothing about the Head, which is Christ, then we don’t know anything!! How to help, whom to help, when to help, we don’t know anything. The Head must know what member is ailing, what is the need and the Head must command another member to do something. So you are serving the Head and THROUGH THE HEAD you are serving the Body which is the Church! That’s why he says right here: “...for you serve the Lord Christ” because the Lord Christ is the Head of the Body and the Body is His fullness (Eph.1:22-23).
And so I claim even now publicly that “no Christian is able to help another Christian outside of Christ!” Only through the Head (Christ) can he help. I mean, real help, effectual help, the help first in spirit. I mean, if you are hungry and I have bread in my kitchen, I can give it to you without much prayer and going into intercession - I can give you that bread because I should have a sound mind also. But if there is a need in spirit and I don’t know how to serve the Lord Christ being the Head - I cannot help you! And maybe the help which you need is only a certain prophecy, so the Lord gives me a word for you, so I speak it; you may call it a prophecy, you may call it anything you want - but this is what you need and this is what will help you! The Lord must give it to me first. This is the way how we can help in spirit which is always the basis of all help.
I can give you 15 loafs of bread and all the provisions in my kitchen and yet I won’t help you in spirit one bit! You will remain the same.
The word “cleave unto Him”. Well, lets go to Acts 11:22, “Then tidings of these things came unto the ears of the church which was in Jerusalem: and they sent forth Barnabas, that he should go as far as Antioch. Who, when he came, and had seen the grace of God, was glad and exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord.” Again, with the purpose of the heart they would cleave unto the Lord.
So when we talk about these six things here, they have so many counterparts in the New Testament which are full of meaning that it is really marvelous to see that and to compare that. Don’t forget that this is still Moses singing this song to Israel who knew nothing about the real Spirit of the Lord and about the real meaning of spiritual things. They were led into outer meaning or outer reflexes of spiritual realities. They did not know spiritual realities, yet, Moses is singing to them this song.
Now, from verse 5 of Deuteronomy chapter 13 almost to the end of that chapter, there are certain statements which are very peculiar. First, in verse 5, again, it talks about “that prophet or dreamer of dreams” and it says: “...shall be put to death because he has spoken to turn you away from the Lord your God”. He shall be put to death! In verse 6, Moses speaks about your own brother, your own son, your own daughter, your wife, your friend, anyone of them who “...entice thee secretly, saying: Let us go and serve other gods, which thou hast not known, thou, nor thy fathers.” Again, today they may not be speaking that but they are leading you that way anyway ... by their actions, by their lives.
In verse 9: “...thou shalt surely kill him; thine hands shall be first upon him...”! Now realize that these things in Israel at that time ... they were real and if there was such a man or son, the father’s hand should have been first upon him to stone him to death! So great was the power of evil and so strict were the commandments of the Lord so that to put the evil away from the midst of them, the Lord commanded people to be actually killed! There are verses in other parts where it says that if you had a stubborn son, that stubborn son was supposed to be brought to the market place and stoned to death! (Deut.21:18-21) That is not exactly the Charter of Rights of Canada but this is the Scripture! This is God talking! This is a commandment of God! And the father was supposed to throw the first stone.
So, what is our parallel now? Is there a parallel with the New Testament? Of course there is. As we talked in verse 1 about certain prophets and dreamers of dreams ... now the same may happen to your brother, or son or daughter or wife or the best friend or brother in church or sister in church. By their own dreams, “color dreams”, by their own actions, by their own lives they are in fact leading you away from the Lord and from His Word. And so, they should be “killed”, right? Now, there is a quietness here suddenly ... should they be killed? Yes! Now, how? Not with an axe! Let’s go to Titus 3:10,11, “A man that is an heretic after the first and second admonition reject; knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself.” What is happening? You are rejecting him, you are separating yourself from him which means - you are killing the man! Why? Because to kill someone is to separate him from the living! So when you kill a heretic, you are separating that dead man, unwilling, stubborn from the living body!
Now, he keeps living ... you are not actually shooting him or hanging him or poisoning him or killing him in the body, you are basically separating yourself from him declaring him dead and not to be fit with the living any longer! Because he had plenty of chances before to be “resurrected” and revived and to start living ... and he kept refusing! That’s what heresy also means - he sticks to his guns, he sticks to his way, he would not budge, he would not be willing ... he sticks to his death! So, after the second admonition you say: “Allright, I proclaim you dead, that’s what you wanted, go in peace, if it is possible for you to have peace.” So you proclaim him dead, that’s what he wanted. This is basically “killing a man” in spirit. Do you understand what I am talking about? 1Tim.1:19-20 ...you talk about killing a man, there you have it, Paul “killed” a man ... 1Tim.1:19,20, “Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck: of whom is Hymenaus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme.” Now, Paul killed them effectively! Because to bring somebody to Satan means - you are a dead man! You can’t be more dead, more killed than that.
We are supposed to be delivered from Satan unto Christ, which is to say, from Death unto Life! And here Paul is throwing the guys in the opposite direction! Why? Well, because they did not want to accept the Life from Christ, so “back you go and see what you had. If you loved death so much - go back”. That is a killing of a man, killing a false prophet, killing a dreamer of dreams.
2Thess.3:14, “And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed.” Which means, you are killing the man, you are separating him from the life because you are life and source of life (from Christ) which he kept rejecting, refusing! So, since he loved the death so much and the darkness - let him go back! That is the Word of God. That corresponds with Deut.13:5 to the end I would say perfectly.
Let’s go to one more ... Lk.14:26 (I have so many references here but we won’t go to them), Lk.14:26,27, “If any man come to Me and hate not his father, his mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple. (in another words: he cannot walk with Me) And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after Me, he cannot be My disciple.” And if we cannot be His disciples, we cannot walk after Him, we cannot fear Him, we cannot keep His commandments, we cannot obey His voice (because we cannot even hear His voice), we cannot serve Him, we cannot cleave unto Him!
And so, the conclusion is: If you don’t do these things in Deut.13:4, you automatically fall into verse 5, and 6, and 7, and 8, and 9, and 10. In fact, here Moses, in Deut.13, for example, in verse 12, goes so far as to say “If thou shalt hear say in one of thy cities...” that kind of news, and in the verse 14 “...and if it be truth, and the thing certain, that such abomination is wrought among you; thou shalt surely smite the inhabitants of that city with the edge of the sword destroying it utterly”. So, he starts with a prophet then with a dreamer then with a brother then wife then friend and then he goes to the whole city and he is destroying the whole city. At the end of verse 16: “...it shall not be built again.” It should be burnt with fire and it shall not be built again.
So there is such a treasure of wisdom and information in just this chapter 13. And I have one more reference to this “killing business”. I tried to bypass it but I should not do such things because whatever I have here I have for a purpose and if I want to shorten something I am getting myself into trouble.
Acts 5:5... in fact, I would have left out one of the most important examples. One man was actually killed by the Holy Spirit in flesh! “And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost; and great fear came on all of them that heard these things.” So we know the story of Ananias and Sapphira in Acts chapter 5. This was at the beginning of the Church so that the Spirit of God would show to the early Church the Truth that – the Lord God Jehovah did not change from the Old Testament to the New and suddenly there is a meek Jesus who would tolerate all our stupidity. The same God remains, His principles remain, His judgements remain, His justice remains, everything remains - He does not change!
And so, if somebody tried to lie to the representative of God, who was anointed by His Spirit, lie purposely with malice, I should say, then he is smitten dead! And there is no difference between the Old Testament and the New.
Deut. 15:9,12, “Beware that there be not a thought in thy wicked heart (Moses is bold) saying, the seventh year, the year of the release is at hand, and thine eye be evil against thy poor brother, and thou givest him nought (which means nothing); and he cry unto the Lord against thee, and it be sin unto thee.” So Moses is saying to Israelites “Beware that there be no such a thought in thy wicked heart” and in verse 12, “And if thy brother, an Hebrew man, or an Hebrew woman, be sold unto thee, and serve thee six years (again, the number of man); then in the seventh year thou shalt let him go free from thee.”
Now this points also to the seven Dispensation periods or however we may call them where the first six periods are pertaining to man and to his self-government where actually men are slaves and sold to slavery, and it is only the seventh period which is the Kingdom, Millennial Kingdom, where men will be truly free! This points to the Millennium this seventh year. Now you can read more about this in Leviticus chapter 5, about this seventh year when the bondmen were supposed to be released and if they were poor they were supposed to be given things.
Deut.18:13 – Moses is telling Israel, “Thou shalt be perfect with the Lord thy God.” Where do you believe it fits with the New Testament? Matt.5:48 – the Lord finished His sermon on the mount by saying: “Be ye therefore perfect even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” Is that the same song? Were they perplexed when Moses told them such an incredible thing like “Be perfect”? Nobody, first of all, understood what he meant, right? And secondly, even if they understood they must have known there is no way - how am I going to be perfect? And so, when the Lord spoke the same thing, when He sang the same song to the Church, they were just as perplexed. Who can be perfect as the Father in heaven? But the Lord meant it, didn’t He? Was He serious when He said it? Are we going to be perfect? Are we perfect already? It’s quite a question, I would like you to answer: Are we perfect already? (‘yes’ from one brother) Now there is one brother who is already perfect - would you explain it, please... (‘well, our new creation is perfect already’) Amen!
So, let me repeat that: In our new man we are already perfect as our Father which is in heaven! Otherwise, we would have no chance in this Universe to even come close. Because He has created our new man with that perfection of His Own Self - that’s why our new man is perfect (Eph.4:24). In our old man we are just as rotten as Satan! So we are a double personality and we will never be perfect in our old creation no matter what we do.
Let us make a real jump now - Deuteronomy chapter 28, and I am not saying that there is nothing interesting in the ten chapters we skipped, I was just led to go directly to chapter 28 for whatever reason. Sometimes I don’t speculate why I am doing these things, I am just doing them. Deut.28:1 to about 14, you can read (these) for yourselves when you have time, about the blessings of the Lord. Verse 1, “And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the Lord thy God,” ...and then the Lord our God tells us, or told them, what they should expect, and these were all the blessings ... seven times two = fourteen verses, all blessings. Now, in verse 15, “But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt NOT hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God” ...and what follows is plenty of curse! ... right to the end of chapter 28. I didn’t count the verses (68–14=54), you have plenty of verses filled with curse. (54=6x9 that’s very good, I didn’t count them but I noticed that there is plenty of curse, actually, and only 14 verses of blessings.)
Now, let’s go to verse 58, “If thou wilt not observe to do all the words of this law that are written in this book, that thou mayest fear this glorious and fearful name, THE LORD THY GOD”. Go to Phil.2:12 (we know this verse or should know it by heart) “Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure.” And go also to Isaiah 11:2 (there is the description of the Spirit of the Lord) “And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord; And shall make Him of quick understanding in the fear of the lord; and He shall not judge after the sight of His eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of His ears” ... “He” means, of course, Jesus Christ, and the seven fold Spirit in verse 2 rests upon Him all the time.
In Deut.28:58, “THE LORD THY GOD” in capital letters is (means) the Lord in His fullness, in His Trinity, “...that thou mayest fear this GLORIOUS AND FEARFUL NAME”. To fear Him means to fear Him reverently, not to fear Him as we fear the devil or the darkness, because that’s why we went also to Is.11:2 – the Spirit of the Lord is also the spirit of the fear of the Lord. That Spirit will cause us, in fact, to fear the Lord God Jehovah with the right kind of fear! Because it is awesome thing to be even brought to the presence of the Almighty God. And it is impossible, in fact, unless there is that certain fear in terms of reverence. No proud person can ever come into His presence, no flesh can ever glory in His presence or even appear in His presence!
We are still in Deut. 28, in verse 63 (this is still a part of this curse), “And it shall come to pass, that as the Lord rejoiced over you to do you good, and to multiply you; so the Lord will rejoice over you to destroy you, and to bring you to nought; and ye shall be plucked from off the land whither thou goest to possess it.” Now, these are verses which were never read in churches and never really preached and nobody ever applied them to the Church because ...why? They are too harsh! People don’t realize that God can speak like that ... “the Lord will destroy you and pluck you from off the land whither thou goest to possess it” which means “from your Kingdom”!
Now go to Matthew chapter 8, as we know this is the same song for the Church and for Israel. Mat.8:10, “When Jesus heard it, He marvelled, and said to them that followed: Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel. And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven. But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness:...”.Back to verse 63 of Deut.28, “and ye shall be plucked from off the land whither thou goest to possess it.” That is PRECISELY the same song! “...so the Lord will rejoice over you to destroy you.” Mat.8:12, “...there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” Now when it says “the Lord shall destroy you” it means – your old man, your old flesh, not your salvation, not your eternal life! But you – the old man (shall be destroyed). Is this the same song? Has anybody preached on Mat.8:12?... anybody explained it?... anybody applied it to the Christians? NO! I heard it only once, commented on it, and somebody said - and I think it was a Pentecostal pastor - that it applied to Israel, not to the Church.
This is a part of the truth that the Church and the leaders don’t want to go into. And because they are unwilling to go into it and consider that this is ALSO the Word of God, and you can’t cut it out, you can’t neglect it, you can’t pretend that this is not there, they are unwilling to go into it so the Lord will tell them “something” at the gate to the Kingdom.
Deut.30:11, “For this commandment which I command thee this day, it is not hidden from thee, neither it is far off. It is not in heaven, that thou shouldest say: Who shall go up for us to heaven, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it? Neither it is beyond the sea, that thou shouldest say: Who shall go over the sea for us, and bring it unto us that we may hear it, and do it? But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it.” No excuses. Hypocrites would like to have those commandments beyond the sea so they could never learn them and that they could never do them. But the Lord says “Behold, they are right in thy heart that thou mayest do them!”
Rom.10:1, Paul, the former Pharisee turned into an Apostle of Jesus Christ, a mighty Apostle with plenty of wisdom and revelations and power of God, says: “Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they might be saved. For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. For they are being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth. For Moses described the righteousness which is of the law, That the man which doeth those things shall live by them. But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise: Say not in thine heart: Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is: to bring Christ down from above). Or: Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.) But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart; that is, the word of faith, which we preach;”.
Now, here the Spirit of God through Paul sings EXACTLY the same song as the same Spirit sang through Moses there! And he (Paul) was singing it primarily to the hypocrites who were never willing to do the Word. And they have plenty excuses for that and the Lord says “The Word is right in your heart, you don’t have to take a boat and go to New Zealand to search for the Word. You don’t even have to go to a building with a cross on the roof! All you have to do is go into your own heart and you will find It!”
We are in chapter 30 of Deuteronomy, verse 19, “I call heaven and earth to record this day AGAINST YOU, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore CHOOSE LIFE, that both thou and thy seed may live; That thou mayest love the Lord thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him (there are only three now instead of six); for he is thy life and the length of thy days;”.
Now just go to Acts 17:28, as it is written: “For in him we live, and move, and have our being;”. That basically is the same thing, too. “For he is thy life and the length of thy days” in Deut.30:20. But in verse 19, Moses still says: “I call heaven and earth to record this day AGAINST YOU” and not FOR YOU. And we will have one more (word) like that, a very interesting one.
Deut.31:6, Moses says: “Be strong and of good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them (meaning those nations in the promised Land), for the Lord thy God, he is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.” This, of course, goes with Heb.13:5: “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have, for he hath said: I will never leave thee nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say: The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.” Deut.31:6 is the same song: “be not afraid of them ... the Lord thy God is with thee, he will never fail thee nor forsake thee.”
Deut.31:26, “Take this book of the law, and put it in the side of the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God, that it may be there for a witness AGAINST THEE”! This is the second time ... do you realize that Moses is telling them to do something that shall witness against them? Now, that Book of the Law was the Word of God for them and he commanded them to put it into the Ark, which typifies the Lord Jesus, that in that Ark it shall be as a witness against them. Go to Jn.1:1, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” The Word was and is the Lord Jesus. In verse 14, “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us (and we beheld his glory ...)” which means the Lord Jesus Christ. He IS the Word, right? Now, the same Gospel of John 12:48 says: “He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.” Which means – it shall be a WITNESS AGAINST HIM! That word which was spoken and was put in Christ Jesus Who is the Ark of the covenant, will be there for a witness against us! ... if we don’t listen to it. Do you see that, folks? So Moses is telling them precisely the same thing but they had a real written Book put in the side of the Ark of the covenant that it may be there as a witness against them.
Verse 27 (Deut.31), “For I know thy rebellion, and thy stiff neck: behold, while I am yet alive with you this day, ye have been rebellious against the Lord; and how much more after my death?” Verse 29, “For I know that after my death ye will utterly corrupt yourselves, and turn aside from the way which I have commanded you; and EVIL will befall you in the latter days; because YE WILL DO EVIL in the sight of the Lord, to provoke him to anger through the work of your hands.”
Now, let me say something. Moses is telling Israel what will happen after his death. That same thing happened to the Church after the death of Jesus! The Lord did not tell the Church this thing as clearly as Moses told Israel but the Lord Jesus could have also stood up and said to the early Church (because He knew the whole history of the Church or the future of the Church), He could have said: “I know that you will rebel, I know that you will be stiffnecked, in fact, while I am yet alive this day, you have been rebellious against the Lord, against Me. While I am living as your Messiah, you have been rebellious against Me ... My Church, My Church!” Do you remember how many disciples left Him? ... and rebelled against Him while He was still alive?
And in verse 29 (Deut.31), “... after my death” (after Jesus died, in fact, He says) “ye will utterly corrupt yourselves and turn aside from the way which I have commanded you.” If you look at the Church, that is EXACTLY what was happening. After the death of Jesus, the Church began to slide down immediately and getting corrupted and getting away from the way of the commandments and from the way of the Lord! Except the Remnant which was always there - but then there was always a Remnant in Israel which kept the Law and the Commandments. So also in the Church, but I am not talking about the Remnant, I am not talking about the few, but I am talking about the entity of Israel and the entity of the Church. And the same thing has been happening to the Church since the death of Jesus.
Phil.3:18, for example, “(For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ:”, which is to say – they are the enemies of Christ. You can’t be a friend of Christ and an enemy of His cross! These who walk like that and who have become the enemies of Christ fit this picture here in Deut.31:29. They have corrupted themselves, they have become stiffnecked, they turned aside from the way of the cross. And evil will befall you in the latter days (says Moses). And I have here a mark: 1988, it’s quite a ‘latter day’.
Now, the last verse in Deut.31 is 30, “And Moses spake in the ears of all the congregation of Israel the words of this SONG, until they were ended.”
He ended, in fact, with two more chapters. We go to chapter 32, verse 3, “Because I will publish the name of the Lord; ascribe ye greatness unto our God. He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for ALL HIS WAYS ARE JUDGMENT: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.” Now, we know that in 1Cor.10: 4 ... it corresponds with Deut.32:4, let’s go to verse 2 of 1Cor.10, “And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; and did all eat the same spiritual meat (which was manna); And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that ROCK WAS CHRIST.”
So Israel has no excuse that they did not know anything about Christ. He was right there in that “stupid” wilderness with them all the way. He did not come to them in Bethlehem. He came to them in Bethlehem in flesh - as a man, but He was with Israel from the beginning. Moses was singing about the Rock, about Christ. So, Deut.32:4 ... here is the Rock, and the Rock is the Christ of God - the Anointed of God. And Paul, of course, confirms it in 1Cor.10:4, and he even says in verse 5: “But with many of them God was not well pleased; for they were overthrown in the wilderness.” So he just confirms the song of Moses again.
We are still in chapter 32 of Deuteronomy, but in verse 15, “But Jeshurun waxed fat, and kicked; thou art waxen fat, thou art grown thick, thou art covered with fatness; then he forsook God which made him, and lightly esteemed the Rock of his salvation.” which means Christ! Now “Jeshurun” you will find in Deut. 33:5 – these were the heads of the people of the tribes of Israel. Then they forsook God and lightly esteemed the Rock of their salvation. Verse 18 (chapt. 32): “Of the Rock that begat thee thou art unmindful, and hast forgotten God that formed thee.” So this is not nice ... this verse to Israel.
Verse 35 (the Lord says): “To me belongeth vengeance, and recompense; their foot shall slide in due time: for the day of their calamity is at hand, and the things that shall come upon them make haste.” Now, go to Rom.12:19, “Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.” 2Thess.1:6-8, “Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you; And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that KNOW NOT GOD, and that OBEY NOT the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
And if you think that he is (only) talking about pagans, you are wrong! Because we just read that he who does not love God does not know God! ... and he does not obey the Gospel, which is to say, he does not obey the voice of the Lord because the Gospel is the voice of the Lord. We are not talking about pagans! It’s not only pagans who can trouble us but our own brethren can trouble us even more! And we have experiences. So these verses go hand in hand with Deut. 32:35.
Now we go to verse 36 of Deut.32, “For the Lord shall judge his people and repent himself for his servants, when he seeth that their power is gone, and there is none shut up, or left.” Go to Rom. 14:10-12, “But why doth thou judge thy brother? or why doth thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall ALL stand before the judgment seat of Christ. For it is written: As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. So then, every one of us shall give account of himself to God.” 2Cor.5:10, “For we must ALL appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.” And 1Pet. chpt. 4 (these things I am just giving as references and to show to those that may not know the Scriptures how everything fits) ... 1Pet.4:17–18, ”For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God; and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?” The judgment begins at the house of God. Now in Deut.32:36 it says: “For the Lord shall judge his people and repent himself for his servants.” And that fits, that fits perfectly.
Deut.34:9 ... let’s read first verse 5, “So Moses the servant of the Lord died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the Lord. And he (the Lord) buried him in a valley in the land of Moab, over against Bethpeor; but no man knoweth of his sepulchre unto this day.” Verse 9: “And Joshua the son of Nun was full of the spirit of wisdom; for Moses had laid his hands upon him: and the children of Israel hearkened unto him, and did as the Lord commanded Moses.”
Now, after Moses died Joshua comes into the forefront and as we said, Moses typified Jesus as a Deliverer, as a Saviour, as the Messiah. And the Saviour, the Messiah died before He entered into His Kingdom. So Moses died before he entered the Promised Land. And here comes Joshua who again typifies the same Lord but as a Conqueror, as an Overcomer, as the coming King, coming with a sword. And the same also with the Lord Jesus, for He comes as a King, as a Conqueror into His Kingdom to establish it. And we may say: Well, you know, Moses typifies Christ, Joshua typifies Christ, Isaac typifies Christ, there may be many people ... David typifies Christ, Solomon typifies Christ, everybody typifies Christ ... and it is so! But in this case, for example, we can view it in that way that when the Lord died, the same Lord is coming into His Kingdom ... but the resurrected Christ comes. So we may say: Moses died and now Moses is resurrected and as Joshua is coming into the kingdom ... into the Promised Land.
And this is where we finish the book of Deuteronomy, this is where we finish Part VII of the message. I don’t know what more we will get out of it. We ought to meditate on these things and the Lord is well able to give us not only the beauty of His Word, but (also) practical things for this day.
And so, we praise God, we thank Him for His beautiful Word and for His Wisdom that, in fact, He veiled His Word from them that are not willing to do It. This is a part of God’s Wisdom.
Praise God !!!