Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Beginning of the Kings- King Saul (Part 1)

The children of Israel have just asked Samuel to find them a king. They didn't realize that God had been their king and they were rejecting Him. Samuel tried to tell them what would happen if they crowned a human as their king, but they didn't care. They wanted to be like everyone else.
So, God was going to show Samuel who it was that the people would accept as their first king.
I Samuel 9:1-2- Now there was a man of Benjamin, whose name was Kish, the son of Abiel, the son of Zeror, the son of Bechorath, the son of Aphiah, a Benjamite, a mighty man of power. And he had a son, whose name was Saul, a choice young man, and a goodly: and there was not among the children of Israel a goodlier person than he: from his shoulders and upward he was higher than any of the people.
Saul was from the smallest tribe in Israel- the tribe of Benjamin, but Saul was also the tallest man in all Israel. God was going to bring this young man, Saul, into Samuel's path so that he could be crowned king.
I Samuel 9:3-6- And the asses of Kish Saul's father were lost. And Kish said to Saul his son, Take now one of the servants with thee, and arise, go seek the asses. And he passed through mount Ephraim, and passed through the land of Shalisha, but they found them not: then they passed through the land of Shalim, and there they were not: and he passed through the land of the Benjamites, but they found them not. And when they were come to the land of Zuph, Saul said to his servant that was with him, Come, and let us return; lest my father leave caring for the asses, and take thought for us. And he said unto him, Behold now, there is in this city a man of God, and he is an honourable man; all that he saith cometh surely to pass: now let us go thither; peradventure he can shew us our way that we should go.
God made Saul's family's donkeys run away. Saul and a servant was sent out to find them. They searched in a few places, and then Saul wanted to go back home. But, the servant knew that Samuel was close by and he suggested going to ask Samuel where the donkeys were.
Back then, you didn't just show up and ask questions. There was certain protocol that you followed when you wanted something from a prophet. You brought him a gift. And he wasn't called a prophet back then, he was called something else.
I Samuel 9:7-10- Then said Saul to his servant, But, behold, if we go, what shall we bring the man? for the bread is spent in our vessels, and there is not a present to bring to the man of God: what have we? And the servant answered Saul again, and said, Behold, I have here at hand the fourth part of a shekel of silver: that will I give to the man of God, to tell us our way. (Beforetime in Israel, when a man went to enquire of God, thus he spake, Come, and let us go to the seer: for he that is now called a Prophet was beforetime called a Seer.) Then said Saul to his servant, Well said; come, let us go. So they went unto the city where the man of God was.
Samuel was known as the Seer. The servant said that he had a silver shekel that they could give to the Seer. So, Saul and his servant went to the city where Samuel was.
But, God was also talking to Samuel.
I Samuel 9:15-16- Now the LORD had told Samuel in his ear a day before Saul came, saying, To morrow about this time I will send thee a man out of the land of Benjamin, and thou shalt anoint him to be captain over my people Israel, that he may save my people out of the hand of the Philistines: for I have looked upon my people, because their cry is come unto me.
As Saul was coming close to the city, God was moving to make sure that both he and Samuel came together. First, God was going to send some girls to tell Saul where to go.
I Samuel 9:11-14- And as they went up the hill to the city, they found young maidens going out to draw water, and said unto them, Is the seer here? And they answered them, and said, He is; behold, he is before you: make haste now, for he came to day to the city; for there is a sacrifice of the people to day in the high place: As soon as ye be come into the city, ye shall straightway find him, before he go up to the high place to eat: for the people will not eat until he come, because he doth bless the sacrifice; and afterwards they eat that be bidden. Now therefore get you up; for about this time ye shall find him. And they went up into the city: and when they were come into the city, behold, Samuel came out against them, for to go up to the high place.
Next, God was going to tell Samuel that Saul was the young man about to approach him.
I Samuel 9:17- And when Samuel saw Saul, the LORD said unto him, Behold the man whom I spake to thee of! this same shall reign over my people.
Now, everyone was right where God had wanted them. And God was going to change one man's life forever.
I Samuel 9:18-20- Then Saul drew near to Samuel in the gate, and said, Tell me, I pray thee, where the seer's house is. And Samuel answered Saul, and said, I am the seer: go up before me unto the high place; for ye shall eat with me to day, and to morrow I will let thee go, and will tell thee all that is in thine heart. And as for thine asses that were lost three days ago, set not thy mind on them; for they are found. And on whom is all the desire of Israel? Is it not on thee, and on all thy father's house?
Samuel told Saul that the donkeys were back home. He also told Saul that God had big plans for him.
Saul was a young man. At this point in his life he was humble and he didn't think that he was anyone the Lord could use.
I Samuel 9:21- And Saul answered and said, Am not I a Benjamite, of the smallest of the tribes of Israel? and my family the least of all the families of the tribe of Benjamin? wherefore then speakest thou so to me?
Saul didn't understand that God likes to use the humble people who don't think they can do anything. When God uses those people He gets the glory.
I Samuel 9:22-25- And Samuel took Saul and his servant, and brought them into the parlour, and made them sit in the chiefest place among them that were bidden, which were about thirty persons. And Samuel said unto the cook, Bring the portion which I gave thee, of which I said unto thee, Set it by thee. And the cook took up the shoulder, and that which was upon it, and set it before Saul. And Samuel said, Behold that which is left! set it before thee, and eat: for unto this time hath it been kept for thee since I said, I have invited the people. So Saul did eat with Samuel that day. And when they were come down from the high place into the city, Samuel communed with Saul upon the top of the house.
Saul ate with Samuel that evening. And then, Saul and Samuel got to talk about all the stuff that was in Saul's heart. Anything Saul wanted to ask the Seer he could.
I Samuel 9:26-27- And they arose early: and it came to pass about the spring of the day, that Samuel called Saul to the top of the house, saying, Up, that I may send thee away. And Saul arose, and they went out both of them, he and Samuel, abroad. And as they were going down to the end of the city, Samuel said to Saul, Bid the servant pass on before us, (and he passed on,) but stand thou still a while, that I may shew thee the word of God.
In the morning, before Saul and his servant were about to leave. Samuel was going to tell Saul exactly what it was that the Lord wanted from his life.
I Samuel 10:1- Then Samuel took a vial of oil, and poured it upon his head, and kissed him, and said, Is it not because the LORD hath anointed thee to be captain over his inheritance?
Samuel told Saul that he was chosen to be the king of Israel. He then told him what would happen on his way home. As soon as all the things that Samuel said would happen came to pass, Saul would know that Samuel was telling the truth.
I Samuel 10:6-9- And the Spirit of the LORD will come upon thee, and thou shalt prophesy with them, and shalt be turned into another man. And let it be, when these signs are come unto thee, that thou do as occasion serve thee; for God is with thee. And thou shalt go down before me to Gilgal; and, behold, I will come down unto thee, to offer burnt offerings, and to sacrifice sacrifices of peace offerings: seven days shalt thou tarry, till I come to thee, and shew thee what thou shalt do. And it was so, that when he had turned his back to go from Samuel, God gave him another heart: and all those signs came to pass that day.
What an amazing thing! God gave Saul another heart. Do you know what that means? God made him into the man that He wanted to lead His people.
When we get saved God makes us into a new person, too. He gives us another heart. We are no longer children of this dark world; we are now children of the creator of the universe, the bringer of the flood, the God who sent the plagues on Egypt, the One who delivered Israel from all her enemies- He is now our Father!
This new Saul now had a chance to be a great influence to everyone in the land of Israel!
I Samuel 9:14-16- And Saul's uncle said unto him and to his servant, Whither went ye? And he said, To seek the asses: and when we saw that they were no where, we came to Samuel. And Saul's uncle said, Tell me, I pray thee, what Samuel said unto you. And Saul said unto his uncle, He told us plainly that the asses were found. But of the matter of the kingdom, whereof Samuel spake, he told him not.
When Saul's uncle asked him about his trip, he didn't tell him that he had been annointed to be king. Perhaps he was embarrassed. Maybe he didn't think he was worthy of such an honor. Or, there could be a chance that he thought Samuel had made a mistake. We really don't know the reason.
When God saves you and makes you a new person, you should not be embarrassed to tell others. It's our job to let others know what God has done for us!
Saul was going to have to learn this.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

The Carpenter (poem)

Long ago, when time first began,
The earth was walked by just one man.
And through his selfish, sinful choice
The Angel of Death was given a voice.
His icy breath, his skeleton hand,
Would claim every soul in this now cursed land.
Four thousand years he ruled with might-
No one could hide or plead, or fight.
Then came one day that changed it all-
A carpenter on the hill "The skull"
Said, "It is finished!" as death did grip
His soul to take to the forsaken crypt.
But, from death's hand this soul did slip.
An angry shriek pierced the gloom
But, this One wouldn't remain entombed.
He took the keys and claimed Victory!
And then freed death's captivity.
Since then, each man that on earth doth dwell
Can escape the blazing fires of hell,
If on this Carpenter he calls-
The Savior, who will save one and all.
The sting of death will fade away
And night turn into joyful day
When, "Come, my child" we hear Him say.
Adam's fall gave birth to sin;
Christ's death brought it's reign to an end.
"Whosoever" now has the chance
To escape forever from death's glance,
And live as Redeemed for eternity
Because a Carpenter went to Calvary.


Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Believer's Heritage- Soul or Spirit?

Genesis 2:7- And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
When God created man, He made him different from every other creature out there. The difference was not in his humanoid form, for even apes have a similar form. The difference wasn't in his spirit, for angels are spirits. The difference was in his soul.
Man is a unique creature that has a soul- a consciousness to choose good and evil, believe, experience emotions, and increase in learning. No other creature contains this. The soul is the part of us with a personality, the part that is effected by other people's pain or circumstances, the part of us that can love or hate or envy or covet.
There is something else about the soul that is very interesting. It is powerful. Many people have tapped into the power of the soul throughout the ages and have been able to perform impressive feats.
God gave Adam dominion over the whole earth- if he didn't have some sort of supernatural ability how could he accomplish this? But, what we think of as "supernatural" now-a-days was actually "natural" when Adam was created.
But, Adam sinned. The curse of sin was death. The spirit immediately died. The soul became dormant. And, the flesh slowly decayed. The amazing feats that Adam could perform before were now suppressed, though his mind was still as keen.
Adam was completely conscious of the power that he had lost. The flesh was now in control of the psyche. Physical needs and desires were more powerful that the logic and will power, and they became the predominate force in man's decision making. But, the soul-power was still there.
Psychology is the study of the powers of the soul. A person's psyche has the potential to tap into their soul power and utilize it, but it takes great discipline and self-control. For a person to tap into their soul power they must weaken the power of the flesh.
Is this wrong?
Because the soul was the reason Satan wanted Adam to fall. Satan wanted to be able to have some control over the soul's power. Perhaps the devil didn't anticipate the loss of this power to the urges of the flesh, or maybe he was hoping that would happen.
As Adam and Eve had children, they saw that their offspring were born in their fallen image- dead spirit, dormant soul, and decaying flesh.
When Jesus came, he was made in the image of Adam with one exception- he didn't have the curse of sin. Both His spirit and soul were alive. Jesus had the ability to use His soul's power.
I Corinthians 15:45- And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.
And, that's why Satan tempted Him. If Jesus had fallen for Satan's trap, then the devil would have gotten what he had always wanted. The ability to utilize the power of the soul.
But, Jesus knew something that we should all learn.
John 8:28- Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things.
Jesus knew that the Spirit was not only alive but also life giving, but though the soul is alive, it cannot give life. He did nothing of Himself- meaning every work He ever did was through the Spirit, not the power of the soul.
John 6:63- It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.
Satan is trying very hard to teach people to utilize the latent powers of the soul so that he can accomplish his original desire. And, he will succeed. He has in the past.
Those who are Buddhist, Hinduist, Taoists, etc have been able to tap into the soul's powers and can accomplish some impressive things from astral projections, to invincibility to pain and disease, to mind reading and fortune telling. These are all different powers of the soul. But, they come at a cost that not many people understand.
When you tap into the soul's power you open yourself to the spiritual realm and allow the devil access to work through you. Even if you think that you are only doing good, you are still being used by the demonic spiritual world.
This will one day happen on a global scale.
Revelation 6:9- And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held:
In the tribulation, the AntiChrist will have the ability to trap the souls of men. He will use their latent powers for his purposes and will even barter with them.
Revelation 18:12-13- The merchandise of gold, and silver, and precious stones, and of pearls, and fine linen, and purple, and silk, and scarlet, and all thyine wood, and all manner vessels of ivory, and all manner vessels of most precious wood, and of brass, and iron, and marble, And cinnamon, and odours, and ointments, and frankincense, and wine, and oil, and fine flour, and wheat, and beasts, and sheep, and horses, and chariots, and slaves, and souls of men.
Many people today are using the power of the soul without even realizing it. They say it is a blessing of God, or karma, or some other such thing, but in actuality it is a small releasing of the soul's power.
John 3:6- That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
When we use our soul's power, we will see positive results. But, they aren't permanent results. The soul cannot impute life to others- just fleeting emotions. Some times these emotions are wonderful, but some times they are oppressive and terrible.
That's why Jesus never used the power of His soul. Everything He did was through the power of the Holy Spirit so that it was able to endow the object with Spiritual life. Spirit is eternal. It works long after the person who opened the door to the knowledge of the Holy Spirit is gone. It's a change in perspective and action, not just temporary attitude.
If our Savior who was sinless wouldn't use the powers of the soul, should we?
God wants to work through us, but not through our power. He wants to work through the Holy Spirit for His glory.
Hebrews 9:14- How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
When we work through our soul, we are giving glory to our flesh.
Galatians 5:16-17, 25- This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
God doesn't use our wisdom, our strength, or our other perceived distinctions. He uses what we view as faults, or flaws, or shortcomings, because that's how He gets the glory!
I Corinthians 1:25-31-  Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men. For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence. But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.
If you want power from God on high, you must do everything through the Holy Spirit, and not through your own strength. You must ask God to bind your soul's power so that the working is from Him alone.
It won't be a feeling, or an emotions, or even a conscious knowledge of His moving, but the fruits will be seen long after you have moved on. And the work that He will do will remain for eternity!
Galatians 5:5- For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.
Romans 11:36- For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.

For more information on this subject check out the books The Latent Power of the Soul and The Spiritual Man by Watchman Nee.

Monday, January 1, 2018

The Unpardonable Sin


During His physical life on earth, Jesus often exercised His Deity by performing miracles through the Divine power of the Holy Ghost. In Matthew 12:22-32, the Pharisees witness one of the Lord's many miracles. Then, instead of believing on Jesus, they accused Him of performing miracles through the power of the Devil. He then told them that men could be forgiven for blasphemy (evil and hurtful speaking) against men and against Him, but that blasphemy against the Holy Ghost could NEVER be forgiven. A companion reference for this is found in Mark 3:30, where we are told WHY Jesus said this to them: "Because they said, he hath an unclean spirit."

It is important to note that nothing is said about this particular sin after Calvary. It is only mentioned during the life of Christ on earth, while He was working genuine miracles by the power of the Holy Ghost. It is also needful to understand that blasphemy is a sin of the TONGUE. A person could not commit blasphemy with thoughts or actions. It was strictly a sin of the tongue, and it could only be committed by openly accusing Jesus Christ of working through Satanic power.

Some teach that this sin may still be committed today, but there is no scriptural support for this. In fact, when Jesus later speaks of the coming of the Holy Ghost to indwell believers, He said that the Holy Ghost would convict the world of three things: sin, righteousness, and judgment. He then said that the Holy Ghost would convict the world of SIN for ONE REASON: "because they believe not on me." (John 16:7-11) It seems that if blasphemy against the Holy Ghost was to be the greatest sin of this age, that Jesus would have used this opportunity to warn us about it, but He warned us about UNBELIEF instead. Some Charismatic groups, who profess to be LED by the Holy Ghost, are in the habit of accusing anyone who opposes them of blaspheming the Holy Ghost. For example, some Charismatics would say that I have blasphemed the Holy Ghost in my writings, because I have written things in opposition to their practice of speaking in unknown tongues and faith healing. That's absurd. Even if they WERE doing all these things by the Holy Ghost (which they are not), it still would not be unpardonable to speak against it. Many people have spoken against great Christian works and then gotten saved later. The Apostle Paul is a good example (Acts 8-9). The blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from ALL SIN (I John 1:9), and if you want to commit the unpardonable sin in this age, then you will have to reject Jesus Christ as your Saviour and then die in that lost condition. Then, when you stand before God at the White Throne Judgment, you will NOT be forgiven.

Now, I do realize that a person can reject Christ for so long that God the Holy Ghost pulls away and stops convicting that individual, in which case the individual never receives Christ, never receives forgiveness of sin, and goes to Hell (Pro. 1:23-33; Isa. 55:6-7; John 12:37-43), but only God knows when a person crosses that line. No man on this planet has any scriptural authority for telling someone that God will never forgive them for their sins.
-J. L. Melton