EXPLORING GOD’S WORD [60]

topic: SPIRITUAL AWAKENING

As we look around this old world we see a great falling away from God. We see moral de cay everywhere; we need to be given a shake and woke up and get back to the Bible teaching. What must we do to get back on track?

a/ Old Testament when they got astray, one returned to the place of worship.

  • Gen.35: And God said unto Jacob, Arise, go up to Bethel, and dwell there: and make there an altar unto God, that appeared unto thee when thou fleddest from the face of Esau thy brother.

    Then Jacob said unto his household, and to all that were with him, Put away the strange gods that are among you, and be clean, and change your garments:

    And let us arise, and go up to Bethel; and I will make there an altar unto God, who answered me in the day of my distress, and was with me in the way which I went.

    And they gave unto Jacob all the strange gods which were in their hand, and all their earrings which were in their ears; and Jacob hid them under the oak which was by Shechem.

    And they journeyed: and the terror of God was upon the cities that were round about them, and they did not pursue after the sons of Jacob.

    So Jacob came to Luz, which is in the land of Canaan, that is, Bethel, he and all the people that were with him.

    And he built there an altar, and called the place Elbethel: because there God appeared unto him, when he fled from the face of his brother.

    [ KJV]

B/ They returned to reading  God’s word.

  • 2 Kings 22: And Hilkiah the high priest said unto Shaphan the scribe, I have found the book of the law in the house of the Lord. And Hilkiah gave the book to Shaphan, and he read it.And Shaphan the scribe came to the king, and brought the king word again, and said, Thy servants have gathered the money that was found in the house, and have delivered it into the hand of them that do the work, that have the oversight of the house of the Lord.

    10 And Shaphan the scribe shewed the king, saying, Hilkiah the priest hath delivered me a book. And Shaphan read it before the king.

    11 And it came to pass, when the king had heard the words of the book of the law, that he rent his clothes

    12 And the king commanded Hilkiah the priest, and Ahikam the son of Shaphan, and Achbor the son of Michaiah, and Shaphan the scribe, and Asahiah a servant of the king’s, saying,

    13 Go ye, enquire of the Lord for me, and for the people, and for all Judah, concerning the words of this book that is found: for great is the wrath of the Lord that is kindled against us, because our fathers have not hearkened unto the words of this book, to do according unto all that which is written concerning us.

    14 So Hilkiah the priest, and Ahikam, and Achbor, and Shaphan, and Asahiah, went unto Huldah the prophetess, the wife of Shallum the son of Tikvah, the son of Harhas, keeper of the wardrobe; (now she dwelt in Jerusalem in the college;) and they communed with her.

    15 And she said unto them, Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, Tell the man that sent you to me,

    16 Thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will bring evil upon this place, and upon the inhabitants thereof, even all the words of the book which the king of Judah hath read:   [ also read Neh.8:1-18 ]

    C/ They confessed their sin.

  • Ezra 10: 1-17 King James Version (KJV)

    10 Now when Ezra had prayed, and when he had confessed, weeping and casting himself down before the house of God, there assembled unto him out of Israel a very great congregation of men and women and children: for the people wept very sore.And Shechaniah the son of Jehiel, one of the sons of Elam, answered and said unto Ezra, We have trespassed against our God, and have taken strange wives of the people of the land: yet now there is hope in Israel concerning this thing.Now therefore let us make a covenant with our God to put away all the wives, and such as are born of them, according to the counsel of my lord, and of those that tremble at the commandment of our God; and let it be done according to the law.Arise; for this matter belongeth unto thee: we also will be with thee: be of good courage, and do it.Then arose Ezra, and made the chief priests, the Levites, and all Israel, to swear that they should do according to this word. And they sware.Then Ezra rose up from before the house of God, and went into the chamber of Johanan the son of Eliashib: and when he came thither, he did eat no bread, nor drink water: for he mourned because of the transgression of them that had been carried away.And they made proclamation throughout Judah and Jerusalem unto all the children of the captivity, that they should gather themselves together unto Jerusalem;And that whosoever would not come within three days, according to the counsel of the princes and the elders, all his substance should be forfeited, and himself separated from the congregation of those that had been carried away.Then all the men of Judah and Benjamin gathered themselves together unto Jerusalem within three days. It was the ninth month, on the twentieth day of the month; and all the people sat in the street of the house of God, trembling because of this matter, and for the great rain.10 And Ezra the priest stood up, and said unto them, Ye have transgressed, and have taken strange wives, to increase the trespass of Israel.11 Now therefore make confession unto the Lord God of your fathers, and do his pleasure: and separate yourselves from the people of the land, and from the strange wives.12 Then all the congregation answered and said with a loud voice, As thou hast said, so must we do.13 But the people are many, and it is a time of much rain, and we are not able to stand without, neither is this a work of one day or two: for we are many that have transgressed in this thing.

    14 Let now our rulers of all the congregation stand, and let all them which have taken strange wives in our cities come at appointed times, and with them the elders of every city, and the judges thereof, until the fierce wrath of our God for this matter be turned from us.15 Only Jonathan the son of Asahel and Jahaziah the son of Tikvah were employed about this matter: and Meshullam and Shabbethai the Levite helped them.16 And the children of the captivity did so. And Ezra the priest, with certain chief of the fathers, after the house of their fathers, and all of them by their names, were separated, and sat down in the first day of the tenth month to examine the matter.17 And they made an end with all the men that had taken strange wives by the first day of the first month.

D/ Be filled with the Holy Spirit.

John 7: 38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. 39 (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.) [also read Acts 2:1- 47 ]

 

[ prepared by Winston Staples ]

 

EXPLORING GOD’S WORD [59B]

TOPIC: ASCENSION OF CHRIST [b]

  • He ascended from the mount of Olivet.  Luke 24: 50 And he led them out as far as to Bethany, and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them.  Mark 1:11 And there came a voice from heaven, saying, Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.  Acts 1:12 Then returned they unto Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is from Jerusalem a sabbath day’s journey.
  • He ascended while blessing His disciples   Luke 24:50 And he led them out as far as to Bethany, and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them.
  • He had finished His work of atonement    1/ Hebrews 9:12 Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.  2/ Hebrews 10:12 But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;
  • He was triumphant   Psalms 68: 28 Thy God hath commanded thy strength: strengthen, O God, that which thou hast wrought for us.29 Because of thy temple at Jerusalem shall kings bring presents unto thee.

    30 Rebuke the company of spearmen, the multitude of the bulls, with the calves of the people, till every one submit himself with pieces of silver: scatter thou the people that delight in war.

    31 Princes shall come out of Egypt; Ethiopia shall soon stretch out her hands unto God.

    32 Sing unto God, ye kingdoms of the earth; O sing praises unto the Lord; Selah:

    33 To him that rideth upon the heavens of heavens, which were of old; lo, he doth send out his voice, and that a mighty voice.

    34 Ascribe ye strength unto God: his excellency is over Israel, and his strength is in the clouds.

    35 O God, thou art terrible out of thy holy places: the God of Israel is he that giveth strength and power unto his people. Blessed be God.

  • His ascension was with supreme power and dignity     1/ Luke 24:26 Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?  2/ Ephesians 1:20 Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,21 Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:  3/ 1 Peter 3: 20 Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,

    21 Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:

[ Prepared by Winston Staples ]

EXPLORING GOD’S WORD [59A]

TOPIC: Ascension of Christ [a]

*Prophecies respecting His ascension:  Psalms 24:Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. [ Psalms 68:18 Thou hast ascended on high, thou hast led captivity captive: thou hast received gifts for men; yea, for the rebellious also, that the Lord God might dwell among them.]  E ph 4:7-8:

But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.

Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.

*His ascension fortold by Himself: a/ John 6:62 What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before? b/ John 7:33 Then Jesus said to them, “I shall be with you a little while longer, and then I go to Him who sent Me. c/ John 14:28 You have heard Me say to you, ‘I am going away and coming back to you.’ If you loved Me, you would rejoice because I said,”I am going to the Father,’ for My Father is greater than I. d/ John 16:“But now I go away to Him who sent Me, and none of you asks Me, ‘Where are You going?’ e/ John 20:17 Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to Me, for I have not yet ascended to My Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, ‘I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God.’”

*He ascended forty days after His resurrection: Acts 1: to whom He also presented Himself alive after His suffering by many infallible proofs, being seen by them during forty days and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.

*His ascension described: Acts 1:Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight.

[ prepared by Winston Staples ]

 

EXPLORING GOD’S WORD [58]

Topic: The word we are exploring today is ” redemption”.

Redemption means: 1/ to deliver or rescue 2/ to pay off a debt or bond. 3/ In Theology it means delivered from sin or salvation.

Let’s read the following verses: 1.Exodus 15:13 Thou in thy mercy hast led forth the people which thou hast redeemed: thou hast guided them in thy strength unto thy holy habitation.   [ God’s people were delivered by God’s Power to God’s place of salvation.] 2. Luke 1:68 Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people, 3. Galatians 3: 13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:14 That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.15 Brethren, I speak after the manner of men; Though it be but a man’s covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man disannulleth, or addeth thereto.   [ man can not redeem himself no matter how hard he tries, no matter what he sacrifices. God sent His only SON Jesus as a perfect sacrifice for the sinfulness of mankind to die on that old rugged cross.]

4. Ephesians 1:In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;  5.1 Peter 1:17 And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man’s work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear:18 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:

I love that old hymn ” Redeemed, redeemed by the blood of the Lamb”!

[ prepared by Winston Staples ]

MY SONG!

O Lord,

I sing my song,

to thank you;

I sing my song,

to praise you,

for Your salvation plan,

giving hope to sinful man.

I sing my song to You,

for giving me joy;

I sing  my song to You,

for giving rest;

I sing my song,

when I am happy;

I sing my song,

when I am stressed;

I sing,

” O God, How Great Thou Art “.

I sing to praise You,

and to thank You;

I sing my song,

to say I love You,

because You so much love me!

~ Winston Staples

EXPLORING GOD’S WORD [57]

TOPIC: Choices

God gave us a will when He created mankind so we could make our own choices, good or bad. Let us look at the following Scripture verses about choices.

  • Gen.2: 15 And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
    We know the rest of the story, what happened after they decided the wrong way and ate the forbidden fruit and as descendants we are still being effected by their decisions.
  • Matthew 9:9 Amplified Bible 

    Matthew Called

    As Jesus went on from there, He saw a man named Matthew (Levi) sitting in the tax collector’s booth; and He said to him, “Follow Me [as My disciple, accepting Me as your Master and Teacher and walking the same path of life that I walk].” And Matthew got up and followed Him.

    Here we see a good choice made when he decided to follow Jesus. I made the same choice in the fall of 1958.

  • Romans 1: 24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: 25 who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: 27 and likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. 28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; 29 being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, 30 backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31 without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: 32 who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.  

By continually making the decision to reject God and His teachings, mankind making this choice will be separated from God and that is not a good thing.

[ prepared by Winston Staples ]

Comfort!

COMFORT FOR THE WEAK

As this old body gets weak,

And the pain grows great,

And I find it hard to pray,

As my headaches get worse everyday.

I can no longer read God’s word,

And meditate on message,

That is heard.

My friend Ed Sealy,

wrote these words,

In a song,

He sings so well.

Titled ” Caught in The Balances”

The words go like this:

” Lord I’d love to praise you,

But my body’s to weak,

I can’t read your Word

To hear as you speak,

But I have your presence,

You promised to me,

When I”m caught in the balances,

Trusting in Thee.”

This is the first verse of the song; I trust you will enjoy it!

~ Winston Staples