June 17, 2022
Let's get right to our discussion today. This concept of being "naturally supernatural, and supernaturally natural" is rooted and grounded in the following truths.
We've been fitted together and joined together with Jesus Christ as a living, breathing extension of Him. This may sound simplistic, but He is us, and we are Him. Whatever He does, He does through us. Things don't happen without our participation. Jesus Christ does not randomly, mystically, perform miracles in the earth, or work some kind of sign and wonder in the earth without the direct participation of His covenant people.
We have and live a covenant that requires our all. Jesus has made a covenant with us that requires His all -- and the last time I checked, He hadn't left anything out or stopped His covenant partners from living in, and operating in all that He is and has.
Folks, His covenant is as alive and breathing today as it was when He said,
"All (exousia) privilege, force, authority, power and jurisdiction is given unto me in Heaven and in earth. You go, therefore.." . (Matthew 28:18-19a)
That's OUR responsibility. Our covenant responsibility to the Lord is to do the works that He did, to preach the Word that He preached, and -- moreover -- to fulfill His prophetic Word,
"Verily, verily I say unto you. He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do because I go unto my Father." (John 14:12)
This is where I want to go today as we continue from Jesus' teaching in Matthew 5. Before we can become this mature extension of the Lord Jesus Christ, living, breathing and operating in His character, His nature, His personality -- the very essence of Who He is -- our thoughts, our way of thinking, our motives and personal agenda have to be expunged from everything we have learned and gained as a result of eating of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.
That tree is the very epitome of the spirit of anti-Christ. Again, as a reminder, anti in Greek is not "against" (as the Latin translates it) but rather "a substitute for." Eating from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil causes us to substitute ourselves, our motives, our reasoning processes and our decisions for the heart's desires of the Lord Jesus Christ.
For that reason, Jesus makes the following statement as He continues His "beatitudes."
Matthew 5:8: Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
This is a verse that needs to be amplified in the same way that we have looked at some of the previous verses.
“Blessed and highly favored by the King [of Kings] are those whose thoughts, motives, purposes and intents have been purified by fire, who are unstained with any guilt, for God will allow and permit them to see Him — and more than that, to see into and know His heart [His heart’s desires and purposes].” (RAC Translation and Amplification)
How’s that for a mouthful? In case you think I'm stretching it a bit with my translation, consider how J. H. Thayer translates the word, katharos (the Greek word translated, "pure"). Thayer uses the following definitions: 1a) physically; (1a1) purified by fire; (1a2) in a similitude, like a vine cleansed by pruning and so fitted to bear fruit.
Are you seeing how this fits with other verses of Scripture we have previously considered? Consider for a minute, and put this in context to Paul’s statement to Timothy in his second letter:
II Timothy 2:15: Be instantly responsive to the Lord, making yourself available to Him in the midst of the crucible, a tried and tested laborer who has no fear of being examined — one who, by virtue of God’s testing and the time spent in the crucible with Him, knows the proven Word of Truth. (RAC Translation & Amplification)
But Paul doesn’t just leave it there. He goes on to give the following warning to those who ARE in the crucible and might be tempted to hear and pay attention to teaching or “untested” word (or words) that comes from those who’ve not permitted the word to be tested in them and purified.
II Timothy 2:16-17: Stand aloof from and avoid the untested, untried “word” which comes forth from them who would propagate speculation and create their own doctrines. These profane speculations and so-called “words” are empty babblings which will only to serve to advance ungodliness.
And those who spread these doctrines will only yield a gangrene pasture — a source of poison to those who ingest their “word” — and we point out Hymenaeus and Philetus as examples. (RAC Translation & Amplification)
David absolutely understood the significance of this principle that Jesus set forth when he wrote the following:
Psalm 37:4: Delight thyself also in the Lord, and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart.
Now, take a look a how the Hebrew actually renders David’s statement:
“Let your thoughts, motives, purposes and intents be soft and pliable towards the Lord; luxuriate in and take exquisite delight in Him; and He will appoint, ascribe, commit and apply in and to you the desires and requirements of your will, your feelings, your intellect and your thought processes.” (RAC Translation and Amplification)
You see it, don’t you? In each instance we are seeing the same principle applied. We could probably even read David’s statement like this and pretty much hit it on the head:
“Delight yourself also in the Lord and He will plant within you His desires so that they become your desires.”
Preaching on the sabbath in a synagogue in Antioch, Paul reaffirmed what David said, and even took it a step further to describe the “why” and importance of this principle.
Acts 13:22: And when he had removed him, he raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also he gave testimony, and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will.
Consider just the last part of this verse:
“I have sought out and obtained David, the son of Jesse, a man whose intense pursuit is to know my thoughts and feelings, my intents and purposes, who will [without deviation or compromise] perform, execute and accomplish everything I purpose, determine and decree — according to my delight, desire and pleasure.” (RAC Translation and Amplification)
The picture is that of a man (or woman) whose intense pursuit of the Lord is focused on God getting His heart’s desire fulfilled to the exclusion or setting aside of all personal desires or purposes.
Now, add that to the previous Scriptures we’ve looked at! The promise that God makes to them is that they will get to see him, experience His presence, and know His heart’s desires.
Beyond that, the desires of their hearts are met and fulfilled! David expresses it like this:
Psalm 16:11: Thou wilt show me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.
No statement could express it any better! That leads me to what is probably going to become something of a rabbit trail in this discussion but something nevertheless that draws as vivid a picture as I can draw.
Let me start with something that Paul wrote to the Corinthian Ekklesia:
I Corinthians 12:1-4: Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; And did all eat the same spiritual meat; And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.
Now, take a look at the context of these next statements.
Numbers 11:24-25: And Moses went out, and told the people the words of the LORD, and gathered the seventy men of the elders of the people, and set them round about the tabernacle. And the LORD came down in a cloud, and spake unto him, and took of the spirit that was upon him, and gave it unto the seventy elders: and it came to pass, that, when the spirit rested upon them, they prophesied, and did not cease.
Numbers 12:5-8: And the LORD came down in the pillar of the cloud, and stood in the door of the tabernacle, and called Aaron and Miriam: and they both came forth. And he said, Hear now my words: If there be a prophet among you, I the LORD will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream.
My servant Moses is not so, who is faithful (Hebrew: ‘aman: to support, uphold, nourish, reliable, faithful, trusty) in all mine house. With him will I speak mouth to mouth, even apparently (Hebrew: mar’eh: appearing, seeing visually), and not in dark speeches; and the similitude (Hebrew: temunah: image, likeness, form) of the LORD shall he behold (Hebrew: nabat: to look intently at, to regard with pleasure).
The Hebrew phraseology in this instance is as clear as anything can be. God describes Moses as one who “supported, upheld and nourished” Him. The nourishment that Moses provided God came from a pure heart.
Borrowing from Jesus’ statement in Matthew 8, Moses’ thoughts, motives, purposes and intents had been purified by fire; He was unstained with any guilt. Hence, he had the privilege of seeing into the heart of God, knowing His thoughts and desires — AND Moses was permitted into the very presence of the Lord.
Let’s get back to the picture described in Numbers 11 and I Corinthians 12 where we read of Moses and the 70 elders eating and drinking with the Lord in the cloud. Before I get too far along here, let’s talk about the nature of this “cloud” and what distinguished it from all the other clouds.
Here’s how Moses describes it:
Deuteronomy 5:22: These words the LORD spake unto all your assembly in the mount out of the midst of the fire, of the cloud, and of the thick darkness, with a great voice: and he added no more. And he wrote them in two tables of stone, and delivered them unto me.
Moses describes this cloud as “thick darkness.” Kind of peculiar, don’t you think, if Moses and the elders were sitting in thick darkness? But wait a minute. This isn’t quite all it appears to be. Take a look at how this cloud appeared to the armies of Pharaoh when they were chasing after the Children of Israel.
Exodus 14:19-20: And the angel of God, which went before the camp of Israel, removed and went behind them; and the pillar of the cloud went from before their face, and stood behind them: And it came between the camp of the Egyptians and the camp of Israel; and it was a cloud and darkness to them, but it gave light by night to these: so that the one came not near the other all the night.
Do you see it? That cloud was darkness to the Egyptians, but it was light to the camp of Israel. Consider the cloud in the way that it rested in the temple on the day that Solomon dedicated it to the Lord.
Let me pause here in this narrative to share with you a personal experience in order to draw the comparison.
Well, OK, I just realized how long we had already gone today, and if I take the time to share that experience today, it will make this Coffee Break overly long -- and I don't want to lose you. Let's stop here and pick it up next week.
I remind those of you in need of ministry that our Healing Prayer Call is back on schedule for Mondays & Wednesdays at 7:00 PM Eastern. Once again, the number to call for healing is (805) 399-1000. Then enter the access code: 124763#.
Also want to let you know that our Sunday worship gatherings are available by conference call – usually at about 10:45AM Pacific. That conference number is (559) 726-1300, and the access code is 308640#.
Blessings on you!
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