May 12, 2017
Over the past few months, we’ve
spent a great deal of time in talking about the Paths of Righteousness, and
more specifically, those things that occur as a part of our walking through the
Valley of the Shadow of Death.
Throughout the past 30 years or so, I can’t tell you how many people
I’ve run across who genuinely believe that God is some mysterious being in high
places just waiting for folks to screw up so He can come down on them like ugly
on an ape.
Sadly, there are many would-be
Christians who are stuck with that mentality as well. They genuinely believe that they’ve missed
the boat so badly that God is trying to do them in. NO, HE’S NOT !!! At no time does God ever take us through a
series of events and circumstances with the purpose of doing us in. He’s out to do us good!
The Valley of the Shadow of Death is
not there to kill us off. We are taken
into it – and here’s the best part – and through it to the other side,
so He can demonstrate in our lives what He has accomplished. Let’s not forget that there was a whole lot
of adventure that preceded this time in our lives – adventures and experiences
that well prepared us for this time in our life.
If we paid attention to the
discipline that was required when we were made to lie down in the green
pastures and eat and digest the Word, we were given that initial period of time
in which critically important foundations needed to be laid in our lives. Without those foundations, we would be like a
reed blowing in the wind, unstable in our walk, and unstable in our trust in
the Lord Jesus Christ.
Without having been filled with the
Holy Spirit and having access to the languages of Heaven, we would not have the
instant ability to pray in such a way that Satan cannot understand or interfere
with our prayers and our intercession.
Those prayers are really important to us when we are in the Valley of
the Shadow of Death.
We were set free from the Fear of
Evil, the Fear of Man and the Fear of Death during the period of restoration,
and that deliverance prepared us for the walk in the Paths of
Righteousness. Without that deliverance
taking place first, our walk with the Lord would be compromised, and we would
compromise our obedience to Jesus’ instructions and commands.
Now we’ve seen and experienced
first-hand the presence of the Lord with us as we’ve traversed these
paths. When Jesus said, “I will never
leave you, nor forsake you,” He wasn’t kidding!
Whether we’ve felt His presence or not during our walk, there has been
that confident, rock-solid knowing in our beings that no matter what the
circumstance, Jesus was with us, in us and manifesting through us. More than that, we have the confidence that
we are in Him – and that makes all the difference in the world.
We’ve talked in the last few weeks
about the Rod of Correction and the Rod of authority, and the ease it brings to
us as we walk with the Lord. Last week
we began our discussion on the Staff, its guidance and support. Let’s see if we can wrap up our discussion on
the Staff today before we move on to the Table that the Lord has set before us.
where we left off last week.
back to David’s experience as he has had the Rod and the Staff with him in the
Valley of the Shadow of Death. Where did
David’s experience with the Lord begin?
“The Lord is MY Shepherd.”
where is this path of the Lord leading David?
“And I will dwell in the House of the Lord forever!”
Staff was more than David’s support. It
was more than his encouragement and comfort in places and experiences that
appeared threatening. It was more than
his guidance. It pointed the way for
David to where he was being led. The
guidance was prophetic guidance.
the 17th chapter of I Samuel, we have the story of David and Goliath. Everyone knows about David’s sling and the
five stones that he took as he went out to meet Goliath. What always gets left out of the picture is
the fact that David not only had his sling and the stones, he also had his
Staff with him. It was as important to
David as the sling.
II Samuel 23, we have an account of the mighty men that went everywhere with
David. One of them was Benaiah, the son
of Jehoiada. Here’s what we read in
II Samuel 23:20-21: And Benaiah the son
of Jehoiada, the son of a valiant man, of Kabzeel, who had done many acts, he
slew two lionlike men of Moab: he went down also and slew a lion in the midst
of a pit in time of snow: And he slew an Egyptian, a goodly man: and the
Egyptian had a spear in his hand; but he went down to him with a staff, and
plucked the spear out of the Egyptian’s hand, and slew him with his own spear.
we see the Staff as a weapon. Benaiah
uses his staff to disarm the Egyptian, take the Egyptian’s spear from him and
kill him with that spear.
we have another example of the Staff as a prophetic symbol for healing with
Elisha and his servant, Gehazi. This is
an instance in which a Shunammite woman has had a son in response to a prophecy
from Elisha. The son has yet to reach
the age of 12 but goes out to the fields to help his father. While there, he begins to complain of severe
pains in his head. His father carries
him back to the house, lays him on his bed and the boy subsequently dies.
Shunammite woman will not rest or eat or sleep until she can get to
Elisha. She pleads her case with Elisha.
II Kings 4:29: Then he
[Elisha] said to Gehazi, Gird up thy loins, and take my staff in thine hand,
and go thy way: if thou meet any man, salute him not; and if any salute thee,
answer him not again: and lay my staff upon the face of the child.
From Elisha’s standpoint, that Staff would
become what Oral Roberts liked to describe as “a point of contact.” It was intended to be the prophetic point of
contact in which the power of God, resident in Elisha, would be transferred
into the child.
end of that story, of course, is that Gehazi was not a man of faith, and there
was no faith in him when he laid the Staff on the face of the child. Thus, Elisha had to be there in person to
raise the child back to life.
take a different look at the Staff.
We’re still dealing with the prophetic symbolism of the Staff, but this
time we are considering it within the framework of the execution of God’s
Isaiah’s prophecy against the “king of Babylon” in Isaiah 14. We know, of course, that Isaiah’s prophecy
was specifically meant for Lucifer as we see him identified in verse 12.
Isaiah 14:4-6: That thou
shalt take up this proverb against the king of Babylon, and say, How hath the
oppressor ceased! the golden city ceased! The LORD hath broken
the staff of the wicked, and the sceptre of the rulers. He who smote the people in wrath with a
continual stroke, he that ruled the nations in anger, is persecuted, and
this instance, the Staff is a staff of the wicked and a symbol of their
rulership and authority. Isaiah
identifies the wicked use of the staff as a means to exercise anger by beating
people into submission.
is identifying it as Satan’s staff and his misuse of it by taking what was
meant for support, guidance, and the authority of the Lord and twisting its use
for wickedness. Incidentally, we have
here a clear picture of the definition of the word, “iniquity.”
Hebrew and Greek words which are translated “iniquity,” literally mean: to twist, as in, to twist the
twist the use of.
as the father of iniquity, twists the use of God’s Word so as to use it as a
weapon against us. He twists the staff
of guidance so as to lead us down the primrose path to destruction. He twists prophecy for the same reason.
wrap up our various examples of the use and picture of the staff with a command
that Jesus gave to His disciples as He sent them forth for ministry.
Mark 6:7-13: And he called unto
him the twelve, and began to send them forth by two and two; and gave them
power over unclean spirits; And
commanded them that they should take nothing for their journey, save
a staff only; no scrip, no bread, no money in their purse: But be shod with sandals; and not put
on two coats.
And he said unto them, In what place soever
ye enter into an house, there abide till ye depart from that place. And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear
you, when ye depart thence, shake off the dust under your feet for a testimony
against them. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city.
And they went out, and preached that men should repent. And they cast out many devils, and anointed
with oil many that were sick, and healed them.
fascinating, isn’t it? Don’t take a
purse or pouch or wallet with you. Don’t
take any bread or food with you. Don’t
take any money or coins hidden in your pouch for emergency’s sake. Don’t take any extra clothing. Don’t take a second coat (to use in the event
of rainy weather).
can wear what you have on. You can wear
your sandals. The only thing you’re
permitted to take with you is your Staff!
essence of what Jesus was saying to them is, “You’re going in my authority and
power! I’m sending you out to call men
and women to repentance and to heal the sick.
I’ve given you power and authority over all unclean and wicked
spirits. Take the staff. You’ll not need anything else. [That staff will be the visible evidence to
all who see you come into their villages and towns that you are coming with my
guidance and authority. Everyone understands the significance of the staff and
its associations. RAC added]
authority and power that went with the disciples as they moved from town to
town and from village to village was demonstrated daily as they preached
repentance, anointed the sick and healed them, AND they demonstrated the proof
of the prophecy Isaiah had given some 700 years earlier concerning the Lord
breaking Lucifer’s staff as they cast out demons.
really taken a circuitous path today in talking about all the pictures
associated with the Staff, and hopefully, you have a much better understanding
of why David wrote, “Thy rod and Thy staff, they comfort me.” Does it make sense to you? It should be readily apparent that it is the
Staff of the Lord in our hands that provides the comfort. It is His authority. It is His power. It is His presence dwelling in us and with
week, we will pick up with the Table of the Lord, and the importance of David’s
statement, “He prepareth a Table before me in the presence of mine
enemies.” There are some
rather unusual demonstrations of this throughout the Word, and the significance
of this statement goes way beyond any casual consideration
I remind those of you
in need of ministry that our Healing Prayer Call normally takes place on the
first Monday of each month at 7:00 PM Eastern (4:00 PM Pacific). Our call-in number is (712) 775-7035.
The Access Code is: 323859#. For Canadians who have
difficulty getting in to this number, you can call (559) 546-1400. If someone answers and asks what your original
call-in number was, you can give them the 712 number and access code.
At the same time, in
case you are missing out on real fellowship in an environment of Ekklesia, our
Sunday worship gatherings are available by conference call – usually at about
10:45AM Pacific. That conference number
is (712) 770-4160, and the access code is 308640#. We hope to make these
gatherings available by Skype or Talk Fusion before long. If you miss the live call, you can dial (712) 770-4169, enter the same access code and listen in later.
Regner A. Capener
RIVER WORSHIP CENTER
Temple, Texas 76504
Email Contact: Admin@RiverWorshipCenter.org
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