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Mobilization Methodologies

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HARVESTIME INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTE

This course is part of the Harvestime International Institute, a program designed to equip believers for effective spiritual harvest. The basic theme of the training is to teach what Jesus taught, that which took men who were fishermen, tax collectors, etc., and changed them into reproductive Christians who reached their world with the Gospel in a demonstration of power.

This manual is a single course in one of several modules of curriculum which moves believers from visualizing through deputizing, multiplying, organizing, and mobilizing to achieve the goal of evangelizing.

For further information on additional courses write:

Harvestime International Institute
3176 A Via Buena Vista
Laguna Woods, CA 92637
U.S.A.
Harvestime International Institute

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

How To Use This Manual

Suggestions For Group Study

Course Introduction

Course Objectives

Mobilization Or Manipulation?

The Biblical Basis of Mobilization

The Fire Of God

The Glory Of God

The Purposes Of God's Glory

How To Glorify God

The Ark Is Coming!

The Tabernacle Of David

Wanted:  Worshipers!

How To Worship

What Is Revival?

Old Testament Revivals

Biblical Principles Of Revival

The Mobilizer

The Mobilized

Principles Of Penetration

After Achor

A Tale Of Three Cities

Gift-Based Mobilization

Appendix

Answers To Self-Tests.

 

HOW TO USE THIS MANUAL

MANUAL FORMAT

Each lesson consists of:

Objectives: These are the goals you should achieve by studying the chapter.  Read them before starting the lesson.

Key Verse: This verse emphasizes the main concept of the chapter.  Memorize it.

Chapter Content: Study each section. Use your Bible to look up any references not printed in the manual. 

Self-Test: Take this test after you finish studying the chapter. Try to answer the questions without using your Bible or this manual. When you have concluded the Self-Test, check your answers in the answer section provided at the end of the book.

For Further Study: This section will help you continue your study of the Word of God, improve your study skills, and apply what you have learned to your life and ministry.

Final Examination:  If you are enrolled in this course for credit, you received a final examination along with this course.  Upon conclusion of this course, you should complete this examination and return it for grading as instructed.

ADDITIONAL MATERIALS NEEDED

You will need a King James version of the Bible.

SUGGESTIONS FOR GROUP STUDY

FIRST MEETING

Opening:  Open with prayer and introductions.  Get acquainted and register the students.

Establish Group Procedures:  Determine who will lead the meetings, the time, place, and dates for the sessions.

Praise And Worship:  Invite the presence of the Holy Spirit into your training session.

Distribute Manuals To Students:  Introduce the manual title, format, and course objectives provided in the first few pages of the manual.

Make The First Assignment:  Students will read the chapters assigned and take the Self-Tests prior to the next meeting.  The number of chapters you cover per meeting will depend on chapter length, content, and the abilities of your group.

SECOND AND FOLLOWING MEETINGS

Opening:  Pray.  Welcome and register any new students and give them a manual.  Take attendance.  Have a time of praise and worship.

Review:  Present a brief summary of what you studied at the last meeting.

Lesson:  Discuss each section of the chapter using the HEADINGS IN CAPITAL BOLD FACED LETTERS as a teaching outline.  Ask students for questions or comments on what they have studied. Apply the lesson to the lives and ministries of your students.

Self-Test:  Review the Self-Tests students have completed. (Note:  If you do not want the students to have access to the answers to the Self-Tests, you may remove the answer pages from the back of each manual.)

For Further Study:  You may do these projects on a group or individual basis.

Final Examination:  If your group is enrolled in this course for credit, you received a final examination with this course.  Reproduce a copy for each student and administer the exam upon conclusion of this course.

Module: Mobilizing

Course: Mobilization Methodologies

INTRODUCTION

To "mobilize" means to "put in a state of readiness for active service, to use one's energies for action.” A "methodology" is a system of "methods,” a clearly defined way of accomplishing a plan or vision.

Worldly strategies of motivation focus on manipulation of people and other resources for the purpose of greed and selfish gain.  To "motivate" others, appeals are centered on things pleasing to the flesh or achieved by guilt, pressure, and force.  Mobilization differs, in that it is grounded in Biblical principles and the motivation comes from God rather than man.  Mobilization results from the sovereign touch of God rather than cheap emotional appeals to the flesh.

In this course you will learn the difference between mobilization and manipulation.  You will study the Biblical basis of mobilization and learn how the fire, glory, and worship of God are involved in mobilizing God's people.  You will study Biblical principles of revival and learn their importance in maintaining the motivation necessary for achieving spiritual vision.

You will also travel through the Biblical record of Joshua, learning how he mobilized God's people to take the promised land of Canaan.  You will study about the type of man God uses as a mobilizer, and how  to motivate others from passive to active involvement.

You will also study principles of penetration which can be applied to penetrate a nation, city, or village for God.  You will learn what to do after a "Valley of Achor" experience and how to face spiritual giants in the land.

This course presents methods (a clearly defined way) of mobilizing believers (channeling their abilities for action) to achieve the vision of worldwide spiritual harvest.  This course is part of the Harvestime International Institute series which is designed to take a believer who wants to be used of God and transform that wish from desire to demonstration.

In module one of training called "Visualizing,” students are challenged with the vision of the spiritual harvest fields to which all true believers are called.  In module two, "Deputizing,” several courses establish the spiritual foundation necessary to become a harvester. 

In module three, entitled "Multiplying,” students are challenged to spiritual reproduction as they multiply and share what they have learned with others. 

Module four, entitled "Organizing,” explains how to organize the spiritual resources resulting from the "multiplying" phase of development.  Next in order is this course on "Mobilizing" which presents methods for mobilizing spiritual forces for God and explains the practical application of the Harvestime vision to specific areas of ministry.

The Harvestime courses preceding this one are all very important. If you try to mobilize without a foundation, you have zeal without understanding.  You cannot mobilize without people, which makes the importance of multiplying obvious. If you try to mobilize without

organization, you have action without a purposeful plan.  

Many times in Christian service, we offer our best to God and think that is sufficient.  Our best is never enough.  Organization is not enough.  Spiritual reproduction is not enough.  Even a good doctrinal foundation is not enough.  True...we must offer our best.. but then we must look to God to add His holy fire, His glory, and spiritual renewal.  We must learn not to rely on our training, experience, and organization.  Rather, we must rely on God's transforming touch on  the work of our hands.  Only then will we, as harvesters, be mobilized to the work of the harvest.

And they went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the Word with signs following.  (Luke 16:19)

And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us:  and establish thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands establish thou it.  (Psalm 90:17)

 

COURSE OBJECTIVES

Upon completion of this course you will be able to:

·         Define mobilization.

·         Explain the difference between mobilization and manipulation.

·         Explain the relationship between mobilization and evangelism.

·         Summarize the Biblical basis of mobilization.

·         Discuss each of the following mobilizing spiritual forces:

·         The fire of God

·         The glory of God

·         Worship of God

·         Revival from God

·         Explain what it means to worship in spirit and truth.

·         Discuss how we are to worship God.

·         Identify Biblical principles of revival.

·         Explain how to mobilize passive people.

·         Explain how to handle failure.

·         Identify the Biblical principles of penetration revealed in the book of Joshua.

·         Identify the qualities necessary to be a mobilizer of others.

·         Mobilize your church on the basis of spiritual gifts.

 

CHAPTER ONE: MOBILIZATION OR MANIPULATION?

 

OBJECTIVES:

Upon completion of this chapter you will be able to:

·         Write the Key Verses from memory.

·         Define "manipulation.”

·         Define "mobilize.”

·         Explain the difference between spiritual mobilization and manipulation.

·         Explain the difference between a passive and a mobilized person.

·         Summarize the relationship between mobilization and evangelism.

KEY VERSES:

But Jesus called them unto Him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister.  (Matthew 20:26)

INTRODUCTION

It has been said that "the successful expansion of any movement is in direct proportion to its ability to mobilize and involve its total membership in constant propagation of its beliefs, purposes, and philosophy."

If a goal is to be achieved and a vision fulfilled, you must take action. If you work only with plans and programs, you have an organization. If you mobilize people, you have a organism and each person in the organism becomes part of the achievement of the vision.

Outward mobilization is the result of inward motivation. Everyone is motivated to do something. An important key in effective ministry is to motivate and mobilize God's people for the work of the ministry.

MANIPULATION

Worldly strategies of mobilization center on manipulation of people for the purpose of selfish gain. To "manipulate" means to "skillfully manage, direct, or control a person to achieve selfish purposes.” A manipulator exploits and uses others as "things" to achieve an end.

In manipulation, attempts to mobilize people are centered on things that appeal to the flesh.  A person is convinced that certain actions will meet his own selfish goals, needs, or desires.  He thrives on praise and attention from others.  He strives for status and a sense of belonging. Financial or material gain is often involved. These are some of the inward motivations which mobilize him to action.

Manipulation is need based.  The leader sees a need and manipulates people and resources to meet that need. If you are "need motivated,” you soon become "need controlled.”  People will control and manipulate you to meet their personal needs.

Basically, there are two types of manipulation.  One is "push" manipulation which uses fear as its force. The other is "pull motivation" which uses fleshly incentive and rewards. When believers have to be pushed or pulled into involvement in the work of the Kingdom of God, it is obvious that something is wrong.

In manipulation, people are often treated with partiality and sometimes leaders resort to threatening, guilt, and force to get things done.  But the Bible warns spiritual leaders to forbear (not to use)...

...threatening, knowing that your Master (God) which also is in Heaven neither is there respect of persons with him. (Ephesians 6:9)

In other words, you should relate to those you lead in the same way God relates to you.

"Witchcraft" is listed in Galatians 5:20 as one of the works of the flesh.  In this passage witchcraft not only refers to the evil work done by witches who are followers of Satan.  It also refers to fleshly "manipulation" of other people for your own purposes and desires.

Jesus taught that believers are not to adopt such worldly methods of conduct and leadership:

But Jesus called them unto Him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister.  (Matthew 20:26)

MOBILIZATION

Believers are not to be manipulated or become manipulators, but they certainly are to be mobilized. God has always moved through people who were motivated to action.  Throughout the Biblical record He called people to mobilize physical, spiritual, and financial resources to accomplish His plans and purposes.

To "mobilize" means to "put in a state of readiness for active service, to use one's energies for action.”  In broad terms, mobilization refers to any event by which God's people are awakened and kept moving and growing until they find their place of strategic involvement in the task of completing world evangelization.

Spiritual mobilization differs from manipulation because it is grounded in Biblical principles and the motivation is focused on God rather than man.  It is not focused on flesh and self.  It is not need-oriented ministry, but command-oriented.

For example, when Jesus visited the pool of Bethesda, there were many people there who were lame, sick, and diseased.  But Jesus healed only one man.  He was command-oriented rather than need-oriented.  This did not mean He did not have compassion on the others, but He had been led by God to minister to this one man.

If you become need-oriented in ministry, you will soon be overwhelmed by the many needs around you.  Eventually, you will become need-controlled.   The needs of people will control your life and ministry. You will be manipulated by them and you will become a manipulator in order to meet the great demands of these needs.

If you are command-oriented rather than need-oriented, your ministry is God-directed instead of man-directed.  You will be motivated and mobilized by the power of God rather than the manipulation of men and their needs.

THE PASSIVE AND THE MOBILIZED

The opposite of being mobilized is being passive. It is important to know the difference between the two if you are to and motivate inactive believers:

A PASSIVE PERSON:

To be "passive" means to be "unconcerned, inactive, unresponsive, indifferent, unemotional, or unfeeling.”  Here are some  common reasons why people are passive, why they are inactive, indifferent, and not involved in the work of the Lord:

·         They are not under the Lordship of Jesus Christ.

·         They have not grasped the meaning of the Great Commission.

·         They do not know their place in the Body of Christ.

·         They have no goals, vision, and direction.

·         They lack singleness of vision.  (They see so much to do and have no clear vision of their role, so they are discouraged and do not do anything.)

·         They are consumed by the cares and involvements of the world.

·         They are afraid their willingness to become involved will be taken advantage of by others.

·         Authoritarian leadership that does everything  prevents their involvement.  This is a "personality based" ministry instead of a Body ministry involving all members in the work of the Lord.  (The pastor or spiritual leader is not to do the work himself.  He is to equip or mobilize the body for the work of the ministry.)

·         They live in the past.  The Bible warns, "Remember Lot's wife.”  Looking back to the "good old days" or "how things were done before" prevents action in the present.

·         They are walking in the flesh:  When a person walks in the flesh, they cannot accomplish spiritual goals.  The flesh prevents you from doing "that which you would do" (Romans 7:15).  Frustration, division, and unresolved conflicts are all signs that a person is walking in the flesh.  These and similar behaviors will render people inactive in the Kingdom of God.

·         Sin  prohibits the flow of God's anointing, His fire, glory, and revival.  Since these are the mobilizing spiritual forces, a believer who continues in sin will soon lose his motivation.

·         Discouragement causes passivity.  A discouraged person is closed minded, has a need for power, control, and to get his own way. He avoids personal responsibility, blames others for problems, and wants to retaliate.  He is unstable and disloyal. (See the "For Further Study" section of this lesson).

·         A "professional" attitude.  This is a problem that often renders people inactive in the modern church age. This "professional" attitude is one that says  "Let's hire it done.”

A PASSIVE PEOPLE:

Passive individuals result in a passive people corporately.  Basically the passive church fits the description of the church at Sardis in Revelation 3:1.  They have a "name that they live, but they are dead.” Here is a "checklist for a passive church.”  How does your church measure up?

·         Physical care of church facilities is below average and conveys an "I don't care" attitude.

·         There is a heavy dependence on the pastor or paid staff to do the work of the ministry.

·         There is a strong orientation to the past, believing that the "good old days" were better than the present time.

·         There is declining membership.

·         There are many inactive members.

·         The focus is on music, children, and youth while the adults remain inactive.

·         Economy is more important in decision-making than steps of faith.

·         Communication is poor between members, pastor, and staff.

·         A lack of attendance reveals a low level of concern.

·         There is no evangelical fervor.

·         Policy makers and aggressive members are largely from the people who were members when the congregation started or from the "good old days.”

·         The minister views his ministry as in the past rather than in the future.

·         The congregation is convinced that if they can find a "super pastor" to replace their minister, their problems will be over.

·         The governing body of the congregation (board,  council, etc.) tends to see its primary role as a permission withholding body to say what can not be done.  (In an active church, the governing body encourages creativity, innovation, steps of faith, and whenever at all possible, gives rather than withholds permission).

·         New plans are met with arguments of "why that will not work here.”

·         The emphasis is on learning rather than doing.

·         The typical member cannot call more than 5 people in the congregation by name.

·         People are unusually critical about what is or is not happening.

·         New members find it hard to gain a sense of belonging and to feel needed.

All of these items exhibit unconcern, indifference, and lack of involvement.

A MOBILIZED PERSON:

A mobilized person is readily adaptable and responsive to the direction of the Holy Spirit.  He is not set in his own selfish ways.   He has prepared his spiritual vessel (his "wineskin") to receive the "new wine" (new things God is doing).  A mobilized person is God-dependent rather than self-dependent.  He is spiritually rather than fleshly motivated.  He is excited about the work of God and involved in the Kingdom of God. 

A mobilized person is willing to act--even take risks of faith--and take responsibility for his actions. A mobilized person is stable, loyal, and instead of revenge in times of crisis, he seeks a solution.  He is command-oriented rather than need-oriented.  He does not manipulate and exploit others.  He is compassionate, loving, and involved in and excited about the work of the Kingdom.

A MOBILIZED PEOPLE:

Review the signs of a passive church given previously in this lesson.  Think about the opposite of each of these signs.  The opposite of each behavior describes a mobilized, motivated church.

A mobilized church is spiritually renewed. A mobilized church is motivated, set aflame with love and compassion for the lost.  It is composed of a group of people actively involved in the fulfilling of the Great Commission. It has a Kingdom rather than a denominational mentality.  It is a worshiping, revived church filled with the demonstration of the power and glory of God.

QUALITIES OF A MOBILIZER

Once there was a famous scientist named Sir Isaac Newton. He studied and recorded the natural law of motion.  The first law of motion was that...

"A body in motion tends to remain in motion and a body at rest tends to remain at rest."

This is true spiritually also.  People will remain indifferent, unconcerned, and inactive unless motivated and mobilized for the work of the Kingdom.

This is where the ministry of a "mobilizer" comes in.  A mobilizer is one who mobilizes others. But in order to do this he must first be mobilized himself. A mobilized person then mobilizes others by example and encouragement rather than force and fear.

A mobilizer is committed to the specific task of the Great Commission. He concentrates on concerns outside of himself and his own personal and selfish needs.  He is not an organizational man. He is not a denominational man.  He is Kingdom man.  His purpose, goals, and objectives focus on the Kingdom  of God.

A mobilizer equips others for the work of the ministry by challenging them with spiritual vision, grounding them in  foundations of faith, and challenging them to spiritual reproduction.  He helps people discover and release their potential without feeling threatened by their spiritual growth and advancement in the Kingdom of God.

Actually, the spiritual leaders which God sets in the church as apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers are all to be mobilizers.  Their purpose is to "equip" others for the work of the ministry (Ephesians 4:11-12).

 A mobilizer never views people as inanimate objects to be used to get something done.  He knows that mobilization involves more than saying "do this" and having a person do it.  He recognizes that other people are created in the image of God and not "things" to be used, even in the work of the Kingdom.

A mobilizer is courageous in the face of opposition and has a deep spiritual experience.  His life has been touched by God's power and glory.  He walks in integrity and maintains a close, personal relationship with the Lord.

Joshua, the man chosen by God to mobilize Israel to take the Promised Land, is one of the best examples of a mobilizer.  You will study more about him and the qualities of a mobilizer in Chapter Fourteen of this course.

Many believers are spiritually dead because they have dead men preaching to them. They are inactive, passionless, indifferent, and unconcerned.  If you lack a burning heart, those you lead will lack it.

A passionless religion will not put out the fires of the enemy raging across our world today. The best way to fight fire is with fire. As Elijah learned, the wood is not enough, the altar is not enough...even our sacrifices are not enough.  We must be touched by the fire of God!

Numbers 16:46-48 records how Aaron was used by God to stand between the living and the dead, providing a bridge of life.  This is what a mobilized person does.  He stands between the dead (passive) and the living (active).  He is used of God to mobilize believers to action. He carries the censor filled with the fire of God, igniting each life he touches with its flame.

Many people are trying to lead God's people and do God's work with hearts than have  never been truly set ablaze or hearts that have lost their flame.  Can the fire that set the desert bush ablaze in the time of Moses set our hearts aflame until we are burning for God?  Can the fire that Ezekiel saw depart stage by stage from Israel return to us today?

MOBILIZATION AND EVANGELISM

For what purpose are we mobilizing people?  Why should we try to motivate a passive people?  If people are comfortable in our church congregations and their needs are being met, why stir things up?

We must be concerned with mobilizing spiritual resources because it is the only way the great spiritual harvest of our world can ever be reaped.  We are mobilizing spiritual resources for the purpose of evangelism.

There is a difference between mobilization and other approaches to evangelism.  In most evangelistic programs, the center of attention is the "gifted" (or sometimes in the modern church the "professional") evangelist.  In this type of evangelism, the focus is on increasing the number of listeners.  Advertising, invitations, radio and television interviews, and many other means are used.  Everything possible is done to broaden the impact of the evangelist's ministry.

Nothing is wrong with these methods.  It is important that we take full advantage of the gifted men known as "evangelists" which God has set in the Church.  But to meet the challenge of the great end time spiritual harvest that is upon us, we must assume a "mobilized approach" to evangelism.

A mobilized approach to evangelism focuses on all believers, rather than just those with the specific ministry gift of evangelism.  It seeks to multiply the number of converts by motivating each one of God's people to "do the work of an evangelist" (II Timothy 4:5).

This type of mobilization is done within the Biblical framework of the Church.  It is called "body ministry,” where each person assumes his position based upon his spiritual gift.  Then the whole body functions in unity to achieve global objectives in harmony with that of the Great Commission.  In mobilization for evangelism, we use every legitimate means available, to reach every level of society, presenting the whole gospel to all men.

THE TIME FOR MOBILIZATION

In a natural army, troops are mobilized in time of war and/or great need.  Spiritually, this is a time of warfare.  We are in the greatest battle ever for the hearts, souls, and minds of men and women throughout the world.   This is a time of great need.  We see it as we look at the spiritual harvest fields of the world, ready to be reaped, but with few labors working feverishly in the setting sun.  Now is the time for the mobilization of God's people.  As the prophet Micah said, "Mobilize!  The enemy lays siege..."  (Micah 5:1, The Living Bible).

But in order to mobilize, we must return to God-commanded rather than need-oriented ministry.  We must rely on God rather than self.  Organization, cooperation, multiplying, doctrine...all of these are important. But only God can send the fire, the glory, and the revival that mobilizes His people. As a body without breath and life, so is a people of God who are organized, united, and doctrinally grounded, but yet lacking the breath of life of the Holy Spirit.

If you rely on your education, you accomplish what education can do.  If you rely on skills and hard work, you will obtain the results of your hard work and skills.  When you rely on committees alone, you can get a lot done...but only what committees are capable of doing.  But when you rely on God, you get what God can do!

Human effort will never get the job done.  The great end time harvest cannot be reaped by fleshly methods:

Are ye so foolish?  having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?  (Galatians 3:3)

This work cannot be accomplished by manipulation or by human might or power.

Then He answered and spake unto me, saying...Not by might nor by power, but by my spirit saith the Lord of hosts.  (Zechariah 4:6)

Many years ago, God gave a prophet named Zechariah a vision of a golden lamp stand.  The lamp furnished light through a bowel that received oil coming from a living olive tree.  The lamp burned as long as the oil flowed.

You cannot do God's work without the anointing of God continuously being channeled into your life.  You must be attached to the living olive tree.  As a fruit bearing branch you must be grafted into the vine (John 15).  This is divine motivation.  This is sovereign mobilization.

Jesus was touched by this mobilizing fire of the Holy Spirit (Luke 4:18).  The first church was set ablaze by the power of Pentecost (Acts 2). David knew the power of the Spirit (II Samuel 23:2). Ezekiel testified to it repeatedly. Ezra (Ezra 7:6) and Nehemiah (Nehemiah 2:18) also felt the motivating, mobilizing forces of God when the hand of the Lord was upon them.  The Apostle Paul knew it (II Corinthians 1:21-22). 

And you can know it too!


SELF-TEST

1. Write the Key Verses from memory.

2. Define "manipulation.”

3. Define "mobilize.”

4. Explain the difference between spiritual mobilization and manipulation.

5. Explain the difference between a passive and a mobilized person.

6. Summarize the relationship between mobilization and evangelism.

(Answers to tests are provided at the conclusion of the final chapter in this manual.)

FOR FURTHER STUDY

1. Read the story of David's army in I Samuel 30. Observe how these men met the description of a discouraged person:

"A discouraged person is closed minded, has a need for power, control, and to get his own way. He avoids personal responsibility, blames others for problems, and wants to retaliate. He is unstable and disloyal.” 

What did David do to change the situation?   Do you know discouraged people? How could you encourage them?

2. The nature of human motivation was studied by a man named Abraham Maslow. He claimed that  n order to motivate people to action you must appeal to their basic needs which include the following:

·         To fulfill one's potential.

·         To grow and develop.

·         To be creative.

·         Esteem of others.

·         Esteem of self.

·         To belong.

·         To love.

·         To be loved.

·         Shelter.

·         Safety.

·         Sex.

·         Thirst.

·         Hunger.

While these are important to life in this world, they are all fleshly desires.  People who are mobilized on the basis of an appeal to such needs will not long remain motivated.  When their own selfish needs are not being met, they will retreat to inactivity.

You cannot mobilize people for spiritual purposes on the basis of fleshly needs.  You must mobilize them for spiritual purposes on the basis of spiritual principles.

 

CHAPTER TWO: THE BIBLICAL BASIS OF MOBILIZATION

 

OBJECTIVES:

Upon completion of this chapter you will be able to:

Write the Key Verse from memory.

Explain how mobilization is divinely ordained.

Identify descriptive Biblical terms implying mobilization.

Identify a Biblical command for mobilization of believers.

Explain how mobilization was practiced in the New Testament Church.

List Old Testament examples of mobilization.

Summarize what you learned about mobilization from the life of Gideon.

KEY VERSE:

Therefore they that were scattered abroad went everywhere preaching the Word.  (Acts 8:4)

INTRODUCTION

Throughout the Biblical record, God worked His plan and accomplished His purposes through people who were mobilized for action. Scriptures reveal that mobilization is divinely ordained and implied by descriptive terms in the Biblical text.  It is illustrated in the Old Testament and in the New Testament Church, and it is central to the command given to believers to fulfill the Great Commission.

In this lesson you will study the Biblical basis of mobilization. You will also learn the central truth of Biblical mobilization.  It is the fact that such mobilization is not based on the recruitment of vast physical or financial resources. God does mighty things through just a few people who are mobilized to action and answer His call.

MOBILIZATION IS DIVINELY ORDAINED

Read Ephesians 4:11-16.  This passage reveals that the reason the Lord gave special leadership gifts to the Church were for the purpose of equipping (mobilizing) people for the work of the ministry. Apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers are all to be "mobilizers.”  They

are the special ministry gifts ordained by God to equip (mobilize) believers for the work of the ministry.

The fact that the Holy Spirit indwells and endows each believer with spiritual gifts also confirms that the mobilization of the entire Body of Christ is divinely ordained (Romans 12:3-8 and I Corinthians 12:1-31).

MOBILIZATION IS IMPLIED BY DESCRIPTIVE TERMS

The descriptive terms used for the Church also imply mobilization.  Romans 12:3-8 and I Corinthians 12:1-31 speak of the Church functioning as a "body,” with each believer mobilized to fulfill his unique purpose.  The priesthood of all believers described in Hebrews 10:19-22, I Peter 2:9, and Revelation 1:6  implies the mobilization of the entire Church for the work of the Kingdom.

MOBILIZATION IS CENTRAL TO BIBLICAL COMMANDS

Mobilization is central to Biblical commands given to believers.  For example, the Scriptures  clearly declare that believers are created to do good works.  (See Ephesians 2:10, Titus 2:14; 3:8, James 2:17, and I Peter 2:12).  If we are to accomplish these, we must be mobilized to act.

Mobilization is also central to the fulfillment of the Great Commission to spread the Gospel to the nations of the world:

Go Ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you...  (Matthew 28:19-20)

Go, preach, teach, baptize...these are all action words.  A mobilized force of believers is necessary to fulfill these commands.

MOBILIZATION IS PRACTICED IN THE NEW TESTAMENT

The New Testament Church was a mobilized group of people. They were ministering daily in the temple and in every house (Acts 5:42).  They were praising and worshiping God, and the Lord was increasing their number daily (Acts 2:47).

Even persecution did not dampen their enthusiasm.  Persecution resulted in the scattering of their membership but...

Therefore they that were scattered abroad went everywhere preaching the Word.  (Acts 8:4)

The first church formed missions teams and sent them to other nations (Acts 13:1-3). They ministered from Jerusalem to Judea, Samaria, and the uttermost parts of the then-known world.  They literally "turned the world upside down" for God (Acts 17:10).

MOBILIZATION IS ILLUSTRATED IN THE OLD TESTAMENT

Mobilization is also illustrated in the Old Testament.  Read about how God mobilized His people for...

·         The building of the tabernacle: Exodus 35:4-29

·         The conquest of the Promised Land: Joshua 1:10-15

·         The building of the first temple: I Kings 5:13-18; I Chronicles 29:1-9

·         The building of the second temple: Ezra 1:5-6; 3:8-13; Haggai 1:2-15

·         Rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem: Nehemiah 2:17-6:15

You can also study the record of Old Testament battles where God mobilized His people to subdue the power of the enemy.  One exciting example is the story of Gideon.

THE GIDEON FACTOR

One of the great Biblical principles of mobilization is that God accomplishes great things through just a few people who are mobilized for His purposes.  We will call this the "Gideon factor" of mobilization because it is illustrated by the story of a man named Gideon. 

Read Judges 6:11-24. When the angel appeared to Gideon, the man was not talking about fighting or penetrating the land.  He was doing just the opposite.  He was hiding from the enemy who had come into the land after Israel had sown their seed.  The enemy was stealing the harvest and Gideon was attempting to reap a limited harvest in secrecy and fear.

This is a picture of much of the "reaping" activity going on in the world today.  People are attempting to reap a spiritual harvest for God while cowering in fear, in hiding from the enemy.  As long as we assume this defensive position, our "threshing out" of the grain will be limited.  As Israel, we will be "greatly impoverished.”

When the angel spoke to Gideon addressing him as a "mighty man of valor,” we can imagine that Gideon looked around and said to himself, "I don't see any mighty warriors.”  He did not really recognize that the "Lord was with him.”

All Gideon saw was the overwhelming situation which surrounded him.  He asked, "If the Lord be with us, then why is all this befallen us?  Where are all His miracles which our fathers told us of?"

When you look at the conditions of your nation and the world around you, you may question "If the Lord is with us, why has all this happened?  It is discouraging.  It is overwhelming.  Where is God's miracle-working power?"

It is in this context of fear and doubt that God still calls "Gideons" today.  The truth of the "Gideon factor" is that God calls weak people to do mighty things.  The angel told Gideon, "Go in this thy might...have not I sent thee?"  The only motivation that will empower us to meet the difficult challenges of our generation is the promise that the Lord is with us.  This promise of His presence is given to those who are mobilized to action and respond to His call to go:

Go ye therefore, and teach all nations...and lo I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.  (Portions of Matthew 28:19-20)

Gideon questioned the angel, "How can I do this?  My clan is the weakest and I am the least in my family."  Moses felt the same way. So did Jeremiah and even the Apostle Paul.  You may also feel that way.  You may feel limited by your social standing, finances, educational background, or abilities.

But God works through weak people who are mobilized to respond to His call:

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.  (I Corinthians 1:26-29)

The particular ability with which God gifted Gideon was not only his skill in commanding an army.  It was the capability of motivating others to join him in the task.  We know he was successful in this because 32,000 men responded to his call to arms!

But after God encouraged Gideon in his recruiting efforts, He demonstrated that He works just as well with a few as with many.  God eliminated 22,000 of the potential fighters.  Anyone who was fearful was allowed to go home.

God then proceeded to sift out 9,700 more men. Those who were not concerned and alert (who were not watchful while drinking) were also sent home. This left just 300 men...one percent of the original volunteers.  Imagine how Gideon must have felt, facing an army of 135,000 men! The odds were 450 to one in favor of the Midianites.  But God accomplished great things through these few men.  They won the battle with the enemy.  They reclaimed the territory rightfully theirs.  They were able to reap their harvest.

When the strong confederacy of the Midianites, Amalekites, and others gathered together against God's people, the Spirit of the Lord came upon Gideon. The Hebrew word translated "came upon" literally means "clothed.”  God's power was given to Gideon at the point and time of need...not before and not after.  You will find the same is true in your life.  The mobilizing power of God does not come upon you until you heed His call to go.

The camp of the invading enemy is described as "settled in the valley as thick as locusts.” Their camels were like the "sand on the seashore.”  It was a vast multitude.  Gideon surprised the enemy with trumpet blasts and waving torches.  It was probably the biggest camel stampede in history!  Gideon's victory involved a good strategy and carefully coordinated, organized action, but it was more than that.  It was an effort ordained and mobilized by the power of God.

You may be a weak and fearful person working with weak and fearful people who are few in number.  But God can give you His power just as He did Gideon.  Are you low on men, finances, and material resources?  Rejoice...God delights to do great things through limited natural means...And when He does, He will get the glory! 

The story of Gideon demonstrates that a handful of warriors, mobilized by the power of God, organized around a common vision and strategy can succeed against overwhelming odds.

 

SELF-TEST

1. Write the Key Verse from memory.

2. How is mobilization divinely ordained?

3. What are some descriptive Biblical terms implying mobilization?

4. Identify one Biblical command for mobilization of believers.

5. Explain how mobilization was practiced in the New Testament Church.

6. List Old Testament examples of mobilization.

7. Summarize what you learned about mobilization from the life of Gideon.

(Answers to tests are provided at the conclusion of the final chapter in this manual.)

FOR FURTHER STUDY

Several of the New Testament parables told by Jesus reveal the importance of mobilization. Study the following parables:

1. Believers should be mobilized to seek for those lost in sin:

·         Parable of the lost sheep: Matthew 18:12-14; Luke 15:4-7

·         Parable of the lost coins: Luke 15:8-10

·         Parable of the lost son: Luke 15:11-32

2. Believers should be mobilized to be ready for the return of Jesus:

·         Parable of the talents: Matthew 25:14-30; Luke 19:11-27

·         Parable of the man on a long journey: Mark 13:34-37

·         Parable of the servants: Matthew 24:43-51; Luke 12:39-46

·         Parable of the watching servants: Luke 12:36-38

·         Parable of the ten virgins: Matthew 25:1-12

3. Believers should be mobilized to do the work of God in spreading the Gospel:

·         Parable of the sower: Matthew 13:3-8; Mark 4:3-8

·         Parable of the tares and wheat: Matthew 13:24-30

·         Parable of the net: Matthew 13:47-50

·         Parable of the mustard seed: Matthew 13:31-32; Mark 4:31-32; Luke 13:19

·         Parable of the talents: Matthew 25:14-30; Luke 19:11-27

·         Parable of the harvest: Matthew 9:37-38; Luke 10:2

 

CHAPTER THREE: THE FIRE OF GOD

 

OBJECTIVES:

Upon completion of this chapter you will be able to:

Write the Key Verses from memory.

Discuss spiritual parallels of the benefit of natural fire.

Define "the fire of God.”

Summarize what the Bible teaches about the fire of Pentecost.

Identify purposes of the fire of God.

Explain how to experience the fire of God.

KEY VERSES:

And when Solomon had made an end of praying, the fire came down from Heaven, and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of the Lord filled the house. And the priests could not enter into the house of the Lord, because the glory of the Lord had filled the Lord's house. And when all the children of Israel saw how the fire came down, and the glory of the Lord upon the house, they bowed themselves with their faces to the ground upon the pavement, and worshiped, and praised the Lord, saying, For He is good; for His mercy endureth forever.  (II Chronicles 7:1-3)

INTRODUCTION

In Chapter Two you examined the Biblical basis of mobilization, learning that God moves through mobilized people, whether they be many or few.  This chapter is the first of several focusing on spiritual factors that mobilize the people of God.  In this and the next few lessons you will study the fire of God, the glory of God, and the worship of God.

Pause now and read again the Key Verses for this lesson (II Chronicles 7:1-3).  You will note that the fire of God fell first, then the glory of God was revealed, and finally the people of God entered into true worship.  The fire of God, the glory of God, and true worship are all spiritual forces that mobilize and equip God's people for action.

NATURAL FIRE

There are many positive benefits of fire in the natural world.  Fire provides energy and warmth. It is used to prepare food.  Controlled burning of land provides ashes which fertilize the ground to make better harvests.

Fire consumes waste matter.  It burns out impurities in gold and silver.  Fire attracts people, which is evident from the crowd that always gathers when something is set ablaze.  Fire kindles other fires, but it is the tendency of fire to go out if it is not continuously fueled.  A flickering flame that is almost out, however, can be fanned again into a brilliant fire.

SPIRITUAL FIRE

Natural fire is a parallel of spiritual fire.  The fire of God provides energy for the work of God.  It warms the cold, indifferent spirit.  It results in spiritual food and abundant spiritual harvest.  The fire of God consumes the waste of your life, working just as it does in gold and silver in the natural world to burn out the impurities. 

A man or woman set ablaze by God's fire attracts people to the message of the Word. As natural fire, spiritual fire kindles other fires.  A believer burning with a passion for the lost and demonstrating the power of God soon ignites the lives of those around him.

But as fire in the natural world, spiritual fire must be continuously fueled.  Was there a time when you were once more spiritually ablaze for God than you are today? A flickering flame that is almost out can be fanned again into a brilliant fire.

Just as God supplied the fire for the altar of burnt offering, He supplies His fire from Heaven to touch your soul.  But you have the responsibility of keeping the flame burning (Leviticus 9:24; II Chronicles 7:11).  You are spiritually combustible.  Your spiritual nature is created to be set ablaze by the spirit of God.  This is our prayer for you as you study this lesson "Ablaze For God.”

GOD AND FIRE

The Bible speaks often of the fire of God:

For the Lord thy God is a consuming fire, even a jealous God...(Deuteronomy 4:24)

For our God is a consuming fire.  (Hebrews 12:29)

Men of Bible times who had visions of God record that His appearance was like fire:

Then I beheld, and lo, a likeness as the appearance of fire, from the appearance of His loins, even downward, fire; and from His loins even upward, as the appearance of brightness, as the color of amber. (Ezekiel 8:2)

His body also was like the beryl, and His face as the appearance of lightning, and His eyes as lamps of fire, and His arms and His feet like in color to polished brass, and the voice of His words like the voice of a multitude.  (Daniel 7:9; 10:6)

His head and His hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and His eyes were as a flame of fire; (Revelation 1:14)  (See also Revelation 3:18 and 19:12 and Psalms 18:8,12)

WHAT IS THE FIRE OF GOD?

When we speak of the "fire of God" we are not talking about natural fire. Jesus said:

I am come to send fire on the earth; and what will I, if it be already kindled?  (Luke 12:49)

What is the fire of God?  When we speak of the "fire of God,” we are speaking of the fire of Pentecost which in the first outpouring of the Holy Spirit was actually visually demonstrated:

And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them; And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.  (Acts 2:3-4)

The fire of God is the fire of the Pentecostal experience.  It is a fire that will loose your tongue to speak.  It is a fire that will empower you to fulfill the Great Commission:

But ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you; and ye shall be witnesses unto me..unto the uttermost part of the earth.  (Acts 1:8)

Jesus said:

I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance; but He that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I  am not worthy to bear, He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire.  (Matthew 3:11)

THE FIRE OF PENTECOST

Here are some facts about this Pentecostal fire:

IT IS KINDLED BY GOD:

Repeatedly in the Word, God says "I will kindle a fire" (see Jeremiah 21:14; 22:7; 49:27; 50:32; Amos 1:14; 2:2, 5).  The fire of God is not emotionalism.  It is not kindled by fast music or loud preaching.  It is kindled and set ablaze by God.  The fire of Pentecost is kindled by God Himself:

But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;

And it shall come to pass, in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams;

And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit...(Acts 2:16-18)

IT IS FUELESS:

Read the story of Moses and the burning bush in Exodus 3.  This was a natural example of a great spiritual truth. The fire of God ignored the fuel potential of the bush and continued to burn.  The miracle is not in the burning bush as much as it is in the fueless fire.

Moses knew from his  experience in killing the Egyptian that he could never trust his own emotions or power for the spiritual work to which God had called him.  In the burning bush God illustrated that His fire burns without natural fuel.  You may have tried and failed in the work of God.  But the fire of God ignores the "fuel" of your natural talents and abilities.

IT IS PERPETUAL:

God gives the fire, but you have a responsibility for keeping it burning:

The fire shall ever be burning upon the altar; it shall never go out.  (Leviticus 6:13)

God wants you to fan the embers of your soul.  He wants you to be set ablaze for the Kingdom of God.

IT IS RELATED TO HIS NATURE:

The seven spirits of God are related to fire:

And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices; and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven spirits of God. (Revelation 4:5)

The seven spirits of God are:

1. Truth: John 16:13

2. Grace: Hebrews 10:29

3. Life: Romans 8:2

4. Adoption: Romans 8:15

5. Holiness: Romans 1:4

6. Wisdom and revelation:

Ephesians 1:17

7. Glory: I Peter 4:14

When your life is touched by the fire of God, His spirit of adoption works in you.  His truth, grace, life, holiness, wisdom, and glory burn in your life.

IT IS RELATED TO PRAYER:

Read the story of Elijah on Carmel Mountain in  I Kings 18.  When Elijah prayed, the fire of God fell.  If we ever want to experience the Pentecostal fire, we must learn to pray.  In the Upper Room, believers prayed for days and then preached a ten minute message.  We pray ten minutes and preach for hours and wonder why the fire of God does not fall.

IT IS RELATED TO HIS WORD:

God's Word is compared to fire:

Is not my word like as a fire? saith the Lord...  (Jeremiah 23:29)

Then I said, I will not make mention of Him, nor speak any more in His name, But His Word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay.  (Jeremiah 20:9)

Wherefore thus saith the Lord God of hosts, because ye speak this word, behold, I will make my words in thy mouth fire, and this people wood, and it shall devour them.  (Jeremiah 5:14)

I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich...(Revelation 3:18)

The Words of the Lord are pure words; as silver tried in the furnace of earth, purified seven times. (Psalms 12:6)

When the fire of God has touched your soul, His Word will be like fire shut up in your bones.  It will literally burn within you night and day.  Read Jeremiah 36. In this story, the King tried to destroy the Word of God, but found he could not stop the word of fire!

IT IS RELATED TO ATONEMENT:

The fire of God requires a holy vessel in which to burn.  Every vessel used for fire in the tabernacle and temple was holy.  You can only be holy as the cleansing fire of the atonement of Jesus Christ burns in your life. The relation of the fire to the atonement of Jesus was illustrated when Aaron stood between the living and the dead:

And Moses said unto Aaron, Take a censor and put fire therein from off the altar, and put on incense, and go quickly unto the congregation, and make an atonement for them:  For there is wrath gone out from the Lord;  the plague is begun. (Numbers 16:46)

PURPOSES OF THE FIRE OF GOD

As you study the following purposes of the fire of God, you will easily understand why this spiritual fire is so important in motivating and mobilizing:

IT EMPOWERS YOUR MINISTRY:

You are chosen by God in  midst of the fires of affliction. You are empowered by God to fulfill your ministry through His consuming fire:

As when the melting fire burneth, the fire causeth the waters to boil, to make thy name known to thine adversaries, that the nations may tremble at thy presence.  (Isaiah 64:2)

Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction.  (Isaiah 48:10)

Who maketh His angels spirits; His ministers a flaming fire. (Psalms 104:4)

IT INDICATES GOD'S PRESENCE:

The symbol of natural fire was always used to indicate the presence of God in the Old Testament:

And the Lord spake unto you out of the midst of the fire... (Deuteronomy 4:12)

For the cloud of the Lord was upon the tabernacle by day, and fire was on it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel throughout all their journeys.  (Exodus 40:38)  (See also Numbers 9:15)

The spiritual fire of God burning in your soul also indicates His presence.  Your ministry is validated by the presence of God.

IT PROVIDES GUIDANCE:

When people are mobilized for the work of the Lord, they must have direction.  The fire of God is a symbol of the direction He provides for His people:

And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night; He took not away the pillar of the cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people.  (Exodus 13:21-22)

And they will tell it to the inhabitants of this land; for they have heard that thou Lord art among this people, that thou Lord art seen face to face, and that thy cloud standeth over them, and that thou goest before them, by day time in a pillar of a cloud, and in a pillar of fire by night.  (Numbers 14:14)  (See also Nehemiah 9:12,19; Psalms 78:14; 105:39)

Who went in the way before you, to search you out a place to pitch your tents in, in fire by night, to shew you by what way ye should go, and in a cloud by day.  (Deuteronomy 1:33)

IT CLEANSES AND REFINES:

In Old Testament times, fire was used to destroy anything unholy:

·         Anything affected by leprosy was to be burned in the fire: Leviticus 13:52

·         Idols were to be burned in the fire:  Deuteronomy 7:5;25; 9:21; 12:3; I Chronicles 14:12; Isaiah 37:19; Jeremiah 43:13; Micah 1:7 

·         The spoil of the enemy was to be burned:  Deuteronomy 13:16

·         God's fire in the life of a believer is also a refining one, burning out unholiness:

Behold I have created the smith that bloweth the coals in the fire, and that bringeth forth an instrument for His work... (Isaiah  54:16)

And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried; they shall call on my name, and I will hear them; I will say, It is my people; and they shall say, The Lord is my God.  (Zechariah 13:9)

...He is like a refiner's fire, and like fuller's soap...(Malachi 3:2)

If you are to be used of God, you must have the impurities burned out of your life.  If you refuse this refining process, you will be like reprobate (refuse) silver which is no good:

They are all grievous revolters, walking with slanders; they are brass and iron; they are all corrupters. The bellows are burned, the lead is consumed of the fire; the founder melteth in vain; for the wicked are not plucked away. Reprobate silver shall men call them, because the Lord hath rejected them.  (Jeremiah 6:28-30)

IT SEPARATES:

Fire is used in the separation process, both in the natural and spiritual worlds:

Every thing that may abide the fire, ye shall make it go through the fire, and it shall be clean; nevertheless it shall be purified with the water of separation:  and all that abideth not the fire ye shall make go through the water.  (Numbers 31:23)

The fire devours the stubble, the flame consumes the chaff... (Isaiah 5:24)

And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees; therefore every tree which  bringeth not forth good fruit (repentance)  (Matthew 3:10)  (See also Matthew 7:19 and 13:40-42)

If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.  (John 15:6)

When you are truly mobilized for God, you are separated from sin and the things of this world.  You are set apart for His purposes and the work of the Kingdom.

IT TRIES:

God's fire is a "trying" fire.  The fire tries your faith in God:

That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.  (I Peter 1:7)

The fire also tries your work for God:

Every man's work shall be made manifest; for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is.  If any man's work abide which he hath build thereupon he shall receive a reward. If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss; but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.  (I Corinthians 3:13-15)

Wood, hay, and stubble (above the ground) are burned by fire.  Gold and silver (beneath the ground) are not destroyed by fire.  Everything you do that is visible and for show before man is a work that will be destroyed by the fire of God.   A true work of lasting value is often not seen and honored by men.

IT DEMONSTRATES APPROVAL:

Read the story of the rebellion of Korah in Numbers 16.  When the fire fell, it consumed the rebellious people and demonstrated God's approval upon His chosen leaders.  In II Kings 1:10-14 Elijah was verified as a man of God when the fire of God came down and consumed the captains and their men.   Although God may not send actual physical fire to demonstrate His approval, the spiritual fire of God that rests upon your life and ministry demonstrates His approval.

IT DEMONSTRATES GOD'S POWER:

Review again the story of Elijah on Mount Carmel in I Kings 18  Elijah. In this case,  God's power was demonstrated in an actual fire. God may not demonstrate His power in an actual fire as you minister, but He will demonstrate "the fire" spiritually.  As people witness the Word of power and the signs following, they will acknowledge the one true and living God.

IT IS A SPIRITUAL WEAPON:

The fire of God is a spiritual weapon:

And it came to pass, that in the morning watch the Lord looked unto the host of the Egyptians through the pillar of fire and of the cloud, and troubled the host of the Egyptians.  (Exodus 14:24)

Understand therefore this day, that the Lord thy God is He which goeth over before thee; as a consuming fire He shall destroy them, He shall bring them down before thy face; so shalt thou drive them out and  destroy them quickly, as the Lord hath said unto thee.  (Deuteronomy 9:3)

He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth; He breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder; He burneth the chariot in the fire.  (Psalms 46:9)

Our God shall come and shall not keep silence; a fire shall devour before Him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about Him.  (Psalms 50:3)

The enemy has a consuming fire set to destroy all that is good and pure in your life (see the "For Further Study" section of this lesson.)  Just as you "fight fire with fire" in the natural world by setting a "backfire,” you also fight the fire of the enemy with the spiritual fire of God:

And they that dwell in the cities of Israel shall go forth, and shall set on fire and burn the weapons, both the shields and the  bucklers, the bows and the arrow, and the handstaves, and the spears, and they shall burn them with fire seven years: So that they shall take no wood out of the field, neither cut down any out of the forests...for they shall burn the weapons with fire; and they shall spoil those that spoiled them, and  rob those that robbed them, saith the Lord God. (Ezekiel 39:9-10)

The fire of God quenches the enemy's fire:

They compassed me about like bees; they are quenched as the fire of thorns; for in the name of the Lord I will destroy them.  (Psalms 118:12)

Let the burning coals fall upon them; let them be cast into the fire; into deep pits, that they rise not up again.  (Psalms 140:10)

For thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head, and the Lord shall reward thee.  (Proverbs 25:22)

A fire goeth before him and burneth up His enemies round about.  (Psalms 97:3)

And a fire was kindled in their company; the flame burned up the wicked.  (Psalms 106:18)

Even as Paul the Apostle did in the natural world, we must spiritually shake off the attack of the enemy into the fire of God:

And he shook off the beast into the fire and felt no harm. (Acts 28:3)

It was said of the man and women of faith in Hebrews 11 that they "Quenched the violence of fire..."  (Hebrews 11:34).

HOW TO EXPERIENCE THE FIRE OF GOD

Here is how you can experience and continuously maintain the fire of God in your life:

BE BORN AGAIN:

Because the fire of God is a spiritual fire, you must experience it with your spiritual being.  This means you must first be born again by repenting of your sins and accepting Jesus Christ as your personal Savior.

RECEIVE THE BAPTISM OF THE HOLY SPIRIT:

You have learned that the fire of God is related to the Pentecostal experience of baptism in the Holy Spirit.  Harvestime International Network has a course entitled "The Ministry Of The Holy Spirit" which will guide you to experience this Holy Spirit baptism.

LET THE FIRE REFINE YOUR LIFE:

Just as natural fire burns out impurities in gold and silver, the fire of God will consume the impurities in your spiritual life.  In order to continually experience the fire of God's power, you must permit the fire of God to do this cleansing work.  When you resist the fire that burns out these impurities it is like pouring water on a natural fire.  The flame is extinguished.

KINDLE OTHER FIRES;

In the natural world, a fire grows in scope and intensity as it kindles other fires around it.  The same is true in the spiritual world.  If you want to continue to experience the fire of God, you must be active in igniting others around you.  You do this by fulfilling the Great Commission and sharing the Gospel with others.  Fire attracts people, which is evident from the crowd that always gathers when something is set ablaze.  Let the fire of God within you kindle attract and kindle the spiritual flame of others.

CONTINUOUSLY FUEL THE FIRE:

In the natural world it is the tendency of fire to go out if it is not continuously fueled.  The same is true in the spiritual world.  You must continuously fuel spiritual fire by prayer and study of God's World.  A flickering flame that is almost out can be fanned again into a brilliant fire.

THE FIRE, THE GLORY, AND WORSHIP

The fire of God is related to the glory of God:

For I, saith the Lord, will be unto her a wall of fire around about, and will be the glory in the midst of her.  (Zechariah 2:5)

And the sight of the glory of the Lord was like devouring fire on the top of the mount in the eyes of the children of Israel.   (Exodus 24:17...See also Deuteronomy 5:24)

...Under His glory He shall kindle a burning like the burning of a fire. (I Samuel 10:16)

...for upon all, the glory shall be a defense.  (Isaiah 4:5)

Wherefore glorify ye the Lord in the fires, even the name of the Lord God of Israel in the isles of the sea.  (Isaiah 24:15)

Fire and glory of God are also related to worship.  Note that the fire, glory, and worship occur in that order:

And when Solomon had made an end of praying, the fire came down from Heaven, and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of the Lord filled the house. And the priests could not enter into the house of the Lord, because the glory of the Lord had filled the Lord's house. And when all the children of Israel saw how the fire came down, and the glory of the Lord upon the house, they bowed themselves with their faces to the ground upon the pavement, and worshiped, and praised the Lord, saying, For He is good; for His mercy endureth forever.   (II Chronicles 7:1-3)

We cannot be mobilized for the work of the ministry by cheap emotionalism.  It must be the true fire of the living God.  We cannot be mobilized by the glory of self, man, or this world.  We must be mobilized by the glory of God.   We cannot worship in cold formality.  Our worship must be endued with the fire and glory of God.  Fire, glory, and worship...In that order.

In the next lesson you will begin your study of the "glory.”

 

SELF-TEST

1. Write the Key Verses from memory.

2. Discuss spiritual parallels of the benefit of natural fire.

3. Define "the fire of God.”

4. Summarize what the Bible teaches about the fire of Pentecost.

5. Identify purposes of the fire of God.

6. Explain how to experience and maintain the fire of God in your life.

(Answers to tests are provided at the conclusion of the final chapter in this manual.)

FOR FURTHER STUDY

1. You must be careful not to confuse the fire of God with that of the enemy.  For example, Job's servants ran and told him:

The fire of God is fallen from heaven and hath burned  up the sheep and servants. (Job 1:16)

If you study Job chapter 1 and 2, you will discover this fire was not from God.  Here are some characteristics of the fire of the enemy:

IT IS A DESTROYING FIRE:

And ofttimes it (the evil spirit) hath cast him into the fire, and into the waters, to destroy him; but if thou canst do anything, have compassion on us and help us.  (Mark 9:22)

IT IS FUELED BY LUST:

Can a man take fire in his bosom and his clothes not be burned?  (Proverbs 6:27)

IT IS A FIRE OF ADVERSITY:

Read the story of the three Hebrew believers in Daniel 3.  Christians are often placed in the fire of adversity by the enemies of God.

IT IS WICKED:

For wickedness burneth as the fire:  It shall devour the briers and thorns, and shall kindle in the thickets of the forest, and they shall mount up like the lifting up of smoke.  (Isaiah 9:18)

IT AFFECTS YOUR WORK:

The enemy wants to destroy your work for God by his fire.  If you are unaware of this threat, you will be like Joab who questioned "who has set my field on fire?"  (II Samuel 14:31)

IT TARGETS YOUR FAMILY:

David found the enemy had destroyed Ziklag with fire and taken captive his family and those of his men (I Samuel 30:1).  Satan still targets the home and family:

And he burnt the house of the Lord, and the king's house, and all the houses of Jerusalem and every great man's house he burnt with fire. 

(II Kings 25:9)  (See also Jeremiah 15:13)

IT TARGETS YOUR SPIRITUAL STRONGHOLDS:

The enemy set on fire the strongholds of Israel:  II Kings 8:12.

IT BURNS THAT WHICH IS BEAUTIFUL:

The enemy burned all the palaces in Jerusalem:  II Chronicles 36:19.

IT DESTROYS YOUR SPIRITUAL DEFENSES:

The enemy burned the gates of Jerusalem which are symbolic of your spiritual gates of defense: Nehemiah 1:3; 2:13,17.

IT AFFECTS YOUR FINANCES:

It was said of the fire of the enemy that...

It is a fire that consumeth to destruction, and would root out all mine increase.  (Job 31:12)

ITS INSTRUMENT IS YOUR OWN TONGUE:

Where no wood is, there the fire goeth out;  so where there is no talebearer, the strife ceaseth. (Proverbs 26:20)

Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things.  Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth. And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity; so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of Hell. An ungodly man diggeth up evil; and in his lips there is as a burning fire.  (Proverbs 16:27)

IT IS STRANGE FIRE:

Some people have said in reference to spiritual matters, "I'd rather have wild fire than no fire at all."  But this is not good.  Fire out of control is dangerous in both the natural and spiritual worlds:

And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censor, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the Lord, which He commanded them not. And there went out fire from the Lord, and devoured them, and they died before the Lord.

Then Moses said unto Aaron, This is it that the Lord spake, saying, I will be sanctified in them that come nigh me, and before all the people I will be glorified.  And Aaron held his peace. (Leviticus 10:1-3)

And Nadab and Abihu died before the Lord, when they offered strange fire before the Lord...(Numbers 3:4)

They have cast fire into thy sanctuary, they have defiled by casting down the dwelling place of thy name to the ground.  (Psalms 74:7)

You can see from this brief study that the fire of the enemy is very powerful.  But do not fear the fire of the enemy because God has promised:

Yea, the light of the wicked shall be put out, and the spark of his fire shall not shine. (Job 18:5)

...We went through fire and through water; but thou broughtest us out into a wealthy place.  (Psalms 66:12)

When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee; when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt  not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. (Isaiah 43:2)

2. The fire of God is also a fire of judgment.  Study the following references:

Genesis 19:24; 22:6; Exodus 9:23-24; Leviticus 10:2; 20:14; 21:9;  Numbers 11:1-3; 26:10; Lamentations 2:3-4; 4:11; Deuteronomy 32:22; Joshua 6:24; 7:15, 25; 8:8,19; Psalms 11:6; 78:21; 89:46; Isaiah 30:27; 42:25; Ezekiel 15; Jeremiah 15:14; 34:2; Revelation 4:5; 8:5, 7-8; 9:17-18; Matthew 18:8-9; 25:41; Luke 17:29; Revelation 20:9-10,14-15; 21:8.

God's fire of judgment is:

·         Avenging: II Thessalonians 1:8

·         Contending:  Amos 7:4

·         Devouring: Isaiah 29:6; 30:30; Jeremiah 17:27; Ezekiel 23:25; Amos 1:14; Nahum 3:15;       Zechariah 9:4; 11:1.

·         Consuming: Ezekiel 22:31

·         Jealous: Psalms 79:5; Song of Solomon 8:6; Ezekiel 36:5; 38:19; Zephaniah 1:18; 3:8

·         Angry:  Isaiah 65:5

·         Wrathful: Ezekiel 21:31; 38:19; Psalms 21:9

·         Melting:  Ezekiel 22:20

·         Rebuking:  Isaiah 66:15

·         Unquenchable: Jeremiah 4:4; 17:27

·         Furious:  Nahum 1:6

·         Eternal: Jude 1:7

The fire of God's judgment will be poured out at the end of time as we now know it:

·         The heaven and earth will be judged and destroyed by the fire of God: II Peter 3:7-12

·         Hell is a place of eternal judgment and fire: Mark 9:44-48

·         The final end of Satan is fire:  Revelation 20:10

·         The final end of death and hell is fire: Revelation 20:14

·         Whoever is not in the book of life will be cast into the lake of fire: Revelation 20:15 and 21:8

Here are some other facts about the fire of God's judgment:

·         You cannot hide from the fire of judgment.  There is no protection:  Nahum 3:13

·         You cannot deliver yourself:

Behold, they shall be as stubble, the fire shall burn them; they shall not deliver themselves from the power of the flame...(Isaiah 44:16)

·         You can escape it: Through repentance you can be snatched as a "firebrand" out of the fire: Zechariah 3:2.

·         You can prevent the fire of judgment:

Seek the Lord, and ye shall live, lest He break out like fire in the house of Joseph,  and devour it, and there is none to quench it...(Amos 5:6)

·         You have been commissioned to save others from the fire of God's judgment:

And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire, hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.  (Jude 1:23)

3. Study about the Apostle Peter's three fires:

·         John 18:18: Around the fire of the enemy; warmed and lulled into disobedience.

·         John 21:9:  The fire of commitment: Jesus called him to feed his sheep and to a martyr's death.

·         Acts 2:3:  The fire of the Holy Spirit.

4. If you have not experienced the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, you need to obtain the Harvestime International Institute course entitled "The Ministry Of The Holy Spirit." This course explains how to be filled with "Pentecostal fire."

 

CHAPTER FOUR: THE GLORY OF GOD

 

OBJECTIVES:

Upon completion of this chapter you will be able to:

·         Write the Key Verses from memory.

·         Define "glory.”

·         Identify the source of glory.

·         Summarize characteristics of God's glory.

·         Discuss where God reveals His glory.

·         Receive "glory" as a gift from God.

KEY VERSES:

Arise, shine; for thy light is come; and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people; but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and His glory shall be seen upon thee.  (Isaiah 60:1-2)

INTRODUCTION

At the beginning of this series of lessons, we explained that the fire of God, His glory, and true worship are spiritual forces that mobilize and equip God's people for action (II Chronicles 7:1-3).  In the last chapter you studied about the fire of God and its importance in mobilizing you for the work of the ministry by demonstrating God's presence, power, and approval, enabling your ministry, cleansing, refining, separating, trying, and providing guidance.  You also learned of its value as a spiritual weapon to be used against your enemy, Satan.

This chapter is the first of four lessons on the glory of God.  This lesson introduces basic truths about His glory.  In Chapter Five you will study "The Purposes Of God's Glory" and in Chapter Six you will learn "How To Glorify God.”  In Chapters Seven and Eight you will learn how the glory of God can be restored when it has been lost.

You may have been discouraged and despondent and felt cold and lifeless spiritually. But the Word of the Lord to you is...

Arise from the depression and prostration in which circumstances have kept you; rise to a new life.  Shine, be radiant with the glory of the Lord; for your light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon you. (Isaiah 60:1-2, The Amplified Version)

These verses are part of a prophecy concerning Israel,  the nation which is a type of the Church.  You are a part of the Church, and so this verse indicates that God's glory is to rest upon YOU (singular) as well as YOU (plural...the Church).  The Lord also promised:

And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed,  all flesh shall see it together; for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.  (Isaiah 40:5)

This verse indicates that "all flesh" shall see the glory of the Lord.  "Flesh"  almost seems like a disqualification to be involved with God's glory, but this is God's promise!  If you are to see the glory and it is to be revealed in you, then you must understand what it is, its purposes, and how to glorify God.

THE DEFINITION OF GLORY

"Glory" is one of the most rich words of the English language.  No single word can serve as a good synonym, but here are some words that describe "glory":

Honor, praise, splendor, radiance, power, exaltation, worthiness, likeness, beauty, renown,  rank.

When the word "glory" is used of God it is an expression of His divine essence.  The glory of God is His displayed excellence, beauty, majesty, power, and perfection of his total being.  And remember...this wonderful glory is risen upon YOU.

THE SOURCE OF THE GLORY

God is the source of the glory of which we speak. He is called "the God of glory"  (Acts 7:2). God is the one who gives glory to men.  The prophet Daniel said to the King...

For the Lord of Heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power, and strength and glory.  (Daniel 2:37)

CHARACTERISTICS OF GOD'S GLORY

Here are some important facts about God's glory:

IT IS ETERNAL:

The glory of the Lord shall endure forever...(Psalms 104:31)

Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.  (I Timothy 1:17)

To Him be glory and dominion forever and ever.  (I Peter 5:11)

(See also II Timothy 2:10; I Peter 5:10; Galatians 1:5; and Hebrews 13:21)

IT IS RELATED TO HIS MAJESTY:

I will speak of the glorious honor of thy majesty, and of thy wondrous works.  (Psalms 145:5)

"The glory of His majesty" is spoken of in Isaiah 2:10,19, and 21.

IT IS RELATED TO HIS VOICE:

And the Lord shall cause His glorious voice to be heard...(I Samuel 30:30)

IT IS RELATED TO HIS EYES:

Isaiah speaks of the "eyes of His glory" (Isaiah 3:8).

IT IS UNIQUE:

God's glory is not to be given to another:

I am the Lord; that is my name; and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.  (Isaiah 42:8)

...I will not give my glory unto another.  (Isaiah 48:11)

IT IS RELATED TO HIS HOLINESS:

Who is like unto thee, O Lord, among the gods?  Who is like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders?  (Exodus 15:11)

The heavens declare his righteousness, and all the people see His glory.  (Psalms 97:6)

IT IS RELATED TO HIS NAME:

Father, glorify thy name.  Then came there a voice from Heaven saying, I have both glorified it and will glorify it again.  (John 12:28)

We are admonished to "fear this glorious and fearful name, the Lord thy God."  (Deuteronomy 28:58)

IT IS ABOVE THE HEAVENS:

O Lord our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth...who has set thy glory above the heavens.  (Psalms 8:1)

The Lord is high above all nations, and his glory above the heavens.  (Psalms 113:4)

IT IS ABOVE THE EARTH:

Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens; and they glory above all the earth.  (Psalms 108:5 and 57:5)

IT IS RELATED TO HIS KINGDOM:

The Kingdom of God is glorious:

They shall speak of the glory of thy Kingdom, and talk of thy power.  (Psalms 145:11)

Verse 12 also speaks of the glorious majesty of His Kingdom (see also Daniel 7:14).

IT IS RELATED TO HIS THRONE:

God's throne is called "the throne of glory" (I Samuel 2:8; Jeremiah 14:21; 17:12).

IT IS RELATED TO HIS WORK:

The Bible declares God's work is honorable and glorious (Psalms 111:3).

IT IS RELATED TO HIS POWER:

The Word speaks of the glory of His power (II Thessalonians 1:9).

IT IS GREAT:

Yea, they shall sing in the ways of the Lord; for great is the glory of the Lord.   (Psalms 138:5)

These passages indicate that God is marked by glory, represented by glory, and surrounded by glory. Glory is a sign of His nature.  To know God properly is to know Him in His glory.

WHERE GOD REVEALS HIS GLORY

In addition to explaining basic truths about God's glory, the Bible identifies where God reveals His glory:

IN CREATION:

The first way God revealed His glory to man was in the creation of the heavens and the earth:

The Heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth His handiwork.  (Psalms 19:1)

Job provides several chapters detailing how God reveals Himself in creation (see Job 38-41).  Even in basic things like thunder and the waters, the glory of God is revealed  (Psalms 29:3).

Satan fights the truth of divine creation very hard with lies like the theory of evolution because he knows God is revealed in creation:

For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, begin understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse.  (Romans 1:20)

IN HEAVEN AND EARTH:

The glory of God is demonstrated in both heaven and earth, as believers reveal Him through praise, worship, and sharing the Gospel with others:

Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens; let thy glory be above all the earth.  (Psalms 57:11)

And blessed be His glorious name for ever; and let the whole earth be filled with His glory.  Amen, and Amen. (Psalms 72:19)

...His glory covered the heavens, and the earth was full of His praise.  (Habakkuk 3:3)

For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.  (Habakkuk 2:14)

...before all the people I will be glorified... (Leviticus 10:3)

But as truly as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord.  (Numbers 14:21)

Declare His glory among the heathen, His marvelous works among all nations.  (I Chronicles 16:24)

And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of His glory. (Isaiah 6:3)

When Stephen was dying, he saw the Heavens open and saw the glory of God in Heaven...  (Acts 7:55)

BY HIS ACTS:

The acts of God reflect His glory:

All thy works shall praise thee, O Lord; and thy saints shall bless thee.

They shall speak of the glory of thy Kingdom, and talk of thy power.

To make known to the sons of men His mighty acts, and the glorious majesty of His Kingdom.  (Psalms 145:10-13)

IN JESUS:

The glory of God is reflected in Jesus, who possessed God's glory before the beginning:

And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.  (John 17:5)

God was the source of His glory.  Jesus did not seek His own glory.  He glorified God (John 8:50).  Jesus did not glorify Himself. God glorified Him (Hebrews 5:5).

...Jesus said, Now is the Son of man glorified, and God is glorified in Him. 

If God be glorified in Him, God shall also glorify Him in Himself, and shall straightway glorify Him. John 13:31-32  (See also John 17:1)

For He received from God the Father honor and glory, when there came such a voice to Him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.  (II Peter 1:17)

Here is what the Scriptures teach about the glory of God as it is revealed in Jesus:

·         The disciples said of Jesus, "we beheld His glory":  John 1:14

·         The works of Jesus manifested His glory:  John 2:11

·         He was raised from the dead in glory: I Peter 1:21; I Peter 1:11

·         He was received into glory:  I Timothy 3:16

·         He will come in glory:  Matthew 16;27; 24:30; 25:31; Mark 8:38; 13:26;  Luke 9:26; 21:27; Titus 2:13

·         He will sit on a throne of glory:  Matthew 19:28; 25:31; Mark 10:37

·         He will be crowned with glory:  Hebrews 2:9

·         He is called the "Lord of glory":  James 2:1

·         Glory is to be ascribed to Him even as to God: II Peter 3:18

·         Through suffering, Jesus brought us to glory: Hebrews 2:10

·         Through his death and resurrection, Jesus entered into His final glorified state:  John 12:23;  Luke 24:26; John 7:39; 12:16

·         God reveals His promises and glory in Jesus: II Corinthians 1:20

·         We give glory to God through Jesus: Ephesians 3:21; Romans 16:27

IN SALVATION:

The glory of God is revealed in the plan of salvation:

His glory is great in thy salvation... (Psalms 21:5)

SPECIFIC PLACES:

God has revealed His glory in specific places. In times past, He revealed it in specific geographical locations.  He  revealed His glory in the Old Testament tabernacle and temple.  God revealed His glory in Israel, and now He reveals it in the Church corporately and believers individually:

1. Geographic Locations:

God told Ezekiel to go THERE (into the plain) and He would reveal His glory, just as he had by the river of Chebar:

 Then I arose, and went forth into the plain; and behold, the glory of the Lord stood there as the glory which I saw by the river of Chebar; and I fell on my face.  (Ezekiel 3:23)

And behold, the glory of the God of Israel was THERE, according to the vision that I saw in the plain. (Ezekiel 8:4)

Moses was told to stand on a rock and THERE God would reveal His glory (Exodus 33:22).

2. In The Tabernacle:

The glory of God was revealed in the Old Testament tabernacle:

And THERE (in the tabernacle) I will meet with the children of Israel, and the tabernacle shall be sanctified by my glory.  (Exodus 29:43)

Then a cloud covered the tent of the congregation, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. (Exodus 40:34)

And Moses was not able to enter into the tent of the congregation, because the cloud abode thereon, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle.  (Exodus 40:34-35)

...And the glory of the Lord appeared in the tabernacle of the congregation before all the children of Israel. (Numbers 14:10)

3. The Temple:

God also revealed His glory in the temple during Old Testament times:

So the spirit took me up, and brought me into the inner court; and behold, the glory of the Lord filled the house.   (Ezekiel 43:5)

Then brought He me the way of the north gate before the house, and I looked, and, behold, the glory of the Lord filled the house of the Lord:  and I fell upon my face.  (Ezekiel 44:4)

Go up to the mountain, and bring wood, and build the house; and I will take pleasure in it, and I will be glorified, saith the Lord.   (Haggai 1:8)

...I will fill this house with glory... (Haggai 2:7)

So that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud; for the glory of the Lord had  filled the house of the Lord.  (I Kings 8:11)

Now when Solomon had made an end of praying the fire came down from Heaven, and consumed the burnt offering  and the sacrifices; and the glory of the Lord filled the house. And the priests could not enter into the house of the Lord, because the glory of the Lord had filled the Lord's house. And when all the children of Israel saw how the fire came down, and the glory of the Lord upon the house, they bowed themselves with their faces to the ground upon the pavement, and worshiped, and praised the Lord, saying, For He is good; for His mercy endureth forever. (II Chronicles 7:1-3)  (See also Exodus 40:34;14:4,17; 16:10;  Ezekiel 1:28; 8:4; 10:30-34; 11:22-23;  II Chronicles 5:13-14; 7:1-3)

4. In Israel:

Israel was chosen that they....

...might be unto me for a people, and for a name, and for praise, and for a glory; but they would not hear.  (Jeremiah 13:11)

It was said that God was " the glory of thy people Israel" (Luke 2:32).  God said to Israel...

...Thou art my servant, O Israel, in whom I will be glorified.  (Isaiah 49:3)

...The Lord hath redeemed Jacob, and glorified Himself in Israel. 

(Isaiah 44:23)

But Israel failed to let God's glory be revealed in them in its fullness:

Hath a nation changed their gods, which are yet no gods? But my people have changed their glory for that which doth not profit.  (Jeremiah 2:11)

5. In The Church:

In New Testament times, God began to reveal His glory in and through a new group of people known as the Church:

...Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises.  (Romans 9:4)

Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord. In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.  (Ephesians 2:19-22)

God desires a glorious Church, one that is filled with His glory:

That He might present it unto Himself a glorious Church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.  (Ephesians 5:27)

6. In Individual Believers:

The Church is composed of individual believers.  In order for the glory of God to be revealed in the Church corporately, it must be revealed in each believer individually:

Know ye not that YE are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?  (I Corinthians 3:16)

What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?

For ye are bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit which are God's.  (I Corinthians 6:19-20)

Pause now in your study and read Haggai 2:3-9. It is in the "latter house" (our bodies as temples) that the greatest glory of the Lord will be revealed:

But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.  (II Corinthians 4:7)

The glory (treasure) is in earthen vessels; if it was in gold vessels, people would be attracted to the vessel instead of the content:

But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to  glory even as by the Spirit of the Lord.  (II Corinthians 3:18)

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He did predestinate, them he also called; and whom He called, them he also justified; and whom He justified, them He also glorified. (Romans 8:28-30)

THE GLORY OF CHRIST

You already learned how God's glory is revealed in Jesus, but did you know that YOU are to be the glory of Christ also?  Study the following verses:

...He hath glorified thee. (Isaiah 55:5)

Even every one that is called by my name; for I have created him for my glory.  I have formed him,; yea I have made him.  (Isaiah 43:7)

We are to walk worthy of God who "hath called you unto His kingdom and glory"  (I Thessalonians 2:12).

We are messengers of the Church and the glory of Christ (II Corinthians 8:23).  God foreordained that we should be the praise of His glory  (Ephesians 1:12). 

Thou shalt also be a crown of glory in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God.  (Isaiah 62:3)

And that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had afore prepared unto glory.  (Romans 9:23)

Christ has received us to the glory of God...(Romans 15:7)

That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you into His Kingdom and glory.  (I Thessalonians 2:12)

We are "called unto His eternal glory by Christ Jesus" (I Peter 5:10).

According to His divine power that given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him that hath called us to glory and virtue.  (II Peter 1:3)

But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory.  (I Corinthians 2:7)

That the name of the Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you... (II Thessalonians 1:12)

Whereunto He called you by our Gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.  (II Thessalonians 2:14)

We are to be the "praise of His glory" (Ephesians 1:12).

...I shall set glory in the land of the living. (Ezekiel 26:20)

God wants us to know the riches of glory (Colossians 1:27).

We are to be messengers of the glory.   Early believers were called "the messengers of the churches and the glory of Christ" (II Corinthians 8:23).

Declare His glory among the heathen, His marvelous works among all nations.  (I Chronicles 16:24)

By now you understand that you are to reflect God's glory, but you may be asking, "Where and how do I get this glory?"

THE GIFT OF GLORY

This wonderful glory of God has been reserved as a gift for YOU. Jesus said:

The glory which thou has given me, I have given them.  (John 17:22)

It is the Lord's desire that you receive the same glory with which He was glorified by the Father.  It is a gift.  All you have to do is claim it:

For the Lord God is a sun and shield:  the Lord will give grace and glory; no good thing will He withhold from them that walk uprightly.

(Psalms 84:11)

As you are changed by the Word of God, prayer, and the experiences of life which you encounter, you are in the process of receiving this glory:

But we all, with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.  (II Corinthians 3:18)

The glory is reflected from the mirror (the Word) to your life.  God wants to take that which is utterly void of His glory and change it into an instrument that will reveal His glory.

You are to be going from "glory to glory,” not defeat to defeat!  God's glory is to be the mobilizing power upon you.  Men are saying today as never before, "We would see Jesus.”  God grant...

That the Lord shall be unto thee an everlasting Light, and thy God, thy glory.  (Isaiah 60:19)

For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. (II Corinthians 4:6)

May your cry be as that of Moses:

...I beseech thee, shew me thy glory.  (Exodus 33:18)

And may it be as that of David, who longed...

...To see thy power and thy glory, so as I have seen thee in the sanctuary. (Psalms 63:2)

 

SELF-TEST

1. Write the Key Verses from memory.

2. Define "glory.”

3. Who is the source of glory?

4. Summarize the characteristics of God's glory.

5. Where does God reveal His glory?

6. In this statement true or false: You must do good works to receive glory from God.  It is not a gift. The statement is__________.

(Answers to tests are provided at the conclusion of the final chapter in this manual.)

FOR FURTHER STUDY

1. In this chapter you learned about the glory of God.  The Bible describes another glory called "vain glory.” This type of glory is...

THE GLORY OF MAN:

All men seek glory of some kind.  If it is not God's glory, then it is vain glory. Some love the glory of men more than the glory of God:

Therefore, when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men.  Verily, I say unto you, They have their reward.  (Matthew 6:2)

Anything you do to receive glory from men, their praise is your reward. Paul speaks of these that "glory in appearance" but not in heart (II Corinthians 5:12). The glory of man does not last:

For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away. (I Peter 1:24-25)

You should not desire the glory of man:

For though I would desire to glory, I shall not be a fool; for I will say the truth; but now I forbear, lest any man should think of me above that which he seeth me to be, or that he heareth of me.  (II Corinthians 12:6)

I am become a fool in glorying...for in nothing am I behind the very chiefest apostles, though I be nothing.  (II Corinthians 12:11)

Therefore, let no man glory in men. For all things are yours.  (I Corinthians 3:21)

Paul said "Nor of men sought we glory"...(I Thessalonians 2:6)

Any glory you receive should be redirected to God. Paul said:

And they glorified God in me.  (Galatians 1:24)

THE GLORY OF SELF:

You can also be guilty of vain glory by glorifying yourself:

It is not good to eat much  honey; so for men to search their own glory is not glory.  (Proverbs 25:27)

For who maketh thee to differ from another?  and what hast thou that thou didst not receive?  Now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not receive it? Your glorying is not good.  Know ye not that a little leaven leaventh the whole lump?  (I Corinthians 5:5-6)

He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory; but he that seeketh his glory that sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him.  (John 7:18)

Many glory after the flesh (II Corinthians 12:6).There are those who "glory in their shame" or sin (Philippians 3:19).  He says their end is destruction!  James 3:14 says if we have bitter envying and strife in our hearts, we are not to glory and "lie not against the  truth.”

For though I preach the Gospel, I have nothing to glory of:  for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me if I preach not the Gospel!  (I Corinthians 9:16)

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.  (I Corinthians 1:17-29)

As David, your cry should be:

Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory, for thy mercy, and for thy truth's sake.  (Psalms 115:1)

The "glory life" is the unselfish life:

I seek not mine own glory...It is my father that glorifieth Me.  (John 8:50)

Any glorying you do should not be in self, but in the Lord:

That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.  (I Corinthians 1:31 and II Corinthians 10:17)

You can also glory in things that pertain to the Lord:

I have therefore whereof I may glory through Jesus Christ in those things which pertain to God. (Romans 15:17)

You can also glory in the cross and all it represents:

But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world. (Galatians 6:14)

THE GLORY OF THE WORLD AND ITS KINGDOMS:

Another type of "vain glory" is the glory of this world and its kingdoms:

Again, the Devil taketh Him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth Him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them... (Matthew 4:8.  See also Luke 4:6)

Be not thou afraid when one is made rich, when the glory of his house is increased; For when he dieth he shall carry nothing away; his glory shall not descend after him.  (Psalms 49:16-17)

The kings and queens and nations lost the "crown of their glory"  (Isaiah 8:7; Jeremiah 13:18; 48:18; Daniel 4:346; 5:18-20).

(Here are some additional verses on worldly glory:  Daniel 11:39; Hosea 9:11; 10:5; Micah 2:9; Habakkuk 2:16; Zechariah 11:3)

The nations are to glory in the Lord rather than in their own strength or power:

...The Lord liveth, in truth, in judgment, and in righteousness; and the nations shall bless themselves in Him, and in Him shall they glory.  (Jeremiah 4:2)

(See also I Samuel 35:2; Isaiah 24:23; 25:3; 26:15; 41:16; 60:9; Psalms 86:9; 102:15-16).

2. The Bible gives the following warnings about vain glory:

Thus saith the Lord, Let not the wise man glory in His wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the Lord which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness,  in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the Lord.  (Jeremiah 9:23-24)

Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.  (Galatians 5:26)

Let nothing be done through strife or vain glory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than themselves.  (Philippians 2:3)

3. The Bible reveals the present results of vain glory:

The Lord of hosts hath purposed it, to stain the pride of all glory, and to bring into contempt all the honorable of the earth.  (Isaiah 23:9)

The glory of the world is as a "fading flower and hasty fruit before summer (rotten)"...  (Isaiah 28:1,4)

It also reveals the future results of vain glory:

Therefore hell hath enlarged herself, and opened her mouth without measure; and their glory, and their multitude, and their pomp, and he that rejoiceth, shall descend into it. (Isaiah 5:14)

In the end, all the glory of nations will become His...

And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it; and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honor into it.

And they shall bring the glory and honor of the nations into it.  (Revelation 21:24,26)

4. Here is some additional information about the glory of God.  Continue your study by learning about...

THE FIRST APPEARANCE OF GOD'S GLORY:

The glory of God appearing to Abraham when he was in Mesopotamia: Acts 7:2.

THE FIRST OCCURRENCE OF THE WORD:

The glory of the Lord appearing in a cloud:  Exodus 16:10.

Interestingly enough, this appearance was in response to the murmuring of Israel.

THE FIRST TIME GLORY WAS GIVEN TO GOD:

The first time glory was given to God was in the song of Miriam after Israel passed over the Red Sea from Egypt:

Who is like unto thee, O Lord, among the gods?  Who is like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders?...He has triumphed gloriously (repeated frequently)... (Exodus 15:1-21)

HOW GOD'S GLORY APPEARED IN PAST REVELATIONS:

The Bible records how the glory of God appeared when it was visibly revealed in the past.  It was...

Similar to a rainbow:

As the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud in the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness round about. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord.  And when I saw it, I fell upon my face and I heard a voice of one that spake.  (Ezekiel 1:28)

Standing: Then I arose, and went forth into the plain; and behold, the glory of the Lord stood there as the glory which I saw by the river of Chebar; and I fell on my face.  (Ezekiel 3:23)

From the east, shining, with powerful voice:

And behold, the glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east:  and His voice was like a noise of many waters; and the earth shined with His glory.  (Ezekiel 43:2)

As a bright light:

Paul refers to the "brightness of His glory" in Hebrews 1:3.  Jesus said, "I am the light of the world."  Paul said, "I could not see for the glory of that light (Acts 22:11).  The New Jerusalem is described as having the glory of God as its light:

And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon to shine in it; for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.  (Revelation 21:23)

And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it; and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honor into it. And they shall bring the glory and honor of the nations into it.  (Revelation 21:23,24,26)

God dwells in the light which no man can approach (I Timothy 6:15-16).

Smoke:

And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God, and from his power; and no man was able to enter into the temple until the seven plagues of the seven angels were fulfilled.   (Revelation 15:8)

And where there is smoke, there is fire... A fire that could not be quenched:

And the sight of the glory of the Lord was like devouring fire on the top of the mount in the eyes of the children of Israel.  (Exodus 24:17)

And when all the children of Israel saw how the fire came down, and the glory of the Lord upon the house, they bowed themselves with their faces to the ground upon the pavement, and worshiped, and praised the Lord, saying, For He is good; for His mercy endureth forever. (II Chronicles 7:3)

And ye said, Behold, the Lord our God hath showed us His glory and His greatness, and we have heard His voice out of the midst of the fire:  we have seen this day that God doth talk with man, and He liveth.  (Deuteronomy 5:24)

In and as a cloud:

And it came to pass, as Aaron spake unto the whole congregation of the children of Israel, that they looked toward the wilderness, and, behold, the glory of the Lord appeared in the cloud.  (Exodus 16:10)

And the glory of the Lord abode upon Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it six days... (Exodus 24:16)

Then a cloud covered the tent of the congregation, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle.  And Moses was not able to enter into the tent of the congregation, because the cloud abode thereon, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle.  (Exodus 40:34-35)

And it came to pass...that they looked toward the tabernacle of the congregation: and, behold, the cloud covered it, and the glory of the Lord appeared.   (Numbers 16:42)

 

CHAPTER FIVE: THE PURPOSES OF GOD'S GLORY

 

OBJECTIVES:

Upon completion of this chapter you will be able to:

Write the Key Verse from memory.

Summarize the purposes of God's glory.

KEY VERSE:

And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.  (Isaiah 40:5)

INTRODUCTION

In the last lesson you learned basic facts about the glory of God, what it is,  where He reveals His glory, and that you have been given the gift of glory.  This wonderful gift of glory has many purposes in your life, all of which equip and mobilize you to fulfill your special part in God's plan.

PURPOSES OF GOD'S GLORY

Repeatedly in Scriptures God said that He reveals His glory that the nations may come to know Him:

For I know their works and their thoughts:  it shall come, that I will gather all nations and tongues; and they shall come, and see my glory. (Isaiah 60:21)

But there are many other purposes for the glory of God, most of which relate to you individually.  The glory is given for:

PROVISION:

When you are mobilized to do a work for God, you will have both natural and spiritual needs.  The glory of God provides your natural needs:

But my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.  (Philippians 4:19)

The glory of God also provides your spiritual needs:

That He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man.  (Ephesians 3:16)

STRENGTH:

God's glory gives you the strength to minister:

For thou art the glory of their strength...(Psalms 89:17)

Strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power... (Colossians 1:11)

JOY:

The glory of God gives joy as you minister:

Let the saints be joyful in glory:  let them sing aloud upon their beds.  (Psalms 149:5)

...Let the Lord be glorified; but He shall appear to your joy, and they (the enemy) shall be ashamed.  (Isaiah 66:5)

Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory.  (I Peter 1:8)

Glory ye in His holy name; let the heart of them rejoice that seek the Lord.  (I Chronicles 16:10)

LIBERTY:

The glory of the Lord is responsible for delivering you from bondage into liberty.  It is His glory that will do the same for those to whom you minister:

Arise, shine, for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee... (Isaiah 60:1)

Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.  (Romans 8:21)

REST:

As you labor and grow weary, God gives you glorious rest:

And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek; and His rest shall be glorious.  (Isaiah 11:10)

SANCTIFICATION

The glory sanctifies you and makes you a holy vessel, ready to be used by God:

And there I will meet with the children of Israel, and the tabernacle shall be sanctified by my glory.  (Exodus 29:43)

(The reason we see so much sin in the Church is that the glory of God is not there!)

UNITY:

The glory of God brings unity, which is important as the Church is mobilized as one Body to fulfill the Great Commission:

And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one.  (John 17:22)

GUIDANCE:

God leads you by His glory:

That led them by the right hand of Moses with His glorious arm, dividing the water before them, to make Himself an everlasting name. (Isaiah 63:12)

...So didst thou lead thy people, to make thyself a glorious name. (Isaiah 63:14)

WISDOM:

The wisdom you need for effective ministry comes from God's glory:

That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him:

The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of His calling, and what the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints.  (Ephesians 1:17-18)

REVELATION:

The Holy Spirit glorifies God as He reveals the things of God to you:

He (the Holy Spirit) shall glorify me; for He shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.  (John 16:14)

GLORIFICATION OF HIS WORD:

Revelation always glorifies God's Word.  When it was revealed that salvation was also for the Gentiles....

...When the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord... (Acts 12:23)

The Word of God is glorified as you permit it to work in your life:

Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the Word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you.  (II Thessalonians 3:1)

RESURRECTION:

You will be "raised up from the dead" by the glory of the Lord.  God is in the process of changing your vile body into a glorious one (Philippians 3:21).  When Christ appears, you will appear with Him "in glory" (Colossians 3:4.  See also I Corinthians 15:43).

WARFARE:

The enemy wants to steal your glory:

And they delivered his strength into captivity, and his glory into the enemy's hand.  (Psalms 78:61)

The reason the enemy wants to steal your glory is that he realizes its important purposes in mobilizing you for the work of the Lord.  He also know that the glory of God is an effective weapon of spiritual warfare:

...Let the Lord be glorified; but He shall appear to your joy, and they (the enemy) shall be ashamed.  (Isaiah 66:5)

In God is my salvation and my glory; the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God.  (Psalms 62:7)

But thou, O Lord art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head.  (Psalms 3:3)

Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily; and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the Lord shall be thy rearward (rear guard).  (Isaiah 58:8)

Thy right hand, O Lord, is become glorious in power; thy right hand, O Lord, hath dashed in pieces the enemy...Sing ye to the Lord, for He hath triumphed gloriously, the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea!  (Exodus 15:6,21)

And the Lord will create upon every dwelling place of Mount Zion, and upon her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day, and the shining of a flaming fire by night; for upon all the glory shall be a defense. (Isaiah 4:5)

For I, saith the Lord, will be unto her a wall of fire round about, and will be the glory in the midst of her.  (Zechariah 2:5)

So shall they fear the name of the lord from the west, and His glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him. (Isaiah 59:19)

For thus saith the Lord of hosts (This is God's name for spiritual battle):  After the glory that He sent me unto the nations which spoiled you; for he that toucheth you toucheth the apple of his eye.  (Zechariah 2:8)

The glory of God is part of your defensive armor, and there is a cycle that occurs when you use that glory in warfare. His glory is your defense, and as you are delivered, you are to give glory.  As you give glory, you receive more glory:

And say ye, Save us, O God of our salvation, and gather us together, and deliver us from the heathen, that we may give thanks to thy holy name, and glory in thy praise.  (I Chronicles 16:35)

And call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.  (Psalms 50:15)

Help us, O God our salvation, for the glory of thy name; and deliver us, and purge away our sins, for thy name's sake.

And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.  (Isaiah 40:5)

Now that you understand the important purposes of the glory of God in mobilizing you for the work of the ministry, you need to know how to experience the glory of God.  This is what you will learn in the next chapter.

 

SELF-TEST

1. Write the Key Verse from memory.

2. Summarize what you learned in this lesson about the purposes of God's glory.

(Answers to tests are provided at the conclusion of the final chapter in this manual.)

FOR FURTHER STUDY

1. The revelation of God's glory is not dependent on worthy candidates.  Study about the following men to whom God revealed His glory:

Abraham: A man who lied.

The revelation of the glory caused him to leave all behind at God's command. (Genesis 12:1-4) The Bible says "He was strong in faith, giving glory to God."  (Romans 4:20)

Moses:  A stuttering shepherd.

He led a nation out of bondage because of the revelation of glory. (Exodus 34:29)

Jacob:  A fleeing deceiver.

...Yet God revealed His glory in a vision and made Jacob great.  (Genesis 28:10-15)

Isaiah: A young man with impure lips.

Isaiah's vision of God's glory resulted in a great prophetic ministry.  (Isaiah 6)

Saul (Paul): Originally a persecutor and murderer of God's people. 

The revelation of God's glory changed his life.  (Acts 9)

God is no respecter of persons.  If He revealed His glory to these seemingly unworthy men, He will reveal His glory to YOU.

To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory, and honor and immortality, eternal life...

But glory, honor, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile;

For there is no respect of persons with God. (Romans 2:7,10-11)

2. Refer to John chapter 17 as you study the purposes of God's glory in the life of Jesus:  When Jesus said "the glory God gave Him, He gives us"...What did that glory involve?  (Note verses l and 22).  God's glory gave Jesus...

·         Power to lead others to knowledge of the true God: 3

·         Ability to successfully finish God's work:  4

·         Men to join in the ministry: 6,9,11,12

·         The Word of truth: 8,14

·         His commission:  8,18,23,25

·         The Church  ("those thou hast given me"): 2,24

·         The Father Himself: 23

·         Love: 23,24,26

·         Unity: 21-22

·         Joy: 13

3. You previously learned how the fire of God is related to His judgment.  The glory of God is also revealed in judgment.  Read Numbers 16.  When Korah and his rebellious group gathered before the tabernacle, "the glory of the Lord appeared" in judgment.

God said:

And I will set my glory among the heathen, and all the heathen shall see my judgment that I have executed, and my hand that I have laid upon them.  (Ezekiel 39:21)

Read Romans 2:5-10:  The greatest reward of God is to bestow his eternal glory.  The most severe final judgment is to be excluded from this glory:

Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of His power.  (II Thessalonians 1:9)

 

CHAPTER SIX: HOW TO GLORIFY GOD

 

OBJECTIVES:

Upon completion of this chapter you will be able to:

Write the Key Verse from memory.

Explain how to glorify God.

Discuss the continuing cycle of giving and receiving glory.

KEY VERSE:

Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?  (John 11:40)

INTRODUCTION

In the previous two chapters you studied about the glory of God and its purposes.  You also learned that you were created to glorify Him and have His glory reflected in your life and ministry.

If you are to experience God's glory and lead others to experience it, then  you must know how to glorify Him.  As you glorify God He reveals more of His glory to you.  Moses experienced the glory of God and led others to experience it:

And Moses said, This is the thing which the Lord commanded that ye should do:  and the glory of the Lord shall appear unto you...

And Moses and Aaron  went into the tabernacle of the congregation, and came out, and blessed the people; and the glory of the Lord appeared unto all the people.  (Leviticus 9:6,23)

Moses led others to experience God's glory and you can do likewise.  This lesson presents Biblical principles that explain how to glorify God.

HOW TO GLORIFY GOD

According to the Scriptures, you can glorify God in the following ways:

BY FAITH:

God's glory is revealed as you are mobilized to believe and act in faith:

Said I not unto thee, that if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?  (John 11:40)

The Word says of Abraham:

He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God. (Romans 4:20)

BY REDEMPTION:

God is glorified by your redemption from sin. Glorification itself is called salvation and perfecting:

Moreover whom He did predestinate, them He also called; and whom He called, them He also justified; and whom He justified, them He also glorified.  (Romans 8:30)

BY REPENTANCE:

God is glorified by your initial repentance and conversion from sin and by your continued repentance whenever you sin:

And Joshua said unto Achan, My son, give, I pray thee, glory to the Lord God of Israel, and make confession unto Him; and tell me now what thou hast done; hide it not from me.  (Joshua 7:19)

Repentance includes cleansing yourself from sinful attitudes and actions.  This brings glory to God:

The righteous shall be glad in the Lord, and shall trust in Him; and all the upright in heart shall glory.  (Psalms 64:10)

That He might present it to Himself a glorious Church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.  (Ephesians 5:27)

BY CONFESSION:

God is glorified by your confession that Jesus is Lord:

And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.  (Philippians 2:11)

BY HUMBLING YOURSELF:

God is glorified when you humble yourself:

And Moses and Aaron went from the presence of the assembly unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, and they fell upon their faces, and the glory of the Lord appeared unto them.  (Numbers 20:6)

Humbling yourself includes fasting and prayer:

Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily; and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the Lord shall be thy rereward (rear guard).  (Isaiah 58:8)

As you humble yourself and pray, God answers your prayers and this brings more glory to God:

And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.  (John 14:13)

Humbling yourself means that you present your body as a living sacrifice:

For ye are bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.  (I Corinthians 6:20)

BY ABIDING IN HIS PRESENCE:

You give glory to God when you abide (live continually) in His presence:

Glory and honor are in His presence; strength and gladness are in His place.  (I Chronicles 16:27)

You abide in the presence of God by letting Christ live in you:

And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them.  (John 17:10)

You abide in His presence by allowing God to be in and work through you:

In that day shall the Lord of hosts be for a  crown of glory, and for a diadem of beauty, unto His people (Israel)...(I Samuel 28:5)

IN SUFFERING:

When you experience problems, trials, and suffering in life, God is glorified when you respond properly:

And if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with Him, that we may be also glorified together.

For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.  (Romans 8:17-18)

Ought not Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory.  (Luke 24:26)

Paul said:

...we glory in tribulations, also knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope; And hope maketh not ashamed because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.  (Romans 5:3-6)

For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God.

For which cause we faint not; but through our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.  (II Corinthians 4:15,17 add 16)

If I must needs glory, I will glory of the things which concern mine infirmities.  (II Corinthians 11:30)

...Yet of myself I will not glory, but in mine infirmities.  (II Corinthians 12:5)

And He said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee; for my strength is made perfect in weakness.  Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (II Corinthians 12:9)

Wherefore I desire that ye faint not at my tribulations for you, which is your glory.  (Ephesians 3:13)

That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.  (I Peter 1:7)

For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God.  (I Peter 2:20)

But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when His glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.

If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you:  on their part He is evil spoken of, but on your part He is glorified...

Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.  (I Peter 4:11-16)

I Peter 5:1 and 4 indicate that as you partake of His sufferings, so you will partake of His glory.  Even sickness can be used for God's glory when healing results:

When Jesus heard that, He said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby.  (John 11:4)

The transfiguration of Jesus occurred because of the suffering He was to face. To see the glory transfigures the trial!

BY ACCOMPLISHING YOUR MINISTRY:

God is glorified when you fulfill the ministry to which you are called:

If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth; that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever.  (I Peter 4:11)

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; That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and ye in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.  (II Thessalonians 1:11-12)

Your ministry includes good works and God is glorified as you do these works:

But glory, honor, and peace, to every man, that worketh good... (Romans 2:10)

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in Heaven.  (Matthew 5:16)

Good works also include your conduct and conversation.  II Peter 2:12 indicates God will be glorified if your conduct and conversation is proper.  God's work includes bearing spiritual fruit.  This also brings glory to God:

Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.  (John 15:8)

The fruits of righteousness bring glory to God:

Being filled with fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.  (Philippians 1:11)

God's work includes sharing the Gospel message which reveals His glory to the nations:

Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people; but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and His glory shall be seen upon thee.  (Isaiah 60:1-2)

Psalms 96:3 says to "declare His glory among the heathen.”

...and they shall declare my glory among the Gentiles (nations).  (Isaiah 66:19)

We are to speak of the glory of thy kingdom and talk of thy power.  (Psalms 145:11)

The message we preach is called a "glorious Gospel" (see I Timothy 1:11; II Corinthians 3:7 to 4:6; and Colossians 1:27).  When the Gospel is preached and believed, it has a glorious course (II Thessalonians 3:1).  When men receive the Gospel, God is glorified (II Thessalonians 1:12).  Those who hear and believe give God glory  (Acts 13:48).  Those who travel and preach the Gospel do it for the glory of God (II Corinthians 8:9).  Even the riches of glory are yours through the Gospel (Ephesians 1:16; Colossians 1:11).

As you minister God demonstrates His power and men glorify Him:

...For all men glorified God for that which was done.  (Acts 4:21)

(Read how God was glorified through the demonstration of power:  Matthew 9:8; 15:31; Mark 2:12; Luke 2:20; 5:25-26; 7:16; 13:13; 17:15; 18:43; 19:38; 23:47)

You glorify God by finishing the work to which you are called:

I have glorified thee on the earth; I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.  (John 17:4)

You can glorify God in all you do:

Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. (I Corinthians 10:31)

If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth; that God in all things may be  glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever.  (I Peter 4:11)

The amount of and type of work you do may sometimes be ordinary, but it becomes extraordinary when it is done for the glory of God.

BY ABIDING IN HIS WORD:

God's glory is revealed in His words:

But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.  (II Corinthians 3:18)

The entrance of thy words giveth light.   (Psalms 119:130)...remember that "light" is related His glory.

When Moses broke God's words which were written on the tables of stone, his face lost the glory.  God gives His glory to men who receive and keep His words.  We cannot overemphasize the Word in relation to God's glory, because Jesus IS the Word.

THROUGH PRAISE AND WORSHIP:

Man, so affected by God's glory, returns glory and praise to Him:

Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me... (Psalms 50:23)

The highest point of worship in the New Testament occurs when the creature spontaneously glorifies God.  Glory is to be:

1. Rendered To God: I Samuel 6:5; I Chronicles 16:29

2. Ascribed To God:  Psalms 29:1-1.  Matthew 6:13 says  "Thine is the glory forever."

3. Given To God:  Malachi 2:2

4. Enabled By His Glory In Us: Psalms 57:8; 108:1, 30:12

5. Done In Unity: Romans 15:6

Glorifying God is not done in a vacuum.  You are to give glory to God because...

1. It Is Commanded:

Give unto the Lord the glory due unto His name:  bring an offering, and come before Him; worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.  (I Chronicles 16:29)

Let them give glory unto the Lord, and declare His praise in the islands.  (Isaiah 42:12)

Declare His glory among the heathen, His wonders among all people.  (Psalms 96:3)

...In His temple doth every one speak of His Glory.  (Psalms 29:9)

(The following passages all concern giving glory to God: Nehemiah 9:5; I Samuel 6:5;  I Chronicles 16:10, 28-29,35; 29:11, 13;   Jeremiah 13:16; Revelation 1:6; 4:9; 4:11; 5:12-13;7:12; 14:7; 19:1; Psalms 22:23; 29:1-2; 66:2; 96:7-8; )

2. It Is Due To Him:

Give unto the Lord the glory due unto His name; worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.  (Psalms 29:2)

3. Of His Nature:

Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? For thou only art holy... (Revelation 15:4)

That the Gentiles might glorify God for His mercy...  (Romans 15:9)

4. Of His Name:

I will praise thee, O Lord my God, with all my heart; and I will glorify thy name for evermore.  (Psalms 86:12)

...Unto thy name give glory... (Psalms 115:1)

Let them praise the name of the Lord; for His name alone is excellent; His glory is above the earth and heaven.  (Psalms 148:13)

5.  He Created All Things:

Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power; for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.  (Revelation 4:11  See also Revelation 14:7)

6. He Sustains All Things:

For of Him, and through Him, and to Him, are all things; to whom be glory for ever... (Romans 11:36)

7. Of Redemption:

When they heard these things, they glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life.  (Acts 11:18)

Because we are called, justified, and glorified:  (Romans 8:30)

To the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein He hath made us accepted in the beloved. (Ephesians 1:6)

8. Of His Judgment:

...Fear God, and give glory to Him; for the hour of his judgment is come... (Revelation 14:7  See also Revelation 15:4)

9. Of Your Inheritance In Him:

That I may see the good of thy chosen, that I may rejoice in the gladness of thy nation, that I may glory with thine inheritance.  (Psalms 106:5)

You will learn more about how to glorify God in chapters eight and nine which deal with the subject of worship.

THE CONTINUING CYCLE

In this lesson you have learned how to glorify God. As you glorify Him by following these guidelines, God reveals more of His glory in and through you.  As you give glory for what He has done, you receive glory to further mobilize you for ministry.  This continuing cycle is unending, a motivating force equipping you to accomplish what God has called you to do.

 

SELF-TEST

1. Write the Key Verse from memory.

2. Explain how to glorify God.

3. Discuss the continuing cycle of giving and receiving glory.

 (Answers to tests are provided at the conclusion of the final chapter in this manual.)

FOR FURTHER STUDY

1. Read Isaiah chapter 60.  The first verse challenges:

Arise from the depression and prostration in which circumstances have kept you; rise to a new life.  Shine-be radiant with the glory of the Lord; for your light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon you!  (Isaiah 60:1, The Amplified Version)

The remainder of this chapter in Isaiah reveals the results when God's glory rests upon you:

Verse 2: Even when darkness is upon the earth, the Lord and His glory will be upon you.  You do not have to be affected by circumstances around you.

Verse 3:  The nations shall come to the brightness of His glory...even political leaders.

Verse 4:  "Sons and daughters" from far means not only your own family, but also spiritual, sons and daughters.

Verses 5-12:  The resources of the enemy will be set in motion for the kingdom.  (In Verse ll "forces" means wealth).

Verse 13:  There will be unity even among those who in the natural are quite different.

Verses 14-19:  God will redeem that which was stolen by the enemy:

Verse 14: Those that afflicted you shall come under subjection.

Verse 17:  Describes a complete turn around.

Verse 18:  Warfare ceases.

Verse 16: The redeemer conquers.

Verse 19:  "Thy God" becomes "thy glory."

Verse 20:  Mourning will end.

Verse 21:  The righteous will inherit the land.

Verse 22:  The small will become great and God will do a quick work.

This description of the results of the glory of the Lord is continued in Isaiah 61:

Verses l-3: The anointing will rest upon you. Verses 4-ll:  The waste places shall be rebuilt.

2. Now study Isaiah 43.  Note verse 7:  "Even every one that is called by my name; for I have created him for my glory..."  This "even every one" applies to what has been said previously. The following is provided for those who have the glory of God resting upon them:

·         Redemption:  1

·         Deliverance:  2

·         Spiritual harvest:  4-6

3. Read Psalms 24.  This describes how the King of Glory comes in.  He comes upon those who:

·         Have clean hands: 4

·         Have a pure heart: 4

·         Have not lifted up their souls in vanity: 4

·         Have not sworn deceitfully: 4

·         Who open their spiritual gates and doors to His presence: 7 and 9

4. Note what can happen when you do not glorify God:

If ye will not hear, and if ye will not lay it to heart, to give glory unto my name, saith the Lord of hosts, I will even send a curse upon you, and I will curse your blessings; yea, I have cursed them already, because ye do not lay it to heart.  (Malachi 2:2)

God's message to Belchazzar was similar:

...thou has lifted up thyself against the Lord of Heaven;...and the God in whose hand thy breath is, and whose are all thy ways, hast thou not glorified.  (Daniel 5:23)

Herod certainly learned a hard lesson about giving glory to God.  The angel of the Lord smote him because he did not give glory to God. See Acts 12:23.

 

CHAPTER SEVEN: THE ARK IS COMING

 

OBJECTIVES:

Upon completion of this chapter you will be able to:

Write the Key Verse from memory.

Explain why the glory of God departs from His people.

Summarize events and their spiritual significance when the ark was at each of the following locations:

Ebenezer

Aphek

Ashdod

Gath

Ekron

Beth-shemesh

Kirjath-Jearim

Jerusalem

Identify four things necessary for the return of God's glory.

KEY VERSE:

Thus all Israel brought up the ark of the covenant of the Lord with shouting, and with sound of cornet, and with trumpets, and with cymbals, making a noise with psalteries and harps.  (I Chronicles 15:28)

INTRODUCTION

God told Moses, "If you make the tabernacle according to the pattern, my glory will dwell there"  (Exodus 25:9).  Man was  originally created for the glory of God.  We were created in His image and set over the works of His hands to bring glory to Him (Hebrews 2:7).  When man sinned, the "pattern" was changed and the glory was lost:

For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.  (Romans 3:23)

Like the tabernacle of Moses, you are the tabernacle of God. If you build your spiritual life according to the proper pattern the glory will dwell there.  If you change the pattern, the glory departs:

Because that when they knew God, they glorified Him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools. And changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and four footed beast, and creeping things.  (Romans 1:21-23)

Thus they changed their glory into the similitude of an ox that eateth grass.  (Psalms 106:20)

Through the judgment of God, some will repent and the glory will be restored:

And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand; and the remnant were afrighted and gave glory to the God of Heaven.  (Revelation 11:13)

Some will never repent and regain the glory:

And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which hath power over these plagues; and they repented not to give Him glory.  (Revelation 16:9)

The sinner is without glory.  It is restored through the redemption process:

...whom He called, them he also justified; and whom He justified, them He also glorified.  (Romans 8:28-30)

The "glory" also departs from God's people when sin separates them from His presence.  What can be done when the glory of God has departed because the pattern has been changed by sin? The Old Testament study of the Ark of God departing and returning to Israel provides natural parallels of a great spiritual truth that answers this question. 

THE DEPARTURE AND RETURN OF THE ARK 

The Ark of God symbolized the glory of God in the midst of His people.  The Ark preceded Israel as they traveled through the wilderness.  It led the way as they crossed the Jordan River into Canaan.  It went before them in battle as a symbol of God's presence.

In I Samuel chapters 4 through 7 there is a sad story about how this Ark, the symbol of God's presence among His people, was lost.  Read these chapters in your Bible before proceeding with the remainder of this lesson.

SHILOH TO EBENEZER:

I Samuel 4 opens with the nation of Israel battling the Philistines. Israel is camped at a place called Ebenezer and the Philistine army has pitched their tents in Aphek. Israel was losing the battle because of sin in their midst, especially in their leadership (see I Samuel chapter 3). When they lost 4,000 men in battle, they began to ask "Why has the Lord smitten us?"

Instead of seeking the Lord and searching their hearts to reveal the true problem, the Israeli army decided to take the Ark, the symbol of God's presence, and send it before them in battle.  In previous battles, at God's command,  the Ark had preceded Israel's army into battle, but it was only the symbol of God's presence. Because of sin, the presence of God was not with His people in this battle so the symbol of His presence was meaningless.

After the first phase of conquest of Canaan, the tabernacle had been set up at a place called Shiloh.  Israel sent to Shiloh and brought the Ark to Ebenezer.   When the Ark came into the camp, Israel gave a great  shout of joy because they were sure that now they would be able to win the battle with the Philistines. 

But the symbol without the actual presence of God was meaningless. When the battle resumed, 30,000 Israeli soldiers were killed and the Philistines seized the ark of God.  Even the sons of Eli, the priest, were killed.

When a messenger came to tell Eli the news, he was so shocked that he fell off his chair, broke his neck, and died.  His pregnant daughter-in-law  immediately went into labor and gave birth to a son.  She named the child "Ichabod" which means "the glory of God is departed":

And she said, The glory is departed from Israel; for the ark of God is taken.  (I Samuel 4:22)

The symbol of God's presence was now in the hands of the enemy and Israel was defeated in battle.  When we lose God's presence, we are also rendered ineffective in battle.

In many places today, the Church has settled for symbols of the presence of God.   We have symbols of crosses and doves, holy communion dishes, candles, and great church buildings.  We may even have the emotions of shouting and praising God, as did Israel when the Ark came into the camp. 

But is the presence of God truly with us, or have we settled for symbols and rituals?  Whenever we settle for symbol, ritual, and tradition, the presence of God withdraws.  The glory of God is lost to the enemy.  Have you settled for ritual instead of the reality of  God's presence?

EBENEZER TO APHEK:

When the Philistines seized the Ark of God, they took it first to a place called Aphek which means "strength and fortress.”  This is one area that Israel never was able to take from the Canaanites when they conquered Canaan.  I Samuel 4:1 and 29:1 records that it eventually became a base from which to launch attacks against Israel.

In Aphek,  the Philistines actually raped the symbol of God's presence by defiling and plundering it.  Any area of your life left unconquered becomes a stronghold and fortress of Satan.  It will be used by the enemy to launch attacks against you and you will lose the glory of God.  Satan will take that which is precious and rape it by defiling, violating, and plundering.  Ritual (Ebenezer) always leads to rape (Aphek).

APHEK TO ASHDOD:

In I Samuel 5, the Bible records that the Philistines next moved the Ark to a place called Ashdod.  Ashdod was one of the five chief cities of the Philistines and the location of one of the most famous temples of the national god, Dagon.   At Ashdod, the Philistines tried to set up the Ark with other idols but their gods kept falling on their faces and finally were broken in pieces.

When you have lost the glory of God through ritual and been spiritually raped by the enemy, your next move is to try to rationalize your position by compromise.  Like the Philistines, you do this by trying to set up the glory of God along with worldly idols in your life.  These may be actual physical idols of stone or clay, or they may be idols of possessions or worldly attitudes and behavior.  You try to see just how much of the world you can hold on to and still have the glory of God in your life.

But all other idols must fall before the glory of God. When the Philistines recognized God's power, they were frightened and sent the ark on to the city of Gath.

ASHDOD TO GATH:

The name "Gath" means "winepress.”  Whenever you compromise and allow the enemy to establish strongholds in your life (both Aphek and Ashdod mean "stronghold") you will soon find yourself in his "winepress.”  He will squeeze, press, and push you until everything good

is drained out of your life.

At Gath, God sent judgment on the Philistines in their "secret parts" (private body organs).  It was here that the repercussions of the lost glory began to be manifested and the judgment of God began to fall.

God will not settle for spiritual ritual.  He will not allow His presence to be raped in our lives and churches.  He will not long tolerate rationalizing by compromise without sending the repercussions of His judgment.

GATH TO EKRON:

Ekron means eradication which means "death.”  Deadly destruction came upon this city as judgment from God.  The eradication of spiritual death is not far behind the repercussions of God's judgment.  If we do not heed God's message, we soon become like the Church at Sardis with a name that we live, yet we are dead (Revelation 3:1).

EKRON TO BETHSHEMESH:

It was at Ekron that the Ark of God changed directions and began its long and slow return to Israel.  But the symbol of God's presence would not immediately return to God's people.  It would take over 20 years to arrive in Jerusalem!

After the eradication by death at Ekron, the Philistines decided they had better send the Ark back where it belonged (I Samuel 6).  They built a cart, placed the Ark on it, and used two milk cows to pull the load.  These two cows had calves shut up at home.  Their natural instinct when left to their own resources would have been to head towards their young ones.  Instead, the cows headed straight towards Israel.  (Even dumb animals know the glory belongs to God's people and not in the hands of the enemy!)

The cows and their precious cargo arrived first  at a place called Bethshemesh where some people of Israel were reaping their harvest. When they saw the ark, they began to rejoice.  They took the cart and cows and offered them as an offering to the Lord.

But the men of Bethshemesh refused to realize that God does not send His presence just to bless us. Holiness must be at the heart of any move of God.  These men wanted God's presence among them, but they did not want it God's way. They looked into the Ark, which had been forbidden by God.  Over 50,000 people died because of their sin (Exodus 19:21).

Many times we rejoice when the presence of God begins to move in our midst and we claim we want "revival.”  Yet we refuse to walk in holiness.  We want the presence of God, but we refuse to abide by the law of God.  Because of this, God's presence moves on.

BETHSHEMESH TO KIRJATH-JEARIM:

Because the people of Bethshemesh refused God's standards, the Ark was sent on to Kirjath-Jearim where it remained  for 20 years:

And it came to pass, while the Ark abode in Kirjath-jearim, that the time was long; for it was twenty years; and all the house of Israel lamented after the Lord.  (I Samuel 7:2)

Although the Ark itself was in the midst of the people of Kirjath-Jearim, they rejected its power.  They had the symbol of the presence of their God in their midst, yet they and all of Israel "lamented" after the Lord. This means they longed for His power, hungering and thirsting for His presence.  Jerusalem was void of the presence of God, while the Ark of God was only eight miles away!

For years, the Ark was shifted from city to city with little or no regard, respect, or understanding of its significance.  It carried with it the potential of all the mighty power of God, but nobody understood, nobody cared, and no one paid much attention to it.

Is this a description of your spiritual condition?  Are you bound in the ritual of religion and raped of the presence of God?  Have you rationalized your worldly position, felt the repercussions of God's judgment and even the eradication of spiritual death upon your life?

Then there is good news for you...The Ark of God, His glory and presence is near....It is only a short distance away.  All God is waiting for is a man or a woman with enough longing for His presence that they will lead the way in the restoration of God's power.

KIRJATH-JEARIM TO JERUSALEM:

There came a day when the Lord found a man after His own heart who would not rest until the Ark of God's glory was fully restored to His people.  That man was David.  David longed to bring the Ark of God back to the people of God.  He asked, "How shall I bring the Ark of God home to me?"  (I Chronicles 13:12).

Many are asking the same question today...."How shall we enter into this restoration of God's presence, this new move of the Spirit for which we long?"  You will learn more about this in the next lesson on "Restoring The Tabernacle Of David,” but for now, let us learn how David brought the Ark from Kirjath-jearim to Zion, restoring the lost glory of God's people.

First read I Chronicles 13:1-7 in your Bible.  This passage records David's first attempt to bring the Ark back to God's people.  Because the Philistines had carried the Ark on a cart he thought Israel might move it in a similar way.  The Ark was placed on a cart pulled by oxen. When the oxen stumbled, two men reached up and touched the Ark to steady it, and they were stricken dead.

As believers, we are to walk by God's Word, not by example or experience. God requires a higher standard of His servants than unbelievers.  Judgment fell because the Ark was not moved in the way God had commanded.   David recalls this experience in I Chronicles 15:1-24. He said the first attempt to bring back the glory was "not after the due order.”  If the glory is to return, it must return God's way.

THE PROCESS OF RETURN

Read about David's successful attempt to return the Ark in I Chronicles 13-17.  Four things were necessary for the Ark of God's glory to return to His people.  These things are also necessary if we are to experience a return of His glory today:

1. DESIRE:

For some 20 years, all Israel longed after a more intimate relationship with the Lord.  They had the desire for His glory.  The first step in the process of return is to have a desire for the glory of God.  But desire in itself is not enough.  You can want something very much, but in order to get it you must also have...

2. DETERMINATION:

David was determined to bring back the Ark. He said, "Let us bring again the ark of our God to us"  (I Chronicles 13:3).  Not only must you desire the glory of God, you must determine in your heart that you will not stop until you receive it.  Even failure did not stop David.  When he was unsuccessful on his first attempt, he tried again!

3. DIRECTION:

David and his men began to move in the direction of the Ark to bring it back.  Desire is not enough.  Even determination is not enough.  You must begin to move in the direction of the presence of God if the glory is to be regained.

You will not experience the glory if you are heading the opposite direction in the way of the world.  You will not experience it if you are running from God in disobedience to His calling on your life.  You must go God's direction if the glory is to be manifested.

4. DUE ORDER:

On the first attempt to return the Ark, the oxen stumbled and the cart toppled.   The glory could not return on a man-made cart.  It had to return according to God's plan, according to "due order.”  We have tried to bring the glory of God in our midst through our "man-made" carts. We have our programs and rituals and speak of unity and brotherhood.

Interesting enough, the names of the two men who carried the ark mean strength (Uzza) and brotherly (Ahio).  Our man-made carts  may look sweet and brotherly, but they are really the strength of men.  The end result of man-made carts is stumbling, slipping, sliding, and finally....death.

We cannot by our own plans, programs, or strength bring the power to Zion...It must come God's way on the basis of His Word. David later confessed:

The Lord our God made a breach upon us, for that we sought Him not after the due order.  (I Chronicles 15:13)

When the "due order" of God was followed, the glory returned.  You will learn more about this "due order" in the next lesson on "Restoring The Tabernacle Of David.”

THE FIRE, THE GLORY, AND WORSHIP

The fire and the glory are both important mobilizing spiritual forces.  Without the fire, the glory will soon fade.  Without the fire and glory, we will be rendered immobile in the face of the enemy.

At the beginning of this study on the fire and the glory you learned that both fire and glory are related to worship. (II Chronicles 7:1-3)  The next three lessons relate these three mobilizing forces together as you study "Restoring The Tabernacle Of David,” "Wanted: Worshipers,”and "How To Worship.”


SELF-TEST

1. Write the Key Verse from memory.

2. Explain why the glory of God departs from His people.

3. Summarize events and their spiritual significance when the ark was at the following locations:

Ebenezer:

Aphek:

Ashdod:

Gath:

Ekron:

Beth-shemesh:

Kirjath-Jearim:

Jerusalem:

4. What four things are necessary for the return of God's glory?

 (Answers to tests are provided at the conclusion of the final chapter in this manual.)

FOR FURTHER STUDY

The Departure And Return Of The Ark

1. Use a map of Palestine in Old Testament times to trace the journeys of the Ark:

Ebenezer: Ritual

Aphek: Rape

Ashdod: Rationalizing

Gath: Repercussions

Ekron: Eradication

Beth-shemesh: Refusal

Kirjath-Jearim: Rejection

Jerusalem (Zion): Restoration

2. Can these locations be applied personally?  Can they be applied corporately to a church body?

 

CHAPTER EIGHT: RESTORING THE TABERNACLE OF DAVID

 

OBJECTIVES:

Upon completion of this chapter you will be able to:

·         Write the Key Verse from memory.

·         Explain what is meant by "restoring the tabernacle of David.”

·         Provide Scriptural references where the restoration is prophesied.

·         Explain when it will be restored.

·         Explain how it will be restored.

·         Summarize how the restoration of the tabernacle of David relates to you.

KEY VERSE:

I will build again the tabernacle of David which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof. (Acts 15:16)

INTRODUCTION

In the last lesson, you learned how the Ark was lost to Israel and, along with it, the presence, power, and glory of God.  When David brought back the Ark to Israel, God's presence was restored in the midst of His people.  The story of this restoration is important, because it relates to the modern Church and the promise of God which states...

I will build again the tabernacle of David which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof. (Acts 15:16)

Before proceeding with this lesson, study I Chronicles chapters 13-17.

THE PROMISE OF RESTORATION

Study the following verses. God said...

In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen, and close up the breaches thereof; and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old. That they may possess the remnant of Edom, and of all the heathen, which are called by my name, saith the Lord that doeth this. Behold the days come, saith the Lord, that the plowman shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes him that soweth seed; and the mountains shall drop sweet wine and all the hills shall melt.  (Amos 9:11-13)

I will build again the tabernacle of David which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof.  (Acts 15:16)

Here is a summary of the prophecy in these verses:

·         The Lord will return.

·         He will build again the tabernacle of David which has fallen down.  He will raise up the ruins and set it up.

·         The purposes for doing this are so the remnant of Edom (residue of men) might seek the Lord and that the Gentiles might have the name of the Lord upon them.  (Gentile means all nations other than Israel).

·         It is God who is doing these things.

·         It was part of God's plan from the beginning of the world.

What do these Scriptures mean?  What is restoration? What is being restored?  When and how will this restoration come?  What does it mean to the Church today?  How does this relate to mobilization?

WHAT IS RESTORATION?

"Restoration" means to "make whole or complete, to make alive.”  It is the act of returning to an original state or condition.

WHAT IS BEING RESTORED?

The tabernacle of David is being restored.  To understand what this means, we must review a bit of the history of the Ark of God.

CONSTRUCTION OF THE ARK:

Moses was given directions from God for the construction of the Ark during his time on Mt. Sinai (see Exodus 26:10-22). The Ark was an oblong-shaped box, 3  3/4 feet long and 2 1/4 feet wide and 2 1/4 feet high.  The box was made of wood and overlaid inside and out with gold.

Each part of the ark had symbolic meaning.  This means that each portion of it represented a spiritual truth.  The wood reminds us that the Lord took upon Himself human flesh and on a wooden cross bore our sins.  Gold speaks of His deity (I Peter 2:24).  The three layers (gold, wood, gold) remind us there is one God eternally existent in three persons.

CONTENTS OF THE ARK:

The Ark contained three items, all of which are were symbolic spiritually:

·         The tables of stone were a symbol of holiness, that Jesus is "the way" to God.

·         The pot of manna represented the Word of God.  Jesus is also the Word or "the truth.”

·         Aaron's rod, which represents anointing and Jesus as "the life"  (John 14:6).

SIGNIFICANCE OF THE ARK:

As you learned in the last lesson,  the Ark was the place of deep, spiritual, intimate communion and fellowship with God.  It was a place where God manifested His power, presence, and glory. 

LOCATION OF THE ARK:

Originally, the Ark of God was located in the tabernacle of Moses.  It was the habitation of God during the wilderness wanderings from Mt. Sinai to Shiloh in the Promised Land. The Ark was in a room called the "most holy place" which was surrounded by the outer court and the holy place.

These three partitions in the Tabernacle of Moses are symbolic of the three-fold ministry of Christ as prophet, priest, and King.  The outer court speaks of the prophetic ministry of Jesus. It was in the outer court that sin was dealt with in Old Testament worship. Jesus became the prophet of God sent to wash away our sins.

The holy place was where the high priest of Israel interceded for the sins of the people.  This speaks of the priestly ministry of Jesus who is ever interceding for believers.  The most holy place was sheltered by a thick veil. Behind this veil, one stood in the presence of the King.  When we enter behind the veil spiritually speaking, we meet Christ in His office as King of Kings.

After the wilderness journey when Israel came into Canaan, the Ark was set up at Shiloh. This became the central meeting place for the religious life of Israel for a number of years (see Joshua 18:1,8-10; 19:51; 21:2; 22:9,12,19; Judges 18:31).

You learned in the last chapter how the Ark was taken from Shiloh and lost in battle with the enemy.  The Scriptures record that God...

...forsook the Tabernacle of Shiloh, the tent which He placed among men. And delivered His strength into captivity and His glory into the enemy's hand.  (Psalms 78:60-61)

Once the Ark was taken out of the tabernacle of Moses at Shiloh, it never returned there again.  When it was restored, it was restored to the tabernacle of David.

There were priests who continued blood sacrifices at Shiloh.  They maintained the legal order of Moses functioning in the tabernacle with its outer court, the holy place, and the most holy place.  But the most holy place in Shiloh was empty.  God's presence was not there.

God's presence was in the tabernacle of David.  In this tabernacle, sacrifices of praise and worship were offered by singers and musicians.  There was no outer court, holy place, and veiled most holy place.  There was access for all to the presence of God.

WHAT THIS MEANS SPIRITUALLY:

In David's time, the tabernacle was an actual place, a tent which he prepared to house the Ark of God.  But in the prophecies you read in this lesson where God spoke of restoring the tabernacle of David, He is speaking in spiritual terms.

The "restoration of the tabernacle of David" is the restoring of a spiritual tabernacle that is to house "the way, the truth, and the life,” which is Jesus.   Just as the first tabernacle, this spiritual tabernacle contains the three-fold ministry of Christ as prophet, priest, and king.  It is the habitation of God's power, presence, and glory.  God's presence is not found in the old formal, ritualistic worship which is represented by the type which occurred at Shiloh.  His new dwelling place is the tabernacle of David.

WHEN WILL IT BE RESTORED?

The Bible says that David's tabernacle will be restored "as in the days of old.”  David's tabernacle will be rebuilt at a time when conditions are similar to the time it was restored "in the days of old.”

What were those times like?  David built his tabernacle at a time when the glory and power of God's presence had been lost.  Worship had become a ritual.  God had forsaken the site of formal worship because of the terrible spiritual condition of His people:

Yet they tempted and provoked the most high God and kept not His testimonies; But turned back, and dealt unfaithfully like their fathers:  they were turned aside like a deceitful bow. For they provoked Him to anger with their high places and moved Him to jealousy with their graven images. When God heard this, He was wroth, and greatly abhorred Israel: So that He forsook the Tabernacle of Shiloh, the tent which He placed among men. And delivered His strength into captivity and His glory into the enemy's hand.  (Psalms 78:56-61)

Have you seen conditions in the Church similar to these described in these Scriptures?  Then it is time for the tabernacle of David to be restored! 

HOW WILL IT BE RESTORED?

Our "Ark" of God's presence will be restored in the same way it was at the time of David:

DUE ORDER:

In David's first attempt to bring up the Ark, he failed because it was not done after "due order.”  God had commanded that the ark be carried upon staves and borne upon the shoulders of the Levites (spiritual leaders).  David tried to move the Ark on a cart as the Philistines had done  and God's judgment fell.  When David brought up the Ark by "due order" he was successful.

A PREPARED PLACE:

David prepared a place for the Ark of God (I Chronicles 15:1,3,12).  There was specific, planned preparation of a place for the presence of God to dwell.

A NEW TABERNACLE:

David pitched a tabernacle (tent) for the habitation of God because the Lord had said:

Whereas I have not dwelt in any house since the time that I brought up the children of Israel out of Egypt, even to this day, but have walked in a tent and in a tabernacle.  (II Samuel 7:6)

GATHERING TOGETHER GOD'S PEOPLE:

The preparations for bringing the Ark to David's tabernacle also involved a great gathering together of God's people.  The unifying factor was the bringing up of the Ark of the Lord and a restoration of true worship after the sad years of spiritual decline from Samuel's time through the reign of King Saul.

SANCTIFICATION:

The preparation of David's tabernacle also involved sanctification. David called the spiritual leaders of Israel (the priests and the Levites) to sanctify themselves to bring up the Ark of God.

The word "sanctify" means "to separate oneself, to set apart as holy to the Lord, or for holy use.”  Their sanctification involved cleansing by the blood, bathing in water, and anointing with holy oil.

A RETURN TO TRUE WORSHIP:

When the Ark of God was brought up, it was accompanied by singing, shouting, the sound of musical instruments, and dancing.  It was certainly not a quiet worship service, but one of great joy, gladness, excitement, and enthusiasm.

Even King David played and danced with all his might before the Lord. The singers and musicians sang and played, and the Ark (God's presence) was the center of attention (read Psalms 87:7 and Psalms 68:25).

HOW DOES THIS RELATE TO YOU?

Each detail of the actual building and journey of the Ark is an example for us today.

Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples; and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.  (I Corinthians 10:11)

Our spiritual "Ark" is God's presence among His people.  If we are to experience a return of His power and glory, then we must make spiritual preparations similar to those of David:

DUE ORDER:

We have tried to bring back the presence of God through many types of "man-made carts.”  We have tried Christian  entertainment, denominations, rituals, programs, and religions. All of these have failed.  If we are to bring back the ark of God's presence into our midst, we must do it according to God's instructions.  We must make the same preparations as David did.  These include...

A PREPARED PLACE:

If David's tabernacle is to be restored, we must prepare a place.  We must prepare our individual lives and our churches for this new move of God's presence.

"New wine" cannot be poured into old "wineskins.”  We must rid ourselves of tradition and ritual.  We must lay aside our programs, schedules, and traditions, our way of doing things, and prepare ourselves for this new move of God.

A NEW TABERNACLE:

Individual believers are the "tabernacle" or place where God now desires to dwell.  Believers are called the "tabernacle" of God in II Peter 1:13-14, II Corinthians 5:1, and I Corinthians 6:19.

The Church is made up of believers and is the corporate tabernacle of God's presence:

·         Jesus said, "I will build my church":  Matthew 16:18

·         Paul said, "You are God's building":  I Corinthians 3:9

·         Peter said, "You also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house":  I Peter 2:5

Believers individually and corporately are the true tabernacle of God, of which Jesus is our High Priest:

We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty of the heavens; A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man.  (Hebrews 8:1-2)

This true tabernacle of God is all believers.  God cannot be contained in a "building" of man, whether it be an actual temple, or a denomination or organization.

GATHERING TOGETHER GOD'S PEOPLE:

If the Church desires to see the restoration of our spiritual "ark" of God's presence, then we must come together in unity.  The leaders must come together in unity (Exodus 4:29). The people must gather together (Acts 14:27).  It is where believers dwell together in unity that the Lord commands His blessing.  We must become one people, in one accord, with one purpose (Psalms 133; Acts 2:1-4).

SANCTIFICATION:

Even as sanctification was required in the preparation of David's tabernacle, so it will be required in the spiritual restoration of the tabernacle.  Spiritual leaders must be sanctified to bring up the ark of God.  We must return to moral and spiritual integrity in ministry and have financial accountability.

The people must be sanctified to receive the Ark of God's presence.  No longer can we tolerate sin to run rampant in our congregations.  No longer can we sit under preaching that "tickles the ears,” entertains, and makes us laugh at cute stories.  

As Old Testament sanctification involved cleansing by the blood, bathing in water, and anointing with holy oil, so our sanctification involves the blood of Jesus (Hebrews 13:12), the water of the Word of God (John 17:17), and the anointing of the Holy Spirit (I Peter 1:2).

We must be cleansed by the blood of Jesus.  We must return to true teaching, preaching, and responding to God's Word.  The anointing of the Holy Spirit must empower the leaders and the people, flowing through our midst and touching the work of our hands with its divine

essence.

A RETURN TO TRUE WORSHIP:

The Ark of God's presence will return to our midst when we return to true worship.  This is not worship by ritual or creed, but it is the type that occurred in the tabernacle of David and when the Ark was brought up to Jerusalem.  It is a  worship of singing, playing on instruments, shouting, dancing...a worship of great joy, gladness, excitement, and enthusiasm.

David's tabernacle will be restored when God's presence, as the Ark in David's time, becomes the center of attention rather than our programs, rituals, and traditions.  You will learn more about this true worship in the next lesson entitled "Wanted: Worshipers" and Chapter Ten on "How To Worship.”

RESTORATION AND MOBILIZATION

The Lord promised He would restore the tabernacle of David, a habitation for the Spirit of God.  It is this restoration, ushered in by a return to unity, sanctification, and true praise and worship, that will result in a great end time harvest of souls coming to the Lord Jesus Christ:

In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen, and close up the breaches thereof; and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old. That they may possess the remnant of Edom, and of all the heathen, which are called by my name, saith the Lord that doeth this. Behold the days come, saith the Lord, that the plowman shall overtake  the reaper, and the treader of grapes him that soweth seed; and the mountains shall drop sweet wine and all the hills shall melt.  (Amos 9:11-13)

When the tabernacle of David is restored, there will be an abundant harvest, actually many harvests in succession, one right after another.  Nations and people who do not know the Lord (represented by "Edom" and the "Gentiles" in the prophecy of Amos) will begin to turn to the Lord.

It will be such a mighty move of God that those reaping the spiritual harvest fields of the world will have difficulty keeping up with it!   This is why it is necessary to mobilize all of our spiritual resources now.  We must be prepared!

THREE TABERNACLES THAT HOUSED GOD'S PRESENCE

The Ark of God was first housed in the tabernacle of Moses.  This was a symbol of the law and its accompanying formal, ordered worship.  After God forsook this tabernacle and the Ark was lost, it was restored to a new dwelling place which was the tabernacle of David.  This represents the true Church which will follow due order to prepare a place for the presence of God, sanctify themselves and come together in unity, with God's presence as the focus of attention.  It is represented by God's people who will enter into a new demonstration of God's power with exciting, exuberant, joyful worship in spirit and in truth.

As many in Israel who continued to worship at Shiloh, you can continue with that old formal worship if you want...But the presence of God was at Mt. Zion in Jerusalem where the Ark was.  You dare not stay at Shiloh when God's Spirit is doing something new at Mount Zion.

It is interesting to note that all of Zion was in Jerusalem, but not all of Jerusalem was in Zion. Zion was a city within a city.   The name Zion is a name for the people of God (Isaiah 51:16).  God is calling forth a Church from within the Church in whom the Tabernacle of David will be restored.  This is not a man-made division or a carnal splitting of churches.  Those who worship at Zion will still be part of Jerusalem, but they will be in the new flow of God's Spirit. 

There was one other Old Testament tabernacle where the Ark was located.   Later on, David's son Solomon built a beautiful temple for the Ark.  This was the final resting place of this symbol of God's presence.  The staves by which the Ark was carried were finally removed. 

The Ark of God's presence would move no more.

The tabernacle of Solomon speaks of that time in the future when God's presence will be forever permanently in our midst....this is why the staves by which the Ark was carried were removed.

It speaks of the new Heaven and earth which the Apostle John described...

And I saw no temple therein; for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.  (Revelation 21:22)

And I heard a great voice out of Heaven saying, Behold the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be with them, and be their God.  (Revelation 21:3)

 

SELF-TEST

1. Write the Key Verse from memory.

2. Explain what is meant by "restoring the tabernacle of David.”

3. Provide Scriptural references where the restoration of the tabernacle of David is prophesied.

4. When will the tabernacle of David be restored?

5. How will it be restored?

6. How does the restoration of the tabernacle of David relate to you?

 (Answers to tests are provided at the conclusion of the final chapter in this manual.)

FOR FURTHER STUDY

1. The following chart compares the worship at the tabernacle of Moses and the tabernacle of David:

Tabernacle Of Moses

A veil:  No access to the Most Holy

Animal sacrifices.

Old Mosaic ministry and order.

No Ark of God.

Tabernacle Of David

No veil:  Access to the Ark of  Place where God's presence was. God’s presence.

Sacrifices of praise and worship.

New Davidic ministry and order.

The Ark of God.

2. The tabernacle of David was pitched in the city of Jerusalem on a mountain named Zion.  In the closing part of this lesson it was noted that Mount Zion in Jerusalem was where God's presence was and that all of Zion was in Jerusalem but not all of Jerusalem was in Zion.  As "a city within a city,” Zion represents a "church from within the church" in whom the Tabernacle of David will be restored.

The Bible speaks of an earthly Zion which was an actual physical place in Jerusalem where David's Tabernacle was located.   The Bible speaks of a heavenly Zion, of which the earthly Zion is a symbol (II Corinthians 4:18; Hebrews 12:22; Revelation 14:1).   There is also the spiritual Zion.  When people are born again, they become "children of Zion,” that spiritual city built on the foundation stone of the Lord Jesus Christ.

So there are three aspects of the significance of Zion in Scripture.  With this in mind, here are some facts about Mount Zion that can be applied spiritually.  Zion is...

·         Where God dwells:  Psalms 9:11; 74:2;76:1-2; Joel 3:16,21; Isaiah 8:18

·         The place of the salvation of Israel:  Psalms 53:6; 69:35; Isaiah 59:20; Zechariah 9:9;  Isaiah 46:13; 62:11

·         The city where the Lord reigns:  Psalms 146:10; Isaiah 60:14

·         Where sinners and hypocrites are dealt with:  Isaiah 33:14-15; 33:5; 31:9; 1:27; Amos 6:1

·         Where the foundation stone (Jesus) is laid:  Isaiah 28:16; I Peter 2:6-8; Matthew 21:42;  Acts 4:11

·         Where God has a faithful remnant:  Isaiah 37:31; Jeremiah 3:14; Micah 4:7; II Kings 19:31

·         Where the glory of God descends:  Isaiah 4:5-6;  Psalms 102:13,16

·         A place of deliverance:  Joel 2:32; Acts 2:21

·         A place of joy for the whole earth:  Psalms 48:2,11

·         Where God's beauty shines forth:  Psalms 50:2

·         Where the Lord is praised:  Psalms 65:1

·         A place of strength for God's people:  Psalms 20:2-3; 84:4-7

·         A place chosen by God:  Isaiah 14:32

·         A place that God loves more than any other:  Psalms 87:1-3

·         Where people are born and established:  Psalms 87:5-6; Isaiah 66:8

·         Where the Lords' name is declared:  Psalms 102:21

·         A place of blessing:  Psalms 128:5; 135:21; 134:3

·         God's habitation forever:  Psalms 132:13-14

·         Where God's Word is taught:  Isaiah 2:1-5; Micah 4:1-2

·         A place of shouting, singing, and comfort:  Isaiah 12:6

·         A name for the people of God:  Isaiah 51:16

·         A place that publishes good tidings:  Isaiah 40:9; 42:1,2,7,8; 41:27; Micah 4:13

 

CHAPTER NINE: WANTED: WORSHIPERS

 

OBJECTIVES:

Upon completion of this chapter you will be able to:

·         Write the Key Verses from memory.

·         Define worship.

·         Explain what it means to worship in spirit.

·         Explain what it means to worship in truth.

·         Summarize three reasons why we worship.

·         Explain the pattern of worship.

·         List five results of worship.

·         Identify five types of worship.

·         Give a Scripture reference which explains how to prepare for worship.

·         Explain when we are to worship.

·         Explain where we are to worship.

KEY VERSES:

But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth; for the Father seeketh such to worship Him.  God is a Spirit; and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth.  (John 4:23-24)

INTRODUCTION

The restoration of God's mobilizing presence will come through worship.  God wants worshipers!  In this chapter you will continue your study of worship, learning the definition of worship and related words.  You will learn what it means to worship in spirit and truth and why, when, and where to worship.  You will learn the pattern of worship, how to prepare for worship, and the types and results of worship.  In the next lesson you will learn how to worship God as you worship in spirit and truth.

DEFINITIONS

To worship means to do reverence, to kiss, do homage towards, revere, stand in awe of, show devotion, bow down, and honor.  Worship is the acknowledgment of God, His nature, attributes, ways, and claims, whether by giving praise or doing a deed of acknowledgment by Christian service. "To serve" also means "to worship.”  Worship means to attribute worth to someone. It is an active response to God whereby we declare His worth, celebrate Him, and boast in His name.

Worship is not an art form because God will not share His glory with an art form.  It is not liturgy, creeds, rituals, vain repetitions, or copying a set order of service week after week.  Worship is not distracted endurance of a sermon, mumbling prayers, or mouthing hymns with little thought and maybe less heart.  In worship you express in some Scriptural manner what you feel in your heart. Worship is not a mood, it is a response.  It is not just a feeling, but a declaration.  It is not passive, but participative.

Worship is:

Occupation  with a person that is...

Overflowing from within with an...

Outpouring  expressed in devotion and duty.

Here are some other words related to worship in Scripture:

Thanks:  To give thanks means to acknowledge, express gratitude, celebrate, and confess.

Praise:  Praise means commendation. The Bible describes praise occurring in many ways.  One of these is to "twitch or twang" as you do a stringed instrument.  Praise includes singing psalms and praise, confessing, blessing, celebrating boasting of, shouting, and jubilation.  Actually the word "praise" has eight different meanings. Two meanings are very interesting. They are to "release before the Lord" and to be "clamorously foolish.”

Glorify:  To give honor to, rank, beauty.

Honor:  To exalt, show preference to.

Magnify:  To ascribe greatness, glorify.

THE RELATION OF THANKSGIVING, PRAISE, AND WORSHIP

There is not a sharp dividing line between praise, worship and thanksgiving.  As you worship, you can flow easily from one to another, as demonstrated in the book of Psalms.  Technically, however, there is a difference between the three:

Thanksgiving focuses on what God has done.  The Bible says "Forget not all His benefits" (things He has done for you).

Praise focuses on God, who He is, and His characteristics.  One way to praise God is to focus on His names and attributes.

Just as there was a prescribed way to enter the Old Testament tabernacle, there is a proper way for you to enter God's presence.  You "enter His gates with thanksgiving and into His courts with praise.”   You move towards the destination of His presence by thanksgiving and praise.  As you  praise, you build a spiritual place for God to come down and inhabit.  Then you can worship Him in spirit and truth.

Worship is your ministry to God. Many of us are preoccupied with ministering for God by preaching, teaching, training, etc.  But your most important ministry is to minister to God through praise and worship.

PRELIMINARY COMMENTS

Worship presupposes that God exists and that he can be known by man.  The Bible teaches that praise and worship is to be both public and private. The real factor in worship is a heart desire for God. The reason worship fails to occur in the pew is because it fails to occur in the daily routine of living.  Those who really worship in corporate Church services are those who enter to do publicly what they have already done privately.  Worship is the result of a lifestyle of worship, not a cleverly planned corporate worship hour. Praise and worship is not a mass function.  It is the response of individuals to God.  When we unite in praise we blend into a group response, but every expression comes from a separate individual.

Your response does not have to be affected by another's lack of response.  You can praise the Lord regardless of the pattern of those around you!  Sing it, share it, show it, shout it, strum it, but start it!

It is the characteristic of the last generation to be unthankful, and to have a form of godliness denying the power thereof. This is why we need teaching on worship.  Worship must be controlled by your will, not your emotions. If you truly believe God is in control of your life, you can rejoice. The Bible says it is the will of God to give thanks in every situation  (I Thessalonians 5:18).

Praising God continually is God's command for New Testament Christians:

By Him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to His name.  (Hebrews 13:15)

Most of us are conditioned to being led into worship. God says "you enter" and  "you offer a sacrifice of praise.”  In many nations, their constitution guarantees freedom of worship.  Sometimes believers are more citizens than Christians.  They think they have the freedom to choose how and when they worship.  But the Bible is very specific about worship.

SPIRIT AND TRUTH

According to the Key Verse of this lesson, in order for worship to be acceptable it must be done "in spirit and in truth.”  What does it mean to worship in spirit and truth?  John 4:33-34 is related to another verse in Matthew.  Jesus told the religious leaders of His time...

Ye do err, not knowing the Scriptures or the power of God.

(Matthew 22:29)

The "Scriptures" reflect the truth of our worship.  The "power of God" reflects the spirit of our worship.  Just as the Scriptures and the power of God are necessary for proper understanding of spiritual things, the spirit and truth are necessary for acceptable worship.

In order to understand what Jesus was saying about worship, let us examine the situation in which He made this statement.  Turn to John 4 in your Bible.

THE BIBLICAL TEXT:

It was not necessary for Jesus to go through Samaria to His destination, but He said He "needed" to go that way.  He had a divine appointment to keep.  Jesus was resting by a well while His disciples went into the city to buy food when a woman came to draw water.  She was obviously poor materially, since she had no servant to draw water for her, but she was even poorer spiritually.

Jesus immediately eliminated the barriers which would prevent her from receiving spiritual help from Him.  We also must eliminate racial, cultural, denominational, and theological barriers and personal prejudice in order to bring spiritual "water" to a thirsty world. Jesus dealt with each of these in His conversation with this woman.

Jesus told the woman, "If thou knewest" (John 4:10). You must worship from a position of knowing.  (We will comment more on this when we discuss "truth" later in this lesson.)  Knowledge (truth) results in understand who the Lord really is and leads to worship.  Jesus said, "If you knew, you would ask."  Knowledge (truth) always requires response.  Our responsibility is to ask.  His response is to give.

The woman told Jesus, "You have nothing to draw with to give me this water.”  She was viewing things in the natural, visible world only.  She was concerned because there was "nothing to draw with" when the source of the living water was right there with her.  Like this woman, many of us focus on the impossibilities of life, when we are in the presence of the miracle worker.  The life Jesus gives results in worship.  It is spiritual water that quenches your thirst by springing up from deep inside your spirit.

But there were other barriers Jesus had to eliminate before this woman could receive this spiritual life flow and respond in true worship.  The woman asked Jesus, "Are you greater than our Father Jacob?"   Here was a cultural barrier of natural relationships which Jesus had to eliminate before worship was acceptable. (Later on, He dealt with worship traditions.  Tradition and culture are two of the greatest barriers to worshiping in spirit and truth).

Jesus addressed the fact that the woman had been dissatisfied in her relationships with seven men.  She had been trying to fill the spiritual void within her by natural relationships (verses 15-19).

Always remember that nothing can replace worship.  You will be frustrated in natural relationships, your personal life, and your church until you become a true worshiper.  True satisfaction does not even come through ministry. Remember what Jesus said to Martha who was busy doing things for the Lord.  He said Mary had chosen the better ministry of sitting in His presence.  It is better to worship than to work, to sit than to serve.

Jesus was dealing with this woman's spiritual condition, but she changed the conversation to a theological subject.  (You also may find this happening when you deal with people regarding spiritual matters!)

Jesus said  the Samaritans worshiped with spirit, but with no truth (verses 19-24).  In the time of Ezra and Nehemiah when the Samaritans were not allowed to help Israel rebuild the temple, they built their own temple on Mount Gerizim where they believed Abraham offered Isaac and Jacob's dream occurred.  They climbed this mountain often and worshiped, but they did not know what they worshiped.  They were enthusiastic in their worship, but without the truth of the Gospel.

The Jews worshiped in truth (law) but with no spirit.  Jesus, who was a Jew, said "We know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews."  The Jews understood the truth, but they were cold, legalistic, hypocritical, and ritualistic. They went through the motions of worship but their hearts were not in it.  God is to be worshiped as both "Father" and "Spirit.”  Spirit is nature.  Father is relationship.  The issue of worship is not where and when it is done as much as who and how.

Jesus dealt with reality in worship, not form of worship.  Worship involves who we are as "true worshipers" and how we "truly worship.”  No longer is worship limited to a specific place like a church building, although we should not forsake the assembling of ourselves together as a corporate body to worship (Hebrews 10:25a).  If you are a true worshiper, you do not have to go looking for God...He is looking for you.  God seeks those who will worship Him in spirit and truth.

Read verses 28-42.  Worship cannot be based on someone else's experience.  The people of Samaria moved into worship because of truth (knowledge) and spirit (experience).  They came and heard the truth from Jesus themselves.

Now that we have examined the circumstances in which our Key Verses were given, let us discuss in more detail the two requirements for worship:  Spirit and truth.

SPIRIT:

Man is a triune being. He is composed of a body which is visible and an invisible soul and spirit.  The soul is the "soulish" nature of man, the mind, will, and emotions.  The spirit is the spiritual inner man.  Your spirit has emotional responses like the soul.  Soul and spirit are closely related but are separate, for the Bible tells us the Word of God is sharp and can divide them.  Here are some other facts about your spirit:

·         God gave your spirit and it returns to Him at death: Ecclesiastes 12:7; Isaiah 42:5; Zechariah 12:1

·         God is the God of the spirits of all flesh: Numbers 27:16

·         Your own tongue affects your spirit: Proverbs 15:13

·         You are to be an example of the believers in spirit:  I Timothy 4:12

·         In Bible times, the walls around a city were its defense. You are like a city with broken walls if you do not rule your spirit:  Proverbs 16:32; 25:28

·         God speaks through your spirit:  "The spirit of man is the candle of the Lord”:  Proverbs 20:27

·         You are warned to take heed to your spirit:  Malachi 2:16

·         "Worshiping in spirit" means you worship from the inside out.  Paul speaks of serving God "with my spirit":  Romans 1:9

·         Isaiah speaks of seeking the Lord with "my spirit within me": Isaiah 26:9

·         David blesses the Lord with all that is within him:  Psalms 103:1

·         You are to glorify God with your spirit:  I Corinthians 6:20

·         When you pray in tongues, your spirit prays: I Corinthians 14:14-15

·         You cannot really worship with your spirit unless it is energized by His Spirit, so worshiping in spirit involves the Holy Spirit also. As you worship, God's Spirit bears witness with your spirit (Romans 8:16).

·         "Spirit" means more than just inward worship.  Since man is a triune being, when you worship with spirit you must also worship with the soul and body portions of your triune nature.

TRUTH:

The word "truth" means to uncover, open up, and not hide.  In order for something to be true, it must meet three criteria:

1. It must be universal:  It must apply to everyone.

2. It must be uniform:  It applies to everyone in the same way.  The criteria is same for old, young, rich, poor, black, white, etc.

3. It must be unending:  This means it is eternally valid.

Worship is to be based on truth which is information gained in meditation which results from time spent with God in discovery.

You must understand why and what you are doing when you worship.  If you preach clever sermons that move emotions with a lot of stories and funny things, people may say "He sure is a good speaker" instead of worshiping God.  This is why you must be committed to the expository teaching and preaching of God's Word.

Truth was stressed in the early church. They continued steadfastly in doctrine (Acts 2:42).  Paul told Timothy to read and exhort doctrine (I Timothy 4:13).  The Word of God was emphasized (Colossians 3:16-17).  When Paul saw the people at Mars Hill worshiping, it was unacceptable because it was not based on true knowledge of God.  He said they were "ignorantly worshiping" (Acts 17:23).

If you are going to worship, you must be committed to the Word of God, not just some emotional feeling.  The reason God requires worship in truth is because...

Satan...abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him.  When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own; for he is a liar and the father of it.  (John 8:44)

And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.  (John 8:32)

If you are going to worship in "truth" then you must know what the Bible says is true.  This is important because there is a "spirit of truth" and a "spirit of error" operating in the world.  The Bible speaks of those who are "ever learning, but never coming to the knowledge of the truth.”  Here is the answer to Pilate's question, "What is truth?.”  This summary is drawn from all the references on "truth" in the Bible:

1. God is truth

·         He lives in truth.

·         His eyes are upon the truth.

·         God's paths are true.

·         His works are true.

·         His Word is true.

·         His counsel is true.

·         His grace is true.

·         He reveals truth.

·         He judges on the basis of truth.

·         His truth is eternal and unlimited.

·         He wants all men to know the truth.

·         He approves your ministry on the basis of truth.

·         He "begot" you in truth.

2. Jesus is truth:

·         He is truth in the flesh.

·         He is the true light.

·         He is the true bread.

·         He is the true vine.

·         He is full of truth.

·         Truth came by Him.

·         It was in Him.

·         He is the faithful and true witness.

·         He bore record of the truth.

·         He is "the way and the truth.”

3. The Holy Spirit is called the spirit of truth.

4. The Word is true and God's judgments are based on it.

5. Salvation based on the Gospel is true.

6. The Fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth, therefore it is true (Ephesians 5:9).

7. The Church is to be rooted in truth, the pillar and ground of the truth.

8. The anointing of God is truth (I John 2:27).

If you are to be a true worshiper, you must not only know the truth, you must respond to it.King Saul and David were both worshipers.  When confronted by his sin, David responded by repenting.  Saul did not. Saul's worship was unacceptable because of:

1. People:  "Because I saw the people"...He cared more about what man thought than what God thought.

2. Piety:  He was self-righteous claiming he assumed the prophets place because it was not Scriptural to go to war before praying. 

3. Pride:  Saul was self-sufficient.  Note how he says "I, myself, you were not here.”

Saul offered worship when God was asking for repentance and his worship was rejected.  God prefers obedience to sacrifice. Going through the form, no matter how sacred, means nothing if the heart is not right with God.

A friend of David's named Ishthobel, who was once described as speaking "the oracles of God" was also a worshiper.  He walked together with David to the house of God.  He worshiped in spirit, but he did not let truth change him.  He later joined in a rebellion against David.

SPIRIT AND TRUTH TOGETHER:

To worship in spirit is to allow the Holy Spirit to move upon your redeemed spirit, causing love, adoration, devotion, honor, and respect to ascend to God who is a spirit.  To worship in truth is to worship according to the Word of God and to properly respond to the truth of God.

Thus, "worship in spirit and in truth" involves the believer in honoring and adoring God by the quickening of the Holy Spirit according to the Word of God. The Holy Spirit and the Word of God are both needed in order for true worship to occur.  If the Holy Spirit is not present, then worship is dead and lifeless.  If there is no Word, then worship becomes mere emotionalism or ritual.

WHY WE WORSHIP

We worship because of...

EXAMPLE:

Scripture is dominated with examples of worship.

EXHORTATION:

We are commanded in Scripture to worship:

This people have I formed for myself; they shall shew forth my praise.  (Isaiah 43:21)

Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ...

But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, peculiar people, that ye should shew forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.  (I Peter 2:5,9)

Praise the Lord, for it is good...praise is becoming and appropriate.  (Psalms 147:1 The Amplified Version)

The first commandment is to worship God (Exodus 20:1-5; Psalms 45:11).  Your greatest ministry is worship of God rather than working for God:

Now, be not negligent...for the Lord hath chosen you to stand before Him, to serve Him, and that ye should minister unto Him...(II Chronicles 29:11)

ETERNAL DESTINY:

You were created to worship and your eternal destiny is determined by whether or not you worship the true God.

THE PATTERN OF WORSHIP

The pattern of worship includes:

Exalting: God (Upreach)

Edifying: The Body of Christ (Inreach)

Evangelizing: The lost (Outreach)

All three are necessary.  The early church followed this pattern. (Acts 24:3,46,47)  John also emphasized it (John 15:1-11,12-17,18-27).  When you exalt, you edify.  When you edify, you evangelize. When you evangelize, you edify and exalt...and so the pattern continues.

RESULTS OF WORSHIP

Here are some of the wonderful results of worship:

GOD IS GLORIFIED:

Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me; and to him that ordereth his conversation aright will I shew the salvation of God.  (Psalms 50:23)

SEEKERS ARE RECOGNIZED:

Seekers are received into the presence of God:

Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His  courts with praise; be thankful unto Him, and bless His name.  (Psalms 100:4)

Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.  (Philippians 4:6)

The Bible says God inhabits the praises of His people (Psalms 22:3). When you praise Him, you build a spiritual tabernacle in which He comes to dwell.

BELIEVERS ARE PURIFIED:

When you come into the presence of God through worship, you are purified:

Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord?  or who shall stand in his holy place? He that hath clean hands and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity nor sworn deceitfully. He shall receive the blessing from the Lord and righteousness from the God of his salvation.  (Psalms 24:3-5)

As the fining pot for silver, and the furnace for gold; so is a man to praise.  (Proverbs 27:21)

As you are heated and broken in His presence, the impurities of your life are separated from the precious metal and rise to the surface so you can get them taken care of at the cross.  When you spend time in His presence, you are changed:

·         Moses reflected the glory of God upon His countenance.

·         People noticed that the disciples had been with God.

·         Isaiah, a man of unclean lips, was purged by the fire of God.

THE CHURCH IS EDIFIED:

A praising church results in people who are unified, giving, excited, and worshiping at home as well as corporately (Acts 2:42-47).

THE LOST ARE EVANGELIZED:

Acts 2:47 records that the believers were praising God and that many others were added to the Church.  If you worship in spirit and in truth, unbelievers coming into your midst will be drawn to God.

PREPARING FOR WORSHIP

Here is a verse that explains how to prepare your heart to worship:

Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.  (Hebrews 10:22)

The call for worship is "Let us draw near."  As you are drawing near, the checkpoints are:

Sincerity:  A true heart.

Confidence:  In full assurance of faith.

Humility:  Knowledge that you are unworthy other than through the blood.

Purity: Daily washing with the pure water of the Word of God.

TYPES OF WORSHIP

The Bible speaks of several types of worship:

WORSHIP OF REPENTANCE:

Psalms 51 is a wonderful example of the worship of repentance.  This is the prayer of David after his sin with Bathsheba.

WORSHIP OF ACCEPTANCE: 

Job had lost his children and his property, yet he worshiped:

Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground and worshiped. And said, Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither; the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.  (Job 1:20-21)

WORSHIP OF DEVOTION:

Read  Genesis 22:1-14.  This story of Abraham and Isaac is the greatest example of the worship of devotion.  Note that Abraham made worship a priority.  He arose "early" to worship, even though he believed it would cost him his son, that which he loved most.  (Some of us can not be bothered to get of bed early in the morning to worship. We feel it is too great a price to pay).

The worship of devotion requires separation to God.  Abraham told his servants, "You wait here." True worship demands deliberate separation from distractions.  True worship is individual. You will never truly worship until you do it alone in the worship of devotion.

The worship of devotion is costly.  In Abraham's case, he was asked to give his only son.  David said he would not offer to God something which cost him nothing (I Samuel 24:24).  The worship of devotion denounces selfish desires. The focus is on God alone.  To offer the worship of devotion, Abraham had to die to the desire of a son.  But Abraham's worship glorified God. Sacrificial worship always brings glory to God.

WORSHIP OF COMMITMENT:

For an example of the worship of commitment, see II Chronicles 15:10-15.  It is recorded that Israel made a covenant to serve God as they worshiped.

WORSHIP OF WARFARE:

Basically, there are four areas of attack by your enemy. Satan attacks your worship of God, the Word of God, your Christian walk, and your work for God.

Read Psalms 149:6-9. This is an excellent example of how praise is used as a weapon. Combined with the Word of God it...

1. Executes vengeance upon the heathen:  Praise is effective in warfare with those who do not know God.

2. Executes punishment:  Justice and judgment result from praise.

3. Binds their king with chains: We are told to bind demons, then cast them out.

4. Binds the nobles with fetters of iron:  Praise binds the lesser powers of Satan, such as leaders in this world's system.

5. Executes upon them the judgment written:  As you praise, your enemy is judged upon the basis of God's Word.

There are many other Biblical examples of praise and worship serving as a spiritual weapon.  Here are a few examples:

-Gideon worshiped before the battle with the Midianites and he and his men shouted before the battle.

-Paul and Silas worshiped before they were freed from prison.

-Jonah worshiped before he was delivered from the fish.

WHEN TO WORSHIP

You should worship:

DAILY: 

Israel "praised the Lord day by day" (II Chronicles 30:21).  The New Testament church went from house to house praising God  (Acts 2:46-47).

CONTINUALLY: 

I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.  (Psalms 34:1)

Let them shout for joy, and be glad, that favor my righteous cause; yea, let them say continually, Let the Lord be magnified... (Psalms 35:27)

By Him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to His Name.  (Hebrews 13:15)

The disciples were in the temple "continually" praising God.  (Luke 24:53)

Blessed are those who dwell in your house and your presence...they will be singing your praises all the day long.  (Psalms 84:4 Amplified)

Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ.  (Ephesians 5:18-20)

AFTER A SPECIAL MANIFESTATION OF THE LORD: 

Read about the special appearance of God to Abraham in Genesis 12.   Read about the manifestation of God to Moses in Exodus 34.   When God revealed Himself in a special way, people worshiped.

ON RECEIPT OF THE PROMISES OF GOD:

When Abraham received a special promise from God in Genesis 13:14-18, he responded by worshiping.

UPON ANSWERED PRAYER:

When Eleazer had his prayers answered, he worshiped (Genesis 24).

WHEN GRANTED FAVOR BY MAN:

When Eleazer was granted favor by man in Genesis 24:52, he also worshiped God (Genesis 24:52).

AFTER A CRISIS:

David worshiped God after the death of his child.  This is a true sacrifice of praise.  Psalms 27:5 speaks of times of trouble, yet verse 6 speaks of offering "sacrifices of joy.”  David said:

I will offer to thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and will call upon the name of the Lord.  (Psalms 116:17)

And let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving and declare His works with rejoicing.  (Psalms 107:22)

Praise and worship are not a sacrifice when everything is going well and you feel like praising God.  It becomes a sacrifice when everything is going wrong and you still praise Him.

IN TIMES OF TRIAL AND WARFARE:

Through his dark hours of trial and spiritual warfare, Job worshiped God.

IN EVERYTHING YOU DO:

You are to worship God constantly in everything you do. You do this when you do all for the glory of God.

FOREVER:

I will praise thee forever.  (Psalms 52:9)

WHERE TO WORSHIP

IN THE CONGREGATION (CHURCH):

I will declare thy name unto my brethren; in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee.  (Psalms 22:22)

I will give thee thanks in the great congregation; I will  praise thee among much people.  (Psalms 35:18)

Praise ye the Lord.  Sing unto the Lord a new song, and His praise in the congregation of saints.  (Psalms 149:1)

IN YOUR HOME:

Let the saints be joyful in the glory and beauty (which God confers upon them); let them sing for joy upon their beds.  (Psalms 149:5  The Amplified Version)

BEFORE UNBELIEVERS:

And He hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God; many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the Lord.  (Psalms 40:3)

Sing unto the Lord, bless His name, shew forth His salvation from day to day. Declare His glory among the heathen, His wonders among all people.  (Psalms 96:2-3)

BEFORE THE NATIONS OF THE WORLD:

I will praise thee, O Lord, among the people;  I will sing praises unto thee among the nations.  (Psalms 108:3)

Declare His glory among the heathen, His wonders among all people.  (Psalms 96:1-3)

 

SELF-TEST

1. Write the Key Verses from memory.

2. Define worship.

3. Explain what it means to worship in spirit.

4. Explain what it means to worship in truth.

5. Summarize three reasons why we worship.

6. Explain the pattern of worship.

7. List five results of worship.

8. Identify five types of worship.

9. Give a Scripture reference which explains how to prepare for worship.

10. Explain when we are to worship.

11. Explain where we are to worship.

 (Answers to tests are provided at the conclusion of the final chapter of this manual.)

FOR FURTHER STUDY

1. Study the history of worship to learn more about it:

PRE-CREATION WORSHIP: See the record in Job 38:4-7.

PRE-FALL WORSHIP: Adam and Eve worshiped God before they sinned.  As soon as they ceased worshiping God they fell into sin. (Genesis 3:1-13)

OLD TESTAMENT WORSHIP:

Cain and Abel:  Genesis 4

The patriarchs:  Genesis-Deuteronomy

The nation of Israel in the desert and promised land: Exodus through Ruth.

Worship in Old Testament very detailed. It took seven chapters (a total of 243 verses) to describe the tabernacle and only 31 to describe the whole creation of the universe.

Anyone approaching the most holy place came through one gate and walked through the courtyard to get to where God dwelt. The gate is called "thanksgiving" and the court is called "praise.”

Psalms 22:3 indicates that God inhabits the praises of His people.  His dwelling is in the midst of the courtyard of praise.  Even petitions are to be made with it (Philippians 4:6).

As you enter His presence, a channel of communication is opened whereby you can speak and be heard.  You can spend your whole life being an outer court Christian or you can move on into the inner court of true worship.  

NEW TESTAMENT WORSHIP:

Worship by Jesus:  Hebrews 2:12

Worship in the early church:  They met in homes and on the Lord's Day:  John 20:19,26; Acts 20:7; I Corinthians 16:2

They actually had churches in homes although they continued to meet in the synagogue and temple also:  Philemon 2; Romans 16:5; Colossians 4:15

Elements of New Testament worship included:

Preaching: Acts 20:7; I Corinthians 14:19

Reading of Word: James 1:22; Colossians 4:16

Prayer:  I Corinthians 14:14-16

Singing: Ephesians 5:19; Colossians 3:16

Baptism and the Lord's Supper: Acts 2:41; I Corinthians 11:18-34

Almsgiving: I Corinthians 16:12

Moving of gifts of Spirit:  I Corinthians 12

WORSHIP IN THE PRESENT:

Your body is now the temple of the Holy Spirit of God:

Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?  (I Corinthians 3:16)

The first 11 chapters of Romans speak of the marvelous Gospel.  Our response to it is given in Romans 12:1-2:  We are to present our bodies (our whole bodies, soul, spirit) a living sacrifice. 

FUTURE WORSHIP:

The future patterns of worship are revealed in book of Revelation in the following passages:  Revelation 4:10-11;  5:14; 11:15-17;14:6-7; 15:4; 19:4,10;  22:8-9

2. Here are some things that make worship unacceptable to God:

INTERFERENCE BY THE SATANIC KINGDOM:  Binding spirits, distractions, and interruptions are used by Satan to interfere with worship. 

SIN: Sin of any kind interferes with worship:

If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.  (Psalms 66:18)

Your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid His face from you, that he will not hear.  (Isaiah 59:2)

When you substitute worship for obedience, it is not acceptable: 

...Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the Word of the Lord, He hath also rejected thee... (I Samuel 15:22-23)

GUILT: A false sense of guilt prevents you from coming into God's presence in worship.  The best way to distinguish between guilt and conviction of the Holy Spirit is to remember that Satan generalizes with guilt feelings.  The Holy Spirit is specific when he convicts of sin.

FEAR: Fear of the opinion of others, fear of releasing emotions, fear of rejection, and fear of ridicule all hinder worship.

PRIDE: The Bible says God resists the proud.  A person whom God is resisting certainly cannot worship Him.

A WRONG CONCEPT OF GOD: Some people think God is fierce, cruel, and ready to strike them dead.  While we should have fear of God in terms of respect, it does not mean a response of terror.

A SPIRIT OF HEAVINESS: In order to praise God, you must be willing to relinquish the spirit of heaviness. This includes attitudes of self-pity, depression, misery, and negative thinking.

FORMALISM THAT HINDERS FREEDOM: The Bible speaks of those with a form of godliness who deny God's power.  Formalism and ritualism hinder freedom of worship and make it a weariness (see Malachi 1:11-13). When worship becomes a weariness, there is no joy and gladness in it (Joel 1:16).

TRADITION: Jesus said of the religious leaders of His time:

But in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.  (Matthew 15:9)

Legalistic traditions of man, routines, and vain repetitions, etc., all hinder true worship  (Matthew 6:7; Philippians 3:13).  Every church has developed traditions and often would rather sacrifice true worship than sacrifice tradition.

IDOLATRY: Ancient cultures were filled with idols. Psalms 115 lists three characteristics of idols:

1. They were manufactured by man.

2. They were lifeless and had no power.

3. People became like that which they worshiped.  For example, Israel became blind and deaf to the true God because they worshiped blind and deaf idols.

What about our idols today?  Some of our idols meet the same criteria.  Anything that has more of your time, attention, and affection than God does is an idol. Job speaks of materialism as an idol of "gold and silver" (Job 31:24-28).  Ministry can even be an idol (Luke 10:41).

DISHARMONY WITH YOUR MATE: Disharmony with your husband or wife can hinder your prayers.  Since worship is part of prayer, your worship is also hindered  (I Peter 3:7).

SPECTATING INSTEAD OF PARTICIPATING: When you are a spectator instead of a participator, you become like David's wife Micah who did not participate but watched and criticized his worship.

CARES OF THE WORLD: One of the things the spirit of the antichrist will do is "wear away" the saints of God with cares of the world.  The cares of the world overcome you spiritually and interfere with worship (Daniel 7:25 and Mark 4:19).

EDUCATION: From the time of the tree of knowledge in the Garden of Eden, Satan's appeals have centered around education. Even in the area of Christian education, you can learn everything about God yet never respond to Him in praise and worship.

WORSHIP OF THE TRUE GOD IN THE WRONG FORM: You can worship the right God, but in the wrong way.  You are worshiping God in the wrong way when you worship Him...

1. As you perceive Him:

In Exodus 32 Israel made a representation of God in the golden calf.  They reduced Him to an image and worshiped in an unacceptable way.  Isaiah 40:18-26 indicates God cannot be reduced to an image.  Some people today  say "I worship God as I perceive Him to be,” but this is not acceptable.  Your definition of God must meet the criteria of Scripture.

2. In a self-styled manner:

-Cain tried to worship God his own way and his worship was refused (Genesis 4).

-Nadab and Abihu offered strange fire and died (Leviticus 10:1-2).

-Saul worshiped when God wanted repentance (I Samuel 13:8-14a).

-The Pharisees worshiped in their own legal, traditional way but it was in vain (Matthew 15:1-9; 23:23-28).

3. With a wrong attitude:

Malachi 1:6-14; 3:13-14; 4:1,3 speaks of routine and ritualistic worship.  The priests were the leaders in this sin, but it filtered all the way down to the people. "Behold what a weariness,” people said about worship.  Note the results of this unacceptable worship in Malachi 4:1,3.  Read Isaiah 1:11-20: The people were doing the right thing to the right God in the right way, but with the wrong attitude.

WHEN THE GLORY HAS DEPARTED:

You already studied about the glory of God and how it departed from Israel when the Ark was taken.  When the glory of God was taken, God no longer participated in Israel's worship services.  Read Isaiah 1:11-15.  No one even missed God in their services.  If this passage was rewritten by God for many of our modern churches today, it might read as follows: 

"The multitude of your tithes and offerings...what are they to me?   And what you consider your sacrifices...I have had more than enough of your good works, promotion campaigns, and fund raising dinners. I have no pleasure in your entertaining, flippant, joking singers and preachers.

When you come to meet with me, who has asked this of you, this trampling of my courts with lack of respect and more concern for greeting one another than in fellowshiping with me?

Stop bringing meaningless offerings!  Your services are a trouble to me.  Sunday mornings and evenings, Wednesday nights, I cannot bear your evil assemblies.

Your pageants, dramas, and festivals my soul hates. They have become a burden to me.  I am weary of bearing them.

When you spread out your hands in prayer, I will hide my eyes from you. When you make your prayers, I will not hear you..."

3. Study more about your spirit.  It can be:

·         Anguished: Exodus 6:9

·         Bound: Acts 20:22; Romans 8:15

·         Broken: Psalms 51:17 ; Proverbs 15:13

·         Envious: James 4:5

·         Excellent: Daniel 5:12 Proverbs 17:27

·         Fearful: II Timothy 1:7

·         Fervent: Acts 18:25

·         Filthy: II Corinthians 7:1

·         Good: Nehemiah 9:20

·         Grieved: Daniel 7:15;  Isaiah 54:6

·         Full of guile: Psalms 32:2

·         Hard: Deuteronomy 2:30

·         Hasty: Proverbs 14:29; Ecclesiastes 7:9

·         Haughty: Proverbs 16:18

·         Humble: Proverbs 16:19; Isaiah 57:15

·         Jealous: Numbers 5:14

·         Judgmental: Isaiah 28:6

·         Lustful: James 4:5

·         Meek: Galatians 6:1; 1 Corinthians 4:21; I Peter 3:4

·         New: Ezekiel 11:19; 18:31; 36:26; Romans 7:6

·         Overwhelmed: Psalms 77:3; 142:3; 143:4,7

·         Patient: Ecclesiastes 7:8

·         Perceptive: Mark 2:8

·         Poor: Isaiah 66:2; Matthew 5:3

·         Pressed: Acts 18:5

·         Proud: Ecclesiastes 7:8

·         Purposeful: Acts 19:21

·         Persuasive: Acts 6:10

·         Quickened: I Corinthians 15:45

·         Quiet: Zechariah 6:8; I Peter 3:4

·         Refreshed: I Corinthians 16:18; II Corinthians 7:13

·         Rejoicing: Luke 1:47

·         Restful: II Corinthians 2:13

·         Right: Psalms 51:10

·         Searching: Psalms 77:6

·         Serving: Romans 12:11

·         Sighing: March 2:8

·         Slumbering: Romans 11:8

·         Sorrowful: Isaiah 1:15

·         Steadfast: Psalms 78:8

·         Stirred: Ezra 1:1; Acts 17:16; Haggai 1:14

·         Strong: Luke 2:40

·         Troubled: Genesis 41:8; Daniel 2:3;  John 13:21; II Thessalonians 2:2

·         Vain: Ecclesiastes 1:14

·         Vexed: Ecclesiastes 1:17; 2:11,17

·         Willing: Matthew 26:41; Mark 14:38  (speak of conflict between spirit and flesh)

·         Wise: Exodus 28:3

·         Wounded: Proverbs 18:14

·         Wrong: Luke 9:55

 

CHAPTER TEN: HOW TO WORSHIP

 

OBJECTIVES:

Upon completion of this chapter you will be able to:

·         Write the Key Verse from memory.

·         Summarize what the Bible teaches about how to worship.

·         Explain the relationship between the fire, the glory, and worship.

KEY VERSE:

Praise Him with the timbrel and dance; praise Him with stringed instruments and organs.  (Psalms 150:4)

INTRODUCTION

You already learned that you must worship in spirit and truth, but specifically how should you worship?  What type of worship is acceptable in this new "tabernacle of David" which God is restoring.

Worship in the Bible was very reverent at times.  People fell on their faces, meditated, and were silent before God.  But worship was also joyous, noisy, and exuberant.  It was said of Israel, the "shout of the King is among them." When there was noise in the tabernacle, God's presence was there.  When there was no noise, He was not present.

Some people object to this type of exuberant worship. They say it is "indecent and out of order.”  The Bible does say "Let all things be done in decency and order,”  but the emphasis should be on "LET ALL THINGS BE DONE" (I Corinthians 14:40).

Some think exuberant worship is foolish and unnecessary. But the Bible reveals a link between what appears to be foolish in our thinking and God's power and blessing. Consider these "foolish" things:

·         Moses lifting his rod over the Red Sea and the waters parting.

·         Israel shouting and the walls of Jericho falling down.

·         Gideon and 300 men with pitchers, lanterns, and trumpets overcoming a Midian army.

·         The blind man washing in Siloam Pool to receive sight.

·         Naaman washing in the muddy Jordan River for healing of leprosy.

·         Peter finding tax money in the mouth of fish.

In this lesson you will learn both reverent and exuberant ways to worship God.  Worship is one of the greatest Biblical principles of mobilization, for true worship motivates and mobilizes people for God.

HOW WE WORSHIP

Here are some Biblical ways to worship the Lord:

SERVING:

Your greatest ministry of serving is praise and worship.  But you also worship as you serve Him by doing God's work on the basis of His truth.  For example, one way of serving God is by responding to the call to "go and teach all nations.”

GIVING:

Repeatedly in the Old and New Testament records, giving of material resources was part of the regular service and considered an act of worship.

KEEPING SILENT BEFORE HIM:

This silent attitude of reverence includes meditating on God and His Word:

Be silent, O all flesh, before the Lord....(Zechariah 2:13)

WORSHIPING WITH YOUR MOUTH:

Science has proven that, like fingerprints, each human voice has what is called a "print.”  Your "voice print,” like your fingerprint, is different from all other voices.   God know YOUR voice and waits to hear it lifted in praise to Him daily. Here are some ways you can use your voice to worship God:

SPEAKING PRAISE:

...Let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name. (Hebrews 13:15)

The "fruit of our lips" is worshiping God.  Speaking praise...

Was the practice of the first Christians:

And they were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God.  (Luke 24:53)

Is the will of God for every Christian:

In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.  (I Thessalonians 5:18)

Is proof of the spirit-filled life:

...be filled with the Spirit...Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.  (Ephesians 5:18, 20)

Is the chief function of  the royal priesthood (believers):

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 marvelous light.  (I Peter 2:9)

Provides access to His presence:

Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise; be thankful unto Him, and bless His name.  (Psalm 100:4)

Was commanded in a message from the throne:

And a voice came out of the throne saying, praise our God, all ye His servants, and ye that fear Him, both small and great.  (Revelation 19:5)

Is your obligation as long as you have breath:

Let every thing that hath breath praise the Lord, Praise ye the Lord.  (Psalms 150:6)

Is a habit to be practiced all day long:

From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same, the Lord's name is to be praised. (Psalms 113:3)

Is a test of discipleship:

Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.  (John 15:8)

Can be done by even aged saints:

They shall still bring forth fruit in old age... (Psalms 92:14)

Results in satisfaction:

A man shall be satisfied with good by the fruit of his mouth.  (Proverbs 12:14)

SPEAKING IN TONGUES:

Read I Corinthians 14:14-18 in your Bible. Your praise is perfected when you worship in your heavenly language.  This is why Paul said he was glad he did it more than anyone.

SHOUTING:

Shouting was used to praise God from the beginning of time:

When the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy?  (Job 38:7)

Creation shouts for joy and sings...  (Psalms 65:13)

Sing O Ye heavens; for the Lord hath done it; shout, ye lower parts of the earth; break forth into singing, ye mountains, O forest, and every tree therein; for the Lord hath redeemed Jacob and glorified himself in Israel.  (Isaiah 44:23)

Here are some things the Bible teaches about shouting:

·         God has gone up with a shout: Psalms 47:5

·         Jesus will return with a shout: I Thessalonians  4:16

·         When there is no joy and gladness, there is no shouting: Jeremiah 48:33.

In the natural world, when you attend a sports event and do not understand the game, you do not know when to shout for your favorite team.  The same is true spiritually:  If the non-shouters really understood what was going on in the spiritual realm, they would be shouting.  Jesus has conquered our enemy.  We are saved from death and have eternal life.  He is our healing and provision.  How can we not feel a shout a rising within us?

Here are some occasions when shouting was used in the Bible:

Shouting because of the presence of God:

The world took note when there was the "shout of a King among them"  (Numbers 23:21).

When the ark was brought up, all Israel shouted...with the sound of the cornet, with the trumpets, with the  cymbals, making a noise with psalteries and harps.  (I Chronicles 15:28)

And when the ark of the covenant of the Lord came into the camp, all Israel shouted with a great shout, so that the earth rang again...

And when the Philistines heard the noise of the shout they said, What meaneth the noise of this great shout in the camp of the Hebrews?  And they understood that the ark of the Lord was come into the camp.  (I Samuel 4:5-6)

Shouting at the revelation of the Lord:

They shouted and fell on their faces... (Leviticus 9:24)

Shouting in commitment:

And they sware unto the Lord with a loud voice, and with shouting, and with trumpets, and with cornets. (II Chronicles 15:14)

Shouting because of the work of the Lord:

They shouted aloud for joy when the foundation of God's house was laid (Ezra 3:11-13).

Shouting in warfare:

-The walls of Jericho fell down with a shout:  Joshua 6

-"Shout, for the Lord hath given you the city.":  Joshua 6:16

-David came to the battlefield and shouted for the battle: I Samuel 17:20

-God's army shouted when they pursued the Philistines:  I Samuel 17:52

-When the wicked perish, there is shouting: Proverbs 11:10

But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice; let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them. (Psalms 5:11)

...The men of Judah gave a shout; and as the men of Judah shouted, it came to pass, that God smote the enemy. (II Chronicles 13:15)

Who art thou, O great mountain?  Before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a plain; and he shall bring forth the headstone thereof with shoutings... (Zechariah 4:7)

We are commanded to shout:

But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice; let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them:  let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee.  (Psalms 5:11)

Let them shout for joy and be glad, that favor my righteous cause; yea, let them say continually, Let the Lord be magnified... (Psalms 35:27)

O clap your hands, all ye people; shout unto God with the voice of triumph.  (Psalms 47:1)

Let thy saints shout for joy...  (Psalms 132:9)

I will also clothe her priests with salvation; and her saints shall shout aloud for joy.  (Psalms 132:16)

Cry aloud and shout...for great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee.  (Isaiah 12:6)

...Sing O daughter of Zion; shout, O Israel; be glad and rejoice with all the heart, O daughter of Jerusalem. (Zephaniah 3:14)

...Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem; behold, they King cometh unto thee...He is just, and having salvation...  (Zechariah 9:9)

...Shout among the chief of the nations; publish ye, praise ye...

(Jeremiah 31:7)

LAUGHTER:

Laugher is also a way of expressing verbal praise to God:

When the Lord turned again the captivity of Zion, we were like them that dream.

Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing; then said they among the heathen, the Lord hath done great things for them.

The Lord hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad.  

(Psalms 126:1-3)

SINGING:

Music in worship services is not a preliminary to the main event of preaching.  It is part of the main event which is worship.  Eight separate words are translated "sing" in the Old Testament. One means to shout or sing aloud for joy.  Another means a shrill sound, a sound of gladness and rejoicing. Another means a joyful voice of singing and triumphing.

Singing spiritual songs provides a ready-made vocabulary with which to praise God and enables unity in response as we all sing together. David was always urging others to join him in singing songs of worship.  Satan knows the power of music and singing.  This is why he has

used evil music to spread his lies.

Colossians 3:16 and Ephesians 5:19 provide instructions on singing in worship. We are to use:

1. Psalms:  From the hymn book of Israel which is the book of Psalms in the   Bible.

2. Hymns:  Songs about God and His attributes and songs addressed to God.

3. Spiritual songs:  Songs from the heart, singing "in the spirit and with   understanding.”

Singing from the spirit is not the same as singing from the intellect. Sometimes God moves through a certain song of praise. When He does, do not be afraid to keep flowing with it.  Do not let reason and intellect say "you have sung it too many times.”  We are warned about singing "idle songs,” music without meaning (Amos 6:5 RSV).  We should sing songs of deliverance (I Samuel 6:23) and praise (Psalms 68:4).

The ministry of music is important in worship services.  David selected 4,000 Levites for musical service. I Chronicles 25:6-7 speaks of those that "were instructed in the songs of the Lord.”

When Israel began to praise the Lord with music and singing, God's glory filled the temple (II Chronicles 5:12-14).

Jesus said:

I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the  midst of the Church will I sing praise unto thee.  (Hebrews 2:12)

PRAISING GOD WITH INSTRUMENTS:

David is credited with making many instruments of worship, although we do not know exactly

which ones he invented (Amos 6:5).  There are three types of instruments mentioned in the Bible:

1. Percussion instruments: 

Bells on the hem of the priest's garments:  Exodus 28:33-35 and Zechariah 14:20. 

Cymbals:  I Chronicles 15:16,19; 28; II Chronicles 5:13; 29:25;  Ezra 3:10; Nehemiah 12:27.  Translation of the word "cymbal" in some places is equivalent to modern castanets and shakers.

Tambourine: Also called tabret or timbrel.  Psalms 81:2; 149:3; 150:4; Exodus 15:20.

Gong:  I Corinthians 13:1. In Psalms 150 two types of symbols or gongs are mentioned, loud and high sounding.

2. Stringed instruments: 

Harp:  I Samuel 10:5

Psaltery, viol,  and sackbut which was similar to the harp; and the ten stringed, rectangular zither:  Psalms 33:2; 144:9; 92:3.

Dulcimer: Similar to a harp: Daniel 3:5,7,10,15.

Lute:  A three stringed instrument.

Lyre:  A stringed instrument: Genesis 4:21

3. Wind instruments: 

Clarinet:  Isaiah 5:12; 30:29; Jeremiah 48:36.  This is translated some places as pipe.

Pipe and organ:  Genesis 4:21; I Samuel 10:5

In I Kings 1:40 a double reed instrument equivalent to the modern oboe is mentioned.

Flute:  Isaiah 30:29

Shofar and trumpet:  Shofar is used interchangeably with trumpet. This instrument was used to terrorize the enemy (Judges 7:19-20) and for signaling (Joshua 6:20; Judges 7:16-22; Zechariah 9:14,15).   John heard sound of trumpet before his vision in Revelation (Revelation 1:10) and the trumpet is a symbol of judgment (I Corinthians 15:52; I Thessalonians 4:16; Revelation 8:3).

The shofar is still used today to call Jewish people to worship.

Here are some verses that encourage us to praise God with instruments:

Praise Him with the sound of the trumpet; praise Him with the psaltery and harp.  Praise Him with the timbrel...praise Him with stringed

instruments and organs. Praise Him upon the loud symbols; praise Him upon the high sounding cymbals.  (Psalms 150:3-5)

Upon a psaltery and an instrument of ten strings will I sing praises unto thee.  (Psalms 144:9)

Sing praise upon the  harp unto our God. (Psalms 147:7)

Praise the Lord with harp...(Psalms 33:2)

WORSHIPING WITH YOUR BODY:

Man was never created to be soul, spirit, or body alone.  He is a triune being composed of all three.  You cannot worship only with your spirit and/or soul.  You must also worship with your body.

Sometimes we resist doing this because we do not want to make a spectacle of ourselves. We are afraid we will "get in the flesh.”  But when we are able to overcome our pride and rebellion we will break through into a beautiful flow of praise and worship.

Here are some reasons why we resist worshiping with our body:

1. Pride.

2. We are uncomfortable because we have never done it before.

3. Traditions of man that say "We do not do that here."

4. We do not realize it is commanded.

5. We realize it is commanded, but we are rebellious and do not want to do it.

When we overcome these objections and begin to worship with our body as well as our soul and spirit, the glory of the Lord will move in our midst.  Here are some ways to worship with your body:

STANDING IN HIS PRESENCE:

See II Chronicles 20:19; Ezekiel 44:15; Psalms 135:1-2; 134:1 for examples of people standing to worship God.

LIFTING UP YOUR HANDS:

You are to lift up holy hands, which is a Biblical way of expressing thanks to God:

Because thy loving kindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee. Thus will I bless thee while I live; I will lift up my hands in thy name.  (Psalms 63:3-4)

It is a symbolic way of expressing ascending worship:

Let my prayer be set forth before thee as incense; and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.  (Psalms 141:2)

You are lifting up your heart in worship when you lift your hands:

We are lifting up our hearts in our hands... (Lamentations 3 )

Lifting your hands is a way of expressing spiritual thirst:

I stretch forth my hands unto thee; my soul thirsteth after thee, as a thirsty land.   (Psalms 143:6)

When you lift up your hands, you are opening up to God and saying, "Come and fill me with your presence.”  Lifting up of hands is also used in giving a benediction, as a way of blessing others and God.  Jesus returned to the Father with hands lifted, interceding for those He loved and blessing them (Luke 24:50-51).  It silently confirms God's Word:

My hands also will I lift up unto thy commandments. (Psalms 119:48)

The Bible encourages it:

I will therefore that men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.  (I Timothy 2:8)

The Bible also commands it:

Lift up your hands in the sanctuary and bless the Lord. (Psalms 134:2)

CLAPPING:

O clap your hands, all ye people; shout unto God with the voice of triumph.  (Psalms 47:1)

BOWING AND KNEELING:

"Bowing" can refer to the head or the entire body.  Read the following verses for examples of bowing and kneeling as a form  of worship: Genesis 24:48; Exodus 4:31; 12:27; I Chronicles 29:20, 30;  II Chronicles 6:13;  I Kings 8:54; Nehemiah 8:6; Daniel 6:10; Matthew 17:14; Mark 1:40; 10:17; Luke 22:41; Acts 7:60; 9:40; 20:36; 21:5.

We are commanded to bow down and worship:

O come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord our maker.  (Psalms 95:6)

The Bible says that "every knee shall bow" before the Lord:

I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, that unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.  (Isaiah 45:23)

For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.  (Romans 14:11)

That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.  (Philippians 2:10-11)

When Paul speaks of our knowledge of the Gospel and our position in the Church and Jesus, he says this is the reason why we should bow down:

For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.  (Ephesians 3:13-14)

Because of the importance of bowing, the Bible warned of the results of bowing to false gods:  Exodus 23:24; Leviticus 26:1; Deuteronomy 5:9; Numbers 25:2; Joshua 23:7; Judges 2:12,17,19; I Kings 19:18; Romans 11:4; II Kings 17:35;  II Chronicles 25:14.

WALKING AND LEAPING:

Walking and leaping can also be combined with worshiping God.  David leaped before the Ark when it was returning to Israel (II Samuel 6:16). The lame man who was healed walked and leaped and praised God (Acts 3:8).  (If the glory of God and signs such as healing were apparent in more of our services maybe we would see more people leaping in praise and worship!)

DANCING:

The first record of dancing before the Lord is found in Exodus:

And Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a timbrel in her hand; and all the women went out after  her with timbrels and with dances. (Exodus 15:20)

Immediately, Satan polluted the dance:

And it came to pass, as soon as he came nigh unto the camp, that he saw the calf, and the dancing... (Exodus 32:19)

We read in I Samuel 18:6 that they sang and danced about Saul and David, who had slayed thousands and ten thousands.  How much more should we of Him who has defeated our enemy!

David danced before the Lord:

And David danced before the Lord with all his might; and David was girded with a linen ephod. (II Samuel 6:14)

His wife, Michal, criticized and she was struck barren (II Samuel 6:16-17; I Chronicles 15:29-30).  She was in rebellion to start with, because David had called all Israel together for the return of the Ark and she did not come.  She stayed in her own little corner and looked on haughtily, rationalizing, and criticizing.

Here are some important facts about Michal:

1. She was a daughter of the King:  I Samuel 14:49; 18:20,27

2. She was the bride of David:  I Samuel 18:27

3. She was the purchase of blood:  I Samuel 18:25-27

4. She loved her husband and had risked her life for him: I Samuel 18:20

5. David loved her and refused to be crowned king until she was restored to him:  I Samuel 19:12

Yet despite all these things, because she despised the exuberant form of David's worship, she was barren.

Micah is a type of the Church who are children of the King, the bride of Christ, loved of Him, purchased with His blood, and who will be restored to Christ.  Could our spiritual bareness sometimes be the result of our haughty, rational, criticizing attitudes towards various forms of worship described in Scripture?

In the story of the Prodigal Son in Luke 15, the self-righteous older brother criticized the rejoicing and dancing.  Yet the Bible says similar joy is going on in Heaven when a sinner repents  (Luke 15:10).

Dancing is related to joy in the Lord. God wants to turn your mourning into dancing:

Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing; thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness.  (Psalms 30:11)

Then shall the virgin rejoice in the dance...for I will turn their mourning into joy...  (Jeremiah 31:13)

The Bible says there is a time to dance (Ecclesiastes 3:4) and even commands us to dance before the Lord:

Let them praise His name in the dance; let them sing praises unto Him with the timbrel and harp.  (Psalms 149:3)

Praise Him with the timbrel and dance; praise Him with stringed instruments and organs.  (Psalms 150:4)

THE FIRE, THE GLORY, AND WORSHIP

In  Chapter Three of this course, you began a study of the fire, the glory, and worship of God.  These three powerful mobilizing spiritual forces are intricately related.

We long for a revelation of God's glory, but we have not yet experienced the refining of His powerful fire.  We long to worship, but our efforts fall short because it is self-motivated rather than flowing from the revelation of God's glory.

The fire of God, with its powerful purging and cleansing, is necessary in order for the glory of God to be revealed.  The revelation of the glory of God then results in true worship as we restore the tabernacle of David by worshiping in spirit and truth.

This was the pattern experienced in the Old Testament...the fire, the glory, then worship:

And when Solomon had made an end of praying, the fire came down from Heaven, and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of the Lord filled the house. And the priests could not enter into the house of the Lord, because the glory of the Lord had filled the Lords' house. And when all the children of Israel saw how the fire came down, and the glory of the Lord upon the house, they bowed themselves with their faces to the ground upon the pavement, and worshiped and praised the Lord, saying, "For He is good; for His mercy endureth forever."  (II Chronicles 7:1-3)

When you have been touched by the fire, received the revelation of the glory of God, and begin to worship in spirit and truth, it will not belong until you experience revival.  The next three lessons deal with this subject of revival which is another powerful motivator which mobilizes the people of God.

 

SELF-TEST

1. Write the Key Verse from memory.

2. Summarize what the Bible teaches about how to worship.

3. Explain the relationship between the fire, the glory, and worship.

 (Answers to tests are provided at the conclusion of the final chapter in this manual.)

FOR FURTHER STUDY

Psalms is the worship book of Bible and it teaches much about the subject.  David said:

O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee; my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is;

To see thy power and thy glory, so as I have seen thee in the sanctuary.  (Psalms 63:1-2)

David was not used to going to an old dead temple where he was bored and where there were no manifestations of God's power.

For an example of the teaching of Psalms on praise, study the following Psalms:

PSALM 81

THE PACT OF PRAISE

God made a pact (agreement) of praise with Israel.  He said:  Verse 8:  "If they will, I will..."

OUR PART: Verses l-7

Four methods of praise: 1-3

·         Singing aloud.

·         Making a joyful noise.

·         Psalms.

·         Timbrel, harp, psaltery, trumpet, etc.

Five motivations of praise:

·         God's Word commands it: 4

·         Praising people are a testimony to God:  5

·         We are the praise of His glory (Ephesians 1:12)

·         Because of deliverance from the past: 6-7

·         Because of answered prayers: 7

·         For trials and testings: 7

GOD'S PART: Verses 9-10

·         We will be kept from idolatry:  Behind all idolatry are demon powers.  (Note the pattern in Deuteronomy 32:  Israel forsook 15, provoked 16, sacrificed 17, forgot 18).

·         We will be able to worship in purity:  "Neither shall you worship any strange God.” 

·         Restored relationship:  "I am the Lord thy God.”

·         We will be filled with praise:  If you cannot come to God with what He requires (worship), come before Him for what He requires.  Bring praise and He will fill your mouth with praise.

A SAD SUMMARY:  Verses 11-13.

The voice of God was ignored and His presence rejected, so God simply let them have their own way.  The covenant benefits that would have been Israel's included...

·         Subdued enemies: 14-15

·         Supplied provisions: 16

·         Satisfaction: 16

PSALMS 149

A LESSON ON PRAISE

HOW TO DO IT:

Praise YE the Lord:  You need to direct your emotions for if you do not, they will direct you.

·         Sing.

·         Unite in congregational praise.

·         Release your emotions and be joyful.

·         Praise the Lord with your body.

·         If you can play an instrument, do so.

WHY TO DO IT:

·         Because of who He is: 1

·         Because of what He has done: 2

·         Because He takes pleasure in it: 4

·         Because of what God is doing in your life: 4

·         Because you join in unity with the "congregation of the saints" (verses l and 6).  This means you are united with the Church that is already in Heaven when you worship. See also Hebrews 12:22-24.

·         Because praise is a weapon: 7-9

Now it is your turn...Go through the book of Psalms recording what you learn about worship in each chapter. Let's work through Psalms 93 as an example:

PSALM 93

·         Why should you worship God?   Verses 3-5 and 7

·         How does this psalm instruct you to worship?

·         Singing: Verse 1

·         Joyful noise: Verse l

·         Psalms: Verse l

·         Bowing and kneeling: Verse 6 (reverence)

·         Boasting in God: Verses l-5

·         What is to be your motivation? (See verse 3..."There is none like our God").

·         What are the consequences of hardening the heart and not acknowledging the sovereignty of God through worship?

Use Psalms 100 "A Call For Worship" for your first independent study.

PSALM 100

A Call For Worship

PATTERNS OF WORSHIP:

Worship did not originate with man, but with God.  If it was something of man, then we could revise, change, criticize, reject parts of it, and improve it.  If we are to worship acceptably, we must learn more about the models and patterns of praise. 

A pattern is found where we actually see perfected praise in Heaven through the record of God's Word.  Models of praise are those we see here on earth.  Earthly models that are anything less than what we see in the patterns of God's Word  bear the tag "manufactured by man."

A PATTERN IN ISAIAH:

Isaiah 6 reveals a Biblical pattern of worship.  True worship results when you...

·         Catch a vision of the awesome holiness and power of God: Verses l-4

·         Worship with all your might.   The volume of praise was so great that the posts of the door moved: Verse 4.

·         Recognize our your own sinful condition:  Verse 5

Worship makes you see yourself as you really are.  It eliminates the flippant attitude many of us have when we come into the presence of God. Abraham  confessed he was nothing but dust and ashes (Genesis 18:27).  Job abhorred himself and repented in dust and ashes (Job 42:6).

Manoah said "We shall surely die, because we have seen God" (Judges 13:22).

Habakkuk said  "When I heard, my belly trembled; my lips quivered at the voice; rottenness entered into my bones, and I trembled in myself." (Habakkuk 3:16).

Ezra said,  "I am ashamed and blush to lift my face to thee...we cannot stand before thee because of our trespasses." (Ezra 9:6,15)

·         You experience cleansing and forgiveness:  Verses 6-7

·         You become a messenger with God's message burning upon your lips:  Verse 8

·         You become yielded to God: Isaiah said "Here am I" before he knew where, when, why, and who he was going to.  Because of his worship experience with God, these things did not matter.  When a man is devoted to God, it not necessary to wait for the details. Workers for God who are not worshipers of God want details because they do not trust Him.

PATTERNS IN REVELATION:

Read Revelation chapters 4-5.  They teach that in Heaven...

·         God is the focus of attention:  4:2-6 and 5:13

·         Worship is a holy occupation. They continually give glory and honor and thanks:  4:8

·         They bow down and cast crowns before Him. All praise with loud voices and harps: 4:10

·         There is singing:  5:9-10

·         The angels join in worship:  5:12

·         The worship is loud:  5:12

·         They fall down and worship: 5:8 and 14.

·         There is specific content in their worship: 4:8,11 and 5:9-10,12-14

The content focuses on:

·         God's holiness: 4:8

·         His might: 4:8

·         His eternal nature: 4:8

·         God's worthiness: Glory, honor, power: 4:11

·         Creation: 4:11

·         Salvation and redemption: 5:9

·         Blessing: 5:12-13

Read also Revelation 19.  Verses l-7 reflect a similar  pattern of worship.   Verse 6 indicates the worship was so loud it sounded like "mighty thundering.”  Verses 1,2,6-8, and 10 reveal the focus of worship on God alone, His glory, honor, power, holiness, true and righteous judgments, because He reigns omnipotent.  Verse 4 indicates that they fall down saying "amen" and "alleluia.”  Verse 7 indicates there is much gladness and rejoicing.

 

CHAPTER ELEVEN: WHAT IS REVIVAL?

 

OBJECTIVES:

Upon completion of this chapter you will be able to:

·         Write the Key Verse from memory.

·         Define revival.

·         Explain how we can prepare for revival.

·         Recognize when revival is needed.

·         Discuss evidences of a backslidden condition.

·         Give a New Testament example of the type of man God uses to bring revival.

·         Summarize the obstacles to revival.

KEY VERSE:

Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.  (Acts 3:9)

INTRODUCTION

No ministry will long remain mobilized without the sovereign move of God in revival.  In this and the following two lessons you will study about revival, examine the Old Testament record of revivals, and learn Biblical principles for revival.

AN INDIVIDUAL EXPERIENCE

You may feel that the church or denomination of which you are presently a part is spiritually dead...and you may be correct.  But you cannot experience corporately what you have not experienced individually.  If revival is  to come to the corporate body of which you are a part, then you must first experience it individually.   Even Pentecost was an individual experience, the tongues setting upon "each of them" and each one speaking as the spirit gave utterance.

We pray, fast, and plead for revival, but if we are ever to experience it corporately, we must first experience it individually.  At the beginning of this study on revival, make these personal affirmations:

·         I will be revived on the basis of the principles and promises of God's Word.

·         I will be revived regardless of what goes on in my home, church, community, or nation.

·         I will be used of God as an instrument of revival.

DEFINITION OF REVIVAL

First, let us examine what revival is not.  Revival is not just emotionalism.   People respond emotionally to revival, but emotions are just a  part of the revival, they are not the revival.  True revival will affect the whole man, however, including his emotions.  Knowledge of facts never moves men.  Statistics on the number of deaths caused by alcoholic beverage never converts a drunkard.  Figures on the increase of crime do not change criminals.  The convicting power of the Holy Spirit must touch a man both spiritually and emotionally to effect change.

Revival is not loud music and "hell-fire" preaching.  It is not a campaign for new members to increase attendance.  Church growth is a result of revival, but it is not the same as revival.

Revival is not evangelism.  Evangelism is proclaiming the good news of the Gospel.  Revival precedes evangelism, for when dead believers are "revived,” evangelism results.

Finally, revival is not just a series of special meetings...unless those special meetings are touched by the sovereign move of God.

Revival is...

A sovereign, extraordinary work of God through and in behalf of a people who  have learned and applied the principles revealed in the Rhemah Word of God regarding revival.

Revival is sovereign, in that it cannot be produced by man. It is extraordinary, because it is a special work of God.  A revival works within a group of people and in behalf of them.  In order to prepare for revival, we must apply the principles revealed in God's Word regarding revival.  Everything the Bible teaches about revival is the "rhemah" or "specific" word of God on the subject.

We may also say that revival is:

·         An awakening, revitalizing, restoring of God's people, a strengthening of those things which remain.

·         A return to consciousness or life. That which is revived becomes active and flourishing again.

·         The inrush of the Spirit into the body that has threatened to become a corpse.

·         Times of refreshing from the presence of the Lord. (Acts 3:19)

PREPARING FOR REVIVAL

We can compare preparation for revival to the task of farming. A farmer can sit around and pray for a good harvest, but if he does not prepare the field, plant the seed, and water the crop, it will not come. 

Equally foolish is the farmer who thinks because he does his part in these tasks that  harvest is assured. It takes the sovereignty of God through rain, sunshine, and the proper weather patterns to bring the crop to maturity.   The farmer works in cooperation with the principles of sowing and reaping, seedtime and harvest revealed in God's Word. God is still sovereign, for the rain, sun, and proper weather patterns must come from Him.

The same analogy may be used for revival.  It is a sovereign move of God, but to "reap" revival, we must prepare for it by following the principles revealed in God's Word.  Revival is the joint move of the Spirit of God and the response of the people of God. 

DO WE REALLY WANT REVIVAL?

Before we say we want revival we should examine our hearts. Are we truly sincere?  Do we really know what we are asking for?  We say "Pour out your spirit upon all flesh..."  Yet we add the caution, "but do not let our daughters prophesy or our young men see visions...Do not let it get too emotional.”

Revival in the New Testament Church resulted in scattering of the believers, persecution, prison, martyrdom, and the cleansing of the Church.  How many of our membership might "fall dead" as did Ananias and Saphira in a true move of revival?  Do we really want revival?

WHEN REVIVAL IS NEEDED

Revival is always needed of course, but it is most necessary when a backslidden condition is apparent. To understand backsliding, consider the example of Israel Jeremiah called the problems of Israel "backsliding" (Jeremiah 1:3-4).   The Bible says:

The backslider in heart shall be filled with his own ways.  (Proverbs 14:14)

Turn to Jeremiah chapter 2.  You will note that Israel had...

·         Determined God was not as important to them as He had formerly been ("I used to"....):  2:5

·         Forgot the great things God had done for them in former days: 2:6-7

·         Even the religious leaders of Israel had joined the backsliding hosts. The priests failed to ask, "Where is the Lord?":  2:8

·         With God crowded out of their lives, they turned to others things...in this case, idols:  2:11-12; 27-28

·         They forsook the true source of spiritual water and began to carve out cisterns that could hold no water. They exchanged living water for stagnant water:  2:13

·         They began to drift spiritually: 2:19

·         They entered into a self-righteous condition: 2:22-23

·         They justified themselves with excuses:  3:11

·         They drew others into their corruption: 2:33-34

Backsliding is the sin of crowding God out and filling one's life with self.  It is described as a pig going back to the mire and a dog returning to its vomit (II Peter  2:21-22). 

EVIDENCES OF A BACKSLIDDEN CONDITION

Here are some evidences of a backslidden condition. Examine your own heart and life as you study this list.  You are entering into a backslidden condition...

1. When prayer ceases to be a vital part of your life. It has been said that  "revival delays because prayer decays.”  In New Testament times, we found men in the upper room agonizing. We now find believers in the supper room organizing.

2. When the quest for Biblical truth ceases and you become content with the knowledge you have already acquired. This is not to say backsliders do not read the Bible.  Many of them have habits of dutiful devotions, but while they read the words they do not receive fresh revelation and application of the truth. The  knowledge they acquire is treated as facts and not applied to their lives.

3. When thoughts about eternal things cease to be regular and/or important.

4. When you pardon your own sin with self-righteousness and by saying "the Lord knows I am just dust" or "that is the way I am.”

5. When pointed spiritual discussions are an embarrassment. For examples, discussions about things that are convicting and/or witnessing to the lost make you uncomfortable.

6. When other things like recreation, sports, and entertainment become first in your life.

7. When sin can be indulged in without protest by your conscience.

8. When aspirations of Christ-like holiness are no longer dominant in your life.

9. When the acquisition of money and goods becomes dominant in your thinking.

10. When you can hear the Lord's name taken in vain, spiritual concerns mocked, and eternal issues flippantly treated and not be moved to indignation and action.

11. When "worship" becomes a weariness.  Church services lose their excitement, you can mouth religious songs and words without heart, there is no song in your heart, no praise with the ring of joy.

12. When breaches of unity in the fellowship are of no concern to you.

13. When the slightest excuse seems sufficient to keep you from Christian service.

14. When your fleshly senses are out of control: You watch degrading movies and television, listen to ungodly music, and read morally debilitating literature.

15. When you adjust happily to the world's lifestyle:  For examples, unpaid debts, bankruptcy, lying, dishonesty, unkept appointments and promises, immodest styles of dress, cheating your employer of a full day's work, etc.

16. When your lack of spiritual power no longer concerns you; there is no restless yearning for more of God and His power in your life.

17. When your church has fallen into spiritual decline. Such spiritual decline is indicated by carnality.  A carnal church may have...

·         Equipment, but not evangelism.

·         Commotion, but not creation.

·         Action, but not unction.

·         Rattle, but not revival.

·         A dogmatic attitude, but not be dynamic for God.

Such spiritual decline is also indicated when the Word of God is no longer preached with power in your church and yet you are content. 

18. When the moral, political spiritual, and economic condition of the world and your nation is of no concern to you.

19. When your heart is hard:  Your tears do not flow easily, you are uncaring, abrupt, etc.  You do not weep over the things which Jesus wept like a lost city, the spiritual condition of man, the sorrows of others.

20. When  you have lost your spiritual strength, and do not even realize it.  Revival is never more needed than when a church or individual suppose themselves victorious on the front lines of battle, but in reality all around are the scarred corpses of the victims of its backslidings.  

THE MAN GOD USES

John the Baptist is a great example of the type of man God uses to bring revival.  In New Testament times, John the Baptism brought an unpopular message of repentance but his parents were told "He shall be great in the sight of the Lord."   As ministers of the Gospel and people of God our concern should be to be "great" in the sight of the Lord rather than the sight of man.

John was a "man called alone.”  Great eagles fly alone.  Great lions hunt alone.  Great souls walk alone.  The solitary walk with God is necessary if you are to be an instrument of revival.

John the Baptist was strange in doctrine, dress, and diet.  He was a voice instead of an echo. Many preachers can quote from the latest book they have read, but little from the book of God's Word.

We claim to be "prophets of God.” Prophets may have miracles, but one thing for sure, they MUST have a message.  John the Baptist had a message!  Timid and fearful preaching is now far more common than the heart-searching, impassioned reproof, rebuke, and exhortation exhibited by John the Baptist. Preachers often fish for compliments instead of fishing for men.

Powerless preaching is unmoving because it is born in a tomb instead of a womb.  Many have adopted a slick, polished, tearless, passionless delivery.  The platform has become a showcase to display talents and gifts.  We substitute "propaganda" for the propagation of the Gospel.  We should preach and teach as a dying man to dying men. Instead we settle for sermonettes for Christianettes, "snack bar" sermons, spiced with humor.

What if our messages resulted in the slaying of an Ananias and Saphira as did Peter's message....or blindness, as did Paul's word to Elymas?  We would be afraid of getting a "bad name.”  (We are afraid of getting a bad name if someone just becomes a little too emotional!)

God is raising up men and women, hidden in secret at this very moment, who will utter in the Spirit's might all the burning truths of God's Word which we must hear.  Do you want to be part of this great move of God?  Then you must first experience revival yourself. Perhaps you cannot change the condition of your church, but you can change the condition of your own soul.  If enough people will do that, that in turn WILL change the church.  

OBSTACLES TO REVIVAL

Before we study Old Testament revivals and Biblical principles of revival, let us first examine some obstacles to revival.  These are things that prevent the sovereign move of God in our churches.

LEADERSHIP HINDRANCES:

Leaders who do not preach and teach the Word of God in power hinder revival.  Those who have no prayer life, no Bible study program, no demonstration of power, and no passion for delivery of the Word hinder revival.  Those who control their congregations and quench the spirit of God also hinder His sovereign move.

Leaders who do not really care for the sheep hinder revival.  They do not lead the flock into the green pastures and the still waters necessary to revive them.  Leaders who have lost their compassion for a dying world hinder revival.   Many do not recognize their responsibility to be the leaders in revival.  The Bible exhorts ministers to...

Blow the trumpet in Zion, sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly: Gather the people, sanctify the congregation assemble the elders, gather the children, and those that suck the breasts; let the bridegroom go forth of his chamber, and the bride out of  her closet. Let the priests, the ministers of the Lord, weep between the porch and the altar, and let them say, Spare thy people O Lord, and give not thine heritage to reproach, that the heathen should rule over them;  wherefore should they say among the people, Where is their God?  Then will the Lord be jealous for His land, and pity His people. (Joel 2:15-18)

CONGREGATIONAL HINDRANCES:

There can also be obstacles to revival in the congregation of God's people.  A congregation's love of tradition interferes with revival. Revival and change are synonymous.  God is orderly and dependable, but He is also fresh and vital. He is not a traditionalist.  If the church must run according to traditions of men, it will run without the power and presence of God.

A congregation's love of formal order hinders revival.  Michal, David's wife, condemned him because of his emotional worship and was struck barren.  A barren church loves formal order and ritual.

Love of brevity also hinders revival. We want God to send revival in the two hours we designate to Him on Sunday morning and do it without going past 12 noon.

Many congregations love comfortable truth.  They do not want to be confronted with the claims of Christ upon them or preaching about sin and judgment.  The truths necessary for revival are not always comfortable.  Love of respect by others also hinders revival.  Some congregations are more concerned about "what people will think" than about what God thinks.

GENERAL HINDRANCES:

There are other hindrances which may be found in both leadership and the congregation.  Iniquity hinders revival, whether it be found in the man in the pew or the pulpit:

Behold the Lord's hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither His ear heavy, that it cannot hear (our pleas for revival)...

But your iniquities have separated between  you and your God, and your sins have hid His face from you, that He will not hear.  (Isaiah 59:1-2)

He that covereth his sins shall not prosper; but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.  (Proverbs 28:13)

An attitude of resignation that "these are the last days and we can only expect things to get worse and worse" will hinder revival. Inattention to prayer and the Word, refusal to humble self, and refusing to seek the Lord all hinder revival.

Limiting God hinders His sovereign move in our midst:

Yea, they turned back and tempted God, and limited the Holy One of Israel.  (Psalms 78:41)

And He did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.  (Matthew 13:58)

Indifference prevents revival.  People become indifferent to the claims of Christ and to the needs of others.  Insensitivity to our spiritual condition and to the moving of God's Spirit also hinders revival.

Finally, our own indecision hinders revival:  Do we really want revival?


SELF-TEST

1. Write the Key Verse from memory.

2. Define revival.

3. How we can prepare for revival?

4. When is revival needed?

5. Identify some evidences of a backslidden condition discussed in this lesson.

6. Give a New Testament example of the type of man God uses to bring revival.

7. Summarize some of the obstacles to revival.

 (Answers to tests are provided at the conclusion of the final chapter in this manual.)

FOR FURTHER STUDY

1. In this lesson you studied about the backslidden condition of Israel in Jeremiah chapter 2.  Jeremiah chapter l records how God raised up the prophet to turn Israel back to God in preparation for revival.  Jeremiah did not feel qualified for this ministry, but God used him anyhow.

You may not feel qualified to be used of God to prepare others for revival, but if you will overcome your fear and let God put His message in your spirit, you can be an instrument for revival.

2. Someone has said...

If all the sleeping folks would wake up,

If all the lukewarm would fire up,

And all the disgruntled would sweeten up,

And all the discouraged would cheer up,

And all the depressed would look up,

And all the estranged would make up,

And all the gossipers would shut up,

Then there might come a revival.

3. Hebrews 11 speaks of believers who subdued kingdoms and stopped the mouths of lions...We  need to experience God's power, not just talk about it: A man with an experience is never at the mercy of a man with an argument.

 

CHAPTER TWELVE

OLD TESTAMENT REVIVALS

 

OBJECTIVES:

Upon completion of this chapter you will be able to:

Write the Key Verse from memory.

Identify principles of revival evident in the Old Testament record.

KEY VERSE:

Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples; and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.  (I Corinthians 10:11)

INTRODUCTION

God moves in this world through people who walk in obedience to principles revealed in His Word.  The study of Old Testament revivals provides principles which can be applied to prepare you for the reviving move of God in your own life.  We have the assurance of Scripture that...

...whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope. (Romans 15:4)

Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples; and they are written for our admonition... (I Corinthians 10:11)

In this lesson you will study Old Testament revivals.  In the next lesson you will learn principles of revival drawn from these records which can be applied in your own life and ministry.

Here is the format used in this lesson:

References  are provided so you can read  about each revival in your Bible.

Existing Conditions which preceded and led up to the revival are explained.

Awakening Factors which started the revival are noted.

Results of the revival are analyzed.

Because of the study format of this lesson, there are no "Self-Test" or "For Further Study" sections in this chapter.

REVIVAL UNDER JACOB

REFERENCES:

Genesis 35:1-15

EXISTING CONDITIONS:

1. The head of the family was out of fellowship with God:  From the beginning, Jacob had been a deceiver and conniver.  He had promised to serve God while fleeing the wrath of Esau, but soon forgot this promise.

Jacob was self-sufficient.  He did not view what he had achieved as coming from God even though he had sought the Lord's blessing. He believed he had attained his blessings himself.   Jacob was materialistic and more concerned about his possessions and providing for himself and his family than his relationship with God.

2. The structure of his family was not in Biblical order:  There was favoritism shown to Joseph.  Jacob did not rule his house well and his sons took revenge for the raping of his daughter (Genesis 34).  His wives were deceitful, jealous, and conniving.

3. There was a poor spiritual environment:  His wives stole the false gods of their father. His sons murdered, stole and looted.  He and his family were sinful and idolatrous: Genesis 35.

AWAKENING FACTORS:

1. Some terrible events shocked Jacob to awareness:  Genesis 35.

2. The revival started with the Word of God: Genesis 35:1.

RESULTS:

This revival occurred in the home. If our homes are revived, our churches will be revived!

1. The family got rid of their idols and purified themselves: Genesis 35:2.

2. They acknowledged the true God: Genesis 35:3.

3. They returned to the place of spiritual experience:  (Going to Bethel): Genesis  35:3

4. They set up the altar, repented, and returned to true worship:  Genesis  35:7

5. Their lives were changed: Jacob's name was changed to signify this spiritual change:  Genesis 32:24-32

6. Jacob received a new revelation of God:  The Lord announced Himself "God Almighty" which means the all powerful, the one  who is sufficient: Genesis 32:24-32

REVIVAL UNDER MOSES

REFERENCES: Exodus 32:1-35; 33:1-23; chapters 34-35

EXISTING CONDITIONS: (Previous conditions: Rejection of God's leader; complaining; fleshly desires)

1. The people had their eyes on man. When Moses delayed coming down they turned to Aaron who proved to be a weak leader: Exodus 32:1

2. Rejection of the true God: Exodus 32:1

3. Frivolity:  Eating, drinking, playing: Exodus 32:6 (The word for "playing" actually means sexual sin.)

4. Corruption: Exodus 32:7

5. Rejection of the Word: Exodus 32:8

6. "Stiff-necked" (Stubborn and set in their own sinful ways): Exodus 32:9

7. Shifting the blame for sin: Exodus 32:21-24

AWAKENING FACTORS:

1. The consequences of their sin awakened them. They were given a choice between life and death:  Exodus 32:25-28

2. God's presence was removed. The tabernacle was outside the camp as a reminder that God was no longer in the midst of them: God said "I will not go up in the midst of thee."  That got their attention!  Soft and conciliatory messages never bring conviction: Exodus 33:3-11

3. Moses' intercession:  Exodus 32:11-14, 30-34; 33:12-16

RESULTS:

1. The glory of God filled the tabernacle in their midst: Exodus 40:34-35

2. They were mobilized to move from the wilderness on to their promised land:  Closing of Exodus chapter 40. 

3. They separated themselves from sin.   Those who wanted to be revived had to come out from the midst of "God's people": Exodus 33:7-11.  The people could have gone too (Exodus 33:7). Joshua did go (Exodus 33:11). But most of them still had their eyes on man (Exodus 33:8).

4. Giving: Israel stripped themselves of their ornaments before God. This does not mean it is wrong to wear jewelry. In this case their ornaments were what got them in trouble when they used them to create an idol.  There was a new commitment to give their possessions to the Lord as well as their time and abilities:  Exodus 33:6; 35:5,21-26,29; Chapters 30-35; 36:1-7.

5. The people repented and  Israel mourned for their sins: Exodus 33:4-6

6. A new covenant was made with the Word: Exodus 34:11

7. They became effective in warfare:  Exodus 34:12-13

8. There was renewed emphasis on worship:  Exodus 34:14

9. Freedom from idols: Exodus 34:15-16

10. Corporate and individual holiness: Exodus 34:12,15-17

11. There was renewed observance of the Sabbath: Exodus 34:21

12. They prepared a tabernacle for presence of God: Remainder of the book of Exodus.

REVIVAL UNDER SAMUEL

REFERENCES: I Samuel 7:1-17

EXISTING CONDITIONS:

1. "There was no king in Israel and every man did what was right in his own eyes": Judges 17:6; 18:1; 19:1; 21:25

2. There was religious corruption.  Eli's sons changed the system to suit themselves and Eli did not attempt to restrain them:   I Samuel 2:11-17 and 3:13

3. Spiritual blindness: There was no access to the Word and no vision:  I Samuel 3:1 and 4:1-11 

4. Invasion by the enemy: When internal confusion exists, it makes God's people a target for the enemy.  Israel was invaded and the Ark, its most sacred spiritual treasure, was lost: I Samuel 4:3 and 7:3

AWAKENING FACTORS:

1. This revival actually started in the heart of a consecrated woman a generation before: I Samuel 1:10

2. The move of God in Hannah's heart resulted in the raising up of Samuel to be used of God in revival.  All through this dark period, God was preparing him: I Samuel 3:19

3. Samuel's powerful messages led the way to repentance: He told the people...

 (l) We must commit ourselves to the Lord: I Samuel 7:1-4 (Return, put away, prepare, serve.)

 (2) We must confess our sins and pray to the Lord: I Samuel 7:5-9

 (3) We must count on God's help and act boldly:  I Samuel 7:10-13

 (4) We must commemorate what God has done in the past:  I Samuel 7:12

RESULTS:

1. A general assembly was called at Mizpeh.  Observe the impact and power of an assembly of people who were like-minded: I Samuel 7:5

2. There was a new emphasis on dedication.  Water poured on the ground cannot be taken back again.  So should our dedication be:  I Samuel 7:6

3. Fasting: I Samuel 7:6

4. Confessing of sins: I Samuel 7:6

5. An attack of the enemy:  When there is a spiritual stirring, the enemy always attacks. This is an important principle of revival we sometimes forget: I Samuel 7:7-11

REVIVAL UNDER ELIJAH

REFERENCES: I Kings 17-18

EXISTING CONDITIONS:

1. Israel had been ruled by evil leaders:

Jeroboam, who set up two calves designed to replace worship of God: I Kings 12:28-32

Nadab, who walked in the sins of his father, Jeroboam: I Kings 15:22

Baasha, who murdered Nadab:  I Kings 15:27

Elah, a drunkard and murderer: I Kings 16:8-9

Zimri, who was guilty of treason: I Kings 16:20

Omri, a man who did worse than all before him: I Kings 16:25-26

Ahab, Omri's son, who did more evil than all before him.

2. The nation had been won over to the worship of the Canaanite gods, especially Baal.

3. It was a bad time spiritually and politically.

AWAKENING FACTORS:

l. Elijah was used to alert the people to their backslidden condition. Elijah's very name was a contradiction to the times.  Elijah means, "Yahweh is my God."

2. God used Elijah in judgment.  God dried up the rain and used the resulting material disaster to speak to Israel because they were consumed with material things:  I Kings 17:1

(Why this particular judgment?  The gods of Ahab and Jezebel specialized in rain, dew, thunder).

3. The people did not respond to judgment. They looked for someone to blame. Ahab asked Elijah, "Art thou he that troubleth Israel?"  He tried to shift the blame from himself to God's messenger:  I Kings 18:18 

RESULTS:

1. Elijah was prepared by God as an instrument of revival.

 (1) God's Word came to him: I Kings 18:1

 (2) He responded: I Kings 18:2

 (3) He challenged others to commitment:  When Elijah asked, "How long halt ye between two opinions" he was only giving an invitation.  But when people saw the demonstration of God's power, they responded:

I Kings 18:21

2. Elijah was preserved although the land was under judgment.  You can experience revival even though death is all around you:  I Kings 17:2-4,9,10

3. Elijah was sent to Zarephath (which means "a melting pot"). There he experienced revival with special provision of resources and miracles and the unrevived state of Israel in general.

4. Elijah put God to the test: I Kings 18:22-37

5. He repaired the altar, the center of worship:  I Kings 18:30

6. The fire fell: The demonstration of God's power does what the invitation cannot do: I Kings 18:38

7. The one true God was exalted:  I Kings 18:39-40

8. The false prophets were destroyed:  I Kings 18:40

9. God's judgment was lifted from the land: I Kings 18:41-46 

REVIVAL UNDER ASA

REFERENCES: II Chronicles 14-15 and a parallel account in I Kings 15:9-24.

EXISTING CONDITIONS:

1. Israel was in a prosperous time, which can be as dangerous or more dangerous than troubled times.  Revival here came in a time of prosperity and victory: II Chronicles 14

It is not necessary to have terrible conditions before revival.  God's goodness can lead to repentance: Romans 2:4.

AWAKENING FACTORS:

1. This revival started in the heart of King Asa:  II Chronicles 14:4,7; 15:2,4,12,13,15; 16:12. King Asa:

 (1) Removed idolatry:  II Chronicles 14:3-5

 (2) Rebuilt what the enemy destroyed:  II Chronicles 14:6-7

 (3) Required the people to seek the Lord: II Chronicles 14:5

 (4) Restored God's Word to its rightful place: II Chronicles 14:5

 (5) Relied on the Lord in warfare: II Chronicles 14:8-15

2. The revival message of Azariah:  II Chronicles 15:2-7

 (1) He called them to decision: II Chronicles 15:2

 (2) He commemorated past history  and reasoned that if God sent revival in times of weakness, He could certainly send it in times of victory:  II Chronicles 15:3-6

 (3) He challenged them to assume a position of strength: II Chronicles 15:7

3. Religious reform preceded this revival: Religious reform is not the same as revival but it continued 15 years and prepared the people for revival:  II Chronicles 14:3-5. 

RESULTS:

1. Peace: II Chronicles 15:19

2. Presence of the Lord: II Chronicles 15:1-7

3. Prevailing over their foes: II Chronicles 14:9-15; 15:19

4. Putting away of idols: Asa put away the idols, (note in II Chronicles 15:16 that he even dealt with his own mother) renewed the altar of the Lord, and the people entered into a covenant to seek God (II Chronicles 15:12).  When they did this, God was found of them (II Chronicles 15:15).

5. There was:

-Release of material goods: II Chronicles 15:11

-Restoration of unity: II Chronicles 15:9-10

-Renewed covenant: II Chronicles 15:12-13

-Return to worship: II Chronicles 15:14-15

-Renewal of house of God: II Chronicles 15:19

Caution:  When men turn to God, revival is birthed.  When they turn from God, it dies (II Chronicles 15:2).  This revival ceased because of:

1. Wrong alliances: Faith in man rather than God: II Chronicles 16:1-9

Note the pattern: Wrong alliances leads to bondage which leads to spiritual sickness which results in death.  When you do not deal with sin:

(1) You are affected:  II Chronicles 16:10

(2) Others are affected: II Chronicles 16:10

2. They imprisoned God's prophet:  II Chronicles 16:10

3. They refused to seek the Lord: II Chronicles 16:11-14

REVIVAL UNDER JEHOSOPHAT

REFERENCES: II Chronicles 20

EXISTING CONDITIONS:

1. A time of warfare.

2. Ungodly alliances:  Jehosophat was repeatedly warned by four of God's prophets who rebuked him for being entangled in ungodly alliances:

Jehu: Charged him with helping Ahab and those who hated the Lord:  II Chronicles 19:2.

Eliezer: Charged him with being unequally yoked in a shipping venture: II Chronicles 20:36-37.

Micaiah:  Rebuked him for joining with Ahab against Ramoth Gilead: II Chronicles 18:16.

AWAKENING FACTORS:

The attack of the Syrians:  II Chronicles 20:1-3

RESULTS:

l. Individually, Jehoshaphat set himself to seek the Lord and proclaim a fast:  II Chronicles

2. He called Israel as a people (II Chronicles 20:4) and as families (II Chronicles 20:13)

3. Jehoshaphat became a man of prayer:  Here is an analysis of the "revival prayer" he prayed.  It is a good pattern to follow when you pray for revival:

·         He worshiped God: II Chronicles 20:6-7

In his worship, he reviewed what God had done in the past, the present, in Heaven and all kingdoms, and the future.

·         He based his appeal on God's promises:  II Chronicles 20: 7-9

·         He presented the problem: II Chronicles 20:10-11

·         He recognized his inability to deal with the problem:  II Chronicles 20:12

·         He recognized God's ability to deal with it:   II Chronicles 20:12

4. God responded with the prophecy given by Jahaziel:  II Chronicles 20:14-17

Here is a summary of his prophecy, as it provides nine steps to deliverance:

 (1) Listen to God: "Thus saith the Lord":    II Chronicles 20:15

 (2) Do not look at the outward circumstances:  II Chronicles 20:15

 (3) Do not fear:   II Chronicles 20:15,17

 (4) Do not be dismayed:   II Chronicles 20:17

 (5) Recognize the battle is God's:   II Chronicles 20:15

 (6) Recognize the Lord is with you:   II Chronicles 20:17

 (7) Follow God's plan:   II Chronicles 20:16

 (8) Set yourselves, stand ye still, see the salvation of the Lord: II Chronicles 20:17

 (9) Wait for God's timing (In this case it was "tomorrow"):  II Chronicles 20:17

5. Here is the response to the prophecy which brought revival:

·         Worship: II Chronicles 20:18

·         Belief: II Chronicles 20:20

·         Praise: II Chronicles 20:19,21-22

...Which resulted in:

·         Victory over the enemy: II Chronicles 20:23-24

·         Claiming their inheritance: II Chronicles 20:25

·         Rejoicing over the enemy: II Chronicles 20:27-28

·         Return of joy and worship: II Chronicles 20:28

·         Fear of God on the enemy: II Chronicles 20:29

·         Peace: II Chronicles 20:30

Caution: Read about the decline of the revival under Jehosophat in II Chronicles 20:31-37.  It happened because:

 (1) He followed poor examples.

 (2) He did "that which was not right.”

 (3) He did not remove internal hindrances (idolatry).

 (4) He did not remove external hindrances (alliances).

 (5) He did not prepare his heart.

REVIVAL UNDER HEZEKIAH

REFERENCES: II Chronicles 29:1-36; 30:1-27; 31:1-21

EXISTING CONDITIONS:

These are the conditions Hezekiah faced when he assumed leadership:

1. The period under Ahaz was very bad (II Chronicles 28:1-27). Everything he did led the people further away from God.  He cast off all restraint and was unfaithful to the Lord (II Chronicles 29:19).

2. Because of this, severe military weakness resulted and a number of the people were carried away captive to Syria and the northern kingdom defeated Judah.  Ahaz also had trouble from the Philistines and the Edomites. 

3. Rather than call on God for help, he appealed to the  king of Assyria. Instead of the help he expected, he was robbed by the king he hoped would  be his ally: II Chronicles 29:16-21

4. Still he still did not turn to the Lord (II Chronicles 29:22) and now he sacrificed to the gods of Syria (II Chronicles 29:23).  He shut the doors of the temple (II Chronicles 29:24) and built altars for pagan worship (II Chronicles 29:25).

AWAKENING FACTORS:

1. Weakened military, economic, and spiritual conditions.

2. Hezekiah purposed in his heart to turn to the Lord: The nation was in bad shape economically, but Hezekiah started with the spiritual problem:  II Chronicles 29:10

RESULTS:

Hezekiah:

1. Did what was right in God's sight: II Chronicles 29:2

2. Followed good examples: II Chronicles 29:2

3. Opened the doors to the house of the Lord: II Chronicles 29:3

4. Renewed purpose of leaders: II Chronicles 29:4-11

5. Cleansed the ministry: II Chronicles 29:11

6. Cleansed God's house: II Chronicles 29:15-19

7. Led the people to repentance: II Chronicles 29:20-24

8. Renewed the emphasis on praise and worship: II Chronicles 29:25-28; 31:2; 30:17-21,23,25-26

9. Promoted reconciliation: II Chronicles 29:24

10. Reinstated the ordinances of God (Passover): II Chronicles 30:1-5

11. Called for repentance (turn and He will return): II Chronicles 30:6-9

12. Humbled himself: II Chronicles 30:11

13. Promoted unity: II Chronicles 30:12

14. Obeyed God: II Chronicles 30:12

15. Renewed holiness: II Chronicles 30:17

16. Taught the Word: II Chronicles 30:22

17. Helped religious leaders take their rightful place: II Chronicles 30:3,16,27

18. Tore down idols: II Chronicles 31:1

19. Promoted good stewardship: II Chronicles 29:31; 31:4, 15

20. Led the return to prosperity: II Chronicles 32:27

21. Became strong in warfare: 32:6-8

22. Illustrated the key to renewal:  When God has a prepared people, revival is not long in coming:  II Chronicles 29:36

REVIVAL UNDER JOSIAH

REFERENCES: II Chronicles 34:1-33; 35:1-19

EXISTING CONDITIONS:

l. The Bible had been neglected so badly it was actually lost: II Chronicles 34:14

2. The temple (worship) had been neglected:  II Chronicles 34:10

3. Idolatry and sin: II Chronicles 34:3

AWAKENING FACTORS:

1. God touched the heart of the leader:  Josiah was eight years old when he began to reign and he reigned for 30 years:  II  Chronicles 34:1

2. He had many obstacles to overcome: His grandfather's long reign of wickedness, the sin and brutal murder of his father, the disrepair and disgrace of a dilapidated house of worship, the loss of the Word of God.

3. The key to his success is found in II Chronicles 34:2-3:

·         He did what was right in God's sight.

·         He followed good examples instead of evil.

·         He did not turn to the right or left (he was not distracted from God).

·         He sought God from his youth.

·         He took a stand for the right against sin and idolatry.

·         He led in a return to the things of God which included repairing the house of God (II Chronicles 34:8); reinstituting the Passover (II Chronicles 35:1); and returning to the Word  (II Chronicles 34:15,21,31).    

·         "all the curses written": Deuteronomy 29: 20,21,27; II Chronicles 34:24

·         "because they have forsaken me": Deuteronomy 29:25; II Chronicles 34:25

·         "burned incense to other gods":  Deuteronomy 29:26; II Chronicles 34:25

·         "provoked me to anger": Deuteronomy 29:20,23,28; II Chronicles 34:25        

·         "wrath will be poured out": Deuteronomy 29:23,28;  II Chronicles 34:25         

·         "and will not be quenched": Deuteronomy 29:20;   II Chronicles 34:25            

4. Josiah humbled himself before God (II Chronicles 34:1-13); His Word (II Chronicles 34:14-28); and the people (II Chronicles 34:29-33).

RESULTS:

1. The idols were destroyed: II Chronicles 34:7

2. They repaired the house of God: II Chronicles 34:8

3. They reinstituted the Passover:  II Chronicles 35:1

4. They returned to the Word:  It was found (II Chronicles 34:15); studied: (II Chronicles 34:21); and responded to (II Chronicles 34:31.

The two responses of the people will still be experienced today:

 (1) Some, like the king, responded positively and decided to do all that was written in the law of God: II Chronicles 34:31.

 (2) Others joined them, but without repentance and wholeheartedness.  They responded, but served God only for the time that strong leaders were present: II Chronicles 34:32-33.

CAUTION:

Read about the decline of this revival in II Chronicles 35:20-27. The temple had been repaired and revival was underway, but these things defeated Josiah:

 (1) Distraction:  He went to war in a battle that did not involve him.  II Chronicles 35:20

 (2) Disobedience:  Josiah refused to listen. II Chronicles 35:21-22

 (3) Deception:  He disguised himself. II Chronicles 35:22

 (4) Defeat: He was wounded in battle. II Chronicles 35:23

 (5) Death: It cost Josiah his life.  II Chronicles 35:24

Be careful....you can follow the same spiritual decline:

·         Distraction leads to...

·         Disobedience, which leads to...

·         Deception, resulting in.

·         Defeat, and then in...

·         Spiritual death.

REVIVAL UNDER ZERUBBABEL

REFERENCES:

Haggai l; Zechariah 1:1-6

Zerubbabel was also known as Sheshbazzar (Ezra 5:16).   He was the governor or Judah, a servant of God, chosen by God, a signet for the Lord.

The signet was the mark and identification of royalty. A man used it to sign letters and documents. He used it to seal his word. Since it represented him, he guarded it carefully and usually wore it.  It was a most prized possession.

Jeconiah had been as the signet on God's hand, but was plucked from it: Jeremiah 22:24

EXISTING CONDITIONS:

1. Following the revival under Josiah, God's people drifted back into sin. It became necessary for them to learn by adversity what they had refused to learn by responding to God's Word.

2. Judah spent 70 years in captivity in Babylon. Mercifully, God intervened and put it into the heart of King Cyrus to release the people and help them  rebuild their place of worship.  So in 538 B.C., a small band of less than 50 thousand returned to Jerusalem.

3. Note Haggai 1:2: "This people" suggested the distance between God and what he had formerly called "His people.”

4. The existing conditions of the time are recorded in Ezra 1:6,9-10; chapters 5-6; 2:10-17

AWAKENING FACTORS:

1. God sent two prophets: Haggai and Zechariah both came preaching the word of the Lord in 520 B.C.

The message of Haggai was:

Consider your priorities:  If you are to experience revival, then God's work must be put ahead of your work.  Stop giving God the scraps of your time, talent,  energy, and finances. 

They had been given supplies 16 years earlier, but had not rebuilt the house of God.  Instead, they built their own houses:  Haggai 1:4

The people were told to put God's work first, and He would be pleased and glorified:  Haggai 1:8

Consider your ways: The ways of the people were displeasing to God.  Haggai 1:5;7

Consider your condition:

    Materially:   Haggai 1:6,9-11; 2:15-17 

    Spiritually:  Haggai 2:10-14

Zechariah's message was a strong call to repentance  (Zechariah 1:1-6).  He told the people to...

·         Respond: Note the key in Haggai 1:3, "If you turn, I turn.”

·         Learn by observation:  Haggai 1:4

·         Recognize the brevity of life: Haggai 1:5

God was asking them to give their time and energies to that which was lasting.

·         Return to the Word:  Haggai 1:6

Realize that God deals with us on basis of our ways and our doings:  Haggai 1:6

RESULTS:

l. The leaders and people obeyed:   The political leader (Zerubbabel) and the spiritual leaders led the way:  Haggai 1:12

2. They "feared" or took the message seriously: Haggai 1:12

3. God endued those who responded with His presence and spirit:  Haggai 1:13-14

4. Priorities were put in proper order:  Haggai 1:14   

5. They were blessed of God:  Compare the conditions of Haggai 2:15-17 and those in 18-20.

REVIVAL UNDER SOLOMON

REFERENCES: II Chronicles 6-7

EXISTING CONDITIONS:

The temple had been prepared to honor God.  "A prepared temple" can be applied spiritually to your life.  If you prepare your temple, God will honor it.

AWAKENING FACTORS:

The dedication of the "prepared temple" to God resulted in this revival. In II Chronicles 6 Solomon:

·         Worships God.

·         Reviews what God has done in past.

·         Appeals on the basis of the Word of God.

RESULTS:

In chapter 7, God responds with:

·         A glory so great priests could not minister.

·         A renewed spirit of worship and sacrifice.

·         A choice: The revival can continue or cease, depending upon man's response to God's Word.

·         Revelation of the key to revival: II Chronicles 7:14

REVIVAL UNDER JONAH

REFERENCES: Book of Jonah.

EXISTING CONDITIONS:

1. Jonah was rebellious and did not want to fulfill God's command and be used as an instrument of revival.

2. Ninevah was a very wicked city.

AWAKENING FACTORS:

1. The revival actually began among the pagan sailors (Jonah 1:16) and in Jonah in the belly of the fish (Jonah 2).

2. Jonah's preaching the message of repentance in Ninevah.

RESULTS:

1. The entire city repented.

2. This is the only revival recorded on foreign soil and among the Gentiles. The book of Jonah shows God was not just a tribal God of the Jews, but also of all nations. Jonah 2:9 shows that salvation is of the Lord, not cultural, educational, ritual, denominational.

REVIVAL UNDER NEHEMIAH

REFERENCES: Nehemiah 8-10

EXISTING CONDITIONS:

Reconstruction preceded this revival.   Read Nehemiah 1-6.  The events that occurred are a natural parallel of what must occur spiritually before we can experience revival:

·         Removing rubbish.

·         Rebuilding foundations.

·         Leaning how to conquer the enemy.

AWAKENING FACTORS:

1. The rebuilding of the wall (Nehemiah) and the temple (Ezra).

2. The ministry of both Ezra and Nehemiah.

3. The unity and cooperation of the people:  Nehemiah 3 and 4:6.

RESULTS:

There were nine elements present in the revival under Nehemiah:

1. Renewed emphasis on the Word of God:  The people brought the scroll to the leaders and there was:

·         Reading of the Word: Nehemiah 8:1-5,18

·         Teaching and preaching of the Word: Nehemiah 8:8

·         Understanding of the Word: Nehemiah 8:12

·         Obedience to the Word: Nehemiah 10:29

Revival started with the return of the people to the Word.  A revived people become the instruments of revival.  Revived individuals result in corporate revival.

This revival called for a leader who was committed to the Word. The reason Ezra could be used of God in this role is because...

The good hand of God came upon Him...For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the Lord, to do it, and to teach in Israel statues and judgments.  (Ezra 7:9-10)

2. Recognition and acknowledgment of God both in the past and present: Nehemiah 9

3. Reverence: Nehemiah 8:5

·         Of God

·         Of God's Word

·         Of the Lord's day

4. Return to true worship:  Nehemiah 8:6 and all of chapter 9.

5. Rejection of the world: Separation, return to morality: Nehemiah 9:2,28; 10; 13:3

6. Renewed commitment:  Nehemiah 9:38; 10:29

·         To God's house: Nehemiah 10:39

·         To stewardship: Nehemiah 8:10; 10:37; 13:11-12.

·         To fasting: Nehemiah 9:1

·         To prayer:  Nehemiah

7. Rendering willing service:

·         To God: Nehemiah 11:1-2

·         To brothers and sisters in Lord:  Nehemiah 8:10

8. Restoration of unity: Nehemiah 8:1

9. Realization of sinfulness: 9:33

·         Recognition of sin:  Nehemiah 9:33

·         Repentance and confession: Nehemiah 9:1-3

 

CHAPTER THIRTEEN: BIBLICAL PRINCIPLES OF REVIVAL

 

OBJECTIVES:

Upon completion of this chapter you will be able to:

·         Write the Key Verse from memory.

·         List seven principles of revival illustrated in the Old Testament record.

·         Provide a Biblical reference which explains God's plan for revival.

·         List four things believers must do if they are to experience revival.

·         Summarize three things God will do in response.

KEY VERSE:

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from Heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.  (II Chronicles 7:14)

INTRODUCTION

In the last chapter you studied Old Testament revivals. This chapter summarizes Biblical principles of revival drawn from these Old Testament examples.

BIBLICAL PRINCIPLES OF REVIVAL

No two revivals are identical, but the following principles are evident in the Old Testament record:

1. Most Old Testament revivals were preceded by a time of deep spiritual decline and despair.  When conditions are declining around you and you are tempted to despair, rejoice instead...You may be on the brink of revival!

2. Each revival began in the heart of one man, who became the instrument God used to stir others.  As God touches your heart with the fire of revival, you will fan the revival flame in others.  This is the true work of a mobilizer.

3. Every Old Testament revival rested on the powerful proclamation of the Word of God.  The message of revival should focus on sin, Hell, and God's judgment not just power, love, peace, and prosperity.  Consider the revival message of Moses:

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 a curse if we ye will not obey the commandments of the Lord your God, but turn aside out of the way which I command you this day, to go after other gods, which ye have not known. (Deuteronomy 11:26-28)

Hear the words of Samuel:

And Samuel spake unto all the house of Israel, saying, If ye do return unto the Lord with all your hearts, then put away the strange gods and Ashtaroth from among you, and prepare your hearts unto the Lord, and serve Him only; and He will deliver you out of the hands of the Philistines. (I Samuel 7:3)

Examine the words of Ezekiel:

So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me. When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.  (Ezekiel 33:7-8)

Hear the voice of Elijah:

And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions?  If the Lord be God, follow Him; but if Baal, then follow Him... (I Kings 18:21)

4. Repentance from sin always preceded revival:  Repentance included the destruction of every idol and separation from the world.

5. There was a return to proper priorities.  These included concern for others, keeping the Sabbath, giving, prayer, and the Word of God.

6. There was a return to the genuine worship of God. This worship was not cold and formal ritual, but an exciting, emotional response of the people to their Lord.

7. Every revival was followed by a time of productivity, prosperity, great joy, and gladness.

GOD'S REVIVAL PLAN

The Old Testament record also contains God's plan for revival:

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from Heaven and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.  (II Chronicles 7:14)

Many important principles of revival are contained in this verse.  First, note that he is speaking to His people ("If my people").  He is not talking to sinners, the world, or just anyone in general.  God is talking to His people who are "called by His name.”   Here is what God's people must do if they are to experience revival:

1. "HUMBLE THEMSELVES:

To humble yourself is to bring yourself low before God (study Leviticus 26:40-41). This humbling includes humbling yourself before God (II Chronicles 34:1-13); His Word (II Chronicles 34:14-28); and His people (II Chronicles 34:29-33).

2. "PRAY":

You are to pray specific prayers of (l) seeking God and (2) turning from your wicked ways. We often "have not" because we "ask not" or we ask amiss.  We should ask God to revive us and pray specific prayers of confession and repentance to prepare our hearts for the move of His Spirit.

3. "SEEK MY FACE":

The phrase "seeking God" is used in the following Old Testament passages:

Exodus 33:7; Deuteronomy 4:29; Ezra 8:22; II Samuel 12:16; 21:1; I Chronicles 16:10-11; II Chronicles 7:14; 11:16; 15:4; 20:4; Psalms 105:3-4; 24:6; 27:8; 40:17; 69:7; 70:5; Proverbs 28:5; Isaiah 51:1; Jeremiah 29:13; 50:4; Hosea 3:5; 5:6-7,15; 7:10; Daniel 9:3; Zephaniah 1:6; Zechariah 8:21; Malachi 3:1.

A review of these passages reveal that seeking the Lord involves:

1. Voluntarily and wholeheartedly turning to God.

2. An inner attitude of commitment to serve Him.

3. A decision to turn away from all evil.

4. A decision to fulfill His will.

5. A commitment to fervent prayer.

Seeking the Lord is the chief means of averting evil (Amos 5:4,14).  It is the evidence of true humility (Zephaniah 2:3). It is the basis for sensing the presence of God (Hosea 5:15). It brings life (Amos 5:4-6) and it must be done wholeheartedly.  (Jeremiah 29:12-13)

4. "TURN FROM THEIR WICKED WAYS":

Prayer and seeking God are not enough in themselves.  They must be accompanied by true repentance which is a change in direction. You must turn from your wicked ways towards God.  Repentance is the truth emphasized in all Biblical revivals.  It is evident in every Old Testament revival.  The Church began with calls to repentance (Acts 2).  The final call in the book of Revelation is to repentance (Revelation 22:16).

Repentance is a gift from God that enables you to change the direction of your life (Acts 5:29-31; 11:15-18; II Timothy 2:22-26). All men are commanded to repent (Acts 17:30).  It is God's will that all repent (II Peter 3:9) and God works graciously to draw men to repentance (Romans 2:4).  Without repentance you will perish (Luke 13:3,5).   Jesus commanded that repentance and remission of sins be preached in His name among all nations (Luke 24:47).

Repentance includes turning from sins of omission (things you do not do that you should); commission (wrong things you do); and presumption (presuming by not seeking counsel from God and sinning in the process).

Repentance also includes turning from "dead works" (Hebrews 6:1-3). "Dead works" are any religious acts done to gain merit with God by human effort.

Dead works can even include worship, tithing, and deeds of kindness.  Worship must be in spirit and truth or it is a dead work.  Giving out of constraint, emotionalism, or because you are embarrassed to have the offering plate pass in front of you is a dead work.  Deeds of kindness or ministry done out of obligation or to receive glory are also dead works.

Any work which has no capacity to be made alive by the Spirit of God is a dead work.  For example, sharing the Gospel at all times and places to all men without regard to the prompting of the Spirit of God may be casting pearls before swine (Matthew 7:6) and reproving a scorner in vain (Proverbs 9:7-8). Any work which is done in the energy of the flesh and not in the power of the Holy Spirit is a dead work.

You should constantly examine your spiritual condition, your motives, and methods of ministry and repent of acts of omission, commission, presumption, and dead works.

SUMMARY:

Here is what you must do to prepare for revival:

·         Humble yourself

·         Pray

·         Seek God's face

·         Turn from your wicked ways

Here is what God will do in response:

·         "HEAR from Heaven": Respond

·         "FORGIVE their sin": Reconcile

·         "HEAL their land": Restore

 

SELF-TEST

1. Write the Key Verse from memory.

2. List seven principles of revival illustrated in the Old Testament record.

3. Which Biblical reference which explains God's plan for revival?

4. List four things believers must do if they are to experience revival.

5. Summarize three things God will do in response.

 (Answers to tests are provided at the conclusion of the final chapter in this manual.)

FOR FURTHER STUDY

1. Study the content of New Testament revival messages. Consider the words of...

John the Baptist: Matthew 3:11

Jesus: Mark 1:14-15; Luke 13:1-5

Peter: Acts 2:22-24

2. Can you discover other Biblical principles of revival in the Old Testament record?  If so, add them to those given in this lesson.

3. When God begins to move in revival, Satan launches an attack to stop the flow of God's Spirit.  Guard against the following dangers when you are experiencing revival:

·         Giving to human instruments the glory due to God.  Leaders can be respected and honored, but not exalted.  Revival is to focus people on God. Focus on man leads to unfavorable comparisons between instruments God is using and encourages division.

·         Trying to duplicate by human efforts what can only be divinely done.  People try to duplicate what God is doing elsewhere, hoping to produce similar results.

·         Focus on the peculiar or the sensational.  This draws the focus away from God.  Emphasis should not be on crowds, tears, confessions, conversions, joy, enthusiasm, or any other manifestation of man's reaction, but on God Himself.

·         Neglect of preaching and teaching of the Word. Do not let the Word be replaced by testimonies of revived backsliders or new converts. Do not even let prayer meetings or times of rejoicing, essential as they are, crowd out the Word of God. 

·         Neglect of private devotion because of the press of revival activity.  While caught up in the thrill of seeing God move in lives around you, beware lest you neglect your own time alone with the Lord.

·         The exaltation of novices.  Sometimes new converts brought in by revival are praised and promoted too rapidly in the work of the ministry.

·         Pride and jealousy.

·         Exaggeration or distorted truth. Exaggeration of statistics (i.e., converts, healings).  Some truths are necessarily emphasized, (i.e., repentance), but should not be exaggerated to the exclusion of others. Do not neglect the whole counsel of God, as it is all a message of revival.

·         Scandalous confessions.  As we begin to repent and make restitution to others, confession is involved.  But scandalous confession can do more harm than good and is a veiled method of gossip. Those who have sinned privately should make private confessions. When it comes to public confessions ask this question: "Will my confession hinder or promote the work of God?"

 

CHAPTER FOURTEEN: THE MOBILIZER

 

OBJECTIVES:

Upon completion of this chapter you will be able to:

·         Write the Key Verse from memory.

·         Identify an Old Testament example of a man used by God to  mobilize others.

·         Summarize the qualities necessary for a "mobilizer.”

KEY VERSE:

Nevertheless my brethren that went up with me made the heart of the people melt; but I wholly followed the Lord my God. (Joshua 14:8)

INTRODUCTION

This lesson begins a series of four chapters which focus on how Joshua and the nation of Israel were mobilized to penetrate and claim the land which God had promised them.  The book of Joshua contains many principles that can be applied as you are mobilized to take your village, city, and nation for God.

This lesson focuses on the type of person God uses to mobilize others.  Chapter Fifteen reveals the preparation necessary before mobilizing a group of people. Chapter Sixteen contains "Principles Of Penetration.” Chapter Seventeen contains instructions for how to deal with defeat.  Chapter Eighteen, entitled "A Tale Of Two Cities,” provides Biblical principles for conquering spiritual giants.

THE LAND OF CANAAN

Canaan was the land God had promised to give Israel (Joshua 1:2).  God promised He would be not fail them  as they mobilized and moved forward to claim the land (Joshua 1:5).  He also promised to be with them wherever they went (1:9).  These were wonderful truths to claim.

But these promises did not mean they were free to sit back and do nothing.  There was a step of faith to take...and the first step led right into the Jordan River.  God told the people to "Arise and go over" Jordan.  That first step must be initiated by the people, not by God.  Israel knew that they would face giants and battles in the land of Canaan, but God had promised to be with them.

God has also promised to be with those who extend the Gospel to the nations of the world (Matthew 28:19-20). He has promised He will not fail you.  But this does not mean you can sit back and do nothing.  There is a step of faith to take. 

You must be mobilized to take your village, city, and nation for God.  If you are a leader, then you are also to mobilize others.  This means you must equip those you lead to "cross over with you" and possess the land, even if your first step, as Israel's, seems to lead through a "Jordan River.”

THE MOBILIZER

God told Joshua to arise and go over Jordan and claim the promised land.  He also told him to mobilize and take with him the entire nation of Israel (Joshua 1:2).

What kind of man is chosen to mobilize God's people and take villages, cities, and nations for God?  Open your Bible to the book of Joshua and  let us examine the qualities of Joshua, a man who mobilized several million people to do a work for God.  (Be sure to read each reference in your Bible).

First, of course, Joshua was a believer. His name means "God is salvation.”  He  was also a man who...

COULD HEAR FROM GOD

When God spoke, Joshua knew His voice. (Joshua 1:1)

COULD FORGET THE PAST:

Joshua was a man who could forget the past.  When God said, "Moses my servant is dead,” He was telling Joshua to forget the past and move on for the Lord.

Joshua loved Moses.  He had served with him in battle, traveled through the wilderness with him, and been dispatched to spy out the land of Canaan for him.  Joshua had seen great miracles at the hand of Moses and had been with him in Mount Sinai as God revealed His glory and gave the law to Israel.

How Joshua must have missed Moses!  But now that Moses was dead, Joshua must move on for God.  No matter what great loss you have suffered in the past, you must hear God saying today,  "That thing is dead.”  Forget the past and move on into the new things of God!

Paul said he "forgot those things behind"  (Philippians 3:13).  Paul had a lot of bad things to forget.  He had persecuted the Church and watched Stephen being stoned to death.  But there were also good things in his past.  He had seen great miracles done for the Lord and traveled the nations preaching the Gospel.  But he knew that in order to "press forward" in the new things of God, he could not live in yesterday's defeats or victories.

KNEW HIS POSSESSIONS:

God described Israel's possessions in Joshua 1:3-4. Joshua knew exactly what his possessions were in the Lord.

The Bible describes many things a believer is to possess.  Salvation, the gifts and fruit of the Holy Spirit, all the promises of God...these are all your possessions.  If you are to claim them and mobilize others to claim them, then you must first know what they are.

WAS STRONG AND COURAGEOUS:

Joshua was strong and courageous.  He had proven it in battle many times.  But he also knew that God was the source of His strength (Joshua 1:5-6).  Note in these verses that God provides the power, presence, provision, and protection. You must have the proper attitude ("strong and

courageous") and the proper action ("arise, go over, and claim").

KNEW THE KEY TO SUCCESS:

Joshua had only one key to success:  The Word of God. The Word is the one great condition of success.  It is the divine motivator and mobilizer. Joshua was a doer of the Word, not just a hearer.  He was given orders to regulate his conduct on the basis of the Word and he was to meditate upon it constantly.

Now if anyone ever had an excuse for not having adequate time to meditate in the Word, it was Joshua. He was leading a group of thousands of people into a strange land! (This makes our excuses for not spending time in the Word seem a little inadequate, doesn't it?)

If you want to be a successful mobilizer of men, you must spend time in the Word of God and regulate your life and ministry on the basis of the Word.

HAD GOD'S SPIRIT UPON HIM:

Joshua was a man upon whom the Spirit of God rested:

And the Lord said unto Moses, Take thee Joshua the son of Nun, a man in whom is the spirit..(Numbers 27:18)

HAD CONFIDENCE IN GOD:

Joshua was a man who had confidence in God.  He did not say "we will try to pass over.” He said,  "Ye shall pass over" (Joshua 1:11).

WAS A MAN OF FAITH:

Read Numbers 13-14.  Joshua and Caleb were the only two men who believed Israel could conquer Canaan.  Joshua was a man of faith who encouraged others in the faith.  He knew that fear paralyzes while faith mobilizes.

HAD A SERVANT'S HEART:

Although Joshua was a great leader, he had a servant's heart.  He had first learned to serve as a young man in the tabernacle (Exodus 33:11). He was also called the "minister" or "servant" of Moses (Joshua 1:1).

WAS FULL OF WISDOM:

Joshua was a man filled with the wisdom of God:

And Joshua, the son of Nun, was full of the spirit of wisdom... (Deuteronomy 34:9)

WAS EASILY TAUGHT:

Joshua was a man who was easily taught.  In Numbers chapter 11, Joshua saw other people prophesying in the name of the Lord. Knowing that Moses was God's prophet, Joshua asked if he should stop the others from prophesying.  Moses replied:

Enviest thou for my sake? Would to God that all the Lord's people were prophets and that the Lord would put His spirit upon them. (Numbers 11:28)

Joshua did not take offense to this instruction, but he learned from it.

WAS A MOTIVATOR OF MEN:

If you are to motivate others, you must first be motivated yourself. This is what God did for Joshua in Joshua 1:1-9.  Then Joshua was able to motivate the leaders (Joshua 1:10-15) and the people (Joshua 1:16-18).

WHOLLY FOLLOWED THE LORD:

Joshua was a man who wholly followed the Lord:

Nevertheless my brethren that went up with me made the heart of the people melt; but I wholly followed the Lord my God.  (Joshua 14:8)

KNEW HOW TO STAND ALONE:

Men who walk by faith are often opposed by those who walk by sight.  This is what happened when Israel first came to the border of their promised land.  Joshua knew how to stand alone for what was right, even when others did not agree with him.  Read this story in Numbers 13-14. 

WAS EXPERIENCED IN WARFARE:

Joshua was a man who was experienced in warfare.  The first time he is mentioned in Scripture he is fighting a battle with the Amaleks. (See Exodus 17:9-14).  He would need this experience in order to conquer the enemies in Canaan.

When you mobilize others and lead them into the promises of God, there will be giants to face and battles to fight.  Today, God will use as mobilizers those who are experienced in spiritual warfare.

HAD A FIRST HAND EXPERIENCE WITH GOD:

Very early in his life, Joshua had a first-hand experience with God:

And I commanded Joshua at that time saying, Thine eyes have seen all that the Lord your God hath done unto these two kings...so shall the Lord do unto all the kingdoms whither thou passest. Ye shall not fear them; for the Lord your God he shall fight for you.  (Deuteronomy 3:21-22)

You will not be able to face the enemy and mobilize others on the basis of someone else's spiritual experience.   Joshua had to know God was with him just as He had been with Moses.

WAS ANOINTED OF GOD:

Deuteronomy 34:9 records that Moses laid his hands on Joshua and anointed him to lead the nation of Israel.  Numbers 27:18 and 22 indicates that Moses both anointed and charged Joshua for the service of the Lord.

A man who mobilizes others must first be anointed and charged by God. It is that anointing that equips you for the work of the ministry:

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor, he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised.   (Luke 4:18)

HAD EXPERIENCED THE GLORY OF GOD:

You learned in previous chapters of the importance of the glory of God. Joshua was a man who  had experienced the glory of God:

And Moses rose up, and his minister Joshua...and Moses went up into the mount of God. And the glory of the Lord abode upon mount Sinai...And the sight of the glory of the Lord was like a devouring fire...(Exodus 24:13 and 17)

THE IMPACT OF A MOBILIZER

Joshua's life had such an impact on those around him that even after his death, the leaders and people he trained continued to serve God:

And the people served the Lord all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders that outlived Joshua, who had seen all the great works of the Lord, that He did for Israel.  (Judges 2:7)

Do you want your life to make that kind of impact?  This is the type of person God uses as a mobilizer.  How does your life measure up?  Joshua was a man who...

·         Could hear from God

·         Could forget the past

·         Knew his possessions

·         Was strong and courageous

·         Knew the key to success

·         Had God's Spirit upon him

·         Had confidence in God

·         Was a man of faith

·         Had a servant's heart

·         Was full of wisdom

·         Was easily taught

·         Was a motivator of men

·         Wholly followed the Lord

·         Knew how to stand alone

·         Was experienced in warfare

·         Had a first hand experience with God

·         Was anointed of God

·         Had experienced the glory of God

 

SELF-TEST

1. Write the Key Verse from memory.

2. Identify an Old Testament example of a man used by God to mobilize others.

3. List the qualities necessary for a "mobilizer.”

(Answers to tests are provided at the conclusion of the final chapter in this manual.)

FOR FURTHER STUDY

1. Read the book of Joshua for background information for  this and the following four lessons.

2. You will find one important person in the book of Joshua is a man named Caleb.  He was certainly a mobilized man. He was motivated to take a mountain for God! Caleb first went to Canaan under leadership of Moses but had no instructions at that time to take the mountain.  When Caleb returned to Canaan under the leadership of Joshua, he knew he must depend on God.  He was moving into strange territory where he had been only one time 45 years previously. But Caleb had prepared himself during the wilderness years.  He was ready  mentally and physically.  He told Joshua that he was as fit at 85 as he had been at 40 years of age.

Caleb was ready emotionally. The longing of his heart was that of a 35 year old man.  He wanted that mountain!  For 45 years, Caleb had carried his dream, through disease, heartache and seven years of warring in the promised land.  He had never lost the desire to claim his possessions.

Caleb  was ready spiritually.  The Scriptures indicate that he had "wholly" followed the Lord.  The best preparation for securing a "mountain" is being obedient to God in every area of life.

What about your spiritual "mountain"?  What territory do you want to claim for God?  What dream have you held in your heart? 

Could it be that God is waiting for you to prepare yourself mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually.  Think of ways you might do this.

 

CHAPTER FIFTEEN: THE MOBILIZED

 

OBJECTIVES:

Upon completion of this chapter you will be able to:

·         Write the Key Verse from memory.

·         Explain four natural examples of spiritual truth necessary for mobilization.

·         List three reasons why believers do not progress from "milk" to "meat" of the Word of God.

·         Explain how a believer can move from the "milk" to the "meat" of the Word of God.

KEY VERSE:

Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection... (Hebrews 6:1)

INTRODUCTION

In the last chapter you learned the qualifications for a man who is to be a mobilizer of God's people.  Not all are called to be leaders, but each  of us can be "Joshuas" in spirit and exhibit similar characteristics.

Every leader must have followers.  The people of God must be mobilized to follow God's leaders or there will be confusion and disorder.  In this lesson, you will learn how to spiritually mobilize people for God.  In Chapter Nineteen of this course, you will learn the practical aspects of mobilization as you study "Gift-Based Mobilization.”

A MOBILIZED PEOPLE

Four special events occurred to mobilize Israel to conquer Canaan.  These four things, which are natural examples of spiritual truths, will mobilize you personally and enable you to mobilize others corporately.  You must experience these individually before you take the enemy occupied territory of your own life. A church fellowship must experience these corporately before they are  mobilized to take the enemy occupied territories of their village, city, or nation.  Before proceeding with this lesson, read Joshua chapter 5.

THE BLOOD:

And the children of Israel encamped in Gilgal, and kept the Passover on the fourteenth day of the month at even in the plains of Jericho.  (Joshua 5:10)

Israel observed the Passover to recall their deliverance from sin.  The Passover speaks of the "blood applied.”  To be mobilized for God, you must first have the blood  applied to your life.  Spiritually speaking, to experience the Passover you must be born again through  the death of Jesus on the cross of Calvary.  His blood must be applied to your life to redeem you from the death of sin.

THE KNIFE:

Review Joshua 5:2-9 which tells of another event in the mobilization of God's people.  It is the token of "circumcision.”  All the males of Israel were to be circumcised as a token of the covenant between them  and God. This was instituted in the time of Abraham but had not been practiced during the wilderness wandering.  Because of this the new generation of Israelites had not been circumcised and did not bear the sign of the covenant upon them.  Israel was preparing to war against the nations of Canaan, yet at this time, God commanded them to be circumcised.  By circumcising their flesh, they disabled themselves in the presence of the enemy.

A people who are to be mobilized for God must bear the marks of change upon their lives.  As believers, we no longer circumcise the flesh, but we must be circumcised in heart:

In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ. (Colossians 2:11)

Our circumcision is spiritual and is of the heart instead of the flesh. But if you have been circumcised in heart there will be external signs just as when Israel was circumcised in their flesh.  You will act, talk, and live differently.  Your life will bear the marks of change which are the signs of your covenant with God:

For he is not a Jew which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision which is outward of the flesh: But he is a Jew which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.  (Romans 2:28-29)

If you are to be mobilized for God, your life must bear the marks of change. Do not be afraid of the "knife" of God's Word as it marks your life.  The reproach of Egypt (sin) must be rolled away.  You must put off the filth of the flesh.

As you camp in the very shadow of your enemy, you must realize that you cannot war in the flesh.  You must disable your flesh and trust only in the power of almighty God.  The land will be penetrated and possessed only by weakness of the flesh and in the power of the spirit.

This circumcision of heart is two-fold. God has a part in it:

And the Lord thy God will circumcise thine heart... (Deuteronomy 30:6)

God changes you, but you also have a responsibility in circumcision:

Circumcise yourselves to the Lord, and take away the foreskins of your heart... (Jeremiah 4:4)

You must cleanse yourself of the filthiness of the flesh.  It is important to remember that you cannot do your part until He does His part.  That would just be an attempt at self-improvement.

Before you are mobilized for service, you must have the mark of God upon you.  Read Exodus 4:24-26. When Moses was returning to deliver Israel from Egypt, he was stopped by an angel.  He was not ready to deliver God's people because he did not bear the marks of the covenant upon his own life.  After his circumcision, Moses was mobilized to do a mighty work for God.  To minister to others your life must first bear the marks of change.

THE FRUIT:

Read Joshua 5:9-12.  The manna which Israel ate in the wilderness ceased to fall and the people began to eat of the fruit of Canaan.  The manna was sent from God and was important in its time. It supplied basic necessities and was suited the wilderness journey, But now it was time to move on to the fruit of the land. This "fruit" speaks of spiritual maturity:

Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection... (Hebrews 6:1)

To be mobilized as a force for God, people must move on from the basics of the Christian walk into spiritual maturity. They must move from the "milk" to the "meat" of God's Word.  Just as the manna, the "milk" of the Word is important:

 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the Word, that ye may grow thereby. (I Peter 2:2)

But newborn babies are not mobilized and immediately sent out to do battle.  They must move on to the "meat.”  There are three reasons why believers do not move from the "milk" to the "meat" of God's Word.

First, they are unskillful in the Word of God:

For every one that useth milk is unskillful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. (Hebrews 5:13)

Second, they do not apply what they have been taught.

But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.  (Hebrews 5:12)

God is not going to give you new insight into His Word until you apply what you have already learned.

Third, they are carnal.  Paul told the Corinthian Church:

And I brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk and not with meat; for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. For ye are yet carnal:  for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?  (I Corinthians 3:13)

How can you move from the milk to the meat of the Word?

First, you must desire the milk of the Word to grow  (I Peter 2:2).  As you discipline yourself to be obedient to the milk of the Word, you will be able to receive the meat of the Word.  (Remember that the carnal Corinthians did not apply the Word and could not move on to the "meat").

Next, you must dedicate yourself to searching for the meat.  Read Proverbs 2:1-5.  If you seek for the meat of the Word with the same dedication described in this passage, you will find it.  Your discipline will eventually result in delight in the meat of the Word.  The Scriptures will become "pleasant to your soul" (Proverbs 2:10).

THE SWORD:

Read Joshua 5:13-15.  The closer the hour of combat, the more Joshua felt personal responsibility for the forthcoming battle.  When Joshua saw a man holding a drawn sword he asked, "Art thou for us or our adversaries?"  Joshua only saw two sides, his side and that of the enemy.

The man identified himself as the prince of God's host.  His drawn sword symbolized the fact that the battle was the Lord's and it would be fought on the basis of His Word.  Any battle fought for the fulfillment of God's promises is God's battle and must be fought His way.  Joshua was told to take off his shoes because he was on holy ground.  As you are mobilized for God, you are on redemption ground, but still faced with the enemy. 

Is the "prince  of God's host" your friend or adversary?  To be truly mobilized for God you must come before Him as did Joshua saying, "What saith my lord unto his servant?”  Your answer will be found in the "drawn sword" of His Word. 

FOUR TOKENS OF MOBILIZATION

Joshua 5  records the preparation of a people to do a work for God. When you apply this lesson spiritually, you discover that a mobilized people must be cleansed by the blood, bear the marks of change in their lives, change from the manna to the fruit (the milk to the meat of God's Word), and penetrate the enemy's territory on the basis of the "drawn sword" of God's Word.

 

SELF-TEST

1. Write the Key Verse from memory.

2. Explain four natural examples of spiritual truth necessary for mobilization.

3. List three reasons why believers do not progress from the "milk" to the "meat" of the Word of God.

4. Explain how a believer can move from the "milk" to the "meat" of the Word of God.

 (Answers to tests are provided at the conclusion of the final chapter in this manual.)

FOR FURTHER STUDY

Proverbs 2:1-5 reveals the strategy for discovering the "meat" of the Word of God.  Study this passage and summarize this strategy in your own words:

How can you apply this in your own life?

 

CHAPTER SIXTEEN: PRINCIPLES OF PENETRATION

 

OBJECTIVES:

Upon completion of this chapter you will be able to:

Write the Key Verse from memory.

Summarize the principles of penetration recorded in the book of Joshua.

Mobilize others to apply these principles.

KEY VERSE:

About 40,000 prepared for war passed over before the Lord unto battle, to the plains of Jericho.  (Joshua 4:13)

INTRODUCTION

Forty thousand people were mobilized by Joshua, the great mobilizer.  They  passed over Jordan prepared for war.  These men and women did not stop with their exodus from Egypt (which is symbolic of sin).  They crossed over into their promised land to claim all God had for them.

Coming "out" of sin is only part of God's plan for you.  He also wants to bring you "in" to the promised land of His blessings and promises.  He wants to make you a victorious Christian, mobilized to defeat the enemy and claim cities and nations for the Lord.

Moses' summary of God's plan was:

And He brought us out..,that He might bring us in. (Deuteronomy 6:23)

In Exodus, God parted the waters of the Red Sea to bring His people out of the land of bondage in Egypt.  In Joshua, God parted the waters of the Jordan River to bring His people into Canaan, the land of blessing.

The battle experiences of Israel in Canaan are natural examples that can be applied to your own spiritual life:

For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope. (Romans 15:4)

In this lesson you will study the principles of penetration Israel used to conquer Canaan.  These principles can be applied to penetrate your own village, city, or nation for God.

THE POINT OF NO RETURN

Israel had been at the border of Canaan before  (see Numbers 13  and 14).  When you come to the border of Canaan, you will either be mobilized and move forward or you will return to the wilderness of spiritual wandering.

When Israel came to the border of Canaan the first time, they said "we are not able to take the land...the enemy is stronger than we are" (Numbers 13:31).  Unbelief will keep you immobile on the threshold of God's promises.  Like Israel, when you are fearful and unbelieving you begin to:

·         Sorrow: Numbers 14:1

·         Murmur: Numbers 14:1

·         Look back: Numbers 14:2

·         Question: Numbers 14:3

·         Rebel: Numbers 14:4

Israel's lack of faith led first to discouragement, then to disillusionment, then to disobedience as they returned to the wilderness.

But this time it was different.  Forty thousand people prepared for war passed over Jordan.  The message to Joshua to "arise and go over Jordan" was given at a time when it was impossible in the natural.  It was flood season, and the water was very deep and wide.  But Joshua did not hesitate.  He marched Israel to the banks of the River.  That was as far as he could take them.

You may be faced with a "Jordan River" in your spiritual experience.  It looks very deep and wide and you do not know how you will be able to cross over and claim God's promises for your life and ministry.  But God says "arise and go over.”

If you will mobilize yourself and go as far as you can, God will supernaturally do the rest.  You will not only be able to cross over, but you can take "others with you" as Joshua was commanded to do.  Always remember that God will not ask you to do anything without sending His presence before you.  The ark, symbolizing God's presence, crossed over before Israel.

The Israelites committed themselves when they crossed the divided Jordan and watched it close behind them.  They were at a point of no return.  This is where God wants to bring you through your study of this course.

PRINCIPLES OF PENETRATION

After Israel crossed over Jordan into Canaan, we find walls of cities collapsing at their shout, nations trembling because of their presence, and enemy kings under their feet.  What were the spiritual principles that changed this group of wanderers, this disobedient, complaining  people into mighty warriors whose shout alone brought down a great city?

After they arrived in Canaan, Joshua did not form a committee to discuss battle plans. The people did not take an opinion poll about what they should do.  They did not vote.  They had learned their lesson the first time they had come to the border of Canaan  (see Exodus 13 and 14).  Instead, Israel moved forward at God's command as a mobilized unit, taking the land for God.  The battle principles they used can be applied spiritually in your own life and ministry.

The following principles of penetration are drawn from the major battles recorded in the book Joshua. These include...

·         The central campaign: 6:1-8:35

·         The southern campaign: 9:1-10:43

·         The northern campaign: 11:1-15

PREPARE FOR WAR:

The first principle is to prepare for war before you enter enemy territory.  You already studied about the preparation of Joshua and the people in lessons 13 and 14.  Israel had been mobilized and commissioned by God:

Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you, as I said unto Moses.  (Joshua 1:3)

God had given them the land, but they only possessed that portion which they claimed.  Read Joshua 1:1-9.  The people understood their responsibilities were to:

·         Arise: 1:2

·         Go Over: 12

·         Be strong: 1:6-7,9

·         Be of good courage: 1:6-7,9

·         Do not be afraid: 1:9

·         Do not be dismayed: 1:9

·         Divide and claim the inheritance: 1:6

·         Use the Word to be successful:

·         Observe it: 1:7-8

·         Do it: 1:7-8

·         Do not turn from it: 1:7

·         Speak it: 1:8

·         Meditate in it: 1:8

·         Obey it in totality: 1:8                

(Note that being able to observe and do according to the Word comes from speaking and meditating on it.) 

These same responsibilities are yours as you are mobilized to penetrate territory for God.  Israel also had a clear understanding of God's responsibilities:

Joshua Chapter 1:

·         He would give them the land: 1:2-4

·         No man could withstand them: 1:5

·         He would be with them: 1:5

·         He would not fail them: 1:5

·         He would not forsake them: 1:5                    

·         He would be with them everywhere: 1:9

·         He would prosper them by His Word: 1:7-8

These are God's promises to those who are mobilized and prepared to take their nations for God.

KNOW YOUR ENEMY:

In Joshua, the enemy was the Canaanites.  God had identified the enemies and given specific tactics for dealing with them in Leviticus chapter 18 and Deuteronomy 12:31; chapter 7, and 20:16-18.

God's Word identifies your enemies as the world, the flesh, and the Devil.  The Bible contains many specific instructions on how to deal with these enemy forces.  To be victorious in penetrating the land, you must know your enemy, Satan, and how to deal with him.  If you are unfamiliar with spiritual warfare, obtain the Harvestime International Institute course entitled "Spiritual Strategies:  A Manual Of Spiritual Warfare.”

RECOGNIZE THE ENEMY'S POSITION: 

If you are to identify your enemy, you must be facing him, not fleeing in fear.  Do not fear the size of the enemy forces.  When you begin to move forward in faith, you will find God's hand is already upon the enemy!  This is what mobilization is all about.

Study Israel's battle with the coalition of five kings in Joshua 10.  The kings of Jerusalem, Hebron, Jarmuth, Lachish, and Eglon all joined forces against Israel.  The actual battle is described in Joshua 10:6-11.  God intervened with a great miracle for Israel.  You can read about it in Joshua 10:12-15.  The Canaanites worshiped the sun and the moon.  When the sun and moon stood still in Israel's behalf, they realized the God of Israel was greater than their own gods.

Their five kings, hidden in a cave, were brought out and Joshua told the men of Israel to put their feet on their necks.  This was used as a natural, visible example of the position of the  believer's enemy.  Satan's head was crushed by Jesus at Calvary.  Jesus is the head of the church, and we are His body.  If Satan is under His heel, as promised in Genesis 2:14-15, then he is also under our feet.  If there are enemies of the world and the flesh hidden in your life, bring them out and confront them.  Then, spiritually speaking, put your feet on the neck of the enemy and conquer him.

SEEK THE ASSURANCE OF GOD'S PRESENCE:

The Ark, the symbol of God's presence, went before Israel into the Jordan River and traveled before them in battle.  When Israel sinned, as they did at Ai (Joshua 7), the presence of God departed and they were defeated by the enemy.  Always make sure when you are mobilized and on the move for God that the presence of God is going before you.  If there is sin in your life, deal with it.  Sin separates from God's presence.

RECOGNIZE THAT THE BATTLE IS GOD'S:

Over and over again, God told Joshua and Israel "the battle is the Lord's...Shout for the Lord has given you the city...I have given the land into your hands.”  Keep telling your "armed men of war" that God has given the victory until the spirit of this gets into the soldiers in the ranks who must execute the battle. They will not have to take the land with their own talents, abilities and skills.  The battle is the Lord's! 

DO NOT DEPEND ON NATURAL REASONING:

If Joshua had depended on his natural reasoning, he never would have tried to capture Jericho by marching around, shouting, and blowing horns.  As you mobilize spiritual forces for God, you must recognize that His ways are not your ways.  No matter how foolish a situation appears in the natural, you must always trust God.

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.  (Isaiah 55:8)

What the world views as weak strategy, God uses to put the strong to shame:

Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men... 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... That no flesh should glory in His presence. (I Corinthians 1:25,27,29)

Whenever Joshua depended on his natural reasoning, he had problems.  Read the story of his alliance with the Gibeonites in Joshua 9:1-27 which illustrates this fact.  In this case, Joshua was deceived by appearances.  Test everything that comes to you either from the supernatural or natural realm on the basis of the Word of God, prayer, and the inward witness of peace.

You will not be able to discern the source of everything with the first look, for deception is a tool of the enemy. Joshua was in too much of a hurry.  Mobilization does not mean rushing ahead without divine guidance.  When in doubt, wait it out!

WAGE OFFENSIVE RATHER THAN DEFENSIVE WARFARE:

Joshua did not wait for the enemy to attack.  He waged offensive warfare rather than defensive warfare.  Many believers spend all their lives battling attacks of the enemy rather than waging offensive spiritual warfare and taking their "promised land.”

BE STRATEGICALLY MOBILE:

When a person is "strategically mobile,” he is constantly in motion. He is not set in his ways, entangled in the affairs of the world, or living in past victories or defeats.  He is on the move for God, constantly claiming new territory.  Joshua was strategically mobile in Canaan. He was constantly on the move, penetrating new areas, mobilizing the troops, acting upon new instructions from God.

The Bible records that the early Church was strategically mobile.  Its members went everywhere preaching the Word.  To be strategically mobile, you must develop a "harvest mentality" and a "soldier mentality.”

When you have a "harvest mentality,” you are willing to stay or move at God's direction in order to reap the harvest.  We have often come to times of great spiritual harvests in some nations of the world and faced a problem of too few reapers. The Church must make a new commitment to go where the harvest is.  When Paul was rejected by the Jews in Antioch he and his team went on to Iconium (Acts 13:51-52).  When they were run out of one city, they "shook off the dust" from their feet and went where the spiritual harvest was ripe.

You also need a "soldier mentality.”  When you have a "soldier mentality" you are always listening for new orders from the Commander.  Just imagine a soldier refusing to follow any orders except those given to him 20 or 30 years ago. They were good orders when they were given, but have long since ceased to be the mind of the Spirit.

When Jesus was on earth, He was strategically mobile.  He went from village to village and place to place  (Luke 4:43).  He was always responding to the commands of the Father.  If we are to reap the harvest where and when it is ripe and battle for strategic territory, we must do likewise.

ATTACK KEY STRONGHOLDS:

Joshua's strategy in Canaan was a series of attacks against key Canaanite cities  (see Joshua 9 and 10:28-43).  Joshua attacked Canaan at the center, isolating the two halves of the country and making it impossible for the remaining armies to link up and form a united front against the Israelite troops.  He attacked the key strongholds of the enemy.

Deal decisive blows to the enemy.  Do not settle for anything less than total victory.  By attacking the strongholds in your life, you weaken Satan's capability of strengthening his hold on you.

DO NOT DEPEND ON THE FLESH:

God did not want Israel to be dependent on horses and chariots for their victories so when they defeated Canaanite armies, Israel "houghed" the horses of the enemy (which means they cut their leg muscles to make the animals inadequate for war).  This way Israel was not tempted to trust in the horses and chariots.

Have you been trusting in the "horses and chariots of the enemy,” doing things the way the world does, when fighting your spiritual battles?

ATTACK ROOT CAUSES RATHER THAN SURFACE SYMPTOMS:

Israel "utterly destroyed" the enemy until "none remained.”  The land is only penetrated when the enemy is totally destroyed. If Israel had left any of the enemy in the land, the "root" of their sin would have only developed to trouble them again.

Do not stop with surface battles. Do not be satisfied with partial victories.  Continue to mobilize your spiritual forces and penetrate the land until the enemy is "utterly destroyed.”

OBEY GOD:

One of the most important principles of penetration is obedience.  The Bible records that...

As the Lord commanded Moses his servant, so did Moses command Joshua, and so did Joshua; he left nothing undone of all that the Lord commanded Moses. (Joshua 11:15)

Your ability to mobilize and penetrate is directly related to your obedience to God.

PERSEVERE IN BATTLE:

All of Joshua's victories were not as quickly won as the Battle of Jericho.  Read Joshua 11.  Joshua waged war with the kings of the land for six years (Joshua 11:18).  Perseverance (remaining faithful in battle) is essential in capturing strongholds, driving out the enemy, and possessing all God has promised you.

FOCUS ON THE VICTOR INSTEAD OF THE VICTORY:

Joshua led Israel in worship of God after their military victories (see Joshua 8:29-31).  Sometimes we make the mistake of emphasizing a battle and our part in winning it, focusing on the victory instead of the Victor, the Lord of Hosts.

LEARN HOW TO TURN DEFEAT TO VICTORY:

Israel experienced a great defeat at a small city called Ai.  You can read about it in Joshua 7-8.  Because of the importance of this principle of turning defeat into victory, an entire chapter is devoted to this subject. You will learn what to do "After Achor" in Chapter Seventeen.

THE LAND THAT REMAINS

Read Joshua 13:1-7.  As Joshua approached death there was still much land remaining to be claimed by Israel.  Israel had to complete what Joshua led them to begin.

A truly mobilized group of people will continue to penetrate enemy territory even when their leader is removed.  To truly mobilize a group of people you must wean them from their dependence on you.  When Joshua died, each individual tribe had to continue to battle and rid their land of the presence of the enemy.  That which is learned corporately must also be applied individually.

God promised Israel  He would eliminate their enemies little by little  (Exodus 23:29-30).   You do not get rid of your spiritual enemies in just a few battles.  God drives enemy forces out of your life little by little as you face and conquer the circumstances of life. This requires constant dependence upon Him.

What promises of God are just waiting for you to claim them?  What strongholds of the enemy remain to be conquered?  What "land" in your spiritual life remains to be possessed?  These principles of penetration will help you mobilize to take "the land that remains.”

 

SELF-TEST

1. Write the Key Verse from memory.

2. Summarize principles of penetration recorded in the book of Joshua.

(Answers to tests are provided at the conclusion of the final chapter in this manual.)

FOR FURTHER STUDY

1. The book of Joshua is actually a manual on how to conduct spiritual warfare.  Study Joshua using the following outline:

·         Preparation: Chapters l-2, 5

·         Preparation Of A Person: Joshua

·         Preparation Of A People: Israel

·         Penetration: Chapters 3-12

·         Possession: Chapters 13-24

2. Read Joshua 12:7-24.  This passage lists 31 of Joshua's victories over the enemy.  How many victories have you had this year?  How have you defeated the enemy?

3. The mobilization and penetration of Canaan recorded in the book of Joshua follows the curriculum plan of the Harvestime International Institute.  Study the book of Joshua again in terms of...

·         Visualizing: 1:1-6

·         Deputizing: 1:7-9

·         Multiplying: 1:10,16-17

·         Organizing: 1:11

·         Mobilizing: Chapter 3; 4:13

·         Evangelizing: Israel was to be an example to the nations surrounding Canaan.

Just as  we do in the Harvestime program, both leaders (Joshua 23) and followers were trained (Joshua 24).

4. Joshua was to "cause Israel to inherit Canaan" (see  Deuteronomy 1:38 and 3:28).  You are called to mobilize those around you to inherit the promises of God.

5. Read the book of Joshua again. Can you identify other principles of penetration that were not mentioned in this chapter?   If so, add them to the study notes for this lesson.

6. The general name given to the occupants of Canaan were "Canaanites" because they lived in the land of Canaan.  The Canaanites were actually composed of several tribes of people who had the following in common:

·         They worshiped a false God called Baal.  Astoreth, Baal's wife, was their goddess. "Baalim,” the plural of Baal, were their images of Baal.

·         Their priestess in the temple were actually prostitutes. The Sodomites were male prostitutes.

·         They worshiped Baal in "high places,” believing they would be nearer to him. These high places were built on foundations containing jars with remains of babies who had been sacrificed to Baal.

·         They engaged in immorality, divination, idol worship, and worship of  sun, moon, sea, and storm gods.  They also worshiped Diana.

·         Their materialism resulted in outward prosperity and inward wickedness.

·         The seven nations of Canaan were the  Canaanites, Hittites, Hivites, Perrizzites, Girgashintes, Amorites, Jebusites.

·         The reason for destroying the Canaanites is given in Leviticus 18 and Deuteronomy 12:31; chapter 7; and 20:16-18.

 

CHAPTER SEVENTEEN: AFTER ACHOR

 

OBJECTIVES:

Upon completion of this chapter you will be able to:

·         Write the Key Verse from memory.

·         Identify four reasons for spiritual defeat.

·         Summarize the results of spiritual defeat.

·         Explain the four steps of the remedy for recovery.

KEY VERSE:

And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil who are taken captive of him at his will. (II Timothy 2:26)

INTRODUCTION

In previous chapters you learned how God prepared a mobilizer (Joshua) and mobilized His people (Israel) to take the land of Canaan.  You also studied the principles of penetration which they used which are applicable to your own life and ministry.

In this lesson you will learn how Israel dealt with defeat.  Whenever you are mobilized for God and begin to take territory in His name, you will face many problems.  Sometimes you may experience defeat. In this lesson you will learn what to do "After Achor.”

THE BATTLE OF JERICHO

The first great battle faced by Israel after crossing the Jordan River occurred at the city of Jericho.  You can read the story of Jericho in Joshua chapter 6. God gave Israel a unique strategy for taking this city. They were to march around the city in silence for six days. On the seventh day they were to march around seven times, then the priests were to blow their trumpets and the people were to shout because "the Lord hath given you the city" (Joshua 6:16).

Whenever you cross a "Jordan River" spiritually in your life and begin to claim new territory for God, you will undoubtedly face a "Jericho.”  Whatever your "Jericho" may be, God will give you the specific strategy for the battle. 

Sometimes God's plan may seem as foolish as the one given Joshua for his Jericho.  But if you follow God's direction carefully and walk before Him in holiness, your victory is assured.  But we are not going to dwell on Jericho in this lesson.  You do not usually have a problem with the victories in life.  It is exciting to walk in the victories of our "Jerichos.”

Where we most often have our problems is when we face defeat.  We are going to move on to Joshua chapters 7 and 8 which record a major defeat experienced by God's people.  Take time to read these chapters before proceeding with this lesson.

THE VALLEY OF ACHOR

The word "Achor" means "trouble,” and that is exactly what Israel faced when they staged their attack against the small city of Ai.  The story of Ai and the Valley of Achor begins in Joshua 7:1 with the key word "But.”  In Joshua 6 Israel was walking in victory, "but" chapter 8 finds them in trouble.

We will examine the reasons Israel was defeated, the results, and the remedy for their problem.  You will find the reasons, results, and remedy for their problem applicable to your own defeats.

THE REASONS:

When you are defeated while penetrating and taking territory for the Lord, there is always a reason.  In the story of Achor, there were four reasons for defeat, all of which are common in the defeats we experience:

1. Principles:

Violating the principles of God (sin) always results in defeat. God told Israel not to take any of the spoils of Jericho. They were to be dedicated to the Lord as they were the "first fruits" of battle.  They were warned not to take the "accursed thing among you":

And ye, in any wise keep yourselves from the accursed thing, lest ye make yourselves accursed, when ye take of the accursed thing, and make the camp of Israel a curse, and trouble it. But all the silver and gold and vessels of brass and iron are consecrated unto the Lord;  they shall come into the treasury of the Lord. (Joshua 6:18-19)

Joshua 7:1 records  how a man named Achan took the "accursed thing.”  His temptation followed the same pattern as that of the original temptation of Eve.  He "saw, desired, took, and hid.”  He said:

When I saw among the spoils a goodly Babylonish garment, and two hundred shekels of silver and a wedge of gold of fifty shekels weight, then I coveted them, and took them; and, behold they are hid in the earth in the midst of my tent and the silver under it.  (Joshua 7:21)

Sin always begins in the mind.  The attitude of sin precedes the act.  Achan thought, "Who will see?  Who will know?"  As is common in sin, he saw only the immediate pleasure it would bring and not the terrible long-term effects of his actions. If Achan had looked with eyes of faith instead of eyes of lust, he would have seen these items as "accursed.”  Instead, he viewed them with the natural senses only.

Your spiritual enemies are the world, flesh, and the devil.  These work together to tempt you by the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life.  If you look on temptation with eyes of faith instead of eyes of lust, you will see that which is forbidden as an "accursed thing.”

Achan's specific sin was converting to private use that intended for God's glory.  May God help us that we never fall into the same snare.  Achan's sin affected all of Israel.  Israel's defeat was primarily because they violated the principles of God:

Israel hath sinned, and they have also transgressed my covenant which I commanded them; for they have even taken of the accursed thing, and have also stolen, and dissembled also, and they have put it even among their own stuff.  (Joshua 7:11)

2. Pride:

Achan is not the only one at fault in the story of Achor. When Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai to view the country, the men returned and told Joshua...

Let not all the people go up; but let about  two or three thousand men go up and smite Ai; and make not all the people to labor thither; for they are but few.  (Joshua 7:3)

Ai was a small city in comparison to Jericho which Israel had just conquered.  In  pride, these men thought, "Ai should be no problem.  We have faced bigger things and been victorious.  This is nothing to worry about."  Israel was self-confident instead of being confident in God.

In our own battles of life we often feel we can handle the lesser problems ourselves. But there is no encounter with the enemy so small that we do not need all of the resources God has provided to face it.  When you begin to move in self-confidence and pride and believe "there

is nothing to worry about,” then you are moving into dangerous territory.

3. Perception:

The men sent to view Ai viewed things with their natural senses only.  They did not have the spiritual perception to see behind surface appearances and recognize the power of the enemy.

Following natural perception instead of spiritual insight led to inaccurate reporting.  In Joshua 7:3 these men claimed that the warriors of Ai were just "a few" when in reality, there were 12,000! (Joshua 8:25).

When you involve carnal men in God's work they will always make decisions based on their natural, fleshly perceptions. This always leads to carnal counsel. "Our men will suffice," they told Joshua. Carnal counsel always leads to defeat.

4. Prayerlessness:

Joshua also bears some blame for the defeat at Ai.  He listened carefully to the report of the men who returned from viewing the city but he did not pray about the report he received. He immediately organized about 3,000 warriors to go up to Ai to battle.

Had Joshua taken time to pray, undoubtedly God would have revealed that there was sin in Israel and warned him not to go to battle.  Had Joshua taken time to pray, he would have also discovered that the pattern for attacking Ai was not to be the same as Jericho.  The "Ais" of life are not taken the same way as the "Jerichos.” We cannot live in past victories or the traditions of yesterday. God has new strategies each time we mobilize and move forward to claim territory in His name.

You studied about Gideon in Chapter Three and you will remember that when he went to battle God reduced many men to a few.  At Ai, God would increase few to many. You cannot limit and predict God to follow the patterns of the past.  He is the God of the new who has declared "I will do a new thing.”

But Joshua did not take time to pray.  He sent a few of the troops who were badly defeated and fled before the enemy.

Summary:

The four reasons for Israel's defeat at Ai were in the areas of:

·         Principles

·         Pride

·         Perception

·         Prayerlessness

THE RESULTS:

Therefore (because they have sinned) the children of Israel could not stand before their enemies, but turned their backs before their enemies because they were accursed; neither will I be with you anymore, except ye destroy the accursed from among you.  (Joshua 7:12)

Just as there are always reasons for defeat, there are always results from failure.  Note the results of Israel's defeat:

·         Joshua 7:4-5: Fleeing before the enemy.

·         Joshua 7:5: Spiritual death.

·         Joshua 7:5: Fear and despondency of people.

·         Joshua 7:6: Despondency of the leadership.

·         Joshua 7:7: Looking back to the "good old days.”

·         Joshua 7:8-9: Questioning.

What a sad picture we have of Israel.  No longer are they a motivated and mobilized force for God.  They are a discouraged people with a discouraged leader, questioning, fearful, and fleeing before the enemy.

Violation of God's principles, pride, carnal perception, and prayerlessness will always render you immobile in the face of the enemy.  But never view the final outcome on the basis of current and temporary defeat.  Just as there are reasons and results for failure, there is always a remedy.

THE REMEDY:

There is a remedy for every failure.  Even if you have been taken captive by your enemy, Satan, you can recover:

And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil who are taken captive of him at his will. (II Timothy 2:26)

When you are walking in defeat, you are walking in the will of the enemy. God will help you recover, but you must also take steps to "recover yourself" by following the Biblical principles of recovery.  Read Joshua 7:10-13. In this passage you will find four steps to recovery to use when you have been defeated by the enemy:

l. Revelation:

And the Lord said...Israel hath sinned...(Portions of Joshua 7:10-11)

The first step of recovery is to have a revelation of exactly what is the problem.  When Joshua went to prayer, God revealed to him that Israel had sinned.

Ask God to reveal that "accursed thing" that stands between you and victory, that thing which prevents you from being both mobilized and a mobilizer.

It is important to note that individual sin affects the entire corporate body.  God told Joshua  that  "they" (all of Israel)  had sinned, not just Achan. (Joshua 7:11)

We are very quick to see problems in the Church but often we do not recognize the role we as individuals have in these problems.  Each believer is part of the corporate Body of Christ.  A sin in one member affects the mobilizing and functioning of the entire Body.

2. Repentance:

God not only revealed the problem to Joshua, He told him to deal with it:

And the Lord said unto Joshua, Get thee up. wherefore liest thou thus upon thy face?  (Joshua 7:10)

The revelation of the problem is not enough to recover yourself from the snare of the enemy. You must get up and deal with the problem itself. There is a time to stop praying and begin to act upon what God has revealed to you.

God told Joshua to call the people together and deal with the sin in their midst.  If you are to recover yourself from the snare of the enemy, you must confront the problem.  Joshua was quick to obey. It says he "rose up early in the morning" to follow God's instructions (Joshua 7:16).  When God revealed that Achan was the transgressor, Joshua sent men "running" to the tent to get the sinful items.  We cannot be too quick to deal with sin in our midst.  Delay is disobedience, but...

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (I John 1:9)

3. Restoration:

The next step after repentance is restoration.  In the case of the Ai defeat, the accursed items are taken care of and Achan's entire family is punished.  They are stoned to death in the Valley of Achor.  Holiness is restored to God's people.  The separation caused by their violation of principles, carnal perception, pride, and prayerlessness is corrected.

When God reveals the reason for your defeat and you repent, you must also make restitution.  You must remove the "accursed thing" from your life.  You may also need to forgive others or ask forgiveness.  You may need to correct a sinful situation your disobedience created.

4. Return:

When fellowship with God is broken by sin, recovery comes by returning to the place of separation and conquering the enemy.  Your walk with God must be renewed.  You must return to the battlefield to deal with your defeat.  So, after the revelation of sin, repentance, and restoration, God's instructions to Israel were "Go up to Ai."

There can be no truce and no neutrality with the enemy. When you have failed, the enemy will speak words of defeat to you:

·         "You might as well give up."

·         "Everyone has lost confidence in you."

·         "God does not care or He would have helped you."

·         "You are weak and good for nothing."

·         "You will just fail if you try again."

But you must return to the battlefield. You must  face the enemy and emerge victorious!  You can never move on to other battles until you win at "Ai,” your place of defeat.  Read Joshua 8 which tells the story of Israel's return and victory at Ai.  Be sure to note that this time Joshua took up all the warriors of Israel!

Summary:

Here is the Biblical remedy for recovery:

·         Revelation

·         Repentance

·         Restoration

·         Return

THE DOOR OF HOPE

When you follow God's remedy for recovery, He takes your valley of Achor (trouble) and actually turns it into a door of hope:

I will give...the valley of Achor for a door of hope... (Hosea 2:15)

Chapter 7 opens with dark picture of Lord's anger kindled against His people.  But in chapter 8, we find Israel again mobilized for victory:

·         Joshua 8:3-8: God gave a strategy.

·         Joshua 8:7,18: The victory was assured.

·         Joshua 8:10-29: The leader and people acted in obedience and faith.

·         Joshua 8: 20: The enemy had no power to flee.

·         Joshua 8:22, 26: The enemy was totally destroyed.

·         Joshua 8:30-35: God received the glory.

·         Joshua 9:2: Fear of God and His people fell on the remaining foes.

If you follow this remedy for recovery you will also witness these results as God turns your own Valley of Achor into a door of hope.

 

SELF-TEST

1. Write the Key Verse from memory.

2. Identify four reasons for Israel's defeat at Ai.

3. Summarize the results of Israel's defeat at Ai.

4. List four steps of the remedy of recovery.

 (Answers to tests are provided at the conclusion of the final chapter in this manual.)

 

FOR FURTHER STUDY

1. The reasons for Israel's defeat at Ai were in the areas of:

·         Principles

·         Pride

·         Perception

·         Prayerlessness

Consider some of the spiritual defeats you have faced.  Which have been caused by one or more of these four basic problems?

2. Study Joshua's conversation with God in more detail:

·         Question: 7:7 a

·         Exclamation: 7:7b

·         Question 7:8

·         Exclamation: 7:9 a.

·         Question: 7:9b

Note that there is a major omission in Joshua's questions.  He does not ask the reason for Israel's defeat. Note the question Joshua asked God about...

...what wilt thou do unto thy great name?  (Joshua 7:9)

Always remember that every defeat you experience affects the name of the Lord.

3. Analyze your past spiritual defeats.  Were the results similar to those experienced by Israel?

·         Joshua 7:4: Fleeing before the enemy.

·         Joshua 7:5: Spiritual death.

·         Joshua 7:5: Fear and despondency of people.

·         Joshua 7:6: Despondency of the leadership.

·         Joshua 7:7: Looking back to the "good old days.”

·         Joshua 7:8-9: Questioning.

4. You would think that after the defeat at Ai, Joshua would have learned his lesson about prayerlessness and viewing things according to natural perception. Read Joshua 9 which recalls the story of the Gibeonites. You will discover Joshua falls into the same snare of the enemy again.  He views the situation with his natural perception and acts before praying.

Whenever you experience defeat you should not only recover from it, you should also learn from it so you will not fall prey to the same attack again.

5. You may wonder why the entire family of Achan had to be destroyed.  God saw the weakness in Achan that had been passed on to his family.  The Bible explains that the iniquities of the father can be passed down to the third and fourth generations  (see Exodus 20:15; 34:7; Deuteronomy 5:9).

But do not fear...You do not have to be affected by the sins of your parents and grandparents.  Because of the death of Jesus on the cross, the curse of generational sins can be broken.  It is done by applying the blood of Jesus to your life just as Israel applied the blood of the lamb when the death angel passed over Egypt.

 

CHAPTER EIGHTEEN: A TALE OF THREE CITIES

 

OBJECTIVES:

Upon completion of this chapter you will be able to:

Write the Key Verse from memory.

Explain why it is important to conquer spiritual giants in your life.

Identify three cities where a "few giants" remained.

Explain the results of leaving the giants in these three cities.

List seven techniques for killing spiritual giants.

KEY VERSE:

There was none of the Anakims left in the land of the children of Israel; only in Gaza, in Gath, and in Ashdod there remained (a few of them).  (Joshua 11:22)

INTRODUCTION

When Israel entered Canaan, they found giants in the land:

And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants; and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight. (Numbers 13:33)

Spiritually speaking, "giants" stand for the great difficulties you face in life.  You will meet "giant" problems in your family, church, social life, ministry, job, and in your own heart.

It is in the way of duty that you find giants.  When Israel was going forward they met giants.  When they turned back into the wilderness, they found none.  If you are meeting "giant" problems in your life and ministry, the good news is that you are progressing in God.  You are on the borderland of your Canaan and moving forward to claim the promises of God.  Mobilized people face giants.

DESTROYING THE GIANTS

God  told Israel to totally destroy the inhabitants of Canaan, including the giants. But Israel did not heed God's warning:

...but ye have not obeyed my voice...wherefore...they shall be as thorns in your sides and their gods shall be an snare unto you. (Judges 2:1-3)

Israel conquered much of Canaan, but they left just "a few giants" in three cities.  This lesson recalls this "Tale Of Three Cities" and how these giants became "snares and thorns" for Israel.  If the giants of your life are not eliminated, they will become "snares and thorns" in your spiritual experience.  For this reason, this lesson explains "techniques of giant-killing" that will help you conquer the giants in your own life.

A TALE OF THREE CITIES

There was none of the Anakims left in the land of the children of Israel; only in Gaza, in Gath, and in Ashdod there remained (a few of them).  (Joshua 11:22)

The Anakims permitted to remain were giants and were among the Canaanites whom God had commanded to be in destroyed.  In Gaza, Gath, and Ashdod, Israel allowed  these "few giants" to remain.  It is from these locations that Israel's trouble later came, and we get our "tale of three cities.”

GAZA:

Read Judges 16.  It is in Gaza that we find God's man, Samson, in trouble.  In a city where the giants were spared, Samson finds Delilah and it eventually destroys his life and ministry.  No matter how strong you are in the Lord, if giants are allowed to remain unconquered, they have the capacity to destroy both your life and ministry.

ASHDOD:

You already learned about the city of Ashdod in I Samuel 4-5 when you studied about the departure of God's glory from Israel.  You will recall that Ashdod was one of the cities  where the Philistines  took the Ark, the symbol of God's presence and glory.  This is the same Ashdod where Israel left "a few giants.”  Unconquered giants will rob you of the glory of God's presence.

GATH:

One bad thing about leaving giants in the land is that "giants beget giants.”  In I Samuel 17 God's people are being held hostage by a giant named Goliath.  Goliath was from the city of Gath, where Israel left "just a few giants.” 

If Joshua had destroyed all of the giants in the beginning, Israel would not have been faced with this problem.  But here we find the armies of Israel cowering in fear as day after day Goliath came out to taunt them.  Israel was all set in battle array (I Samuel 17:2).  They had the armor for battle and the warfare training, but they were rendered immobile by the giant, held captive in dismay and fear (I Samuel 17:11).

Unconquered giants in your life beget more giants.  These giants will return to taunt you and eventually you will be held hostage by fear.  You can have your spiritual armor on and be trained in spiritual warfare, but you will be rendered immobile unless you get down on the battle field and face the giant.

TECHNIQUES OF GIANT-KILLING

Somebody had to face the giant!  God used a young man named David, upon whom His Spirit and anointing rested. The "techniques of giant-killing" used by David in this natural battle can be applied spiritually as you face the giants in your own life.

FIRST: PREPARE:

In order to face the giants in life, you must prepare in the lesser battles you face.  David recalls how he conquered a lion and bear who attacked the sheep for which he cared (I Samuel 17:34-36).  He knew he could face this giant because he had prepared himself in the "little battles" of life.

When you determine to face the giant, get ready for attacks from others!  Remember that those who walk by faith are always challenged by those who walk in fear.  David was attacked by those closest to him, his own family (I Samuel 17:28).  He was attacked by leadership (I Samuel 17:33) and he was mocked by the giant himself (I Samuel 17:44).

When you prepare to face the giants in your life, those closest to you, including your family, may attack you.  Leadership may even say it is impossible.  The giants themselves will rise up to mock you. But if you have prepared yourself spiritually in the lesser battles of life, you will confidently say "I can conquer this giant"!

SECOND: PROFESS:

David had the proper profession.  He professed his confidence in God saying, "I know I can conquer this giant in the name of the Lord"  (see I Samuel 17:26,32,37, and 45-46).

THIRD PROVE:

Read I Samuel 38-40.  If you are to be successful in slaying giants, you must have proven your weapons.  Saul tried to clothe David in his own armor, but David had not proven Saul's armor.  You cannot conquer giants on the basis of someone else's power or experience.  You must put on the whole armor of God described in Ephesians 6 and prove it yourself.  You "prove" the armor of God as you use it to face the everyday problems and challenges of life, then when you face the really big giants of life, you are ready.

FOURTH: PENETRATE:

And it came to pass when the Philistine arose, and came and drew nigh to meet David, that David hasted, and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine  (I Samuel 17:48).  Your preparation may be good, you may have proven your armor, and you can have a good profession of faith in God.  But if you run from the giant, you will never conquer him.

David "ran" towards the giant.  You must do the same if you are to conquer your enemy.  You must penetrate the giant's territory.   No victory is possible while you sit immobilized on the hillside rationalizing, compromising, or excusing your continued defeat.

When the 12 Israeli spies returned from spying out Canaan, Joshua and Caleb said of the giants, "They are bread for us...we will eat them up."  In other words, "We will be stronger by overcoming them than if there had been no giants to overcome."  You will either face the giant, or be rendered immobile in the wilderness.  When you face the giant, you will be stronger than if there had been no giant to overcome. 

FIFTH: PROPER MOTIVE:

When you face the giants of life, you must face them with the proper motive:

This day will the Lord deliver thee into mine hand; and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee; and I will give the carcasses of the host of the Philistines this day unto the fowls of the air, and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel.

And all this assembly shall know that the Lord saveth not with sword and spear;  for the battle is the Lord's, and he will give you into our hands. (I Samuel 17:46-47)

David's motive was not to gain glory  for himself or show how strong he was.  His motive was to bring glory to God. 

SIXTH: PERFECT PATTERN:

God had a perfect pattern for David's victory.  It was a sling shot and five smooth stones, the first of which hit its mark and toppled the giant.   Your giant is God's enemy and you must fight with His weapons. Although the weapons described in Ephesians 6 seem as unlikely as five stones to conquer giants, they DO work!  You cannot fight spiritual giants with natural, carnal weapons.  You must follow God's perfect pattern.

SEVENTH:  PREVAIL:

You must prevail over the giant.  This means you must totally destroy him.  When the giant fell from the stone which David had slung, the young man then rushed and took the giant's own sword and beheaded him.

When you fight God's way, you will use the very thing that the enemy has threatened you with to defeat him. But remember, as in this tale of three cities, you must totally prevail over the giant or it will return to trouble you

SUMMARY:

To conquer giants you must...

·         Prepare properly.

·         Profess confidence in God.

·         Prove your spiritual armor.

·         Penetrate the giant's territory.

·         Have the proper motive.

·         Follow the perfect pattern.

·         Prevail totally over the enemy.

Giants block the mobilization of God's people. They must be conquered.

 

SELF-TEST

1. Write the Key Verse from memory.

2. In what three cities did Joshua leave "just a few giants"?

3. What were the results of leaving a few giants in each of these cities?

4. What will happen if you leave unconquered giants in your life?

5. List the seven techniques of giant killing discussed in this lesson.

 (Answers to tests are provided at the conclusion of the final chapter in this manual.)

FOR FURTHER STUDY

Do you have some unconquered giants in your life?  If so, what are they?  List them below:

Think about how you can apply these "techniques of giant killing" to the giants in your life:

1.  Prepare

2.  Profess

3.  Prove

4.  Penetrate

5.  Proper motive

6.  Perfect pattern

7.  Prevailing

 

CHAPTER NINETEEN: GIFT-BASED MOBILIZATION

 

OBJECTIVES:

Upon completion of this chapter you will be able to:

·         Write the Key Verse from memory.

·         Explain what is meant by "gift-based" mobilization.

·         Mobilize your church on the basis of spiritual gifts.

·         Explain how evaluation reveals if a person is properly placed in ministry.

·         Identify the key to using spiritual gifts.

KEY VERSE:

Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant.  (I Corinthians 12:1)

INTRODUCTION

This course has focused on spiritual factors necessary to mobilize people for the work of the ministry.  Turn to the "Table Of Contents" of this manual and review the chapter titles.  Each of these lessons are a part of the mobilization process.  If you  understand and apply these principles of mobilization, you will be able to mobilize yourself and others around you.

This final lesson of "Mobilization Methodologies" concerns "Gift-Based Mobilization.”  If you are a leader of others, then this lesson is very important.  It provides practical guidelines for taking a group of spiritually motivated people and actually mobilizing them in a practical way for the work of the ministry.  

GIFT-BASED MOBILIZATION

A church can be organized in many different ways.  It can be organized according to the desires of a denomination or the elders in the local church.  It can be organized in a way the pastor or spiritual leaders feel is most effective.  Some churches are not organized at all and confusion reigns!

To be a truly effective force for God, a church should be organized on the basis of spiritual gifts. Spiritual gifts equip us for the work of the ministry.  Every corporate ministry should be organized and mobilized on the basis of these special abilities given by God for the work of the ministry.

"Gift-based mobilization" is a method of organizing a group of people for the work of the ministry on the basis of their spiritual gifts.  The system outlined here basically guides people to do what God has called and equipped them to do.

The goal is not just to fill vacant ministry positions or to "get people involved.”  It is to prayerfully guide believers into areas of service for which their spiritual gifts and experience best equip them.  The result is that the whole Body will work together in the way God designed it.

There are three major steps in gift-based mobilization:

1. Guide people in discovery of their spiritual gifts.

2. Identify ministry needs.

3. Match people with the proper gifts to the needs identified.

STEP ONE: DISCOVER SPIRITUAL GIFTS:

If you are to guide people in discovering their spiritual gifts then both you and your followers must have knowledge of spiritual gifts.

Harvestime International Network offers a course entitled "The Ministry Of The Holy Spirit" which provides detailed instruction on the various spiritual gifts.  If you are taking the Harvestime courses in their suggested order, you have already completed this course.

"The Ministry Of The Holy Spirit" discusses each spiritual gift and provides analyses to aid in discovery of spiritual gifts.  We suggest you obtain this course and teach it in your church before trying to organize on the basis of gift-based mobilization.  (In case you do not have the course and cannot obtain it, a brief summary of the spiritual gifts is included in the "Appendix" of this course.)

Prayerfully guide each member of your church through the fourteen steps of spiritual gift discovery which is described in the Appendix of this manual.  These steps include:

Step One:  Being born again.

Step Two:  Receiving the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

Step Three:  Acquiring knowledge of spiritual gifts.

Step Four: Observing mature models of the gifts.

Step Five: Seeking a spiritual gift by fasting and praying.

Step Six:   Laying your hands upon them and asking God to reveal their gifts.

Step Seven: Self-analysis of spiritual interests.

Step Eight: Analysis by you, as their spiritual leader.

Step Nine:  Self-analysis of past Christian service.

Step Ten: Completion of the spiritual gift questionnaires provided in the Harvestime course "Ministry Of The Holy Spirit.”

Step Eleven:   Identifying spiritual gifts they might have.

Step Twelve:  Providing them with a list of ministry needs in the church.

Step Thirteen: Helping them match their spiritual gift to a ministry need.

Step Fourteen: Conducting follow up evaluation of their ministry in this area.

When you have prayerfully analyzed the spiritual gifts of members of the church congregation, then make a chart showing the names of members and the spiritual gifts God has revealed in each one.  Use the form provided in the "For Further Study" section of this lesson.

STEP TWO: IDENTIFY MINISTRY NEEDS:

Now you must identify the ministry needs in your church.  What needs do you presently have?  What positions in your church are not yet filled?  What new ministries do you believe the Lord would have you begin for which you will need laborers?  Here are some possible ministry needs:

Visitation:  Sick, newcomers to church, members of church, hospital, widows, prisons, bereaved, home for aged.

Evangelism:  House-to-house, evangelistic services, crusades, open air services.

Follow up Ministry:  To new converts.

Office/administrative Support:  Typing, drawing [art], filing, assembling, reproducing materials, mailings, telephones, records.

Hospitality:  Cooking meals and lodging for those in need or for visiting ministers, evangelists, Christians.

Ministry To Poor:  Providing food, clothing, shelter.

Maintenance Of Church Buildings: Landscaping, painting, carpentry, electrical, plumbing, cleaning.

Music:  Choir, instruments, song leader, special music groups, soloist, writing music.

Religious Dramatic Productions.

Financial:  Fund raising, accounting, financial planning for ministries.

Writing:  Christian books, newsletters, tracts, news and magazine articles, poetry.

Multi-media:  Audio and video tapes, radio, television, satellite broadcasting.

Counseling:  General counseling or to specific groups; telephone counseling.

Ministry To Special Groups:  Deaf, blind, mentally ill, narcotic addicts, alcoholics, migrant workers, gangs, unwed mothers, homosexuals, Jews, minority groups, women, men, families, married couples, abused children, runaways, school dropouts, illiterate, prisoners, military, children, youth, aged.

Church Offices: Elder, deacon/deaconess, Sunday school teacher, usher, committees such as building, finance, etc.

Translation:  Bible and Christian literature.

Christian Education:  Sunday  school, vacation Bible school, Christian preschool, elementary, high school, college; training for laymen using Harvestime International Institute courses, home Bible studies.

Missionary/Church Planting:  To unreached peoples in your region/nation.

Literature:  Christian library, bookstore, Bible and Christian literature distribution.

Camps And Retreats.

After you have identified the various ministry needs, write a brief description of the responsibilities of each ministry.  Here is an example:

Ministry of visitation:  Each Tuesday night visit church members who are sick, hospitalized, or need encouragement and prayer. Make a written report each Sunday to the pastor about the results of the visitations.

The Harvestime International Institute course entitled "Management By Objectives" gives detailed information on how to write a ministry description.

Then determine what spiritual gift would be important to successfully fulfill this ministry.  For example, one who does visitation might need the  gift of healing or exhortation (counseling).

 Use the charts in the "For Further Study " section of this lesson to assist you in identifying ministry needs, writing descriptions, and identifying the spiritual gifts necessary to successfully fulfill each ministry.

STEP THREE: MATCH PEOPLE, GIFTS, AND NEEDS:

If you have completed steps one and two, you have...

1. A list of each person in your church and their spiritual gifts.

2. A list of the ministry positions which need to be filled, a description of the responsibilities each  of these ministries entail, and the spiritual gifts necessary for each ministry.

You are now ready to match the people with the proper gifts to the ministry needs you have identified.  Use the form provided in the "For Further Study" section of this lesson.  Your goal is to assign each person to fill a ministry position for which his spiritual gifts will enable him to effectively function. 

Most people will want to pray about their assignment before accepting it.  Be sure to give them a copy of the ministry description so they will know the responsibilities of the position. People who refuse the ministry positions offered should be met with again to discuss other possible avenues of service.

If there are ministry positions for which no gifted member is discovered, you have two alternatives:

1. Pray about discontinuing or postponing the ministry until a properly gifted believer is available.

2. If the ministry is vital, temporarily fill the position with a person who has the gift of administration.   A person with this gift can often substitute temporarily, as the gift of administration enables one to assume responsibility for others.

EVALUATION

Periodically evaluate each member and their ministry.  You will know a person is properly placed on the basis of gifts when...

-He is fruitful in the area in which he is serving.  This means you will see positive results of his ministry.

-When he is fulfilled and enjoying the ministry.  If he is frustrated, he may be serving in an area for which he is not gifted.

-When the feedback you receive from those to whom he ministers is positive, which indicates he is effective in the position in which he is serving. 

If a person is not effective in the ministry in which they are serving, meet with them again to discuss and pray about their spiritual gifts.  Keep trying until you are successful.  It is better to have a bit of reorganization from time to time than to have people sitting immobile on the church pews!   Periodic evaluation will help you further refine the gift-based mobilization of your membership.  It will also help you identify additional ministry needs as the church grows.

THE KEY TO USING GIFTS

It may take some time for you to reorganize your church and mobilize on the basis of spiritual gifts  Do not be discouraged if you find people are not open to change and like it the way they have done it for "the last 40 years"!  In such cases, remember that the key to using all spiritual gifts is love.  Paul introduced this key when discussing gifts of the Holy Spirit.  He said...

...yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.  (I Corinthians 12:31)

Read I Corinthians 13 which explains that "more excellent way."   You can prophesy, have the gifts of healing, faith, giving, etc., all in operation in your church, but without love, they will not be effective.  Gifts are unprofitable when used without love.  Speaking in tongues becomes like a noisy clanging.   Every gift is worthless, "it profits nothing,” unless it is used in love.  The mobilization of a church based on spiritual gifts is also unprofitable if it cannot be instituted in love.

 

SELF-TEST

1. Write the Key Verse from memory.

2. What is "gift-based" mobilization?

3. List the three step for mobilizing a church on the basis of spiritual gifts.

4. How will you know if a person is properly placed in ministry?

5. What is the key to using spiritual gifts?

 (Answers to tests are provided at the conclusion of the final chapter in this manual.)

FOR FURTHER STUDY

1. If you have difficulty with people in the church as you try to institute gift-based mobilization, ask them these questions:

·         What percentage of our members are actively involved in Christian service?

·         Who is responsible for recruiting people to fill ministry vacancies?

·         Are we regularly increasing our various ministries to our community?  Our nation?  Our world?

·         Do we lack adequate laborers to reap the spiritual harvest?

·         Are some of our key leadership positions vacant?

·         Are some of the people serving in various ministries frustrated?

·         Do we have any system for channeling new converts and new church members into ministry?

·         What does our church do to encourage people to discover, develop, and use their spiritual gifts?

The answers to these questions may help you convince others of the need for change.

2. Use the charts on the following pages as you mobilize the church on the basis of spiritual gifts:

GIFT-BASED MOBILIZATION

Membership Gift Summary

1. Record the name of each member in column one.

2. In column two, list the position they currently hold in the church, if any. (You may find some people presently serving in positions are not suited for these positions).

3. On the basis of the guidelines given in Chapter Nineteen  and the Appendix of this course, identify their spiritual gifts and list them in column three.

 (1) Name

(2) Current Position in the Church

(3)  Spiritual Gifts

GIFT-BASED MOBILIZATION

Ministry Needs

1. In column one, identify the ministry need.

2. In column two, describe the responsibilities of the specific ministry position.

3. In column three, identify the spiritual gifts necessary to effectively fulfill this ministry.

 (l) Ministry Need

(2) Responsibilities

(3) Spiritual Gifts Necessary

GIFT-BASED MOBILIZATION

Matching People, Needs, And Gifts

1. Write the name in column one.

2. Write their current ministry position in column two.

3. Write their spiritual gifts in column three.

4. Write their new ministry position in column four.  (You will find some people currently holding positions are well matched to their ministry and their position will remain the same).

(1) Name

(2) Current Position

 (3) Spiritual Gifts

 (4) New Position     

 

APPENDIX

The following is a brief summary of the gifts of the Holy Spirit.  For further discussion of this subject and helpful analyses forms obtain the Harvestime International Institute course entitled "The Ministry Of The Holy Spirit.”

GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

Jesus left His followers with the responsibility to extend the Gospel message to the ends of the earth.  The power of the Holy Spirit would help them fulfill this task (Acts 1:8).  Jesus did not leave His followers with such a great responsibility without giving them the ability to fulfill the challenge. Spiritual gifts are supernatural abilities given by the Holy Spirit to empower believers to be effective witnesses of the Gospel.

There is a difference between spiritual gifts and natural talents.  A talent is a natural ability inherited at birth or developed through training.  A spiritual gift is a supernatural ability which did not come by inheritance or training.  It is a special ability given by the Holy Spirit to be used for specific spiritual purposes.

It is possible that a natural talent may be sanctioned  [approved and blessed] by the Holy Spirit after one becomes a believer.  When this occurs the talent then becomes a gift as well as a talent.  For example, a person may have a natural talent in administration because of training he has received.  After baptism in the Holy Spirit this natural talent may be sanctioned [approved] by the Holy Spirit and he may be used in the spiritual gift of administration.

Spiritual gifts provide spiritual capabilities far greater than the finest natural talents.  Although we should use all our natural talents for the work of the Lord, we still need spiritual gifts.

PURPOSES OF THE GIFTS

The purposes of the gifts of the Holy Spirit are listed in Ephesians 4:12-15. Read this passage in your Bible.  According to this passage, the purposes of the Holy Spirit are to:

·         Perfect the saints

·         Promote the work of the ministry

·         Edify Christ and the church

The objectives or goals of spiritual gifts are that we will:

·         Become united in the faith.

·         Develop our knowledge of Christ.

·         Develop in perfection, with Christ as our model.

·         Become stable, not deceived by false doctrines.

·         Mature spiritually in Christ.

DISTRIBUTION OF THE GIFTS

Each believer has at least one spiritual gift (I Peter 4:10).  Because every believer has at least one spiritual gift, we each have a responsibility to discover and use our gift.  You will not be judged by how many spiritual gifts you have.  You will be judged by your faithfulness to use the spiritual gift or gifts you have been given. The parable of the talents in Matthew 25:14-30 confirms this truth.

There are many spiritual gifts, but no believer has all of the gifts of the Holy Spirit (see I Corinthians 12:29-30).  A person may have more than one gift, but no one has all the gifts of the Spirit.  If he did, then he would have no need of others in the Body of Christ.

The Bible indicates there are many gifts which come from one source. The source of spiritual gifts is the Holy Spirit.   He gives and operates these gifts in the lives of believers  (see I Corinthians 12:4-7 and Romans 12:6-8).  There is one source of spiritual gifts but there are many different gifts.   No gift is more important than another.

Your position in the Body of Christ is compared to parts of a human body.  Just as in the human body, the smaller parts such as the eye have important functions, the seemingly "small" gift is often quite important in the functioning of the church. Some gifts involve greater responsibilities, but no gift is more important than another.

Some parts of the human body have greater responsibilities than others.  For example, the eye lets you see what is around you.  It guides you when walking. It permits you to read and see and enjoy God's creations.  The eye has greater responsibility, but it is no more important than the big toe which provides balance for walking.  The guidance of the eye for walking is useless if you have no feet with which to walk.  The eye's function to permit reading is useless if you have no brain to understand what you read.

Sometimes misunderstanding arises in the Church when believers do not recognize the spiritual gifts of others.  For example, one  person may have the gift of giving and may not understand another believer who does not give as liberally. Or one may have the gift of administration and become very impatient with people who are less organized.

Each believer should use his spiritual gifts to work together with other believers who have different gifts.  When this happens, the Church functions effectively as the Body of Christ.

STEWARDS OF GIFTS

You are only a steward of spiritual gifts.  A steward is someone who does not own that with which he works.  He uses something given to him by another person.  He uses it in behalf of the person who gave it to him (I Corinthians 4:1; I Peter 4:10).  As a steward, you will be judged on the basis of your faithfulness to use the gifts you have been given (I Corinthians 4:2).

THE GIFTS OF THE SPIRIT

The main passages identifying spiritual gifts are listed below:

·         Romans 12:1-8

·         I Corinthians 12:1-31

·         Ephesians 4:1-16

·         I Peter 4:7-11

For study purposes we have divided the gifts into four major categories:

·         Special Gifts

·         Speaking Gifts

·         Serving Gifts

·         Sign Gifts

The Bible does not make such a division of the gifts.  We have made it to help you remember the various gifts more easily.  Here is a list of the various spiritual gifts:

SPECIAL GIFTS:

The first group of spiritual gifts are what we will call "special gifts.”  We use this title for these gifts because each one is a special leadership position in the church.  The special leadership gifts are:

Apostles:  An apostle is one who has a special ability to develop new churches in different places and cultures and to oversee a number of churches as a supervisor.   Apostle means "a delegate, one sent with full power and authority to act for another.”  The apostle has a special authority or ability to extend the Gospel throughout the world by developing organized bodies of believers.  Modern terms used by the church for an apostle are missionary and church-planter.

Prophets:  There are two prophetic gifts.  One is the special gift of being a prophet.  The other is the speaking gift of prophecy. In general, prophecy refers to speaking under the special inspiration  of God.  It is the special ability to receive and communicate an immediate message of God to His people through a divinely-anointed utterance. A "prophet" is a leader in the church as well as having the speaking gift of prophecy.

Evangelists:  An evangelist has a special ability to share the Gospel with non-believers in a way that men and women respond and become responsible members of the Body of Christ.  The meaning of the word "evangelist" is "one who brings good new.”

Pastors:  Pastors are leaders who assume long-term personal responsibility for the spiritual welfare of a group of believers.  A pastor spiritually cares for those under his authority, teaching them the Word of God and ministering to their personal and spiritual needs.

Teachers:  Teachers are believers who have the special ability of communicating the Word of God effectively in such a way that others learn and apply what is taught.  The special gift of being a teacher differs from the speaking gift of teaching just as being a prophet differs from the  speaking gift of prophecy.  All believers do not have the special gift of teaching or the speaking gift of teaching.  But all believers are to be involved in teaching the basic Gospel message (Hebrews 5:12).

SPEAKING GIFTS: 

Five gifts have been given the title of "speaking gifts" because they all involve speaking aloud.  The five speaking gifts are:

Prophecy:  A person with the gift of prophecy speaks by the special inspiration of God to communicate an immediate message to His people.  The speaking gift of prophecy alone does not mean you have the special gift of being a prophet.  God has set prophets [who also have the gift of prophecy] in special leadership positions in the church.  Although they prophesy like prophets, people with the gift of prophecy do not have the special leadership position of a prophet. They simply deliver special messages under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

Teaching:  As in the example of prophets and prophecy, the speaking gift of teaching does not mean a person has the special gift of being a teacher. God sets teachers [who also have the gift of teaching] in special leadership positions in the church.  The speaking gift of teaching involves communicating God's Word but does not include leadership in the Church as does the leadership gift of being a teacher.

Exhortation:  The gift of exhortation is the ability to draw close to individuals in time of need, counseling them correctly with the Word of God.  To "exhort" literally means to call a person aside, to advise, recommend, admonish, encourage, or comfort.  Exhortation is the ability to give wise spiritual counsel.  People with this gift minister words of comfort, consolation, and encouragement in such a way that others are helped.  A modern term for this gift would be "the gift of counseling.”

Word Of Wisdom:  The word of wisdom is the ability to receive insight as to how knowledge may be applied to specific needs.  Given the facts in any situation, a person with this gift  knows how to apply the facts to bring a wise solution.  The word of wisdom is a divine insight into people and situations that is not obvious to the average person.  This God-given wisdom is combined with an understanding of what to do and how to do it.  This gift is not called "the gift of wisdom" because it does not give one the total wisdom of God.  It is a word of wisdom, just a portion of God's infinite wisdom.  The gift of the word of wisdom does not come through education.  The source of such wisdom is God.

Word Of Knowledge: The word of knowledge is the ability to understand things which others do not know and cannot comprehend and to share this knowledge with them under the inspiration of the Spirit.  Like the word of wisdom, it is not called "the gift of knowledge.”  It is the gift of the "word of knowledge.”  It is not the total knowledge of God, but only a portion of His knowledge.  The source of this spiritual knowledge is God.  The gift of the word of knowledge is revelatory knowledge. This means it is knowledge revealed by God.   It is not knowledge obtained through education or study.

SERVING GIFTS:

There are nine spiritual gifts which we will call the "serving gifts.”  These gifts "serve" the church by providing structure, organization, and support in both spiritual and practical areas. The nine serving gifts are:

Discerning Of Spirits:  Discerning of spirits is the ability to evaluate people, doctrines, and situations as to whether they are of God or of Satan.  In no way should discerning of spirits be confused with a critical spirit.  The gift is a spiritual gift.  Spiritual things are not discerned with the natural mind.  This gift is limited to the discerning of spirits.  It is not just discerning in general.  This gift serves the church by identifying people who would split the fellowship with wrong motives, doctrines, and attitudes.

Leadership:  The spiritual gift of leadership is the ability to set goals in accord with God's purpose and to communicate these goals to others.  A person with this gift motivates and leads others to accomplish these goals for the glory of God.   Leadership is mentioned in Romans 12 and the qualification for this gift is that one leads [rules] with diligence. Diligence means to show constant care and effort to accomplish what is undertaken. It means to be industrious, attentive, and to persevere.

Administration:  The gift of administration is actually called "governments" in the Bible.  A person with the gift of administration has the ability to give direction, organize, and make decisions on behalf of others.  The meaning of the word administration is similar to the word used for a pilot steering a ship.  A similar word is used for both in the Bible. A person with this gift is responsible for direction and decision making. Like the pilot of a ship he may not be the owner of the ship, but he has been entrusted with the responsibility of directing it on its voyage.

The gifts of leadership and administration both involve organizational skills which result in the accomplishing of spiritual goals. Often a believer will have both the gifts of leadership and administration. If a person has the gift of administration but does not have the gift of leadership, he will need someone with that gift to work with him.  A person with the gift of administration has the ability to direct, organize, and make decisions.  But without the gift of leadership he does not have the ability to motivate and actually work with people to achieve goals.

Faith:  A person with the gift of faith has a special ability to believe with supernatural confidence and trust God in difficult circumstances.  It is special faith to meet a special need.  He knows God is going to do the impossible.  He exercises this faith even when other believers around him do not believe. The Bible teaches that each person has a certain amount of faith given to him as a gift of God (Romans 12:3b).  It also teaches that we are saved through faith (Ephesians 2:8).  But the gift of faith is an unusual ability to believe God in every area of life.  This faith knows  no impossibilities. It puts no limits on what God can do.

Giving:  A person with the gift of giving has a special ability to give material goods and financial resources to the work of the Lord.  The gift of giving also includes the giving of time, strength, and talents to the work of the Lord.

Helps:  A person with the gift of helps has the ability to assist others in the work of the Lord, enabling them to increase the effectiveness of their own spiritual gifts.  From custodian to musicians, anything assisting in the operation of a church or a ministry can be considered a gift of helps.

Serving:  The word "ministering" in Romans 12:7 means "serving.”  Serving differs from helps in that it relieves someone of certain duties.  One who serves assumes the responsibility for certain tasks to free another to exercise their spiritual gift.

Mercy:  "Mercy" means compassion.  A person with the gift of mercy has special compassion on those suffering and an ability to help them.  

Hospitality:  The gift of hospitality is a special ability God gives to certain members of the Body of Christ to provide food and lodging for those in need.

SIGN GIFTS:

There are four gifts which we call "sign gifts" because they are supernatural signs of God's power working through believers to confirm His Word.  The sign gifts are:

Miracles:  Through a person with the gift of miracles God performs powerful acts which are beyond the possibility of occurring naturally   These acts are a sign that God's power is greater than that of Satan, and God receives the glory.

Healing:  A believer with the gifts of healing has the ability to let God's power flow through him to restore health apart from the use of natural methods.  "Healing" means to make well.

Tongues:  The gift of tongues is the ability to receive and communicate a message of God to His people through a language never learned. "Tongues" means languages.  The reason we have called this a "sign" gift rather than a "speaking" gift is that the Bible indicates clearly that this gift is given for a sign.

When one speaks in tongues it can be in a language known and recognized by the listeners (Acts 2:6-8).  It can also be in a language not known to man.  This is called speaking in unknown tongues (I Corinthians 14:2).  Speaking in tongues is the physical sign of having been baptized in the Holy Spirit. But this experience of speaking in tongues is different from the gift of tongues.  The gift of tongues is the special ability to deliver messages from God to the church in a language not known by the speaker.

Interpretation Of Tongues:  The gift of interpretation is a special ability to make known in a language understood the message of one who speaks in tongues.  The interpretation of a message in tongues is given by the Holy Spirit to one with this spiritual gift.  It is not interpreted by knowing the language in which the message was given.  It is given by revelation from the Holy Spirit.

Remember...These gifts are special abilities from God to minister in different ways.  While there may be some evidences of these in all our lives it does not necessarily mean we have a certain gift.  For example, all believers are to give to the work of the Lord with tithes and offerings.  But the gift of giving is an unusual generosity prompted by the Spirit of God.  All believers have a measure of faith according to the Word of God. But the gift of faith is a special ability to believe beyond that of the ordinary Christian.

THE IMPORTANCE OF DISCOVERY

It is important to discover your spiritual gift in order to accomplish the spiritual purposes and objectives for which believers are called (Ephesians 4:12-15).  The gifts of the Holy Spirit are also given to the church as weapons of spiritual warfare to fight the spiritual forces of Satan.  If you are to be mobilized in spiritual warfare, you must do so on the basis of your spiritual gifts.

If you do not know your spiritual gifts, you can have problems by attempting to use gifts not given to you or not using your gift properly.  You will also be held accountable to God for not using the gifts with which He entrusted you.

Discovering your spiritual gift will help you avoid frustration which comes from trying to function in an area for which you are not gifted.  It will also mobilize you to fulfill your personal destiny in the Body of Christ.

DISCOVERING YOUR SPIRITUAL GIFT

The following guidelines will help you discover your spiritual gift or gifts:

STEP ONE - Be Born Again:

You must be born again.  Spiritual gifts come through the new birth just as natural talents come through natural physical birth.   If you are never born in the natural world you will not have natural talents. If you are not born again in the spiritual world you cannot be given spiritual gifts (Acts 2:38).

STEP TWO - Receive The Baptism Of The Holy Spirit:

Ask God to fill you with the Holy Spirit.  Study Acts chapter 2.

STEP THREE - Know The Spiritual Gifts:

If you do not know what spiritual gifts exist,  you will not be able to recognize the one(s) God has given you.  The lessons you studied in this course have equipped you to identify the various gifts available to believers.

STEP FOUR - Observe Models Of The Gifts:

As you are considering what gifts you might have, it is helpful to observe mature models of the various gifts.  A "mature model" of a spiritual gift is a believer who has been effectively using a gift for an extended period of time.

For example, talk with someone who has the gift of teaching.  Question them as to how they knew they had the gift, how they began to use it, and ways they are continuing to develop their gift.   Do the same for the other gifts.   Learning how others discovered their gifts and observing mature models of the gifts in action will help you identify your own gift.

STEP FIVE - Seek A Spiritual Gift:

Desire a gift and fast and pray for it.  The Bible tells us to seek spiritual gifts (I Corinthians 12:31).  We each have at least one gift, but this verse implies we can also seek a gift which we do not now possess.

STEP SIX - Laying On Of Hands:

Have your spiritual leader lay hands on you and pray for God to reveal your spiritual gift (I Timothy 4:14).

NOTE:  As a result of Steps One through Six God may reveal your spiritual gift.  If this does not happen, proceed with the following steps.

STEP SEVEN - Analyze Your Spiritual Interests:

The areas in which you find great joy in serving God are often those for which He has gifted you.  Just as a gift you receive in the natural world brings joy, so do spiritual gifts.  You must have a "passion" or "burden" [great interest or desire] for a certain ministry in order to serve God effectively.

For example, a person with the gift of administration can use it to organize and direct anything.  He could administer a church, a Christian school, a drug rehabilitation center, etc.  But he must have a burden or passion for the ministry where he uses his gift.  If he has no interest in a Christian school, he will not last long even though he has the gift of administration. 

Answer the following questions to help determine your spiritual interest or burden:

1. What kind or group of people do you feel most attracted to?

 (If you are called to a particular group of people, your spiritual gift will relate to their needs.  For example, if you feel a call to children and want to see them learn about God, you may have the gift of teaching).

2. What areas of need cause a strong emotional stirring in you?

 (When God calls you to meet a specific need, you will often feel a strong emotional stirring within).

3. If you could not fail, what would you desire to do for the Lord?

 (God honors personal desires).

4. Complete this sentence:  "I have a growing restless conviction from within that I should get involved in..."

 (Such convictions are often God speaking to your spirit about an area in which He wants you to serve).

5. I am certain God has definitely called me to a specific area of ministry.  It is...

 (If you know the specific area of ministry to which God has called you, it will be easy to determine your spiritual gift. God always provides the necessary gifts to enable you to fulfill the call.)

6. What gifts bring you the most joy in thinking about them or using them?

 (For example, do you enjoy teaching?  Do you enjoy being hospitable and having people into your home? Are you often moved to give large sums of money to God's work?)

STEP EIGHT - Analysis By A Christian Leader:

Have a Christian leader analyze your spiritual abilities.  Ask the following questions and record the answers:

1. In what areas of Christian service have you observed me to be effective?

2. Based upon this observation of my effectiveness, what spiritual gifts do you believe I might have?

STEP NINE - Analyze Your Past Christian Service:

Analyze your past ministry. Answer these questions:

1. In what areas of Christian service have you ministered in the past?

2. In which of these were you effective?

3. In which of these did you experience great joy in serving?

4. In which of these did your spiritual leader and/or others note your effectiveness?

STEP TEN - Complete The Spiritual Gift Questionnaires:

The  Harvestime International Institute course entitled "The Ministry Of The Holy Spirit" contains two spiritual gift questionnaires.  If it is possible for you to obtain this course and take these tests, your answers to the questions will help you identify spiritual gifts which God may have given you.

STEP ELEVEN - Identify Gifts You Think You Might Have:

Identify the gifts you think you might have based on:

1. The knowledge of gifts you have obtained through study.

2. What God has revealed to you through prayer.

3. What you have analyzed in yourself.

4. What a key Christian leader has observed in your life.

5. Analysis of your effectiveness in areas of ministry in which you have previously served.

6. Completion of the Spiritual Gifts Questionnaires.

STEP TWELVE - Identify Spiritual Needs:

Since you are completing this spiritual gift analysis as part of the gift-based mobilization occurring in your church, your pastor has already identified the spiritual needs of your local ministry.  Ask him to provide you with a list of these ministry needs.

STEP THIRTEEN - Fill A Spiritual Need:

Your pastor will help you compare the list of ministry needs to the list of gifts you believe God has given you.  He will help you identify a spiritual need that corresponds with the gift you believe you have, then make a commitment to fill this need. 

For example, if there is a need for teachers in your church and you believe you have the gift of teaching, you may be matched to meet this need.

STEP FOURTEEN - Evaluate Your Ministry:

After serving awhile in this area with your gift, meet with your pastor and evaluate your ministry.  You have discovered and are showing proper stewardship of your spiritual gift...

-When you are fruitful in the area in which you are serving. This means you will see positive  results of your ministry.

-When you are fulfilled...You are enjoying your ministry. If you are frustrated, you may not be serving in an area for which you are gifted.

-When the feedback [comments you receive from your spiritual leaders] indicate you are effective in the position in which you are serving. 

If the ministry you are filling does not fit your spiritual capabilities and you are ineffective, review your list of possible gifts and ask God to show you another area in which to minister.

CHECKLIST FOR SPIRITUAL GIFT DISCOVERY

The following checklist will assist you in completing the practical steps for discovering your spiritual gift which were given in this Appendix:

Step One: I have been born again.

Step Two: I have received the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

Step Three: I can identify the various spiritual gifts.

Step Four: I have observed mature models of the gifts.

Step Five: I have sought a spiritual gift by fasting and prayer.

Step Six: I had my spiritual leaders lay hands on me and ask God to reveal my gift(s).

Step Seven: I have analyzed my spiritual interests.

Step Eight: I have been analyzed by my spiritual leader.

Step Nine: I have analyzed my past Christian service.

Step Ten: I  completed the spiritual gift questionnaires in the Harvestime  course "The Ministry Of The Holy Spirit.”

Step Eleven: I have identified the spiritual gifts I believe I might have.

Step Twelve: I reviewed the spiritual needs in my home, community, and church.

Step Thirteen: I have matched my gift to a need  and begun to fill it.

Step Fourteen: I evaluated my ministry in this area and found it to be effective.

 

ANSWERS TO SELF-TESTS

CHAPTER ONE:

1. But Jesus called them unto Him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them.

But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister.  (Matthew 20:26)

2. To "manipulate" means to "skillfully manage, direct, or control a person to achieve selfish purposes.”  A manipulator exploits and uses others as "things" to achieve an end.

3. To "mobilize" means to "put in a state of readiness for active service, to use one's energies for action.”  In broad terms, mobilization refers to any event by which God's people are awakened and kept moving and growing until they find their place of strategic involvement in the task of completing world evangelization. 

4. Spiritual mobilization differs from manipulation because it is grounded in Biblical principles and the motivation is focused on God rather than man.  It is not focused on flesh and self.  It is not need-oriented ministry, but command-oriented. 

5. Review the discussion in Chapter One.

6. We must be concerned with mobilizing spiritual resources because it is the only way the great spiritual harvest of our world can ever be reaped.  We are mobilizing spiritual resources for the purpose of evangelism.

CHAPTER TWO:

1. Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the Word.  (Acts 8:4)

2. Ephesians 4:11-16 reveals that the reason the Lord gave special leadership gifts to the Church were for the purpose of equipping (mobilizing) people for the work of the ministry.  Apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers are all to be "mobilizers.”  They are the special ministry gifts ordained by God  to equip (mobilize) believers for the work of the ministry.

The fact that the Holy Spirit indwells and endows each believer with spiritual gifts also confirms that the mobilization of the entire Body of Christ is divinely ordained (see Romans 12:3-8 and I Corinthians 12:1-31).

3. Compare your answers to the discussion of Biblical terms implying mobilization in Chapter Two.

4. Compare your answer to the commands given in Chapter Two.

5. Compare your answer to the discussion in Chapter Two.

6. Compare your list to the examples given in Chapter Two.

7. Compare your summary to the discussion in Chapter Two.

CHAPTER THREE:

1. And when Solomon had made an end of praying, the fire came down from Heaven, and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of the Lord filled the house.

And the priests could not enter into the house of the Lord, because the glory of the Lord had filled the Lord's house.

And when all the children of Israel saw how the fire came down, and the glory of the Lord upon the house, they bowed themselves with their faces to the ground upon the pavement, and worshiped, and praised the Lord, saying, For He is good; for His mercy endureth forever.  (II Chronicles 7:1-3)

2. There are many positive benefits of fire in the natural world.  Fire provides energy and warmth. It is used to prepare food.  Controlled burning of land provides ashes which fertilize the ground to make better harvests.

Fire consumes waste matter.  It burns out impurities in gold and silver.  Fire attracts people, which is evident from the crowd that always gathers when something is set ablaze.

Fire kindles other fires, but it is the tendency of fire to go out if it is not continuously fueled.  A flickering flame that is almost out, however, can be fanned again into a brilliant fire.

3. "The fire of God" is the fire of the Pentecostal experience.  It is a fire that will loose your tongue to speak and empower you to fulfill the Great Commission.

4. See the discussion in Chapter Three.

5. See the discussion of the purposes of the fire of God in Chapter Three.

6.

·         Be born again.

·         Receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

·         Let the fire refine your life.

·         Kindle other fires.

·         Continuously fuel the fire.

CHAPTER FOUR:

1. Arise, shine; for thy light is come; and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.

For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people; but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and His glory shall be seen upon thee.  (Isaiah 60:1-2)

2. "Glory" is one of the most rich words of the English language.  No single word can serve as a good synonym, but here are some words that describe "glory": Honor, praise, splendor, radiance, power, exaltation, worthiness, likeness, beauty, renown, and rank.

When the word "glory" is used of God it is an expression of His divine essence.  The glory of God is His displayed excellence, beauty, majesty, power, and perfection of his total being.

3. God is the source of glory.

4. Compare your discussion to that in Chapter Four.

5. Compare your discussion to that in Chapter Four.

6. The statement is false.  Glory is a gift from God.

CHAPTER FIVE:

1. And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.  (Isaiah 40:5)

2. Review the discussion in Chapter Five.

CHAPTER SIX:

1. Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?  (John 11:40)

2. Compare your answer to the discussion in Chapter Six.

3. As you glorify God, He reveals more of His glory in and through you.  As you give glory for what He has done, you receive glory to further mobilize you for ministry.

CHAPTER SEVEN:

1. Thus all Israel brought up the ark of the covenant of the Lord with shouting, and with sound of cornet, and with trumpets, and with cymbals, making a noise with psalteries and harps.  (I Chronicles 15:28)

2. Like the tabernacle of Moses, you are the tabernacle of God. If you build your spiritual life according to the proper pattern the glory will dwell there.  If you change the pattern, the glory departs.

3. Ebenezer, Aphek, Ashdod, Gath, Ekron, Beth-shemesh, Kirjath-Jearim, Jerusalem

4.  

1.  Desire

2.  Determination

3.  Direction

4.  Due order

CHAPTER EIGHT:

1. I will build again the tabernacle of David which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof. (Acts 15:16)

2. The "restoration of the tabernacle of David" is the restoring of a spiritual tabernacle that is to house "the way, the truth, and the life,” which is Jesus.   Just as the first tabernacle, this spiritual tabernacle contains the three-fold ministry of Christ as prophet, priest, and king.  It is the habitation of God's power, presence, and glory.  God's presence is not found in the old formal, ritualistic worship which is represented by the type which occurred at Shiloh.  His new dwelling place is the tabernacle of David.

3. You could have listed any of the references discussed in Chapter Eight.

4. David's tabernacle will be rebuilt at a time when conditions are similar to the time it was restored "in the days of old.”

5. It will be restored in "due order.” 

6. Compare your answer with the discussion in Chapter Eight.

CHAPTER NINE:

1. But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth; for the Father seeketh such to worship Him. 

God is a Spirit; and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth.  (John 4:23-24)

2. To worship means to do reverence, to kiss, do homage towards, revere, stand in awe of, show devotion, bow down, and honor.  Worship is the  acknowledgment of God, His nature, attributes, ways, and claims, whether by giving praise or doing a deed of acknowledgment by Christian service. "To serve" also means "to worship.” Worship means to attribute worth to someone. It is an active response to God whereby we declare His worth, celebrate Him, and boast in His name. 

3. See the discussion of worshiping in spirit in Chapter Nine.

4. See the discussion of worshiping in truth in Chapter Nine.

5. We worship because of example, exhortation, and eternal destiny. 

6. The pattern of worship includes:

-Exalting: God (Upreach)

-Edifying: The body of Christ (Inreach)

-Evangelizing: The lost (Outreach)

7. You could have listed any five results discussed in Chapter Nine.

8. The five types of worship are:

1.  Worship Of Repentance

2.  Worship Of Acceptance 

3.  Worship Of Devotion

4.  Worship Of Commitment

5.  Worship Of Warfare

9. Hebrews 10:22

10. See the discussion in Chapter Nine.

11. See the discussion in Chapter Nine.

CHAPTER TEN:

1. Praise Him with the timbrel and dance; praise Him with stringed instruments and organs.  (Psalms 150:4)

2. See the discussion in Chapter Ten concerning what the Bible teaches about how to worship.

3. The fire of God, with its powerful purging and cleansing, is necessary in order for the glory of God to be revealed.  The revelation of the glory of God then results in true worship as we restore the tabernacle of David by worshiping in spirit and truth.

CHAPTER ELEVEN:

1. Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.  (Acts 3:9)

2. Revival is a sovereign, extraordinary work of God through and in behalf of a people who  have learned and applied the principles revealed in the Rhemah Word of God.

3. We must prepare for it by following the principles revealed in God's Word.  Revival is the joint move of the spirit of God and the response of the people of God.

4. Revival is always needed, but it is most necessary when  a backslidden condition is apparent. 

5. See the discussion of evidences of a backslidden condition in Chapter Eleven.

6. John the Baptist is a New Testament example of the type of man God uses to bring revival.

7. See the discussion of obstacles to revival in Chapter Eleven.

CHAPTER TWELVE:

There is no self-test for Chapter Twelve.

CHAPTER THIRTEEN:

1. If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from Heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.  (II Chronicles 7:14)

2. Review the seven principles of revival discussed in Chapter Thirteen.

3. II Chronicles 7:14

4. Humble yourself, Pray, Seek God's face, Turn from your wicked ways.

5. Three things God will do in response.

"HEAR from Heaven": Respond

"FORGIVE their sin": Reconcile

"HEAL their land": Restore

CHAPTER FOURTEEN:

1. Nevertheless my brethren that went up with me made the heart of the people melt; but I wholly followed the Lord my God.  (Joshua 14:8)

2. Joshua.

3. He was a man who:

·         Could hear from God

·         Could forget the past

·         Knew his possessions

·         Was strong and courageous

·         Knew the key to success

·         Had God's Spirit upon him

·         Had confidence in God

·         Was a man of faith

·         Had a servant's heart

·         Was full of wisdom

·         Was easily taught

·         Was a motivator of men

·         Wholly followed the Lord

·         Knew how to stand alone

·         Was experienced in warfare

·         Had a first hand experience with God

·         Was anointed of God

·         Had experienced the glory of God

CHAPTER FIFTEEN:

1. Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go  on unto perfection... (Hebrews 6:1)

2. See the discussion of the blood, the knife, the fruit, and the sword in Chapter Fifteen.

3. Three reasons why believers do not progress from the "milk" to the "meat" of God's Word.

-First, they are unskillful in the Word of God.

-Second, they do not apply what they have been taught.

-Third, they are carnal.  Paul told the Corinthian Church.

4. A believer can progress from the "milk" to the "meat" of the Word of God by desiring the milk of the Word, discipling themselves to be obedient to the milk of the Word, and dedicating themselves to searching for the meat of the Word.  Discipline will eventually result in delight in the meat of the Word.

CHAPTER SIXTEEN:

1. About 40,000 prepared for war passed over before the Lord unto battle, to the plains of Jericho.  (Joshua 4:13)

2. Review the discussion in Chapter Sixteen.

CHAPTER SEVENTEEN:

1. And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil who are taken captive of him at his will. (II Timothy 2:26)

2. Principles, Pride, Perception, Prayerlessness

3. Compare your summary to the discussion in Chapter Seventeen.

4.

·         Revelation

·         Repentance

·         Restoration

·         Return

CHAPTER EIGHTEEN:

1. There was none of the Anakims left in the land of the children of Israel; only in Gaza, in Gath, and in Ashdod there remained (a few of them).  (Joshua 11:22)

2. Gaza, Gad, and Ashdod.

3. See the discussion in Chapter Eighteen.

4. If the giants of your life are not eliminated, they will become "snares and thorns" in your spiritual experience.

5.

1.  Prepare

2.  Profess

3.  Prove

4.  Penetrate

5.  Proper motive

6.  Perfect pattern

7.  Prevailing

CHAPTER NINETEEN:

1. Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I  would not have you ignorant.  (I Corinthians 12:1) 

2. "Gift-based mobilization" is a method of organizing a group of people for the work of the ministry on the basis of their spiritual gifts.  The system outlined here basically asks people to do what God has called and equipped them to do.

3. Discover spiritual gifts; identify ministry needs; match people, gifts and needs.

4. Periodically evaluate each member and their ministry.  You will know a person is properly placed on the basis of gifts when...

·         He is fruitful in the area in which he is serving.  This means you will see positive results of his ministry.

·         When he is fulfilled and enjoying the ministry.  If he is frustrated, he may be serving in an area for which he is not gifted.

·         When the feedback you receive from those to whom he ministers is positive, which indicates he is effective in the position in which he is serving. 

5. Love.

 

 

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