Newsletter #220 - February 1997
By Shepherds Chapel - http://www.shepherdschapel.com/
God gives us many signs. God has places those signs before us for our understanding. The signs concern what tomorrow brings, what we should look for in our personal lives, how we find peace of mind and how we may become successful. Success means different things to different people. In my opinion, those with true peace of mind are successful. Peace of mind is a precious thing. The only source of true peace of mind is our Heavenly Father.
Do you ever think about what it will be like in the Millennium? Do you ever wonder what heaven will be like? Jesus gave us a sign concerning this subject in the Book of Luke. We are going to pick it up with Lazarus and the rich man already in heaven. There is a gulf separating them because the rich man didn't make the grade. Most of you know Lazarus is the equivalent of the Hebrew name Eleazar. The main lesson Christ was teaching in Luke 16 was the resurrection of the priesthood.
We are going to look at this situation through the eyes of the rich man. The one that didn't make it, yet. I add the word yet as no one knows what will happen in the Millennium. Let's turn to Luke 16:27 with the rich man speaking to Abraham.
Luke 16:27 Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house:
The rich man had asked for the Living Water for himself, but it was too late. He began thinking about his family instead of himself.
Luke 16:28 For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.
Don't think of the torment as fire. The torment was the fact that he didn't make it to the other side of the gulf.
Luke 16:29 Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.
Abraham means "father of many nations". Abraham is the father figure, and he is speaking for our Heavenly Father. The rich man was asking God to give his family a sign. What was the response? God's sign's may be found in Moses and the prophets.
Luke 16:30 And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. 31And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.
Jesus Christ would rise from the dead soon after this; however, many still would not repent. I want you to see our Father's mind in this message. It will allow you to strengthen your trust in Him and build your person faith relationship with Him.
Let's take Moses for example. Israel was held in captivity by Egypt, when Moses was born. The population of Israel was increasing, and Pharaoh decided it was time to kill the newborns. Baby Moses was placed in a basket in a river full of crocodiles and floating towards the Egyptians. The deliverance of Israel out of the hands of Pharaoh didn't look very promising to some at this point. Remember Moses was also a type for the Deliverer, Jesus Christ. Moses was a sign from God to Israel, and to you today, that there is nothing to worry about. God is in control. God will take care of you, if you do things His way. How do I know this fact? Look to Moses and the prophets. You can trust God. Events in these days will happen exactly as it is written. Father's plan is set in concrete and will come to pass.
The entire life of Moses is a sign from God set before you. Moses not only survived the crocodiles, but with God's help, he delivered Israel out of Egypt. What is my point? God utilizes His people to accomplish His will. As we prepare for the events we know will soon come to pass, we have nothing to fear. Look to the signs God has given us through Moses and the prophets.
What about the prophets? Elijah was a person no different than you or I. He had no supernatural powers. At one point Elijah felt like he was all alone on the earth. No one believed as he did, and no one would listen to him. Have you ever felt that way? He was out of food and asked God to just let him lie down and die.God sent the ravens to nurture Elijah back to strength. And before long, Elijah was taking on 450 prophets of Baal. In what I find one of the most humorous accounts recorded in the Bible, Elijah challenged the 450 false prophets to call on their gods to consume their sacrifice with fire. You all know the outcome. Elijah, with God's help, made fools of the Baal prophets. Moses and the prophets knew were the power was coming from. When you come to understand and believe were the power is, your trust in God becomes strong and your faith relationship with Him grows. The only way God will work with you, is if you are doing God's work. How do yo know what God's work is? Look to Moses and the prophets in God's Word. If you are on God's side, it doesn't matter if you are up against one of the enemy or 450 of the enemy. You will be successful. Let's turn to Isaiah. Israel was really "messing up". They were taking counsel from one person or another. God gives Israel some advice in the following Scripture.
Isaiah 8:11 For the LORD spake thus to me with a strong hand, and instructed me that I should not walk in the way of this people, saying, ye not, A confederacy, to all them to whom this people shall say, A confederacy; neither fear ye their fear, nor be afraid.
The confederacy is a prophecy of the one world order. God doesn't want us to be afraid. When we are afraid, we don't function properly. We make bad decisions.
Isaiah 8:13 Sanctify the LORD of hosts himself; and let him be your fear, and let him be your dread.
You should reverence the Lord and dread not having Him with you.
Isaiah 8:14 And he shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offense to both the houses of Israel, for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem.
The "He" in the verse is Messiah. He is our sanctuary, or place of rest. Jesus becomes a stumbling block to Christians that are worshiping antichrist, when the true Messiah returns.
Isaiah 8:15 And many among them shall stumble, and fall, and be broken, and be snared, and be taken. 16 Bind up the testimony, seal the law among my disciples.
Disciples are disciplined in God's way. Those that do things His way receive blessings. The signs leading yo to God's way are in the testimony and the law.
Isaiah 8:17 And I will wait upon the LORD, that hideth his face from the house of Jacob, and I will look for him. 18 Behold, I and the children whom the LORD hath given me are for signs and for wonders in Israel from the LORD of hosts, which dwelleth in mount Zion.
The last phase in verse 18 should be translated, "Which will dwell in Mount Zion". Mount Zion is His favorite place in the universe (Ezekiel 16). Take note that God's children themselves are signs. Especially, the children that are helping God fulfill prophecy are for signs. The blessings God pours out on these children are obvious. This ministry is a very good example of this fact.
Isaiah 8:19 And when they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep, and that mutter: should not a people seek unto their God? for the living to the dead?
The spiritually living should not seek unto the dead. Those that do things God's way have the best counsel available, the counsel of our Father.
Isaiah 8:20 To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.
If the speak not according to Moses and the prophets, there is no truth in them. This isn't difficult, friends. I don't know how God could tell us any more simply. Seek counsel from God. Seek counsel from the Word.
Isaiah 8:21 And they shall pass through it, hardly bestead and hungry: and it shall come to pass, that when they shall be hungry, they shall fret themselves, and curse their king and their God, and look upward.
Those that don't look for sign and counsel from other than the Word will be a hard case. They will be spiritually starved. When the hard times hit, they will curse God. The problem is they should have looked to God in the first place.
God is in control. He wants and deserves your trust. If He was capable of taking care of baby Moses in that crocodile infested river, He is capable of taking care of your problems. When the crocodiles start nipping at your heels, look to Moses and the prophets.
In His Service,