Sermon Notes & Videos
“God helps those who help themselves.” Have you heard that one before? There are so many quippy little phrases that float around in our culture that have no foundation in God’s truth. The Bible says that God’s strength is made perfect in my weakness, so that snappy little saying seems closer to the opposite of the truth. Paul’s perspective on those who could not help themselves was “When I am weak then I am strong.”
But every once in a while, one of those little idioms passing by is true! This one for instance: “Where God guides God provides.” Yes, it is true that you should consider yourself on assignment for God, and whatever assignment you are on, God has provided everything you need to fulfill your destiny in Him. From your implanted skills and gifts, to your personality bents, to the very circumstances you will find yourself in throughout your lifetime, Yahweh is directing your steps and making provision along the way. If you go where God guides it won’t always be easy, but I promise it will be the greatest adventure imaginable.
Have you ever heard the idiom, “the Devil is in the details?” As usual the enemy wishes to hijack what is rightfully Yahweh’s. The truth is that it is God who is in the details and there is no better place to witness this than the directions given to Moses to build the Tabernacle, the Ark, and the Altar. But trust me; this is not just an exercise in the mundane. There is a divine reason behind each refined instruction. We discover the reasons behind the details when we explore the letter to the Hebrews. This Tabernacle made by hands is an exact copy of the heavenly Tabernacle. And we also learn that Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, and the law has a shadow of the good things to come.
I think my greatest joy in rereading the Scriptures over the years is the never-ending discoveries it has in store for us. A little gem sits in the tenth chapter of Hebrews, a reference to Psalm 40. It reads like this: “In the volume of the scroll it is written of Me—To do Your will, O God.” Those seventeen words just explode off the page. Yes, it should be so simple, so obvious, yet it remains so profound. Instantly it made sense to me why Y’shua was so frustrated with the religious leaders of the day who cared more about receiving honor from men than from God. “For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote about Me [there it is—the volume of the scroll]. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?” I might ask you the same question, “If you don’t believe the writings of Moses, how can you possibly believe the words of Christ?”
It’s amazing how the Bible remains so relevant every day of our lives. Even though the following ideas were written almost 3500 years ago, just meditate on how relevant they are at this very moment. “Do not spread fake news. Do not help a guilty person by being a lying witness. Do not follow the mob mentality into doing what is wrong. When you give testimony in any legal matter, do not pervert justice by taking sides in favor of the mob mentality.”
Yes, we stand at a crossroads in history. Will you bend to the expedient pressures of the day? Will you conform to the ways of the world or, in other words, the mob mentality? Or will you hold fast to the truth? Many key moments in history were defined by what the leaders of the day had done. Did they do what was right or did they follow the crowd? Today’s crowd shows up as a new breed of “democracy.” The mob rules in the way of Mainstream Media; Social Media; Hidden Agenda Groups; Virtue Signaling; Institutional Brow Beating; Faith-Based Complacency; and Cognitive Dissonance.
But, all is not lost for those in Christ. You have in you the call to practice righteousness and the anointing to know the truth. And for those who hate Christ, well, there is a different fate; Yahweh will arraign them and set His accusations against them. That is what is in store for those who pervert justice in favor of the mob!
The U.S. government is made up of three distinct branches modeled after the biblical order of governance that mandated a separation of powers. In the Old Testament we see the King, the Priest, and the Prophet. Today we call these branches, the Executive, the Legislative, and the Judicial. Three branches sharing equal power, meant to keep each other in check. It should be easy to connect the dots here. One branch enforces the laws (the King or Executive), one branch brings forth the laws (the Priest or Legislative), and one branch rules if the laws are being interpreted and obeyed as per their intent (the Prophet or Judicial). Think Rock —Paper—Scissors! What a beautiful balance of powers. And such a beautiful form of governance was created by none other than the Creator of all things.
What happens when any one of these branches attempts to override the other two? The Executive Branch can overstep its power by use of executive orders. A King without a Priest and a Prophet is a tyrant! In today’s vernacular we might say a President without a legislature or judiciary is a dictator. When the Legislative Branch oversteps its authority, it’s equivalent to “me, me, me,” or “mob rule.” A Priest without a King and a Prophet is an Idol! Today we might say this happens when legislative representatives (lawmakers) have sunk to the lowest common denominator, when all that matters is to appease the majority! And when the Judicial Branch has gone off the rails it begins to “legislate from the bench.” A Prophet without a King and a Priest is an anarchist! Who needs to interpret if laws are being properly applied when we can simply invent our own laws at any moment.
Moses was called to be a Prophet of the Most High, but he finds himself also filling “priestly duties”, even though the Levitical Priesthood has not yet been formally initiated. Moses is about to get a lesson from Jethro, his pagan priest father-in-law. “Son, this is how you run an organization without burning out.” No doubt Moses has been hearing from Yahweh, the King, and making judicial decisions, but he is also trying to take on all the ministry to the people. Suddenly a priesthood, the people ministry, makes a whole lot of sense. Shortly after Moses takes Jethro’s advice, God confirms that this is the direction He is taking His people. “If you obey Me,” He says, “You shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.” Yahweh is the King, Moses is the Prophet, and now we need a formal ministry of, to, and for the people!
We are called to love and pray for our enemies—a high calling indeed. But, are we called to do the same for Yahweh’s enemies? I think the answer is certain; we are not to pray FOR them but ABOUT them! But, what about them?
There is no doubt that the line a man crosses to the place of no return is difficult to understand, but let there be NO DOUBT that such a line exists. In the Old Testament the line was demarcated with a public voluntary commitment to worship Yahweh and crossed when returning to worship other gods, yet insisting that it was okay to do so, and having total peace about it. Joshua called it a “witness against yourself.” I don’t believe this included ignorance or accidents or self-deception. It seems to be a moment of knowing and yet still purposely doing so. In the New Testament it is simply referred to as blasphemy of the Holy Spirit, or grieving the Holy Spirit, or the sin that leads to death for which no amount of prayer can remedy.
God calls these line-crossers wicked; they hate Him and have become His enemies. As such, let us agree that all sorts of curses and destruction are coming upon these enemies of His. And we need not identify those who today hold this dreadful title because they are perfectly capable of identifying themselves. They arrogantly raise their hands and openly declare, “Pick me, pick me, pick me!” They place their hand upon God’s Holy Writ and make promises while they aspire to evil and boldly stand for beliefs and practices which Yahweh calls abominations. They openly declare by their proclamations and actions that “There is no God!” Yes, they arrogantly live lives filled with sin that leads to death. Yes, we must pray, not for THEM, but instead ABOUT them. It’s a simple prayer. Father, please show the world Your vengeance against those who hate You!
Each week the Scriptures challenge us with something new. No other book can affect us like that; literally, you can read the same old words and be impacted in a brand new way. The Word is living and active and sharper than a two edged sword! This week as I read through the final three plagues before the exodus, these words gripped me; “Stretch out your hand toward heaven, that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, darkness which may even be felt.” It was a blackness so black that the people could feel its weight on their skin and they could see absolutely nothing. It was a complete absence of light.
It stirred something as I contemplated the appropriate title for such a teaching: Unimaginable Darkness, Total Blackness, and Darkness Within. Finally, I simply settled on these terrifying words: “Darkness You Can Feel”. There was no light in Egypt. Can you imagine such total darkness that you could literally feel it? That was Egypt’s final step before complete devastation. But there was light over the children of Israel in Goshen and their deliverance was near. Today, I sense that a total darkness is near in all the “Egypts” in the world. And once again God’s people will see the deliverance of the