© 2010 Nathan Bryant Ministries Inc. All rights reserved
© 2010 Nathan Bryant Ministries Inc. All rights reserved
A few days ago, I finished up on the book of Joshua, and I began to read in Judges. I began to reflect back on what I had read. Can I summarize some key points for you?
The Children of Israel had a mighty deliverance after 430 years in Egypt. God showed the world His might and His power. Even those in the promise land knew of what happened, and 40 years after the Israelites left the Egypt, Rahab told the spies “all the inhabitants of the land faint because of you”.
Joshua is a tale of crossing the Jordan and conquering. Brave deeds, conquests, walls breaking down, the wicked slain, and the heavens being commanded by a man. What victory was shared in those glorious days! Only one quick reminder of what sin in the camp does and that was quickly dealt with.
Then Joshua and the men that follow him eventually die off. What happens next is a tragedy. The book of judges MUST be the saddest book of the Bible. People of the Most High God, becoming complacent, forgetting who it was that gave them the land they enjoyed. Then comes judgement, then deliverance, slipping back to sin, then judgement, then deliverance. The cycle continues time after time. The roller coaster of life. Sin, shame, crying out to God, and forgiveness.
To think: these people were in their land of promise!! Enjoying the blessings of God. They had crossed over. Many would say “they’ve arrived”. Yet, being possessors of the promise, they lived such lives as to anger their loving Provider.
Have you had a book of Joshua experience, and now living in the book of Judges? Does this roller coaster affect you as it did them? Day to day, year by year, are you finding yourself closer to God, or still on the same roller coaster track, up and down, round and round – doing good one week, can’t seem to shake the world the next.
Too often we accept this lifestyle in our Christian walk!
This lifestyle must NOT be allowed to continue. Do not stay in the car of the roller coaster. Stop the ride! Get off and onto solid ground again!
Read the last 3 chapters of Judges sometime. See for yourself what the end of such a lifestyle becomes! I warn you, the sin in those last 3 chapters is appalling. Appropriately it ends with the sad confession of the state of Israel – “every man did that which was right in his own eyes” Complete anarchy.
Please, take this as a warning, as a wake up call. Get out of the roller coaster. Fall so deep into Christ, that you don’t know which way to go to get out. Don’t live out your promise the way the Children of Israel lived out theirs.
“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
Falling into His love and grace,
I was reading Numbers chapter 9 this morning and my attention was drawn to how closely the children of Israel followed the pillar of fire:
17 And when the cloud was taken up from the tabernacle, then after that the children of Israel journeyed: and in the place where the cloud abode, there the children of Israel pitched their tents.
18 At the commandment of the LORD the children of Israel journeyed, and at the commandment of the LORD they pitched: as long as the cloud abode upon the tabernacle they rested in their tents.
19 And when the cloud tarried long upon the tabernacle many days, then the children of Israel kept the charge of the LORD, and journeyed not.
20 And so it was, when the cloud was a few days upon the tabernacle; according to the commandment of the LORD they abode in their tents, and according to the commandment of the LORD they journeyed.
21 And so it was, when the cloud abode from even unto the morning, and that the cloud was taken up in the morning, then they journeyed: whether it was by day or by night that the cloud was taken up, they journeyed.
22 Or whether it were two days, or a month, or a year, that the cloud tarried upon the tabernacle, remaining thereon, the children of Israel abode in their tents, and journeyed not: but when it was taken up, they journeyed.
23 At the commandment of the LORD they rested in the tents, and at the commandment of the LORD they journeyed: they kept the charge of the LORD, at the commandment of the LORD by the hand of Moses.
If the cloud stopped; they stopped (whether it was for two days, or a month, or a year), and as soon as the cloud started moving again they moved (whether it was in the morning, in the afternoon, or in the middle of the night).
I hope that we can be so sensitive to the Holy Spirit that when He says ‘Move’; we move, and when He says ‘Don’t move’; we stand still.
If it’s in the morning, in the afternoon, or in the middle of the night.
If we’ve been in the same geographical location, or doing a certain thing for the Lord two days, or a month, or a year. Would you have me wait here Lord, and remain the same, or go into action somewhere else, or be doing something else?
I’m reminded of the following quote (also found in the Church Age Book p172):
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“Notice, what harmony. Jesus never did anything until seen of the Father or the Father showed Him first: (Harmony between God and Christ. See? John 5:19) So will the Bride, and He shows Her His Word of Life (He shows Her), and she receives It. She never doubts it.
Nothing can harm Her, not even death; for if the Seed be planted, the water will raise it up again. Amen. (Now, I got a great big “Hallelujah.”) Here is the secret: the Word is in the Bride and the mind of Christ to know what He wants done with the Word, and She does it in His Name. She has THUS SAITH THE LORD.
Then it is germitized; so the Holy Spirit waters it until it is grown and serves its purpose.
They do only His will. (Amen. I’ll believe that.) No one can persuade them different. They have THUS SAITH THE LORD, or they keep still. Then they will do the works of God. For it is Himself in them, continuing His Word to fulfill as He did complete in His day. All things when He was here–He did not complete all when He was here, for it was not time yet”.
Whatever You want is what I want.
How can You use me today?
Where would You have me go today?
Is the pillar of fire standing still? Is this where I’m supposed to be today? Is this what I’m supposed to be doing today, or is It leading me somewhere else or to do something else?
Would You have me to wait, watch, and pray, or should I be out somewhere witnessing, singing, preaching a sermon, or living a sermon (a written epistle read of all men)?
Will I be the only Bible that someone reads today?
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Oh, how we need in Jeffersonville thousands of lived voices, the thunder of God thundering out in sweetness, and holiness, purity, undefiled lives, walking around in the earth today without a blemish. Yes, sir, real Christians, that’s thunder against the enemy. The devil don’t care how loud you can holler; the devil don’t care how much you can jump, how much you can do this or shout. But what hurts the devil is to see that sanctified, holy life consecrated to God; say anything to him, call him anything, just as sweet as it can be and move right on. Oh, my. That throws him away; that’s the thunder that shakes the devil.
“Lead me Lord I’ll follow anywhere you open up the door”.
“Let your word speak through me”.
“Lord I want to be a witness”.
“Where You lead me I will follow”.
“Millions now in sin and shame are dying. Listen to their sad and bitter cry. Hasten brother, hasten to their rescue. Quickly answer; ‘Master, Here am I'”.
“Here am I; send me!”
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And as the poet went on to say, Father:
Millions now in sin and shame are dying; (Over in Africa, down in India, around the world, thousands an hour, meeting You without knowing You)
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Now, it might be your neighbor; it might be the woman you work with, the man you work with, but they’re…
Millions now in sin and shame are dying; (In creeds and denominations)
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There is millions now in sin and shame, are dying;
(look on the streets)
Are we sensitive enough to The Holy Spirit to be led where He would have us go, and stay where He would have us stay? To do what He would have us do, and to say what He would have us say?
Or have our senses been numbed so badly by the things of the world (by complacency, and worldliness, and the hustle, and bustle of everyday life) that we can no longer hear where that still small Voice is leading us?
Are we willing to pay the price and go wherever He leads?
Are we so in tune with His Will that we have THUS SAITH THE LORD or we keep still?
If we aren’t then the time has come to fall to our knees and cry out to God until we know what He would have us do, and where He would have us go. Until we know that we are in His Perfect Will, and that it is Him doing the leading, or we stop and seek what He would have us do until the pillar of fire starts moving again.
Now the children of Israel didn’t just lay in their tents all the time and assume the cloud wasn’t moving. They had to watch to know if It was still there, or if it was leading them somewhere else.
Don’t just assume that the Holy Spirit doesn’t want you to do something simply because you aren’t seeking Him to find out. There’s a work for all to do, but maybe you’ve just fallen asleep in your tent instead of watching where He’s leading, and have failed to see that the pillar of fire has moved on without you.
– Brother Nathan Bryant
Yesterday while running some personal errands I found myself at the store of a national cell phone provider. While making a purchase the salesperson helping me recognized my last name and asked if I was related to a girl he lived next door to and went to school with.
In studying the other day I ran across these two Scriptures, and I thought it was interesting how Solomon begins Proverbs, and ends Ecclesiastes on the same note.
I’ve also included a quote from a tape we heard recently where Brother Branham really explains what it means to fear God.
-Brother Nathan Bryant
“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” – PROVERBS 1:7
“Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.” – ECCLESIASTES 12:13
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Over in Ecclesiastes the 12th chapter and the 13th verse, it’s written like this. See? “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep His commandments, for this is the full duty of man.”
The conclusion of the whole matter is to fear God. And when, you cannot have respects until you have fear. You’ve got to have fear of God. Solomon said also in the Proverbs that the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom: the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom.
Now, that don’t mean that you’re afraid of Him, but that means that you’re giving respects and reverence. And when you respect God, you fear God. You fear that you might displease Him in some way; you fear lest you would do something wrong. You wouldn’t want to…
I fear my mother. I fear my–my wife. I fear my church. I fear all of God’s servants, unless I should put a stumbling block somewhere in their way. I–I fear the people. I fear the people of the city, unless I should do something wrong that would cause them to think that I wasn’t a Christian.
See, you’ve got, before you can have respects, you’ve got to have fear. And God demands it, He demands respects. God does; He demands it. And fear brings it. And we know that fear brings respects.
I read this one today, and I thought it was very fitting.
And by a prophet the LORD brought Israel out of Egypt, and by a prophet was he preserved.
Leadership, 1965 –
“Give us of Thy love. Get us to a place, Lord, that we’ll get away from all the–the emotional part, to the real solid part of the feeling, the heartfelt part, the deepness of the Spirit, the riches of God, the Kingdom of the Spirit in our hearts. Grant it, O great Leader, great Holy Spirit, before You take Your flight into the skies with Your church.”
(I know I’ve never really finished this series, but I still think about it quite a bit. )
136 ¶ Rivers of waters run down mine eyes, because they keep not thy law.
158 ¶ I beheld the transgressors, and was grieved; because they kept not thy word.
Are you, like the psalmist, beholding the transgressors and grieving? Are rivers of waters running down your eyes? Where is your concern for the lost?
THE.SEAL.OF.THE.CHRIST, 1955 ” That’s right. Oh, my, pulling feathers in the hat and so forth, when we ought to be on our knees crying for the sins, and the abomination, and the disgrace that’s done into the city. We seem to be so unconcerned about the lost. Amen. Amen. That’s right. You know that’s the truth. Unconcerned about the lost… “Just so our church makes it, so we have the greatest congregation Sunday.” All stay home Sunday night and look at the television.Today I was in one of the biggest churches in the city. One of the members said, “We have three thousand people here on Sunday morning; Sunday night we don’t have half of it.” They all come to church to do their religion, and go back home, look at the television, take a little ride out in the country. Why, it’s a disgrace. It shows there’s something lacking in the heart. Amen.”
Are you so selfish as to be concerned with yourself and your doing your Sunday duty and living the life above sin? I tell you, it is not enough!! What is the greatest commandment? That you love your neighbor as yourself.
O man! Do you not know that you are a wretch as well?? Did you have a mother, father, or friend that cried out to God over you to bring you to where you are? It is now your turn! Are you sharing this hope that lieth within you?? Are you pleading in prayer for others?
Compare your heart, to the heart of the Psalmist and then let the tears flow like rivers of waters. Let there be nothing “lacking in the heart”!
I read the following scripture in my daily studies this morning. I thought it was post worthy for sure.
The soul of the sluggard desireth, and hath nothing: but the soul of the diligent shall be made fat.
Are you desiring a close walk with the Lord, but find yourself lacking?
Be diligent in seeking Him.
God Bless you richly!
(P.S. The final post of the “heartfelt emotion” series is coming…really…)
The Easter weekend in Jeffersonville was a very good one. VGR had a presentation that included believers from other lands singing in their native tongues. The worship was awesome! I really enjoyed myself.
As I listened however, and wished that I could understand what they were saying, I began to think about the disciples on the day of pentecost.
4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
5 And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.
6 Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language.
I began to think, what if I began to hear what these believers were singing in my own language. What would I do? How would I feel? Why doesn’t this happen? Why don’t I expect this to happen?
I think we’ve stopped expecting God to do supernatural things amongst us. I know I certainly wasn’t expecting that I might understand what they were singing in my language.
Bro Branham said this in the message Expectancy
EXPECTANCY_ BATTLE.CREEK.MI SUNDAY_ 52-0817A E-38 Well, isn’t it strange? Look at Simeon. The Holy Ghost promised him, “You’re not going to see death till you see the Christ.””Why,” they said, “David looked for Him, and this one looked for Him, and that one looked for Him.””No matter what they looked for Him, the Holy Ghost has told me so.” He was expecting to see Him. He didn’t care what people said; he was expecting.When Jesus was born in Judaea, in Bethlehem, there was a few star gazers seen cross observatory of star mystics. None of the–the men at the observatory, or the planetarium, they didn’t see it. They knowed nothing about it. But my Bible said they followed a star. I believe it. They seen it. It was for them.Divine healing today, is not for the unbeliever; it’s for those who believe. The baptism of the Holy Spirit today’s not for unbelievers; it’s for those who believe. Jesus died for believers, not for unbelievers; it’s for those who believe. The supernatural follows who’s supernatural minded. That’s right. When the hungering and thirsting, when you got an expectancy, when you read God’s Word and expect to see God perform what He said He would do, God will do it.
I want to be more supernatural minded. I want to expect to SEE God perform what HE said He would do.
¶ Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.
Are you expecting this? Are you supernatural minded?
Think on it!
(Authors Note: This is the sixth part of a series of posts looking at the 4th Chapter of I Timothy, verses 12-16. While I try to typically make posts devotional in nature, this one seems like it is turning more into a study. Fault my inexperience at writing…but don’t despise my youth!)
15 Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all.
Why am I here? What is my purpose? What do I want to do with my life? What should I do with my life? Who am I? Why do I like pizza so much? Why am I here?
These are all very good questions – questions worthy of answers. Questions I hear screaming out from people time and time again. So begins the search of many people…some try to find it in education, or intellect, by the “continuing quest for truth” as it were. Well, first off…you were created, and if you were created, then the one who would know your purpose is the one who created you.
It makes sense after all. When I “create” a pizza…the pizza could go to college all it wanted and never figure out who it was. The pizza could search for truth amid stacks of pepperoni and piles of cheese and never come up with its purpose. It could scream to the top of the oven “WHO AM I?” but the oven will never answer. Wouldn’t it make sense if the pizza just asked me? “Trevor, why did you make me like this?”. I’d say very hungrily… “Why? So I could eat you of course!” The pizza would finish out the rest of its short life at least having a sense of purpose before I ate it.
Thankfully, we aren’t pizzas!
The point remains however…you will never know your purpose on this earth, unless you ask the one who put you on this earth. If you ask Him, I believe he will tell you. What I also believe you will hear, is that your life isn’t pointless, nor does it lack purpose. God has something for each of us to do as individuals. We aren’t just to live good Christian lives…that’s great, we all appreciate a clean, Godly life. But isn’t there more?
Paul is telling Timothy in this scripture, “give yourself wholly to these things”. Why? “that thy profiting may appear to all”. The profiting he speaks of could be thought of as a sense of purpose and direction. People will look at you and say “there’s a guy who knows who he is and where he’s going. I wish I could be more like that.” “Yeah,” their friends will say, “some people just have it all together.”
You see, there is fulfillment in knowing what you were created for, and accomplishing that purpose. However, you won’t ever accomplish anything, unless you set yourself to the task of completing that thing with all that is in you. To be successful in something, it is necessary to “give yourself wholly to them”.
God can do amazing things with what we give him. He can use you to do amazing things if you allow Him to do so. He WANTS to do so. He put you on this earth to be a vessel for Him. He doesn’t want to just use ministers, He wants to use everyone! Unless you give yourself wholly to Him though, your profiting won’t appear to all.
Let’s look at Samson’s life. He put the gates of Gaza on his back and walked off. Thousands of Philistines killed, the oppression of the Israelites, by the Philistines, had begun to be beaten back through Samson’s strength. A lion jumps out and Samson slays it. Strength, Glory, honor…the power of Almighty God coursing through his veins.
“YES!” I’m sure the Israelites shouted! “God is with us! Look at what He has done through Samson!” They began to see the profiting in Samson’s life.
There’s a slight glitch however…everything I’ve mentioned sounds really great, but Samson never “gave himself wholly”. Bro Branham tells us Samson only gave his strength to God, but his heart, he gave to Delilah. So now we find Samson, vexed by a girlfriend, lied to, shaved, bound, blinded, enslaved…
Imagine if he had given his heart to God. What if he had “given himself wholly”. He would not have been snared by this girlfriend of his. See Samson’s “profiting”, or lack there of, is apparent to all. We can see the success and fulfillment of His life. I don’t think there is a person out there that says “I want to be like Samson!” Why don’t we want to be like him? He didn’t give himself wholly to what God had planned for Him to do.
THE.FORGOTTEN.BEATITUDE_ CHICAGO.IL TUESDAY_ 61-0425EE-4 But I said this, that God can use what you yield. Like Samson, Samson would not yield his heart to God. He give that to Delilah. But he gave his strength to God, and God could only use his strength. That’s all. But if a fellow could only yield his complete being to God, now that’s it. If you can yield your–your body, God will use your body. If you can yield your mind, your heart, whatever it is, God will use what you give to Him to use with. He’s seeking to find somebody that He can find yielded like that.
So now it’s up to you. What will you give to God? Will you as David did, seek the Lord “with my whole heart”? (Ps 119:10) . Sure, David had the occasional problem, but I think His profiting appeared to all. His name is known throughout all the ages. He is known as a great great King. It’s because He gave himself wholly to seeking the Lord.
Do you realize that God is your maker and thus had a purpose in creating you? If you realize this…why not give yourself to God. I tell you that all will see your profiting. As you read and grow in Christ, not only will others see your profiting, but you will have peace, purpose, and fulfillment. The answers to your questions will be found in Christ, in His purpose for you. He loves you and knows you. Once you know who you are, and what your purpose is…you will find your fulfillment and happiness you seek. The “quest for ultimate truth” will continue on forever, and you’ll always be seeking something, until you come to God’s Word and find your answers there.
The Bible talks about this kind of person, “ever learning, and never coming to the knowledge of the truth.” Talk about lack of purpose. Talk about a miserable life. Do you think anyone will say “There’s a guy who’s got it all together”. If they did, you would know better. You would know that you’ve searched and searched but never found.
Find your answers in Christ, give yourself wholly to them, that your profiting may appear to ALL. That includes you. Don’t you want to see yourself happy and fulfilled?
Give yourself wholly to Christ.