Counting Our Lost
by George Kirkpatrick
Vital Words to the Body of Christ
Freely We Have Received, Freely We Give
Other Titles: http://www.newfoundationspubl.org/titles.htm
Today many who call themselves by the name of Christ (Christian) find it extremely difficult to have a close relationship with their Creator and Saviour, Christ Jesus. The answer is very simple, they do not understand the basic principle of God's plan of salvation because they have been taught the precepts and doctrines of men, instead of searching out the truths in God's Word for themselves. Paul informed the Hebrews:
"For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat." Hebrews 5:12
The church system has survived on milk for many generations, running back to their denominational orders to be spoon fed the milk of the Word. Because of this, many have never matured so they can take nourishment for themselves from the Word of God. Paul admonished the Hebrews they had been babies long enough, and that they should have become teachers of God's Word. They had not even learned the first principles of the oracles of God.
There were two reasons for this. First, they did not recognize who their teacher was. The beloved John gives us insight as to how we are to know God's Word:
"But the anointing which ye have received of Him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in Him." I John 2:27
The Holy Spirit anointing is our teacher, and as we are taught of Him, our relationship with our God is established.
The second reason man struggles with his walk with God is because he does not have a usable understanding of the Word of God. No one can become mature in their walk unless they have a proper understanding of the book of Genesis. We must understand God's intended purpose for His creation if we are to come again into His presence to commune with Him on a one-on-one basis. When God created man:
". . . God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth." Genesis 1:28
From the beginning God's intended purpose was to bless man. He also gave man complete dominion over His whole creation, telling him to subdue His creation. The word subdue means "to make subservient, to dominate, to bring into bondage." After almost six thousand years, man has failed to do this. In fact, much terror exists when man has to deal with God's animals, serpents, and insects.
All this began in the Garden of Eden. God gave His creation Adam dominion over all His creation. Instead of taking dominion over the serpent, man listened to the serpent and lost His dominion. After man sinned, God clothed him in the skins of beasts which exposed man's beast nature.
King Solomon witnessed the fate of fallen man when he married strange wives and fell from the grace and blessings of God. As did Adam, Solomon cried out:
"For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast: for all is vanity." Ecclesiastes 3:19
Solomon recognized, that in man's fallen condition, man has no preeminence above a beast. Peter gave us insight into the understanding of our beast nature when he declared:
"But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption;" II Peter 2:12
Man has been in bondage to his brute beast nature since the garden. Only through Jesus Christ, our Saviour, and through Christ Jesus, our Anointing, can we destroy the old, brute beast, adamic nature. If man does not destroy his brute nature, he will be destroyed in God's eternal fire.
As we seek further understanding as to the predicament of man because of Adam's sin, we discover:
"And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat a son in his own likeness, after his image; and called his name Seth:" Genesis 5:3
Adam beget a son in his own likeness and after his image, and called his name, Seth. Man was no longer created in the image and likeness of God. He was created in the likeness and image of fallen man.
Jesus was the first man born after the creation, who was born in the image of God. Paul informed the Colossians:
"Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:" Colossians 1:15
Jesus was the firstborn of the new creation man who will come again into the image and likeness of God through the Holy Spirit anointing.
It was in the days of Seth, that man began to recognize his fallen condition and his need of a Saviour. Moses recorded:
"And to Seth, to him also there was born a son; and he called his name Enos: then began men to call upon the name of the Lord." Genesis 4:26
The name Enos means "mortal man." The word mortal means "terminal or temporary." Enos began to call on the name of the Lord because he knew his hope was not in this life, but in God. It would be seven more generations before it was recorded a man was again blessed of the Lord.
"And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth." Genesis 9:1
The commandment to be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth was the same commandment given to Adam.
After Noah, it would be ten generations before Abraham, the father of our faith, would be blessed of God. God promised Abraham:
". . . I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:
And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed." Genesis 12:2-3
God not only promised Abraham He would bless him, but He would make him a blessing. Then God promised Abraham all the families of the earth would be blessed. This blessing came through Jesus Christ, who is the son of Abraham, Matthew 1:1.
Abraham is the Father of Faith. All those who walk in faith can claim the promise made to Abraham through Christ Jesus our Lord. God made Abraham another promise, that He would bless them who blessed Abraham, and curse them who cursed Abraham. Those who walk in faith can also depend upon this promise. Through the Holy Spirit we can turn the curses back upon those who have attempted to curse us.
Throughout the Bible we witness God's blessing upon His people, and His curse upon those who do not serve Him. When man sinned in the garden, God's blessings departed, and man lived under a curse. The curse upon the woman was that God would greatly multiply her sorrow in conception, and in sorrow she would bring forth children, and her husband would rule over her, Genesis 3:16. Man's curse was that God would curse the ground, and in sorrow he would eat of it all the days of his life. The ground would bring forth thorns and thistles, and in the sweat of his face, he would eat his food, and because of sin, death would come upon his now mortal body, Genesis 3:17-19.
From the time of Abraham, man has had to choose between God's blessings and His cursings --- blessings if he lives by the Word of God and cursings if he chooses his own way.
"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 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
The same blessing and cursing is set before God's people today --- a blessing if we obey His commandments, and a curse if we do not. What are God's commandments to His people today? It is the whole Word of God, the whole council of God. If we live by God's Word, we will be blessed. If we do not, we will be cursed.
Now what happens to those who are living with God's blessings, and they fall away or turn their faces from God? The prophet Malachi warns us through the anointing of the Holy Spirit:
"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
If we refuse to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit, and if do not take His direction and His Word seriously, then we have His promise He will curse our blessings. God will do this because we have not heeded His directions and warnings He has laid out in His Word. When someone turns away from God, the first step in God's judgment is to remove His blessings from their life.
The question arises, "How do we lose God's blessings?" This removal of God's blessings comes in many forms. It generally comes by God stepping on our pocket book, or He dries upon our finances. He does this by allowing the devourer to take our money through sickness, the breakdown of equipment, the loss of revenue, by fire, flood, or wind --- the list is endless.
What is the mind set of many of those who are called by the name of Christ when their blessings are removed? Without a doubt, many begin to blame satan for their misfortune, instead of checking their relationship with God, and asking Him why the blessings have been removed.
When God's blessings are removed, we hear such statements as "The devil is attacking my finances. He is withholding my money. Or, the devil is attacking my health. I am sick all the time. The devil is getting control of my children." The devil has become a crutch to those who do not have strength, knowledge, or the desire to walk the walk God has set before them.
Mark recorded Jesus' words:
"But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation:" Mark 3:29
We need to ask, "How do we blaspheme against the Holy Ghost?" When the Spirit is working in our lives to get us to change, and we blame satan, or say the devil is doing this or that, then we are not giving praise to our God for His chastisement. When we do this we are blaspheming the Holy Ghost. When chastisement comes, we are to bless and give praise to God. As Paul informed the Hebrews:
"If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the Father chasteneth not?" Hebrews 12:7
Chastisement does not mean God is going to beat us. It simply means God is going to correct us. It is up to us as to how much force God has to use to correct our walk in Him. When the Holy Spirit is doing the work in our lives, and we begin to admit to God that satan has more power in our lives than He does, this is not only blasphemy, we have shown disbelief in the Scripture which states:
"Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is He that is in you, than He that is in the world." I John 4:4
If you do not believe God is greater than satan who is in the world, then you are serving the god of the world. If you are serving this god, their would be no reason for the chastisement you are going through because you are already in his camp. God is trying to get you to quit serving the gods of this world, and turn back to Him. When you continue to give satan the credit, you will quickly discover God is a jealous God, and your whining about how bad satan is treating you will only make your situation worse.
God's people are admonished to repent and turn back to God, to His will, and to His way. Giving satan credit for your dilemma only drives you farther away from salvation.
God warned Israel many times why they were living in a cursed condition. He informed them:
"But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe to do all His commandments and His statutes which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee." Deuteronomy 28:15
A curse is simply the loss of a blessing. When we refuse to heed God's voice and live by His commandments and statutes (the Word of God), then we can expect to suffer the loss of all God's blessings.
After God gave Israel this warning, He continued on for thirty-one verses, explaining their lost blessings. As our God proclaimed, these curses would come upon Israel and overtake them. They could in no way escape them. God further explained:
"Moreover all these curses shall come upon thee, and shall pursue thee, and overtake thee, till thou be destroyed; because thou hearkenedst not unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to keep His commandments and His statutes which He commanded thee." Deuteronomy 28:45
The prophet Hosea warned ancient Israel of another sin that exists in the church today which can cause us to lose our blessings:
"Hear the Word of the Lord, ye children of Israel: for the Lord hath a controversy with the inhabitants of the land, because there is no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land." Hosea 4:1
Hosea declared there is no truth, nor mercy, nor any knowledge of God in the land. We could also add there is no knowledge of God in the church system today. Hosea continued his warning:
"My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge; because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to Me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children." Hosea 4:6
God's people are, and will be destroyed, because of the lack of their knowledge of God's Word and His ways. Because the church has rejected knowledge, then God will reject the lukewarm church and spew (vomit) it out of His mouth.
The Father warns His people through the pen of Hosea those who are lukewarm will no longer be part of His priesthood ministry because they have forgotten His law.
He will also forget their children. We witness children today who have been brought up in the church, turning away from God. Why? It is because they are not taught God's truths. Because they are not taught these things, they have no knowledge of His mercy, grace, or His calling in their lives. [see "Tithes, Offerings, and Alms" by George Kirkpatrick]
Paul informed the church at Corinth:
"Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame." I Corinthians 15:34
The church system needs to awake, and recognize the righteousness God expects in their lives, instead of depending on the precepts and doctrines of men. What does all this add up to? Very simply, the loss of God's blessings, and the subsequent curses in their lives.
Malachi also informed us how we can receive God's curse in our lives:
"Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed Me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed Thee? In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation." Malachi 3:8 & 9
God cursed ancient Israel because they robbed God of His tithes and offerings. Yet today many teach that tithing was part of the Old Testament law, and there is no longer a need to tithe. Yet God made us so many beautiful promises, if we are faithful in the tithe. The tithe is what we owe God. Paul informed the church at Corinth:
"For the earth is the Lord's and the fulness thereof." I Corinthians 10:26
If the earth is the Lord's, and everything on the earth belongs to the Lord, then our tithe is only rent we should pay for using His earth. When people do not tithe, they not only lose their blessing, they are cursed with a curse. When we tithe we have promise of His blessing.
"Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in Mine house, and prove Me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it." Malachi 3:10
God not only promises us a blessing that overflows anything we can imagine, He makes us another promise:
"And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and He shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the Lord of hosts." Malachi 3:11
If we tithe, then God has promised He will rebuke the devourer from taking our hard earned money, and His blessings will be poured out in abundance.
Malachi also stated Israel robbed God in their offerings. The word offering means "contribution." Offerings are to be contributed above our tithe. This is when we give to other ministries. The same promise concerning our tithes was also given concerning our offerings. If we give, we are blessed. If we withhold our offerings, then we will be cursed with a curse, and the devourer will be turned loose in our lives.
How else can we lose our blessing? The prophet Zechariah proclaims:
"And He said unto me, What seest thou? And I answered, I see a flying roll; the length thereof is twenty cubits, and the breadth thereof ten cubits. Then said He unto me, This is the curse that goeth forth over the face of the whole earth: for every one that stealeth shall be cut off as on this side according to it; and every one that sweareth shall be cut off as on that side according to it. I will bring it forth, saith the Lord of hosts, and it shall enter into the house of the thief, and into the house of him that sweareth falsely by My name: and it shall remain in the midst of his house, and shall consume it with the timber thereof and the stones thereof." Zechariah 5:2-4
In verse two, Zechariah was shown a vision of a flying roll (scroll). It was twenty cubits by ten cubits. This was quite a roll. We notice the roll was not twenty cubits by ten cubits when it was unrolled. This was the actual size of the roll. This roll was the Word of God which He would send all over the earth so man would know right from wrong.
In verse three, Zechariah addressed those who steal. There are many ways one steals from God. God told Israel they stole from Him in tithes and offerings. This is still true today. Many steal time from their bosses by shirking on their jobs. Parents steal time from their children when they do not give them the time they deserve. Paul informs us:
"Redeeming the time, because the days are evil." Ephesians 5:16
The word redeem means "to pay full value for." We are to use our time wisely. It is very valuable to all who are around us. Wasted time can never be redeemed. Wasted time is gone forever.
Time is only one form of stealing. Many steal trivial property from their jobs, from hotels, and motels. We need to know that stealing is stealing. Any time we lie or deceive, we are stealing the confidence people have in us. The list of how we can steal goes on and on without using a gun. When we are guilty of stealing anything, we lose our blessing, and we can no longer stand upright and whole before our God.
Zechariah also spoke in verse two of those who swear falsely by God's name. The word swear means "to make an oath, promise, or pledge." In other words, when we give our word in a matter, we have made a promise or a pledge. When we do not keep our word, then we have given it falsely, and we are guilty of not only lying, but of deception and fraud. Jesus gave us a warning about breaking our word.
"Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths: But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God's throne: Nor by the earth, for it is His footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King. Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black. But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil." Matthew 5:33-37
These are the commandments given by our Lord and Saviour while He walked the earth. We are not to swear by any thing. Our yea is to be yea, and our nay, nay. The word yea means "yes", but it also means "truth." What we swear must be truthful, with no deception. The word deception is translated guile. Peter, who was given the keys to the Kingdom, declared:
"Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings," I Peter 2:1
We are to put away all malice (the desire to injure), guile (deception), hypocrisies (play acting), envies (always wanting), and evil speaking (backbiting). All these will cause us to lose our blessing. Jesus informed John who will stand before His throne:
". . . in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God." Revelation 14:5
If we cannot stand before the throne of God, then we can expect no blessings from Him. Zechariah explained these will not only lose their blessings . . .
". . . him that sweareth falsely by My name: and it shall remain in the midst of his house, and shall consume it with the timber thereof and the stones thereof." Zechariah 5:4
Zechariah was saying God will destroy the homes of those who are guilty of swearing falsely. Today the breakup of worldly families is at an alarming rate. But what is so disturbing is the breakup of Christian families is at the same rate.
Swearing falsely has become the way of life in business, in the home, in the government, and the same is true in the church system today. One of the ten commandments is:
"Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain . . ." Exodus 20:7
The only ones who can take the name of the Lord in vain are Christians. When they call themselves by the name of Christ, and do not live by the dictates in His Word, then they have taken His name in vain, and have sworn falsely before their God. This is why so-called Christian homes are breaking up, and their children are going by the way of the world. When a Christian home is not based on, and living by the Word of God, it will fail.
David, the Psalmist, declared another reason why man loses his blessings:
"How long will ye imagine mischief against a man? Ye shall be slain all of you: as a bowing wall shall ye be, and as a tottering fence. They only consult to cast him down from his excellency: they delight in lies: they bless with their mouth, but they curse inwardly. Selah." Psalm 62:3-4
Those who put their trust in man, the government, or their religious orders will be as a bowing wall that has lost its strength, ready to fall; or a tottering fence that has lost its usefulness. They will only receive instruction from those whose unwise counsel will only cast them down from their high place in God. This is because they refuse to receive wise counsel from God's anointed leaders who are proclaiming His uncompromising truths in His Word. The all-wise Solomon declared:
"Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counselors there is safety." Proverbs 11:14
In Psalm 62:5, David continues, ". . . they delight in lies . . ." These choose to believe if they do as they are told by man, their government, and their religious order, they will be acceptable in the sight of God. David warns they will bless you with their mouth, but inwardly their intention is to curse your relationship with God. Those who depend on the arm of the flesh can only wonder what happened when their blessings are gone. These need to learn the lesson David learned:
"He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defence; I shall not be greatly moved." Psalm 62:2
David was fleeing for his life, but God's blessing was upon him because he knew who the rock of his salvation was. David did not depend upon his army for his defence from Saul. He depended totally upon God.
God has given us many examples in His Word how His blessings are taken away so His people will serve Him with their whole heart. Through the prophet Amos, He informed us:
"I have smitten you with blasting and mildew: when your gardens and your vineyards and your fig trees and your olive trees increased, the palmerworm devoured them: yet have ye not returned unto Me, saith the Lord." Amos 4:9
Today God's blessings have been removed from our agriculture because we have violated His commandments. Instead of leaving the land lay fallow every seventh year to increase its productivity, we add chemical fertilizer to stimulate crop growth. Then we drench the land with poisons to kill the insects and weeds. Then we wonder why God's blessings are not on crop production and why farmers homes are destroyed by the thousands because of bankruptcy. God promised:
"For such as be blessed of Him shall inherit the earth; and they that be cursed of Him shall be cut off." Psalm 37:22
The blessed will inherit the earth, but the cursed will be cut off from the land. Those who have violated God's commandments as to how the earth is to be used are cursed, and they will be cut off.
The all-wise Solomon informed us of another way we lose God's blessing:
"A faithful man shall abound with blessings: but he that maketh haste to be rich shall not be innocent." Proverbs 28:20
Today many are not content with making a living. They all want to become rich. This is especially true of the church system who have been taught if they look like the world, it will draw the world unto the church. When in reality, all that happens is that they are drawn back into the world.
The church system builds their big, opulent buildings and enslaves the people to pay for their extravagance. Taking up the collection takes longer than the sermon. Pleas and pledges become the main topics. Instead of depending on God, they depend on their ability to manipulate the people. The apostle Peter foretold the day in which we live:
"And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not." II Peter 2:3
The ministers of these opulent extravagances wear their expensive suits, drive their fancy cars, and live like kings. As David stated, "He that maketh haste to be rich shall not be innocent." When merchandise is made of God's people, their judgment and damnation is assured.
When God's blessings are gone, it is for one reason --- that is to return us to His true worship. These curses in our lives will continue until we repent and change our ways. This is not God's desire to do this, but if we refuse to change, then He will have to judge us because of our hardened heart. Just as God informed Israel, He is speaking to the church today.
"Because thou servedst not the Lord thy God with joyfulness, and with gladness of heart, for the abundance of all things; Therefore shalt thou serve thine enemies which the Lord shall send against thee, in hunger, and in thirst, and in nakedness, and in want of all things: and He shall put a yoke of iron upon thy neck, until He have destroyed thee." Deuteronomy 28:47-48
God's desire is to give us the abundance of all things, but He cannot do this because many of those who call themselves by His name only lavish it on their own lusts. God warns them they must serve their enemies which He will send against them with hunger, thirst, bondage, nakedness, and the want of all things until they are destroyed.
There are many ways we can lose our blessings. What we need to know is, "How do we keep our blessings?" God informed the children of Israel:
"And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe and to do all His commandments which I command thee this day, that the Lord thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth: And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God." Deuteronomy 28:1-2
We are promised if we hearken diligently to the voice of God, and observe and do all His commandments, then He will set us on high, above all nations on earth. Then He makes us a third promise. All His blessings will come upon us. They will not only come upon us, they will overtake us. We cannot get out of their way. If we hearken to His voice and do His commandments, His blessings are assured. By the words of Jesus, we know what we can expect if we keep His commandments. Jesus proclaimed:
"Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are My friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of My Father I have made known unto you." John 15:13-15
If we keep His commandments which is the whole Word of God, then we will become His friends. When we read His Word, it is His voice commanding us how we should live. We can take His Word lightly or seriously, but if we do not hearken diligently to what He is saying, then we will not receive His blessings.
The only man in the Bible who was called the friend of God was the father of our faith, Abraham. Abraham was made a blessing because he hearkened diligently to the voice of God and was obedient to His commandments. When God told Abraham to offer His promised son, Isaac, Abraham did not question. As Paul declared:
"By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and He that had received the promises offered up His only begotten Son, Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called. Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure." Hebrews 11:17-19
As our Spiritual eyes are opened, we see Abraham as a type of the Father who offered up His only begotten Son, Jesus. Then Isaac becomes a picture of Jesus being raised from the dead. Abraham knew, had he thrust the knife through Isaac's heart, God would have raised him from the dead.
In verse nineteen Paul records, ". . . from whence he received him in a figure." The word figure is the Greek word PARABOLE. This word was usually translated as the word parable. A parable shows how one thing reveals a truth in another area.
Abraham having to offer his promised seed as a sacrifice is a parable. When Abraham and Isaac were going up the mountain, Isaac asked his father, "Where is the lamb for the offering?" Genesis 22:7
"And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering; so they went both of them together." Genesis 22:8
The offering up of Isaac was a parable of the resurrection of Jesus, the Lamb of God.
Abraham was the friend of God. Jesus promised when we come into our place of blessing, we too, will no longer be considered servants, but friends. When we become the friends of God, we will be given the same promise God gave to Abraham. Jesus declared:
". . .the servant knoweth not what his Lord doeth, but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of My Father, I have made known unto you." John 15:15
We are given an example of this when God was about to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah:
"And the men rose up from thence, and looked toward Sodom: and Abraham went with them to bring them on the way. And the Lord said, Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do; Seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in Him?" Genesis 18:16-18
When God was ready to send judgment upon wicked Sodom and Gomorrah, He told Abraham what He was going to do. We have the same promise today. Those who are in a place of blessing, as the friends of God, will know when judgment is coming. As God promised through the pen of Amos:
"Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but He revealed His secret unto His servants the prophets." Amos 3:7
God's true prophets are His friends, and He will do nothing unless His prophets are given the foresight of His actions. The old prophets knew how to obtain and keep the blessings of God. The prophet Jeremiah wrote:
"Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is." Jeremiah 17:7
Believing in the Lord is one thing. Trusting in the Lord is totally different. Almost everyone believes in one god or another. But the question remains, "Do they trust in God with everything they have, including their lives?' Those who believe in the living God, Christ Jesus our Lord, need to not only believe, but have total trust. We must not only have trust, we must have hope. The word hope means "confidence." Confidence means "faith." Paul informed the Hebrews:
"But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for He that cometh to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him." Hebrews 11:6
It is impossible to please God without faith. So trust, hope, confidence, and faith must be present in everything we think and do, or we cannot expect God's blessing in our lives. These things are only present in the lives of those who diligently seek Him. As Paul proclaimed, "He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him." God's rewards are His blessings. The prophet Ezekiel proclaimed:
"And I will make them and the places round about My hill a blessing; and I will cause the shower to come down in his season; there shall be showers of blessing." Ezekiel 34:26
God informed Moses His blessings would come upon His people and overtake them. Ezekiel informs us God's blessings will come as showers. We sang the old song, "Showers of Blessings" and never knew what God expected from us (His people) to receive His showers of blessings. Blessings are not something God owes us. Blessings are something we earn. The prophet Isaiah makes us another promise:
"For I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground: I will pour My Spirit upon thy seed, and My blessings upon thine offspring:" Isaiah 44:3
When we are blessed of the Lord, then our children are blessed also. God will pour His Spirit upon our seed. Our children will be blessed with the Spirit of wisdom and revelation. An unknown Psalmist declared:
"Praise ye the Lord. Blessed is the man that feareth the Lord, that delighteth greatly in His commandments. His seed shall be mighty upon earth: the generation of the upright shall be blessed." Psalm 112:1-2
All those who live by the Word of God will be blessed, and His children will become mighty upon the earth. God has a chosen generation who are His holy nation, His royal priesthood, His peculiar people, who will show forth praises unto their God. This is the generation of the upright whom God will bless. The all-wise Solomon wrote:
"The just man walketh in his integrity: his children are blessed after him." Proverbs 20:7
The just man walketh in his integrity. It is written both in the Old and New Testaments, "The just shall live by faith." The word integrity means "to be made whole." This can only be accomplished through God's Word by the Holy Spirit anointing. When the just live by faith, then they have God's promise their children will be blessed after them.
As we search deeper into God's Word to seek God's blessings, and what we must become in the sight of God to walk into His blessings, we must look at the first verse in Psalm One:
"Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful." Psalm 1:1
The Psalmist informs us of three things we are not to do if we want the blessings of God in our lives. First we are not to walk in the counsel of the ungodly. The word walk means "the way we live." Many Christians spend more time with their worldly friends than they do with their brothers and sisters in Christ.
The ungodly influence in their lives keeps them from growing and flourishing in the things of God. Many times these relationships keep them from attending church services and church functions. In reality, their ungodly associations draw them away from God and His blessings.
The second thing the Psalmist warns us against is standing in the way of sinners. When we stand in the way of sinners, we become part of what is going on around us. We are commanded by God to flee from these influences. We are to flee from fornication, I Corinthians 6:18, we are to flee idolatry, I Corinthians 10:14, we are to flee from the love of money, I Timothy 6:10-11, we are to flee youthful lust, II Timothy 2:22. These are just a few things we are to flee from. We are to flee from all unrighteousness.
When we stand in the way of sinners, then we are subject to their sin. When Israel went into their promise land, God spoke to the them about the inhabitants of the land:
"Thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor with their gods. They shall not dwell in thy land, lest they make thee sin against Me: for if thou serve their gods, it will surely be a snare unto thee." Exodus 23:32-33
Because of their disobedience, Israel lost God's blessings which was their promise land and their inheritance in God. Today the same is true with the lukewarm church. They have not separated themselves from the sinners in their midst. Because of this God has removed their blessings.
The third thing the Psalmist warned against was sitting in the seat of the scornful. The word scornful means "to talk arrogantly, to boast, to mock, to deride, to be inflated in our own self-importance." Those who are high and lifted up in self will be brought low. If we do not humble ourselves, then God will humble us in His own way. When we sit it means we have taken our rest and have become complacent in our own ways.
Those who refuse to hear God's Word, and conform their lives to His direction cannot expect His blessings. So when we walk, stand, or sit, our lives must glorify God. If our lives do not glorify God, then we can surely count our lost blessings. By the writer of the One hundred and Nineteenth Psalm we know:
"Blessed are they that keep His testimonies, and that seek Him with the whole heart." Psalm 119:2
This is the message throughout the whole Bible. We are to seek God with our whole being if we are to receive all He has laid up for us.
As we read the Old Testament, we discover how God blessed many of His people abundantly. Abraham was one of the richest men in the East. We have this same promise. In the New Testament, Paul wrote to the churches in Galatia:
"So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham." Galatians 3:9
Every blessing God bestowed on Abraham is ours if we become His friends. How did Jesus say we become His friends? We become His friends by doing whatever He commands us in His Word.
Everything Abraham had was a blessing from God. When Abraham's nephew, Lot, was taken captive:
". . . Abram armed his trained servants, born in his own house, three hundred and eighteen, and pursued them unto Dan." Genesis 14:14
Abraham did not depend on the government for His defense. He had his own servants trained to fight. Abraham went to war with his trained servants and recovered all that was taken from Lot. By the book of Proverbs we know:
"The blessing of the Lord, it maketh rich, and He addeth no sorrow with it." Proverbs 10:22
When our wealth comes as a blessing from God, no sorrow comes with it. Because we know where it comes from, we should also know what it is for. Moses informed Israel:
"But thou shalt remember the Lord thy God: for it is He that giveth power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day." Deuteronomy 8:18
It is the Lord who gives us the power to get wealth. Then the question arises, "Why does God gives us this power?" We are given wealth to establish His covenant with His creation, man. Those who use wealth to establish God's covenant will be blessed with more wealth. Those who use wealth for self, will eventually fail.
Oft times we wonder why some who seem to serve God are in financial trouble all the time. The apostle James gives us insight into this dilemma.
"Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts." James 4:3
Those who desire wealth do not desire it to establish God's covenant, they only desire wealth to consume it upon their own lustful desires.
In the beatitudes, Jesus gives us a list of eight additional blessings:
Blessed are the poor in spirit:
Blessed are they that mourn
Blessed are the meek
Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness
Blessed are the merciful
Blessed are the pure in heart
Blessed are the peacemakers
Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake
The poor are the lowly in Spirit. Those who mourn are grieved when they witness the condition of God's people, and the world in general. The meek are those who are totally depending on God. They have laid down self, self rule, self desires, and selfishness in general. As Jesus related, those who hunger and thirst after righteousness will be blessed of God.
He will also bless those who show mercy to all His creation. The pure in heart are those who have an undefiled mind. Their thoughts are pure, therefore their actions are pure. The peacemakers are those who love peace, and their attitude is always peaceful, never combative.
God will bless those who are persecuted for their righteousness. The world today persecutes those who are a threat to their unrighteous ways. They have lost all sense of morality.
If we follow these few revelations of Jesus, we will truly be blessed. The Psalmist David reminds us:
"The Lord will give strength unto His people; the Lord will bless His people with peace." Psalm 29:11
Today the whole world is seeking peace. Peace can only come from the Prince of Peace. All other peace is temporal. Truly God will greatly bless the peacemaker. Jesus also gave us direction when He stated:
"And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be in offended in Me." Matthew 11:6
The word offend means "to put a stumbling block in someone's way, to cause them to doubt or fall." Those who offend, or have put a stumbling block in their brother or sister's way will forfeit the blessings of God in their lives.
God has made wonderful promises to those who remain in the place of blessings. In Jesus' words we know:
"Blessed are those servants, whom the Lord when He cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that He shall gird Himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them." Luke 12:37
We are to be a watching people. As the world around us gets darker, then the light of the glorious gospel of truth should shine ever more brighter in each of our lives. If we are watching, we are witnessing not only the judgments of God, but also the fulfillments of His prophecies.
Those who are blessed of God will be made to sit down, and He will come forth and serve us of Himself. The beloved John gave us insight into Christ's coming:
"Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be, but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is." I John 3:2
John stated, "It doth not yet appear what we shall be." Paul quoted the Old Testament when he wrote:
"But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him." I Corinthians 2:9
We know by the words of John, if we are not like Christ when He appears, we will not see Him. Only those who have entered into, and remain in His place of blessing will see Him. And He will gird Himself, and serve His blessed people. The apostle James writes:
"Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when He is tried, He shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love Him." James 1:12
God has promised the crown of life to the to those who endure the temptations of this life. Jesus revealed to John on the Isle of Patmos:
"Blessed are they that do His commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city." Revelation 22:14
If we keep His commandments, then we are His friends and we will be blessed, just as Abraham was blessed. By this blessing we will again have access to the tree of life which was placed in the midst of the paradise of God.
God has promised those whom He has blessed may enter in through the gates into the Holy City, the New Jerusalem, which is His bride. Jesus gave us a warning through the pen of John:
"But this people who knoweth not the law are cursed." John 7:49
Those who have failed to read, heed, and live by the Word of God are cursed. Today the church is full of those who do not know God's Word. They remain babies who cannot feed themselves. By the words of Jesus, we know these are cursed, and will never see the New Day, nor will they enter into the gates of the city, nor have access to the Tree of Life.
Paul writes to the church at Colosse about those who have put off the old man with his adamic nature:
"And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of Him that created Him:" Colossians 3:10
If we are going to enter into God's holy city which is the paradise of God and partake of the tree of eternal life, then we must be renewed and changed, so we may come again into the image of our Creator. Paul related to the church at Philippi:
"Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:" Philippians 2:5-6
Paul stated Jesus did not think it robbery to be equal with God. Even in His earthly body, He could have an equality with God. Paul admonished us,
". . .Let this mind be in you . . .
When we come to this mentality, we too can have an equality with God. It is not that we would be robbing Him of His sovereignty, but that we will come again into our created condition of being in the image and likeness of God. We will never replace God on His throne, but we can and will rule and reign with Him as we are promised in His Word.
We do not need to blame the devil when we lose our blessings. We need to seek a new relationship with the Lord with our whole heart. May God richly bless you in your newly sought relationship with Him.
The following is an outline of this book for Further Discussion:
A Curse on Adam and Eve
Enos And Men Begin To Call Upon the Lord
A Blessing on Noah
A Blessing on Abraham
Causes of Lost Blessings
How To Receive God's Blessings
Abraham, a type of God the Father
Isaac, a type of Jesus the Son
Other Titles: http://www.newfoundationspubl.org/titles.htm
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