We see in the world many attacks on fellow Christians, who we must remember are part of the same body of Christ as us….but some Christians are hurting and die needlessly. Like those the Lord said who slept early. (1Cor11:30) You see sometimes “we” could change, or do something to prevent it, and continue on here serving the Lord. Sometimes we have the choice. ( Philippians 1:23-25 ) As Paul seems to have thought, having almost lost all hope…but deciding it better for their sakes to remain and help them. Who sent him help in his distress….Hmmmm…
And sometimes one nation’s Christians do not do all they can to assist other nations Christians as they should, as it is just a different location in the body….If “we” are of one body…then we should care for “all” our body, and keep it strong and more useable… As Christ does the church.
( Eph 5:29 )- “After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church–”
Or we will be rendered limited in our scope to reach out more effectively to the lost…which is part of the devil’s plan since the beginning.
And sometimes “we” do not go assist when a brother falls attacked by satan, to raise them up again…instead just accepting what we see as final. As Paul taught by this example to the church, when he did not accept circumstances, and went and raised up the boy who fell from high window, restoring him to the body. (Acts 20:9-11 )
Many would have accepted those circumstances and said sadly, “God took him home, it was his time.” Not Paul. Because we are all one body… And Christ works through “us” on this side of the cross! So “we” are to equip, strengthen and protect the body we have now, as much as is in our power to do so…and not just focus on seeking to add more to the body daily. Because many Christians are under attack in the world, and need all the assistance they can get, anyway they can get it.
Not everyone is called to be a martyr…but all are called to die to self.
Is there something …anything “you” could do here to help a brother somewhere else under attack? Yes we must pray ! And sometimes, also make a phone call perhaps? Or send a email to your congressman?
Because sometimes the right hand, must help, and care for the left arm, so it does not “needlessly” get amputated from the body, simply because of a lack of attention to the circumstances affecting it. Think on that.
The Lord has called “us” to help His body “and” also reach out to the unsaved. ( Prov1:24 )-“I called you so often, but you wouldn’t come. I reached out to you, but you paid no attention.” And the voice of the attacked comes to us in those words as well…because WE are the body of Christ. The bible says when YOU have done “all”…then you can stand.( Eph 6:13 ) Have you done all yet? Have you done anything?… to try and help those Christians under attack in other countries?…
Notice the armour is to be PUT ON by “us” over the whole body “for protection”, and “also” to allow the body “to fight” victoriously over the enemy. We “believers” in Christ are one body…So ask what you can do here now, and find something for your hand to do for the Lord… because i believe some die needlessly. … Have you done all for them? Have you thought about the power you do have from your “current” position of safety here in this nation? Well think on it. Maybe you were called for such a time as this. ~ Rev Ernie Harpster
Walking IN the Blessing of God
As Christian you say you believe God completely, you trust Him with your life….and say you follow Him…actually saying that “We” must all follow God, through Jesus Christ… Amen!..That is correct!….And so you also remember His money is only yours to be a steward of… right? And that in priority after God, comes you family, and everything else…And when it comes to your money, if nothing is left after those first priorities are taken care of, you understand it IS all ok, as it only means it is not time for you to sow to another place….not YET!…. Meaning what? There is always “a right season and soil conditions” to think of…..and “both” must be right when you plant seed…or seed will not ever grow or survive!
God prepares the soil, and He times the season… “When”..you are suppose to plant in other places..”but that is AFTER first taking care of God and you”…and then He will tell you, or show you, “when” …you are to give to other places. And you will then have the increase in your hand for doing it….. “from Him giving you the seed”…seed for “you” the sower! (2Cor 9:10 ) Guess what…Tithing increases our seed,…While only God prepares the rest of it. (Season and soil)
As rain and snow come from Heaven, and are only God’s to control when it arrives. (Isa 55:10 ) …But He gives it for “our needs” first to be met like eating!…THEN after “we” give to Him, for Him being credited with meeting our needs, The Lord then pours out on us from His windows of heaven all the blessings promised us, for our showing Him Trust as commanded….that He can increase “our seed” with His favour… From Heaven! And give greater blessings for us to walk in !
If you got a new job. Great! He gave you favor to meet your needs…Now your seed is coming, and your time to sow is soon… But… “you” must always show Him, that He is Lord “first” in your life, and Lord “of all things” that He placed in your hand to control “for Him”…and by “that tithe”, you prove that you trust Him. Now carefully read ( Mal 3:8-11 ) Because “Tithe” is only a form of “action”, that God said will “show” that you actually Trust Him above all else, That “He” really is “first” priority…and that He may “prove” to YOU your “trust” in Him is warranted!..And actually then rewarded! (Heb 11 :6)..Are you seeking Him first? (Mat 6:33 ) then ALL things are added.
It was not because of law…that tithe was taught, it came waaay before law was ever given… So God just reminded them here in bible speaking to them in Malachi in vs 6 (Malachi 3:6) that…He did not change! Why? Because in beginning, back in the Garden was given principle of tithe! It was part of original plan! Read (Gen 2:16-17) See…Adam was “NOT” told, do not touch the tree in the garden…Adam “WAS only told” not “to eat” of that one tree in the garden! Adam “was” told to be a steward of the whole garden to “tend it”…And you would have to touch it to do that correctly!
.But the “tithe”here.. (meaning that one tree, Adam was told not to “eat” from)… It was God’s “first fruits”, the portion that God asked only for Himself…out of the whole garden that Adam enjoyed, while he “tended”… controlled it for God!(Gen 2:15) And for Adam to be able to bring something as proof too God…to prove God..Bring what proof? Adam’s trust, his faith! For Adam then to receive and walk in the blessings of God for “everything” he touched!… So that Adam would have his seed provided directly from God, poured out through the doors and windows of heaven!
The devil only twisted this when he spoke to Eve and deceived her, when ADAM did not speak up to correct the devil, as Adam should have…if ADAM had been “tending” everything in his garden obediently!! Which was seen in Gen 2:15 as Adams first assignment from God!
Some like to say we are not under law of tithe now, so I do not have to tithe, but I give what I “feel”… Well that is true ..I just showed you the Tithe was not law…but it IS the “only” place in bible that God prescribed a way for “us” to show, that we completely trust in God for our needs and wants being met, part of plan before law was ever given!! And we are told not to rob Him of that Trust! (Malachi 3:8) Why? Because “We” live by every word from mouth of God…Jesus said ( Mat 4:4 )…so not by feelings or law!
And just as Love is not love, unless “seen in actions” that agree with that word from your lips……. So “Trust” (faith) is also not known, unless there is action that agrees with that word from your lips. And to prove God in this area, requires this action on your part as prescribed. God gave “us” the specific action that He desires to see from you and I.. “us” the church,…so that you can also then see it works, so that you can also hold Him accountable to it, and so He can prove “your” trust in Him was deserved! That He always follows through with a promise, and builds up your faith! …And also provide you with new seed to sow!
But some say, we only live in the New Testament, And yes that is true. Or they will say Jesus never said anything about tithe… But actually Jesus told the knowledgeable, yet very religious Pharisees how they liked to show everyone how “religious” they are, by their detailed legalistic form “of tithe”…but they did not give it to God from heart of love and “trust” toward God!, ( Luke 11:42 ). Really they only tithed from pride in themselves, as they wanted the people to exalt them for it… and maybe to get the people to give more to the church “storehouse”, because they controlled God’s money at the temple, like it was theirs!… And remember God hates pride!
Now also notice here in (Luke 11:42) this is exactly where in New Testament Jesus “did” speak on the tithe! Saying… that “neither should be left undone in KJV” …See that “is including tithe”; And also remember Jesus said, He only spoke what His Father told Him! (John 8:28) … Imagine that!…It agrees with God in Malachi. And Genesis, and still agrees when it appeared latter again in ( Gen14:18-20 ) … And of course it would, remember God said He did not change! …He still wants to know “all” your love and trust is in Him, and “increase your faith” (=trust in God), and pour out His blessings on you!… Without the law being necessary..but coming from your heart! … Like Abram did (before law)…getting his priorities right, and latter we know he became Abraham… Father of many nations, which sounds like poured out blessings to me!
So “church” do not “eat” of the tree of your tithe…or your eating your seed, that seed God wanted to give you from His store house in heaven! So you will have more than enough to give in right season, and into right soil, but the tithe goes to the store house, I am only told give it there, and then let it go into Jesus hands, our high priest like Melchizedek! And our Lord will “hold them” accountable with it!……So Think on this which you read.. Then DO IT ! Determined Obedience Intentional TRUST!… And God will pour out, so YOU will be blessed more than you can contain! .. Uumm Pour out…Reminded me of ( Luke 6:38 ); And God never asks us to do, what He does not also willingly do for us first!… He just wants us to become imitators of Him! (Eph 5:1) Think on it.so you can …
“Clearly follow the narrow road… And stay in the light!” Rev Ernie Harpster
Show me Your Glory; The Secret Of the Seeker! God’s Secret!… To Knowing Him and leading His church…Revealed to Moses..& NOW to “us” !
“God designed the spiritual ecstasy and pleasure of His presence to provide us with the most intense pleasure that is possible for the human mind/brain to experience. He wants us to be more strongly bonded to Him than we are to any other person or thing in life. Experiencing the ultimate pleasure of HIS presence gives “us” a benchmark for comparing this enduring pleasure (Knowing God) with the transient pleasure of this world (Heb11:25) Until we have experienced the pleasure of His presence, …we are at the mercy of Satan’s counterfeits”.~ Richard Dobbins Ph.D
“Who will be the salt and light of biblical guidance to a culture gone wild? The church must provide a clear and robust biblical ethic of sexuality.” The Church should hold up the new alternative lifestyle…Men married to women for life in a sexually pure COVENANT relationship and live it out “~ Ed Stetzer,Ph.D
I read these quotes from an article in “Enrichment” Magazine (Summer 2011) But I think only possible when the “church” actually intimately knows God and not possible if the church exchanges Truth to be “accepted as more relevant”. …when ALL of God’s word is relevant Truth.
I read those quotes and remembered this message I gave in 2011….And share below with you to think on ….so you can and WILL gain the secret of the seeker!
Text: ( Exodus 24:1-3,&9,-18, Exodus 33:7-11, & 17-18 &21, Exodus Chap 34:5-8, &10 )
Many people in today’s churches would be happy to have just heard the voice of God, as Moses did, But God wants more than just our hearing His words; He wants us to come…and be in Him, dwell in Him, He in Us…and us focused on ONLY Him.
1) The earlier chapters of Exodus God spoke to Moses from the Mountain and told him and the people what the Ten Commandments would be, and gave them laws and ordinances….How to live for God.
2) God spoke to Moses about the sacrifices and peace offerings on alters for God; And teaches them about Sabbath in Chap 23. All this was so people may live and be acceptable to “freely” come…and worship a Holy God.
But in Chap24…I see God called Moses the leader of His People to come up for more.
If we as leaders want more of God in our Churches…more life in our churches….and if “we” the church ant more of God…we must come up for more…we must desire the very “presence” of God.
If “we” …as leaders in the “Church” don’t come to God first…then what, or Whom shall the people follow?
Here in Chap 24 of Exodus we see Moses was called by God to “Come”…
1) ( Chap 24:1-3 )…Said come up on the Mountain along with Aaron , Nadab, and Abihu and 70 others including Joshua. And in (VS 10) they all get to see God! Standing with His feet on Pavement of Sapphire as clear as the sky it’s self…For us and many Christians that would be enough…but not enough for God. They all see Moses go up mountain and Glory of God come down like a consuming fire and Moses actually enters the cloud in (Exodus24:18) and stayed there for forty days and nights.
Reminds me of…. When Jesus would go alone to be with God, He too heard the voice of God telling Him what to say and showing Him what to do. ( John8: 28 ) and ( John 5:18 )
A)First this IS our example as leaders, Shepherds and teachers of others the “church” so the church can lead the lost to Jesus!… Moses had been a shepherd too.
But I see that after only moments of standing in The “presence” of God at the burning bush…Moses led 2.5 million people out of bondage and deception. I also see Jesus made it priority to be alone with God too! And now leads all Christians past, present, and future…working through “us” in the “body” (the church)… to do so…called like Moses to come near to God! But what does God want from us? …To know Him intimately…So we need to do like Moses did…
Point number 1#…We must Come into …His very presence.
Why? For hearing all our directions, and receiving the download of revelation knowledge for leading His people…and First and foremost to know God’s heart, and for God to know us intimately.
But also to “enable us” for revealing Him more to the people! As we will now see:
b) In ( Exodus 33:7-11) We see AFTER his (first) 40day experience Moses has separated a tent from the others, and it is now the tent of meeting. And now Moses would go out to the tent and worship and talk to God with all the people watching…and God would…. Now come down in a Pillar cloud and it says in (33Vs11) “Talk to Moses face to face just as a man speaks to his friend…God was revealing himself directing Moses right “in front of” all the people who it says worshiped and “watched” from their tents.. “They could see God”, And they could see Moses was with God, and they could “see” Moses had a special relationship “with” God!
But there is more ….God also wants our desire to be …to know Him intimately in worship.
That brings me to second point We can have that special relationship with God through Christ!…But …Like Moses we need to Come and spend time in the presence of our God to worship Him personally…to lead His people and be able to reveal Him to Them…And that is…
- Point number #2 We must come into His presence and willingly “give our self” in worship to Him “with desire”.
a)With a desire to meet Him in a place set apart from the hustle of Life, like Moses did…
What place? A place where we can meet with a Holy God and let Him speak to us about anything just like a friend and spouse! “nothing hidden”, whatever needs discussing coming to God with a desire for complete openness . God desires that with us, and from us to know more of the mysteries of God. By the way mysteries mean in Greek …Things not hidden! Not hidden to us who are His! ( Col 1:26-27, Eph 1:9 )
But now “we will see” Moses was soon to have a 2nd Mountain top experience!
Many of us would brag forever of the first one we received but Moses goes for seconds! In Exodus 33 Moses has discussions with God and makes some requests which God agrees too!…Then in (Exodus 33:17 )
Look at verse! God says this to Moses …”For you have found favor in my sight and I have known you by name” …I see here you gain favor and intimacy with God when you spend time in His presence. …But now…Moses goes to another level!
Moses shows an incredible boldness…for a man spoken of in Numbers12:3 as the meekest man to ever live on earth, some would think wow… to show this audacity, or even think this let alone say it to God is either wrong or amazing…But I think it displays the very “reaction” that man is created with that should be produced from being in the presence and experiencing the ecstasy of the Lord God….an insatiable thirst for more!…As Moses says THIS to God In (Exodus 33:18)….
“Show me your Glory!” Here is Moses a man who has already had 40 days and nights in the presence of God Almighty …and lived to tell!…But NOW….God says an amazing thing in response to Moses boldness. In ( Exodus Chapter 33:21)
God reveals a secret to Moses …Exodus 33:21 “Behold there is a place by me, and YOU shall stand THERE on the rock. “
Oh my Brothers and sisters “we” are no different than Moses.
We must NOT just come into God’s presence casually…for us to just obtain something, to get our download, our directions, our answers, our things! And “we” must Not only come into His presence just to give Him some worship…BUT
- Point number #3) “We” MUST also come into His presence with a thirst for more of God’s presence, for God to reveal more of Himself, His Glory to us… To know Him more intimately… to KNOW more of OUR God in that secret place as Moses did… Not just to know more about Him.
We see God now “says AND also does” something for Moses in (Exodus 34:5-8) God did all, that God promised Moses, and placed Him in that Secret place beside Him,…and in (verse 8) We see Moses almost cannot take the ecstasy of the experience given him by God…it says he made haste to bow toward the earth and worship. It was so wonderful Moses could not stand in it!
In this revelation God “allowed” Moses to receive and experience, Moses could do nothing but react immediately in humility …and almost fall down into worship.
He church! Remember Jesus now sits beside the Father…He is at right hand of Father according to (Mark 16:19) And in (1John 4:17) it says that…”as He is so are we in this world…” So our ability to enter that place IS granted us. By Christ blood! According to (Heb 10:19) We have confidence to enter to that Holy Place by the blood!… We say we know these words… But my fellow shepherds, Pastors teachers,…ALL servants…children of God!
If “we” who are leaders know these things…then We MUST exhibit this Thirst like Moses, so the Church will desire it !…. Like David said in (Psalms 42:1)”As a deer pants after the water brooks so my soul pants for YOU …Oh God”
“We” need an insatiable thirst for the infinite God of the universe, To reveal something new every day to “US” …That requires intimacy with God. Just Me and Him closely in His presence…
My mentor by example Pastor Ed Russo taught me a saying, I will never forget…”Proof of desire…is in the pursuit.”
If we as leaders do not pursue more of His presence… How shall we ever bring a people from bondage and deception in this world…to a place they can worship in Spirit and Truth! And know God, and be truly known by Him! Unless “we” have the reality of His presence with “us”.
(John4:23-24nasb)- But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. 24 God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”
God wants “us” His “gifts” to the church…To lead His people to His Holy Hill, into His presence where there is fullness of joy…into…True Worship…to know Him…the living God….Intimately know Him in the secret place. So they can see and the church WILL desire to truly know Him! And become one with In Him! Jesus prayed for that! (John 17:22-23)
But sheep cannot go …where their shepherd does not lead them, they only follow the voice and the example of their shepherd. The shepherd always steps into the pasture first. Always goes to the water first.
We shepherds must be seekers FIRST of…Him…And Him alone…Not what He can give…But Him. So the sheep will follow and we can help them receive their reward!
God wants “us” to be like Moses in this example….
And Obtain the reward of the SEEKER!…“The Secret to being a seeker!”
Because Moses sought out the secret place with God…God now says this to Moses…
Exodus 34:10 – “Then God said, “Behold, I am going to make a covenant. Before all your people I will perform miracles which have not been produced in all the earth nor among any of the nations; and all the people among whom you live will see the working of the LORD, for it is a fearful thing that I am going to perform with you.” …. God said that to Moses…. Oh my oh my what a reward to the leader, to anyone! … that pursues more OF God! To ANYONE who truly seeks! Read that verse again Slowly!
“We” should desire God say that to us! And He would! He is no respector of persons! ……But that only comes… when YOU,
1) Come into… His presence.
2) Come into His presence… and truly worship Him. AND
3) Come into His presence with…. a Thirst for more of Him.
God says in last half of (Heb11:6Amplified)- and that He is the rewarder of those who earnestly and diligently seek Him [out].
Conclusion: : We can do all the studying , we can write all the papers, we can speak of all we know to be true, and pray all the “special” prayers we think we know. But if “we” do not seek to KNOW Him… it is for nothing. In John 15:5 Jesus said apart from me you can do no thing. Uummm. But if we seek Him really seek Him, we gain the seekers reward and can also receive as Moses he ability do all miracles never produced before! As disclosed to Moses in Exodus34:10 And perform them through us who truly KNOW Him!
Jesus said in ( Matthew 7:22-23 )-Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23And then will I profess unto them,
I never “knew” you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity”…. That word “knew” …Jesus is saying means… never knew you intimately.
It is a Greek verb meaning: to have knowledge of… “by experience”…
it is also the Jewish idom for… intercourse between man and woman.
When I read that a thought occurred to me… When Moses said show me your Glory…. I could only think of one comparison…it is like a man and woman on their honey moon who are already great friends for years, and now finally that night after the wedding ceremony, the man says to his bride oh baby come and show me your Glory. Take me to your secret place…. We should hunger for God like that every day…And help the world to see the “ counterfeits” they seek after are nothing compared to the reality of our Gods presence!
We come here to bible school, or church, and we say “we” desire life in “our” ministries, more life in “our” churches, abundant life in “our” relationships!
“But like in a marriage there is no life EVER created or produced without real intimacy.”~ Ravi Zacarias
We MUST come up to God alone for more of Him…To be True seekers.
I leave you with this thought by….Francis Frangipane who said this:
“We long to be sent by the Almighty for the sake of some great task—a miracle that turns a city to repentance or some significant act of service. However, the greatest task awaiting the church is not to be sent by God…
but to actually come to Him.” …Moses had a servant that went with him on the mountain and it is stated in (Exodus 33:11) that when Moses left the tent of meeting after speaking to God face to face his servant… the servant, “Joshua remained”…The only one called to lead the people after Moses was Joshua…who was lead by Moses to learn the secret of remaining in the presence of God…Be Blessed…Stay in His presence the glory of His light! Then you can!…Clearly follow the Narrow road, and stay in The light!
Ast.Pastor Ernie Harpster
Some of the inspiration for this message came from the book “Worship The Gateway to God”
By Jim Bergdorf… http://www.worshipers.net/cart/ ,
Used as our text book from LCU class : “True Worship”
Francis Frangipane http://frangipane.org From message “In preparation For God”.
Original Message given by Ernie Harpster.
Life Christian University Homiletics final class assignment; Prof. Dr. Brooks.