Final JobThe book of Job is one of the most widely misunderstood books in the Bible. Bible scholars attempt to use Job to answer the question of why God allows mankind to suffer. But the book of Job is not about mankind. It’s about how God creates and increases the revelation of Himself in the lives of His people.

These passages from 1st Peter summarize the entire book of Job:

3 ¶  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
4  to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you,
5  who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
6 ¶  In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials,
7  so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

 Peter says that the trials and testings God puts us through are to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. A deeper revelation of the Lord comes to our hearts as a result of the things God puts us through. This is because His dealings are designed to tear down the old, Adamic nature and replace it with His own. A greater revelation of the Lord is always the result of the death experience He orchestrates in our lives. This is exactly what happened to Job.

Notice the similarity of Job’s cry in chapter 23 with the passages in 1st Peter:

8 ¶  “Behold, I go forward but He is not there, And backward, but I cannot perceive Him;
9  When He acts on the left, I cannot behold Him; He turns on the right, I cannot see Him.
10  “But He knows the way I take; When He has tried me, I shall come forth as gold.

To come forth as gold is indicative of bearing the Lord’s nature. Gold in the Scriptures always symbolizes the nature of God. Peter tells us that God has given us great and precious promises that we might become partakers of the divine nature (2nd Pet. 1:4).

The book of Job gives the pattern by which God creates in us a greater capacity for Himself to dwell. Anyone who has ever experienced the fiery trials and dealings of the Lord will be able to identify the pattern we are going to examine in Job.

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God Is Greater Than Man: A Mystical Interpretation of Job

For Such an Hour as This

Esther 4:
10  Then Esther spoke to Hathach and ordered him to reply to Mordecai:
11  “All the king’s servants and the people of the king’s provinces know that for any man or woman who comes to the king to the inner court who is not summoned, he has but one law, that he be put to death, unless the king holds out to him the golden scepter so that he may live. And I have not been summoned to come to the king for these thirty days.”
12  And they related Esther’s words to Mordecai.

Hopefully everyone is familiar with the story of Esther. If not, it would be good to read the book to get the full impact of this message. Esther is only a few chapters.

Two main themes are running through Esther. The first is Esther being chosen from among many women to replace the former queen who angered the king by not responding to him when he called her into his presence. This by the way, carries much spiritual significance in itself. The second theme is a plot to destroy all the Jews in the land.

Esther is urged to go before the king and plead for the lives of her people. This is where we pick up the story. If Esther goes before the king without being summoned, she could be put to death. She makes that clear to Mordecai, explaining she had not been summoned. Continue reading

Coming Down Out of Heaven

Rev. 21:

9 ¶  Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues came and spoke with me, saying, “Come here, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.”
10  And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God,
11  having the glory of God…

The angel tells John, “Come here, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.” John is then carried away to a great and high mountain. Whenever the term “high mountain” or “holy mountain” is used in the Scriptures, it is speaking of God’s domain. It’s a spiritual sphere or realm where God’s presence is manifested in a unique way. John saw the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God. Plainly the holy city, New Jerusalem, is a symbolic picture of the bride of Christ. The New Jerusalem is the saints of God, not a physical city.

Notice that they are coming down out of heaven. This indicates these are people who have their roots in one realm but are manifested in another. “Coming down” means they descend from a higher realm into a lower one. This occurs without their feet ever leaving the physical earth. It’s a spiritual manifestation. Jesus is our prime example of how this operates. We will look at His life momentarily. Continue reading

Lawlessness

Mat. 7
15 ¶  “Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves.
16  “You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they?
17  “So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit.
18  “A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit.
19  “Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
20  “So then, you will know them by their fruits.
21 ¶  “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter.
22  “Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’
23  “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.’

 There have probably been ten thousand sermons preached on the above passages. Everyone seems to know who the false prophets are and how to identify them. But there is no formula for recognizing the true from the false. It only comes one way. Jesus said in verse 21 that not everyone who says to Him, Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven. Jesus also spoke of bearing good fruit and bad fruit, and doing the will of the Father. These are all suggestive statements and are interpreted as one sees fit. One person’s definition of good fruit or bad fruit is different from another’s. So is the definition of doing the will of the Father. So, how do we really come to recognize the true from the false? It is not by outward manifestations but by a work done in us. Continue reading

The Perfection of God

The Law is the perfection of God. The Law is synonymous with the Lordship of Jesus Christ. “So then, the Law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good. For we know that the Law is spiritual . . .  (Rom.8:12,14).”

Mat. 5
17 ¶  “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill.
18  “For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished.

The Law was fulfilled perfectly in Jesus Christ. What does this really mean for us? The standard Christian teaching is that Christ fulfilled the Law, thus our faith in Him releases us from its requirements. While this is true, it runs much deeper. God is perfect. He cannot relate to us through any other means than perfection. God is always true to His own nature. His own need is that everything He looks upon must measure up to His perfection. He is clean and He will not touch what is unclean. In the Old Testament this is the revelation behind all of the rituals of the Law that were required of Israel. The Tabernacle, and later the Temple, were set up as a buffer between God and His people. God established a means by which He could relate to His people without them being destroyed. Continue reading

How Christ’s Lordship is Established Over us

When we are young, we have certain reactions and responses to adversity. If we believe the source is spiritual warfare, for example, we tend to fight back, binding the enemy, etc. When we are older, there is another response. The response is humbling oneself and worship

The first response reflects one who is growing in God. The second response reflects one who has had a revelation of the Lordship of Jesus Christ established in his spirit. As we come under Christ’s Lordship, we learn there is really only one response to everything that comes our way. Whether it is God dealing with us, or the devil harassing us, our worship resolves the issue. There is one answer to a thousand problems.

When we are young and growing, it is difficult to respond with heart-felt submission to the Lord. We want to fight, or kick and resist. This is because His Lordship has not yet fully subdued us. The realization of all things being resolved by our humbling ourselves in worship comes from beginning to perceive Him as Lord. His Lordship will break our hearts, and we will find we can’t submit deeply enough.

Our submission to His as Lord does not come overnight. It is the sum total of His dealings in our lives. Calling Him Lord will always carry a measure of hollowness until He has worked the revelation of Himself deep within our spirits. The revelation of Christ as Lord comes through the daily submission to Him in the little things. It is only in hindsight that we realize that all of our small victories in submitting to Him have accumulated into a revelation of the Lord that is wonderful. This is how we come to know Him. He establishes His Lordship over us imperceptibly. We should be encouraged with this truth. Even our smallest victories have merit and contribute to the sum total of our lives before God.

 

Have You Known Him as Jehovah?

Ex. 3
10  “Therefore, come now, and I will send you to Pharaoh, so that you may bring My people, the sons of Israel, out of Egypt.”

11 ¶  But Moses said to God, “Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the sons of Israel out of Egypt?”

12  And He said, “Certainly I will be with you, and this shall be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall worship God at this mountain.”

13  Then Moses said to God, “Behold, I am going to the sons of Israel, and I will say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you.’ Now they may say to me, ‘What is His name?’ What shall I say to them?”

14  God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM”; and He said, “Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’”

15  God, furthermore, said to Moses, “Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘The LORD, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.’ This is My name forever, and this is My memorial-name to all generations.

In verse 13 Moses told God that he was going to the sons of Israel and say that God had sent him. Moses then said that Israel might ask what God’s name was. “What shall I say to them,” he asked. God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM; Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’” In chapter six God speaks the following to Moses:

1 ¶  Then the LORD said to Moses, “Now you shall see what I will do to Pharaoh; for under compulsion he will let them go, and under compulsion he will drive them out of his land.”

2  God spoke further to Moses and said to him, “I am the LORD;

3  and I appeared to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, as God Almighty, but by My name, LORD, I did not make Myself known to them.

The above verses are very important. God told Moses He appeared to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as God Almighty. “God Almighty” is an expression of El Shaddai. When God wants to reveal a certain aspect of His nature to us, He reveals that aspect of Himself through the name He calls Himself. El Shaddai means the Great Breasted One, or the All Sufficient One. God revealed Himself to the Patriarchs as the God who would meet all their needs. But He was not known to them as Jehovah. Jehovah is “I Am.” He is the God who manifests Himself in the present. This revelation of Himself exceeds El Shaddai. Jehovah implies a God who not only meets our needs, but interjects Himself into the “right now” of our lives.  Jehovah becomes an ever present personal encounter. This revelation of the Lord becomes the means by which His nature is established in us, not theoretically, but practically. It is the revelation Jehovah that interacts with us and confronts everything in our lives that must conform to His Lordship. Continue reading

Searching Jerusalem With Lamps

Zep. 1:12:
“It will come about at that time That I will search Jerusalem with lamps, And I will punish the men Who are stagnant in spirit, Who say in their hearts, ‘The LORD will not do good or evil!’

We want to focus on the first part of this verse. “It will come about at that time That I will search Jerusalem with lamps…” We are in a time of God searching spiritual Jerusalem with lamps. Lamps are indicative of illumination by the Holy Spirit. Mal. 3 says:

16  Then those who feared the LORD spoke to one another, and the LORD gave attention and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the LORD and who esteem His name.

17  “They will be Mine,” says the LORD of hosts, “on the day that I prepare My own possession, and I will spare them as a man spares his own son who serves him.”

18  So you will again distinguish between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve Him. Continue reading

Accountability

Christianity too often relates to the Lord two dimensionally. God is not a genie, and He is not Santa Claus. Our relationship with Him is not to be one of Him just delivering us from circumstances. Too often we never connect the dots that it may be God Himself who has allowed certain situations in our lives to exist because He wants to get down to the roots of what created them in the first place. True deliverance never occurs in us without there first being a nature change. When we are able see, and then acknowledge our needs to God, a heart-felt repentance occurs. A door of deliverance then opens for us. The repentance addresses the roots of Adam, crucifying them, and establishes God’s mindset in us, which is His nature. True deliverance does not come any other way. Neither does the establishment of His nature in us. His nature is always established by a direct encounter with the Lord. It does not come through claiming promises or quoting Scripture. Continue reading