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Kingdom of God Mysteries- Shofar eBook Chap. 6

This is the 6th of 11 chapters from ‘Sounding the Shofar- Exhortations for the End Times’ an eBook that I recently authored.  You can get the Table of Contents for my eBook from the Aug. 23 post, Chapter 3 GOD’S WORD  or use the side bar Category ‘From Journal and Shofar eBook’.  If you haven’t read Chapter 3 or previous chapters, please do so because the main purpose for these posts is to point out the importance of learning the Word of God as it relates to our faith in God and living victorious Christian lives.

I also want you to know that I am not a theologian.  My teacher is the Holy Spirit who will teach all who desire to know God and have His Word revealed unto them.  The Holy Spirit will guide us into all truth; He is the Spirit of discernment of truth and error.

Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak; and he will show you things to come.”      (John 16:13)

“We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us.  Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.”      (1John 4:6).

CHAPTER 6-  KINGDOM OF GOD MYSTERIES

In the gospels, Jesus is portrayed as a King of a kingdom– the kingdom of God or kingdom of heaven (both are the same and also mean the same).  The Parable of the Sower is found in Matthew 13, Mark 4 and Luke 8.  Parables are hidden truths that relate to the mysteries of the kingdom of God.  There are numerous studies, commentaries, and resources available on the 39 parables found in the Bible.  My focus will be on the importance of the Parable of the Sower as it relates to Christians today.

PARABLE OF THE SOWER

The Parable of the Sower has many lessons that can be drawn from it.  The seeds of the sower fall by the way side, in stony places, among thorns, and onto good ground.  Jesus explains to His disciples that the seed is the Word of God and the parable illustrates how it is received by its hearers.  He said,

 “He who has ears (to hear), let him be listening and let him consider and perceive and comprehend by hearing” (Mt 13:9, AMP).

Also, of all the parables, the Parable of the Sower is the most important one because it provides the understanding of all the other parables:

And he said unto them, know ye not this parable? and how then will ye know all parables?”        (Mark 4:13)

The Parable of the Sower is about the importance of God’s Word in our lives, whether it will take root or not, and whether or not we have works to show for what we say we believe.  It has been emphasized that God’s Word is True; God reveals Himself in His Word; His Word is the AUTHORITY by which we must live our lives to obey and please God.  Our faith comes from learning His Word and committing it to our hearts.  Our commitment to love and serve God depends upon our knowledge of His Word.

WILL JESUS FIND FAITH ON EARTH?

Jesus promised He would return to earth. But he also said,

“Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:8)

The number of faithful believers at the return of Christ suggested in the parable of the sower and the verse above reveals that there will be MANY uncommitted believers.   In the parable, there are 4 kinds of ground that the seeds fall on- by the way side, upon stony places, among the thorns and good ground; only the good ground brought forth fruit.  Out of all of the hearers, 3 out of 4 persons or 75% will not become committed believers, where the seed did not fall on good ground.  Only the remaining 25%, 1 out of 4, or 25 out of every 100 persons will let God’s Word transform their lives.  These are the 30, 60, and 100 fold Christians that were fruitful. This is clearly not a bright picture of the number of faithful believers at the time of Jesus’ return!  Will Jesus find faith on earth upon His return?

WAY SIDE CHRISTIANS

Way Side Christians are those who heard the Word, but not understanding it, had the Word stolen away immediately by Satan.  Satan will seize any and every opportunity to steal away any Word of God that we may hear.  It is Satan’s modus operandi, his M.O. to steal the Word.  Stealing is his first order of business:

The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy”… (John 10:10).

His desire is that we stay in the dark and on his side, as weak and powerless Christians.  You see, if someone would become a believer and got excited about his faith, he could do much damage to Satan’s kingdom by bringing others to the Lord (Luke 8:12, paraphrased).

It is said that Satan is busiest on Sundays, in church, to cause church-goers to be distracted, bored and sleepy!  Sunday Christians who only hear the Word casually and aren’t really ‘listening’ with their hearts, will soon forget what they have heard.  These could include folks who make it a point to get to church every week no matter what, give an offering, then go home and forget what the homily or sermon was about, so therefore they don’t remember if there was anything said that they could apply to their lives.  James 1:25 warns us not to be “a forgetful hearer!” 

Also, Way Side Christians are those who stand in the back or along the sides of the sanctuary socializing, or are always busy in the kitchen or church office, and don’t get to hear the Word of God.  For some, church is the only place to see friends and have fellowship with them afterwards.  Church has become a social club with good programs and activities.  So many folks attend church, then put their Bibles away until the next Sunday.  But most church-goers don’t even bring a personal Bible because with Power Point today, who needs a Bible?  You can see a few scriptures flashed on a large screen and read aloud by a lay reader, and just as quickly forget what was shown.

Many Way Side Christians attend churches that do not provide important Bible teachings in faith and holy living.  The seed that is sown or the Word of God, is like a few crumbs tossed to folks who are starved for the whole loaf.  Many may not have even met Jesus, the bread of life, who came down from heaven that we would never hunger or thirst (if) we believe in him (John 4:35, 48).  Many may not be ‘saved’ or ‘born again’, and if so, will not go to heaven, but perish!

The Word becomes of none effect because there is no discipling in faith and basic Bible principles, no teachings on salvation and eternal life, no emphasis given to personal prayer and Bible study, no regular spiritual fellowship, so these folks become unsaved Way Side Christians.

There are many life-long church-goers who even have difficulty in locating the different books of the Old and New Testaments, having limited Bible knowledge and understanding of the scriptures.  We need teachings in God’s Word to build faith.  Let us do everything we can, to encourage more interest and study of the Bible that will build faith in God and help keep folks from falling by the Way Side!  We need God’s Word taught in our churches so that we will not fall by the way side because,

“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path”  (Psalms 119:105)  will encourage holy and righteous living;

“Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God”  (Romans 10:17) will help us to be committed Christians;

“If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you”  (John 15:7) will gain God’s favor and answers to our prayers.

To be continued…

My eBook- Sounding the Shofar

(Original post 7-20-12; edited 6-25-13)

I published an eBook, Sounding the Shofar-Exhortations for the End Times in early 2012.  I plan to post excerpts from the eBook under the Category, ‘Sounding the Shofar eBook and Related Posts’, the reason being that I know of folks who can’t buy it, or don’t want to pay amazon.com $3.39 for an electronic book.  I originally wanted to publish a FREE eBook, but I didn’t have any experience with self publishing. Trafford Publishing Company helped me through the whole process at a reasonable cost.  Now that I know how to blog, I can make my book available to anyone who visits my blog site!  And that should be no problem since I own the copyright.

If you would like to read a description and chapter preview, you can do so in the sidebar BLOGROLL- Sounding the Shofar eBook.  The Table of Contents is in this post-https://heulu.wordpress.com/2012/08/23/sts-ebook-table-of-contentschapter-3-gods-word/

I will start by posting the Introduction and Chapter 1 about why I wrote the ebook and the faithfulness of God and having a relationship with Him.  Some Filipino pastors and teachers are using copies of my manuscript for teaching, for sermons, and for radio ministry especially because I have used many Bible scriptures in the chapters.  And if you so desire, you too,  can also use any or all portions of the eBook, without my permission.

I am almost done with writing another book, Sounding the Shofar- The Enemy in Our Midst which is about the reality of Satan, his devices and strategies, and how to resist him.  Every believer in Christ needs to learn what the Word of God says about our common adversary!  This book won’t be published, but instead will be posted on my blog site. The first chapter will have my personal testimony of how I became a believer in Jesus Christ.

There is also a Facebook Group by the name  Sounding the Shofar.

Thank you for viewing my blog site!

God Created All Things Beautiful

Some of the words from one of my favorite songs are:

“You are beautiful beyond description… Majesty enthroned above.”

Have you considered where beauty comes from or why we love beautiful things?

The origin of beauty is found in Genesis, the first book of the Bible in the Creation account.  On each of the six days of creation, when God finished what He created, “God saw that it was good (Genesis 1:4, 10, 12, 18, 21, 25).  He liked EVERYTHING that He had made and when He was done on the sixth day, He looked over everything that He had made and “behold, it was very good (Gen 1:31).

What did He create on the sixth day that He would conclude with His Words, “very good”?  On that last day of creation, God created US!  In Genesis 1:26, God created us in His image and likeness.  God is Beautiful as the song says (Psalm 27:4; 29:2).  He made us beautiful in His sight, and He put the love for beauty and everything that is beautiful into our hearts and minds.  That is a part of God’s nature, His image and likeness, that we all are born with.

As a nature lover, I see beauty in the stars, moon and sunsets, in the many different orchids and their different scents as I purchase flowers in the plant nursery; I see the varied shapes, colors,  patterns of stripes and spots on the little birds and large cats in the zoo, and as an artist, I marvel at the way trees grow with their trunks and branches, colored leaves, flowers, and fruit, etc.  God is a nature lover also and even planted a garden for Adam and Eve to enjoy (Gen 2:8).   It tells us in Gen 2:9; 3:6 that trees in the Garden of Eden were created to be “pleasant to the sight and good for food.”   God made trees with their own beauty to be admired, while other trees provided fruit to be eaten for food.

There is so much that could be written about beauty.  Beauty is where God is in heaven with the holy angels; beauty is in the praises and worship of the angelic choir and us here on earth.  Beauty originated from the heart of God, and we who are His children, have the same heart as our Father God!  Can you say after you have done something, whatever it is, as God said, “it was good” or “it was very good”?   Colossians 3:23 tells us to do our best in everything.  Even as God does His best, we should also do our best, and do it for Him, our Father.   Let what we do be praiseworthy from His perspective, and not be done for the praise of man!

Read Col 3:23  in your own Bible because I often paraphrase a scripture to understand how it can apply to my life.  The Bible is not just a good book to read, but it is God speaking to you and to me, from His heart to our hearts.

Hearing From God

Hearing From God- Guidance

Someone asked me recently, how does a person hear from God, or how do you receive guidance from God? I read a good book on guidance some time ago by Bob Mumford.  One important point in Mumford’s book, Take Another Look At Guidance, mentions how circumstances must fall into place as important ‘sign posts’ to look for.  These ‘sign posts’ must line up.

  • 2Cor13:1 says, “In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established.”
  • 2 Tim 3:16 states, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction for instruction in righteousness: “

Basically, this means that AFTER YOU HAVE PRAYED you need to practice 3 S’s:

Stay still- don’t rush out to do anything;

Sit in silence- wait and listen for a

Still, small voice.

God will speak through circumstances, through people, and most of all, through the witness of the Holy Spirit.  This last witness means that whatever a person does must be in harmony with the Word of God and God’s will.  God may speak through scriptures in the Bible and He NEVER contradicts Himself, e.g. this is not God speaking: “God told me to leave my husband and follow the evangelist.”

Learning to recognize the witness of the Holy Spirit, also called ‘inner witness,’ is a skill that we must develop in order to led by the Lord.  That witness is ‘the peace of God that ‘passes understanding’ and is able to ’‘rule in our hearts’ (Philippians 4:7; Colossians 3:15).  Contrasted to this feeling of peace is a feeling of uneasiness, or a ‘check’ in our spirit which is like the caution or yellow traffic light, a warning to not proceed since the red STOP light is about to come on!

Here is an example of  confirmed guidance from the Lord.  Back in September 2011, Wyman prayed and asked God if we could go to the Philippines again, to do ministry like we have done before  in the past eleven years.  The airfare then was quite expensive, running between $750 to $1200 round-trip per person.  He emailed Hawaiian Airlines to ask them whether they would have a similar promotional airfare to the PI again like in 2010. Wyman put a fleece before the Lord like Gideon did and told God that if the airfares were low, it would be a sign that He wanted us to go again in January 2012, when the weather is much cooler and better.  The airlines replied with a terse ‘NO’!  Then in Oct 2011, Wyman contacted his travel agent saying if she saw any low airfare to call him.  A month later in Nov 2011 she called and asked if we would like to be booked for a price of $560 round-trip per person, the lowest we ever paid on 14 trips to the PI.  PTL!

In this example, several things can be learned about seeking guidance from God. First of all, we seek guidance from God whenever we need to make an important decision or major change in our lives.  Second, is we always need to wait for two or more confirmations from God.  Confirmation often comes by circumstances lining up or falling in place, like someone telling us to do something that they did not know we were praying about.  Third, is that we need to have patience for God’s leading, and not be impulsive.  Fourth, we sometimes need to put ‘legs to our prayer’, like stepping out by faith and picking up the phone, etc.  Fifth and most importantly, whatever we do must line up with the Word of God and His will for our lives.  If we are submitted to His will, God will block anything that He does not want us to do which would be detrimental to our lives, like how He tried  to stop the prophet Baalam from going against Israel.

Also, God is able to lead us ahead of time before something very negative is about to happen, like how the angel warned Joseph to leave Nazareth because Herod sought to kill the Christ child.  In our case, God told us to move from one condominium to another.  Now, four years later, we learned that in the previous condominium, each owner will be assessed over $35,000 for major plumbing repairs requiring ripping out the walls, etc.   God is Faithful to those who hear His voice!