JUDGMENT OF BELIEVER’S WORKS – 22 June 2002

Ecc. 12:13-14 — . . .God will bring every work into judgment. . .whether good or evil
2Cor 5:9-11a  — . . .we must all appear before the judgment seat of Messiah, that each one may receive the things done in the body. . .whether good or bad

The apostle Paul gave himself as an example of a sinner saved by the grace of God, that we would learn
from his life as a believer in Messiah Jesus, and of God’s longsuffering ways in fulfilling His purposes in
his life (1Tim 1:15-17).  Paul had a sense of obligation to be faithful to God for the grace and mercy which he had received:  to preach the gospel willingly, rather than as a mere duty (1Cor 9:16-17) .  If willingly he had a reward of sharing freely what he freely received.  If as a duty, he nonetheless had an obligation to obey God.  He would not even judge himself as to how faithful he was to the stewardship of the mysteries of God, but God would be his Judge in due time (1Cor 4:1-5).  Paul understood that the message of salvation was intended for all kinds of people and cultures (Rom 1:14).

Salvation (being born of the Spirit of God) is the beginning of eternal life with God.  It is not only an end to a sinful separation from God, but more so the proper foundation for a righteous and holy life as a child of God created in God’s image and likeness, to serve and worship our Creator and Redeemer.  Paul was full of wonder and thanksgiving to such a God as YHVH!  Paul had an unquenching desire to repay the unrepayable debt, and to take his own faith in the power of the gospel which saved him personally to others that they might know it, too (Rom 1:14-16).

Paul’s great motivating force was to please God, which is also what motivated our Lord Jesus (Rom 15:16;
2Cor 5:9; Gal 1:10; 1Thes 2:4; John 8:29).  This affected Paul’s message to the Gentiles that they would worship God in an acceptable way.  It affected his behavior among the believers so that it would be honoring to the Lord.  This is Paul’s prayer for every believer (Col 1:10; 1Thes 4:1; 2Tim 2:4).  God wants us to be sanctified in our lives, growing up in maturity and fruitfulness worthy of our high calling as priests, holy unto Him.

All of this is for our learning from our brother Paul (Saul) as he learned from following the Lord Jesus with a single eye and his whole heart, mind, and soul.  Paul remained conscious of his past conversion; he realized a sense of urgency of his present desire; he was motivated by future prospects
    –his work would one day be inspected (1Cor 3:11-15), and 
    –his life was subject to judgment (2Cor 5:10-11).

This promotes holiness and soberness, but not terror or paralysis for the one who has given his life for the sake of Jesus and the gospel.  Whatever prizes or crowns will be won will not be a basis for boasting before the Judge – the Lord Jesus Christ – for all that we have achieved, but will give real joy when the work which GOD HAS DONE IN AND THROUGH US IS RECOGNIZED FOR HIS PRAISE AND GLORY!  The incentives of judgment and of Messiah’s love (2Cor 5:14-15; Rev 3:19-22) work together to bring about holiness in the fear of God – working out our salvation with fear and trembling:  we grow in love for others.

It is not for faith only that we will be judged:  that will determine our future eternal destiny of being with or of being separated from God the Father and the Lord Jesus.  But believers will also be judged for how we lived according to the faith, for the quality of the works we did and the life we lived after salvation.  John the Baptizer said that Jesus would baptize us with the Holy Spirit and with fire:  the first is for our sanctification; the other will test the result.

The one who believes in God through Jesus Christ will be saved.  Of that we have assurance.  In love and thankfulness for such grace and love, we ought to live godly lives to the honor of the Name of our God and Father, that His joy and ours will be full, both now and forever.

BEER SHEVA AND THE GOSPEL – 8 June 2002

Gen 21:29 – 22:19

   –Beer Sheva a place of covenant, under oath, with other nations of the land
   –Abraham called on YHVH, the Everlasting God
   –from Beer Sheva, God called Abraham to his ultimate test of faith:  to sacrifice his only and beloved
     son, Isaac, on themountHewould show him
   –the Angel YHVH called to Abraham from Heaven, after the interrupted sacrifice, to promise him with
     an oath that in his seed all the nations of the Earth will be blessed (Gal 3:8,16)
   –Abraham and Isaac returned to live in Beer Sheva

We are blessed together to be here today – Jews and Arabs, descendants of Abraham through Isaac and Ishmael, through Jacob and Esau – as heirs of the promise to Abraham by the true God that through his seed, even the Messiah Jesus, YHVH Himself is our exceedingly great reward (Gen 15:1).  Our father Abraham showed that he was prepared by faith to offer up Isaac, in whom all the promises were bound, concluding that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead, if necessary to fulfill those promises he received.(Heb 11:17-19; Gen 21:12)  Abraham loved YHVH His God!  Isaac loved his father!  Abraham loved his son, for he trusted that God would restore Isaac to himself. 

About 2000 years later, God the Father did sacrifice His only begotten and beloved Son, and did indeed raise Him up from among the dead, in order to confirm all His promises to those who have the faith of Abraham in the Word of YHVH.  What love that God should send His only begotten Son, Jesus, into the world that we might live through Him!  Jesus loved His Father!  God loved His Son, and he loves us as much!

After another 2000 years, we are gathered together here in the Name of Messiah Yeshua as brothers and sisters and joint heirs with Christ in the Father’s Kingdom, for which we also pray that His will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.  We worship the Lamb of God, through whom today is a blessing for all of us in Beer Sheva, the city of the fathers.  We, too, call on the Name of YHVH, the Everlasting God, and praise Him for who He is to us.

We remember, as we take the Lord’s Supper together, the price of having peace with God and with one another.  In Messiah we are children of God our Father.

Today in Beer Sheva, we confirm the LORD’s promises and blessings that He gave to Jesus, including those which He gave to Ishmael and to Isaac, blessings of hope from the God of all comfort.

We proclaim the good news that Yeshua HaMashiach/Jesus Christ is alone worthy to be God’s appointed King, and we serve Him who has bought us with the price of His own precious blood.

SELF-JUDGMENT IN LIGHT OF PROPHECY – 1 June 2002

All believers in Jesus as Lord and Messiah are anointed by the Spirit of God.  According to the Tenach, the anointing was for prophets, high priests, and kings.  That Jesus is the Anointed One, is to say that He is the Prophet, the High Priest, the King of Israel.  The New Testament speaks of Jesus in this way.  As born-again believers, we abide in Christ, and the Holy Spirit dwelling in us gives us an anointing to function as prophets, priests, and kings.  The LORD has spoken, who can not but prophesy (Amos 3:8); all believers in Jesus are priests, offering up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ and making intercessions on behalf of our people (1Pet 2:5); the Spirit of Messiah enables us to rule over our own spirits, being trained to rule with Messiah in His Kingdom (Prov 16:32; Rev 20:6).  With Yeshua, we shall be priests upon the throne (Zech 6:13).

A large part of ruling over oneself or over a people is knowing to judge between good and evil and between the holy and the profane (Gen 3:22; Jud 2:11-19; Ezek 44: 23-24; Mt 19:28).  We are to learn God’s ways and judgments if we are to begin to know how to judge righteous judgments in His sight.  What does our Father in Heaven have to say?  Prophecy is given to us not just so many books can be written, nor for us to ignore them.  If we believe what the Word of God says, it gives us hope, encouragement, patience.  As we see that God really does fulfill all that He says, it builds up our faith in Him and strengthens us through hard times.  The spirit of prophecy is the testimony of Jesus– of the Savior and the Kingdom of God.  Prophecy tells us what God likes and will bless, and what God hates and will condemn.  If we know God’s mind and heart about matters, it helps us today to adjust our own hearts and minds to be in accordance with His.  The Holy Spirit is working in us to conform us to the image of the Son of God, who is one with the Father.  Because of the cross of Messiah, we are called as priests to uphold the government of God:  His grace reigns through righteousness; sin without shame amongst God’s people against the holiness of YHVH must be judged.  If not judged by us, then as a Father judges His children to chasten them, so will God have to do to uphold His holy character both for Himself and for those who are indeed His children. (Num 25: 6-13; 1Cor 11:29-32; Heb 12:5-12).  As Dima taught last week, we are to work out our salvation with fear and trembling, not to take it for granted, but rather to make our call and election sure (Philp 2:12; 2Pet 1:10).

With this in mind, let’s read together Rev. 18:1-10 (Jer 51:5-10) and 2Pet 1:1-13.

The Holy Spirit is letting us know what the end is from the beginning.  From God’s perspective of the cross, the world is crucified to me and I to the world.  The Lord Jesus says that we are in the world but not of the world.  His Kingdom is not of this world.  Babylon, which represents the kingdoms of this world (Dan 2:37-38; Rev 18).  Babylon speaks to us of the “good life” in this world, but to the holy judgment of the cross of our Lord, it is defiled and corrupt through lust.  It is no different in kind than Sodom and Gomorrah (Is 13:19; Ezek 16:49-50), which YHVH God has made an everlasting example to those who afterward would live ungodly.

Where do we stand, dear brothers and sisters?  If we are going to have any power to pray for the kehila or for the salvation of people in our city or nation, we must be clean before the Lord and before our fellow men.  This is our call and election as priests of God Most High.  This is our call and election as sons and daughters of God our Father.  This is our call and election as the Bride of the Lamb.  This is being a pilgrim and sojourner in this world, as our father Abraham.  This is being Messianic, holy unto God.  Let us examine and judge ourselves if we be indeed found in the faith, that we would know only goodness and lovingkindness pursuing us all the days of our life, dwelling in the house of the LORD forever.