VIDEO Tearing Down The Altar of Baal, David Wilkerson

May 9, 2016

David Wilkerson – Tearing Down The Altar of Baal | Must Watch

Note carefully the opening verse of Judges 6: “And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord: and the Lord delivered them into the hand of Midian seven years” (Judges 6:1). These words describe an endless cycle that repeated itself in Israel for generations.

Throughout the preceding chapters, we find these words repeated again and again. They read, in essence, “And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord, and served Baalim…and God, in his hot anger, sold them into the hand of their enemies.”

The first instance occurs in chapter 3. We’re told, “The land had rest forty years…and the children of Israel did evil again in the sight of the Lord” (3:11-12). God gave his people over to an enemy, Moab, “because they had done evil in the sight of the Lord” (3:12). And Israel served this heathen enemy for eighteen years, enduring hardship and terror.

Then, in chapter 4, we read, “And the children of Israel did evil again in the sight of the Lord…and the Lord sold them into the hand of Jabin king of Canaan” (4:1-2). This time God’s people were made captive by the Canaanites.

Of course, every time Israel was enslaved, they cried out to God. And each time, the Lord was faithful to send them a deliverer. But as soon as that righteous leader died, the people predictably returned to their sin. And the whole cycle began all over again. It continues with our text verse, in chapter 6: “And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord: and the Lord delivered them into the hand of Midian seven years” (6:1).

During this period, Israel was continually brought low by their enemy Midian. Like clockwork, the Midianites raided Israel each year, plundering their crops and goods. Midian’s caravan leaders would release all their camels and livestock into Israel’s fields to graze. And the beasts completely devoured the crops, sweeping through the fields like locusts.

Whenever Israel resisted, the Midianites drove them into the hills and mountains. God’s people ended up seeking refuge in caves and dens, and having to scavenge for food. “And Israel was greatly impoverished because of the Midianites” (6:6). Israel lost everything to their enemy: their houses, their food, their goods. They lived like paupers, homeless and bereft.

Once again, Scripture says, “The children of Israel cried unto the Lord” (6:6). Yet this cry wasn’t one of repentance. Israel cried because of their oppression by the Midianites. It was a cry of anguish, due to their poverty, their losses, their insecurity.

This time, before God sent a deliverer to Israel, he sent a prophet. This man of God put his finger on the reason the people were being so harassed. He pointed out, “Look at your history. In each case, God delivered you out of the hands of all who oppressed you. He brought you out of bondage in Egypt. And he told you not to fear the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But you haven’t obeyed him. You still pay homage to false gods” (see 6:8-10).

The Lord was telling his people, in essence, “I made it clear to you from the very beginning: you are not to fear anyone but your heavenly Father. Let no other fear enter your heart. But you’ve disobeyed me once again. You’ve allowed all kinds of fears to enter in. And you’ve forced me to hand you over to your enemy, to drive you back to myself.”

What was this great evil that Israel kept falling back into, over and over?
The prophet showed Israel clearly what their sin was: they forgot the Lord’s command not to fear the gods of this world. In Judges 10, we see God’s people admitting to this sin: “The children of Israel cried unto the Lord, saying, We have sinned against thee, both because we have forsaken our God, and also served Baalim” (Judges 10:10).

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The Battle Within Us

For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. Galatians 5:17

A Native American elder told his grandson about two wolves who live in every heart. One is Evil—anger, jealousy, pride—and the other is Good—joy, love, peace, humility. The grandson asked his grandfather, “Which wolf wins?” The elder replied, “The one you feed.”

While not exactly a biblical illustration, it makes an important point: There is a battle raging in the heart of the Christian. As the apostle Paul put it, the flesh wars against the Spirit and the Spirit against the flesh. Becoming a Christian does not mean the flesh—our sinful human nature—is eradicated. Instead, we have been given power by the Spirit to overcome the flesh and conquer it. But the battle will not cease until we have been glorified in the presence of Christ in our new, resurrection body. The more we feed the Spirit by faith in Christ—by obedience, prayer, Bible study, worship, and holy living—the weaker the flesh becomes.

Don’t be discouraged if you cannot escape the struggle within. Instead, feed the Spirit! Give the Spirit complete access and lordship over your life.

The flesh ever seeks to be glorified before it is crucified.  Martin Luther

Walking With Christ

Colossians 1:10-12

The pathway of faith has divine purpose, and we’re to obey the Lord, no matter what. But even when God’s direction is perplexing, we can count on the fact that He is good.

Walking obediently with Christ doesn’t guarantee an easy life, which is obvious when we consider Paul. He encountered all kinds of hardships, including shipwreck, persecution, and beatings (2 Corinthians 11:23-27). Keep in mind, though, that nothing can touch a child of God without the Father’s loving permission. He uses difficulty to strengthen and correct believers—and eventually as a tool in achieving His plan. Also remember that the Lord protects His followers in their suffering, just as He kept the apostle safe in situations that seemed impossible to overcome.

Adversity can tempt us to ignore the Holy Spirit’s guidance. But we will ultimately regret such a decision, as God doesn’t spare us from the consequences of our sin. However, He never lets go of His children, whom He will continue to protect and guide throughout life.

Walking in obedience and trust is the only way to true peace. As Paul sat in an uncomfortable Roman prison where his life was in danger, he encouraged believers not to worry but to trust the Lord and pray with gratitude (Isa. 26:3; Phil. 4:6). Doing so leads to experiencing His perfect peace.

The only wise way to live is to believe in almighty God and follow wherever He leads. That is the road to contentment, fulfillment, protection, and peace. Are you journeying on the pathway of faith? Or is something holding you back from all God intended for your life?

Our Understanding of Creation

“Thou, even thou, art LORD alone; thou hast made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth, and all things that are therein, the seas, and all that is therein, and thou preservest them all; and the host of heaven worshippeth thee.” (Nehemiah 9:6)

The Bible clearly states that God created the “heaven, and earth, the sea and all that in them is” (Exodus 20:11) out of nothing. “Things which are seen were not made of things which do appear” (Hebrews 11:3). The first verse of the Bible, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth,” could be paraphrased: God called into existence the space–mass–time (i.e., heavens–earth–beginning) universe. Evidently before creation, nothing now intrinsic to the universe existed at all.

While this teaching is clear, not hard to understand, it is hard to believe. Such ex nihilo (i.e., out of nothing) creation is so foreign to our experience that it can only be comprehended as God reveals it to us. We are taught that His creative work was finished at the end of the sixth day of the creation week (Genesis 2:1-4). With the exception of certain of the miracles of Christ on Earth, such creation has not occurred since, and we have difficulty believing it could happen, so foreign is it to our experience.

Our difficulty stems primarily from the fact that we are sinful creatures; our minds are hampered by sin. “The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Corinthians 2:14).

Since the doctrine of creation is foundational to the rest of Scripture, we dare not neglect it just because it is difficult, and we dare not impose our feeble naturalistic reasonings onto the clear teaching of Genesis 1 and related passages, thereby reducing God’s power to mere human abilities. JDM

“Fear not, for I have redeemed you.”

Ruth 4:1-17

By the advice of Naomi, Ruth claimed the protection of Boaz, and he at once engaged to take her in marriage, provided the person who was still more nearly akin would waive the right which the Jewish law gave to him. This was brought about and publicly arranged after the custom of the times.

Ruth 4:1, 2

Then went Boaz up to the gate where the court of justice was ordinarily kept

Ruth 4:1, 2

To see that everything was done according to law.

Ruth 4:3, 4

This he said, not knowing the condition attached to the purchase.

Ruth 4:5

Thou canst not have the land without taking the wife of the deceased, and then the children which thou mayest have will be reputed the children of Mahlon, thy deceased kinsman.

Ruth 4:6

Precisely what Boaz desired to do.

Ruth 4:7

This law will be found in detail in Deuteronomy 25; it was ordained in order that no family might die out in Israel. May God grant that this household may never cease to be represented among the Lord’s people.

Ruth 4:13

Thus was her self-denying faith rewarded. She left behind her both relatives, country, and prospects, to cast in her lot with the Lord’s people, and the Lord not only blessed her, but blessed distant generations through her. Those who follow the Lord at all hazards shall be no losers in the long run. To increase Ruth’s joy and crown her happiness, the Lord gave her a son, which son was also a joy to Naomi.

Ruth 4:17

Thus to point out the line of David, and so of our Lord Jesus this book was written. All the Scriptures are intended to lead us in faith to the great Redeemer. God grant that they may not miss their design in our case.

 

Take My Yoke Upon You

Matthew 11:28-30

When our family first moved to the Soviet Union, the Soviet economy was so collapsed and the system so broken that even the most basic supplies were difficult to find. One of those hard-to-find supplies was gasoline for one’s car—and not just for the car, but for any machinery that operated on gasoline. Because of this lack of fuel, few cars were driven, and people walked great distances. There was just no available fuel to put into the tanks of the cars parked inside people’s garages.

At that time our family lived in a remote area on the edge of a small city where people were given small plots of land to grow gardens. One spring when it was time to plow the garden and plant seeds, I looked out the kitchen window of our house and saw something I could hardly believe! Our neighbor had taken an old harness, like one that would be normally placed around the neck of a cow, a horse, or an ox, and hooked it up to his wife! I watched in amazement as this man walked behind his wife, guiding the plow as she heaved forward with her neck and shoulders, dragging the plow through the hardened soil. The two of them were working to break up the ground so they could plant their seeds and produce their garden. They owned a small tractor, but because there was no fuel, they couldn’t use it. Therefore, this couple resorted to the action I beheld that day.

I called to Denise and told her to come to the kitchen. She looked out the window with me and saw this poor woman hooked up to a harness and pulling the plow, with her husband trying to guide the sharp blade through that solid ground. Denise was speechless! What this couple was doing just outside our backyard looked so hard and difficult! We both wished we had a couple of oxen to loan them that day in order to make their job a little easier!

Many times Denise and I have worked so hard in the ministry that we felt like we had given every ounce of our strength; yet there always seemed to be so much more that we needed to give. On several occasions, I told my wife, “I guess it’s time for us to hook up the plow and press through this hard ground! Let’s go for it, Sweetheart!” We’d laugh and then remember the words of Jesus in Matthew 11:28-30, where He said, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

The word “labour” in verse 28 is from the Greek word kopaio, which describes the most wearisome kind of labor. This is a person who is giving everything he has to a project or assignment. He is striving, laboring, and working with every fiber of his being. But the Greek tense describes people who have been laboring under this load without a pause for a very long time. Their work has been wearisome, exhausting, and unending.

The words “heavy laden” tell us why these people are so weary from their labors. These words are from the Greek word phortidzo, which denotes a load or burden that is normal and expected for an individual to carry in life. It was a military term that described the backpack or bag that every soldier was required to carry as a part of his career as a soldier. Carrying such a weight was a normal and expected requirement for soldiers. The weight of these backpacks and bags was determined by the length of the soldier’s journey. If his trip was short, the weight would be less. But if the assignment mandated a longer journey, the weight of the backpack or bag would be much heavier laden.

This means Jesus was referring to people who had been doing their job for a very long time—and their job wasn’t done yet. Their journey had not been a quick, short, and easy one, and much of it was still before them. They had quite a long distance yet to go before they reached their destination. Knowing how exhausted they were and yet how much further they had to go before they were finished, Jesus told them, “Come unto me… and I will give you rest” (v. 28).

The word “rest” is from the Greek word anapauo, which means to rest, to relax, to calm, or to refresh. The root is pauo, from which we get the word pause. So in Matthew 11:28, the word anapauo carries the meaning of to pause, to cease, to desist, or to refrain. In our modern-day language, it could be translated to take a breather; to have a break; to have a hiatus, a lull, an interval, an interruption; or to take time to get away from something or some responsibility.

Jesus never promised that He would take difficult assignments away from you. However, He did promise that if you would come to Him, He would give you the rest you need in order to be refreshed for the continuation and conclusion of the journey. So when it seems like you’ve given all you have, but there’s still so much more for you to do before you’re finished, just take a break from your journey and go to Jesus for some supernatural refreshing!

Then in Matthew 11:29, Jesus said, “Take my yoke upon you….” The word “take” is the word airo, meaning to deliberately lift or to deliberately take up. The fact that Jesus used the word airo implies that one must deliberately invite Jesus into the harness so He can help you pull the plow. The word “yoke” is the Greek word zugos, which describes the wooden yoke that joined two animals together so they could combine their strength to pull a load that generally would have been too difficult for one animal to pull by itself. This “yoke” made the team inseparable. As a result, they were stronger, and their combined strength made their task easier.

This is Jesus’ offer to the weary and tired worker. Jesus offers to come alongside the worker and join him in his assignment or affairs. However, the worker—the weary soul—has to make the deliberate choice to enter into this working relationship and to come under the yoke of Jesus. He has to take the “yoke” of Jesus upon himself, reaching out by faith to lift it up and place it upon himself.

Becoming “yoked” to Jesus in your life, your ministry, your business, and your personal affairs is a premeditated, determined choice—not something that occurs accidentally. But just as two animals that are “yoked” together make a job much more easy and manageable, the strength of you and Jesus together is unbeatable! That is why the Lord went on to say, “For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:30).

The word “easy” is the Greek word chrestos, meaning pleasurable, delightful, or comfortable. This means it is a delight to work with the Lord. When you are yoked together with Jesus, even the most difficult assignments become pleasurable! Situations that would normally make you uneasy become comfortable. Being “yoked” together with Him changes the atmosphere and brings peace and strength to your soul. It is the most pleasurable experience in the world!

Jesus concluded this verse by saying that being “yoked” together with Him is “light.” The word “light” is the Greek word elaphron, describing something that is not burdensome, but light or easy. I can tell you from personal experience—what was once hard, wearisome, and troubling because you were doing it all alone becomes pleasurable and lighter when you are partners with Jesus!

So what about you, friend? Are you going to keep pulling that plow through that solid ground all by yourself? Or are you going to allow Jesus to become partnered with you in your endeavors? Going it alone is the hardest course you can take. But when you choose to be yoked together with Jesus, you suddenly have the greatest Partner in the universe who will turn a once-hard situation into the most pleasurable experience of your life!

MY PRAYER FOR TODAY

Lord, I admit that I’ve been trying to pull the whole load by myself, and I simply can’t do it any longer. I have given every ounce of my strength; now I need You to come alongside me and help me finish the task that is before me. I’m willing to do it, but I must have Your help if I’m going to do it with all my heart and finish it all the way to the end. So today I am asking You to become “yoked” with me in my job, my business, my ministry, my family, and in all my personal affairs.

I pray this in Jesus’ name!

MY CONFESSION FOR TODAY

I confess that Jesus Christ is my Partner in life. He works with me; He walks with me; and He is my biggest Helper! Because of Jesus’ strategic role in my life, my attitude, my environment, my work, and everything connected to me has become better, higher, finer, and more pleasurable. My life assignment is not a burden—it is truly a delight!

I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!

QUESTIONS FOR YOU TO CONSIDER

  1. Can you think of an area of your life where you need to invite Jesus to become “yoked” together with you to make your journey lighter and more enjoyable?
  2. Have you been trying to do it all alone? Is this the reason you are so exhausted from your labors?
  3. Do you feel alone in your endeavors, or do you sense that Jesus is hooked up with you and that He is helping you pull the load?

 

Inner Chaos Or Inner Solitude

One reason we struggle with time alone with God is our apprehension over facing ourselves.

 

The confrontation with our inner life may simply be too painful to face. Thus, we shield ourselves from solitude by an endless array of T.V., people, phone calls, books and scheduled time pressures.

 

As a result, our lives have become absurd, (which in Latin means “deaf “), incapable of hearing the voice of God. Knowing God requires the spiritual discipline to shut out the world for regular times of solace in order to listen to His voice.

 

When we do learn to listen, we become obedient, (which in Latin means “listening”). Thus, when we begin to discipline our lives, we start to move from a life of absurdity – spiritual deafness — to a life of listening — a life of obedience.

 

It will cost something to walk slow in the parade of the ages while excited men of time rush about confusing motion with progress. But it will pay in the long run and the true Christian is not much interested in anything short of that.” A. W. Tozer

 

We cannot know God without disciplining ourselves to make room for inner solitude. This was Jesus’ pattern with His Father, and it must also become ours. At the heart of prayer is obediently listening to God through His Word and the inner prompting of the Spirit.

 

We need to begin by setting a daily time and place for God; writing it in our calendar as a daily appointment. Preferably in the morning. (Let’s face it: By evening, most of us are brain dead!) Start with 5 or 10 minutes. Choose a small portion of Scripture, say 3 – 5 verses. Read slowly, pondering, and jotting down observations; co-mingling meditation and prayer as we talk over our insights with God.

 

Over the days, weeks, and months, the appetite for this quiet connection with God will grow to the point where we do not want to live without it. No longer will we feel we are wasting our time. When this happens, the inner chaos, noise, anger and frustration will begin to give way to inner peace and tranquillity.

 

This is the beginning of knowing the Living God.