THE BLESSING OF GOD'S PEOPLE
There are three kinds of BLESSING for us. First, God blesses us. This is most often the favorite of the saints. God is great in His mercy, grace, and blessings.
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who has blessed us with all spiritual blessings, in heavenly places in Christ."
Secondly, we can bless God. This is often forgotten or overlooked. Too many are concerned with just what God is doing for them, but God wants us to bless Him.
"Bless the Lord, O my soul."
"Thus will I bless Thee while I live; I will lift up my hands in Thy name."
The third kind is the least understood. It is not so much "forgotten" or "ignored" as much as people are simply ignorant of such blessing. We are to be a blessing to others.
"Bless them that curse you."
"Bless them which persecute you, bless and curse not."
This third kind is the emphasis of this lesson. We have recently studied of the "Spirit of Truth" that pervades our beings, and will through our presence invade the lies and hypocrisy of the last days, and bring truth to light in many ways. We have also studied that we are to "abide in Him" which will bring us the same treatment, persecution, hatred, and circumstances that Jesus faced. Now we will see the end result of the first two lessons. We, the children of God in These last days, are to be so filled with the presence of the Spirit of Truth, and so much abiding in Jesus, that we will be a very great blessing to this world.
We are told in the Bible:
"Ye are the salt of the earth."
"Ye are the light of the world."
"Salt" and "light" have great effect on their surroundings. Just as salt affects food, and light dispels darkness... we are to be a blessing to this world. Were it not for the presence of a righteous Lot, Sodom and Gomorrah would have been destroyed earlier. And if it were not for Christians of the last days in this country, God would have already destroyed it for the 30 + million unborn murders committed in the last few years. The pornography, the drunkenness, the witchcraft, the crime, etc. that is rampant in this country is demanding of the judgment of God. However, the presence of the saints brings a blessing to the land.
The rapture of the church must precede the tribulation of seven years that is soon to occur, for God cannot, or will not, start His judgments on this evil world, until the saints are gone.
"He that hinders will hinder, until, he be taken out of the way, and then shall that Wicked One (the Antichrist) be revealed."
We, as Christians, are greatly blessed in these last days. We are beginning to experience the "double portion" of the former rain revival, as promised by God through Joel. We have been awaiting such a blessing with great anticipation. Waiting involves patient serving... and we have tried to patiently serve, amidst persecution and trouble caused by this world.
The forgiveness of God is abundant upon us for our failures during this waiting time. The forgiveness of God has been poured out upon the repentant of these days. We, as Christians, have the privilege of walking this earth with the knowledge that God does not see any sin in us. Spotless, pure, holy, - is how God sees us. What a blessing God has given to us to have this peace, and joy of forgiveness.
"Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity and in whose spirit there is no guile."
With this great blessing upon us, we are to go forth and be a blessing to others. Peace is imparted by your presence and words of blessing. As saints, there is a "form" of telling others: "God bless you." We have forgotten that we are not to just have a "form of godliness" but also have the "power thereof." We actually can and do bless others! As a saint of God, you walk about and are being a blessing to others. At work, at the ball game, at home, at club meetings, etc, wherever you are, you will bring blessing to others. It is not only your presence, but your words that impart blessing.
God even tells us in His Word that there are some that we are not to wish "God speed", or God's blessing. If our words do not impart such blessing to one that we so bless, then why would God care? Our words of blessing do impart blessing from God, and through us to those we bless.
II John 11
"For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds..."
We are commanded to bless those who curse us, for if we do not bless our enemies, God will judge them, and we must show mercy, so that we may receive mercy.
"...bless them that curse you."
"Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you."
We are the "apple of God's eye" and as such, the ones who wrong us are in for terrible judgment from God. We can delay such judgment, with the hope of them repenting before such judgment is poured out upon them... and our intercessory prayers, and our blessings will bring God's mercy upon them.
When we are helped by someone, our presence will bless them. When these people aid us, God's blessing is available to them, and we can command it to come upon them. So, as we say: 'God bless you!' to someone who had aided us, the angels of God respond and begin to deliver the blessings of God upon those people.
"And when ye come into an house, salute it. And if the house be worthy, let your peace come upon it, but if it be not worthy, let your peace return to you."
Just as Jesus did, so may we - impart blessings to others.
"Peace I leave with you, my peace, I give unto you, not as the world giveth..."
Jesus, thus, imparted blessing and peace to people. And since we are told that we are to do the works of Christ, and even "greater works" than He did, we may also impart peace and blessing to others.
The wicked that we encounter, do not receive peace and blessing from such encounters with us, but receive 'unrest'.
"There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked..."
For instance, if you watch those who are sinners leave a gospel service after having rejected the Lord, and the witness of the saints... you will see that they enter afresh and deeper into depression, unrest, aggravation, etc. They have rejected the Lord, the saints' witness, and the blessing they could have received.
Take heed to the person who is troubled and not at peace, somewhere, he/she has rejected God's witness, God's Word, or God's messenger. Find the person who is at peace, watch his life. He will be at peace with God, and with the saints. He will thus be a blessing. The presence of other saints will bring blessings and peace, but the door to receive must be opened by faith. In the same worship service, some will leave the other saints blessed and at peace, and others will leave troubled and in turmoil.
"Thy faith hath saved thee, go in peace..."
"Thy faith hath made thee whole, go in peace..."
Faith unlocks the reception of the peace and blessing from the saints of God. Faith releases the flow of blessings from us to others in our midst. As we minister and fellowship with others, blessing flows through us from God to them, if there is faith.
This is well illustrated in the Bible:
"Insomuch that they brought forth the sick into the streets, and laid them on beds and couches, that at least the shadow of Peter passing by might overshadow some of them."
"And besought Him that they might only touch the hem of His garment, and as many as touched were made perfectly whole..."
The blessing of God so permeated Peter and his environment that even his shadow contained the blessing of God. Likewise, the blessing of God so permeated Jesus Christ that even the hem of His garment contained some blessing of God. In the same way, people can receive blessings from God through you. Learn to cooperate with God to be a blessing to others.
We need to 'be there' when people need us, to be an encouragement, to hold them up in prayer, to seek their healing, to aid them with just our presence. Even just our presence will bring blessing. Your body is an instrument of God.
"...nor yield your members as instruments of unrighteousness ... but yield your members as instruments of righteousness to God."
We, now, in this age, are the instruments of God, as the rod of God was in the days of Moses. In fact, that rod was first called the "rod of God", but later was called Moses' rod.
Moses took the rod of God in his hand..."
"with his rod, he smote the rock twice..."
When Moses first used the rod, it was the power of God flowing through it... but later, it was the power of God flowing through Moses and then through his rod. Like that rod through which the power of God flowed, we are now the 'rod' and God's power will flow through us.
We are like the ark of the Covenant which was a symbol of God's presence. Anyone who touched the Ark was struck dead, and wherever the ark was taken, it brought blessing to the saints of God. In the New Testament, we are the 'Arks of God', and people are blessed, or cursed, by how they respond when in our presence. When their lives touch us, they touch God in us.
You are the "light of the world" (Matthew 5:14), and you bring the torch of your life into a dark cave of sin and spiritual darkness wherever you go.
You are the "salt of the earth" (Matthew 5:13), and salt affects all it touches. If you put salt into a sauce, it is impossible to separate it and eat just the sauce. It has combined and affected the whole sauce. In that way, the ones with whom we have contact are affected by our presence. The God in us is so powerful, that our whole being will bring His blessing upon people with whom we have contact.
Notice the unusual story in II Kings 13:21, where sinful Moabites come upon the grave of Elisha. Elisha had died the year before, the Moabites are sinners, and the dead man they throw upon the bones of Elisha is a sinner, so whose faith caused the miracle???
II Kings 13:21
"And it came to pass, as they were burying a man, that behold, they spied a band of men, and they cast the man into the sepulchre of Elisha; and when the man was let down, and touched the bones of Elisha, he revived, and stood upon his feet..."
The power of God had permeated the body of Elisha so much that the power still abode in the bones of Elisha... and the power of God can so permeate us, the Spirit of Truth can so envelop our beings, that our very presence, dead or alive, can have a blessed affect upon the sinners or saints with whom we have contact!
In the New Testament, people awaited by the waters of the pool, hoping that an angel would stir the waters, and they could be the first to dip within the pool and be healed. Jesus came upon one at the pool awaiting such, and asking for Jesus to help him into the pool, and Jesus healed him. But the story of the pool is not attacked by the Lord, for the power of angels passing through the pool must have put a blessing upon those waters, and people actually were healed when they exercised faith.
The prayer cloths sent by Paul to the sick in other areas had a healing effect upon the sick. The power that was resident in the being of Paul was so powerful that the cloths that touched his body, could contain such healing power of God for many days.
Too often the saints of today have purposely ignored and remained ignorant of this kind of power, for we have seen perversions of it with the doctrines of some churches that try to sell statues, pictures, etc. as sources of power and healing... but the devil always tries to counterfeit the great things of God.
We should not miss the things of God, just because the devil counterfeits and perverts them. I would not throw out altar calls to the Lord Jesus, just because some satanic rock groups give altar calls to the devil at their concerts. Nor should we ignore the power that is resident in the saints, in their shadows, in the hems, in the cloths that touch their bodies, or even in their dead bones. It is the great power of God within such that should be our emphasis, not the cloths, hems, etc.
Jesus said that if the people of His day had seen Him, they had seen the Father. This does not teach "Oneness", but rather Jesus is pointing out that the presence and nature of God so pervaded Him that to come near to Him, one would be coming near to the Father also. This should also be true of all who claim to be "Christian" (Christ-like), for to see or be near to us, one should feel the presence of the Father, the Son, and of the Holy Spirit of Truth. This should be felt in double portion in these last days of latter rain revival.
Now, that this truth has been taught, let us take a fresh look upon the teachings of Jesus in John 14.
"Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known Me, Philip? he that hath seen Me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father? Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? the words that I speak unto you, I speak not of Myself; but the Father that dwelleth in Me, He doeth the works.... Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that believeth on Me, the works that I do shall he do also, and greater works that these shall he do: because I go unto the Father... And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you forever; even the Spirit of Truth Whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth Him not, neither knoweth Him; but ye know Him; for He dwelleth with you, and shall be in you."
Here we have a magnificent truth taught. The Lord teaches that the power of God so dwelt within Him, that to see Him, or listen to Him was to see the Father. And the works that He did was evidence of the workings of the Father that dwelt within Him. Then He immediately goes on to tell us that we would someday have greater power than He had demonstrated before them, when the Spirit of Truth would come. Now in this age, we- as Jesus had the Father in Him - have the Spirit of Truth within us. Where we go, He goes. What we speak should be what He is giving us to speak, what works are naturally seen about us will be the works of the Spirit of Truth working through us.
Why can we not see the greatness of truth? Do we think that humility should make us deny the power of the true gospel teachings? Should we sit upon a pew and tell the Lord to work... and wait and wait? Or should we realize that the Lord wants to work through us, and to have effect upon this world wherever we go? Should we not allow the Spirit of Truth to bless the ones we come into contact?
Now, be ready to see afresh the teaching of Paul in II Corinthians:
II Corinthians 3:1-3
"Do we begin to commend ourselves? or need we, as some others, epistles of commendation to you, or letters of commendation from you? Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men; Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the Living God."
What Paul is saying, is that he did not need to commend himself, nor did he need credentials or letters of recommendation of others to tell them that he was a true apostle. All they needed to do was to look at the people to whom Paul ministered. The works and ministry of the Holy Spirit into the lives of those was all the evidence the world should need to know that Paul was a true saint of God.
Then Paul goes on to explain that the ministration of the law of Moses was not seen because of a vail of blindness upon their hearts... but where the ministry of the Spirit would come, the vail would be removed, and the Spirit of Truth would give liberty. Then Paul reminds them that we should accept this as our ministry.
II Corinthians 3:15-4:2
But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the vail is upon their heart. evertheless, when it shall turn to the Lord, the vail shall be taken away. Now the Lord is that Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty (freedom to see the truth). But we all, with open face (new awareness of the truth) beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord. Therefore, seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not; but have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the Word of God deceitfully; but, by manifestation of the truth, commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God..."
It should be evident in our ministries that the world see the manifestation of truth... We do not use dishonest or deceitful methods as do many others in the ministry. But we speak the truth, because the Spirit of Truth ministers through us. His truth becomes so powerful in our lives... that vails that keep the truth from people are torn away from their eyes, as we minister. There are many living in darkness of truth, and many are blinded to the truth. Paul teaches this as he continued in II Corinthians.
II Corinthians 4:3-6
"But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost; in whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, Who is the image of God, should shine unto them. For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord... For God, Who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ..."
This blessed power of the light of truth shining from God and through us is a great treasure... even though it does mean that we will be attacked... but we endure such attacks for the sake of those to whom we minister.
Note what Paul says:
II Corinthians 4:7-15
"But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God and not of us. We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; always bearing about in the body, the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Christ might be made manifest in our mortal flesh. So then death worketh in us, but life in you... For all things are for your sakes."
We endure such troubles, but have the blessed promise that Paul now re-iterates:
II Corinthians 4:16-5:5
"For which cause we faint not; but though the outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; while we look not at the things that are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal. For we know that, if our earthly house of this tabernacle (body) were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house (new body) not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this (body) we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house (new spiritual body) which is from heaven: if so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked. For we that are in this tabernacle (body) do groan, being burdened; not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life. Now He that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, Who hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit."
The working of the Spirit of Truth in and through us to this world of the last days will bring us persecution and trouble. We shall have to endure such, for it is the abiding within the Lord that causes us to endure the same troubles that He endured in His ministry. But we do it with the knowledge that there is a great and eternal reward awaiting us in heaven. I do not preach a "prosperity in carnal things now" gospel for I do not find it taught in Scripture... but I do teach a "prosperity in spiritual things now, and the greatest prosperity to come" gospel for we are laying up treasures beyond measure and have a treasure provided for us by God awaiting us in heaven.
We, are now temples of the Spirit of Truth, and truth will be made evident about us as we go forth to minister. Do not be scared or dismayed by the effect we may receive by such ministry of the Spirit of Truth, for it is normal. This temple (our body) is so encompassed by the Spirit, that we will have impact in our world. We are conveying the Spirit of Truth to a dark and deceived world. He is shining forth, tearing away vails, opening blind eyes, and blessing others with this ministry. The evil nature does not enjoy such blessing.
The devil does not want his followers to be given new sight and understanding by the Spirit of Truth. The healing, blessing, and powerful ministry of the Spirit through us will bring us persecution and troubles, but we endure it with our eyes focused on the heavenly promises!
When Moses came down from the mount of Sinai, his face shown with the glory of God, and as he was seen, the people suddenly realized new truth, saw their sinfulness. The Levites were quick to change, due to the power of God shining forth from Moses. We need the same glory of the Lord shining through us, and it is promised for us.
Paul and Silas had the Spirit working through them, as they sang in prison... the earthquake was natural for such an event, ad God's power will be seen as we worship God in these last days.
Daniel was in the lion's den, and the God that was in him caused Daniel's presence to make the many lions to lose their natural appetites. When he left that den, and hundreds more were thrown in, they were devoured by the same lions. The power of God within us, will bring miraculous events.
Hananiah, Azariah, and Mishael were thrown into a fiery furnace, but there was an unseen One with them, that was finally made manifest while they walked about the furnace. The flames did not hurt them, for they were in fellowship with the Lord of Power. We have another Comforter with us as we minister, and the attacks of others will not hurt us. We have no need to be discouraged.
Remember that we are to minister, to serve, to convey blessings to others, even though it means troubles and persecution, because of the hope of eternal reward.
"...whereof, I Paul, am made a minister; who now rejoice in my sufferings for you... To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory."
We, the saints of God, are the light of the world, the salt of the earth, the blessing of the Spirit of Truth to this sick, dying, and blinded world. Our ministry is vital... accept it today! Do not be a "pew filler saint." (if that is not an oxymoron). Too many choose to be W.I.M.P.S. for the Lord.
We can be so much more for the Lord in our last day revival time. The rapture is soon. The reward for our endurance will soon arrive. We can be a blessing to this world. The sinners will not like it. The devil will seek to destroy us. But the Spirit of Truth will work through us in a great way, if we allow Him.