Bible study 11

Yesterday I watched a couple of young people weeping as they were caught breaking the law. These people may represent an entire generation who have never been disciplined. We’ve run our country by psychology, McEducation, modern parenting and much more but there is a systemic failure in all of this that is becoming clear. The root is the widespread belief that people are basically good. The Bible says that the hearts of men are wicked. And we see that play out every day. If a person is left to their own ideas, and never led in a better direction, a grown adult will act like a toddler. I don’t know how many of you have raised a toddler but it is a scary thought that a toddler mind would be adult sized.

I dreamed last night of trouble raising children. I have 5 and I don’t have all of the answers. But I spend my days in the trenches of parenting, homeschooling my kids, and I’m getting a little experience under my belt. I know that when a child has a problem, there is a way to lead them out. I know that those problems are extremely frustrating at first. It feels like you have failed them forever and they are going to be eating out of trash can and it’s your fault as a parent. But there’s hope! If you keep turning them back the right way and telling them why to go that way, they do eventually get it! Sure they run into another problem and another problem and another problem…but isn’t that why God gave us children? To teach us to lead wisely, to lead in love, to lead with the long term in mind, to be patient with others and to build Godly character into ourselves. Sometimes you have to teach to learn and God traps us in a sink or swim situation with an instinctive need to make this work for our children. It’s brilliant on His part really.

Today in the Bible study we are in the middle part of the book of Numbers and I want to talk about 2 of my favorite verses and they are both about the prophetic. In Numbers 11 we get to a place where Moses is appointing leaders over the country. He’s been the only leader but now He distributing leadership throughout the community. When he does this the leaders suddenly receive the Holy Spirit! They start to prophecy when they receive the Holy Spirit and they are all out in the open where everyone can see them prophecy.

The problem is that Joshua has started thinking that Moses was The Leader. He’s the only guy that gets to prophecy! So Joshua goes and complains to Moses and Moses teaches Joshua an amazing lesson in leadership that day. He said, “Are you jealous for my sake? Would that all the Lord’s people were prophets, that the Lord would put his Spirit on them!” Seems strange that you would want fewer prophets because it threatens human leadership structures. Paul in the New Testament teaches that all can prophecy because the Lord put his Spirit on them! What Moses said here was a prophecy of the church!

Where does this point to Jesus? Moses said that one day the Lord would raise up a prophet like him. Jesus was that prophet and here is one place that Moses life prophesies of Jesus’ life. Jesus had this exact same conversation with His disciples! They came to Him the same way, but they had already told someone to stop and they were letting Jesus know they took care of it. “John said to him, “Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he was not following us.” John, the apostle of love, felt like he had to stop people from following Jesus because they weren’t in the group!

Let’s see if Jesus responds the way Moses did. “But Jesus said, “Do not stop him, for no one who does a mighty work in my name will be able soon afterward to speak evil of me. For the one who is not against us is for us.  For truly, I say to you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you belong to Christ will by no means lose his reward.” Exactly like what Moses said. This fight still rages among the immature in the church. ‘Those people can’t heal the sick’ or ‘Those people shouldn’t be doing deliverance ministry’ or ‘Gifts of the Spirit aren’t for today because I don’t do it that way’. Moses identified this as jealousy.

But there’s on to be more careful of, ‘that’s from the devil’. When people start calling the powerful works of God ‘from the devil’ they are stepping into the arena of blasphemy of the Holy Spirit, the only unforgivable sin according the Jesus. That’s something to be extremely careful with! Walking down that jealousy road, could lead to that awful place where you don’t even recognize the Spirit of God anymore. A person can think they are working for God and be so far from God that He looks like the devil to them.

Now I want to jump over to Numbers 12 and look quickly at why I talk about my dreams so much on a Bible study and why I study the Bible by looking for Jesus. “And he said, “Hear my words: If there is a prophet among you, I the Lord make myself known to him in a vision; I speak with him in a dream.  Not so with my servant Moses. He is faithful in all my house.  With him I speak mouth to mouth, clearly, and not in riddles, and he beholds the form of the Lord.” Here God talks about speaking to prophets in dreams that are riddles. But the faithful may get to see the Lord and have Him speak clearly to them. The Lord rarely speaks clearly to me, but sometimes He does and I want to be faithful with the riddles so that one day He will speak clearly to me all of the time.

Revelation says “For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” Now let’s take that nugget and look at it with another nugget, this one from Jesus. “You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me,  yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life.” Scripture points to Jesus and many people study it without even looking for Him. But His testimony is the Spirit of prophecy. So if you want to get your spirit tuned to the right prophetic channel, you need to be looking for Jesus’ testimony in the scriptures. Which is exactly what the early church did. Jesus did this Himself, the apostles did this in the book of Acts and early church history says this is how the prophets got their revelations. They studied the Bible, praying for revelation and looking for how it points to Jesus.

And in the last days, we are going to need real prophets. There are plenty of false prophets, those who take their spiritual revelations and apply them however they see fit. And why wouldn’t there be, since the church isn’t training anyone to learn to prophecy this way. If there are, yay! But so far I haven’t seen anyone doing this. But this is how a prophetic school should work and there should be one in every church honestly. Maybe before it’s all over there will be.

I hope this has blessed some people. May you all learn to prophecy, may we all be faithful and speak to the Lord face to face. The reading from today was Numbers 9- 21, I’d love for you to read along and look for Jesus with me. We’re going to need a few good people, devoted to scripture and the testimony of Jesus as a service to God. May you all receive the Holy Spirit and God bless all y’all.

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