Serving Jesus at Work

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Work is a major part of human existence. Work can be good; yet work can become an idol, and lead to covetousness and great anxiety. If the Lord Jesus returned today, would He have been honored by our conduct at work, in our relationships at work, and with the fruits of the produce of our labor?

Serving Jesus at Work

As discussed in lesson:

Serving Jesus at Work
Serving Jesus Today

 
 
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Personal Empowerment

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God has given to each and every person a measure of authority. All will be held accountable for what they have thought, said, felt, and done. We do well to consider the contours and nature of our empowerment by God.

Personal Empowerment

Personal Empowerment
Authority

 
 
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The Outpouring of the Spirit

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The Day of YHWH would come for Judah if they would not repent. God promised a future restoration, and an even greater promise in the latter days: He would pour out His Spirit on all His people. And so it would come to be when Jesus died, rose from the dead, ascended, and was made Lord of all.

The Outpouring of the Spirit

Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain; let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of YHWH cometh, for it is nigh at hand; a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness, as the dawn spread upon the mountains; a great people and a strong; there hath not been ever the like, neither shall be any more after them, even to the years of many generations.

A fire devoureth before them; and behind them a flame burneth: the land is as the garden of Eden before them, and behind them a desolate wilderness; yea, and none hath escaped them. The appearance of them is as the appearance of horses; and as horsemen, so do they run. Like the noise of chariots on the tops of the mountains do they leap, like the noise of a flame of fire that devoureth the stubble, as a strong people set in battle array. At their presence the peoples are in anguish; all faces are waxed pale. They run like mighty men; they climb the wall like men of war; and they march every one on his ways, and they break not their ranks. Neither doth one thrust another; they march every one in his path; and they burst through the weapons, and break not off their course. They leap upon the city; they run upon the wall; they climb up into the houses; they enter in at the windows like a thief. The earth quaketh before them; the heavens tremble; the sun and the moon are darkened, and the stars withdraw their shining. And YHWH uttereth his voice before his army; for his camp is very great; for he is strong that executeth his word; for the day of YHWH is great and very terrible; and who can abide it?

Yet even now, saith YHWH, turn ye unto me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning: and rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto YHWH your God; for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abundant in lovingkindness, and repenteth him of the evil. Who knoweth whether he will not turn and repent, and leave a blessing behind him, even a meal-offering and a drink-offering unto YHWH your God?
Blow the trumpet in Zion, sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly; gather the people, sanctify the assembly, assemble the old men, gather the children, and those that suck the breasts; let the bridegroom go forth from his chamber, and the bride out of her closet. Let the priests, the ministers of YHWH, weep between the porch and the altar, and let them say, Spare thy people, O YHWH, and give not thy heritage to reproach, that the nations should rule over them: wherefore should they say among the peoples, “Where is their God?”

Then was YHWH jealous for his land, and had pity on his people. And YHWH answered and said unto his people, Behold, I will send you grain, and new wine, and oil, and ye shall be satisfied therewith; and I will no more make you a reproach among the nations; but I will remove far off from you the northern army, and will drive it into a land barren and desolate, its forepart into the eastern sea, and its hinder part into the western sea; and its stench shall come up, and its ill savor shall come up, because it hath done great things. Fear not, O land, be glad and rejoice; for YHWH hath done great things. Be not afraid, ye beasts of the field; for the pastures of the wilderness do spring, for the tree beareth its fruit, the fig-tree and the vine do yield their strength. Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in YHWH your God; for he giveth you the former rain in just measure, and he causeth to come down for you the rain, the former rain and the latter rain, in the first month. And the floors shall be full of wheat, and the vats shall overflow with new wine and oil. And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the canker-worm, and the caterpillar, and the palmer-worm, my great army which I sent among you. And ye shall eat in plenty and be satisfied, and shall praise the name of YHWH your God, that hath dealt wondrously with you; and my people shall never be put to shame. And ye shall know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I am YHWH your God, and there is none else; and my people shall never be put to shame.

And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: and also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my Spirit. And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth: blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible day of YHWH cometh. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of YHWH shall be delivered; for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be those that escape, as YHWH hath said, and among the remnant those whom YHWH doth call (Joel 2:1-32).

The Outpouring of the Spirit
Prophetic Restoration

 
 
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The Day of YHWH in 722

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In 753 BCE, all seemed well in the northern Kingdom of Israel: the integrity of their territory was restored, the land was at peace, the people prospered.

Forty years later it was all gone.

What happened? The Day of YHWH in 722. How did it go down, and what can we as Christians learn from it?

The Day of YHWH in 722

The Day of YHWH in 722
The Day of YHWH

 
 
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Israel My Child

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Through Hosea YHWH lamented the apostasy of Israel as a father mourns for a wayward child. A Son who upheld all God desired out of Israel, and who embodied Israel’s story, would one day come for Israel. We all do well to follow Him and embody His life and practice.

Israel My Child

When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt. The more the prophets called them, the more they went from them: they sacrificed unto the Baalim, and burned incense to graven images. Yet I taught Ephraim to walk; I took them on my arms; but they knew not that I healed them. I drew them with cords of a man, with bands of love; and I was to them as they that lift up the yoke on their jaws; and I laid food before them.
They shall not return into the land of Egypt; but the Assyrian shall be their king, because they refused to return to me. And the sword shall fall upon their cities, and shall consume their bars, and devour them, because of their own counsels. And my people are bent on backsliding from me: though they call them to him that is on high, none at all will exalt him.

How shall I give thee up, Ephraim? How shall I cast thee off, Israel? how shall I make thee as Admah? How shall I set thee as Zeboiim? My heart is turned within me, my compassions are kindled together. I will not execute the fierceness of mine anger, I will not return to destroy Ephraim: for I am God, and not man; the Holy One in the midst of thee; and I will not come in wrath.
They shall walk after YHWH, who will roar like a lion; for he will roar, and the children shall come trembling from the west. They shall come trembling as a bird out of Egypt, and as a dove out of the land of Assyria; and I will make them to dwell in their houses, saith YHWH.

Ephraim compasseth me about with falsehood, and the house of Israel with deceit; but Judah yet ruleth with God, and is faithful with the Holy One. Ephraim feedeth on wind, and followeth after the east wind: he continually multiplieth lies and desolation; and they make a covenant with Assyria, and oil is carried into Egypt.

YHWH hath also a controversy with Judah, and will punish Jacob according to his ways; according to his doings will he recompense him. In the womb he took his brother by the heel; and in his manhood he had power with God: yea, he had power over the angel, and prevailed; he wept, and made supplication unto him: he found him at Beth-el, and there he spake with us, even YHWH, the God of hosts; YHWH is his memorial name. Therefore turn thou to thy God: keep kindness and justice, and wait for thy God continually.
He is a trafficker, the balances of deceit are in his hand: he loveth to oppress. And Ephraim said, Surely I am become rich, I have found me wealth: in all my labors they shall find in me no iniquity that were sin.
But I am YHWH thy God from the land of Egypt; I will yet again make thee to dwell in tents, as in the days of the solemn feast.
I have also spoken unto the prophets, and I have multiplied visions; and by the ministry of the prophets have I used similitudes.
Is Gilead iniquity? they are altogether false; in Gilgal they sacrifice bullocks; yea, their altars are as heaps in the furrows of the field.
And Jacob fled into the field of Aram, and Israel served for a wife, and for a wife he kept sheep. And by a prophet YHWH brought Israel up out of Egypt, and by a prophet was he preserved. Ephraim hath provoked to anger most bitterly: therefore shall his blood be left upon him, and his reproach shall his Lord return unto him (Hosea 11:1-12:14).

Israel My Child
The Book of Hosea

 
 
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Reaping the Whirlwind

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Israel had served idols and trusted in the military for some time. Yet the consequences would come severely and catastrophically. Israel had sown iniquity and violence; they would reap the whirlwind of the Assyrian menace.

Reaping the Whirlwind

Set the trumpet to thy mouth. As an eagle he cometh against the house of YHWH, because they have transgressed my covenant, and trespassed against my law. They shall cry unto me, “My God, we Israel know thee.” Israel hath cast off that which is good: the enemy shall pursue him.
They have set up kings, but not by me; they have made princes, and I knew it not: of their silver and their gold have they made them idols, that they may be cut off. He hath cast off thy calf, O Samaria; mine anger is kindled against them: how long will it be ere they attain to innocency? For from Israel is even this; the workman made it, and it is no God; yea, the calf of Samaria shall be broken in pieces. For they sow the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind: he hath no standing grain; the blade shall yield no meal; if so be it yield, strangers shall swallow it up.
Israel is swallowed up: now are they among the nations as a vessel wherein none delighteth. For they are gone up to Assyria, like a wild ass alone by himself: Ephraim hath hired lovers. Yea, though they hire among the nations, now will I gather them; and they begin to be diminished by reason of the burden of the king of princes. Because Ephraim hath multiplied altars for sinning, altars have been unto him for sinning. I wrote for him the ten thousand things of my law; but they are counted as a strange thing. As for the sacrifices of mine offerings, they sacrifice flesh and eat it; but YHWH accepteth them not: now will he remember their iniquity, and visit their sins; they shall return to Egypt. For Israel hath forgotten his Maker, and builded palaces; and Judah hath multiplied fortified cities: but I will send a fire upon his cities, and it shall devour the castles thereof.
Rejoice not, O Israel, for joy, like the peoples; for thou hast played the harlot, departing from thy God; thou hast loved hire upon every grain-floor. The threshing-floor and the winepress shall not feed them, and the new wine shall fail her. They shall not dwell in YHWH’s land; but Ephraim shall return to Egypt, and they shall eat unclean food in Assyria. They shall not pour out wine-offerings to YHWH, neither shall they be pleasing unto him: their sacrifices shall be unto them as the bread of mourners; all that eat thereof shall be polluted; for their bread shall be for their appetite; it shall not come into the house of YHWH. What will ye do in the day of solemn assembly, and in the day of the feast of YHWH?
For, lo, they are gone away from destruction; yet Egypt shall gather them up, Memphis shall bury them; their pleasant things of silver, nettles shall possess them; thorns shall be in their tents. The days of visitation are come, the days of recompense are come; Israel shall know it: the prophet is a fool, the man that hath the spirit is mad, for the abundance of thine iniquity, and because the enmity is great. Ephraim was a watchman with my God: as for the prophet, a fowler’s snare is in all his ways, and enmity in the house of his God. They have deeply corrupted themselves, as in the days of Gibeah: he will remember their iniquity, he will visit their sins.
I found Israel like grapes in the wilderness; I saw your fathers as the first-ripe in the fig-tree at its first season: but they came to Baal-peor, and consecrated themselves unto the shameful thing, and became abominable like that which they loved. As for Ephraim, their glory shall fly away like a bird: there shall be no birth, and none with child, and no conception. Though they bring up their children, yet will I bereave them, so that not a man shall be left: yea, woe also to them when I depart from them! Ephraim, like as I have seen Tyre, is planted in a pleasant place: but Ephraim shall bring out his children to the slayer. Give them, O YHWH–what wilt thou give? give them a miscarrying womb and dry breasts.
All their wickedness is in Gilgal; for there I hated them: because of the wickedness of their doings I will drive them out of my house; I will love them no more; all their princes are revolters. Ephraim is smitten, their root is dried up, they shall bear no fruit: yea, though they bring forth, yet will I slay the beloved fruit of their womb. My God will cast them away, because they did not hearken unto him; and they shall be wanderers among the nations.
Israel is a luxuriant vine, that putteth forth his fruit: according to the abundance of his fruit he hath multiplied his altars; according to the goodness of their land they have made goodly pillars. Their heart is divided; now shall they be found guilty: he will smite their altars, he will destroy their pillars. Surely now shall they say, “We have no king; for we fear not YHWH; and the king, what can he do for us?” They speak vain words, swearing falsely in making covenants: therefore judgment springeth up as hemlock in the furrows of the field.
The inhabitants of Samaria shall be in terror for the calves of Beth-aven; for the people thereof shall mourn over it, and the priests thereof that rejoiced over it, for the glory thereof, because it is departed from it. It also, shall be carried unto Assyria for a present to king Jareb: Ephraim shall receive shame, and Israel shall be ashamed of his own counsel. As for Samaria, her king is cut off, as foam upon the water. The high places also of Aven, the sin of Israel, shall be destroyed: the thorn and the thistle shall come up on their altars; and they shall say to the mountains, “Cover us”; and to the hills, “Fall on us.” O Israel, thou hast sinned from the days of Gibeah: there they stood; the battle against the children of iniquity doth not overtake them in Gibeah. When it is my desire, I will chastise them; and the peoples shall be gathered against them, when they are bound to their two transgressions.
And Ephraim is a heifer that is taught, that loveth to tread out the grain; but I have passed over upon her fair neck: I will set a rider on Ephraim; Judah shall plow, Jacob shall break his clods. Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap according to kindness; break up your fallow ground; for it is time to seek YHWH, till he come and rain righteousness upon you. Ye have plowed wickedness, ye have reaped iniquity; ye have eaten the fruit of lies; for thou didst trust in thy way, in the multitude of thy mighty men.
Therefore shall a tumult arise among thy people, and all thy fortresses shall be destroyed, as Shalman destroyed Beth-arbel in the day of battle: the mother was dashed in pieces with her children. So shall Beth-el do unto you because of your great wickedness: at daybreak shall the king of Israel be utterly cut off (Hosea 8:1-10:15).

Reaping the Whirlwind
The Book of Hosea

 
 
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YHWH vs. Israel

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The scene is set. God has an indictment against His people. He will judge; Israel will be ruined. But not forever.

YHWH vs. Israel

Hear the word of YHWH, ye children of Israel; for YHWH hath a controversy with the inhabitants of the land, because there is no truth, nor goodness, nor knowledge of God in the land. There is nought but swearing and breaking faith, and killing, and stealing, and committing adultery; they break out, and blood toucheth blood. Therefore shall the land mourn, and every one that dwelleth therein shall languish, with the beasts of the field and the birds of the heavens; yea, the fishes of the sea also shall be taken away.
Yet let no man strive, neither let any man reprove; for thy people are as they that strive with the priest. And thou shalt stumble in the day, and the prophet also shall stumble with thee in the night; and I will destroy thy mother. My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I also will forget thy children. As they were multiplied, so they sinned against me: I will change their glory into shame. They feed on the sin of my people, and set their heart on their iniquity.
And it shall be, like people, like priest; and I will punish them for their ways, and will requite them their doings. And they shall eat, and not have enough; they shall play the harlot, and shall not increase; because they have left off taking heed to YHWH. Whoredom and wine and new wine take away the understanding. My people ask counsel at their stock, and their staff declareth unto them; for the spirit of whoredom hath caused them to err, and they have played the harlot, departing from under their God. They sacrifice upon the tops of the mountains, and burn incense upon the hills, under oaks and poplars and terebinths, because the shadow thereof is good: therefore your daughters play the harlot, and your brides commit adultery. I will not punish your daughters when they play the harlot, nor your brides when they commit adultery; for the men themselves go apart with harlots, and they sacrifice with the prostitutes; and the people that doth not understand shall be overthrown.
Though thou, Israel, play the harlot, yet let not Judah offend; and come not ye unto Gilgal, neither go ye up to Beth-aven, nor swear, As YHWH liveth. For Israel hath behaved himself stubbornly, like a stubborn heifer: now will YHWH feed them as a lamb in a large place. Ephraim is joined to idols; let him alone. Their drink is become sour; they play the harlot continually; her rulers dearly love shame. The wind hath wrapped her up in its wings; and they shall be put to shame because of their sacrifices.
Hear this, O ye priests, and hearken, O house of Israel, and give ear, O house of the king; for unto you pertaineth the judgment; for ye have been a snare at Mizpah, and a net spread upon Tabor. And the revolters are gone deep in making slaughter; but I am a rebuker of them all. I know Ephraim, and Israel is not hid from me; for now, O Ephraim, thou hast played the harlot, Israel is defiled. Their doings will not suffer them to turn unto their God; for the spirit of whoredom is within them, and they know not YHWH. And the pride of Israel doth testify to his face: therefore Israel and Ephraim shall stumble in their iniquity; Judah also shall stumble with them. They shall go with their flocks and with their herds to seek YHWH; but they shall not find him: he hath withdrawn himself from them. They have dealt treacherously against YHWH; for they have borne strange children: now shall the new moon devour them with their fields.
Blow ye the cornet in Gibeah, and the trumpet in Ramah: sound an alarm at Beth-aven; behind thee, O Benjamin. Ephraim shall become a desolation in the day of rebuke: among the tribes of Israel have I made known that which shall surely be. The princes of Judah are like them that remove the landmark: I will pour out my wrath upon them like water. Ephraim is oppressed, he is crushed in judgment; because he was content to walk after man’s command. Therefore am I unto Ephraim as a moth, and to the house of Judah as rottenness.
When Ephraim saw his sickness, and Judah saw his wound, then went Ephraim to Assyria, and sent to king Jareb: but he is not able to heal you, neither will he cure you of your wound. For I will be unto Ephraim as a lion, and as a young lion to the house of Judah: I, even I, will tear and go away; I will carry off, and there shall be none to deliver. I will go and return to my place, till they acknowledge their offence, and seek my face: in their affliction they will seek me earnestly (Hosea 4:1-5:15).

YHWH vs. Israel
The Book of Hosea

 
 
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Overcoming the Beast

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John is given a vision of what Christians will endure. Earthly powers empowered by the Evil One are strong and will make war on the saints. Christians can overcome the beast in faithfulness to God. What does it all mean?

Overcoming the Beast

And I heard a great voice in heaven, saying, Now is come the salvation, and the power, and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, who accuseth them before our God day and night. And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb, and because of the word of their testimony; and they loved not their life even unto death. Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe for the earth and for the sea: because the devil is gone down unto you, having great wrath, knowing that he hath but a short time (Revelation 12:10-12).

And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire; and them that come off victorious from the beast, and from his image, and from the number of his name, standing by the sea of glass, having harps of God. And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, “Great and marvellous are thy works, O Lord God, the Almighty; righteous and true are thy ways, thou King of the ages. Who shall not fear, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy; for all the nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy righteous acts have been made manifest” (Revelation 15:2-4).

Overcoming the Beast
Sojourn and Exile

 
 
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Habakkuk’s Prayer

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Habakkuk knew how YHWH judged nations; it would get ugly. But Habakkuk kept trusting in God no matter what.

Habakkuk’s Prayer

A prayer of Habakkuk the prophet, set to Shigionoth.

O YHWH, I have heard the report of thee, and am afraid:
O YHWH, revive thy work in the midst of the years; In the midst of the years make it known; In wrath remember mercy.
God came from Teman, And the Holy One from mount Paran. Selah.
His glory covered the heavens, And the earth was full of his praise.
And his brightness was as the light; He had rays coming forth from his hand; And there was the hiding of his power.
Before him went the pestilence, And fiery bolts went forth at his feet.
He stood, and measured the earth; He beheld, and drove asunder the nations; And the eternal mountains were scattered; The everlasting hills did bow; His goings were as of old.
I saw the tents of Cushan in affliction; The curtains of the land of Midian did tremble.
Was YHWH displeased with the rivers? Was thine anger against the rivers, Or thy wrath against the sea, That thou didst ride upon thy horses, Upon thy chariots of salvation?
Thy bow was made quite bare; The oaths to the tribes were a sure word. Selah.
Thou didst cleave the earth with rivers.
The mountains saw thee, and were afraid; The tempest of waters passed by;
The deep uttered its voice, And lifted up its hands on high.
The sun and moon stood still in their habitation,
At the light of thine arrows as they went, At the shining of thy glittering spear.
Thou didst march through the land in indignation; Thou didst thresh the nations in anger.
Thou wentest forth for the salvation of thy people, For the salvation of thine anointed; Thou woundedst the head out of the house of the wicked man, Laying bare the foundation even unto the neck. Selah.
Thou didst pierce with his own staves the head of his warriors: They came as a whirlwind to scatter me; Their rejoicing was as to devour the poor secretly.
Thou didst tread the sea with thy horses, The heap of mighty waters.

I heard, and my body trembled, My lips quivered at the voice;
Rottenness entereth into my bones, and I tremble in my place;
Because I must wait quietly for the day of trouble, For the coming up of the people that invadeth us.
For though the fig-tree shall not flourish, Neither shall fruit be in the vines;
The labor of the olive shall fail, And the fields shall yield no food;
The flock shall be cut off from the fold, And there shall be no herd in the stalls:
Yet I will rejoice in YHWH, I will joy in the God of my salvation.
YHWH, the Lord, is my strength;
And he maketh my feet like hinds’ feet, And will make me to walk upon my high places.

For the Chief Musician, on my stringed instruments (Habakkuk 3:1-19).

Habakkuk’s Prayer
Habakkuk

 
 
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