Message NotesWith our two examples given to us in Scripture as we studied in this week?s homework hopefully we have come into a clearer understanding of the ramifications of walking in the flesh, walking in disobedience to God?s commands.
First, this was clearly portrayed to us in the lives of the Children of Israel, as they came to Kadesh Barnea, choosing not to believe God?s clear directive, listening to the misled leaders (the greater majority) and desiring to go back to Egypt, go back to the home of their birth, the place of their bondage.
What a picture! And we must remember these things happened and were written down for our instruction!
Second, in Saul?s life, in his not heeding the voice of the Lord, thinking it fine to defend his actions, and then blame it on some one else. He thought it was OK to sacrifice rather than to obey!
In the end, in both instances they lost their purpose!
In the way of a brief review:
? Israel came to a place called Rephidim, and even though there was no water for them to drink, they stopped there, complaining to and testing God.
? While at this place, the one group of people, who absolutely embody the picture of the flesh, the Amalekites, was the one group of people who snuck up on Israel, from the rear, when they least expected it, attacking those who were weak and weary. This is a great picture! A warning for/to us.
? At this place, God afforded the people all that they needed to have victory in the battle against their first enemy:
1) He brought forth water from the rock for physical refreshment,
2) Joshua was in the battle with them killing the enemy with the edge of the sword,
3) Moses was on the mountain praying for them!
Each of these provision pictures God?s provision for us through Christ in our continual battle against the flesh.
1) He brings forth water from the rock for spiritual refreshment,
2) Jesus is in the battle with us killing the enemy with the edge of the sword, which is His Word,
3) Jesus is also on the mountain continually interceding for us!
In this week?s homework, we have also seen:
? That the command was given to Moses: Exodus 17: 14b ??Write in a book as a memorial, and recite it to Joshua, that I will utterly blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven.?
? And, Exodus 17:16 ?The Lord has sworn; the Lord will have war against Amalek from generation to generation.?
Do you think that is true? Is there an ongoing battle even now, with Amalek?
YES! The battle with Amalek rages on! Even though there appears to be no people group on the earth any longer, the battle continues with Amalek, and it is and will be from generation to generation. It is the same sort of thing as the author of Hebrews saying that he has much to say about Melchizedek, even though there were only two mentions of the man Melchizedek in the whole of Scripture, prior the writing of the Book of Hebrews. It is what the man Melchizedek represents? the future work of Christ as King/Priest in the coming age about which there is so much to say. In the same way, there is much that can be said concerning this man, Amalek, and who he represents in the way of the type.
In this same way, we have much to say about Amalek! Amalek represent the man of flesh, and the ongoing battle that each and every Christian has with his own flesh! And we must understand what this enemy can do to us. What harm he can inflict! What loss he can cause us to suffer!
As seen in your homework, this forms a very good lesson for us:
? We should not think that we can take our rest now. But rather, we should seek to drink deeply from the Well of Life, waiting obediently and being on guard until that coming day, when we will enter the 7th Day Rest in the heavenly country to which God has called us!
? We should know that the battle between our flesh and our spirit is an ongoing battle, and that this enemy will desire and seek to work in conjunction with the other two enemies ? the devil and the world. Whether working alone, or in conjunction with another, or all three enemies teaming up together, when we are weary and weak, and one or two or three enemies will seek to wreck havoc in our spiritual lives while we are on our journey to the city to which God has called us.
So let?s consider our three enemies.
Enemy number one: The Devil!
I Peter 5
8 Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
If we are not careful, if we do not KNOW God?s Word, we Christians can come to a point wherein we are unwittingly doing the work of Satan!
Any time we are not doing the work of God, then what are we doing? Whose work are we doing? This may sound harsh, but think about it. Didn?t Jesus say, "He who is not with Me is against Me; and he who does not gather with Me scatters.?
There is no middle ground here! Is there? If there is, where is it? Where is the middle ground wherein it is OK to stand? Not really for Jesus, but not really against Him? Not really doing His work, but not really doing Satan?s either? Does that ground exist? We are truly in one camp or in the other. Right?
There is the event that took place in Matthew chapter 16 wherein Jesus was asking His disciples ?Whom people say that I am?? Some answered one way, some answered another. But finally Jesus got to the real issue of the matter and asked, "But who do you say that I am?"
And Simon Peter answered and said, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God."
What a statement, Peter!!! And Jesus commended him by saying:
"Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. And I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades shall not overpower it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."
In the very next statement, Jesus warned the disciples that they should tell no one that He was the Christ. And at that time, Jesus Christ began to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised up on the third day.
And Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, "God forbid it, Lord! This shall never happen to You."
What, Peter? What are you saying to the Lord???
But Jesus turned and said to Peter, "Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on God's interests, but man's."
From the pinnacle down to the dirt! Ouch!
Peter was doing the work of Satan at that moment, and, Man! Jesus called a spade a spade, didn?t He?
Jesus called Peter ?Satan? at that point! And yes, Peter was saved at that point. But he was doing the work of Satan at that point. In similar ways, we must be so careful not to do the work of Satan!
I John 3 (the epistle of John which explains to Christians how to maintain fellowship with God)
7 Little children, let no one deceive you; the one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous; 8 the one who practices sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning.
The Son of God appeared for this purpose, that He might destroy the works of the devil. 9 No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. 10 By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother.
John is not dealing with the non-saved in his epistles. In this first epistle, he is dealing with the saved, relating to them how to maintain FELLOWSHIP with God.
We can learn additional things from what Paul says in the Book of Ephesians. This is a rather lengthy passage. Please bear with me as I read it.
11 And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fulness of Christ.
14 As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves, and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; 15 but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him, who is the head, even Christ,
16 from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by that which every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.
Do you see the responsibility we have toward one another even within our own personal spiritual growth? Each of us needs to GROW up! Not only for ourselves, but also for our Body here.
Continuing in Ephesians 4:
17 This I say therefore, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind, 18 being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart;
19 and they, having become callous, have given themselves over to sensuality, for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness.
20 But you did not learn Christ in this way, 21 if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him, just as truth is in Jesus, 22 that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit,
23 and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.
This is what you are supposed to do! Even for me?
This is what I am supposed to do! Even for you?
25 Therefore, laying aside falsehood, SPEAK TRUTH, EACH ONE of you, WITH HIS NEIGHBOR, for we are members of one another. 26 BE ANGRY, AND yet DO NOT SIN; do not let the sun go down on your anger, 27 and do not give the devil an opportunity.
If we do not do what Paul describes here (under inspiration), we give the devil opportunity to have an in-road into our lives, and even into our Body!
The antedote is given to us in Scripture:
7 Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.
Enemy number two: The man of flesh!
Having been created in three parts ? spirit, soul and body, in the image and likeness of God, all three parts were corrupted when Adam fell. Now salvation, the full scope of salvation, must deal with all three parts. And Scripture lays it out very clearly how all three parts are dealt with in respect to salvation.
Remembering that man was created to rule, but was not placed in a position of rulership at his creation, he first had to be tested. Man died the day he ate of the fruit. And death affected all three parts of man: spirit, soul and body.
The initial salvation that is offered to us through faith in the finished work of Jesus on the cross, allows our spirit to be born. (This is our second birth!) It is the work of God! It is BORN of GOD. We are born from above. And we can know, that this work cannot be done apart from the Work of God on our behalf. God does not stop there (unless we resist Him and quench His Spirit from working in our lives).
We first must believe that He has provided Jesus ?Jehovah saves!?
Then we must come to understand and believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God. Explain this:
At the moment of initial faith (as opposed to ongoing faith) we have God?s Spirit (God?s breath) breathed into us. And our dead spirit, comes alive and will remaing so for all of eternity! But we know that the one who has been justified must live by faith, it is from faith to faith.
We also know that from the moment of the reception of the free gift of eternal life, our unredeemed flesh wars against our redeemed spirit. It is an ongoing battle. And the Scriptures clearly state that the goal of our faith (our ongoing faith) is the salvation of our soul! You can see that clearly in I Peter 1:9; James 1:21; Hebrews 10: 36 ff even into chapter 11.
This salvation, this on-going salvation is also the WORK OF GOD, just as the spiritual birth was the work of God. Being born from above is necessary on both fronts, not just one.
So, the battle between the spirit and flesh is really the salvation of or the loss of our soul! The outcome for our soul (which is LIFE in the age to come) is determined by a choice we make?are we going to walk by?the spirit (and live) or by the flesh (and die)?
Yes, the flesh is our enemy! And you had better believe it. DO NOT BE DECIEVED about this. Because you (and I) can be deceived!
And so we are taught about the flesh from the story line we have been studying.
That God will utterly blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven."
For how long will this battle take place?
from generation to generation."
What will be the end of this enemy?
20 And he looked at Amalek and took up his discourse and said, "Amalek was the first of the nations, But his end shall be destruction."
His end will be destruction.
When and where will the memory of this enemy be blotted out?
Deuteronomy 25 (Moses instructions to the second generation of Israel)
19 "Therefore it shall come about when the LORD your God has given you rest from all your surrounding enemies, in the land which the LORD your God gives you as an inheritance to possess, you shall blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven; you must not forget.
How is this to be done?
I Samuel 15 (God?s instructions to Saul through Samuel)
3 'Now go and strike Amalek and utterly destroy all that he has, and do not spare him; but put to death both man and woman, child and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.'"
In the type: Utterly destroy all that he has; do not spare him, put him to death, and all he has to death.
In the antitype? Paul says in
14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts.
Make no provision (Greek has the idea of forethought connected to this word. You plan for making provision) for the flesh.
It doesn?t say: ?Make excuses for the flesh??
It says make no provision for the flesh, in regard to its lusts (plural)!
So what are the lusts of the flesh? We have to go no other place except to the Scriptures to find out exactly what the lusts of the flesh are. Paul says:
19 Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, 21 envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you just as I have forewarned you that those who practice such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
Shall not have LIFE in the age to come?glorified with Christ and ruling with Him over His inheritance, which is the whole earth, sharing in this inheritance with Him as His Co-heir.
And to see the differences between being a Child of God and being a son of God, we only have to turn to Romans chapter eight again:
14 For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.
15 For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, "Abba! Father!" 16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him in order that we may also be glorified with Him.
18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us. 19 For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God.
23 And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body.
The flesh is our enemy! It is the lynch pin for our death (i.e. separation from Christ in His glory.)
Enemy number three: The World!
How would the world be our enemy? There are several different ways in which the Bible uses the word WORLD.
8 See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.
4 You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.
I John 2
15 Do not love the world, nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.
Our free gift is something that is given to us ?from above.? It is that which is ?born from above?. But Scripture uses that phrase a little differently that using it connected to our spiritual birth. Look at what John says about it:
I John 5
1 Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God; and whoever loves the Father loves the child born of Him. 2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and observe His commandments. 3 For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome.
4 For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world--our faith. 5 And who is the one who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?
?18 We know that no one who is born of God sins; but He who was born of God keeps him and the evil one does not touch him. 19 We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.
Our free gift is something that is given to us ?from above.? It is that which is ?born from above?. But Scripture obviously deals with this phrase, connecting it to the salvation that we are working out, with results yet to be seen in the coming age?
Three enemies: The devil, the flesh and the world.
And these three enemies can work in conjunction with each other, or can work separately.
(IF time allows: Shelby, I will let you know by what I say whether I will continue with this section or jump ahead to , so follow my lead with the upcoming slides. Or just jump to Slide # .) If time allows and I continue with these next slides I will say:
?Interestingly, these three enemies can really be summed up in the Parable of the Sower and the Seed. Let?s look at it.?
Jesus has already given the parable to the crowd. The disciples then came to Him and asked why He was now speaking to the crowd in a parable. He told them?, then He explained the parable to the disciples. He said:
3 And He spoke many things to them in parables, saying, "Behold, the sower went out to sow; 4 and as he sowed, some seeds fell beside the road, and the birds came and ate them up.
5 And others fell upon the rocky places, where they did not have much soil; and immediately they sprang up, because they had no depth of soil. 6 But when the sun had risen, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away.
7 And others fell among the thorns, and the thorns came up and choked them out. 8 And others fell on the good soil, and yielded a crop, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty. 9 He who has ears, let him hear."
18 "Hear then the parable of the sower. 19 When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is the one on whom seed was sown beside the road.
(Notice that the seed cast was the ?word of the kingdom.?)
The evil one refers to the devil here. One of our enemies, who seeks with all of his might to thwart a Christian from receiving and understanding the message of the kingdom.
20 "And the one on whom seed was sown on the rocky places, this is the man who hears the word, and immediately receives it with joy; 21 yet he has no firm root in himself, but is only temporary, and when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he falls away.
?..Yet he has no firm root in himself?? Speaking of his FLESH. He didn?t spend the time it takes to make it his own. He liked what he heard about the kingdom. He got excited about it?but persecution will come because of the word of the kingdom. And persecution will come, and it will come from the people we think it shouldn?t come from, and if since that person does not have a firm foundation in it, he immediately falls away!
22 "And the one on whom seed was sown among the thorns, this is the man who hears the word, and the worry of the world, and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.
This man hears the word of the kingdom, but the WORLD ?the worries of the world? and the deceitfulness of riches (riches connected to the world) choke (i.e., ?to strangle completely) the word of the kingdom, and the one becomes unfruitful.
Let?s talk about fruitfulness for a moment. The very purpose of the word of the kingdom being sown is for one to bear fruit with respect to the kingdom.
But here is the one who bears fruit.
23 "And the one on whom seed was sown on the good soil, this is the man who hears the word and understands it; who indeed bears fruit, and brings forth, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty."
This man hears the word (faith comes by hearing) and understands it. He does what it necessary in his life so that Satan, the world or the flesh does not steal what has been sown, scorch, or choke (strangle) potential fruit. And as a result, he bears fruit, with respect to the kingdom. FRUIT IS THE GOAL OF SOWN SEED!
Can I tell you how prevalent the first three types of people are? And how rare the last one is?
Yes, these three enemies can really be summed up in the Parable of the Sower and the Seed. But it is important to notice what area of God?s word the three enemies work again. As apparent from this parable (but not this parable alone) the enemies work against the goal of our creation, the goal of salvation. The three enemies work against our producing fruit with respect to the kingdom.
Because there is a kingdom at stake. And we must realize that if we are to do battle correctly! We must know the GOAL!
We have HOPE!
This week?s homework exemplified for us what might happen to us if we do not utterly destroy Amalek!
And so we see that Jesus is not only in the battle with us, as Joshua was in the battle with the Children of Israel (the name Joshua is the Hebrew name for the Greek name Jesus), but He is also on the mountain for us in prayer continually. And as we pray, and petition at all time in the Spirit, for ourselves and all the saints, the battle can be won!
But we have responsibility in this battle as well.. We MUST OBEY! God gives us everything for life and godliness. But we must CHOOSE!
And the story of Saul depicts for us the outcome if we do not CHOOSE to OBEY?
What about Saul? What can we learn from the story of Saul concerning the battle with the Amalekites?
Tell story briefly.
In the end it was an Amalekite who took his life and his crown. God sent 7 letters to the churches in Asia Minor in the second and third chapters of Revelation. Each letter contains a judgment of works, an exhortation, and an overcomer?s promise. In the 6th letter to the Church at Philadelphia, He ended the letter with this:
11 I am coming quickly; hold fast what you have, in order that no one take your crown.
Who was it that took Saul?s crown?
And who is it that can take YOUR crown?
It is one in the same! Amalek, the man of flesh! Saul didn?t put the Amalekites to death! We must do what Saul did not do! If we want to have a different end than Saul had. Amalek pictures for us that the number one and most formidable enemy will be our flesh! Our flesh will fight us at every turn, to keep us from receiving our inheritance, which is the goal of our faith, which is the salvation of our soul.
The Children of Israel?s ongoing battle with the Amalekites, and finally defeated by the Amalekites at Kadesh Barnea, due to unbelief.
Saul?s ongoing battle with the Amalekites, and his final defeat, due to disobedience.
Really disobedience is the result of unbelief. Look at what it says in the Book of Hebrews:
18 And to whom did He swear that they should not enter His rest, but to those who were disobedient? 19 And so we see that they were not able to enter because of unbelief.
1 Therefore, let us fear lest, while a promise remains of entering His rest, any one of you should seem to have come short of it.
2 For indeed we have had good news preached to us, just as they also; but the word they heard did not profit them, because it was not united by faith in those who heard.
After David, Amalekites are never mentioned again in Scripture. Why would that be, if God says He will have battle with the Amalekites from generation to generation?
We will continue to battle with our flesh, but once the One of Whom David represents, comes, and once the kingdom which is represented by David?s kingdom in one respect, (Solomon?s kingdom in another respect) comes, and in that we receive our inheritance and come into the land, He will blot out the memory of Amalek.
So the Amalekites are not mentioned in Scripture after David battled with them at Ziklag. This represents that time when Christ will have the final battle, and the memory of the Amalekites will be blotted out.
Remember, will you, there is a kingdom at stake!