Vol. 38, No. 6
“Yea, they turned back, and tempted God, and LIMITED the Holy One of Israel.” (Psa 78:41).
Here is a most unusual verse of Scripture. It just doesn’t fit in the Nature and Person of God. I believe that the Bible, (KJB) clearly teaches three things about The God of our Bible;
1. God is Omniscient. That is, God knows all things. He knows everything about us that there is to know. Please take a few moments and read the 139th Psalm. “ O Lord, Thou has searched me and known me. Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, Thou understandeth my thought afar off.”That wonderful passage tells us about the all knowing God.
2. God is Omnipresent. That is, God is everywhere, at the same time. We cannot understand that. God is Spirit. He is everywhere at the same time. “Whither shall I go from thy Spirit? Or whither shall I flee from Thy Presence? If I
ascend up into Heaven, Thou art there,
If I make my bed in hell, behold, Thou art there.” (Psa 139:7-14).
God is Omnipotent. That is, God is all powerful. When Abram was age 99, God appeared to him and Identified Himself as “The Almighty God” (El-Shaddai). In Exodus 6:3, That same God appeared to Moses and said, “I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the Name of God Almighty, but by My Name JEHOVAH was I not known to them.” Almighty, All Powerful, All Knowing, Ever present. Since God is Omniscient, there is nothing He does not know. Since God is Omnipresent, there is nowhere God is not, all at the same time. And since God is Omnipotent. There is nothing God cannot do. He created the worlds by His spoken Word. (Heb 1:1-3, Col 1:16-17). He is from Everlasting to Everlasting. BUT, our text in Psalm 78 says that at one time, GOD WAS LIMITED. God’s hands were tied. Who, or what can limit the All Powerful God? Let us make a search through Heaven and earth. Let us search the Scriptures and see if we can find the ones of whom it is written, “They limited God.”
CAN SATAN LIMIT GOD? People everywhere deny the existence, or the person of Satan. But the Bible clearly teaches us all about the personality, work, and end of Satan and his forces. Unseen by the natural eye, there are forces at work, under the leadership of Satan. “And you hath He quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the PRINCE of the POWER of the air, the spirit that NOW worketh in the children of disobedience.” (Eph 2:1-2) “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of darkness, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” Let’s see some of his work and power…
A. He claims to have power over all the earth. At the temptation of Christ in Luke 4:5-7, Satan offered Christ all of the kingdoms of the world if Christ would worship him. Christ did not question the statement of Satan. Christ knew all about the power of Satan. And he,(Satan) still offers the world and it’s excitements and pleasures to those who will just listen to him. He offers the world to that young man, that young woman, but his offer is faulty. I once read a message entitled, “ALL OF SATAN’S APPLES HAVE WORMS.” There has never been a more true statement.
B. He is able to blind the minds of men. “In whom the god of this world has 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.”(2Cor 4:4). The mind of man is the battleground. Satan has an unlimited resource of materials to use in blinding the minds of men. If you are not saved today, it is because you have allowed Satan to blind your mind to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
C. He sows tares among the wheat. Read Matthew 13:24-30. “ Tares” probably refer to a weed called ‘darnel’. It is very difficult to distinguish this weed from the wheat until the head appears. The grain of this weed is poisonous. This grain is smaller than wheat and can be separated at harvest. Satan has been very busy down through the years in planting his poisonous seed among the wheat. He has false Christians, false churches, false ‘bibles’ Paul was concerned that after his leaving Ephesus, that “grievous wolves would enter in, not sparing the flock.” (Acts 20:29). Paul further warned the Corinthians, “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel, for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore, it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness, whose end shall be according to their works.” (2Cor 11:13-15) Satan has his workers, by the thousands. They look good, sound good, but they spew their poison, and many fall for it. It pays to know your Bible, (KJV).
D. Satan tried to limit God. Read about his rebellion against God in Isaiah 14:12-17, Ezekiel 28:12-19. One day, he led about one third of the angels of heaven with him in his rebellion, (Rev 12:1-17). Satan tried to limit God, he still tries to limit God, but you can read the end of the story in Rev 20:1-10.
2. CAN ANGELS LIMIT GOD?
I know that angels are very powerful.
The Bible has much to say about angels. In the Book of The Revelation, angels open seals, sound trumpets, pour vials, and terrible things happen on the earth. Of course, they are obeying the will of God. Only one angel fought against the Assyrians one night and 185,000 of Sennacherib’s army were slain. In our limited knowledge, we cannot imagine the power of just one angel. As I stated before, about one third of the angels followed Satan in his rebellion. They tried to limit God, but could not. Some of these fallen angels are reserved in chains unto the judgment day. Others are active, doing the will of Satan, enticing, deceiving, and being deceived.
3. CAN THE NATIONS LIMIT GOD?
In the second Psalm, the nations of the world express their hatred for God and His Christ. “Let us break their bands asunder, and cast their cords away from us.” The nations of the world want nothing to do with the God of the Bible. A federation of nations (10) will one day gather their armies to fight against Christ. These nations will have gathered to fight against Israel, (Rev 16:13-16, Zech. 12:1-9) and they will see the return of Christ in His Revelation. They will turn to fight against the Christ and the blood of His enemies will flow as deep as a horse’s bridle. See Rev 19:11-21. The nations are no match for God. He sets up kings, and removes kings. He is All Powerful. The nations have tried, and will try to limit God, but the nations cannot. They are as a drop in a bucket, (Isa 40:15).
4. CAN THE ELEMENTS LIMIT GOD? Does God have to wait until the storm passes? Check your Bible. See our Lord Jesus asleep on a pillow, in a storm at sea. See as He rises from His peaceful rest and says to the storm and to the sea, “Peace, be still.” And there was a great calm. ( See Mark 4:35-41). “God has His way in the whirlwind, and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of His feet.” (Nah. 1:3). No, The elements, nature itself cannot limit God. But who then, can limit God?
5. CAN DEATH LIMIT GOD?
Many times Christ met death, and every time He was victorious. In Luke 7:11-15, a young man had died. People were carrying him to his grave site. Jesus touched the bier and said to the young man, “Arise” and he that was dead sat up. In Luke 8:40-56, Jairus’ daughter died. Jesus went to the room of the dead girl and said, “Maid, arise.” Her spirit came again at the voice of the Lord. Of course, we recall the death of Lazarus in John 11:43-44. Jesus called to him that was dead, “Lazarus, come forth,” And he that was dead came forth. Jesus sent John’s disciples back to John with this report,”The blind receive their sight and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised..”(Mt. 11:3-6). Our Lord met His own death at the Cross of Calvary. Satan and his army had tried for years to kill the Christ. From the moment our Lord was born, Satan tried over and over to kill Him. One day, our Lord did die. But He made this announcement to the world, “No man taketh it, ( My Life), from Me, I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down and I have power to take it again.” (Jn 10:17-18) He went into the tomb, but the grave could not hold Him. He came forth, as He said, Victorious. “I am he that liveth and was dead, and behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen, and have the keys of hell and of death.” (Rev 1:18). No, Death cannot limit God.
Well, we have made a brief search through Satanic forces, the angelic beings, the nations of the world, the elements, nature, death itself, and we can find nothing, or no one who is able, or has the power or ability to limit God. But our text says, they LIMITED GOD. Who then, can limit God..
Our text is in Psalm 78. This Psalm is the history of the nation of Israel from Egypt, through the Red Sea, Through the Wilderness, to the time of King David. Time and time again, the nation LIMITED GOD. Only His people can limit Him. Only You, only me. We can limit God, and I am afraid that we Christians do this so regularly. There is just too much to cover in Psalm 78, but let me share with you some of the ways they LIMITED GOD. May the Holy Spirit speak to our hearts today
They Limited Him….
A. BY FORSAKING HIS LAW. ( v5-10). “He commanded our fathers that they should make them known to their children. That the generation to come might know them” “That they might set their hope in God.” (v5-7). According to Deuteronomy 6, The Israelites were to diligently teach their children the Commandments of God. They were to “Talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou riseth up.” “Thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.” (Dt 6:6-25) We cannot forsake the Teaching of the Bible,(KJV) and expect that the God of the Bible will bless us. Israel turned from the Law, and in turning, they LIMITED GOD. To bring this up to date, we cannot blame the public school system, city hall, state legislature, courts, congress, Supreme Court, or any earthly organization for the mess we are in. Let’s not cry out about returning the Bible to the classroom, let us bring it back into our homes. Let us teach It, talk about it, place It on the walls, doors, gate posts. Let us surround our families with The Word of God, (KJB). While I am on this subject, get rid of these so called “versions” paraphrases, editions. Including the NIV, NKJV, ASV, NASV, over 50 ‘versions’ could be listed. Get rid of that junk, and get the old Bible, the one our grandparents used, and begin to teach the “BOOK.” We limit God when we stray from His Word.
B. UNCONFESSED SIN LIMITS GOD. V17, “And they sinned yet more against Him by provoking the Most High in the wilderness.” “For all this they sinned still, and believed not.” (v32) Sin must be dealt with. Sin must be confessed and forsaken. We must see sin as God sees sin. God is a Holy, Loving, Forgiving God. The Bible says, for us today, “If we confess our sins, He is Faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1Jn 1:9). “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will NOT hear me.” (Psa 66:18) Unconfessed sin hinders prayer, and LIMITS the Holy One of Israel.
C. THE SIN OF INGRATITUDE LIMITS GOD. “They remembered not His hand, nor the day when He delivered them from the enemy.” (v42) Ingratitude permeates this chapter. God gave them water from the Rock. God gave them Manna. Man ate angel food. The Israelites were stronger than their enemies. Their clothes, their shoes did not wear out, But, in all this, they murmured, and complained time and again. And today, I believe that our degree of service for God is determined by our degree of gratitude. It is recorded in Romans 1:21, “Neither were they thankful.” Romans 1 lists the steps downward as man began with a glorious revelation of God, but did not like to retain any knowledge of God, and began to make idols, and began to worship those idols, and in forsaking God, man turned to gross sexual sins, to homosexuality. The Bible says that “God gave them over to a reprobate mind.” That is, a mind that is incapable of determining the wickedness of that sin and it’s results. “Neither were they thankful” is at the very base of the problems of man, then, and today. I am very grateful of what God has done in my life. I trust that my gratitude will grow every day. God has richly blessed me.
D. My space for this message is just about used up, so let me briefly mention a few more things. UNBELIEF LIMITS GOD. (V19-22) “Because they believed not in God, and trusted not in His Salvation.”( V19-22).
E. LIP SERVICE, AND NOT HEART SERVICE LIMITS GOD. V36-37 “Nevertheless they did flatter Him with their mouth, and they lied with their tongues. For their HEART was not right with Him. Oh yes, we go to Church, sing, listen to messages, but if worship does not come from the heart, we LIMIT GOD.
F. CALLING ON GOD ONLY IN THE TIME OF TROUBLE LIMITS GOD. (V34-35) If God is good enough to call upon when trouble comes, Then God is good enough to serve in the good times.
We want to keep God in the “back room” so to speak, in order that He might be close enough to hear us when we need Him, but not to be involved in our daily routine. This LIMITS GOD.
THE RESULTS OF LIMITING GOD.
1. CAPTIVITY. (V59-64) “And delivered His strength into captivity, and His Glory into the enemy’s hands.”(V61) In the Book of Second Timothy, Paul warns the young Timothy to purge himself from dishonorable vessels that he might be a vessel of honor. Some had not done that and had become victim of Satan’s snare.
(2Tim 2:20-26, 1Tim 3:6) Over and over again we are challenged to stay in Strong, Sound Doctrine. Weak doctrine produces weak Christians
2. THE CHOICE OF JUDAH OVER EPHRAIM. (V67-68) “The children of Ephraim being armed and carrying bows, turned back in the day of battle.”(V9). “..and chose not the tribe of Ephraim. But chose the tribe of Judah.” I do not know what plans God had for the tribe of Ephraim, but He took which He had intended for this tribe and gave it to the tribe of Judah. Paul’s concern was, “I keep under my body and bring it into subjection, lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.” (1Cor 9:27) Paul did not want for his ministry and work to be taken away and given to another. So, he maintained the Godly life. He remained faithful to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. What a wonderful lesson we could learn from the great Apostle.
This message then, is no more or less than what we hear regularly. Keep your life in order. Stay strong, and ever growing in the faith. Study your Bible, carefully. The airways are filled with strange doctrines today. Become a grateful Christian, and always ready, and meet for the Master’s use. Just as sure as the Israelites LIMITED GOD in our text, so do we LIMIT HIM. If the Holy Spirit has spoken to your heart about an area of your life, ask God to search and reveal the problem, cause, and solution. We cannot LIMIT HIM while we are obeying His Word.
And perhaps you, my dear reader, have never received Jesus Christ into your life. God will never knock down the barriers of your heart and barge into your life uninvited. He will come in at your invitation. He will hear the cry of the repentant heart. “But as many as received Him to them gave He power to become the sons of God.” You see, you reach out to Him by Faith. Just tell Him that you believe His Death on the Cross was for your sins, that He was buried, and that He arose from the dead to be a Living Saviour. “Ask and ye shall receive.” Begin TODAY, to live FOREVER!
THINK ABOUT IT…Nothing, or no one but YOU can limit the All Powerful God. Only YOU! THINK ABOUT IT.
AND THE WORLD IS A WILDERNESS…It is no friend to the Christian. The call of the world to Israel was to go back to Egypt. Back to the onions, and garlic, and the leeks, and melons. The call of the world is the same today. Go back! Go back to what? There’s nothing back there. We’ve been there. We know what’s there. Why trade MANNA for a MELON?
“Lord God, that which, in my life, Limits God, Help me to confess, forsake, and to be yielded to God completely.”
FROM MY HEART
By Mildred Mills
A MESSAGE FOR DAD
“Walk a little plainer, Daddy,”
Said a little boy so frail.
“I’m following in your footsteps,
And I don’t want to fail.”
“Sometimes your steps are very plain,
Sometimes they are hard to see,
So walk a little plainer, Daddy,
For you are leading me.”
“I know that once you walked this way,
Many years ago,
And what you did along the way,
I’d really like to know.
For sometimes when I’m tempted,
I don’t know what to do,
So walk a little plainer, Daddy,
For I must follow you.”
Someday when I am grown up,
like you I want to be,
Then I will have a little boy,
Who will want to follow me,
And I will want to lead him right,
And help him to be true,
So walk a little plainer, Daddy,
For we must follow you.”
THEY ASK SO LITTLE
Take time to laugh and sing and play,
And cuddle them a bit,
Tell them a story now and then,
And steal a little time to sit,
And listen to their childish talk,
Or take them for a walk.
Take time to hear their prayers at night,
To cherish and enjoy,
A little girl with flaxen curl,
And the small wonder of a boy,
They ask so little when they’re small
Just love and tenderness, That’s all!
TEEN TALKS THAT MATTER
By Ashley Stevens
LEARNING TO LET GO
For some people bringing up the “past” can numb their entire body. All of a sudden they go back and see a vivid picture of an event, familiar face, or a memory of a bad time in their life that they want to forget and erase from their minds. Should we try to erase these memories from our minds? Should we try to run from them? Should we try to cover them up? As Christians we will have to answer to God for our sins but He is gracious and forgives us when we ask. Our God’s Love is bigger than we can ever imagine. There is nothing in your past that is bigger or more powerful that God’s Love cannot overcome. When we accept Jesus Christ as our personal Lord and Saviour He fills us with such an overcoming peace that will make you never think about your past mistakes. Have you ever thought that God can still use your past? I know your thinking…that’s the craziest thing you have ever heard, but it’s true! The lost ones who are trying to find God need to see your light shining. Through our stories and experiences we can show how God saved us and how we are changed through His blood now. Always remember that God is in control and He makes everything work out for our own good. So, if there is one thing to learn, it is to forgive yourself about your past actions, because God already has. He says, “I forgive you, go and sin no more.”
May God bless your life each and every day.
Until next time, Ashley Stevens
THE GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM?
THE GOSPEL OF GRACE?
Which one? It cannot be both. They are NOT the same. The Gospel of the Kingdom is an earthly message to an earthly people. The Gospel of Grace is a Heavenly message to Heaven bound people.
First, there was the “ Gospel of the Kingdom”. John the Baptist came on the scene preaching the “ Gospel of the Kingdom;” (Mt 3:1-2) John was pointing to Christ. “Here is your King. Look to Him. Check His credentials.”
Jesus Preached the “ Gospel of the Kingdom.” (Mt 4:17), “Repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.” Jesus came when He was supposed to come, to whom He was supposed to come, How He was supposed to come, with all the credentials of the Messiah. He healed, He opened blinded eyes, “Here is your King, look Him over.” The twelve disciples preached the “Gospel of the Kingdom.”( Mt. 10:1-8), they preached, “The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.” Then, Jesus sent seventy disciples to preach, “ The Gospel of the Kingdom.” (Lk 10:1-12). Of course, we know that Israel rejected their King. Jesus was crucified, but He arose from the dead. Then, in the first chapters of the Book of Acts, the “ Gospel of the Kingdom” was preached. Peter said to the nation, “repent ye there and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out,” (Acts 3:19-20) The Kingdom was offered, and again, the nation refused to repent. Now, the, “ Gospel of the Kingdom” has been set aside and there was the turning to the gentiles.
For almost 2000 years, THE GOSPEL OF GRACE has been preached. THE GOSPEL OF GRACE IS; the Death, Burial, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ (1Cor 15:3-8) That’s the Gospel of Grace we preach. Belief in that Gospel, trusting that Gospel and nothing else is the Power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth, (Ro 1:16).
The “ Gospel of the Kingdom” will be preached again AFTER the Church has been called home (1Cor 15:51-58, 1Thess 4:13-18). After the Church is gone, the KINGDOM MESSAGE will go all over the world, (Mt 24:14). During those days, the antichrist rises to power. The “Gospel of the Kingdom” alerts Israel. World conditions at that time, along with The “ Gospel of the Kingdom” will cause many to reject the antichrist. This infuriates the antichrist. He then enters the Temple and demands to be worshiped as God. “ The Gospel of the Kingdom” will call the Jews to their homeland. Read Matthew 24. That great chapter deals with Israel at the end time.
Now, today, there is a common call on TV for finances to get the “Gospel of the Kingdom” to all nations BEFORE Jesus can return. Let me say that Jesus could have returned at any time in history, He could come today. Nothing has prevented His coming in the past, or prevents His coming today. We preach the “Gospel of the Grace of God.” And NOT the “Gospel of the Kingdom”. These Gospels are not the same. The coming of Christ in the Rapture is imminent. It may be, could be, today!
“Even so, come Lord Jesus.”