For What Do We So Desperately Search?
Beloved Family… let’s consider an incident that took place in Paul’s life. It’s important because it contains revelation for us that comes from the Holy Spirit:
“Now while Paul was waiting for them at Athens, HIS SPIRIT WAS BEING PROVOKED WITHIN HIM AS HE WAS OBSERVING THE CITY FULL OF IDOLS. So he was reasoning in the synagogue with the Jews and the God-fearing Gentiles, and in the market place every day with those who happened to be present.
“And also some of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers were conversing with him. Some were saying, “What would this idle babbler wish to say?” Others, “He seems to be a proclaimer of strange deities,”—BECAUSE HE WAS PREACHING JESUS AND THE RESURRECTION.
“ And they took him and brought him to the Areopagus, saying, “May we know what this new teaching is which you are proclaiming? For you are bringing some strange things to our ears; so we want to know what these things mean.” (Now all the Athenians and the strangers visiting there used to spend their time in nothing other than telling or hearing something new.)” (Acts 17:16-21)
The Hellenistic atmosphere that surrounded Paul and the New Covenant apostles sounds very familiar, doesn’t it? The same idolatrous atmosphere surrounds us in this modern day 21st Century, does it not? People are still inventing gods of their own choosing, right and left! Jews and non-Jews who are Hellenistic in their thought patterns, paradigms, and humanistic Self-adoring priorities, have created a pantheon of the idols and ‘strange deities’ they uphold and proclaim!
But why do they despise us? Why do they resent, fear and hate us so virulently? They consider us to be ‘idle babblers’ too, do they not? They can’t stand to hear us, because our message goes directly against what they hold most dear! Their message is about Self-improvement. But we proclaim Good News that begins with the total crucifixion and death of their main false god – SELF! So how could we not generate friction and sparks and bitter hostility merely by being present? The humanistic world assumes that ‘Man is the Measure of all things’ and it encourages people to be so Self-absorbed, that they elevate themselves to a divine level. Thus they proclaim: “Man (especially I,) shall be as God!” (Cf. Genesis 3:5)
Nevertheless… our God warns of an awesome and terrible ‘Day of Reckoning’ that is coming, and when it does, all flesh will have to face the true God and give an account to Him:
“See to it that you do not refuse Him who is speaking. For if those did not escape when they refused him who warned them on Earth, much less will we escape who turn away from Him who warns from Heaven. And His voice shook the earth then, but now He has promised, saying, “Yet once more I will shake not only the earth, but also the heaven.” This expression, “Yet once more,” denotes the removing of those things which can be shaken, as of created things, so that those things which cannot be shaken may remain!
“Therefore, since we receive a Kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe; for OUR GOD IS A CONSUMING FIRE!” (Hebrews 12:25-29)
Beloved, it’s inevitable that this world will despise us. The news our Master has commissioned us to deliver is not ‘user friendly’ nor is it optional, tolerant and self-pampering. It leaves nothing up for argument or debate; nor does it give humanity the right to ‘vote’ on what it is proclaiming! It summons all men to face Pure Objective Truth… and deal with inevitable Facts… and it warns that God’s Actual Eternal Truth, and the Judgement that inevitably follows upon it, are bearing down upon us all!
“Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it! For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matthew 16:24-26. Emphasis added.)
And of course, the world doesn’t want to hear this, nor will it abide anyone who would dare disturb and challenge its empty, dogmatic but hollow sense of correctness and false peace and harmony! So, many around us reject our God and even refuse to allow us to mention His Name!
But… is that really the end of it? Has the world REALLY made up its mind and settled the issue once and for all? Or could it be that the Message we’ve been proclaiming is missing something, and needs to be re-examined, fine-tuned, and upgraded? Is it really true, that the mind of this fallen world is really and truly closed? Have people actually, finally, arrived at Truth? Do they really think they’ve arrived, and have nothing more to learn? Or is something else taking place at a much deeper, unspoken level? Look at it again, and ask yourself: ‘Isn’t it true that our contemporaries are actually very dissatisfied and are still as hungry as ever for answers, and driven to keep doing what the Athenians couldn’t stop doing back in Paul’s day?’
“Now ALL the Athenians and the strangers visiting there used to spend their time IN NOTHING OTHER THAN TELLING OR HEARING SOMETHING NEW!” (Acts 17:21. Emphasis added.)
Dear friends… why do they spend so much time and energy chasing after ‘something new’? Does that sound like people who have finally ‘arrived’ and have need of nothing more? Or does it describe people who are addicted and desperately driven to seek after something that they hope and pray will be better and more satisfying than whatever they have already managed to find? Why do they desperately keep searching for novelty? Why are they so desperate to try the next newly-found drugs, and the latest fashion fads, or the newest hit songs, and freshest rising Holly wood ‘idols’ and ‘stars’ and viral social media events, over which to obsess, fawn and rave? Does all of that frenzied dissatisfied behavior indicate that the world knows what it’s doing and has found all the answers and satisfaction it needs? Do the people around us really know what they’re doing? Or are they like that fabled emperor who, despite his pompous claims about his being clad in sartorial finery… was actually strutting around and parading… while in the state of absolute nakedness?
This is the Truth: the world around us keeps doing what it does… because Self-worship is nothing more than abject Slavery and Bondage! If it’s all about you… and you have to try to control everything, then you can never trust or rely upon anyone or anything else but yourself! You have to do all the work, performing and performing, incessantly. And you must depend on your own wits and best efforts alone. And that means you’re condemned to live the life of a whipped, driven, perpetually dissatisfied slave! But what happens when you go as far as you can possible go? Then what? What happens when you reach the limits of all that you can know or do… and the results are still ‘not good enough?’ What happens when your very best finally proves that you are not God and are helplessly incapable of ever meeting your needs and being able to satisfy, or fend for, or adequately provide for your own protection and wellbeing? Who gets all the blame? And most important of all… what happens when you die… and are then confronted by The Real Inevitable Truth, Truth you never suspected could exist… Truth, the consequences of which, you will be totally and devastatingly unprepared to face, and from which there will be no way available for you to escape!
The reason why we see teeming masses of frustrated, empty, ravenous people who cannot rest… and can’t stop complaining and criticizing and ‘shaming’ and ‘correcting’ and searching and yearning and wishing and hoping that someday soon, they will finally stumble across the Ultimately Totally Satisfying Object or Destination or Personal Deity… is because they’re ‘barking up the wrong trees’ and can actually… NEVER FIND THAT FOR WHICH THEY KEEP SEARCHING!
“What profit is there to the worker from that in which he toils? I have seen the task which God has given the sons of men with which to occupy themselves.
“He has made everything appropriate in its time. He has also set eternity in their heart, yet so that man will not find out the work which God has done from the beginning even to the end.
“I know that there is nothing better for them than to rejoice and to do good in one’s lifetime; moreover, that every man who eats and drinks sees good in all his labor—it is the gift of God. I know that everything God does will remain forever; there is nothing to add to it and there is nothing to take from it, for God has so worked THAT MEN SHOULD FEAR HIM!” (Ecclesiastes 3:9-14. Emphasis added.)
Myriads of people remain addicted to this world’s hell… they can’t ever stop and disengage themselves from its endless ‘RAT RACE.’ Ravenous cravings keep gnawing at their innards. And so, they are never satisfied, no matter what they try and no matter how much of it they try to stuff into themselves. IT IS NEVER GOOD ENOUGH… IT CAN NEVER BE FULLY AND ENDLESSLY TRUSTED! Whatever they think they need and want… never lasts! It either betrays them or it suddenly stabs them in the back… or it eventually changes and becomes something very different than it was before… and it finally wears out, reaches the end of its course… and then… it collapses and dies! But yet, God has placed eternity in their hearts!
“The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem. “Vanity of vanities,” says the Preacher, “vanity of vanities! All is vanity.”
What advantage does man have in all his work which he does under the sun? A generation goes and a generation comes, but the earth remains forever. Also, the sun rises and the sun sets; and hastening to its place it rises there again blowing toward the south, then turning toward the north, the wind continues swirling along; and on its circular courses the wind returns. All the rivers flow into the sea, yet the sea is not full. To the place where the rivers flow, there they flow again. All things are wearisome;
“Man is not able to tell it. The eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor is the ear filled with hearing. That which has been is that which will be, and that which has been done is that which will be done. So there is nothing new under the sun. Is there anything of which one might say,
“See this, it is new?” Already it has existed for ages which were before us. There is no remembrance of earlier things; and also of the later things which will occur, there will be for them no remembrance among those who will come later still.” (Ecclesiastes 1:1-11)
And this is why Almighty God… in His Perfect and Eternal Lovingkindness… continues to send disciples of His Living Word, like Paul, and all the others, to serve as bearers of His totally unheard of, unimaginable, unspeakably riveting and reassuring…‘GOOD NEWS!’ The world’s chronic frustration and hopelessness prompts it to rage at God and forces it to continue to close its eyes and cover its ears, lest something He wants to convey to them gets past their flimsy defense mechanisms and make its way into their hearts. Insecurity and the dread of further disappointment makes them chronically suspicious and leery. So they resist His calling and keep Him at arm’s length. But God is relentless. He never stops pursuing them. Nothing deters Him. He never stops sending His servants to reach out to them, nor will He cease in His efforts to pierce, penetrate and impregnate every stone cold dead human heart… with the Eternal Life that is in His Living Word and Holy Spirit:
“At that time Jesus said, “I praise You, Father, Lord of Heaven and Earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants. Yes, Father, for this way was well-pleasing in Your sight. All things have been handed over to Me by My Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.
“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light!” (Matthew 11:25-30 Emphasis added.)
So… in its insatiable lust for peace, rest, fulfillment and endless contentment, this fallen world loudly demonstrates these inescapable facts:
“We tried everything we could think of in the past… and it failed us. And we keep trying everything that comes along in the present… and it too has failed us so far. And so, we have no choice but to keep on looking and searching… and doing whatever we can think of to find the Ultimate Satisfaction – our True Home, the Real Meaning and Purpose for which we exist. And as soon as we find it, we will know it. And when we know it, we will finally be able to rest… but not until then!”
This habitual frenzy to try everything and anything, EXCEPT what comes from the Living Word of the Living God, is proof positive that this fallen world is languishing under the pall of the Darkness and Deception of the Father of Lies. Yes, that’s why this humanistic world recoils at the Message we disciples have been commissioned to proclaim. It’s because this world is still caught up within the coils of the Serpent that began to stalk our first mother, Eve, in the very Beginning.
But… I also believe that their hesitation reveals something else… that some vital element, or elements, are missing from the habitual way in which we’ve been framing and expressing our Good News Message!
Re-evaluating the Gospel As It Has Recently Been Presented
Could it be that something has been lost in the recent transmissions of God’s Good News? Could the way we moderns have been seeing and framing, and trying to share it, be somewhat off course? Could it be that the Father of Lies has managed to deface and twist the very message God has entrusted to our proclamations… making it harder and harder for the world to understand, and pick up, and embrace what we’ve been given to share? Could it be that despite our best efforts, we’ve overlooked and omitted something vitally important? And could that be part of the reason why our message hasn’t been able to penetrate prejudice-filled, highly discriminatory human hearts and get through to them?
I ask you to please consider this possibility:
Could there be more to the Self-Revelation of Almighty God that even we have not yet properly understood? And maybe that’s why what we’ve been offering has not yet effectively captured the interest of many ravenous, jaded, and desperately needy people who want nothing to do with us. Perhaps the ‘maps’ they’ve been given so far have been missing something essential, and therefore, do not actually conform to the actual terrain over which we all have to navigate!
“For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each man’s work will become evident; for The Day will show it because it is to be revealed with Fire, and the Fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work!” (1 Corinthians 3:11-13. Emphasis added.)
This suspicion was aroused in me because of something that happened in the past that continued to happen, over and over again. I’ll try to express it to you now, in hopes of enabling you to better understand why I feel this urgency. By a series of amazing events (in the mid-1980’s) I was suddenly invited, by a man I had just recently met, to join his staff in the local Teen Challenge Ministry that was operating in my area. And, because of my rather strange history and background, I perceived that this unexpected invitation could very well be God’s Mercy, and that He had initiated a miraculous turn of events on my behalf and that of my family!
So I accepted the offer and was given a job that nobody on the staff had ever done before, not even the executive director who hired me! So no one knew what to do in the job for which I had been hired, or how to do it! It was a venture that had never been tried before by that ministry. And so, after I joined the staff, I was in the unique position of being expected to ‘invent’ and ‘assemble’ my own job, with no oversight or supervision, and no manual to follow, and no previously gained treasury of experience, expertise, or counsel from which to draw!
In a short time, many people from our local area had heard about this new type of ‘public outreach’ ministry that our organization was now offering. They were from a vast variety of backgrounds. But many had this in common: they had heard ‘The Gospel of Salvation’ many times. Some had sincerely tried to accept it and had done their best to enter the realm of organized religion. They went to churches of various kinds. And others among them had heard the Gospel, but had decided to reject it and seek other ways to try to save and satisfy themselves. But now, they were in trouble, and were hurting desperately, and were now ready to reach out for help. So, regardless of what they had done or learned in the past… many were calling me and making appointments to see what I might be able to do to help, due to their deep spiritual and emotional distress.
So I did my best to write material for them, that was as Biblical as I knew how to make it… because they had already tried the material that was available in the various local churches at that time, but it had not helped them to overcome their ailments. That’s why I felt the need to try to create some new material and come up with something that might better meet their needs.
In my material, I tried to get across the fact that God has reached out to the whole world through the Bible… and through the nation of Israel. So of course the Self-Revelation that God gave the world and the description of His ways and requirements and commandments and promises… is very ‘Hebraic’ and Middle Eastern in mentality. The Bible was written by Hebrew writers… for their own people, over many generations of Jewish history. Nevertheless, in God’s long term Plan, the revelation given in Scripture was not meant to be smothered and owned exclusively by Jewish people. God gave it to them so they could learn to absorb and share, explain and demonstrate it for the benefit of the entire human family. And that family is made up of all the other unbelievably diverse races, cultures, backgrounds and people groups! In other words, God’s Revelation was meant to be universally adaptable and understandable and doable by the entire human race.
Rediscovering God’s Eternal Blood Covenant Pattern
So I was scrambling to find something suitable to give to the people who were beginning to overwhelm me by sheer numbers. I desperately sought wisdom, discernment and guidance from the Lord. And I know it was due to His great Kindness and Mercy that, precisely at that time, He began to make me aware of the fact that He had chosen to reveal Himself and interact with human beings through a Pattern that was meant to be universally understood and shared around the world. It was God’s Eternal Blood Covenant Pattern that He reveals throughout the Bible, from start to finish. Precisely when I needed it, a friend loaned me a wealth of taped teachings by a well-known Bible teacher named, Malcolm Smith. And from that, I began to see that it is only through this awesome Covenant Pattern that God will have any dealings and interactions with this poor fallen world! The Lord also led me to realize that this Pattern has two major components: 1) God’s Eternal Blood Covenant, and 2) The issues involved and explained in and through The Exodus God first initiated and taught to and through His chosen Israelite people.
So I did my best to incorporate this information into the material I was beginning to write. And although the Covenant material was new, even to me, I believed I was on solid ground, because I was beginning to see that what I was learning and trying to share, was clearly and most definitely being revealed throughout the Bible!
But imagine the shock I experienced when local church and ministry leaders who had begun to hear about what I was giving to the people began to complain to my boss and actually threatened to withhold any further contributions to the Teen Challenge Ministry… UNLESS he fired me! Wow! I never expected that kind of response from my own brethren! And, fortunately for me, my boss stood by me. He invited my accusers to meet with him and with me, face to face, to discuss their concerns, as delineated in Scripture, so that we could, if possible, resolve their issues. But none of them responded to his invitation.
And, there was another shock that I encountered. In the next few months and years… after a large number had begun to use and absorb the material I had written… many of them would come to me and share some very unexpected, stunning reactions to what they had experienced. They would come to me and say something like this:
“I feel very angry and frustrated! I was raised in a Christian Family (supply for yourself the usual vast list of denominational titles). I’ve been going to church since childhood. And never did anyone there ever teach me about God’s Blood Covenant ways! Why is that? Why did I never hear this before? This is why I feel so angry. I feel as if I’ve been gypped and deprived of something that is vitally important!”
And this reminds me of a story I once heard Malcolm Smith relate about a visit he had made to a Masai village in Kenya, Africa. After his plane landed in Nairobi, his interpreter took him to a nice modern bank so that he could exchange currencies. And, as Malcolm approached one of the tellers, the man held up his hand, with outstretched fingers! So Malcolm turned inquisitively to his interpreter, who said that the teller was from the Masai tribe. And what he was doing was a ‘throwback’ to earlier times, when the Masai would enter into blood covenant relationships before conducting their business transactions. The teller’s invitation to ‘touch fingers’ was symbolic of the practice of the old days, when two men would exchange oaths and promises of fidelity, loyalty and truthfulness with each other. At that time they would cut their fingers with a knife, and touch fingers so that their bloods would mingle and become ‘one blood.’ This served as a guarantee (with a death penalty for its violation) that they would honor the terms of their transactions and be forevermore, faithful and true to each other because… they had bound themselves to be ‘blood brothers to each other for life… and only death could separate them!’
And then, later, Malcolm was scheduled to visit that Masai village I mentioned that was located in the outland and that was on his itinerary. He and his team came to bring gifts and food and bags of seed that the people in that drought-ridden region would be able to use to plant their future crops. And, while he was distributing the gifts to the people, the chief of the village stood at a distance… solemnly watching what was going on. And finally, he sent someone to summon Malcolm to his hut. And, after he entered the hut and was invited to sit down, Malcolm and the chief stared at each other for a few awkward, and very uncomfortable moments… and then finally, the chief spoke:
“Who are you? And why are you here? And what do you want?”
Malcolm knew that other Christian missionaries and groups had visited this village in the past. And they too had given some form of Gospel appeal to the people. So, in response to what was going on at that moment, he uttered a silent prayer to the Lord, and asked for guidance. And suddenly, he remembered that bank teller in Nairobi. So, as I try to recall what he said, I paraphrase. This is what I recall that he said to the chief:
“The Supreme Living God who is Lord over all of Creation, and who is far above any other gods that have been created by the imaginations of men… He has sent me to tell you this:
“He desires to touch fingers with you… and with all of your people… through His own beloved Son… His Word made flesh… the Lord Jesus Christ!”
And then, after the interpreter told the chief what Malcolm had just said… the chief’s eyes widened… and he sat and stared at Malcolm with a dumbfounded look… as if an explosion had just taken place within his head and heart! And then… finally… he said:
“Why has no Christian ever told me this before?”
Well, dear ones… that’s the exact same the question I kept hearing from all of those angry, frustrated Christians I had been trying to help! “Why hasn’t anyone ever taught me about this?”
This was what those people, who were from all kinds of backgrounds that I had been trying to help, kept asking me, about what I had begun to share with them about God’s Blood Covenant Pattern! They too had never in all of their past experiences, ever heard about that before. And this is why I am sensing a deep need for those of us who have been drawn by the Lord and included into the FMM Family, to serve the Lord as His Last Days disciples, to pay close attention!
I’m sensing that the Holy Spirit is beginning to shine a bright spotlight on our Heavenly Father’s Blood Covenant ways… for us… for our FMM Family… and I sense He’s doing this in the context of the future material He will be giving us to share on our website, and through our booklets that are currently being translated into 346 languages and are being distributed from hand to hand on every continent of the world… to a vast array of nations, cultures, backgrounds and ethnic groups. And this is why I believe Father is giving us some very strong, persistent ‘nudges’ and ‘hints’ that He wants us to highlight and share His Blood Covenant ways, far and wide, to a heretofore unprecedented degree. I’m sensing that He wants to make sure, now, today, that we do not neglect or omit this essential information from what we are going to tell the ‘forever searching’ people of this Last Days Era, since now we know, that whoever and wherever they are, regardless of their ethnic background, the chances are high that they already have some dim memories of some traces of the Blood Covenant Pattern in the traditions and folklore left to them by their ancestors, that predispose them to grasp the Gospel message… quickly, deeply, and accurately!
So it is our hope that the result of what we’re going to be posting on our website in the near future, and will be distributing through our future translations and printed booklets, will ensure that we will hear that haunting, soul-troubling question with less frequency from now on.
“Why hasn’t anyone ever told me this before?”
So dear ones… it seems, at least to me, that as long as our generation does not yet know that our God is The Living God who made an Eternal Blood Covenant with the human race… and as long as people remain unaware of the Truth, that He honors, observes, protects and keeps His Blood Covenant promises to us IN AN ETERNALLY PERFECT WAY, AND, WITH PERFECTLY AIRTIGHT CREDIBILITY AND TRUSTWORTHINESS…
… then they will continue to tend to assume that He too, like all the other fads and addictions and ‘bunny trails’ they have pursued in vain, is not going to be ‘good enough’ to satisfy their hearts and meet their insatiable needs. If they do not come to really know and understand who He is and the Perfection of all that He has done on our behalf, they’ll never be able to stop ‘chasing the carrot on the stick’ that is tied to their own clueless heads!
Apparently, even most of the organized man-controlled World Religions have not been sufficiently prepared and equipped to venture into the Eternal, Infinitely Perfect, Reliable and Trustworthy Realm of Almighty God’s Eternal Covenant. And that is why the rest of the world doesn’t yet have a clue about how INFINITELY AND ETERNALLY TRUE, PURE, RIGHTEOUS, AND ABSOLUTELY AIRTIGHT THE ALMIGHTY GOD OF THE BIBLE IS… IN HIS CREDIBILITY, RELIABILITY, GOODNESS… AND TRUSTWORTHINESS!
“Therefore, let us fear if, while a promise remains of entering His rest, any one of you may seem to have come short of it. 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. For we who have believed enter that rest, just as He has said,
“As I swore in My wrath, they shall not enter My rest,” although His works were finished from the foundation of the world. For He has said somewhere concerning the seventh day: “And God rested on the seventh day from all His works”; and again in this passage, “They shall not enter My rest.” Therefore, since it remains for some to enter it, and those who formerly had good news preached to them failed to enter because of disobedience, He again fixes a certain day, “Today,” saying through David after so long a time just as has been said before, “Today if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts!” (Hebrews 4:1-7. Emphasis added.)
But the more we plumb the depths of God’s Blood Covenant ways, the better chance the world will have of being truly set free by The Truth of His All-Sufficient Grace. I say this because, if the world finally does begin to understand this… their insane frenzy and insatiable searching for what is ‘good enough’ will begin to slow down… and falter… and finally come to a sudden screeching halt! When people know Him as He REALLY IS… they will finally know that their search is over, AT LAST! They will know that they’re finally HOME, and have found that for which they have been yearning and searching! Their chronic ‘itch’ will finally be sufficiently ‘scratched’ and the gnawing, ravenous hunger in the pit of their spiritual stomachs will finally be fully satisfied. And they will finally be able to experience in their heart of hearts, what it means to truly be able to rest and be at total PEACE… in the True Land of Promise… that our God has been revealing and drawing us into, from the very beginning!
God commissioned David to fulfill the role of… Royal Israelite ancestor and forefather of God’s Living Word made flesh, who would appear in the midst of first century Israel, as her long-awaited Messiah. I ask you to notice what God said about David, when it was time to begin to reveal the significance and importance of his role, even to the whole non-Jewish world, starting with the first century:
“Men of Israel, and you who fear God, listen: The God of this people Israel chose our fathers and made the people great during their stay in the land of Egypt, and with an uplifted arm He led them out from it. For a period of about forty years He put up with them in the wilderness. When He had destroyed seven nations in the land of Canaan, He distributed their land as an inheritance, all of which took about four hundred and fifty years. After these things He gave them judges until Samuel the prophet. Then they asked for a king, and God gave them Saul the son of Kish, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, for forty years. After He had removed him, He raised up David to be their king, concerning whom He also testified and said, ‘I HAVE FOUND DAVID THE SON OF JESSE, A MAN AFTER MY HEART, WHO WILL DO ALL MY WILL!’
“From the descendants of this man, according to promise, God has brought to Israel a Savior, Jesus, after John had proclaimed before His coming a baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel. And while John was completing his course, he kept saying, ‘What do you suppose that I am? I am not He. But behold, one is coming after me the sandals of whose feet I am not worthy to untie.’
“Brethren, sons of Abraham’s family, and those among you who fear God, to us the message of this salvation has been sent. For those who live in Jerusalem, and their rulers, recognizing neither Him nor the utterances of the prophets which are read every Sabbath, fulfilled these (Biblical prophecies) by condemning Him. And though they found no ground for putting Him to death, they asked Pilate that He be executed. When they had carried out all that was written concerning Him, they took Him down from the cross and laid Him in a tomb.
“BUT (for the sake of the Perfect Nature of God, and the Eternal Covenant that bonded the Father to His Living Word, and made them to live and work as one) GOD RAISED HIM (just as He will raise those believers who are IN HIM) FROM THE DEAD! And for many days He appeared to those who came up with Him from Galilee to Jerusalem, the very ones who are now His witnesses to the people. And we preach to you the Good News of the (Blood Covenant) promise made to the fathers, that God has fulfilled this promise to our children IN THAT HE RAISED UP JESUS (our Eternal Covenant Representative IN whom we abide), as it is also written in the second Psalm, ‘You are My Son; today i have begotten You! (and those who are IN YOU!)’
“As for the fact that He raised Him (and those who are IN Him) up from the dead, no longer to return to decay, He has spoken in this way: ‘I will give you the holy and sure (Blood Covenant) blessings of David.’ Therefore He also says in another Psalm, ‘You will not allow Your Holy One to undergo decay.’ For David, after he had served the purpose of God in his own generation, fell asleep, and was laid among his fathers and underwent decay; but He (the Son of David,) whom God raised (in fulfillment of His Covenant Promises) did not undergo decay!
“Therefore let it be known to you, brethren, that THROUGH HIM forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you, and THROUGH HIM EVERYONE WHO BELIEVES IS FREED FROM ALL THINGS, from which you could not be freed through the Law of Moses. Therefore take heed, so that the thing spoken of in the Prophets may not come upon you:
‘Behold, you scoffers, and marvel, and perish; For I am accomplishing a work in your days, A work (through my new covenant promises WHICH YOUR MESSIAH HAS FULFILLED), which you will never believe, though someone should describe it to you!’” (Acts 13:16-41 Amplification and emphasis added.)
So… what was it about David that was so special? What inside information did he have about God that so many others among his fellow Israelites had missed? And, as he surveyed what was going on between King Saul and the Israelite army… and Goliath and the Philistine army in the Valley of Elah, what did he see… that Saul and the other Israelites did not see? (Cf. 1 Samuel 17)
And what was it about God that most of the first century Israelites did not know… that caused them to fail to recognize and embrace Messiah Yeshua, when the Living Word of God made flesh, finally appeared in their midst? Why did they fail to see, grasp and understand the awesome Presence and Significance of the Man that stood before them? And why were they so offended and shocked at the thought that their Messiah would actually have to suffer and die? (Cf. Acts 13 above and Deut. 18:15-19 and Isaiah 53.)
And why does most of Israel still fail to recognize Him for who He really is? What more does God have to do to PROVE to this poor fallen world, that HIS LIVING WORD MADE FLESH IS THE ONE FOR WHOM ALL THE LANGUISHING CHILDREN OF ADAM HAVE BEEN WAITING AND SEARCHING FOR ALL THIS TIME?
This is why I maintain that most people still do not know what David knew. David knew God’s awesome Blood Covenant ways… he knew that God was one with him, and he was one with God. And to this very day, most of the rest of the world, including most Jews and non-Jews, do not know this, much less can they believe and live by it.
“Therefore if you have been raised up WITH CHRIST, keep seeking the things above, WHERE CHRIST IS, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ IN GOD! When Christ, WHO IS OUR LIFE, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in Glory!” (Colossians 3:1-4)
Oneness With God, and With One Another in His Covenant
Beloved… this is the truth about those who are in Covenant with our God… whatever is in His Eternal Living Word’s Resurrected Humanity… is also in them! What happened to Him, has also happened to them! Whatever belongs to Him, in His Eternal Covenant Inheritance, is also theirs! And so, sooner or later, we must all come to realize that our God is the God who made an Eternal Blood Covenant by which to meet our every need! And when we finally grasp what that blessed Blood Covenant Pattern has done to us, in us, and for us… we’ll finally realize what He has done to and in our brothers and sisters in the Faith! According to this awesome Covenant Pattern, all those who are one with God in His Covenant… are also, at the same time, ONE WITH EACH OTHER!
So hopefully, once the Jewish and non-Jewish believers realize this, for real, we will stop creating distance between ourselves and our Awesome, Perfect, Infinite God, and between each other! We will all REST IN GOD’S LIVING WORD… and be able to draw everything FROM HIM! FOR WE WILL FINALLY REALIZE THAT, BY HIS COVENANT, GOD HAS MADE US TO BE ONE WITH HIS LIVING WORD, AND WITH THE FATHER, AND WITH HIS HOLY SPIRIT… AND ONE WITH EACH ANOTHER… FOREVER… AND WHEN OUR MESSIAH RETURNS TO EARTH… WE ALSO WILL RECEIVE GLORIFIED RESURRECTED BODIES JUST LIKE THAT OF OUR COVENANT REPRESENTATIVE, MESSIAH YESHUA!
Father yearns to include any human who will know and believe, and trust and obey, and abide as one with and in His Living Word through His Covenant! In Him, there is no prejudice, sectarianism or discrimination. All of those things are what ooze out of our Sin-corrupted fallen flesh! And we must realize that and repent of it. If we do, then, to the extent that we believe and know God according to this Pattern, we’ll be free of our bondage to our own selfishness, laziness and cowardice! We’ll stop mentally and emotionally separating ourselves from God. We’ll finally and truly be able to consider ourselves to be dead to our former radically independent First Adam Self-life, and alive only to God… and from God… IN YESHUA, the Living Word of God made flesh, our Eternal Covenant Representative! Then we’ll be free, free from our own inherent addiction to being selfish, self-centered, rebellious, manipulative, predatory, and self destructive! We’ll be free to rest in God’s Eternal Perfection and Sabbath Rest! We will know Him so well, and with such accuracy, that we’ll gladly repent of our radically independent Self-life… and abide as one with Him, TOGETHER, perpetually… in Spirit and in Truth!
By this union with the Living Word made flesh… we ‘marry into’ all that our Messiah is, and all that is IN HIM! And since He has all of the Fullness of God that is in His Father, we are also IN the Father! We’re included in all that God has done for His entire Covenant Family, by and through His Word. Thanks to this Covenant, God can take mankind all the way Home… meeting all of our needs… consummating and filling and uniting, and satisfying us so completely and thoroughly and sufficiently, that we’ll finally be able to rest and rejoice and abide with Him in total Peace for all Eternity!
“As the deer pants for the water brooks, so my soul pants for You, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God; when shall I come and appear before God? My tears have been my food day and night, while they say to me all day long, “Where is your God?”
“These things I remember and I pour out my soul within me. For I used to go along with the throng and lead them in procession to the house of God, with the voice of joy and thanksgiving, a multitude keeping festival. Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why have you become disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him for the help of His (Covenant keeping) Presence.
“O my God, my soul is in despair within me; therefore I remember You from the land of the Jordan and the peaks of Hermon, from Mount Mizar. Deep calls to deep at the sound of Your waterfalls; all Your breakers and Your waves have rolled over me. The Lord will command His LOVINGKINDNESS (Blood Covenant Faithfulness) in the daytime; and His song will be with me in the night, a prayer to the God of my life.” (Psalm 42:1-8)
Lessons from the life of David
Dear ones… David was a man after God’s own heart because God is a Covenant God… and David was a Covenant man! David understood and fully received what God had wanted to give to us all. In other words, God revealed Himself and His Blood Covenant ways to David… and through David. David was one of the few who, ‘got it.’ He understood and was therefore able to fathom the depths of God, more and more, for the rest of his earthly life! Because David understood the Covenant with God into which he had been included, he was able to grow and develop and function as an invincible warrior and ‘Blood brother.’ He was joined to the Magnitude, Majesty, Enormity and Omnipotent Power of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! David knew what it meant to be ‘under the Shadow of God’s Covenant Wings.’ He knew that the Covenant made him to be one with God… because God had chosen to become one with His Covenant people… Israel! And that is the kind of human being that God has always been looking for. This is why, even now, as the End draws nearer and nearer… God’s eyes scan the globe… hoping to be able to find more and more of us who will be eager and ready to become true, authentic ‘Blood Brothers’ to Him, because through such people, the Living Word of God and His Holy Spirit, can freely, easily, and efficiently apply all of the marvelous supernatural Work that God has already done on our behalf, and in our name!
David was chosen and prepared to serve as the God-appointed ancestor of the one that Scripture reveals as ‘The Son of David’… Yeshua of Nazareth… the one who has the right to occupy the Throne of David… FOREVER! And this is what God is conveying to us through the Scriptures, for example, in Psalms 18, 23, 71, 73 and 91, to name a few. And notice the Covenant Reality as it is expressed in this Psalm:
“Why are the nations in an uproar and the peoples devising a vain thing? The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers take counsel together against the Lord and against His Anointed, saying, “Let us tear their fetters apart and cast away their cords from us!”
“He who sits in the heavens laughs, the Lord scoffs at them. Then He will speak to them in His anger and terrify them in His fury, saying, “But as for Me, I have installed My King upon Zion, My holy mountain.” (And His human Blood brothers, whom He represents, are installed there IN Him!)
“I will surely tell of the decree of the Lord: He said to Me, ‘You are My Son, today I have begotten You. ‘Ask of Me, and I will surely give the nations as Your inheritance, and the very ends of the earth as Your possession! ‘You shall break them with a rod of iron, You shall shatter them like earthenware.’”
“Now therefore, O kings, show discernment; take warning, O judges of the earth. Worship the Lord with reverence and rejoice with trembling. Do homage to the Son, that He not become angry, and you perish in the way, for His wrath may soon be kindled. How blessed are all who take refuge in Him!” (Psalm 2. Amplification and emphasis added.)
When David wrote Psalm 23, he was undergoing one of the many dark, excruciatingly trying periods of his life. His own flesh and blood, his beloved son Absalom, was at that moment seeking to hunt him down and kill him so that he could usurp the throne of Israel for himself! So naturally speaking, David could have easily given up and caved in, and despaired of any prospect of peace, joy and contentment in this life. And the same can be said at the time when, years earlier, Saul, the king of Israel, and his army were being defied and taunted by Goliath, the champion of the Philistine nation and army, in the valley of Elah (1 Samuel 17).
But David did not obsess over his physical earthly situations and circumstances, nor did he become overwhelmed by the dire threats of his mighty enemies even though, naturally speaking, he had no chance of surviving the wrath and onslaught of that Philistine giant… much less defeating and killing him. Instead, David remembered His Covenant with God so deeply that there was no fear of his human enemies and their dire threats. Because he was overwhelmed by the awe, fear, respect, and over-riding confidence that He received by knowing Almighty God and His Eternal Perfection and All-Sufficiency, David knew that God had committed Himself to protect and provide for him no matter what… even to the death! So the Light of God’s Revealed Perfection was shining brightly from within David’s obedient faith. And Truth was thus easily able to invade, dissipate, and destroy the Unreality that the demonic darkness that enshrouds God’s enemies is used by the Father of Lies to blind, maim and captivate God’s chosen Jewish and non-Jewish people.
“THE LORD IS MY SHEPHERD! I SHALL NOT WANT! He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness for His Name’s sake (that is, because of the Blood Oath He made to me that He sealed in Covenant Blood)! Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, FOR YOU ARE WITH ME; YOUR ROD AND YOUR STAFF, THEY COMFORT ME! You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You have anointed my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely (Your Divine Covenant ‘Sheepdogs’) Goodness and Lovingkindness, will follow me (nip at my heels) all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the House of the Lord forever!” (Psalm 23. Amplification and emphasis added.)
And beloved friends… this is exactly the point that God’s Self-Revelation intends to make evident to the entire world! God has made an eternal Covenant with Himself! Through this Eternal Bond, God fulfills everything… He fulfills His part of it; and He also fulfills our part of it! Thus He makes sure that everything has been done in Perfect Righteousness, Excellence, and Thoroughness. He did this in, and through, and by His Eternal Living Word! In other words, our Heavenly Father backed His Covenant promises to us Himself… and swore to fulfill them even if it killed Him! And He commissioned His Living Word made flesh to serve as our Anointed Messiah (the Son of David and the Son of Man who is our Eternal Covenant Representative and Champion). And, in our place, and in our name, the Word made flesh has already fulfilled to Perfection whatever God requires of us! He made this possible for us to enjoy… by acting AS US! This is the extent to which God has already accepted us! And so all that remains now is for us to realize that if we respond to God as wholeheartedly as He has already reached out to us… If we become ONE with Him as much as He has already become ONE us… then we are already privy and destined for ALL that He IS… and ALL that He HAS!
And so whoever will believe God and embrace and submit to the Authority of His Living and written Word… will be included in this Eternal Bond and become as one with God, through the New and Eternal Covenant that God made with Israel. This is how God fulfills the Covenant promises God made to Israel through Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and Moses. Now, the whole world can enter into and submit to the terms of His Eternal Covenant… by becoming ‘Blood brothers’ with God, through His Son’s New Covenant with Israel (See Jeremiah 31:31-34). And then… the unwed, abandoned ‘slaves that have languished in total bondage to the Self-life of this world… will be set free… to enter into this Covenant… and ‘marry into’ all that God is… and all that He has… and all that He has done… to provide for their every need… Eternally!
When we become one with Messiah Yeshua by the obedience of our faith in what God’s Word has revealed… we thereby also become one with the Father and the Holy Spirit. And this is what our risen Lord is here to be for us – our Eternal Connecting Link with God. He abides in us to impart the Fullness of God’s Grace… to us, in us, through us, and AS US. So, Beloved, think this through! When you are one with Almighty God forever… is there anything you could ever lack?
“And we know that God causes ALL THINGS to work together for good to those (Blood brothers of His) who love God, to those who are called according to His (Eternal Covenant) purpose. For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the Firstborn among many brethren (one Covenant Family); and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.
What then shall we say to these things? If God (our Eternal Blood Covenant Champion) is for us, who is against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?
“Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies; who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Just as it is written,
“For Your sake we are being put to death all day long;
We were considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”
“But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the (Eternal Covenant Faithfulness and Loyalty and) love of God, which is IN CHRIST JESUS OUR LORD!” (Romans 8:28-39. Amplification and emphasis added.)
Dear Family… these words of Paul are saturated with that awesome Blood Covenant outlook and mentality. It is the mentality that our risen Messiah was embodying all the while He lived among men in this world. Yeshua lived out from the Wisdom that once sustained David, as well as all the other ‘fathers of the Faith,’ going back to the very beginning!
And, if we enter into this Eternal Blood Covenant Bond with God that makes Him to be one with us, and us to be one with Him… then not even Death or the powers of Darkness will ever be able to defeat or stop or prevent us in any way from being one with all that God is and all that He has and all that He has done to cover and shield and provide for our every need! And this is very Good News indeed!
“And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” And He said, “Write, for these words are faithful and true.” Then He said to me, “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost. He who overcomes will inherit these things, and I will be his (Covenant) God and he will be My (Covenant) son.” (Revelation 21:5-7)
That’s right… it is the Living God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob… who, through His Living Word made flesh… is ready to ‘graft’ us into the New and Eternal Covenant that He has made with Israel… so that every one of His Blood Covenant promises to Adam, and Noah and Abraham, and Moses can and will be eternally fulfilled TO PERFECTION IN US ALL! It was to announce and embody this awesome destiny, that God has prepared a New Covenant Remnant in and for Israel!
“Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go forth from your country, and from your relatives and from your father’s house, to the land which I will show you; and I will make you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great; and so you shall be a blessing; and I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed!” (Genesis 12:1-3)
So beloved friends… can you begin to see what God is saying to us? He’s speaking to each one of us right where we are… in the midst of all of our suffering, and striving, insatiable addictions, fears and insecurities we encounter! He is here to dry our tears and fill and sustain our grieving hearts… with HIS ETERNAL PERFECTION AND COMPLETENESS!
He’s telling us that He has sent His beloved Son, the Living Word of God made flesh… to be Everything to us that we will ever need… and we will be loved, protected, nurtured, provided for and personally cherished to Perfection… FOREVER!
And He’s telling us that through this awesome unbreakable Covenant Bond, we can ‘marry into’ all that God IS… and all that He HAS… and all that His Infinitely Perfect Nature and Infinite Credibility and Reliability has made possible for us when we become one with Almighty God Himself, ETERNALLY!
David was a ‘man after God’s own heart’ because He believed he was made in the image and likeness of His Blood Covenant God! True Blood Brothers share with each other the same eternal perspective, the same Covenantal viewpoint, the same ‘to the death’ Blood Covenant mentality, fierce loyalty, and commitment of faithfulness… even if it kills them! God was with David to back up all of His promises… out of His Infinite Nature and Resources. And David was with his God… to believe, trust, rely upon and receive the endless flow of Covenant Love and Provision and Protection that a Covenant friend of God has every right to expect and enjoy… endlessly. That’s how God’s Perfect Plan can be Perfectly fulfilled. God did all the Work. We receive all of the Good of it through the obedience of our faith in Him. And it’s all ours… as soon as we ‘touch fingers’ with our Heavenly Father… through His Beloved Resurrected Son. From that time forward… the Supreme Master of the Universe will always ‘have our back!’
This awesome Pattern that God has sealed us into, and which has been fulfilled by the shed Blood of His beloved Son, is ‘The Full Armor of God!’ This is what it means to abide ‘under the Shadow of God’s Wings!’ Our Eternal Covenant Bond with God, and the Inheritance that Bond gives us, is our Guarantee that we will always be as one with Almighty God, and He will always be one with us! And as long as that’s the case, what could any created spiritual or physical enemy ever hope to do to threaten, harm, or disinherit us?
So beloved, now that God has made it possible for us to ‘marry into’ all that He is and has, has He overlooked anything? Is there anything He has not already provided in order to meet our every need? What more can He do or say to allay our fears, and draw us out of our dark lairs of isolation and abandonment and into the Light of His Perfect Saving, Redeeming Grace? What more must He convey to us before we’ll finally retire from our frenzied, insecure drive to participate in this world’s Rat Race?
I will close by relating another incident that Malcolm Smith related in one of his Blood Covenant tapes I once heard, that always touches my heart when I recall it, even after so many years. It took place when he was serving as pastor for a little rural community in Ireland. One night, one of the farm families in the flock suffered a serious destructive fire at their homestead. And as soon as Malcolm heard about it, he went to see them… just to be with them and offer his heartfelt support during this time of shock and trauma.
As the farmer was pointing out the extent of the damage to the farmyard, Malcolm walked with him. And, as they passed a burned out hen house … they walked past what appeared to be a pile of burnt rags. It was still smoking. And as they passed by, the farmer gave it a kick and turned it over. And, much to their shock and amazement, a handful of baby chicks came out from underneath their smoldering hiding place… peeping and scurrying about. They were perfectly fit and healthy! And it was obvious they had survived the fire because they’d been able to hide under what the two men had assumed was a pile of rags. But actually… it wasn’t rags. It had been the mother hen! And it was clear that when the fire was raging at its most intense degree… true to her maternal instinct… the hen had spread out her wings to their fullest extent… and in her great distress for their safety, she summoned her chicks to come beneath her. And when they did, she settled her body over them and spread herself out and pressed herself down upon them as much as possible… to protect her own… even though it meant that she herself would be incinerated!
I’ve never forgotten that. How could I? That is exactly what God’s Living Word made flesh came to do for us! And isn’t that what He said He would do, even back in Genesis?
“And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, and you shall bruise him on the heel.” (Genesis 3:15)
“The (Living Word of the) Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife (from the pelts of slain sacrificial substitutes), and clothed (covered) them.” (Genesis 3:21 Amplification added.)
“So it came about in the course of time that Cain brought an offering to the Lord of the fruit of the ground. Abel, on his part also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of their fat portions. And the Lord had regard for Abel and for his offering; but for Cain and for his offering He had no regard. So Cain became very angry and his countenance fell. Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it (by covering yourself under the Shadow of My Covenant Wings.” (Genesis 4:3-7)
“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together(to be one with Me in the New Covenant I made with you), the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, AND YOU WERE UNWILLING! Behold, your house is being left to you desolate!”(Matthew 23:37-38 Amplification and emphasis added.)
Beloved, I urge you: please absorb this Blood Covenant Pattern into your brain and mind so deeply that you’ll begin to see it everywhere throughout Scripture… and in the utterly perfect and loving way in which Father is dealing with us, all throughout our daily lives. This Pattern is behind everything God is doing or not doing in His Self-Revelation. It reveals who and what He is! He IS Lovingkindness (Chesed, or Covenant Faithfulness). He IS Perfect Self-less Love (Agape). And He is what we were made for… and nothing short of Him will ever come close to satisfying our hearts!
“Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Have this (Blood brother) attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross (for our sake)!
“For this reason also, God highly exalted Him (and by that very fact, He exalted those of us who are IN Him), and bestowed on Him the Name, which is above every name, so that at the Name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in Heaven and on Earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the Glory of God the Father!
So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; FOR IT IS GOD (Himself, in His Eternal Covenant Faithfulness) WHO IS AT WORK IN YOU, BOTH TO WILL AND TO WORK (in your name, to satisfy His Perfect Standards) FOR HIS GOOD PLEASURE!” (Philippians 2:3-13 Amplification and emphasis added.)