Our relationship with God is more than just reading and thinking

Fred R. Coulter—October 15, 2016

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Greetings, everyone! Welcome to Sabbath services. Since this is the Sabbath before the Feast of Tabernacles, I thought we would have a special Bible study in the Psalms. As we go through these, let's understand that the more we study and re-study and re-study, the more we learn.

Jesus was the Lord God of the Old Testament. He's the One Who inspired the Old Testament, as well. Jesus said, 'The words that I speak to you, they are Spirit and they are Life.' We are told in Isa. 28 that we understand the Bible 'line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little.' We are told by Paul to Timothy to 'rightly divide the Word of God.'

I want to focus in on a couple of very important things here in the book of Psalms. We're going to go through several Psalms and see how they fit in and how we can learn from them even though we've gone over them before.

This is a very interesting Psalm and very important from the point of view that this depicts a lot of what our lives are about and what we go through, what our goal is attaining to the Kingdom of God, and our prayers:

Psalm 61:1: "Hear my cry, O God; attend unto my prayer." Prayer is one of the most important things in our lives. For our spiritual lives, prayer is as important as eating! Study, going along with that. So we have eating and drinking. We have learning of the Word of God.

Verse 2: "From the end of the earth I cry to You when my heart is overwhelmed…" The way we get ourselves in trouble is when we have troubles and we don't go to God when we're overwhelmed. We're going to face a lot of different situations like that.

When you look at the world and you look at the way things are, even flooding into our lives, we get overwhelmed with a lot of things. We need to go to God, not run from Him.

"…lead me to the Rock higher than me, for You have been a shelter for me, a strong tower against the enemy" (vs 2-3). Who is the enemy? Satan the devil and his agents!

David always had his mind on the ultimate goal, v 4: "I will dwell in Your tabernacle forever… [that's why we keep the Feast of Tabernacles. We're going to be dwelling with God] …I will take refuge in the hiding place of your wings. Selah." You can put in there Psa. 91; the wings are the protection.

Verse 5: "For You, O God, have heard my vows; You have given me the heritage of those who fear Your name."

We're going to look at the mays. If you have a smart phone and you have all of these on there, do a search in the Psalms of every place where it says may, which is very important.

Verse 6: "May You add to the days of the king's life…" This is a prayer where you are pleading with God to do something for you; may God do this to you.

"…may his years be as many generations" (v 6). The ultimate of that is going to be eternal life.

Verse 7: "May he abide before God forever; prepare mercy and truth to preserve him. So, I will sing praise to Your name forever, so that I may daily perform my vows" (vs 7-8).

This shows the kind of relationship that we are to have with God, because it is through Christ. This is what's so important. How do we grow in grace and knowledge?

  • through prayer
  • through study
  • through living our lives
  • with the Spirit of God

Think about this: The prophets and even David had a tremendous relationship with God. We have One higher than they had. We have a relationship with God the Father.

Matthew 11:25: "At that time Jesus answered and said, 'I praise You, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent, and have revealed them to babes.'"

How does God do that? Why do the people of God know, understand and perceive things that other people don't? Not because we're smarter. No, we're called babes. How is that accomplished? With the Spirit of God!

What is that called by Paul? What happens to our minds and our hearts when we receive the Spirit of God? That's just the beginning when we repent, are baptized, receive the Spirit of God. That is called the circumcision of the heart. What does the circumcision of the heart do for us? It takes away the hostility of carnal nature toward God and His Word and His laws! It gives us a hungering and thirsting for God's way. It's like everything else, we have to keep at it.

Verse 26: "Yes, Father, for it was well pleasing in Your sight to do this. All things were delivered to Me by My Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father; neither does anyone know the Father except the Son, and the one to whom the Son personally chooses to reveal Him" (vs 26-27)—very interesting statement.

God is working in our lives in many different ways that we do not even suspect. How does our connection with God and the Holy Spirit work? We know it works, but we don't know how it works.

It's just like the law of gravity. We know it works because we're not floating around. But how does it work? We don't know!

When we pray, how do our prayers go to God? It's better than a smart phone. How does a smart phone work? Dave was showing me everything he's got on his phone. He has the whole Library of Congress on it! Not quite!

With us spiritually, it works that way, too. Just like you've got to push certain buttons and certain little pictures on your phone to make it work, there are certain things you need to do in prayer and study and in living and in choosing, and doing all of these things together.

"…personally chooses…" The Greek here is very interesting. There is a special Greek verb called the middle-voice verb, which is that when it refers to an action, you do it for yourself. Why did I translate it that way? You are the subject; you're also the object. It's like I throw the ball to me and I catch it. I translated it personally because God is involved in bringing us to Him personally.

What we know—it's not because we're anything—is because of what God has done, what Christ has done, and our doing, and will do.

Verse 28: "Come to Me, all you who labor and are overly burdened… [What did we read in Psa. 61? Overwhelmed!] …and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart; and you shall find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light" (vs 28-30).

God will help us in all of these things. True, as we get older, we're coming toward the end. That happens to everybody. When we're young, we don't think about it. We don't think about when we get old and weak; but it happens.

  • What did Jesus tell Peter? When you're old you're going to be led around where you don't want to go!
  • What was Peter at the time Jesus said that? Strong, hardy, leader, out there doing, accomplishing!

When he's old, 'Here, Peter, take my arm, I'll lead you.' That's all part of life. We need to look at these things the way God wants us to look at them.

Let's see what Jesus said in Matthew 6:9: "Therefore, you are to pray after this manner: 'Our Father, Who is in heaven …'" The very first thing is our Father. Who do you have contact with? The Sovereign Ruler of the universe—our Father! When we all understand that, we can then put in proper perspective everything that we need to do.

In 1-John 1 it was at a time when there was a lot of difficulty going on in the Church. How do we survive all the difficulties going on in the Church? Think about this: A lot of the brethren thought that Christ was going to return by the time the Apostle John died. But that's not what Christ said.

Jesus told Peter, 'What if I have him remain until I come?' He did, he saw it in Revelation. But people thought it was going to be real. Think of the disillusionment that happened in the Church at that time, especially with a lot of false apostles coming around and antichrists. This is why John wrote this.

1-John 1:1: "That which was from the beginning…" Let's grasp as much as we can spiritually of what God has done for us to call us to Him and Christ revealing this to us.

"…that which we have heard, that which we have seen with our own eyes, that which we observed for ourselves and our own hands handled, concerning the Word of Life; (and the life was manifested, and we have seen, and are bearing witness, and are reporting to you the eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested to us)" (vs 1-2)—seeing Christ in the flesh and everything about His ministry.

Verse 3: "That which we have seen and have heard we are reporting to you in order…" This is one of the most important verses in your relationship with God.

"…that you also may have fellowship with us; for the fellowship… [that's what it is in the Greek] …—indeed, our fellowship—is with the Father and with His own Son Jesus Christ" (v 3).

That is a tremendous thing to really grasp and understand and something we grow into and understand even more as we grow in grace and knowledge.

Psalm 62:1: "Only for God does my soul wait in silence; from Him comes my salvation. He only is my Rock and my salvation; He is my fortress; I shall not be greatly moved. How long will you imagine mischief against a man? You shall be slain, all of you; you shall be like a bowing wall and as a tottering fence" (vs 1-3).

This really applies to us today, the way the world is. How many things are out there that are like a wall that's weak and bowing?

  • financially
  • governmentally
  • spiritually

Look at all the difficulties we have to go through.

Verse 4: "They only consult to cast him down from his great height; they delight in lies; they bless with their mouth, but inwardly they curse. Selah."

  • Sound a little bit like the political landscape today? Yes, indeed!
  • The religious landscape today?
  • How many people really want the Truth? Not very many!

Verse 5: "soul, wait in silence for God alone; for from Him comes my hope. He only is my Rock and my salvation; He is my strong tower; I shall not be moved" (vs 5-6).

That's the kind of attitude we need to have today. Let's see what Jesus said in Matt. 7; the contrast is the same. He talks about the straight and narrow way. He talks about the broad way, so this ties in with the lies and the way that the world is.

Matthew 7:21: "Not everyone who says to Me 'Lord, Lord' shall enter into the Kingdom of Heaven; but the one who is doing the will of My Father, Who is in heaven." Very important!

  • What did Jesus teach? What He saw the Father do!
  • What did Jesus preach? What God commanded Him to preach!

So, it's not whether they sound good, it's whether they are doing the will of the Father Who is in heaven.

Verse 22: "Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy through Your name? And did we not cast out demons through Your name? And did we not perform many works of power through Your name? And then I will confess to them, 'I never knew you. Depart from Me, you who work lawlessness'" (vs 22-23).

There are going to be a lot of surprised people around when that happens. Think about it.
I was talking with a man recently who has a hard time understanding that God has not abolished the Law or the Prophets. You look at the religions of this world—all the Christian religions. We'll just wipe away all the other ones just for the sake of discussion.

How many of them follow what men teach by misusing the Scriptures? They cannot get over the Sabbath. The Catholics can never get over the images. Those two things drive away God. He won't have anything to do with it. That's why it is you have to do the will of the Father in heaven.

Verse 24: "Therefore, everyone who hears these words of Mine and practices them… [you hear and obey and practice] …I will compare him to a wise man, who built his house upon the rock…. [we just read the Lord is the Rock] …and the rain came down, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; but it did not fall, for it was founded upon the rock" (vs 24-25).

  • we have the fellowship with God the Father and Jesus Christ
  • we maintain that through prayer and study
  • we live by every Word of God, as God has said
  • we practice the will of the Father
  • all of those combined

Christianity is not, as the Protestants portray it. They always lead them to the first step, which is the final step for them: forgiveness of sin. Growing in grace and knowledge and building the Christian life in mind, heart, and attitude is a constant thing to do. So then the ones who don't do it are called foolish.

Psalms 62:7: "In God is my salvation and my glory, the Rock of my strength; my refuge is in God. Trust in Him… [whenever you find yourself in trouble; whenever you think you need Him—NO] …you people; pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us. Selah" (vs 7-8).

This is how our relationship and fellowship with God is developed and carried on and going forward day-by-day.

Verse 9: "Surely men of low degree are vanity, and men of high degree are a lie…" Every time I watch these different politicians I am reminded of that.

"…when weighed in the balance, they are altogether lighter than vanity" (v 9). That's why we have to trust in God. Men can only do so much for so long, but that's it. That's why when people look to politicians to save things, or save themselves, or save the society, it's difficult to find anyone who is going to be trustworthy enough to really do something.

Today everybody thinks if Donald gets in, oh, what's that going to be like? We don't know! If Hillary gets in, what's that going to be like? I think the choice is this: do you want a slide that goes at 10%, or do you want a slide that goes at 60%? That's your choice. Either way it's going down.

What are you going to do with $20-trillion in debt just for the government? Dolores was shopping the other day and she paid over $5 for a loaf of bread. You want to get some good bread? $5! You want to mess up your whole system so you have to go to the doctor? Get the $2.50—white gum all glued together with a little crust on it.

I saw this one ad which says, 'Prepare for the inflation that's coming'—and you better prepare because it is coming—$10 a pound for hamburger. We're already half way there.

"…when weighed in the balance, they are altogether lighter than vanity" (v 9). Take this one verse, put it up there alongside your television. Watch all the political things that go along and you will see that they're all fulfilling that verse right across the board.

Verse 10: "Trust not in oppression, and do not take pride in stolen goods; if riches increase, do not set your heart upon them. God has spoken once; twice I have heard this: that power belongs to God. Also to You, O LORD, belongs mercy; for You give to every man according to his work" (vs 10-12).

A little question here as we're going along, we'll put in some of these things as we go along: If, as the Protestants say, it is only by faith that you're saved, why does God say He's going to judge us according to our works? Let's come to the Epistle of James. As we will see, faith requires action. Actions are works!

James 2:8: "If you are truly keeping the Royal Law according to the Scripture, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself,' you are doing well." That's good. Notice it is a work:

  • loves requires action
  • love requires thoughts
  • love requires emotions

All of those together!

Verse 9: "But if you have respect of persons, you are practicing sin, being convicted by the law as transgressors; for if anyone keeps the whole law, but sins in one aspect, he becomes guilty of all" (vs 9-10). Why? Because sin is sin is sin!

Verse 11: "For He Who said, 'You shall not commit adultery,' also said, 'You shall not commit murder.' Now, if you do not commit adultery, but you commit murder, you have become a transgressor of the Law."

If you disobey one of the commandments, what are you doing? You're disobeying the first one, because 'you shall have no other gods before you.' If it is a perpetual thing or habitual thing, it can become an idol. If you take up God's name, and you're living in sin, you're taking His name in vain. If you don't keep the Sabbath—on and on and on.

Verse 12: "In this manner speak and in this manner behave: as those who are about to be judged by the Law of freedom." If you keep the Law, you are free from sin. The Law is not a burden. The Law is to relieve a burden.

Verse 13: "For the one who has dealt without mercy will be judged without mercy. But mercy triumphs over judgment. My brethren, what good does it do, if anyone says that he has faith, and does not have works? Is faith able to save him? Now then, if there be a brother or sister who is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, 'Go in peace; be warmed and be filled,' and does not give to them the things necessary for the body, what good is it? In the same way also, faith, if it does not have works, is dead, by itself" (vs 13-17).

You have to have faith and works. Why do you try and eat good food? Just take that one thing. You believe in eating good food, because you believe that it will help your body. So therefore, you eat it and it does help you.

If you say you believe in eating good food, and you turn around and eat all of the garbage, what happens to your health? It doesn't turn out so good. You could use many different things to show the same thing over and over again.

Verse 18: "But someone is going to say, 'You have faith, and I have works.' My answer is… [this is correct in the Greek; everybody has works based on what they believe] …You prove your faith to me through your works, and I will prove my faith to you through my works."

  • You say you have faith and believe in Jesus?
  • You believe that He forgives your sin?
  • You believe that sin is a transgression of the law?

And you're a faithful Sunday-goer. You say you have faith, what are your works? The wrong kind!

Verse 19: "Do you believe that God is one? You do well to believe this. Even the demons believe and tremble in fear. But are you willing to understand, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?" (vs 19-20).

You must have the faith; you must have trust. That's why it says, 'Trust in Him at all times.' Even if in the temporary moment it may appear to be a disadvantage to you.

Here's where people get all mixed up, v 21: "Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up Isaac, his own son, upon the altar?"

There were two times that it's recorded that Abraham believed God: Gen. 15 when God said to count the stars, and 'that's how your seed are going to be.' Abraham believed God! There was no work he could do, because that was the impossible thing. But Abraham believed God that it would happen, even though at that time he was 85, and he and his wife had no children. Now how's that going to be?

In addition to it, Abraham had to wait another fifteen years for that to occur. So here he is a father for the first time at 100-years-old. I don't know how that worked. I can't blame Sarah for laughing.

The next one was, 'Take your son, your only son whom you love and you go offer him.' Now Abraham had to believe God, have faith and obey God, and do it. Remember, what was the question of Isaac as he was carrying the wood on his shoulder and Abraham, his father, was carrying the coals in the pan?

He said, 'Father, I see wood and the fire, but where is the lamb?' Here they're walking up to build the altar. Abraham said, 'I don't know; this is tough. God asked me to do a very difficult thing. I hope you don't mind me cutting your throat.' No, Abraham said, 'The Lord will provide.'

What happened? Built the altar; put the wood on it; tied up his son. Put him on the altar. Why was he going to do all of this? Because Heb. 11 says that he knew God could raise Isaac from the dead. Abraham trusted God that much that if it really came to that, God could raise Isaac from the dead.

I tell you, I don't think any of us have that kind of faith. But God waited until Abraham reached down to take the knife and then the angel called our from heaven, 'Abraham, Abraham, now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son.'

God provided a ram caught in the thicket. You talk about a last-minute escape. That's something. The comment was made that even Isaac had to have faith. If you're 15-year-old and you know you're going to have your throat slit, how much of a fight do you think you would have with a fifteen-year old today? 'You ain't going to do that to me!' Quit being rebellious. 'I'm not being rebellious, I'm trying to save my life!' So, they both had work to do, because they believed God.

When it says to trust God at all times, that's what it means. James says, v 22: "Do you not see that faith was working together with his works, and by works his faith was perfected?"

Revelation 2:1: "To the angel of the Ephesian church, write: 'These things says He Who holds the seven stars in His right hand, Who walks in the midst of the seven golden lampstands. I know your works…'" (vs 1-2).

Works and faith are like hydrogen and oxygen; they make water; they go together!

Verse 9, Church of Smyrna: "I know your works and tribulation…"

Verse 13, Church of Pergamos: "I know your works…"

In each case you can go through all the seven churches—your works, your works! Because your faith and your trust is to produce works. God is building character within you. Each one of us have to choose! Everything we do is a choice!

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Matt. 5 is where the Beatitudes are. Each one of the verses deserves a sermon or two.

Matthew 5:6: "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled." Very important, especially living in the Laodicean age where we have so many things.

What is the lesson of the Laodiceans if you think you have everything and have no need of anything? Then what you have is going to be taken from you. Since we're talking about the Laodiceans, we won't take their name in vain, we'll turn back there. The reason that they got self-satisfied was because they didn't think that they needed anything else.

Revelation 3:14: "And to the angel of the Church of the Laodiceans, write: These things says the Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Beginner of the creation of God. I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot… [you're not hungering and thirsting after righteousness] …I would that you be either cold or hot'" (vs 14-15).

Verse 16: "So then, because you are lukewarm…"—in between. As one man said, one foot in the world so I'm accepted by the people in the world and one foot in the Church so I'm accepted by people in the church. Double minded, if it were. James has a little bit to say about that.

"…and are neither cold not hot, I will spew you out of My mouth" (v 16).

If you're in the body of Christ, then you have to be faithful. God doesn't want any half-heartedness. We'll see that in just a minute.

Verse 17: "For you say, 'I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing'; and you do not understand that you are wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked."

Mike and I were talking about some things he's been studying. He said that the reason that they follow along with everything that's in the world, and go along with Satan the devil, is because they believed the lie (2-Thess.). If we're lukewarm and we don't handle things the way that they should be, or whatever then, we're not zealous.

Verse 18: "I counsel you to buy from Me gold purified by fire so that you may be rich…" Come to Christ. How much more do we have to learn? How much more do we have to grow in? He'll provide it for you.

"…and white garments so that you may be clothed, and the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and to anoint your eyes with eye salve, so that you may see" (v 18). There's a lot to do there.

Verse 19: "As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore, be zealous and repent." Hunger and thirst after righteousness!

  • you want to study
  • you want to pray
  • you want to do what is right

You don't take anything as just, 'ho hum,' and here we go again. Here's the key:

Verse 20: "Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door…"

What is He saying here? Is He's saying He's standing on the door for the end and knocking so the end will come? No! He's knocking on our conscience, the door of our mind.

Remember what Prov. 4 says, 'Guard the door of your mind diligently.' So the door He's knocking on is the door of your mind and conscience.

"…and opens the door, I will come in to him…" (v 20). What does this tell us? This tells us when people reach a point of Laodiceanism or lukewarmness; that they're actually pushing Christ out and He's got to wake you up spiritually so that His Spirit comes into you.

"…and will sup with him, and he with Me" (v 20). How do we do that? Think about it. How many people down through history have not had the whole Bible? Nearly everybody! Today we have so many that people don't respond to it the way that they ought to.

Dave was showing me here that he's got on his phone Tyndale's translation of the New Testament. You read the account of Tyndale, you know that God had to intervene to bring all this to him so he could do the translating so it could be for all of Ephraim and Manasseh at the end-time. Think about that for a minute.

When it says that Tyndale translated everything through Chronicles, the Old Testament order of books ends in Chronicles. So, he translated the whole thing.

I've got a copy of the Thomas-Matthew Bible at home. The Thomas-Matthew Bible is the Bible that William Tyndale finished. When it was presented to the king, then Myles Coverdale added some of the Catholic stuff to it so it could get through. But think of what Tyndale went through. I always remember this in reading his biography. When Tyndale was in prison, and he was there for 18-months in this dungeon/prison, cold. His legs would get cold. Apparently he had a bald head so he asked for a cap and he asked for some leggings to wrap around his legs.

He said, 'And my Hebrew lexicon,' because he was translating the Old Testament, waiting to be martyred. Think of that. In spite of everything, a candle, and he had favor with the jail-keeper, who would bring Tyndale paper and ink and all this sort of thing so he could translate.

Out of that dungeon came what we have today. When they went to execute him, they tied him to the stake, they put the wood around to burn him. They put the noose around his neck and there was a hole in the stake. His last words were, 'Lord, open the eyes of the king of England.' Then they pulled the rope and he died. They set the fire. Guess what day that was on? In October, I think it was 1536. I don't know if that's the correct year, but it was the last day of the Feast of Tabernacles. Amazing!

Now, look at how many people have labored in the Word of God and what we've done to produce the Bible is based upon all those people whom God has kept seeking for the Truth. We're able to know it and understand it.

So, of all people on the face of the earth today, those of us who live in this end-time, and have the whole thing, we ought to be hungering and thirsting after righteousness and the Word of God, as never, ever before! Look at the world and the way it's going now:

  • How bad is it going to get?
  • How difficult is it going to become?
  • What's going to happen when you don't have time to study, or time to pray the way that you should?

Psalm 63:1 needs to be out attitude. Remember, we are going to see, maybe not the completion of the end of the age—we may not live that long, because we don't know how long it's going to be to the end. I know I've said—and Dolores will remember this, when we were up in Boise and we met in the YMCA, I told the brethren then that we are going to live to see Christ return.

Well, that was 51 years ago. Now I look in the mirror and here I'm gray-headed. You get older and gray-headed and you look in the mirror and say, 'Who is that?'

That happened to King David. He wrote all these fantastic Psalms, wrote them down for us and God preserved them. He got old and died. He died at 70 and it says 'a ripe old age at 70.' I'm 82. I don't know how old you are, how long you're going to live. I don't know how long I'm going to live. Nevertheless, this is what we need to do:

Psalm 63:1: "O God, You are my God, earnestly… [with deliberation, zeal, eager] …I will seek You! My soul thirst for You… [hunger and thirst after righteousness] …My flesh longs for You, as in a dry and thirsty land where no water is."

This is how we remain zealous and overcome being lukewarm, Psalm 42:1: "As the heart pants after the water brooks, so my soul pants after You, O God. My soul thirsts for God…" (vs 1-2).

We have this fellowship with God, where we started, this close relationship with God. How important is that? That's what grace is all about, that you have access to God the Father in heaven above, with Jesus Christ at His right hand. What a blessing, what a privilege, what a fantastic thing that that is.

Look at the world: 7-billion people out there and how many have had that opportunity given to them? Only those to whom Christ personally has chosen to reveal the Father! That's an amazing thing, isn't it?

Verse 2: "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 the day, 'Where is your God?'" (vs 2-3).

Some of these Psalms are so good, you have to read the whole thing. You just can't interrupt it in the middle of it.

Verse 4: "I remember these things, I pour out my soul within me; for I used to go along with the multitude; I led them to the house of God with the voice of joy and praise, a multitude keeping the Feast." Let's approach this coming Feast this way.

Verse 5: "Why are you cast down, O my soul, and moan within me?.…" This is how you get out of the depression. That's what he's talking about here.

"…Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him for the salvation of His countenance. O my God, my soul is cast down within me; therefore, I will remember You from the land of Jordan, and of the Hermons from Mount Mizar. Deep calls unto deep at the noise of Your waterfalls; all Your waves and Your billows have gone over me" (vs 5-7). You talk about being overwhelmed!

David was put through a lot of things for us, so when we get into difficulties and troubles like this, remember what we read back there in Matt. 7, the rain is going to come. The flood is going to come, the winds going to blow. What are we reading here? The same thing!

Verse 8: "The LORD will command His loving kindness in the daytime, and in the night His song shall be with me, even a prayer to the God of my life. I will say to God my Rock, 'Why have You forgotten me? Why do I go mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?'" (vs 8-9). Then He relieves him and brings him back.

Psalm 84 is how we get out of the doldrums and not overwhelmed with the problems and difficulties that we are faced and keep our minds on God.

This is why we keep the Feast of Tabernacles. Think about it! We are temporarily dwelling in the flesh. What is it going to be like to be a spirit being and dwell in New Jerusalem?

You read the things about New Jerusalem back there in Rev. 21 and 22, and you think, 'Oooo, what would that be like?' I can't imagine streets paved with gold. I can't imagine what that is going to be like. But to dwell in New Jerusalem is dwelling in the tabernacle of God. That's what it says in Rev. 21, 'Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men.' What does it reveal? New Jerusalem coming down from heaven! Fantastic thing!

Psalm 84:1: "How lovely are Your tabernacles, O LORD of hosts! My soul longs, yea, even faints for the courts of the LORD; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God" (vs 1-2).

Think of everything that God has for us. Amazing! Think how much God loves us. He has called us. He has given us His Spirit.

Verse 3: "Yea, even the sparrow has found a house, and the swallow a nest for herself where she may lay her young, even Your altars, O LORD of hosts, my King and my God."

You think of the temple. You see pictures of the temple. How easy it would be for those birds to build their nests up there. I'm sure they weren't up there knocking them off all the time. I imagine some places there would be a spider.

Notice these blessings, v 4: "Blessed are those who dwell in Your house; they will still be praising You. Selah."

  • What's it going to be like to have Sabbath services in New Jerusalem?
  • What's it going to be like, when all the saints, and thousands and thousands of angels together, all sing?

The best thing I can relate to is the Hallelujah Chorus in the Messiah by Handel. And the one where it is, 'Worthy is the Lamb.' Think of it. Thousands and thousands, all together, perfect pitch. No joyful noises allowed.

Verse 5: "Blessed is the man whose strength is in You; Your ways are in their hearts." That's how you overcome Laodiceanism.

Verse 6: "Who passing through the valley of weeping make it a place of springs; yea, the early rain also clothes it with blessings." That is speaking of how wonderful that God's blessings are going to be.

Speaking of rain, we had our first rain since the last of March, yesterday and last night. Everything is so clean. All the leaves are all washed and everything.

Notice what happens when we have this attitude, v 7: "They go from strength to strength, every one of them appearing in Zion before God. O LORD God of hosts, hear my prayer; give ear, O God of Jacob. Selah" (vs 7-8).

This is why we need to study the Psalms. This helps us a great deal in it. You see how much we can get out of all of these Psalms. The whole Bible is one unit together—Old and New Testaments—one book. That's why we have the whole thing.

Psalm 63:1: "…My flesh longs for You, as in a dry and thirsty land where no water is, to see Your power and Your glory… [What's that going to be like to see God face-to-face? Amazing!] …as I have seen You in the sanctuary" (vs 1-2).

Let me explain something here. During the time of David, during his reign, remember he brought back the Ark of the Covenant that was in Kirjath Jearim after the Philistines got rid of it because of the plagues the hemorrhoids and mice and destroying Dagon. They said, 'Get it out of here.'

So, David brought it back. The tabernacle was up at Gibeon. It was not in Jerusalem. So, David brought the Ark of the Covenant and built a special room in his house and put it in a special tent or tabernacle. Then David had Asaph, the priest, and other priests who would minister there. When David would bring a Psalm, he'd write it down and then he would come and he would pray. And then David would give it to the priest who would compile them. That's how we got the Psalms.

David says, "…as I have seen You in the sanctuary" (v 2), which means there must have been an occasion or more when David was before the tent that was in the special room that he built in his house for the Ark of the Covenant, that God actually appeared in simile where David could see Him. Amazing thing!

Verse 3: "Because Your loving kindness is better than life, my lips shall praise You. Thus I will bless You as long as I live; I will lift up my hands in Your name" (vs 3-4).

You talk about a perfect Psalm to overcome being Laodicean, this is one of them. There are others, too.

Verse 5: "My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness; and my mouth shall praise You with joyful lips when I remember You upon my bed and meditate on You in the night watches" (vs 5-6).

Let me just say this. I don't know about you, but happened to me a lot. God will deal with you at night to bring things to your mind, to help you understand about Him, and so forth. It's different with everyone. I know there are things that I study and I need understanding on; I go to bed, God deals with me. I wake up and, lo and behold, there's the answer. It doesn't happen all the time, but on the occasions God does that.

Verse 7: "Because You have been my help, therefore, in the shadow of Your wings I will rejoice." Tie that back in with Psalm 61:4, take refuge, hiding in Your wings.

Verse 8: "My soul follows hard after You… [that's how we hunger and thirst after righteousness and how we overcome the complacency of this age] …Your right hand upholds me."

Psalm 65:1: "Praise waits for You, O God, in Zion; and to You shall the vow be performed. O You Who hears prayer, unto You shall all flesh come" (vs 1-2). We are going to help carry that out.

Verse 5: "By awesome works in righteousness You will answer us, O God of our salvation; You are the hope of all the ends of the earth and of those of the distant sea." Perfect introduction for the Feast of Tabernacles.

You might want to do this as a special study with the two words: may, let. We find a good combination of those in Psalm 67. Then we will look at a number of other Psalms concerning may.

Psalm 67:1: "May God be gracious to us, and bless us… [let's take this as an introduction for the Feast] …and cause His face to shine upon us. Selah." Wherever you see the word Selah, that means to stop and think and meditate on it.

Verse 2: "So that Your way may be known on the earth… [Isn't that what we're going to do as kings and priests? Yes] …Your salvation among all nations… [Feast of Tabernacles] …Let the people praise You, O God; let all the people praise You" (vs 2-3).

What's it going to be like to have Sabbath services with all the people on earth during the Millennium? The earth is still going to be spinning on its axis, going to start with the Sabbath over there in the area near New Zealand. They are the first ones to keep the Sabbath. Come around the whole earth.

If you would sit above the earth, and look down upon that, just think what a fantastic thing that would be. All people keeping the Sabbath! One area after the other areas as the earth turns on its axis.

  • no war
  • no fighting
  • no killing
  • no lying
  • no stealing
  • no idols

Everybody loving and obeying God! That's an amazing thing!

Verse 4: "O let the nations be glad and sing for joy, for You shall judge the people righteously and govern the nations upon earth. Selah. Let the people praise You, O God; let all the people praise You. The earth shall yield its increase; and God, even our own God, shall bless us. God shall bless us, and all the ends of the earth shall fear Him" (vs 4-7). Amazing thing!

Numbers 6:22: "And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 'Speak to Aaron and to his sons saying, "In this way you shall bless the children of Israel, saying to them, 'May the LORD bless you and keep you. May the LORD make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you. May the LORD lift up His face to you and give you peace.'" And they shall put My name upon the children of Israel. And I will bless them'" (vs 22-27). We have the name of Jesus Christ.

Psalm 20 is one of my favorite Psalms. You'll hear me refer to this more than once.

Psalm 20:1: "May the LORD answer you in the day of trouble…" You find in other verses that He is with us in our trouble. If you have the Spirit of God, which you do, and you have difficulties and problems that come along—which you will—He is with you in that trouble.

"…the name of the God of Jacob set you on high, may He send you help from the sanctuary, and strengthen you out of Zion" (vs 1-2). That's amazing! Why, when you study, do you feel uplifted? Because of the Spirit of God and the Word of God!Why, when you are in trouble and you repent and pour out your heart to God, that it lifts a burden? Because of the Spirit of God!

There's a whole lot more to our relationship with God than just reading and thinking, and all of this, because Jesus said that if we love Him and keep His commandments and keep His Word that the Father and He would come and dwell in us by Their Spirit. That's an amazing thing! Think of how that is!

Verse 3: "May He remember all your offerings and accept your burnt sacrifice. Selah. May He grant you according to your own heart and fulfill all your plans. We will shout for joy in your victory…" (vs 3-5). Tie that in with Rev. 15, thanking God for the victory.

What do we all say when we're on the Sea of Glass? Heard a multitude in heaven saying, 'Hallelujah, the Lord God reigns' (Rev. 19). Think of what that's going to be and we're going to carry it out. We're going to be all the aliens that this world doesn't know. Yes, we're going to invade the world.

"…and in the name of our God we will set up banners. May the LORD fulfill all your prayers…. [amazing] …Now I know that the LORD saves His anointed… [we've been anointed with God's Spirit] … He will answer him from His Holy heaven with the saving strength of His right hand"—because we have fellowship with God and He loves us, and He called us and cares for us.

Verse 7: "Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we will remember the name of the LORD our God. They are brought down and fallen, but we have risen and stand upright. Save, O LORD; let the King hear us when we call" (vs 7-9). Quite an amazing thing!

Scriptural References:

  • Psalm 61:1-8
  • Matthew 11:25-30
  • Matthew 6:9
  • 1-John 1:1-3
  • Psalm 62:1-6
  • Matthew 7:21-25
  • Psalm 62:7-12
  • James 2:8-22
  • Revelation 2:1-2, 9, 13
  • Matthew 5:6
  • Revelation 3:14-20
  • Psalm 63:1
  • Psalm 42:1-9
  • Psalm 84:1-8
  • Psalm 63:1-8
  • Psalm 65:1-2, 5
  • Psalm 67:1-7
  • Numbers 6:22-27
  • Psalm 20:1-9

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Isaiah 28
  • Psalm 91
  • Genesis 15
  • Hebrews 11
  • Proverbs 4
  • Revelation 21, 22, 15, 19

Formatted: 11/8/16

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