(Go To Meeting)

Tom Fannin—October 23, 2021

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I want to reflect a little bit back on the Feast. Hopefully, that at the Feast and after the Feast you've taken some time to reflect on what it means to be in God's Kingdom, what that's going to be like. The return of Jesus Christ to usher in a new world, a different society, and something we're looking forward to having part of.

As we look at the world today we see a lot of troubled times. We need the return of Jesus Christ to fix all these problems, because Christ is the solution to all of this.

As we look around the world and to what's happening in the world, and also what's happening within the Body of Christ, the Church:

  • What's our attitude toward all these things that we see?
  • Do we have deep concern about what we see?
  • Do we care about what we see?
  • Do we want to see change?
  • Do we want to see repentance?
  • Do we want to see everybody having an attitude to obey God and to follow Him?
  • Do we want to see everybody being part of the Kingdom of God?

Hopefully that is our attitude toward all those in the Body of Christ and also in the world!

  • Can we find ourselves at times in another mind, in another state where maybe our thinking is disconnected?
  • Numb at times?
  • Cold to what's going on?
  • Uncaring for what we see and taking place?
  • Can we find ourselves accepting of what's going on around us?
  • Can we find ourselves being tolerant of what we're seeing?

Let's just look at an attitude, a frame of mind and heart that God wants us to have. It's something that He desires and it's talked about in:

Ezekiel 9:3: "And the glory of the God of Israel had gone up from the cherubim, where it had been, to the threshold of the temple. And He called to the man clothed in linen, with the writer's inkhorn by his side. And the LORD said to him, 'Go through in the midst of the city, in the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark on the foreheads of the men who are groaning and are mourning because of all the abominations that are done in her midst'" (vs 3-4).

It also says in other translations those who are sighing; those who cry, mourn and groan within about what they see, the abominations taking place. There's a mark placed upon them and be set aside; differentiated from the others that were there. Something that God is taking note of.

Verse 5: And He said to those in my hearing, 'Go through the city after him, and slaughter. Let not your eye spare, nor have pity. Fully destroy old men, young men and virgins, and little children and women. But do not come near any man on whom is the mark. And begin at My sanctuary.'…." (vs 5-6).

Isn't that where it should begin, at God's sanctuary and places His name for the people? At this point the Levites are the ones who should be teaching or instructing in God's Law, God's Way, and God's Truth. Maybe for the Church the ones who have the knowledge of God, God's Spirit within them, it says "…begin at My sanctuary…."; that's where it should begin.

"…And they began with the old men who were before the temple" (v 6).

We know that there's a mind and heart that God wants us to have. That's an understanding of what's being done. For those here who are sighing and crying, they understand what's happening, the abominations that are taking place. It affects them, and it affects everyone.

People with this mind, who sigh and cry, understand this, and don't want this, because it's against God and leads to death. We know that these things won't be part of the Kingdom, things that are abominations to God. We don't want that, either, those of us who have this mind, that really sigh and cry about what we see.

I want to read some Scriptures about God and what He thinks about these things. We all serve a God that's a God of love and concern.

We're talking about an attitude that God wants to see in us:

2-Peter 3:9: "The Lord is not delaying the promise of His coming, as some in their own minds reckon delay; rather, He is longsuffering toward us…"

That's Who God is! He's longsuffering, patient, and He's waiting patiently to see if those whom He calls or working with in this life or the life to come will answer the call, change, repent and turn to Him.

"…not desiring that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance" (v 9). Hopefully, that's our mind, too! Our desire! We want to see everyone come to repentance.

Verse 10: "However, the Day of the Lord shall come as a thief in the night in which the heaven itself shall disappear with a mighty roar, and the elements shall pass away, burning with intense heat, and the earth and the works in it shall be burned up." We know that this day is coming! Since we now that:

Verse 11: "Since all these things are going to be destroyed, what kind of persons ought you to be in Holy conduct and Godliness"—this mind and heart that God is looking for in us, where we sigh and cry about what we see!

Verse 14: For this reason, beloved, since you are anticipating these things, be diligent, so that you may be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless." That's what we all strive for, to be found by God in this way!

Genesis 6:5—talking about Noah's day: "And the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually."

This is how bad man had gotten, all the thoughts of men were just evil continually. That's where we see this world coming to today, also.

Verse 6: "And the LORD repented that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart."

God has feelings about what He sees going on. He doesn't want this. Hee made man in His image and likeness, because God looked forward to a time—and is—where He will have spiritual children. 

God didn't want the world this way; He didn't create man to live in sin and reject Him and do all kinds of evil things. God wants children who love Him, to be like Him!

Verse 7: "And the LORD said, 'I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, and the crawling thing, and the fowl of the air; for I repent that I have made them.'"

How sad it is to see what man came to. The beautiful creation that God had, and it was on the verge of being totally destroyed.

Verse 8: "But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD. These are the generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous man and perfect in his generations, for Noah walked with God"(vs 8-9).

Noah found grace and that's what God is desiring for everyone, to find grace with Him! So that God can extend grace to everyone and everyone can have the opportunity to be in God's Kingdom.

We know that the first three commandments are toward God and refer to God Himself and how He desires to be worshipped and honored and praised. We shouldn't have any other types of gods or idols before the true God!

Exodus 20:5: "You shall not bow yourself down to them, nor serve them, for I, the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands of those who love Me and keep My commandments" (vs 5-6).

This was intentionally put into the giving of the Ten Commandments so that this will be known by everyone, that God chose mercy to those mercy to those who love Him and keep His commandments. That's our desire that all will love God and keep His commandments.

Psalm 119:132: "Look upon me, and be gracious unto me, as You are known to do for those who love Your name…. [tie in Exo. 20] …Order my steps by Your Word…" (vs 132-133).

That's something we should think about all the time. We want God to be the One Who leads and directs us, Who orders our steps, how we go based on His Word and Truth; how He desires us to go.

"…and do not let any iniquity have dominion over me. Deliver me from the oppression of man, and I will keep Your commandments" (vs 133-134).

Certainly in the world we live in today there are a lot of oppressions going on. But God delivers us from those things.

Verse 135: "Make Your face to shine upon Your servant, and teach me Your statutes. Rivers of water run down my eyes because they do not keep Your Law" (vs 135-136).

  • we have an understanding of God's Law
  • we have an understanding of Who God is and His love

The world doesn't!

Because of this, "Rivers of water run down my eyes…" Hopefully that's the attitude that we have; we have concern!

The world right now doesn't have the knowledge and understanding that we have to know Who God and Jesus Christ are, and we know what this brings. So we do have concern! And we cry about these things, because we want something different to come for all mankind.

Ezekiel 18:21: "But if the wicked will turn from all his sins, which he has committed, and keep all My statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live; he shall not die"—something we know to be true!

If anyone comes to true repentance and changes, they have a chance for life!

Verse 22: "All his transgressions that he has done, they shall not be mentioned to him; in his righteousness that he has done he shall live."

Isn't it great to think about when someone turns from their sins and changes. That's how God is! When we repent of our sins, He removes them as far as the East is from the West. Sins won't even be mentioned! They're removed! Isn't that wonderful to think about that? That's how it is with us!

That's how we are with other people when things happen and there are transgressions. But there's repentance and change. Those things aren't mentioned anymore or thought of by us, either.

Verse 23: "'Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die?' says the Lord GOD. 'Is it not pleasing, instead, that he should turn from his ways and live?'" That's what's pleasing to God!

That's the mind we have, that all men shall turn from their ways and live!

Ezekiel 33:10: "And you, son of man, speak to the house of Israel. Thus shall you speak, saying, 'When our transgressions and our sins are on us, and we are wasting away in them, how then shall we live?' Say to them, 'As I live,' says the Lord GOD, 'I have no delight in the death of the wicked, except that the wicked turn from his way, and live. Turn you, turn you from your evil ways; for why will you die, O house of Israel?'" (vs 10-11).

God desires that people turn from their evil ways! That's what we need to be doing! We know that this God of the Old Testament became Jesus Christ, and became our personal Savior! When Christ was on this earth, He grieved, too, about what He saw there in Jerusalem and the areas outside of Jerusalem.

Luke 19:41—a time when Christ was coming into Jerusalem: "And when He came near and saw the city, He wept over it, saying, 'If you had known, even you, at least in this your day, the things for your peace; but now they are hidden from your eyes. For the days shall come upon you that your enemies shall cast a rampart about you, and shall enclose you around and keep you in on every side, and shall level you to the ground, and your children within you; and they shall not leave in you a stone upon a stone, because you did not know the season of your visitation'" (vs 41-44).

Christ knew what was coming, and when that time came later in 70A.D. the city went through a lot, as we know historically, and there was a lot of suffering as that city was overtaken. Christ knew that this was coming! It was not His desire for them. He would much rather that they recognize Him and come to Him. But that's not what happened. He knew this and wept over this, because He loved the people there, as He loves all mankind.

Luke 13:34: "Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those who have been sent to you; how often would I have gathered your children, as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, but you refused!"

That's what Christ wanted! He wanted a people who would follow Him! That would love Him. that He could gather under His wings like the example of the hen that gathers her chicks under her wings to protect them and oversee them. But as it says here, they refused!

We want the attitude that all will come to God; where all come under the shadow of the Almighty God, and come to Christ. We should sigh and cry about this; that that's not what we're seeing today.

We know other mentioned in God's Word who have also grieved about what they saw and had to live through, what they witnessed in their time. We will read a couple of examples of that; let's see what Peter said about Lot.

2-Peter 2:7: "And if He personally rescued righteous Lot… [even though he was living in Sodom and Gomorrah] …who was oppressed by the lawless ones living in licentious conduct; (For that righteous man, dwelling among them, through seeing and hearing their lawless activities, was tormented day-by-day in his righteous soul)" (vs 7-8).

What we see today, we're tormented, too. Maybe it's not as bad in some of the areas we live in as what Lot experienced, but it's slowly getting there and it will get there.

There was a time when Abraham and Lot were together, and we know that Lot was Abraham's nephew and they were really blessed. They had a lot of flocks and people that worked for them. At one point there was some contention among them and it came to a point where they needed to split up. Abraham had offered Lot a choice of where he wanted to go with his people and flocks. He chose the land in the plains of Jordan because he knew there was water.

If you have livestock, it's important to have water. So, he chose that area, but also that was the area where there were men who lived in wickedness. So, that was probably known, too.

Another example that we need to think about is that we need spiritual water! Whatever we choose for the direction we want to go, we want to go in the direction where righteousness exists, and we can be watered spiritually.

Nonetheless, that's where Lot wound up with his family, and unfortunately it was difficult and Lot was tormented about what he saw. He got rescued, but a lot of his family didn't. Good lessons there for us, but we're tormented, too, by what we see happening. That's the attitude that God desires. We don't want what we see to be happening. We're against it.

Samuel reached points in his life where he groaned and moaned over what he saw. With regards to Saul, we know that he was king at that time and was asked to destroy the Amalekites completely: the animals and the people. There were pretty clear directions given to Saul. But we know that didn't happen.

1-Samuel 15:9: "But Saul and the people spared Agag and the best of the sheep and of the oxen and of the fatlings and the lambs, and all that was good, and would not completely destroy them. But everything that was vile and feeble they completely destroyed. And the Word of the LORD came to Samuel saying, 'It repents Me that I have set up Saul to be king, for he has turned back from following Me and has not performed My commandments.'…." (vs 9-11).

When God anoints someone to be king, or in our case when God called us and we entered into covenant, the expectation is that we live by His Word and His commandments and follow them completely and wholly. But that didn't happen in this case:

"…And it grieved Samuel…" (v 11)—a prophet of God, a judge, a priest that had been given to God as child to serve Him. Samuel was very dedicated to God and obedient.

"…and he cried out to the LORD all night" (v 11). Samuel knew, and he had this attitude that God desires!

Samuel had a personal relationship with Saul, the king, and had anointed him. He knew what this meant, and it really troubled him. He knew the effects of the decisions that Saul made, the effects on the people there.

That's the mind and heart that we need to have, because we understand the effects of wrong decisions and sin, going against God.

Another example we have of those who mourn within the Church. A lot of things happen within God's Church that we see going on that's not good that we should have to mourn and grieve over.

2-Corinthians 12:20: "But I fear that when I come… [he traveled around and visited with the Churches] …perhaps I may find you in a state such as I do not wish… [he didn't want to come and find problems within the Church; that's not what he desired] …and I may be found by you such as you do not wish…"

In other words, Paul didn't want to come there for him to find them in such a way that he needed to bring correction. Paul want to see the brethren and to rejoice with them and have joy and see their growth and development and dedication to God and the teachings that he brought to them through the inspiration of the Christ. That's what he desired. He didn't want to have to come there and correct.

"…that there may be strifes, jealousies… [in the Church] …indignations, contentions, evil speakings, whisperings, puffings up, commotions; and that when I come again, my God will humble me among you, and I shall grieve over many of those who have already sinned, and have not repented of the uncleanness and sexual immorality and licentiousness that they have practiced" (vs 20-21).

Paul didn't want to come in this manner, but this is the state that he had to be in, at times, where he was humbled and was grieved by what he saw there in the Church. We know that he had to correct. These things troubled and grieved Paul.

Likewise when we see problems within the Church, we should have that same mind that Paul had. We want all people to change and repent!

  • Do we have that mind?
  • Do we grieve?

I'm particularly talking about in the Church when we see go on that shouldn't go on.

1-Cor. 5—there was an event there where the Church was allowing something to happen that they should not have allowed. This is written for us so we can have something to study on and think about and apply to ourselves. What was going on here specifically we can apply to a lot of different things that may go on in the Church. But it really gives us a chance to examine ourselves and where we are. Or do we have this mind that the Corinthians had at this point?

1-Corinthians 5:1: "It is commonly reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and such immorality as is not even named among the Gentiles—allowing one to have his own father's wife." That's what was going on!

Verse 2: "You are puffed up…"

Your mind is not on the spiritual, but on the fleshly things of this world and what goes on in the world. Tolerant! Not caring and concerned about what you see!

"…and did not grieve instead…" (v 2).

That's what Paul wanted for them to do; it was not good, it was against God! If not repented of, it leads to death! It leads to individuals not being in God's Kingdom! That's the attitude that God wanted the have, to grieve over it!

"…so that he who did this deed might be taken out of your midst" (v 2).

It's part of sighing and crying for what we see that goes on. That's not what we desire either. What we do desire is sorrow unto repentance. That's what we desire for everyone in the Church, coming into the Church and for the whole world.

This gives us an example of what kind of sorrow that we desire people to have, and the repentance that we want them to have. We cover these Scriptures in baptism, to talk about repentance the kind of repentance that we want to see.

2-Corinthians 7:6: "But God, Who encourages those who are heavy-hearted… [that's what God does all of us who are heavy-hearted] …encouraged us by the coming of Titus."

Sometimes we may find ourselves in different states about where we are what we see going on and need encouragement. We've seen that in our lives when in a moment of time we need to be encouraged and we received it. They received it here by the coming of Titus.

Verse 7: "And not only by his coming to us, but also by the encouragement with which he was comforted concerning you… [they were comforted and Titus was comforted] …relating to us your longing, your mourning, your zeal for me; therefore, I rejoiced all the more."

Great news came from Titus about the Church and what their attitude was.

Verse 8: "For if I caused you to sorrow by the epistle, I do not repent, even if I did regret it at first…"

As we read, that's not something that Paul wanted to do: write corrective epistles and come to them and not spare.

"…because I see that that epistle caused you to sorrow for only a short time. And so I rejoice—not because you were causedto sorrow, but because you sorrowed unto repentance; for you sorrowed in a Godly manner, so that you were not injured by us in any way. For sorrow unto repentance before God works out salvation…" (vs 8-10).

That's what we want; a Godly sorrow, change and a meaningful repentance where they're truly sorry to God. That they understand what they've done and their sins have been against God. That they have a mind and heart that wants to change to follow God.

"…not to be repented of; but the sorrow of the world works out death" (v 10).

That's the rejoicing we want, that everyone will have this type of change and repentance. That's part of our sighing and crying, having an understanding of this and what God desires also.

We want salvation for everyone! We want everyone to be a part of God's Kingdom. We just kept the Feast to get our minds on the Kingdom of God and all the things that will be happening.

I want to continue about Samuel and his mourning. King Saul was going to be replaced because of what he had done. Samuel took care of things and took care of King Agag by himself.

1-Samuel 15:35: "And Samuel never again saw Saul until the day of his death, for Samuel mourned for Saul. And the LORD repented that he had made Saul king over Israel."

I think a good thing for us to keep our mind on continually, even though we do mourn and sigh and grieve for what goes on:

1 Samuel 16:1: "And the LORD said to Samuel, 'How long will you mourn for Saul since I have rejected him from reigning over Israel? Fill your horn with oil and go. I will send you to Jesse of Bethlehem, for I have seen a king for Me among his sons.'"

At times we do mourn and grieve, and that's what God wants us to do, but as God told Samuel, 'How long will you mourn? I have found another king!' That would be King David, a man after God's own heart.

God has plan and purpose, and we need to keep our mind on that plan and purpose and on His Kingdom. God had plan here already set. To have David to be set over the people as king. Samuel got to do his part in going there to anoint him.

Hopefully the mourning he had turn to joy, to be able to be a part of this. That's what we need to keep our mind on, too. Even though these times are difficult in what we're seeing, and that the future is going to be difficult for the world and for God's people. There's an anointing coming, and it's already happened, and that is of Jesus Christ our Savior to be King of kings and Lord of lords. Included in that is King David who was set over Israel in the Kingdom. God's Word tells us that.

Even though we mourn, we get our mind on God's Kingdom and what's coming!

  • God does this!
  • God is the One Who works all these things out!

Isaiah 61:1: "The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me [Christ] because the LORD has anointed Me to preach the Gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound."

Jesus Christ as the Savior of mankind, to free men from this world and Satan and the captivity that this world has been in. Christ is coming to do this and He has been doing this with all of those He has called now. He has loosed us from that.

Verse 2: "To preach the acceptable year of the LORD and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn; to appoint to those who mourn in Zion, giving to them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the mantle of praise for the spirit of heaviness; so that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that He might be glorified" (vs 2-3).

This is what God will do for all of us who mourn and cry out for what we see going on. We will be in God's Kingdom, and that mourning and grieving won't be anymore. For all those in the world who have faced this, all those who will come up in the second resurrection, God is going to fix and take care of all this. We'll all be planted in God's Kingdom.

Something to look forward to and keep our mind on. That what we live through today, and what we see, it's going to change and there's going to be a different world coming.

Revelation 21:1: Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away, and there was no more sea. And I, John, saw the Holy City, the New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice from heaven say, 'Behold, the Tabernacle of God is with men; and He shall dwell with them, and they shall be His people; and God Himself shall be with them and be their God…. [that's what we want, all people to have God as their God] …And God shall wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there shall not be anymore death, or sorrow, or crying; neither shall there be any more pain, because the former things have passed away'" (vs 1-3).

In God's love and Who He is, is going to take care of this!

  • all the suffering, pain, sorrow, evil, abominations
  • all the things that have happened down through time
  • all the things that Satan has brought upon this world
  • all the things that man has done and their rejection of God

God is going to take all away. He's going to wipe away every tear! Only God knows how to do this. This will be done!

We know for us now, all of us whom God has called and placed His Spirit in, that are His begotten children, there is an attitude that we need to have, where we sigh and cry for what's going on!

We need to pray for this mind; that we have this attitude. That we're not cold to this or tolerant of this, but we do truly care about what we see! If we have this mind, God is there for us, God is with us! God blesses us for having this type of mind and heart within us.

Christ says that there are blessings for having certain attitudes and characteristics; things that God wants us to have.

Matthew 5:4: "Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted." God is the One Who brings that comfort!

But God desires us to mourn for what we see; this is a proper heart and mind to have. But God is the One Who brings us the comfort. We need that comfort that comes from God for what we live in and see what's going on.

We know what Job went through in his trial. When you read through the book of Job there are so many things that come out to us that are good for us to study and learn, and examine and compare ourselves to. To make sure that we have the mind and understanding.

Job 5:8: "But as for me, I would seek to God, and to God I would commit my cause."

That's what we strive to do. We seek God and commit ourselves to Hiscause, what He's working within us.

Verse 9: "Who is doing great things, even beyond searching; marvelous things without number."

That's what God's doing through us and in us right now, great and marvelous thing. We 'see through a glass darkly.' But really sometimes don't understand all the things that God is working and doing within us. Nonetheless, He is!

Verse 10: "Who gives rain upon the earth and sends waters upon the field, to set on high those who are low, so that those who mourn may be lifted up to safety" (vs 10-11).

God sets us on high! He's the One Who lifts us up to safety! Even in states where we mourn and grieve for what we see going on, God knows that! He sees that in us and desires that in us! He's the One Who comforts and lifts us up and takes care of us, even in those states.

2-Corinthians 1:3: "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforts us in all our tribulation, in order that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trial, through the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God" (vs 3-4).

We need to just remember—even though we live in the society and world and we know what's coming—that God is the One Who knows us! He comforts us!

Verse 5: "For to the degree that the sufferings of Christ abound in us…"

We know that the walk were on with God and Jesus Christ, there are sufferings that come with that, just as Christ suffered when He was on the earth. To live with Christ there are trials, tests and sufferings.

"…so also our comfort abounds through Christ" (v 5).

Yes, there is distress and we mourn for what we see. We grieve for what we see, but through that there is comfort through God and Christ to us that abounds over that. We all need to remember that and trust in that.

Joel 2:12: "'Therefore, even now,' says the LORD, 'turn to Me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning. Yes, rend your heart and not your garments, and return to the LORD your God: for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and He repents of the evil'" (vs 12-13).

God wants us to sigh and cry! He wants us to mourn and grieve over what we see going on in this world, and what we see sometimes that is going on in the Church. He wants us to have:

  • love and compassion
  • a heart and mind that we desire that all repent and change
  • Godly sorrow
  • a mind that looks forward to the coming of Jesus Christ to fix all this and usher in the Kingdom of God
  • a desire that all men/women are part of God's Kingdom

Where He can wipe away every tear and we can all live and dwell with God forever!

Always remember that God is gracious to all and is merciful, slow to anger and of great kindness! That's the God we have! That's His heart and mind, and that's the mind and heart that He's looking to have in us!

Scriptural References:

  • Ezekiel 9:3-6
  • 2 Peter 3:9-11, 14
  • Genesis 6:5-9
  • Exodus 20:5-6
  • Psalm 119:132-136
  • Ezekiel 18:21-23
  • Ezekiel 33:10-11
  • Luke 19:41-44
  • Luke 13:34
  • 2 Peter 2:7-8
  • 1 Samuel 15:9-11
  • 2 Corinthians 12:20-21
  • 1 Corinthians 5:1-2
  • 2 Corinthians 7:6-10
  • 1 Samuel 15:35
  • 1 Samuel 16:1
  • Isaiah 61:1-3
  • Revelation 21:1-3
  • Matthew 5:4
  • Job 5:8-11
  • 2 Corinthians 1:3-5
  • Joel 2:12-13

TF:bo
Transcribed: 2/20/21

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