And It Was So
Posted on 10/19/2008 by Rev. Benjamin R. Faust D.D.
TRANSCRIPT: (may not contain everything found in the audio above)
*** listen to the audio for introduction and prayer ***
Public Prayer Requests:
Maggie Barkley's mother, Alicia had a massive stroke. She had been recovering well, but has taken a turn for the worse.
Kenny asks again that he would always worship and serve God alone. (We should all pray this, most of us worship and serve other things daily.)
Please turn around and click one of the offering plates by the doors, and give as the Lord leads.
MAKES ME WANT TO SHOUT
When I think about the Lord
how he saved me, how he raised me
How he filled me with the Holy Ghost
He healed me to the uttermost
When I think about the Lord
how he picked me up, turned me around
How he set my feet on solid ground
Makes me want to shout
Hallelujah, thank you Jesus!
Lord you're worthy
of all the glory
and all the honor
and all the praise!
HOSANNA IN THE HIGHEST
Hosanna, Hosanna, Hosanna in the highest
Hosanna, Hosanna, Hosanna in the highest
I see the King of Glory
coming down with clouds of fire
The whole earth shakes
the whole earth shakes
I see his love and mercy
washing over all our sin
The people sing
the people sing
I see a generation
rising up to take their place
With selfless faith
with selfless faith
I see a new revival
starting as we seek and pray
We're on our knees
we're on our knees
Heal my heart and make it clean
open up my eyes to the things unseen
show me how to love like you have loved me
Break my heart with what breaks yours
everything I am for your kingdom's cause
as I walk from earth into eternity
TO HIM WHO SITS ON THE THRONE
To him who sits on the throne
and unto the Lamb
To him who sits on the throne
and unto the Lamb
Be blessing and honor
and glory and power forever
Be blessing and honor
and glory and power forever
HOLY HOLY HOLY
Worthy is the Lamb who was slain
holy holy is he
Sing a new song to him who sits on
heaven's mercy seat
Holy holy holy is the Lord God Almighty
who was and is and is to come
With all creation I sing praise to the King of Kings
you are my everything and I will adore you
Clothed in rainbows of living color
flashes of lightning, rolls of thunder
Blessing and honor, strength, glory and power be
to you the only wise king
Filled with wonder, awestruck wonder
at the mention of your name
Jesus your name is power, breath and living water
such a marvelous mystery
*** listen to the audio for the message introduction ***
Is it just me, or do you have a hard time believing people's words sometimes? Have you ever heard anyone speak persuasively with flowing, eloquent, moving words and, because of the way they made you feel, never even question whether they were telling the truth, but simply believed what they said?
There are great speakers who always tell the truth. But there are many who wouldn't think twice about parsing their words, denying the truth, or telling outright lies or half truths.
The Bible tells us to test the spirits. Does this mean we're supposed to judge how they make us feel? Does this mean we're supposed to only use some type of spiritual discernment and do nothing else?
1 John 4:1-3 tells us this:
1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.
2 By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God,
3 and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.
Now if we were to stop here, we could say that the spirit of Islaam is of God. We could say that the spirit of new age is of God. We could even say that the demons are of God, because, as Jesus told us, "even the demons believe, and they tremble."
Let's read the next few verses to explain what we just read, then we'll actually get to today's message.
Continuing in First John chapter four, verse four:
4 You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.
5 They are of the world. Therefore they speak as of the world, and the world hears them.
6 We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.
Bingo. Since this goes on to tell us that it's not as simple as taking verses two and three without the rest, we can take another look and see what we might have missed the first time around.
Verse two says, "By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God."
And we should ask ourselves, or better yet, we should ask the Scriptures, who IS Jesus Christ? People from all sorts of false religions believe that a man named Jesus came in the flesh, and even the Quoran says it is so. But does that mean the Quoran is of the Spirit of God?
The first thing we might notice here is that this says "Every spirit that confesses that Jesus CHRIST has come in the flesh is of God." The word "Christ" means "Messiah." And who is the Messiah? Is he not the savior of the world? Is he not the promised one, not one of many, but THE one, by whom all peoples of the earth can be reconciled with God?
This alone would take most of the false spirits out of the way. They believe Jesus came in the flesh. Many believe he was a great prophet, a wonderful teacher, an ascended master, or perhaps the incarnation of a powerful spirit. But is he THE one? Is he THE Messiah? Is he THE Savior of the world?
So we can throw out the Quoran, since it suggests someone greater is coming. We can throw out all the false religions of the world, since they do not believe him to be who the Bible and who he himself claims him to be, THE way, THE truth, and THE life, the ONLY way to God.
But let's take this even a step further. In John chapter one, we read this about Jesus:
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2 He was in the beginning with God.
3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.
4 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.
5 And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.
14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
So we see here that Jesus is the Word of God. This sheds even more light on our passage in First John chapter four, verse six, which says:
"He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error."
Do you know anyone who believes Jesus came in the flesh, and they believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the only way to God, but they choose to not believe other portions of Scripture, such as the parts that tell us we must live holy lives, or the ones that tell us everyone who practices fornication, adultery, homosexuality, drunkenness, or lies, will spend eternity into hell?
The spirit behind that disbelief is not of God, and this is a part of testing the spirits: do they believe Jesus is who he said he is? and do they believe the rest of the Word of God, who is one and the same as Jesus?
If not, we can identify them with the spirit of error.
Verse five says, "They are of the world. Therefore they speak as of the world, and the world hears them." When people of all religions, or people who are athiests, marxists, socialists, communists, and all the other spiritual and political persuasions of the world which are in opposition to the Word of God... when the world hears them, we should seriously wonder.
You can believe the Word of God. But you cannot believe the word of the world. Brothers and sisters, don't put your faith in great speeches, great personalities, or great promises. Instead, put your faith in the unerring Word of God. And if you do this, and ONLY if you do this, you will be standing on a firm foundation, and you will stand.
The title of today's message is, "And It Was So."
Number 23:19 says,
19 God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?
Don't you wish you could say that about those in leadership today? I'm not allowed to say which one of the U.S. presidential candidates and their running mate has told documented lie after lie, and the mainstream media certainly isn't going to tell you, at least not if it's about the candidate they support. But I urge you to dig deep, and discern the lying spirit of the world before you cast your vote. It's just like someone who's trying to win your heart: if they break their word while courting you, if you elect them as your spouse, it will only get much worse.
However, there IS someone we can trust. And we just read about him. "God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?"
Lying is not in God's nature. Breaking promises is not in God's character. In fact, it is impossible for him to do so. It is completely against who he is.
Not only that, but it is fundamentally impossible for God to say something and for that something to not be true. By his Word, he spoke everything out of nothing. When he speaks, it comes to pass.
So as you read the words of Scripture, keep in mind the words you are reading came from the same mouth which in the beginning said, "Let there be light" and there was light. All that exists was created by the words of his mouth, and what he says is so, it is so.
Every word you read in the Bible is so, because the One who created the universe with his words has spoken. He cannot lie, for when he speaks, it is so.
Most of us are familiar with the account of creation. We can find the historical account in the book of Genesis, chapters one and two.
Let's take a look at this. And as we do, remember that when God spoke, the current reality didn't make the slightest bit of difference. When God spoke, whether or not what he spoke was possible at that time, it became immutable reality. And let's also keep in mind that, as the Scriptures tell us, "The Word of God is near you, even in your mouth, that you may do it."
We're not going to read both chapters, but I'd like for us to look at a few verses, and draw paralells between what God spoke into being in the very beginning of time, and what he can speak into your life today.
Genesis chapter one, starting with verse one:
1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
2 The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.
3 Then God said, "Let there be light"; and there was light.
4 And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness.
5 God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. So the evening and the morning were the first day.
So in the beginning, the Spirit of God was hovering over the formless earth, over the face of the waters. Is the Spirit of God hovering over you today? You couldn't have come to Jesus if the Spirit of God had not drawn you. Have you not yet given your life to Jesus, but you feel something drawing you today? That's not a something, but a some one -- the Spirit of God. And God is ready and waiting to speak into your life today and say, "Let there be light."
The Bible tells us that God has called us out of the darkness and into his marvelous light. When God spoke in the beginning and created the light, there was no other will but his and it simply was so. But God is giving you a choice. Will you accept his plan for your life? If so, he will breathe into you, speaking over you those things he has written in the Scriptures. If not, the light can shine all around you but will never illuminate your life.
But if you accept his Word as the guide of your life, then absolutely nothing can stop those words from creating something new inside of you. It will come to pass. It will be so!
This says that God saw that the light was good, and he separated it from the darkness. All too often, we try to mix the light and the dark together. But this is contrary to God's Word, and to his grand design. And he says that friendship with the world, the ways of the world, is enmity with God.
And a little side note here for those who believe creation took thousands of years and that the days of creation simply represent many actual years. For every single day of creation, we read the words, "So the evening and the morning were the first day... So the evening and the morning were the second day... So the evening and the morning were the third day..." and so on.
He starts each day with "Then God said," and sprinkles throughout Scripture, "In six days God created," and then, because he knew we would try to reconcile his Word with psuedo science and the ramblings of those who have rejected the True and Living God, he says over and over, "The evening and the morning made up this day." And when God says something, it is so.
In verse nine we read,
9 Then God said, "Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear"; and it was so.
Do you ever feel as though the boundaries of your life are not clearly defined? As though you never seem to know if you'll ever plant your feet on solid dry ground, but will float around forever?
Jesus Christ is a solid rock, the only sure foundation. And if you build your life on that solid rock and on everything he has written in his Word, agreeing with it by living by it, then this will come to pass in your life. The waters will be gathered together into one place, and dry land will appear.
11 Then God said, "Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb that yields seed, and the fruit tree that yields fruit according to its kind, whose seed is in itself, on the earth"; and it was so.
12 And the earth brought forth grass, the herb that yields seed according to its kind, and the tree that yields fruit, whose seed is in itself according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.
13 So the evening and the morning were the third day.
Do you ever feel baren and dry? You know you're standing on the solid ground of the Word of God, but you feel as though you're in a desert where almost nothing can really grow.
Daily times of prayer and worship, spending time in God's presence, will help to break up and water your dry ground. And the Word of God, the Holy Scriptures, are seeds that bring forth after their own kind.
Actually, EVERY seed brings forth after its own kind. If you feed on garbage or on the things of the world, that's what will grow in your life. But if you feed upon the Word of God, it will not bring forth weeds and thorns, but that which gives life.
20 Then God said, "Let the waters abound with an abundance of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the face of the firmament of the heavens."
21 So God created great sea creatures and every living thing that moves, with which the waters abounded, according to their kind, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.
22 And God blessed them, saying, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth."
23 So the evening and the morning were the fifth day.
24 Then God said, "Let the earth bring forth the living creature according to its kind: cattle and creeping thing and beast of the earth, each according to its kind"; and it was so.
25 And God made the beast of the earth according to its kind, cattle according to its kind, and everything that creeps on the earth according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.
I'd like to point out here the words "according to its kind." This can be referenced to the creation of vegetation which God caused to yeild seed "according to its kind." Grass did not change into trees. And fish did not evolve into other creatures. God created each and every one of them, from the fish in the sea, to the birds of the air, to all the creatures that roam the earth. And he did it all on the fifth day of creation, and "the evening and the morning were the fifth day."
And finally, in verse 26 we read:
26 Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth."
27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.
28 Then God blessed them, and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth."
29 And God said, "See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food.
30 Also, to every beast of the earth, to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, in which there is life, I have given every green herb for food"; and it was so.
31 Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day.
God did not create a piece of slime which evolved into a fish which crawled out of the ocean and became a lizard, which grew wings and flew, which forgot how to fly and lost it wings and started eating bananas, which lost it fur and went back into the water trying to learn how to swim again.
No, in six days God created everything. Those things which reproduce, he caused to reproduce after their own kind. And when he created mankind, he did not make them after the image of a monkey or an ape. No, he created us from the dust of the ground, forming us after his own image and likeness, and breathed into our nostrils the very breath of life.
And we do not see God breathing into the fish, or the birds, or the other living things, but he breathed, as it says in chapter two and verse seven:
7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.
God created you with great care and purpose. He created all the animals, and he saw that they were good. He took great delight in all he created, and all things were created for his pleasure.
But then we see something much more intimate taking place. It says that the Lord God formed man out of the dust of the ground. This reminds me of the passage in Psalm chapter 139 which says, "For you formed my inward parts, you covered me in my mother's womb; I will praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made."
I can just see God forming man out of the dust as a sculptor creates a masterpiece out of clay. He spends hour after hour, day after day, with great focus and attention, pouring his heart into every little line and every intimate little detail.
And then he breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living being.
All of God's creative speaking as it pertains to the physical creation took place before he formed us out of the dust of the earth. He put everything in place that we would need before we breathed our first breath. He planned it all very carefully, his Word as the foundation for the earth on which mankind was to live and walk.
And he has done the same for you. His Word has been spoken. All his promises are "yes and amen." He has fulfilled his greatest promises to us in his Son, the Messiah, Jesus Christ the Lord, the way, the truth, and the life, the only way to the Father; the Word of God incarnate, so the foundation, the source, the fountain of all we would ever need, would become our sacrificial lamb, the spotless Lamb of God, who would take away the sins of the world.
And when you accept Jesus as the Lord and Savior of your life, God breathes into you the breath of life of his Holy Spirit, and you become a living being; you who were spiritually dead and blind and deaf, are now alive, and can see and hear things you could not see or understand before.
And already in place, everything you need, everything that is absolutely true, everything necessary for walking in complete victory, has already been spoken.
And to hear it, you must attune your ear. You must use what he has given you. Everything you need, all truth, all power, all wisdom, is in the Word of God. Pick up the Holy Scriptures. And pursue Him on every page.
And you will have light. You will stand upon solid dry ground. You will bring forth fruit, and every living thing. And you will begin to feel the hand of the potter, carefully and lovingly forming you day by day into the masterpiece he has envisioned you to be.
So speak the Word of God. Put away from your mouth anything that does not agree 100% with his Word. And as you live and speak according to what he has spoken, you're going to see amazing things happen.
Let's close by considering this: The glory and the majesty of God shouts to us from everything he has created. The beauty and the spendor of the voice of God sings to us from the mountains to the valleys, from a million blazing sunsets, to the trillions of stars which blanket the night sky. All of this is the fruit of his words.
What will your life become if you allow his words to come to life in you? What amazing transformations will begin to take place if you align yourself completely with his Word?
He has already spoken over you, creating the light, giving you dry solid land, and transforming your dry desert into a green, fruitful garden. Take hold of his Word, engrave it upon the tablets of your heart, read it, read it, and read it again, and see it come to life in your life.
And just as the heavens declare the glory of God and the earth shows his workmanship, so the Word of God reveals to us his glory, his nature, his justice, his compassion, his vengeance, his mercy, his judgment, and his unending love, on every single page.
So don't despair. You haven't been left alone to wander around without clear direction, to wither away in a dry and barren land, or to feel empty and without purpose or belonging.
God has spoken his Word over you, words of light and life, words of solid foundation, words of provision, words of comfort, words of fruitfulness, and words of love. And as you surrender yourself into his hands, he is forming you into a masterpiece, the end result of what he has spoken over you.
And no matter who may try to deceive you, or what may happen in your life or the world around you, you can know that God is not a man that he should lie. Whatever he says, even if there is absolutely no way that it could possibly happen, if God says it, it is so!
I'd like to open up this altar for prayer and ministry, and the ministry team can come to the front now.
If you need prayer or ministry, instant message someone on the ministry team.
You're all invited to get out of your seat and come gather at the front for a time of prayer, ministry, and worship. If you need to leave, you're free to do so.
In a few minutes we'll meet in the room to your left for a time of ministry. Come, and let's spend some time seeking a closer walk with the only one who can speak and create the entire universe with his word.
*** listen to the audio for the message closing and altar call ***