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REACHING THE WORLD FOR JESUS

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Sunday, October 2, 2011

SERIES OF MESSAGES IS ON THE NAMES OF GOD


SERMON - 1

Pastor Mark Taylor                                 Friendship United Methodist Church
                                                     Sunday Morning Worship Service

Jehovah-Nissi - The Lord Our Banner
Exodus 17:8-16
While Joshua and the army of Israel fought the Amalekites in the valley below, Moses stood on the top of Mt. Horeb, which is Mt. Sinai, with his hands stretched out before the Lord, with his rod in his hands. The symbolism in this picture is full of instruction. Moses lifted up his hands in prayer to God and held up the rod, which represented God’s omnipotent power, so that all Israel could see it standing erect, like an immovable banner upon Mt. Sinai. But when Moses hands got heavy, the rod he held sagged. When the army of Israel could not see the rod, they wavered and the Amalekites prevailed against them. Aaron and Hur found a stone and put it under Moses to support him. Then they stood by Moses and held up his hands until the going down of the sun. Thus, Israel defeated the Amalekites. We are like those Israelites. At times it seems that our spiritual warfare will surely end in defeat. Like Moses, we get weary. Our legs are feeble. Our hands begin to sag. It appears that we will surely fall to the enemy. But, just when we have no strength, Christ our High Priest, represented by Aaron, and the Spirit of God, represent by Hur, whose name means liberty, inspire us to lift up our hands in prayer to God. Fixed upon Christ, our sure Foundation Stone, we again see the Rod of God, our mighty Savior, exalted and lifted up like a banner before us. “Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. (Hebrews 12:2), we prevail over our enemies. Our exalted Savior gives us assurance that, when the day of our warfare is over, we shall win the victory over our enemies. Our great Commander says to us, "Be of good cheer; I have overcome the world" (John 16:33). And by His grace we too shall overcome the world. At the end of the day, "Moses built an altar, and called the name of it Jehovah-Nissi" (v. 15), which means, "the Lord our Banner".*
THE LORD JESUS CHRIST IS JEHOVAH-NISSI, THE LORD OUR BANNER. In the majesty of his person, the efficacy of his work, the merit of his blood, the perfection of his righteousness, the certainty of his triumph, and the glory of his second advent, Christ is the Banner of his Church. Under this Banner we fight and prevail. And to this Banner we rally. In ancient times the banner of a regiment was far more useful than it is today; but we are still familiar with the symbolism. What a nation’s flag is to its people, Christ is to his Church. He is Jehovah-Nissi, the Lord our Banner. The banner is lifted up and displayed as the point of union. Countrymen have many things about which they have little quarrels. But let an enemy invade the land and every patriot will rally around the flag. When the chips are down, when liberty and freedom are in danger, all are one. All have one flag as their point of union. Even so, Christ is the point of union for all believers. All rally as one around Jehovah-Nissi, the Lord our Banner.*
When it comes to the person and work of Christ, all true believers are one, all true believers rally around and lift up the Banner of the Cross. Those who oppose and fight against the doctrine of Christ, his eternal Deity, effectual atonement, imputed righteousness, free grace salvation, sovereign rule over all things, or almighty intercession in heaven, are our enemies. All who uphold and defend these things are our brethren. In times of war, the banner directs the battle and encourages the soldiers. Moses held up the rod like a banner before Israel. The banner both directed and encouraged the army below. Aaron and Hur took great care to see to it that the banner did not fall to the ground. If it should fall the battle would be lost. Jehovah-Nissi, Christ our Banner, is the One who directs and encourages us in our warfare here below. We have no cause of fear. Though Moses grew weary, He never shall. He who is the same, yesterday, today and forever, will never fail. Child of God, fix your eyes upon him, and you shall never fail.*
There are at least four kind of victory that God will give you if you will let Him be your banner.  He can and will give you victory over sin in our life.  “But if we walk in the Light, as He is in the Light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin”           (1 John 1:7).  God can and will give us victory over bad habits and addictions.  “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed”       (John 8:36).    God can and will give us victory over sorrow and death. “The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death” (1 Corinthians 15:26).  "And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?"     (John 11:26).  "And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away." (Revelation 21:4). 



 END OF THE SERMON - 1

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SERMON - 2

 The Lord That Heals – Jehovah Rapha

“For I am the LORD that heals you!” (Exodus 15:26)


Rapha means “to restore”, “to heal” or “to make healthful” in Hebrew.

Jehovah is the Great Physician who heals the physical and emotional needs of His people, as well as their nation.


In Exodus 15:22-26 we have the account of Moses leading the children of Israel from the Red Sea to a place called Marah.  They had been without water for 3 days.  And when they came to Marah, they could not drink of the waters of Marah, for they were bitter.  The people murmured against Moses, saying, What Shall we drink? And he cried unto the LORD; and the LORD showed him a tree, which when he had cast into the waters, the waters were made sweet”.  Then the Lord gave them a conditional promise.

“If you will diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD your God, and will do that which is right in His sight, and will give ear to His commandments, and keep all His statutes, I will not allow any of these diseases come upon you, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the LORD that heals you (Jehovah-Rapha).


Jehovah-Rapha is the healer of all our sicknesses.  “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits; Who forgives all your sins; who heals all your diseases..” (Psalm 103: 2-3).  Because of Adam’s sin, sickness entered into our genetics and lives.  Everyone that Jesus healed eventually died.  But our Lord Jesus is still in the healing business.  God’s prevention of disease ought to be as much a matter of praise as his curing us of it.  God uses medicine and doctors to treat us as he used the tree that was cast into the waters.  The tree had no healing virtue; but God used the tree to accomplish the healing. Paul told Timothy to use a little wine for his stomach disorders (II Timothy 5:23).  James told the sick to use both prayer and the anointing of oil for the healing of their sick bodies (James 5:14-15).  We should thank God for medicine and doctors, but never to attribute praise to them as healing us.  It is God alone who heals.  In every healing we experience, we have a pledge of the resurrection of the body.  He who restores health to our bodies will restore life to our bodies in the resurrection.

Jehovah-Rapha is the healer of all our troubles.  “This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles” (Psalms 34:6).

The Lord our God has many ways by which he makes our bitter waters of trouble sweet.  Sometimes he simply changes our circumstances.  At other times the Lord turns our sorrow to joy and makes our bitter waters sweet interjecting something unexpected, which changes everything.  Our Lord Jesus is always present with us in our troubles.  Giving in to the will of God and making our hearts submissive to Him will bring peace to the troubled heart quicker and more effectually than anything else.  “And He said unto me, My grace is sufficient for you: for My strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me” (2 Corinthians 12:9).


Jehovah-Rapha is the healer of our souls.  “But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5).  Christ is the Tree of Life that removed the judgment of drinking the bitter waters of sin. The tree is a picture of Christ himself on the cross which put away our sins and brought in everlasting life. First, the Lord made the people know how bitter the water was.  Then prayer was made to God before the waters were healed.  The waters were not healed until the tree was cast into them.  Once the tree was cast into the waters, they were completely healed.  When God heals a soul, it is healed forever and completely.


Jehovah-Rapha will do His final healing when we get to Heaven.  “And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away” (Revelation 21:3-4).


There is healing for your deepest pains and disappointments.  There is healing over addictions, past hurts, and past failures.  There is healing for your body.  If you have become sidetracked by bitter waters in your soul and spirit, the only way to go to find the sweet water is to run to Jehovah-Rapha, The God Who Heals.




 END OF THE SERMON - 2
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SERMON - 3 

THE NAMES OF GOD

There are many names in the Old Testament that refer to God and each reveal some aspect of God’s character or His relationship with us.  Most versions of the Bible simply translate His name as “God” or LORD”.   But there are several Greek and Hebrew names that contain a wealth of truth about the wonderful God we serve.  We will look at two of these names and begin this wonderful study.


When ever you find the name “Lord” written is small capitals, it represents the name that God revealed to Moses.  This name was Yahweh.  The Jews thought this name was to holy to pronounce when they read the Scriptures aloud, so they pronounced it as Jehovah, which means “Lord God”.  God told Moses that He was the God who always had been , and who always would be.

“And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them? And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and He said, Thus shall thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you. (Exodus 3:13-14).  God told Moses that He was the God who always had been, and who always would be.  He was the eternal God.  There are many things in our world that cannot be seen, touched, or measured with instruments, yet we know they exist.  Likewise, we cannot see, touch, or measure God, but we can see the effects of His activity in our world.  We can see people’s lives transformed when they surrender themselves to Him.  We can see miracles of healing.  We can watch the marvelous cycles of the natural world, which keeps renewing itself and preserving itself year after year.  We know by His revealed Word, The Bible, they are the results of His activity.  Moses had never read one word of Holy Scripture.  He had never heard a sermon, yet he could hear the voice of God.  Because of his faith in God and his obedience to God, he would be able to see God perform mighty miracles before his own eyes. 


We worship the one, true, and living God that can and will work in our lives if we will love Him.



Jehovah-Elohim – The Lord is God.  Elohim is a proper name for the one true God, suggesting His unique nature as the three-in-one God.  “And God said, Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness..” (Genesis 1:26).  We Christians understand that “us” and “our” refer to the Trinity.  God is speaking of Himself and with Himself in the plural number.. Each person the Father, Son and Spirit are 100% deity so when they appear singularly there is no division of that deity since God is indivisible. The same rule would be for the word God theos, in the N.T.  John was speaking of Jesus when he said: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. (John 1:1-3).”  “And the Word was made 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. (John 1:14).  When we worship, serve, and call upon the name of Jesus, we call upon the name of the one true God.  Jesus said He was God.  “Then said the Jews unto Him, You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham? Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, “I Am” (John 8:57-58).

If you have accepted Christ as your personal Savior, you have accepted the one and true living God.  “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand. I and my Father are one” (John 10:27-30).   The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are one.  You cannot have one without having all three.  “And this is the record, that God has given to us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He that has the Son has life; and he that has not the Son of God has not life” (1 John 5:11-12).  “Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His” (Romans 8:9).

Next week we will look at two more names of God – El-Shaddai (The Almighty God), and  Jehovah-Jireh (The Lord Will Provide).


END OF THE SERMON - 3

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