Samuel: Stabilizer of the Kingdom-part 3

 Samuel: Stabilizer of the Kingdom-part 3

  Praise the Lord, and greetings in the precious name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, it is a wonderful day  the Lord has given us today, hope you’ve all had a good week, and although it is a bit different being with you on a Saturday, it is good to be with you today, as mentioned on Thursday we would pick up our 3rd installment of our study on Samuel today, beginning at B. “Preservation is Vital”, so without any delay here is our study.

B. Preservation Is Vital

Many factions would seek to destroy the voice of the Lord in the believer’s life. If the voice of the Lord is removed from the Christian experience, then stability is removed also. Stability is the foundation of all Christian growth, development, and service. It is the confidence factor for both the believer and those seeking Christ through the believer’s testimony. If the voice of the Lord is silenced in our lives, then the believer’s testimony is destroyed.

Evil triumphs when the voice of the Lord is silenced. Influenced by Herodias, Herod had John the Baptist killed. The purpose of this action was to silence John’s voice of condemnation for Herod’s sinful ways (Mark 6:20–28). The apostles were imprisoned in an effort by the Sadducees to silence them (Acts 5:18). Stephen was martyred because his words cut straight to the heart (Acts 7:54). Peter and Paul were both imprisoned but miraculously delivered by the hand of the Lord. Obviously, their voices were still needed (Acts 12:1–19; 16:19–40).

Jesus’ voice was temporarily silenced because men love darkness rather than light, and He was the light of the world. But death is not the only way a voice can be silenced. Gossip can destroy a reputation, and a lie can make void one’s influence. If the voice of the preacher, the testimony of the righteous, or the walk of the faithful be discredited, from where will salvation come? How can one be saved without a preacher? (See Romans 10:14.) Carefulness is prudence.

4. GOD’S VOICE TODAY

After John the Baptist prepared the way, Jesus Christ ushered in the kingdom of God with His preaching. (See Luke 16:16.) The transformation was made from the kings of Israel to a new and different kind of king and kingdom. “For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost” (Romans 14:17). Jesus was to be a king of peace, not one of pomp and ceremony.

The coming of Jesus brought great change. No longer was the focus to be exclusively on Israel, or the expression of God through a limited number of voices, but many were to proclaim the message. Whosoever would hear and respond could drink of the waters of life freely. (See Revelation 22:17.) Jesus’ preaching brought into being the principles and power of the kingdom of God, while Peter’s preaching opened the doors to grace and the birth of the New Testament church. A new era was begun with new emphasis, power, and experience.

A. Peter’s Reference

The Holy Ghost fell on the Day of Pentecost to the delight of Jesus’ faithful followers and to the bewilderment of the devout Jews gathered in Jerusalem from every nation. The Jews heard the believers speak with tongues, declaring the wonderful works of God, and wondered with amazement and doubt what it meant. (See Acts 2:1–14.) Then Peter stood and preached his first sermon to explain the phenomenon of the outpouring of the Spirit and to proclaim Jesus of Nazareth as “both Lord and Christ” (Acts 2:36).

Amidst mockery, doubt, and confusion, Peter used two Old Testament prophets to authenticate his message. First was Joel, who prophesied of the outpouring of the Spirit in the last days. Joel’s words, as the prophetic voice of God, gave credence to the experience of Pentecost and settled the crowd. Then Peter used David, the beloved king of Israel, to establish Jesus as both their Lord and Christ. The doubt was erased, the mocking ceased, the confusion was satisfied, and conviction came upon the hearers.

Peter’s use of the prophecies of Joel and David authenticated the experience of Pentecost and the revelation of Jesus Christ. Peter’s preaching, utilizing David’s prophecy, brought understanding to the personage of Jesus as the Christ, the Messiah, whom the Jews had been expecting to come for centuries. To know Him is to believe in Him. And to believe is to repent, take on His name in baptism, and be filled with the Spirit. (See Acts 2:37–38.) And thus the church was born.

B. Today’s Preacher

The difference between the Hebrew prophets and today’s preachers is the scope of the gospel. The prophets for the most part were focused on Israel, while the preachers are to carry the whole gospel to the whole world. Building on the prophets’ foundation, preachers today have a great reservoir of history, Scripture, and the manifest presence of God at their disposal. The preachers’ field is larger and more diversified than that of the Hebrew prophets, and the abundance of Scripture and Christian examples, including the life and ministry of Jesus, are more plentiful and accessible.

Before the church today is set an open door no man can shut if the church will only hold to the Word of the Lord. (See Revelation 3:8.) For God’s voice still speaks through His messengers, and it still has the power to convict, to change, to stabilize, and to completely restore those who will hear.

The marks of maturity in achieving this ministry are also three-fold: (1) to come into the unity of the faith, (2) to come into the knowledge of the Son of God, and (3) to measure up to the stature of the fullness of Christ.

The stature of the fullness of Christ is characterized in Ephesians 4:13–16 as being (1) knowledgeable in doctrine, (2) disciplined in speaking truth in love, (3) submitted to Christ’s authority as the head, (4) positioned in one’s place in the body of Christ, and (5) involved in edifying the church by working in love and unity.

When converts are capably discipled for ministry, the body of Christ is properly edified. From Peter’s first sermon in Jerusalem, to the thousands of pulpits around the world today, the voice of the preacher remains the principle source for the voice of Lord. Discerning the voice of God today is greatly determined by one’s concept of preaching: Is it of God or of man? Is it foolishness or wisdom?

For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe” (I Corinthians 1:21).

C. The Sure Anchor

Samuel was the first of the Hebrew prophets in the kingdom era, but not the first to prophesy. Noah, Abraham, Joseph, Moses, Balaam, and many others spoke for the Lord before Samuel stepped onto the scene. From the Garden of Eden to the closing chapter of Revelation, the Lord chose how and through whom His voice would be heard. Sometimes, as it was with Adam in the Garden, it was the voice of conversation. At other times it was as the thunder heard at Mount Sinai (Exodus 19:19) or the voice of affirmation as it was on the Mount of Transfiguration (Mark 9:1–8). Whether it is through conversation, proclamation, or judgment, the voice of the Lord will always be heard.

Does God still choose to speak audibly through human voices? Yes. In addition to preaching, the voice of God is heard through the manifestation of the gifts of the Spirit, which include speaking in tongues, interpretation of tongues, the word of wisdom, the word of knowledge, prophesying, and testifying. But the primary way in which God speaks today is through His Word and the voice of the preacher and teacher.

As Paul traveled through the cities of Asia Minor visiting the young churches, he ministered to them the gospel and shared with them the ordinances from the apostles in Jerusalem. His purpose was to establish them in the faith so they could develop into the stature of Christ and grow in numbers. (See Acts 16:4–5.) The Lord used Paul’s voice to impart the Word to them. The Word has the power to transform and to keep, to stabilize and to strengthen, to inspire and to comfort. As we internalize the Word, we lay hold on the knowledge and strength we need to walk before the Lord acceptably and give Him glory. And as we testify of Jesus, we manifest the spirit of prophecy. (See Revelation 19:10.)

Internalizing the Message

As Paul traveled through the cities of Asia Minor visiting the young churches, he ministered to them the gospel and shared with them the ordinances from the apostles in Jerusalem. His purpose was to establish them in the faith so they could develop into the stature of Christ and grow in numbers. (See Acts 16:4–5.) The Lord used Paul’s voice to impart the Word to them. The Word has the power to transform and to keep, to stabilize and to strengthen, to inspire and to comfort. As we internalize the Word, we lay hold on the knowledge and strength we need to walk before the Lord acceptably and give Him glory. And as we testify of Jesus, we manifest the spirit of prophecy. (See Revelation 19:10.)

In our transition from sinner to saint to servant, we must remain sensitive to the Word and to the Spirit, for “we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture” (Psalm 100:3). His voice leads us into righteousness, which gives us light for our feet along the path of life and comforts our hearts with assurance and peace by His presence. Our confidence is in the immutability of His counsel and the fact that God cannot lie. (See Hebrews 6:17–18.) Herein is our hope secure and steadfast, for His sheep “know his voice” (John 10:4).

We are building a spiritual house upon the Rock, Christ Jesus. With each phase toward its completion, there is change. Change is inevitable for growth to take place. The winds of adversity will blow and the storms will come, but the breath of the Spirit within us is greater than the winds of adversity against us. We must build on the solid rock of the Word that is forever settled in Heaven and not on the shifting sands of temporal flesh, human philosophy, and human wisdom. His voice is our stabilizer and strength, our hope and anchor. In His Word we put our trust and rest in peace.

  That will conclude our study of Samuel, when we get together on Monday we will begin our new study on “Nathan: Prophet of Righteous Justice”, hope the rest of your weekend is a great one and look forward to getting together with you on Monday.

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