Thursday, June 29, 2017
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Return to the Father's Heart
So the Earth Will Survive
Robert B. Scott

Return to the Father’s Heart

This crucial book will pave the way for the of coming Elijah of Malachi 4:5-6, who is prophesied to bring today’s absent fathers toward their neglected or jettisoned children and bring the heart of believers back to their Father in heaven. The book offers a solution to a pervasive problem among men today: their inability to forgive abusive fathers. This modern-day Elijah will “restore all things” (Mat. 17:11), including the true gospel of the Kingdom or Family of God, revealing the dangerous error of the grace revolution leading to the appearance of the man of lawlessness, an evil leader who will fight the second coming of Jesus. Click HERE to order your copy today!

The Feast of Tabernacles is part of God’s love feasts or agapes

Agapes, Feasts of Love


 

Tonight we will heed the words of two of Jesus’ brothers, Jude and James, words of faith, hope, and agape or love. The title of this sermon is agapes plural, a term Jude uses to describe these feasts. The theme of this feast is hope, a sure hope. Dr. Caroline Leaf says we can switch on our brains with hope, writing that hope is “an activity of the mind that changes the structure of our brain in a positive direction.” We come tonight to renew our minds in God’s love and faith, the substance of things hoped for. The man after God’s heart wrote, “Remember the word to your servant in which you have made me hope” (Psalm 119:49). He wrote of God, ““You are good and do good” (119:68). God is Love, so He does what He is. That’s why He gives us these agapes, so we can internalize His Word of love and express it to others in an atmosphere of celebration.

 Brother James tells us something we need to hear as we face the greatest trials of our lives, end-time pressure on believers: “Consider it all joy…” (James 1:2) because the testing of our faith produces perseverance. He tells us to ask for wisdom in these circumstances without doubting because we have the key to identity: we know God loves us and He is working out all things in our lives for good. Satan means it for evil, to wear us down and destroy us, but God means it for good, to perfect us and make us complete, lacking in nothing. These agapes show us how much God loves us. He wants us to stay in constant thanks and celebration for how good He is to us, even leading us through valleys that could kill us, but setting a feast table before us in the presence of our enemies.

God inspired Jude in verse 12 to use the Greek word agapes to describe this feast of hope and love.

Jude starts by showing the error of certain people who were keeping these feasts with God’s people, men who “revile the things which they do not understand” (Jude 10). These men went the way of Cain and “rushed headlong into the error of Balaam, and perished in the rebellion of Korah” (Jude 11).

We can easily rush our way through these feasts rather than resting in God’s love. Are we really benefitting from these feasts, or are we mocking God by not agreeing with Him and resting in Him?

Jude 12 says, “These are the men who are hidden reefs in your agapes, when they feast with you without fear, caring for themselves…” They were not resting in and walking in love, but in “sloppy agape.” They feasted for themselves. Gerald mentioned that we are not to fast for ourselves either. Anybody remember why? (new moon laydown)

This Greek word is crucial to understanding our identity as sons of our Father. 1 John 4:8 tells us who God is: “God is Love.” That’s His name, Father Love. And our goal in life is to become perfect in His love (Mat. 5:48).

 Born for the Love Identity

We come to worship our God of love at these feasts, but that’s not why we were born. We were born to become like our Father Love. I like to watch Jason Bourne in the Bourne Identity, but we are born for the Love identity, to identify ourselves with Father Agape, Father Love and Brother Love Jesus. Jude and James were His real brothers, and so are we!

Jesus said that He was the “I Am.” He tells us that’s who He is. In order to become like Him, we must first realize and speak out His Word of love. His Word says we are made in His image, especially when we accept the blood of Jesus to wash us clean where we can say with the Apostle Paul, “I have wronged no man. I have no past. My sins are forgiven and forgotten. I am a new creation.”

What does all that mean? It means that we can say, with our Father and Jesus, “I am.” I am one with the “I Am.” It means we can never become like our Father perfectly unless we can say and believe, like our Daddy, that “I am love.” Our identity starts with love, with agape. That’s who our God is, and that’s who we are.

I had the time of my life at my first feast in Texas in 1969 because I was in my first love at that love feast, serving 15,000 in student concessions and singing in the choir before those 15,000 (if it was a solo, many would have left!). Serving gives joy, and holy days allow that.

Jesus told the sons of the believers in Exodus 31:13, “You shall surely observe My Sabbaths (plural!); for this is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I am [Yahovah, the Eternal) who sanctifies you.”

Sanctify means to make holy. God sets us apart as holy when we accept Jesus and are baptized, promising to die to ourselves and walk in His ways. But that’s only the beginning. By God’s true grace or empowerment, we choose with our wills on a daily basis to put our God first, eliminating anything that distracts us from our love of Him. Jesus is our Brother but also our Bridegroom who is jealous for us and our undivided love. His love for us is undivided. He gives us His all and He wants us to give us His all. Tommy Texter is forbidden at the movies. We must decide not to be him at church. This is our honeymoon feast with our husband Jesus. Are we more in love with Him at this feast than the last one?

We pray that we will not be distracted as we were at Atonement, when apparently many distractions kept all those except those in the front rows from concentrating on the sermon. It was the first time I had spoken in exactly a year, and my spirit was grieved as I realized people were concentrating on their payback lists after the sermon instead of the praise. We had just learned that praising Jesus on that day was the only way we could see the freedom promised. Yet we grieved the Holy Spirit. Distracting ourselves and others because of discussing our payback lists may have been “good” as John Bevere said in his excellent new book, but it wasn’t “God.” It was mocking Him.

Jesus says that He has always been and that He has always been Love, and that these feasts help us to realize that we have been set apart to also identify ourselves as eternal and as eternally identified as love.

We can never become something we don’t believe we are. God calls those things that are not yet as existing already, calling into being that which does not exist (Rom. 4:17).

We begin to do the acts of love unselfishly when we know that we are love. We are “beings” before we are “doings.” We must know who we are in order to do the acts of love. We do the acts of our Father Love when and only when we identify ourselves with Him. He is Love, so we are Love. Our being becomes our doing. As we meditate upon who we are as eternal beings of love, set apart by these agapes, we begin to act as who we are.

 Do We Mock God or Imitate Him?

 I asked our apostle at the end of a sermon if the revelation of the power of the name of Jesus, who He really is, was the biggest revelation God has ever given us. He answered no, that the biggest revelation we have ever receive, a knowledge we have not walked in yet, is the knowledge of our identity in Jesus.

It is indeed important to know who Jesus is, but if we don’t know who we are in Him, that knowledge does us no good. The Word of Agape Love teaches us who we are. And we are immersed in that Word of Love when we come together for extended periods to keep His agapes, His feasts of love. It’s our laboratory of love. We always had more fun in chemistry lab than chemistry class in high school. We may have some explosions as we interact, but even that sharpens our ability to love and forgive. We’re here to put behind us the pre-feast trials and even the trials during the feast. We’re here to have fun, to celebrate!

The main goal of these feasts is to solidify our identity as sons of our Father Love so that we can begin to display that love rather than be selfish reefs in God’s agapes.

In this same book of Jude, Jude warns us not be like those, even in the congregations of the Father’s love, who are end-time mockers that follow their ungodly lusts (Jude 18).  As he warns us end-time believers of this mockery, he also calls us “beloved.” When we realize we are “God’s beloved,” we won’t act like the mockers because we know we are identified as love.

A mocker says, “I don’t have what I asked God for years ago.” A son of Agape, Father Love, knows that because he or she is God’s beloved, she believes she has already received in the Spirit what she asks at the moment she asks her Father. He or she knows she is one with the Eternal One who has no past but who deals in the “now.” We know we now have what we have requested. Jesus never said please, but always, “Thank You, Father.”

We are in continual thanksgiving in all things, knowing they are working out for good to accord us what we know we already have in the Spirit. We don’t need to see these promises manifested to thank our Father that we have them.

 The Sure Harvest Hope of the Feast

 This is a harvest festival. We rejoice in the harvest even when we haven’t seen it with our physical eyes. We see it with out spiritual eyes. We sing and dance in jubilation because we are thanking our Father for what He has given us already and what we know we have. Our hope is sure. We see the harvest He has already given us and thank Him profusely for what we have, all the while thanking our Father for what we have requested and what we know we have.

As John, who called himself the apostle that Jesus loved, said in 1 John 3:14-15: “This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.” He hears us right at the moment we pray. He is a now God, and He wants us to know that we know that He has already heard and answered our prayer, and that we can rejoice in the harvest right now. That’s the lesson of this harvest feast. And it all starts with our identity as sons of our Father Agape Love.

When we don’t agree with our Father that He has heard us now and answered us now because He loves us, we are mocking Him.

John continues, “And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him” (1 John 3:15).

Our heart can’t condemn us if we have this kind of confidence. We must know that we know that God has forgiven us for what we did yesterday and has forgotten it. He gives a new day every day, and we must give ourselves a new day. That’s part of having an identity that says, “I have wronged no man.” This is a feast of hope and change, and hope can even help us to change.

 Dr. Leaf writes, “Our brains may have stamps from the past, but they are being rewired by our expectation of the future. Imagining a positive future reduces the pain of the past…Hope leads to expectation, which creates peace, excitement, and health in our minds, thus increasing brain and body health.” (p.100, Switch on Your Brain).

We receive everything we ask of Father Agape “because we keep His commandments, and do the things that are pleasing in His sight” (1 John 3:22).

We do the things that please Him because we first know that He says of each of us, “This is My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.” We can say, “I am the son or daughter that My Father loves. I am the disciple whom Jesus loves.”

Mockers cause division, are worldly-minded, and aren’t led by the Holy Spirit but by their flesh (Jude 19). But what does God encourage us to do?

“But you, beloved,” he begins in Jude 20. He addresses us the way our Father does, as His beloved. That’s who He says we are. He continues, “building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit.”

We know that faith works by love, and love by faith. He tells us in verse 21, “keep yourselves in the love of God…” What better way to keep ourselves in God’s love than to keep His feasts of love, His agapes?

The thesaurus has this to say about mockers…Synonyms: baiter, harasser, heckler, mocker, needler, persecutor, quiz, quizzer, ridiculer, taunter, tease, teaser, torturer.

Related Words belittler, derider, detractor, insulter, jeerer, scoffer, scorner; trash-talker; smart aleck (also smart alec), smarty (or smartie), smarty-pants, wiseguy; kidder, lampooner, satirist; accuser, blamer, troublemaker; assailant, attacker, molester, victimizer; bother, disturber, pest.

Near Antonyms: defender, deliverer, guard, protector, rescuer, savior; comforter, consoler, solace, soother, succorer; bodyguard, champion.

We insult God when we use our words of the flesh instead of His Word. One of our radio presenters said that we should disregard all the circumstances around us and concentrate and meditate only on what the Word of God says about us. We mock God when we claim to be a believer in Him and in His Word, and yet we speak something else, refusing to agree with what He and His Word say. Jesus only said and did what He saw His Father do and say. We should only do and say what this Word says and what our Father tells us to say. Jesus was in constant communication with His Father. That’s also why He knew His true identity.

If He were to accept the identity his family and the Pharisees put upon Him, He would have thought of Himself as a heretic, a blasphemer, and crazy. He accepted His Father’s view of Him.

 Hearing Our Identity from God Himself

 It’s a blessing to read and believe what God says of us in His Word. But how much more rewarding and personal is it for us to hear Him say what He thinks of us individually. Hearing it from Him directly means more than we can express.

Habakkuk tells us how to hear from God. Dr. Mark Virkler had much the same experience as I did, he for a decade and myself for almost a half-century. He had always wondered what it would be like to hear from God. But he wasn’t sure that he did. When asked how they heard God, other pastors and saints would answer him, “You just know that you know.” His response: “If I knew that I knew, I wouldn’t be asking you.”

It’s a humbling experience for a shepherd not to hear from the Shepherd as much as the sheep. Pastors are sub-shepherds under Jesus and they are also sheep. Mark decided to spend a whole year studying the subject of hearing from God. Here’s basically what he found, as I see it…

Habakkuk 2 says that he stood on his guard post to keep watch and see what God would speak to Him. The psalmist says, in Psalm 46:10, “Be still (or cease striving), and know that I am God (or Love, as we see in 1 John 4:8).”

This is what many call “quiet time.” God knows that in this fast-paced world we need to slow down every day to be quiet and listen for and to the voice of God.

The big misunderstanding that both Mark and I had was thinking that God must always say, “This is God speaking,” even if it was to our hearts rather than a booming, audible voice.  Many will say, “Yeah, but that was only in Bible times.” Does that not make Jesus out to be a liar when He says, “My sheep hear My voice”?

In John 7:38, Jesus says, “From His innermost being (his spirit) will flow rivers of living water.” That flow of thoughts from God is a spontaneous flow that comes automatically when we quiet ourselves down, focus on Jesus and His Word, which is the second key, and believe Jesus’ words are true that we will hear His voice since we are one with Him. His thoughts come to us through our spirits when we tune to flow, as Mark says. We tune ourselves to God’s frequency, and believe that the flow of thoughts is from Him since we are asking Him our questions and allowing Him to do most of the talking. God doesn’t need to hear you for your many words, but He wants you to listen to His words to you in response to your prayers.

So we quiet ourselves down, become still so we can hear God. Second, we fix our eyes on Jesus and His Word. Third, we expect to hear the spontaneous thoughts that light upon our minds, and finally we “record the vision” as Habakkuk, writing down what God says without questioning that it’s Him. We only examine it with the Word and its principles once we have finished our two-way journaling.

Most of my journaling was done when I was eight and I received the gift of a journal. I saw that the days seemed to be all the same, so I marked R in my journal for regular day. Even when later in life I journaled, it was a record of my thoughts about the day, not what God was telling me.

If you ask God how He sees you, prepare to be encouraged to hear how much He loves you and appreciates your uniqueness. God’s Word will tell you how loved you are, but when you hear the Father Himself tell you how He appreciates who He made you to be and how He sees you, you will be overwhelmed with His love. You will begin to know who you are in Jesus more than the words of the Bible can tell you. We hope you will be overwhelmed by the words of love you hear in the sermons of these love feasts.

For important decisions, you need to run your journaling by someone who you know hears from God in order to test the word you received. Your journaling must be in line with the Word and the principles of the Word and the character of God. God will never say, “You no-good so-and-so.” He does correct, but He always does it lovingly, and sometimes quite pointedly to get your attention.

God is yearning to hear us ask Him questions and to speak to us as He will speak to no one else. His talk is tailored to us individually. This feasts of love or agapes are a good time to “keep ourselves in the love of God” by realizing that we are one with Him, one in His love. We can be still and know that He is Love, and that we are also Love. We can hear His words of love from Him individually in the sermons of the feast, and also hear from Him in personal words tailor-made for us.

Those who hear from their Father in these last days on His agapes will be spared from the Great Tribulation. He will spare us as a man spares his own son who serves him (Mal. 3:17).

God says in Psalm 50:5, “Gather My godly ones to Me, those who have made a covenant with Me by sacrifice.” It took sacrifice to get you here and on time. We’re practicing for the big gathering.

When we keep His agapes, we sacrifice our time to come before Him to hear from Him and talk to one another. And it will indeed be on an agape, a Feast of Trumpets that He will gather us to Him and say to us, as He does in Isaiah 26:20, “Come, my people, enter your rooms and close your doors behind you; Hide for a little while until indignation runs its course.”

“For God has not destined us for wrath [the wrath of Satan or God], but for attaining salvation through our Divine Master Jesus Christ” (1 Thes. 5:9). The Hebrew word for salvation is none other than the same word as Jesus, Yashua. It means more than salvation, but deliverance and rapture.

But Jesus is more than our Savior. He is our Divine Master and God. He gave all of Himself for us, and He wants all of us. He says if we love Him, we will be motivated to keep all His commandments, especially these feasts of love.

God will hide under the shadow of His wings those of His faithful ones who have kept his feasts of love, those who know how much their Father loves them. We hide for eight days in His love so that He can hide us in these last days and forever in His tabernacle of love.

We should ask ourselves this question: do I love God more than last feast? Am I motivated to obey Him more than last year? Am I growing? Am I changing for the better? Well, we’re in the right place to do just that. We’re in the lap of love, in the l-a-p of our Father and His love, and we’re in the l-a-b of love at these agapes.

We should, as Hebrews 10:23 says, “Hold fast to the confession of our hope without wavering [because of the end-time pressure], for He who promised is faithful; and [we should] consider how to stimulate one another to love [agape] and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together [in the Assemblies of the Father’s Love], as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.”

“For [in verse 36] you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised. For yet in a very little while, He who is coming will come, and will not delay.” He had to delay because His bride wasn’t ready. But He has given us these agapes so we can feast on His love and be ready to tabernacle with Him, forever. Amen.


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