January 1, 2020

C. R. Oliver

January 1, 2020


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Philippians 4:4
Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!

Happy New Year!


When I queried the Lord about this newsletter, I received one word: Rejoice! I believe this will be a year of great rejoicing and will be filled with many reasons to do so. Rejoicing is a powerful weapon against sin and satan. David's Psalms are filled with this necessary ingredient in our worship of the Lord. Interestingly enough, the New Testament focuses on many reasons to rejoice and even declares when and where it must take place.

Because of the nature of this study, definitive Scriptures fill this newsletter―hopefully, the reader will recognize my desire to show the breadth and scope of this subject and the importance of emphasizing the "always" factor in Philippians 4:4.

The range of subject matter shows the Lord himself rejoicing over His people, nature rejoicing on a constant basis for His glory and man being urged to join in with song, praise, shouts and dancing.

Look now at the teaching of the New Testament on this subject.

Rejoice, when under Persecution:

We are told to rejoice when persecution and tribulations are aimed at us. Jesus spoke of it:

Luke 6:22-23:
22 Blessed are you when men hate you,
And when they exclude you,
And revile you, and cast out your name as evil,
For the Son of Man's sake.
23 Rejoice in that day and leap for joy!
For indeed your reward is great in heaven,
For in like manner their fathers did to the prophets. NKJV

Paul and Silas in the Philippian jail couldn't leap for joy, but they rejoiced and brought an earthquake.

Simon Peter taught a similar principle:

1 Peter 4:12-14:
12 Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; 13 but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ's sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. 14 If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.

Wow! What a wonderful measure to compare one's sufferings to that of Christ's. Rejoicing brings the person to a state of blessing reached by no other means.

Simon Peter joined trials and tribulations (with blessings) worthy of praise and rejoicing.

1 Peter 1:3-9:
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

6 In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, 7 that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, 8 whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, 9 receiving the end of your faith―the salvation of your souls.

Likewise, the book of Acts brims with rejoicing over persecution for Christ's sake.

Acts 5:41-42:
41 So they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name. 42 And daily in the temple, and in every house, they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ.

World persecution is expanding at rapid rates. South America is experiencing grave turmoil, especially in Venezuela and now in Colombia. China has incarcerated millions and continues its persecution (financed by US markets). It is difficult to hear much rejoicing from these countries like Iran and N. Korea, but Scripture says rejoice, as rejoicing is a witness in itself.

Rejoice, because you have eternal life:

Jesus clarified what to rejoice over when His disciples were ecstatic over their spiritual authority.

Luke 10:19-20:
"Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you. 20 Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven."

Many are teaching the precepts of spiritual authority and urging their constituents to take hold of those principles and rule and reign in their respective domains. Jesus replaced their rejoicing over their authority, to rejoicing over a greater matter―their names written in heaven.

Rejoice, because that which was lost is found:

Jesus also taught about rejoicing over the lost sheep that was found, as well as, the lost coin and the lost son.

Yes, this is the year for rejoicing over sons and daughters that have changed and come home. Hallelujah!
Yes, this is the year when financial losses are to be recovered! Monies, seemingly lost, will come back.
Yes, this is the year of rejoicing over wandering sheep who are found and recovered!
Yes, this is a shouting year of praise for restoration!

Luke 15:6-7:
And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, 'Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!' 7 I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance.

Rejoice, because rejoicing was predestined for some occasions:

Luke 19:37-40:
Then, as He was now drawing near the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works they had seen, 38 saying:

     "'Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord!'
     Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!"

39 And some of the Pharisees called to Him from the crowd, "Teacher, rebuke Your disciples."

40 But He answered and said to them, "I tell you that if these should keep silent, the stones would immediately cry out."

Rejoice, because kingdom business is carried out (sowing and reaping).

Paul used this teaching of John's in context over the issue of "Paul planted and Apollos watered, but God gave the increase."

John 4:35-38:
Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest! 36 And he who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit for eternal life, that both he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together. 37 For in this the saying is true: 'One sows and another reaps.' 38 I sent you to reap that for which you have not labored; others have labored, and you have entered into their labors."

Paul termed rejoicing together as "entering in" to the joy of others. There is something wonderful which transpires when there is unity in the Spirit. "Entering In" is a communion which surpasses mere participation with others; it creates a true fellowship in Christ!

Romans 12:15-16:
15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. 16 Be of the same mind toward one another. NKJV

1 Cor 12:26: (comparing the unity of the physical body to the church): …if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.

Rejoice, over one's reconciliation:

Rejoicing in God through our Lord Jesus adds a dimension rarely understood, but we are urged to do it. There is a point in rejoicing when we, like Jesus, reach a point of worship to the Father as a son. Jesus spoke of such in John's Gospel, chapter fourteen.

Romans 5:10-11:
10 For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. 11 And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.

Rejoice, because it pleases the Lord to share in our rejoicing:

Philippians 3:1,3:
Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord

Worship God in the Spirit, rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh,

Jesus instructed His disciples to rejoice over his ascension and His return.

John 14:28:
You have heard Me say to you, 'I am going away and coming back to you.' If you loved Me, you would rejoice because I said, 'I am going to the Father,' for My Father is greater than I.

Rejoice, because God, Himself, rejoices over His people.

Deuteronomy 30:9-10:
The Lord your God will make you abound in all the work of your hand, in the fruit of your body, in the increase of your livestock, and in the produce of your land for good. For the Lord will again rejoice over you for good as He rejoiced over your fathers, 10 if you obey the voice of the Lord your God, to keep His commandments and His statutes which are written in this Book of the Law, and if you turn to the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.

One of the most beautiful passages, showing the Lord rejoicing, is in Isaiah 62:1-5. Here, the prophet describes the restoration of Zion.

Isaiah 62:4-5:
4 You shall no longer be termed Forsaken,
Nor shall your land any more be termed Desolate;
But you shall be called Hephzibah, and your land Beulah;
For the Lord delights in you,
And your land shall be married.
5 For as a young man marries a virgin,
So shall your sons marry you;
And as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride,
So shall your God rejoice over you.

Zephaniah also spoke of the rejoicing of the Lord.

Zephaniah 3:16-17:
In that day it shall be said to Jerusalem:
"Do not fear;
Zion, let not your hands be weak.
17 The Lord your God in your midst,
The Mighty One, will save;
He will rejoice over you with gladness,
He will quiet you with His love,
He will rejoice over you with singing."

Rejoice, because all nature is constantly rejoicing.

We are largely unaware of the amount of rejoicing going on around us, but if trees and wildernesses rejoice, could this not be the reason we find solace in them?

Psalm 96:12-13:
Let the field be joyful, and all that is in it.
Then all the trees of the woods will rejoice before the Lord.
13 For He is coming, for He is coming to judge the earth.
He shall judge the world with righteousness,
And the peoples with His truth.

Isaiah 35:1-2:
The wilderness and the wasteland shall be glad for them,
And the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose;
2 It shall blossom abundantly and rejoice,
Even with joy and singing.

Rejoice, because we are given so many ways to do so.

David, on the day they placed the ark of the covenant in the tabernacle he erected, gave this word to Asaph. Examine the various methods of rejoicing and seek to emulate them in your own worship of Him.

1 Chronicles 16:8-14:
8 Oh, give thanks to the Lord!
Call upon His name;
Make known His deeds among the peoples!
9 Sing to Him, sing psalms to Him;
Talk of all His wondrous works!
10 Glory in His holy name;
Let the hearts of those rejoice who seek the Lord!
11 Seek the Lord and His strength;
Seek His face evermore!
12 Remember His marvelous works which He has done,
His wonders, and the judgments of His mouth,
13 O seed of Israel His servant,
You children of Jacob, His chosen ones!
14 He is the Lord our God;
His judgments are in all the earth.

The elements of rejoicing, laid out in these verses, give direction for our rejoicing. 2020 should find the saints singing to the Lord, rejoicing with all their hearts for One who is so good and kind to us.

1 Chronicles 16:23-24:
Sing to the Lord, all the earth;
Proclaim the good news of His salvation from day to day.
24 Declare His glory among the nations,
His wonders among all peoples.

Join those verses with the following:

Psalm 5:11-12:
let all those rejoice who put their trust in You;
Let them ever shout for joy, because You defend them;
Let those also who love Your name
Be joyful in You.
12 For You, O Lord, will bless the righteous;
With favor You will surround him as with a shield.

We are told to praise Him, because rejoicing is beautiful.

Psalm 33:1-3:
Rejoice in the Lord, O you righteous!
For praise from the upright is beautiful.
Make melody to Him with an instrument of ten strings.
3 Sing to Him a new song;
Play skillfully with a shout of joy.

We are instructed to say, "The Lord be magnified" continually.

Psalm 40:16:
Let all those who seek You rejoice and be glad in You;
Let such as love Your salvation say continually,
"The Lord be magnified!"


Psalm 105:2-5:
2 Sing to Him, sing psalms to Him;
Talk of all His wondrous works!
3 Glory in His holy name;
Let the hearts of those rejoice who seek the Lord!
4 Seek the Lord and His strength;
Seek His face evermore!
5 Remember His marvelous works which He has done,
His wonders, and the judgments of His mouth,

Psalm 118:24:
This is the day the Lord has made;
We will rejoice and be glad in it.

Psalm 119:162:
I rejoice at Your word
As one who finds great treasure.

Rejoice, because instructions to do so are found everywhere in the Word.

Jeremiah 31:4:
4 Again I will build you, and you shall be rebuilt,
O virgin of Israel!
You shall again be adorned with your tambourines,
And shall go forth in the dances of those who rejoice

Joel 2:23:
Be glad then, you children of Zion,
And rejoice in the Lord your God;
For He has given you the former rain faithfully,
And He will cause the rain to come down for you―
The former rain,
And the latter rain in the first month.

Many a message has been preached about the "former" and "latter rain" coming together in the end times―perhaps increased rejoicing will bring it to fruition.

The prophet, Habakkuk, drawing on the direst of circumstances, proclaimed his faith in God, by rejoicing.

Habakkuk 3:17-18:
Though the flock may be cut off from the fold,
And there be no herd in the stalls―
18 Yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
I will joy in the God of my salvation.

David masterfully summed up the place of rejoicing with this passage:

Ps 104:31-34:
May the glory of the Lord endure forever;
May the Lord rejoice in His works.
32 He looks on the earth, and it trembles;
He touches the hills, and they smoke.

33 I will sing to the Lord as long as I live;
I will sing praise to my God while I have my being.
34 May my meditation be sweet to Him;
I will be glad in the Lord.

As we enter the New Year, may we not forget the importance of rejoicing, and may we be heard shouting His praise. In the face of national elections and uncertainties across the globe, may we determine like the Psalmist,

"I will sing to the Lord as long as I live."

Until February,

Dr. Cosby R. Oliver, PhD.


From: Ghiorghi Cazacu - Gospel Ministries International, Inc.:

Contact Information:

Dorothy Maue
US Administrator

Gospel Ministries International, Inc.
PO Box 661
Belleville, IL 62222
Telephone: (618) 239-0215

Email: gmiius@sbcglobal.net

We are so very thankful for all that you do for the Lord's Kingdom and pray that you are healthy and blessed in Jesus! We are excited to share with you the first pictures of the church in Pepeni, Moldova as they have begun doing the work to make it a wonderful meeting place! They are attached.

I will be able to share more information with you later, but here you can see the work being done and the large group of people that will already be attending. We are so very thankful to you for all that you have done and they all send their love and thankfulness to you! The excitement it is and will continue to cause in the community is such a great blessing.

May the Lord Jesus Christ bless you abundantly and return to you a hundredfold that which you sow into His Kingdom!


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