"Studies of the Spirit - In the Old Testament, Part 2" - John 16:12-15
ZADOK PUBLICATIONS - Dr. C. R. OLIVER
June 1, 2020
ZADOK PUBLICATIONS MONTHLY NEWSLETTER
June 1, 2020
Studies of the Spirit
In the Old Testament, Part 2
You may watch this Newsletter in a video HERE
"I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13 However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you
things to come. 14 He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. 15 All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore, I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you."
Last month, we reviewed the first twenty passages in the Old Testament that scripted the Holy Spirit's activities under the old covenant. We ended by drawing some conclusions which are listed below.
- Spirit as Creator: in the creation of heavens and earth as well as man.
- Spirit as sustainer as in the case of Noah and also later in Joseph.
- Spirit as provider as in case of Moses (artificers in the Tabernacle).
- Spirit transmission: Moses and the elders (laying on of hands on them and Joshua).
- Spirit intervention: Balaam.
- Spirit deliverance: Gideon, Jephthah, Samson.
- Spirit anointing: Saul and David.
- Spirit affirmation: David.
- Spirit transport: Obadiah and Elijah
- Spirit succession: as in the case of Elisha.
- Spirit encouragement: Asa, Jehoshaphat.
- Spirit warring. Jehoshaphat.
This month's study will add to that list and also reveal several unique ways the Spirit used the prophets. First, let us see Him as the Spirit of Final Correction.
21. 2 Chronicles 24:18-22 (the Spirit's agency of Final Correction)
Last month, we ended with the reign of Jehoshaphat and how God delivered him from the Moabites and the Ammonites (the children of Lot's drunken incest with his daughters). After his deliverance (because he walked after his father Asa's example)-he sinned, by allying himself with Ahaziah (king of Israel in Samaria),
Jehoshaphat died and his eldest son, Jehoram, reigned. Jehoram's reign was grossly tainted by taking a daughter of Ahab as wife. He murdered his brothers and earned the rebuke of Elijah, who declared his death by intestinal disease. Next came his youngest son, Ahaziah, who reigned for one year under the influence of his mother (Ahab's daughter, Athaliah). After his death, Athaliah murdered the royal heirs and took illegal power in his stead. However, God protected one child, Joash, who at seven years of age was crowned. Joash repaired the Temple and prospered until the death of the priest, Jehoiada. With Jehoiada's influence gone, Joash listened to the corrupt leaders of Judah. Then, the Spirit of correction entered the framework through various prophets, but the elders refused to listen. Their refusal caused the Spirit to move on Jehoiada's son, Zechariah, with the Spirit's final words.
2 Chronicles 24:15-22:
But Jehoiada grew old and was full of days, and he died; he was one hundred and thirty years old when he died. 16 And they buried him in the City of David among the kings, because he had done good in Israel, both toward God and His house.
17 Now after the death of Jehoiada the leaders of Judah came and bowed down to the king. And the king listened to them. 18 Therefore they left the house of the Lord God of their fathers, and served wooden images and idols; and wrath came upon Judah and Jerusalem because of their trespass. 19 Yet He sent prophets to them, to bring them back to the Lord; and they testified against them, but they would not listen.
20 Then the Spirit of God came upon Zechariah the son of Jehoiada the priest, who stood above the people, and said to them, "Thus says God: 'Why do you transgress the commandments of the Lord, so that you cannot prosper? Because you have forsaken the Lord, He also has forsaken you.'" 21 So they conspired against him, and at the command of the king they stoned him with stones in the court of the house of the Lord. 22 Thus Joash the king did not remember the kindness which Jehoiada his father had done to him, but killed his son; and as he died, he said, "The Lord look on it, and repay!"
Notice, Joash started his career in the right direction, but wound up in disgrace. It is amazing how this man moved from being a force for righteousness to the progenitor of unrighteousness.
Ezekiel commented in one of his prophecies, Ezekiel 18:24, that such a man would die.
"But when a righteous man turns away from his righteousness and commits iniquity, and does according to all the abominations that the wicked man does, shall he live? All the righteousness which he has done shall not be remembered; because of the unfaithfulness of which he is guilty and the sin which he has committed, because of them he shall die."
Next, we turn to Nehemiah.
22. Nehemiah 8:16-9:30:
In this passage, Ezra's Preaching from the Book of the Law produced a contrite people who confessed their sins and kept the feast of Tabernacles, which caused them to recount how the Lord had helped them throughout their history.
16 Then the people went out and brought them and made themselves booths, each one on the roof of his house, or in their courtyards or the courts of the house of God, and in the open square of the Water Gate and in the open square of the Gate of Ephraim. 17 So the whole assembly of those who had returned from the captivity made booths and sat under the booths; for since the days of Joshua the son of Nun until that day the children of Israel had not done so. And there was very great gladness. 18 Also day by day, from the first day until the last day, he read from the Book of the Law of God. And they kept the feast seven days; and on the eighth day there was a sacred assembly, according to the prescribed manner.
The People Confessed Their Sins
9:1 - Now on the twenty-fourth day of this month the children of Israel were assembled with fasting, in sackcloth, and with dust on their heads. 2 Then those of Israelite lineage separated themselves from all foreigners; and they stood and confessed their sins and the iniquities of their fathers. 3 And they stood up in their place and read from the Book of the Law of the Lord their God for one-fourth of the day; and for another fourth they confessed and worshiped the Lord their God.
The Priests recounted how God had helped Israel in the Past, by recounting their wilderness trek.
20 You also gave Your good Spirit to instruct them,
And did not withhold Your manna from their mouth,
And gave them water for their thirst.
21 Forty years You sustained them in the wilderness;
They lacked nothing;
Their clothes did not wear out
And their feet did not swell.
For all the Lord provided, they did not appreciate the Lord's kindness:
Yet they acted proudly,
And did not heed Your commandments,
But sinned against Your judgments,
'Which if a man does, he shall live by them.'
And they shrugged their shoulders,
Stiffened their necks,
And would not hear.
30 Yet for many years You had patience with them,
And testified against them by Your Spirit in Your prophets.
Yet they would not listen;
(Their forefathers, in light of all the Lord had done for them, refused the instruction of the Spirit! How often is this the case of the modern church? Historically, almost all denominations can recount earlier times when they listened intently to the Spirit, but sadly, they also can recount times when they refused to hear!)
How interesting that in slightly over eleven verses, those who confessed their sins and sought to re-establish the feast of Tabernacles were reminded how easy it is to be led astray.
Job is next with a most lucid revelation of true life.
23. Job 26:2-27:12, Job 33:4, Job 34:14-15: Turning now to Job, let the reader comprehend how Job listened to his friends for twenty-six chapters before having enough of their rhetoric. Bildad proffered the possibility that Job did not measure up to God's standards and thereby was suffering from what he had sowed. In a few short verses, Job thanks his friends for their wonderful insights and masterful commentary, but he has had enough.
Using the Living Translation for clarity, we see Job's disdain.
2 "What wonderful helpers you all are! And how you have encouraged me in my great need! 3 How you have enlightened my stupidity! What wise things you have said! 4 How did you ever think of all these brilliant comments?
5-6 "The dead stand naked, trembling before God in the place where they go. 7 God stretches out heaven over empty space and hangs the earth upon nothing. 8 He wraps the rain in His thick clouds and the clouds, are not split by the weight. 9 He shrouds His throne with His clouds. 10 He sets a boundary for the ocean, yes, and a boundary for the day and for the night. 11 The pillars of heaven tremble at His rebuke. 12 And by His power the sea grows calm; He is skilled at crushing its pride! 13 The heavens are made beautiful by His Spirit; He pierces the swiftly gliding serpent.
14 "These are some of the minor things he does, merely a whisper of His power. Who then can withstand His thunder?"
27:1 Job's final defense:
"I vow by the living God, who has taken away my rights, even the Almighty God who has embittered my soul, 3 that as long as I live, while I have breath from God, 4 my lips shall speak no evil, my tongue shall speak no lies. 5 I will never, never agree that you are right; until I die, I will vow my innocence. 6 I am not a sinner--I repeat it again and again. My conscience is clear for as long as I live. 7 Those who declare otherwise are my wicked enemies. They are evil men.
8 "But what hope has the godless when God cuts him off and takes away his life? 9 Will God listen to his cry when trouble comes upon him? 10 For he does not delight himself in the Almighty or pay any attention to God except in times of crisis.
11 "I will teach you about God- 12 but really, I don't need to, for you yourselves know as much about him as I do; yet you are saying all these useless things to me.
Job's graciousness eclipses into blatant truth in these verses. Like many of the Bible saints, he returns to the creation and begins his response, citing a greater work of the Spirit than his situation. Then he calls his friend's logic, USELESS. (Six chapters later, he makes a declaration that some in the abortion industry cannot fathom. He attributes the Spirit of God for his own creation. [A child is not just a product of cohabitation, but the gift of God's Spirit bringing life.] The withdrawal of life is a Spirit event as well, according to Job.)
The Spirit of God has made me,
And the breath of the Almighty gives me life.
If He should gather to Himself His Spirit and His breath,
15 All flesh would perish together,
And man would return to dust.
After affirming his righteousness in chapter twenty-six, Job declares he is the product of
God and lives under His determined boundaries. (Dogmatism is a necessary quality when the world around you assert their stupidity.)
Moving now to the Psalms, it becomes apparent the portions focusing on the Spirit are greater than most have been aware.
24. Psalms 51:7-12; Psalms 104:27-30; Psalms 106:32-33; Psalms 139:7-10; Psalms 143:10: Although the Psalms are not in chronological order, the Psalmist's first mention of the Spirit appears rather late. In his petitions to God, David declares his dependency on the Lord and His Spirit.
7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
8 Make me hear joy and gladness,
That the bones You have broken may rejoice.
9 Hide Your face from my sins,
And blot out all my iniquities.
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God,
And renew a steadfast spirit within me.
11 Do not cast me away from Your presence,
And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of Your salvation,
And uphold me by Your generous Spirit.
The Psalmist later considers how God's creation depends solely upon the Lord and His provision.
24 O Lord, how manifold are Your works!
In wisdom You have made them all.
The earth is full of Your possessions -
Darwinian evolution wouldn't have a chance with David!
Environmentalists would falter in their Godless schemes. David believed the cycle of life is subject to God sending His Spirit. Observing the oceans and their creatures, he notes their dependence on the Lord (just like he does).
27 These all wait for You,
That You may give them their food in due season.
28 What You give them they gather in;
You open Your hand; they are filled with good.
29 You hide Your face, they are troubled;
You take away their breath, they die and return to their dust.
30 You send forth Your Spirit, they are created;
And You renew the face of the earth.
As many before him, the Psalmist, in this next passage, cites the rebellion of God's people in the wilderness. So awesome was this event that its impact is felt in many portions of Scripture. Here, the writer clearly reveals how their rebellion was not just against Moses, but God's Spirit as well.
32 They angered Him also at the waters of strife,
So that it went ill with Moses on account of them;
33 Because they rebelled against His Spirit,
So that he spoke rashly with his lips.
Certainly, this is the case where Moses delivers the message from God and the hearers refuse to listen or to take heed to what he says. Their rebellion goes beyond the messenger to the place of the Spirit, who ordered the Word. (Perhaps modern Christianity had best examine their motives and see if rebellion might characterize some of their actions.)
Psalms 139 poses a rhetorical question-one to which the obvious answer is "nowhere." God's Spirit is everywhere; no place alludes His presence. This Psalm is as inclusive as Paul's declaration when he said, "What can separate us from the love of God?"
Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from Your presence?
8 If I ascend into heaven, You are there;
If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.
9 If I take the wings of the morning,
And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
10 Even there Your hand shall lead me …
Lastly, in Psalms 143 there is a passage which appears to be like a summary. Here the writer simplifies his relation to God and speaks for all his readers.
10 Teach me to do Your will,
For You are my God;
Your Spirit is good.
Lead me in the land of uprightness.
Next, we examine references in the Prophet Isaiah, which are varied and many.
25. Isaiah 11:1-3; Isaiah 30:1; Isaiah 32:15-17; Isaiah 34:16-17; Isaiah 40:12-15;
Isaiah 42:1-10; Isaiah 44:3-5; Isaiah 48:16-19; Isaiah 59:19-21; Isaiah 61:1-3;
Isaiah 63:10; Isaiah 63:11-14:
Isaiah 11:1-3: Isaiah had many Scriptures about the coming Savior, but this passage is the first one showing Jesus and the Spirit manifested as resting upon Him. Wisdom, understanding, counsel, might and knowledge are the attributes of His Spirit coming down on Jesus at His baptism. The same is true today for those who are baptized in the Spirit. Jesus revealed the relationship He had with the Father, and through the Spirit, showed how to reverence the Lord.
One interesting point is the third verse on how the Spirit allows us to make judgments beyond the natural methods-to see through the Spirit. Kingdom children use discernment, which penetrates the subterfuges of this world and makes determinations based on Spirit insight.
Isaiah 11: 1-3: There shall come forth a Rod from the stem of Jesse,
And a Branch shall grow out of his roots.
2 The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him,
The Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
The Spirit of counsel and might,
The Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord.
3 His delight is in the fear of the Lord,
And He shall not judge by the sight of His eyes,
Nor decide by the hearing of His ears.
How wonderful is the equipping by the Spirit for our spiritual walk. As believers, we see what others do not see and hear what others are deaf to---"let him that hath ears hear and those that have eyes to see what the Spirit says to the churches."
But alas, a heavy penalty comes from not consulting the Spirit. It is clearly a sin to plan outside
the will of God. God calls those who take counsel from other sources, persons in "rebellion."
(Perhaps this would be a good sermon for church committees.)
"Woe to the rebellious children," says the Lord,
"Who take counsel, but not of Me,
And who devise plans, but not of My Spirit,
That they may add sin to sin
In Isaiah 32:15-17, the Prophet painted a dark picture for Israel UNTIL the Spirit arrived. This passage relates to what I believe occurred on the day of Pentecost. Life is dark without the pouring out of the Spirit.
Until the Spirit is poured upon us from on high,
And the wilderness becomes a fruitful field,
And the fruitful field is counted as a forest.
16 Then justice will dwell in the wilderness,
And righteousness remains in the fruitful field.
17 The work of righteousness will be peace,
And the effect of righteousness, quietness and assurance forever.
This next passage is a reminder to us of the work of the Spirit in watching over the Word of the Lord and seeing it is carried out to the letter. Although this chapter is addressed to the nations, it considers Petra, the city of the Edomites, as the prime example of God's judgment. To this day, tourists visiting Jordan view it and find it exactly as God proclaimed - a home to only wild beasts. Edom's rose red rock city, during the migration of Israel from the wilderness, hindered their progress, and as sons of Esau, they did whatever they could to cause trouble for God's people. God's judgment came in the form of a powerful earthquake which opened a lower terrain for traverse, thus eliminating the necessity of traveling through Edom.
Next, the Spirit is shown to be the guarantor of the covenant as in, "His Spirit will make it all come true."
The Living Translation does a good job of clarifying the role of the Spirit in Petra's demise.
10 This judgment on Edom will never end. Its smoke will rise up forever. The land will lie deserted from generation to generation; no one will live there anymore. 11 There the hawks and porcupines will live, and owls and ravens. For God will observe that land and find it worthy of destruction. He will test its nobles and find them worthy of death. 12 It will be called "The Land of Nothing," and its princes soon will all be gone. 13 Thorns will overrun the palaces, nettles will grow in its forts, and it will become the haunt of jackals and a home for ostriches. 14 The wild animals of the desert will mingle there with wolves and hyenas. Their howls will fill the night. There the night-monsters will scream at each other, and the demons will come there to rest. 15 There the owl will make her nest and lay her eggs; she will hatch her young and nestle them beneath her wings, and the kites will come, each one with its mate.
16 Search the book of the Lord and see all that He will do; not one detail will He miss; not one kite will be there without a mate, for the Lord has said it, and His Spirit will make it all come true. 17 He has surveyed and subdivided the land and deeded it to those doleful creatures; they shall possess it forever, from generation to generation.
Observe with all your attention on verse sixteen. It is Spirit-force connected to the Word of God that penetrates human history.
Verse seventeen, to me, is a unique description of a land transaction between God and the wild animals of Petra.
Look now at Isaiah 40.
The munificence of the Lord permeates this next passage. Isaiah points out the greatness of God in creation and asks probing questions. Who is able to give counsel to Him or His Spirit? The Godhead know all things and They are in all things and have power over all things. Today, persons and organizations who plot their own courses with little regard to the sovereignty of God had best give ear. Whole nations who dictate to its citizenry with strangling force had best listen!
12 Who has measured the waters in the hollow of His hand,
Measured heaven with a span
And calculated the dust of the earth in a measure?
Weighed the mountains in scales
And the hills in a balance?
13 Who has directed the Spirit of the Lord,
Or as His counselor has taught Him?
14 With whom did He take counsel, and who instructed Him,
And taught Him in the path of justice?
Who taught Him knowledge,
And showed Him the way of understanding?
15 Behold, the nations are as a drop in a bucket,
And are counted as the small dust on the scales;
Look, He lifts up the isles as a very little thing.
Jesus is all over the following word. He fulfilled every aspect of this prophecy which was given seven hundred years before their happening. If one reads Luke 10, they will find many of the attributes of His ministry found here. The anointing on His life was so powerful that many of the actions of Jesus were done to fulfill Isaiah's prophetic words.
"Behold! My Servant whom I uphold, My Elect One in whom My soul delights!
I have put My Spirit upon Him;
He will bring forth justice to the Gentiles.
2 He will not cry out, nor raise His voice,
Nor cause His voice to be heard in the street.
3 A bruised reed He will not break,
And smoking flax He will not quench;
He will bring forth justice for truth.
4 He will not fail nor be discouraged,
Till He has established justice in the earth;
And the coastlands shall wait for His law."
5 Thus says God the Lord,
Who created the heavens and stretched them out,
Who spread forth the earth and that which comes from it,
Who gives breath to the people on it,
And spirit to those who walk on it:
6 "I, the Lord, have called You in righteousness,
And will hold Your hand;
I will keep You and give You as a covenant to the people,
As a light to the Gentiles,
7 To open blind eyes,
To bring out prisoners from the prison,
Those who sit in darkness from the prison house.
8 I am the Lord, that is My name;
And My glory I will not give to another,
Nor My praise to carved images.
9 Behold, the former things have come to pass,
And new things I declare;
Before they spring forth, I tell you of them."
It is the believer's privilege to know things in advance!
Turn now to Isaiah 44.
This next set of Scriptures comes from the voice of the Lord. After saying, "I will give Jacob to the curse, and Israel to reproaches," His next words are comfort. Chapter 44:1 begins with "Yet" and ushers comfort to Israel and Jerusalem and especially their descendants (Think: Pentecost and beyond).
For I will pour water on him who is thirsty,
And floods on the dry ground;
I will pour My Spirit on your descendants,
And My blessing on your offspring;
4 They will spring up among the grass
Like willows by the watercourses.'
5 One will say, 'I am the Lord's';
Another will call himself by the name of Jacob;
Another will write with his hand, 'The Lord's,
and name himself by the name of Israel.
Strangely, Isaiah 48 begins with a rebuke and judgment of the nation Israel, whom God called "worthless." Then He declares His deliverance of them because He wants the nations to know Israel's idols did not save them. So, He calls His people to attend His words, and He spells out the demise of Babylon (even before the captivity begins and gives the name of the ruler of Persia who will conquer Babylon - before he is born - Cyrus.) This passage opens with a declaration that God has been there all along for them and will be so even now.
"Come near to Me, hear this:
I have not spoken in secret from the beginning;
From the time that it was, I was there.
And now the Lord God and His Spirit
Have sent Me."
17 Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer,
The Holy One of Israel:
"I am the Lord your God,
Who teaches you to profit,
Who leads you by the way you should go.
18 Oh, that you had heeded My commandments!
Then your peace would have been like a river,
And your righteousness like the waves of the sea.
19 Your descendants also would have been like the sand,
And the offspring of your body like the grains of sand;
His name would not have been cut off
Nor destroyed from before Me."
Reach now to Isaiah 59.
For background on Isaiah 59, one must read Isaiah 58:1, where the Lord speaks to His prophet Isaiah:
"Cry aloud, spare not;
Lift up your voice like a trumpet;
Tell My people their transgression,
And the house of Jacob their sins
The fifty-ninth chapter finds Isaiah still carrying out His charge.
Your iniquities have separated you from your God;
And your sins have hidden His face from you,
So that He will not hear.
3 For your hands are defiled with blood,
And your fingers with iniquity;
Your lips have spoken lies,
Your tongue has muttered perversity.
After concisely rebuking His people, the next passage reveals God's protection.
This prelude to the promise of mercy from the Lord is almost poetic.
So shall they fear
The name of the Lord from the west,
And His glory from the rising of the sun;
When the enemy comes in like a flood,
The Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him.
20 "The Redeemer will come to Zion,
And to those who turn from transgression in Jacob,"
Says the Lord.
What a marvelous covenant promise! In the midst of a worldwide pandemic, which has affected all nations like a flood of suffering - - there comes a trumpet blast from the Spirit of the Lord and beside Him is the banner emblazoned with Lion of the Tribe of Judah! Hallelujah!
21 "As for Me," says the Lord, "this is My covenant with them: My Spirit who is upon you, and My words which I have put in your mouth, shall not depart from your mouth, nor from the mouth of your descendants, nor from the mouth of your descendants' descendants," says the Lord, "from this time and forevermore."
Quickly run to Isaiah 61.
This is one of the Bibles' most famous passages. It is the one Jesus used to announce His ministry (Luke 10. Truly, Isaiah stands as the most quoted of Prophets, for God gave him glimpses of His Son. Jesus did not quote all of this passage, for He omitted the "vengeance of our God." (His ministry was not ushering in the day of vengeance.)
61 "The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me,
Because the Lord has anointed Me
To preach good tidings to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives,
And the opening of the prison to those who are bound;
2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord,
And the day of vengeance of our God;
To comfort all who mourn,
3 To console those who mourn in Zion,
To give them beauty for ashes,
The oil of joy for mourning,
The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;
That they may be called trees of righteousness,
The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified."
Hurry forward to Isaiah 63.
In Isaiah 63, Isaiah characterized the Spirit as a person and someone who can be grieved. Because the people of Israel grieved the Holy Spirit, God turned away from them, all the while remembering His past history with them. He turned back again and the Spirit gave Him rest. (There are some questions to be addressed in today's religious marketplace! Have we grieved the Spirit? Has the church done its thing and offered no place for the Spirit?)
Isaiah 63:7-15: This passage has three references to the Spirit. It begins with a review of God's merciful dealings with Israel. Note the tenderness expressed in verse nine and following. Note also, their reaction to His goodness. They grieved the Spirit.
I will mention the loving kindnesses of the Lord
And the praises of the Lord,
According to all that the Lord has bestowed on us,
And the great goodness toward the house of Israel,
Which He has bestowed on them according to His mercies,
According to the multitude of His loving kindnesses.
8 For He said, "Surely they are My people,
Children who will not lie."
So, He became their Savior.
9 In all their affliction He was afflicted,
And the Angel of His Presence saved them;
In His love and in His pity, He redeemed them;
And He bore them and carried them
All the days of old.
10 But they rebelled and grieved His Holy Spirit;
So, He turned Himself against them as an enemy,
And He fought against them.
11 Then he remembered the days of old,
Moses and his people, saying:
"Where is He who brought them up out of the sea
With the shepherd of His flock?
Where is He who put His Holy Spirit within them,
12 Who led them by the right hand of Moses,
With His glorious arm,
Dividing the water before them
To make for Himself an everlasting name,
13 Who led them through the deep,
As a horse in the wilderness,
That they might not stumble?"
14 As a beast goes down into the valley,
And the Spirit of the Lord causes him to rest,
So, You lead Your people,
To make Yourself a glorious name
Isaiah uses a broad brush to summarize the relationship of Israel with their God. With large sweeps he moves from days of old to the end of days embracing the righteousness of the Lord.
Beginning with verse eleven, he poses a question that runs to verse thirteen. It is rhetorical in nature because the answer is obvious: Only God!
Praise His Holy Name!
Until next month,
Dr. Cosby R. Oliver, PhD.
Darrell and Sandy Blatchley - Family Circus Children's Ministries
Darrell and Sandy Blatchley
Family Circus Children's Ministries
PO Box 80542
8000 Davao City
Facebook: "Darrell Blatchley - Family Circus Children's Ministries Int"
Family Circus Children's Ministry was created by Assembly of God Church missionaries Darrell and Sandy Blatchley in 1993 to create high impact, joyful methods to present the Gospel (#1) to children and (#2) to their families.
The purpose of the Family Circus is to bring the life and joy of Jesus, combining both discipleship and evangelism, to reach lost children, while ministering to the needs of the child, both spiritual and physical.
Each week five to six thousand people of all ages attend the Family Circus church services held under the 'Big Top', a big circus tent pitched in the center of the densely populated "Muslim Friendship Village" in Davao City, Mindanao City, Philippines. Approximately 4,000 of the 6,000 member congregation are children, half of which are malnourished. More than 1,000 are adults.
- Annually Family Circus has 250 pregnant mothers (mothers ages 12 and up) who receive prayer support, advice and daily vitamins as our way of blessing their unborn child.
*250 annual births is considered one of the Shepherd's tools for church growth. Baby dedications are a normal part of each service.
- Family Circus provides free dental care for children age 5 or older each week. More than 2,000 receive this treatment annually. (Short term missions teams are welcome).
- Each week the 2,000 plus malnourished children receive food assistance and multi-vitamins depending upon resources available. Currently a FC cafeteria bakery is under construction with the goal to supply daily hot nutritious meals to the malnourished children.
- Scripture memory and dramatized sermons are the foundation of each service. Both adults and children are encouraged to memorize the Word of God and each week the Scripture text is put to music and sung as a part of their praise & worship. This method serves as a powerful tool to assist the congregation in memorizing the Word.
- At the close of each service there are prayer lines available for all ages, and the kids line up by the scores for a prayer and hug.
- First aid for the children is administered free before and after every service.
The Family Circus, as a church with four walls, was started about seven years ago due to the large number of poor children and their families getting saved on the street under the FC street ministry. There was a lack of motivation in traditional churches to receive these children due to several factors.
Since that time, FC church growth has been phenomenal. The first week, 161 (primarily children) attended the service. The second week 550 attended as their families began coming and the third week attendance was 770 attending. It continues to grow, with current attendance at nearly 6,000.
The first facility the church met in was McDonald's, which we outgrew in 3 months. Then we rented a little building and held multiple services, stacking the congregation in and growing to a weekly attendance of 3,500 in about 3 to 4 years. We began using the tent in September 2007.
The FC church currently "meets" in two locations, the 4,000 seat tent with two services and a satellite service outdoors near the beach under a covered basketball court. FC also has started monthly 'Character Connex' Training Assemblies in the local government elementary schools, teaching 40,000+ kids.
The dramatized sermons originated weekly by the FC church are written, self published, and being used in 30 countries, in multiple languages.
The Family Circus church is a Filipino national church, and is pastored by a team of 30 nationals, and 60 - 100 national volunteers, with oversight, mentoring, and training being provided by missionaries Darrell and Sandy Blatchley. Other local churches receive training freely upon request, and the lessons are used by many national churches. National churches often hear about what is happening and send their staff to view and learn new methods of ministry for the children which is bringing awareness to the national church of the importance of children.
Family Circus methods and lessons have been used to teach, disciple, and evangelize hundreds of thousands. We keep accurate records of those attending in the tent with the goal of raising the children to become warriors and workers for the Lord, both now and in the future.
We are currently under lockdown here on the island of Mindanao in S Philippines. We thought it would be lifted this week but the discovery of more cases caused them to delay the lifting until June. It will be good when this passes as we are in the midst of building a gym to replace the Circus tent. After 14 years the weather finally wore it out. We are about 100 yards away from the ocean and we had it up 24/7 for many year. The tent could accommodate large gatherings of kids and their families, and the gym will be larger and also 2 floors. What a wonderful time of harvest ahead. Plus we are expecting a flood of new growth. In the past we would average about 220 newborns a year. I expect many more to come and we need to be prepared. It's harvest time and as shepherds we welcome the littlest lambs.
We've been under lockdown about 2 months and we hoped it might be lifted this weekend but instead they extended it a couple weeks. I understand they've not registered any new cases for the past 3 - 4 days. They ran out of test kits. Chuckle… Good reason for not listing new cases I guess.
We currently have 4 orphans we are raising at home. Their parents died about 4 - 5 years ago and we became the answer to their mama's prayer.
Our son Ken & Liz in Abilene, Texas just had our 5th grandchild (1st child for them). It is our 2nd granddaughter, Little Ella, hit the ground running at almost 12 lbs. That is the biggest sacrifice of being a missionary. Not seeing our kids or in this case grandkids, sometimes for years at a time… But who knows this may be our first granddaughter that may join us one day on the field…?
Life has slowed down over here, I think the kids kinda like it. They are getting some extra time with dad too, joining in with on rock polishing, shaping etc.
Hopefully in another week they will begin lifting the lockdown. It's been nearly 50 days and counting. We are all feeling well, though getting a bit tired of this process of trying to dodge or slow down a virus. Sandy has been working like a trooper trying to keep the meals interesting and tasty. We've eaten our share of the long-life vitamin enriched meals which we give to malnourished kids by the thousands. All those vitamins don't add to the taste, so it takes creativity to enhance the flavor.
(Shopping has not been so easy during lockdown, yet God gives us unique opportunity to minister.) We have distributed about 25,000+ meals during the past couple weeks and once we are freer to travel, we will be distributing thousands more to the local prison and to one about 3 hours away later this week. So many hungry out of work families out there.
For the last few days I've been keeping the kids active in my tool room. It gives Sandy some recharging and rest time.
A hobby I picked up in the last couple years was a rock tumbling; I had a rock tumbler from a friend and began to polish rocks starting with some I had collected from Israel shortly before that. Also, I enjoy involving and taking the kids with me out looking for rocks in the countryside, by the river, and ocean. And, "Oh Yes! These stones can speak… Using them to speak into the kids' lives about how even a hard ole stone in the Master's hand can become a treasure and many more lessons to boot. Stones just like people that have been walked on and disregarded can be picked up and in the Master's hands can become a treasured keepsake. When my birth father passed away about a year ago I used some of the funds he left me to pick up a nice rock cutter and a rock polishing setup.
The kids are enjoying the process, and a few days ago Angel and Denver were out practicing riding a Unicycle after polishing their rocks. I remember learning when I was their age. Seems a rare sight to see someone riding a unicycle.
We pray the lockdown will be lifted soon; families need to return to work.
We also pray for the Lord's protection as we resume getting out there to help the least of these and resume construction as we know that there will be a harvest of little ones who will need to come and meet the King…
By The Ocean With The Kids
Child Eating During Lockdown
Darrell and Sandy Before Lockdown
Darrell and Sandy Blatchley
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