Here are my Bible teaching notes for tonight concerning a profound message for our generation.
Do you believe God has changed since Bible times? Do you believe that God can still be God and bear His mighty arm in our generation? Do you believe that God can do mighty works and awesome wonders that fill page after page of the Bible? Why are we not seeing these awesome displays of the power and majesty of God? Is God on vacation? Is God taking some time off? Has God stepped down off His throne? Has God’s power short circuited?
Leonard Ravenhill: One of these days some simple soul will pick up the Book of God, read it, and believe it. Then the rest of us will be embarrassed… Perhaps God never had such a set of unbelieving believers as this present crop of Christians. How humiliating!
Isaiah 50:2a,4,5 (NIV): When I came, why was there no one? When I called, why was there no answer? Was my arm too short to ransom you? Do I lack strength to rescue you?
The Sovereign Lord has given me an instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary. He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being taught.
The Sovereign Lord has opened my ears, and I have not been rebellious: I have not drawn back.
In our generation when God comes, no one is there to meet Him. In our generation, when God calls, no one is listening, and no one answers. God has not changed; He still has the power to rescue, to deliver, to redeem, to restore and to revive, but in our generation we just don’t believe it anymore in the depths of our hearts. The greatness of our God is fading in the minds of men, women and children with a relentless increase and fervency. We have stopped our ears to truth and have drawn back from God with a rebellious attitude and spirit. In this generation we have become lovers of self more than lovers of God. We do not know the Word of God that sustains the weary as our generation has rejected the Bible with an open contempt and disgust. God longs to waken us every morning with the gentle whisper of His voice: “Come back to me; come back to me. I will be your God; I will instruct, lead, protect and love you more than anything in the heavens and earth.” But our generation and rolled over in bed and fallen back to sleep refusing to be awakened by the voice of Almighty God.
Isaiah 45 (selected verses Message Bible):
That I’ve singled you out, called you by name,
and given you this privileged work.
And you don’t even know me!
I am God, the only God there is.
Besides me there are no real gods.
I’m the one who armed you for this work,
though you don’t even know me,
So that everyone, from east to west, will know
that I have no god-rivals.
I am God, the only God there is.
Who told you, and a long time ago, what’s going on here?
Who made sense of things for you?
Wasn’t I the one? God?
It had to be me. I’m the only God there is—
The only God who does things right
and knows how to help.
So turn to me and be helped—saved!—
everyone, whoever and wherever you are.
I am God,
the only God there is, the one and only.
I promise in my own name:
Every word out of my mouth does what it says.
I never take back what I say.
Do you know God has singled you out; called you to step forth out of the line of the world and has a whole list of privileged work that He wants you to do for Him? But we have so often failed and turned away because we do not know Him. We do not believe that He can still perform His word like He did when He parted the Red Sea, rained down manna from heaven and brought down the walls of Jericho. These are nice stories to entertain our kids, but do we believe God can do those mighty acts in our lives? Daniel 11:32 says that when we know our God, we will be strong beyond measure and He will do exploits, mighty wonders, awesome works and wondrous deeds in our lives. Do you believe it? Does your life reflect it? As a whole modern day Christianity to a great extent simply does not know God beyond a surface and often artificial acknowledgment of Him. This is why to a great extent God has become dead to our generation because the failure of the Christian church to know Him and believe Him.
No matter what the college professors or news media or religions of the world say, there is only one God and His Word revealed in the Bible is the most powerful, faithful and life-changing thing in all the earth. God backs His Word with a 100 percent guarantee. He does not take it back. God did not stutter when He breathed out His Word. It is as reliable as God’s name for He backs it with a heavenly guarantee and stands behind every jot and tittle of His Word. He will always perform His Word when it is believed. Always. His Word cannot fail; His Word cannot be broken; His Word cannot be overcome. His Word always comes to pass when it is believed.
One of the saddest sections in Scripture is in Jeremiah which describes the current state of Christianity in our generation.
Jeremiah 2 (NIV-selected passages):
2 “This is what the LORD says: “‘I remember the devotion of your youth, how as a bride you loved me and followed me through the wilderness, through a land not sown.
5 This is what the LORD says: “What fault did your ancestors find in me, that they strayed so far from me? They followed worthless idols and became worthless themselves.
6 They did not ask, ‘Where is the LORD, who brought us up out of Egypt and led us through the barren wilderness, through a land of deserts and ravines, a land of drought and utter darkness, a land where no one travels and no one lives?’
8 The priests did not ask, ‘Where is the LORD?’ Those who deal with the law did not know me; the leaders rebelled against me. The prophets prophesied by Baal, following worthless idols.
10 …observe closely; see if there has ever been anything like this:
11 Has a nation ever changed its gods? (Yet they are not gods at all.) But my people have exchanged their glorious God for worthless idols.
13 “My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water.
14 Is Israel a servant, a slave by birth? Why then has he become plunder? Consider then and realize
how evil and bitter it is for you when you forsake the LORD your God and have no awe of me,” declares the Lord, the LORD Almighty.
20 “Long ago you broke off your yoke and tore off your bonds; you said, ‘I will not serve you!’ Indeed, on every high hill and under every spreading tree you lay down as a prostitute.
21 I had planted you like a choice vine of sound and reliable stock. How then did you turn against me into a corrupt, wild vine?
23 “How can you say, ‘I am not defiled; I have not run after the Baals’? See how you behaved in the valley; consider what you have done. You are a swift she-camel running here and there,
24 a wild donkey accustomed to the desert, sniffing the wind in her craving—in her heat who can restrain her? Any males that pursue her need not tire themselves; at mating time they will find her.
25 Do not run until your feet are bare and your throat is dry. But you said, ‘It’s no use!
I love foreign gods, and I must go after them.’
27 They say to wood, ‘You are my father,’ and to stone, ‘You gave me birth.’ They have turned their backs to me and not their faces; yet when they are in trouble, they say, ‘Come and save us!’
28 Where then are the gods you made for yourselves? Let them come if they can save you
when you are in trouble! For you, Judah, have as many gods as you have towns.
29 “Why do you bring charges against me? You have all rebelled against me,” declares the LORD.
31 “You of this generation, consider the word of the LORD: “Have I been a desert to Israel or a land of great darkness? Why do my people say, ‘We are free to roam; we will come to you no more’?
32 Does a young woman forget her jewelry, a bride her wedding ornaments? Yet my people have forgotten me, days without number.
We have lost our first love as Christians and have strayed after worthless idols. Our leaders do not know God or teach His truth. We worship our self-made idols with a fervent passion and lost our awe of God and His wondrous works and nature. We have become mixed in with the world and give our devotion and time to things that are wasting away our lives in frivolousness and trivial matters that mean nothing in His eternal kingdom. We have forgotten God and turned our backs to Him, hour after hour, day after day, week after week, and year after year.
Look at the cry of the Psalmist to our generation:
Psalm 12:1 (KJV): Help Lord for the godly man ceaseth; for the faithful fail from among the children of men.
Where are the men and women who will once again believe that God is who He says He is and will do what He says He will do? Where are the men and women who will believe God can be just as mighty, powerful, true, faithful and earth shattering as He was in the times of the Bible? Few still stand as godly. Few still believe. Few still stand as faithful to God. Truth has fallen in the streets and God is seeking for a man, a woman who will believe who God says He is and with relentless devotion commit their lives to the integrity of His Word.
Look and consider the greatness of our God and what He can still do in our generation.
Jeremiah 31:35 (NIV):
This is what the LORD says, he who appoints the sun
to shine by day,
who decrees the moon and stars
to shine by night,
who stirs up the sea
so that its waves roar—
the LORD Almighty is his name
Job 5:9 (HNV): Who does great things that cannot be fathomed, Marvelous things without number.
Job 37:4,5 (Message): In their wake, the thunder echoes his voice, powerful and majestic. He lets out all the stops, he holds nothing back. No one can mistake that voice-His word thundering so wondrously, his mighty acts staggering our understanding.
Job 37:14 (NKJV): Listen to this O Job; stand still and consider the wondrous works of God.
Psalm 86:7,8,10-13a (ESV):
In the day of trouble, I call upon you, for you answer me. There is none like you among the gods, O Lord, nor or there any works like yours. For you are great and do wondrous things; you alone are God. Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth; unite my heart to fear thy name. I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart, and I will glorify thy name forever.
Nothing compares to our awesome God and His wondrous, mighty and breathtaking works that cannot be counted. We need to still our heart and reflect on the greatness of our God. He is not unemployed or disabled. He still wants to work His mighty and marvelous, wondrous works today in our generation.
God has spoken countless words and promises over your life that determine whether your life will reflect a mighty demonstration of His glory or your destiny will falter because you have let His words fall to the ground and have not believed them.
Exodus 34:10 (NIV)- Then the LORD said: “I am making a covenant with you. Before all your people I will do wonders never before done in any nation in all the world. The people you live among will see how awesome is the work that I, the LORD, will do for you.
Do you believe that God will do wonders and awesome works for you? He has made a covenant, a heavenly promise sealed in the blood of Jesus Christ, that He will work a work in your life like nothing the world has ever seen? Do you believe it? Or are we one with little faith toward our God?
Ephesians 3:20-Now to Him Who, by (in consequence of) the [action of His] power that is at work within us, is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly, far over and above all that we [dare] ask or think [infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes, or dreams].
God still can do. God still can work. God still is able. His power is activated by our faith. He can do infinitely beyond anything we have ever dared ask or thought to ask Him. He is the fulfillment of our dreams, thoughts, hopes and desires in Him. Do we dare to ask? Do we dare to dream? God loves someone who dares to take Him at His Word and simply believe it, no strings attached. God said it and that settles it. Believe it!!!
Luke 1:37 (KJV): For with God nothing shall be impossible.
This is God’s standard and the infallible word of God speaking. Believe it!!
Awake, awake, put on strength O arm of the Lord; awake as in the ancient days, in the generations of old.
Eric Ludy: The arm of the Lord in scriptures is the means by which God accomplishes His exploits and does His wonders. We can relate to this Scripture in our modern day because we can read the Bible but we don’t see the Bible necessarily evidenced in our generation. We can believe that it happened back then, but we don’t quite know how to deal with the discrepancy that it happened then but we don’t see it happening today. This is where all the new fangled doctrines come from to try to explain away the fact that God ever intended to be God in our generation. We hear “O that has ceased. We don’t need that anymore because we have the completed Canon of Scripture.” If we don’t see the outflow of the life and power of God in the church, all we have is a dead religion. We are not interested in just speaking truth, but we are interested in living truth. There is a discrepancy that takes place between the just knowing about something and the living of it and that difference is the power of Almighty God. So we as the church of Jesus Christ cry out, “Awake, awake, put on strength O arm of the Lord; awake as in the ancient days, in the generations of old.” If the arm of the God does not awaken in our generation, we will be no different that the generation before us and the generation before that. We are on a downward spiral and decline and truth has fallen in the streets and there is an erosion taking place on a faster level and degree than at any time that I know when I have been alive; an ever diminishing of truth in our generation. It is not pretty. However, God is at work and it is often under the banner of obscurity. NBC, Fox News and CNN don’t notice it. God has a work He is doing and He is stirring the heart of His saints to say “Come back to me; come back to me and believe again like little children.” What would happen if we had the faith of little children again and took the Word of God and said I for one believe it. I believe it even if I haven’t seen it and believe God will do the impossible if we simply believe. Will we once again allow God to return us to the simple word of truth that if He said it we can take it to the bank?
Eric Ludy: Do we know the power and grandeur of God in our day? Does our generation comprehend that the God of the Bible is without “shadow of turning” and that He is “the same yesterday, today, and forever.” There is a vast shortage of believers who simply believe with child like faith that God will do what He says He will do and is worthy of our trust and is always faithful to His Word. We have far more faith in the power of the enemy to defeat us than we do in the power of God to deliver us, change us, empower us, and demonstrate His mighty nature in and through us.
Jacob-When he takes a hold of God and finds out what he needs he will not let go-Genesis 32:36-“I will not let go until you bless me.” Jacob saw His need and saw His only answer in Almighty God. He grabbed a hold of Him and he would not let go. God changed Jacob’s name to Israel which means “contender, soldier of God, the prevailing power of God, the power of God unto victory.” Do you have this same tenacity to grab a hold of God and not let go, believing the power of God will prevail unto victory in every circumstance, challenge and problem? The secret of Christianity is grabbing a hold of our God as the only source of rescue, you are the one that has it and I can’t find it anywhere else. I won’t let go until you have every bit of me. You cling to Him, you cleave to Him with everything you have and everything you are and you refuse to let go of God for anything, for nothing compares to our awesome God.
Isaiah 64:7a: And there is none that calleth upon thy name, that stirreth up himself to take hold of thee.
So few ever stir themselves up daily to take a hold of God and not let go.
Do you know that God longs to display His splendor in you?
Isaiah 49:3 (NIV): He said to me, “You are my servant, Israel, in whom I will display my splendor.
We are His sons and daughters, not just servants, and O how much more does God want our lives to display His splendor. Have you ever seen the department stores, especially in cities like New York, that have the huge display windows that show products, clothes or scenes that represent what the store has to offer? We are to be like the display window to the world of our God, displaying what God has to offer in all the splendor, all the power, all the wonder and all the love of our Almighty God.
The Hebrew word for “splendor” means “to be beautiful, to be ornamented, to adorn to have a heated glow and would be used to describe the rosiness and heat of the face.” It is to display and adorn the beauty of God with a warm glow like an ornament glistening with the glory of God. We are to boil over and have a radiance of the beauty of our God in everything we say or do. This word has an element of honor, pride (in a good sense) and boasting about the awesome beauty of God and the privilege to display it.
How is your display window? Do you believe God still desires to display His splendor like He did to Moses, David, Elijah, Elisha and Joshua and so many giants of faith in the Bible? Why are the display windows of our lives so darkened today and the curtain closed?
The mighty God wants to use our lives to live His purposes through us so that we can utter the great truth in Isaiah 49:9 to all the people: “To say to the captives, “Come out,” and to those in darkness, “Be free.” Have we silenced God in our lives and our generation through our unbelief?
Genesis 18:1 (KJV): And the LORD appeared unto him in the plains of Mamre: and he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day;
What an extraordinary record. If the Lord appeared to us at our front door, most of us would faint, have a heart attack or shut the door in His face.
9And they said unto him, Where is Sarah thy wife? And he said, Behold, in the tent.
10And he said, I will certainly return unto thee according to the time of life; and, lo, Sarah thy wife shall have a son. And Sarah heard it in the tent door, which was behind him.
11Now Abraham and Sarah were old and well stricken in age; and it ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women.
12Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, After I am waxed old shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?
13And the LORD said unto Abraham, Wherefore did Sarah laugh, saying, Shall I of a surety bear a child, which am old?
Haven’t we in essence laughed at the exceeding great and precious promises of His Word, our Lord’s own precious speaking to our heart, by failing to believe and see them evidenced in our lives.
14Is any thing too hard for the LORD? At the time appointed I will return unto thee, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son.
Hebrew word for “hard” means “to be marvelous, be wonderful, be surpassing, be extraordinary, separate by distinguishing action, to be beyond one’s power, to be difficult to do.”
Can God still show Himself distinguished and without rival in this generation by doing marvelous, wonderful, extraordinary, surpassing and impossible works of extraordinary power? Has God’s power faded over the ages? Has God aged and no longer capable of appearing at anytime and at anyplace and showing his mighty arm in the most impossibility and difficult circumstances? Absolutely not as God has never changed and He is still the Almighty, the All-powerful, the All-knowing and the Everywhere-present God.!!!! This is inherent in His very name Yawheh.
Yahweh is the proper name by which God revealed Himself to His covenant people. It represents God in a loving, committed covenant relationship with His children. It is a God who is reaching out for us to know him. Yahweh is the God who promises to be with us, to continually unfold Himself to us in new and deeper ways of understanding, and to protect and deliver us from every form of oppression. Yahweh is the God who communicates with us and reveals to us His awesome Word and Will. Yahweh means the Eternal One, the Immutable One, He who WAS and IS and IS TO COME.
Yahweh is a form of the verb “to be” meaning He is: He is alive, active, and present. Yahweh also means, “He who will be, the Coming One,” who will fulfill his original covenant promise in Genesis 3:15 of the crushing the head of the serpent (devil) and bringing to full completion the salvation of His people. Yahweh’s name is the pledge, the commitment and the unbreakable bond of this covenant promise to His people. He is also the Coming One who is always ready to intercede and intervene in any obstacle or problem of His children. Yahweh is the God of action for His people, getting intimately involved in every phase of their lives. Yahweh is the great deliverer, the wonderful redeemer, and the firm rescuer who transforms our life with the touch of His mighty hand. The name Yahweh denotes a very special and unique relationship with his treasured children. Yahweh is the God who supplies all the needs of His people. Yahweh is able to be whatever His people need. As Yahweh, the Immutable One, He is unchangeable in His promises and His heart of love for His people. He is steadfast, faithful, and sure even in the most desperate hour.
Jeremiah 32:17, 27 (Amplified): Alas, Lord God! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and by Your outstretched arm! There is nothing too hard or too wonderful for You. 27Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh; is there anything too hard for Me?
O God I cry out for your extraordinary power to be awakened in the heart and lives of your church and demonstrated in this world. O God I cry out like in the ancient days, that you are known in all of your wonder and marvelous works that will once again shake the world to its core demonstrating that is only one God, the Almighty, Yahweh, who was, is and will ever be.
O God how we have failed you in this generation! O how we have failed to simply believe you that you can still be God in our generation. We have trusted worthless things and about everything else but you. We have turned to things that have no power to change, no power to heal, no power to help, no power to restore, no power to revive and no power to transform. We love the temporary fix; we love to numb our heart to what is going on around us; we love to turn to things that make us a happy for a day or two, but have no eternal worth or value. We have so made our God way too small, way too weak, way to powerless, way to unfaithful and way too insignificant. We are His children, paid by the blood of Jesus Christ, and we still do not know our God and His ability to save, to make whole, to deliver, to restore and to revive to the uttermost.
Another amazing word from this Almighty God concerning Abraham
17And the LORD said, Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do;
18Seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him?
19For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment; that the LORD may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him.
How awesome that God was not hiding from Abraham what He was going to do, and said He was going to bring to pass what He had spoken about Abraham because Abraham believed. He truly is the father of all us who believe.
Romans 4:19-21 (KJV)- 19And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sarah’s womb:
20He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God;
21And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform
Vs 20- Amplified: Abraham never wavered in believing God’s promise. In fact, his faith grew stronger, and in this he brought glory to God.
Promise (epaggelia form epí = intensifier or upon + aggéllo = tell, declare) describes an announcement made with certainty as to its performance. In secular Greek it was primarily a legal term denoting summons or a promise to do or give something. In the NT, epaggelia is with rare exception (except Acts 23:21) used only of the promises of God, referring to a thing promised, gift or graciously given, and not a pledge secured by negotiation.
Not (ou) absolute negation. Abraham absolutely did not waver. We simply cannot waver in our minds and hearts concerning the promises of God. We must once again become fully persuaded that what God has promised He is able to perform.
Waver (diakrino from diá = separation + kríno = judge, decide) means literally to separate one from another.
Metaphorically, diakrino means to distinguish, discern, judge, decide, and came to mean to be divided in one’s mind, to hesitate and to doubt. In the present verse diakrino means to to think that something may not be true or certain and thus to waver, doubt or be divided in one’s own mind.
Godet explains diakrino, noting that it…
properly signifies to be parted, or to be divided into two men, one affirming, the other denying; one hoping and giving himself up, the other waiting to see: “but in regard to the promise, there was no division in him.”
The idea of diakrino is that Abraham was not divided, did not vacillate between two opinions, between belief and unbelief or between faith and doubt like many believers do. When from the human viewpoint things are going well, it is easy to trust God. But when things seem impossible, it is often easier to not to trust Him.
Do you know what the first recorded words that came out the serpent’s mouth in Genesis? “Did God really say…” (Genesis 3:1). That has become the banner of our generation as we have no faith, trust or belief in what God says in His Word.
When you drop your shield of faith in God and His Word every other part of your spiritual armor becomes vulnerable.
Habakkuk 3:2; Lord, I have heard the report about You. Lord, I stand in awe of Your deeds. Revive Your work in these years.
God is who He says He is and He can do what He says He can do. You are who God says you are, not who your friends, family, world or even your mind says you are. You can do what God says you can do. Do you really believe this or do you just weakly assent to hearing this, but have not seen the power of these two truths vibrantly alive in your life? Stand in awe of our God, trust Him and watch Him work. He is amazing!!!
Unbelief is the great enemy of everything in our Christian life including our relationship with God.
Matthew 13:52 (KJV): And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.
Beth Moore: I love new beginnings. Don’t you? I am honored to embark on this new beginning with someone like you. Let’s count on God to take us places with Him we’ve never been and accomplish a work we didn’t know he could. As James and John cast their nets on the sun-kissed waters of the Galilee, they had no idea the Son of God was casting His net for them. Soon they’d find themselves caught by his call and compelled by his love. Let’s allow the same affection to catch us as we, too, are called to be the disciples of Jesus Christ.
Listen to the words of David Wilkerson, a true hero of the faith, who sadly passed away this week:
O God come and speak. God says, “The word that I’ve sent to you, I didn’t send it out to be void. But the word I have given to you is going to accomplish the very thing I said it would.” You see our faith can’t be based upon emotion. We have to have a foundation for the faith we are going to need. And this has to be laying claim of God’s own claims of who He is. In your faithfulness answer me. Here’s what you told me you are. You said that you are faithful; that you are just; that you are holy. You cannot lie. And you can’t be God if you are not faithful. You said you are long-suffering; you said you are the God of peace; you said you are the God of my strength. Now I am coming to you. I am going to lift up my hands to you. I am going to believe what you said about yourself. And I am coming on the merits of nothing I have done. No righteousness of my own. But on the promise of God. What you told me. Remember the word unto thy servant that you have caused me to hope in. O Lord God I have lifted my hands to you. I have trusted you. I have claimed your promises. You are who you said you are. From now on, from this day on, I am going veil myself (hide myself) in you. I am going to cut myself off from all confidence in my flesh, or in people, or in anyone else. I am going to throw myself at your mercy, your grace, your power, your glory. I am going to veil myself in Christ.