Mt. Rainer, Washington
Follow On To Know
Have you started following the Lord, but stopped along the way? How far have you followed the Lord?
"Come, and let us return unto the LORD: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up. After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight. Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the LORD: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth" (Hosea 6:1-3). Read again the words, "Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the LORD:" How much of the LORD do you really know? How much of the LORD is there for us to know? Did you know that there is more of the LORD to know? I am still in a knowing process. Read again the words, "Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the LORD: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth." Rain is pictured as the refreshing work of the Holy Spirit. There are two rainy seasons in Israel one which is the is in the fall of the year then another in the spring of of the year. God provides the rain for planting, growth, and reproduction. "That I will give you the rain of your land in his due season, the first rain and the latter rain, that thou mayest gather in thy corn, and thy wine, and thine oil" (Deuteronomy 11:14). So have you followed on to know the LORD? There is so much to know!
There is a neat story that illustrates the principle of following on to know. It is found in II Kings chapter 2. It begins with, "And it came to pass, when the LORD would take up Elijah into heaven by a whirlwind, that Elijah went with Elisha from Gilgal" (II Kings 2:1). Elijah was to be taken away and Elisha, the student of Elijah was to take Elijah's place as a prophet.
The first place that Elisha followed Elijah was to Gilgal. The name Gilgal meant "a wheel". It was the place where the people were circumcised before entering into the promised land. "And the LORD said unto Joshua, This day have I rolled away the reproach of Egypt from off you. Wherefore the name of the place is called Gilgal unto this day" (Joshua 5:9). Gilgal represents a place of having you sins removed or getting a clear conscience. Some people stop there. They get their ticket to heaven and just await dying. Elijah asked Elisha to stay there but, Elisha insisted on continuing the journey.
The second place was Bethel (meaning the house of God). It represents a place of worship. Often Believers move from a place of cleansing to a place of worship. At Bethel, the sons of the prophets (students in Elijah's school of the prophets) talked to Elisha about his following on after Elijah. They said, "Don't you know that the LORD is going to take away your master, Elijah, today?" Elisha responded, "Yes, I know, just keep quite." Then Elijah asked Elisha to stay there at Bethel. However, Elisha said that he would continue to follow Elijah to the next place, Jericho.
The word Jericho means "fragrant". It is the scent given off by crushed flowers. Many people just want to stay and worship God, but to follow on is to allow yourself to be crushed as a flower that the fragrance of Christ can be given off. Are you willing to follow on after the Lord? At Jericho, Elijah told Elisha that God had sent him to the Jordon river and he ask him to stay at Jericho. However, Elisha said that he would not leave Elijah.
When the two men got to the Jordan, the sons of the prophets stood some distance away to see what might happen. It is here that many religious people stand back to observer but are not willing to follow on to know the LORD. The word Jordan means "descender". The river descended at times rather furiously out of the mountains into the valley. It is a picture of the attack of the enemy on our lives. It is a picture of spiritual warfare. The enemy will suddenly strike like a rattlesnake. However, at Jordan, Elijah took his mantle and struck the Jordan river and it parted. The mantle is a picture of the anointing of Spirit of God.
After the two men walked across to the other side. Elijah asked Elisha what last thing that he might do for him. Elisha said, "Let me have a double portion of your spirit." Elijah responded that it was a hard thing, but that if his mantle was left behind, then the request would be granted. Sure enough, when Elijah was taken up in the whirlwind, the mantle was left behind and Elisha took it up and returned to the Jordan river. At the Jordan, Elisha declared, "Where is the LORD God of Elijah?" and struck the water with the mantle and the river parted. It has been recorded by some commentators that Elisha performed twice as many miracles as did Elijah. Are you willing to follow on to know the anointing of the Lord?
One of the main purposes of the anointing of the Spirit is to reveal our inheritance in Jesus. Jesus said, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father" (John 14:12). One reason that Jesus returned to the Father was to send back the Holy Spirit. "But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you" (John 14:26). Again Jesus said, "But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me" (John 15:26). Then Jesus said, "Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you. All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you" (John 16:13-15). Read it again! The Holy Spirit is to show us our inheritance in Jesus.
Paul said that his mission by the Spirit was , "To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me" (Acts 18:26). Look at what Paul's prayer was for the church of Ephesus. "Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers; That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all" (Ephesians 1:16-23).
Are you willing to follow on to know the Lord? What do we know of the Lord? I learned at the age of nine that he was my Lord and Saviour. However, my life since that time has been a journey of discovery of learning more and more about our inheritance in Jesus. Just recently, God showed me that Jesus was not only my healer, but also my HEALTH. The following is a list of benefits that we have in Jesus through the things that he suffered.
1. He was numbered with the transgressors that we might be saints.
"Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors" (Isaiah 53:12).2. He was made to be sin for us that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
"Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours" (I Corinthians 1:2).
"For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him" (II Corinthians 5:21).3. He was rejected that we might be fully accepted in the beloved.
"Awake to righteousness, and sin not; .... " (I Corinthians 15:34).
"He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not" (Isaiah 53:3).4. He was bruised that we might be free from emotional bruises and gain a new identity in him.
"To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved" (Ephesians 1:6).
"But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed" (Isaiah 53:5).5. He bore our griefs and sorrows that we might be comforted.
"I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me" (Galatians 2:20).
"Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted" (Isaiah 53:4).6. He carried our diseases that we might be healed by his stripes.
"I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you" (John 14:18).
"When the even was come, they brought unto him many that were possessed with devils: and he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick: That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses" (Matthew 8:16-17).
"Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed" (I Peter 2:24).7. He was forsaken of the Father that we might be adopted as children of God never to be forsaken.
"And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" (Matthew 27:46).8. He was made poor that we through his poverty might be made rich.
"Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee" (Hebrews 13:5).
"Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men" (Philippians 2:6-7).9. He was made a curse for us that we might be redeemed from the curse of the law and receive the blessings of the father.
"For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich" (II Corinthians 8:9).
"Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:10. He died that we might be born of the seed of God, become children of God, and have eternal life.
That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith" (Galatians 3:13-14).
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ" (Ephesians 1:3).
"For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)" (Romans 5:17).11. He took our sins upon himself that we might be saved from sin.
"The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God" (Romans 8:16).
"Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God" (I John 3:9).
"But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8).12. He suffered shame that we might be free from shame.
"And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins" (Matthew 1:21).
"The Lord GOD hath opened mine ear, and I was not rebellious, neither turned away back. I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting" (Isaiah 50:5-6).13. He suffered three days in hell that we might be free from the second death which is the lake of fire.
"For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed" (Romans 10:11).
"For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth" (Matthew 12:40).14. He also died that we might receive the inheritance of God as children of God.
"Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption" (Acts 2:27).
"And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire" (Revelation 20:14-15).
"For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth" (Hebrew 9:16-17).15. He was made a captive that we might be delivered from bondage.
"And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together" (Romans 8:17).
"Then the band and the captain and officers of the Jews took Jesus, and bound him" (John 18:12).16. He shed his blood that we might be washed as white as snow.
"He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken" Isaiah 53:8).
"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised" (Luke 4:18).
"Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool" (Isaiah 1:18).17. He was condemned that we might be forgiven.
"And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb" (Revelation 7:14).
"Ye have heard the blasphemy: what think ye? And they all condemned him to be guilty of death" (Mark 14:64).18. He was tempted that we might overcome temptation.
"In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace" (Ephesians 1:7).
"There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit" (Romans 8:1).
"For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted" (Hebrews 2:18).19. He was made a victim that we might be victorious over the enemy.
"For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin" (Hebrews 4:15).
"There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it" (I Corinthians 10:13).
"He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth" (Isaiah 53:7).
"Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father" (John 10:17-18).20. He he suffered the wrath of God and was resurrected from death and hell that we might be justified.
"For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith" (I John 5:4).
"Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities" (Isaiah 53:10-11).21. He was betrayed that we might have an faithful witness before God the Father.
"Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification" (Romans 4:25).
"And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come" (I Thessalonians 1:10).
"And he cometh the third time, and saith unto them, Sleep on now, and take your rest: it is enough, the hour is come; behold, the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners" (Mark 14:41).
"And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen" (Revelation 1:5-6).
"My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous" (I John 2:1).