Isaiah – Revealing Our Refuge

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

The greatest treasure hunt that we could ever undertake is to search for and discover Jesus Christ in the Scriptures, for he is the light of the world. The Book of Isaiah is filled with references to Jesus Christ. In Isaiah we can find Christ as the King who shall “reign in righteousness,” we see him as the one who was “despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief,” and also as the “rejected stone.”

Isaiah reveals Jesus Christ was “wounded for our transgressions, oppressed, afflicted, brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and cut off out of the land of the living.” He became these things for us so that we may find the true spiritual way to our refuge! Isaiah shows the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that shall be ours in an endless life.

Isaiah 25:4 – For thou {God} hast been a strength {a stronghold} to the poor {the meek and humble to the healing Word of God}, a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat, when the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall.

Our God is our stronghold throughout the storms of this life, storms of fear, storms of doubts, and storms of worry because our God has given to us our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who became our substitute for the sin nature.

With Christ within, we have complete and total access to the stronghold and refuge God provides, and without Christ there is no genuine spiritual refuge.

Isaiah 40:29-31:
-29: He {God} giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.
-30: Even the youths shall faint and be weary {without God}, and the young men shall utterly fall {without God}:
-31: But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength: they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk {with God}, and not faint.

When we find our Savior in the Scriptures, he will reveal his heavenly Father to our minds and understanding, and the greater we can soar with spiritual strength and insight to build on our hopes and dreams, for our Savior continually helps us walk with God.

II Corinthians 10:4-5:
– 4:  For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal {not of the five senses}, but are mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;
-5: Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every {biblical} thought to the obedience of Christ {bringing our spiritual thoughts to Christ};

“Bringing every thought to the obedience of Christ” literally means that we can bring every biblical concept and detail back to Jesus Christ because he is the subject of the Word. Verse 5 is a request, exhorting us to keep Christ at the forefront of our lives.

The more we discover Christ in the Scriptures the greater our walks with God can become.

“Pulling down of strong holds,” means that we can become more than conquerors in this life over the things that would normally pull us down and perhaps destroy us, because God can “renew our strength.”

From the Scriptures, Jesus Christ reveals our true refuge; his life’s work has always been to bring us (believers) to God so that we may be delivered and enjoy our true spiritual refuge from all the storms of this life.

Pleasurable Thoughts and Actions

For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure– Philippians 2:13. One way that God works within us is through His words that we have placed within our minds. God works via two specific avenues. The first way is to help us have the will to do His good pleasure and since God designed life and gave us freedom of will – His words in our mind can be the inspiration and energy of our wills. The second way is that God also gives us the spiritual ability to do that which will give both God and us glory and good pleasure!” ~LMJ~

I Will Rebuke the Devourer

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

 Malachi 3:11a:
And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground . . .

This verse and section of Malachi 3:6-12 has been used today by some to coerce tithing (ten percent) from people. Then after they read (manipulate) the verses they say that when you give, God will rebuke the Devil for your sakes (implying that if you do not tithe, then God will not rebuke the Devil). However, this is untrue — I will tell you why. First, if giving meant rebuking then we would be paying for protection. Secondly, the word devourer means a devourer, not the Devil. The Amplified Bible defines the devourer as “insects and plagues”; it is what consumes, it is what eats away and decays. The devourer went into the fields, not upon the people. The entire section in Malachi is specifically addressed to the children of Israel who were not taking care of their priest from the tribe of Levi. Their Law required them to tithe a tenth of their substance, and because they were not fulfilling the Law, God’s blessing upon their crops was lacking, but not His continued care and concern for their souls. Nevertheless, today in God’s grace we are never commanded to tithe a tenth of our incomes. In fact, the word tithe is never once mentioned in the Church Epistles that are directly written to us today.

If tithing were a Law for us, then God’s divine grace would be totally worthless (Galatians 5:4)! Whenever anyone implies that the devourer is the Devil, then that gives the Devil power and authority over our finances and lives, and that power the Scriptures currently denies to him. This does not negate that God indeed wants His children to give, and when we remove the Law, restraints, and misnomers about true godly giving, then giving from the heart can take on heavenly insight into our genuinely receiving from God. Today in grace, we may, if we so chose to give out of an inner spiritual love and devotion for our heavenly Father, give without restraint, compulsion, or fear, and this is acceptable to God.

God gave the children of Israel (in Old Testament times) their land when they came into the Promised Land as prophesied to them from the time of Abraham. Their tithing, though still a Law, showed their appreciation for God’s blessings upon the land, and their tithes were to be given to the priests to maintain the temple and sustain the priest who ministered daily on their behalf.

Galatians 4:7:
Wherefore thou art no more a servant {under the Law like all of Israel was}, but a son {son is an all-inclusive noun for men and women}; and if a son {of God}, then {you are} an heir of God through Christ.

We, being genuine heirs of our God as His children, do not pay tithes, but rather we reciprocate honor and respect back to our heavenly Father. In Malachi 3:10 God said that He would pour out “a blessing” when the children of Israel tithed; however, Ephesians 1:3 says “. . . who {God} hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.” We are currently blessed with how many blessings? All! How can we reconcile this difference between “a blessing” that the Old Testament believers were to receive, and us in God’s household who have already received all spiritual blessings? It is simple. The Old Testament Scriptures regarding tithing were written for that particular time of the Old Testament, while the New Testament Scriptures (Epistles) are written for us in this grace administration. We have already received “all spiritual blessings” and our giving is to be proportionate to how we purpose in our hearts. This allows us to freely give, not out of the Law but out of love.

Love, Knowledge and Truth

And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge {of God and His healing Word} and in all judgment {in all discernment}- Philippians 1:9. Paul prayed that their love may abound more and more, yet this was not simply a prayer to continue loving one another. Beyond that he prayed they would learn to love more and more the precious knowledge of God, for this knowledge can help the believers discern between evil and good, between darkness and light, and between that which may be in error and that which is in truth. ~LMJ~