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Bible Topics

The Seven Sons...and the One Name

Bob Yandian

Oh, the power of one demon!  Before the seven sons could reach the front door of the house, the demon jumped on them, tore all their clothes off, and wounded them.  Seven men ran from the house naked and wounded being chased by one demon-possessed man.

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The Year of Jubilee

Bob Yandian

The Church and the Year of Jubilee

So He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up.  And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read.  And He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah.  And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written: 'The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.'"  (Luke 4:16-19)

A Different Jesus That Day

Jesus had spoken in the synagogue on the Sabbath day many times before.  This passage tells us it was his custom (vs. 16).  But Jesus had never read the Scriptures the way He did on this day.  The Spirit of the Lord had anointed Him.  He had been to the Jordan River and had been baptized by John the Baptist.  The Holy Spirit had descended upon Him to give Him power to begin His earthly ministry.  Everything Jesus did from that day on had a new power and anointing.  The congregation on that Sabbath day noticed a great difference in their home town boy!

Jesus read a passage from Isaiah 61:1, 2.  This passage prophetically spoke of Jesus and His recent anointing.  Jesus told them they were witnessing the day that Isaiah's prophecy was coming to pass.   The Spirit of the Lord had come to rest on Jesus and they were all witnesses.

Isaiah foretold that the One Who had this anointing would be able to:

1.  Preach the gospel to the poor - This includes both spiritual and financial poverty.  The gospel will give eternal life to the one who is "poor in spirit" and material blessings to the one who is financially needy.

2.  Heal the brokenhearted - The gospel not only gives eternal life to our spirit and divine healing to our bodies, it also produces healing for our souls.  Sorrow, wounds, bitterness, and other emotional hurts are covered by the stripes of Jesus.

3.  Deliverance to the captives - This is a reference to slavery.  Jesus used this in the spiritual sense and tells us the anointing is to free people from demons and satanic powers.  Demon possession and oppression are broken by the power of the Holy Spirit and the name of Jesus (Mark 16:17; Acts 10:28)

4.  Recovery of sight to the blind - Physical healing for every part of our bodies has come to the Body of Christ through the stripes of Jesus and the anointing of the Holy Spirit.

5.  Set at liberty them that are bruised - The "bruised" are the oppressed.  These are people who are under the thumb of others.  It may be children under the hand of overbearing, abusive parents or an employee under a tyrant of a boss.  Jesus came to deliver those who are oppressed and crushed by tyrants.

The Acceptable Year

When Jesus ended His sermon, He said something strange to the ears of those present.  He said He also came to preach "the acceptable year of the Lord."  This was another name for the year of Jubilee.  I am sure those in the audience thought Jesus was in error, as the year of Jubilee was some years away.  Also, the things Jesus taught from the passage in Isaiah had nothing to do with Jubilee.  The year of Jubilee had never provided for the the blind to see, the demon possessed to be delivered, or the bruised to be healed.  To the Jewish people, the year of Jubilee was a year for the return of property.

A description of the year of Jubilee can be found in Leviticus 25:8-24.  Jubilee was the culmination of all Sabbaths.  Every seventh day was a Sabbath to the Lord, a day of rest.  Every seven years, the land was to rest and no planting was to be done.  After "seven sabbaths of years," or forty-nine years, the fiftieth year was to be the final Sabbath before the whole cycle began again.

The year of Jubilee began on the Day of Atonement with the sound of a trumpet.  During the next year, all property was returned to its original owner, and all slaves were set free.  No one was excluded because all residents of the land qualified.  Social status, color, gender, or financial position did not matter.  Every inhabitant of the land could claim back his or her property from fifty years before.

I am not sure how all of this worked but I am sure the legal offices were filled with people checking deeds from years gone by.  This sounds like a logistical nightmare, but it was all legal.  Only two things could keep you from claiming back your rightful property: ignorance or an unwillingness to claim your possessions.

Our Perpetual Jubilee

The Jubilee of Israel only lasted one year.  After this, it was impossible to begin to buy and sell property again.  "Buyer beware" had to be the motto of the day after the year of Jubilee was completed.  If you were foolish enough to be taken the first time, you would probably be taken again.  Then you would have to wait forty-nine years for this celebration to come around again!

But the Jubilee that Jesus announced, "the acceptable year of the Lord," was different.  Like the Jubilee of old, this event would be announced by the Day of Atonement, the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus.  But unlike the Jubilee of the Old Testament, this celebration would be eternal.  Because of our faith in the Lord Jesus and the new birth, the Church has entered into a perpetual Jubilee.  The only way you can fail to claim your original blessings is to be ignorant of your rights, refuse to accept what is legally yours, or be talked out of them by Satan.

The Original Owners

As Jesus listed each of the blessings of the "acceptable year of the Lord," He mentioned a blessing given in place of a curse.  This is important.  Jesus said He would give the gospel to the poor, healing to the brokenhearted, deliverance to the captive, recovery of sight to the blind, and liberty to the bruised.

Although Jesus didn't quote it in the synagogue that day, Isaiah's prophesy continues:  "To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness" (Isaiah 61:3).

I have highlighted each blessing and each curse for a reason.  God gives the blessing to us and takes the curse from us.  He gives us the blessing because we are the original owners of every good thing.  He takes the curse from us and gives it to Satan because he is the original owner of all evil. Praise God!  This was all done on legal ground.  In the Old Testament, atonement for sin was made by the killing of the sacrificial goat and the banishment of the scape goat.  Once the sins of Israel were taken away, Jubilee could be declared.  Because a goat was not God's best, and only a type of Jesus, the One to come, Jubilee was only one year long and all possessions were up for sale again when the year was over.

Because our Atonement was purchased by the precious, incorruptible blood of the Lord Jesus, our Jubilee is eternal.  We, the original owners, also have the right to keep every possession.  Satan took them from man because of Adam's disobedience at a tree and God purchased them back for man because of Jesus' obedience to another tree.

The Sabbath - A Memorial to Grace

In the Ten Commandments, a person was told to "Remember the sabbath day to keep it holy" (Exodus 20:8).  On this one day, you were to think of the blessings of the past week and look forward to those coming in the next.  It was a day set aside to forget your own ability and remember the Lord's ability.

The Jubilee was the culmination of Sabbath days.  It was a memorial to the grace of God, an entire year to remember the Lord's goodness during the forty-nine years since the last Jubilee.  Over a generation had passed since then, so it was necessary to think of God's goodness passed on from one lifetime to the next.  Every gift, spiritual and natural, comes to us from God's goodness and grace.  Have you ever noticed how the writers of the Gospels were so quick to point out whenever Jesus' miracles happened on the Sabbath?  These authors never seemed to mention when miracles happened on a Tuesday!  This is because the Sabbath was a day when men were commanded not to work.  If a healing or miracle took place, it had to be by the grace of God, because the Lord could not honor man's own efforts on that day.  That's why Jesus delighted in healing on the Sabbath:  it pointed out God's mercy and grace.

The religious leaders hated grace and so devised a plan to make it unlawful to heal on the Sabbath.  Jesus was rebuked quite often for healing on that day.  When Jesus healed a woman on the Sabbath, the people rejoiced, but the religious leaders became angry.  They said, "There are six days in which men ought to work:  in them therefore come and be healed; and not on the sabbath day" (Luke 13:14).  Yet, the fact that miracles continued to happen confirmed that Jesus did not violate God's law, only man's law.  He was not working; He was simply returning to man what was rightfully due.

Search the Deed

The court house must have been crowded when Jubilee began.  People were pouring over old documents and deeds to find out what was rightfully theirs.  If you had a deed, you could claim back your property.  The present owners had no legal leg to stand on if a deed was presented.

In the same way, you must go to your deed and find out what is legally yours through the blood of Jesus.  Your Jubilee was announced when you were born again.  Your title deed is the Word of God, the Bible.  God has promised to give you salvation in exchange for spiritual death, healing for sickness, deliverance for bondage, and joy for heaviness.  There are multitudes of Scriptures on each of these areas.

When you find a Scripture, you have the right to wave it in Satan's face and take back your healing, your joy, and your deliverance.  You also have the right to give Satan back his sickness, his sorrow, and his bondage.

If Satan tries to tell you this won't last and you will have to be sick or depressed again, you can tell him that your deliverance is eternal.  The Resurrection of Jesus was the trumpet blast announcing the arrival of our Jubilee, a Sabbath which will last forever.  Hallelujah!

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Get Your Eyes Off Yourself

Bob Yandian

Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the Lord and depart from evil. – Proverbs 4:7 NKJV

I have seen this happen so often. A person comes to church and gets built up in the word, and then begins to stand on the word of God. After a while, there’s almost an arrogance that can come into some people’s hearts and their attitude becomes that it’s their faith, and their great wisdom that’s getting them healed. Folks, God healed you. In fact, the closer you draw to Him and the more of the word you have, you should end up walking in more humility toward yourself and greater praise toward God.

The Bible tells us that Abraham became strong in faith. It didn’t say Abraham became strong in faith by taking all the glory for himself. It says Abraham became strong in faith giving glory to God (Romans 4:20). The stronger he became in faith, the less he thought of himself, and the more he thought of God.

I don’t believe people that come to me and say, “Hey, I’ve grown in faith.” And all you hear is about them. “I did the four points. I did the seven things here. I fasted. I prayed.” It’s all I…I…I…. I think the more you grow in faith the more you should talk about the goodness and mercy of God…the grace of God. Because really when it comes down to it, I don’t care how strong in faith you are it’s still not your faith that makes you whole. It’s God working through your faith and His power that makes you whole. Of course, the two work together, and you are to walk in faith, but in the end strong faith always glorifies God because He is the one who heals us. He’s the one who brings deliverance.

The more I know of the word, the more I should fall in love with Jesus. Fall in love with His grace, and thank Him for His stripes, and thank Him for the shed blood, and thank Him for the things He did for me so that I can walk in the abundant life that He has for me.

The Leading of the Holy Spirit

“Show me your ways (notice they’re plural), Lord, teach me your paths (notice they’re plural). Lead me in your truth. Teach me, for you are the God of my salvation (or my deliverance); (notice this) on you do I wait all the day” (Psalm 25:4-5, paraphrased).

Notice, here’s a guy that has all the verses and has all the ways shown before him, but he needs to wait on the Lord all day long to finally get the peace of the Holy Spirit as to what to do. God doesn’t want us to choose what we’re going to do with our life. He wants to guide us into all these things He shows us from the Word. The same thing is true with methods of healing. We are to wait on the Lord throughout the day, and let Him guide us into the right way we are to go.

Once we have the word, we should meditate on it. Why? Verse 15 says, “I will meditate in thy precepts (that’s the word), and have respect unto your ways” (Psalm 119:15 paraphrased).

The precepts are the word, and the ways are the direction of the Holy Spirit. We need to wait for both and not just have the word, but also wait on the Holy Spirit. The word brings healing, but also the anointing of God brings healing. The two work together to cause that powerful effect in our lives.

If you discover you have sickness in your body, find scriptures on that and meditate on them. But then wait on the Holy Spirit for His direction, and He will show you how that is to be accomplished in your life.

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The Mercy of God

Bob Yandian

It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not.

Lamentations 3:22: KJV

Have you ever looked back on your past and wondered why you are still alive? Many situations in my life should have brought me to the grave. My life was kept from death in a car accident. A tumor suddenly appeared in my body and I was spared. I have traveled to countries where my life was in danger and God surrounded me with His protection. I am sure that you have faced similar situations and rejoice over the fact that God has kept you alive!

We have probably been spared from many calamities that were due to our own stupidity. We have no one to blame but ourselves and yet God has preserved us. Our ignorance and disobedience did not nullify God's mercy. It is because of God's mercy that you and I are alive today!

Jeremiah wrote Lamentations 3:22 while he and his people were in captivity. Torture and death surrounded the captive Israelites each day. Jeremiah reminded them of the grace and mercy of God that had kept them alive. The Israelites and their nation should have been destroyed. They were in captivity because of their own disobedience. Yet, their disobedience did not overthrow the mercy of God. Jeremiah reminded the Israelites that God's mercy would not fail and that it would continue into the future.

What did this mean to Jeremiah and his generation, and what does it mean to us today? It means that as surely as God has taken care of us in the past, He will not fail us tomorrow. Israel was not finished as a nation. God had promised them an inheritance, land, a kingdom and an eternal King. God's promise was given by His grace. The Israelites did not deserve to be blessed or given a future, yet God blessed them and gave them a future. This is the wonder of God's mercy!

As surely as Israel has a future, so we also have a future. The same standard which God has used in the past, His mercy, is the same standard by which we will survive calamities in the days to come. Our destiny as believers is not only on earth, but also in heaven with the Lord Jesus. The God who watched over the Israelites in slavery and persecution is the same God who watches over us.

Begin to recall your past deliverance. Rejoice in the testimonies that God has given to you and your family. Count your blessings and remember that God is not through! Your list of blessings has more pages yet to be written. It will not be complete until you die or until Jesus comes back for you. There may be more afflictions you will face in your life, but there are also more deliverance's. We can rejoice over the future by reflecting on God's past mercy in our lives.

Knowing God (MP3s)
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Who is God? Is it really possible for mortal man to communicate with his Creator even though God is a Spirit? If man was truly made in God’s image and likeness, how are we like God? Do we share similar attributes and characteristics and if we do, what are they? Knowing God: A 13 lesson teaching by Bob Yandian guaranteed to increase your knowledge of the God of the universe! The Bible says if you do not love, you do not know God because God is love. This must mean the more we know God, the greater our capacity to love! Would you like to increase your ability to love God, yourself, and those around you? As you listen to this dynamic teaching, you will be changed and become a greater expression of God in the world.

Sermon Titles:

The Independence of God
The Will of God
God’s Infinite Knowledge
The Foreknowledge of God
The Greatness of God
Our Unchanging God
The Holiness of God
God’s Omnipotence
God’s Faithfulness
The Goodness of God
The Patience of God
The Mercy of God
The Wrath of God

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Who is God? Is it really possible for mortal man to communicate with his Creator even though God is a Spirit? If man was truly made in God’s image and likeness, how are we like God? Do we share similar attributes and characteristics and if we do, what are they? Knowing God: A 13 lesson teaching by Bob Yandian guaranteed to increase your knowledge of the God of the universe! The Bible says if you do not love, you do not know God because God is love. This must mean the more we know God, the greater our capacity to love! Would you like to increase your ability to love God, yourself, and those around you? As you listen to this dynamic teaching, you will be changed and become a greater expression of God in the world.

Sermon Titles:

The Independence of God
The Will of God
God’s Infinite Knowledge
The Foreknowledge of God
The Greatness of God
Our Unchanging God
The Holiness of God
God’s Omnipotence
God’s Faithfulness
The Goodness of God
The Patience of God
The Mercy of God
The Wrath of God

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The Miracle of Spit and Sight

Bob Yandian

Jesus separated the man from the unbelief of the city.  Jesus did not want snide remarks and insults to be hurled at this man who was young in faith.  Jesus could heal in the midst of unbelief, but this man could not maintain his healing surrounded by the ridicule of the city in which he lived.  This is why Jesus led the man out of town and healed him away from the view of the religious population Bethsaida.

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Who is the Good Samaritan?

Bob Yandian

The parable of the good Samaritan, found in Luke 10:25-37 is very familiar to most believers.  Since our early days in Sunday School, this parable has been used to teach us how to love those who need help, those who are down and out.

Looking Beneath the Surface

But there is more to this parable than meets the eye.  And though what we have been taught may be an application of the parable, it is far from being the correct interpretation.  This parable, like most, has more than just a surface meaning.  In fact, in this simple story.  Jesus paints a dispensational picture that reaches from the fall of Adam to His own second coming.

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Liberating Your Faith

Bob Yandian

A Little is a Lot

How much faith is necessary to meet your need?  If you are like most Christians, you would say, "A Lot."  Yet this is simply not true.  Jesus said that in matters of faith, a little is a lot!

Think about it.  The biggest miracle you ever received was the new birth.  The tiny amount of faith you used when you received Jesus as Your Lord moved you from Satan's kingdom into God's, from spiritual death into eternal life, and from satanic darkness into the kingdom of light.  Nothing will ever compare with the power demonstrated by God when He removed you from Satan's family and made you His own child.  Any other need you may have in your life is eclipsed by your deliverance at salvation.  Any other miracle is a lesser miracle.

More Faith is Not the Answer

We have all been guilty of telling someone who did not receive healing, "You needed more faith."  We have also condemned ourselves when we failed to receive an answer to prayer, saying, "I guess I didn't have enough faith."  We spend time trying to build up our faith, when this isn't the answer at all.  We are not in need of more faith, but of liberating and setting free the faith we have.

In foreign countries, we see people receiving Jesus as Lord and then immediately being healed of incurable diseases, receiving their eyesight or hearing, or having missing limbs restored.  What's even more mysterious is that many are healed of incurable diseases and then become saved.  These people have not had time to build up a great amount of faith - but what little faith they have is unhindered.

The Day the Disciples Failed

In Matthew 17, Jesus was called on to cast the devil out of a young boy.  His disciples had been unsuccessful, and the father now looked to Jesus for the answer.  

"And Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him; and the child was cured from that very hour.  Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?”  Matthew 17:18, 19

The disciples were bewildered when Jesus was successful after they were not.  They were confused because they had been successful many times before.  When Jesus first gave them power over unclean spirits and every type of sickness (Matthew 10:1), they went out, two-by-two, using their new-found authority over Satan.  They came back rejoicing that demons were subject to them (Luke 10:17).  This instance in Matthew 17 was not the first time they had come up against demons - it was one of many times.  So why were they not successful?

The story is told again in Mark 9:14-27.  Mark fills us in on many details Matthew did not give.  Mark tells us the disciples were surrounded by a large multitude of people who were watching them.  There was also a group of scribes who were questioning the disciples and antagonizing them.  It didn't help matters when the young boy who needed deliverance fell to the ground wallowing and foaming from his mouth.

The disciples were really put on the spot.  Before, when they had gone out two-by-two, a multitude did not follow them.  They were able to cast out devils without so many distractions, often in the privacy of a home.  Now all eyes were on them.  They felt the pressure of the worried father, the on-looking crowd, and the critical attitude of the religious leaders.  Under this great pressure, they failed for the first time.

What Was Jesus' Answer?

When the disciples asked Jesus why they could not cast out the devil, He did not tell them they did not have faith.

"So Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you." Matthew 17:20

Before speaking with Jesus, the disciples had apparently tried to analyze their failure among themselves and had come to the conclusion they didn't have enough faith.  This explains why Jesus mentioned the small amount of faith needed to remove problems in the Christian life.  Between the last successful case of casting out a devil and this occasion of failure, something unnoticed had crept into the faith life of the disciples.

The problem with the disciples was not more faith, but less unbelief.  In fact, Jesus said a very small amount of faith, the size of a mustard seed, would not only move a mountain, it would also guarantee no impossibilities from that time on.  But to work, the mustard seed has to be unhindered.  A little bit of unbelief will nullify the power of faith.

Faith was never designed to be a tug of war.  When unbelief is absent, a mustard-seed amount of faith will carry a mountain into the sea.  Unbelief acts as an opponent to faith and pulls on the mountain from the other side.  Faith is nullified and the mountain remains.  Jesus told the disciples that unbelief was why they were unable to cast out the devil.

Although Jesus was in the same situation as the disciples, He was not moved by the attention of the crowd or the critical attitude of the scribes.  He was not intimidated by the young boy who fell on the ground wallowing and foaming.  He cast out the devil and set the young boy free.  Jesus was a man of faith.  He had no unbelief, so His faith was free and unhindered. 

The Power of the Mustard Seed

Do you remember the song a number of years ago about the and who wanted to move a rubber tree plant? With high hopes, he did.  Have you ever been on a picnic and watched a piece of popcorn or cake crumb go walking off?  When you lifted the popcorn, you found an ant underneath.  The ant can move objects much larger and heavier than itself.  But faith is even more powerful.

Imagine a mountain moving along without anything visible pushing it.  If you could lift up the mountain, you would find a measure of faith the size of a mustard seed carrying the mountain toward the sea.  And after the mountain is gone, this tiny speck of faith just keeps on working, guaranteeing absolute success in every situation from then on.  This speck only asks one thing: "Keep me unhindered and free from unbelief."

When Jesus met resistance to His healing and miracle power, He did not blame it on a lack of faith, but a presence of unbelief.  The Scriptures tell us as much about ridding ourselves of unbelief as they do of increasing our faith.  Let's look at a few of the verses:

 "Now He did not do many mighty works there because of their unbelief."  Matthew 13:58

"Now He could do no mighty work there, except that He laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them. 6 And He marveled because of their unbelief."  Mark 6:5, 6

"Later He appeared to the eleven as they sat at the table; and He rebuked their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they did not believe those who had seen Him after He had risen."  Mark 16:14

In Hebrews, we find instructions for us as New Testament, Church-age believers:

"So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief."  Hebrews 3:19

"...Those to whom it was first preached did not enter because of unbelief,"  Hebrews 4:6

"Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of unbelief."  Hebrews 4:22

So, How Do I Get Rid of Unbelief

Jesus said, "However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.”  

Jesus was not referring to the demon in the young boy.  There is no demon which is not subject to the name of Jesus (Luke 10:17-19, Ephesians 1:21, 22).  Jesus was talking here about unbelief:  "this kind (of unbelief) does not out except by prayer and fasting."

There are two types of unbelief:  rebellious unbelief and passive unbelief.  Rebellious unbelief comes from sin.  It openly defies the Word and power of God.  The exodus generation was guilty of this type of unbelief.  When confronted with the promises of God, they hardened their heart and spoke out against God and Moses.

This was not the kind of unbelief the disciples had when they tried to cast the demon out of the young boy.  They were not hardening their hearts against God's plan.  No, they faced the second type of unbelief - passive unbelief.

The disciples were truly believing God, but their faith was nullified.  As soon as they could, they took Jesus aside and asked in all honesty why they could not cast out the devil this time as they had before.

The Lord's answer cut right to the heart of the problem:  "This kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting."  Passive unbelief comes from over-occupation with legitimate things of life.  In Mark 4:7, Jesus warns of the thorns which choke the Word and make it unfruitful.  In verses 18 and 19, He describes the thorns of unbelief as "...the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things..."  The cares of this world are not bad, wealth is not wrong, and things are a legitimate part of life.  But if we spend too much time concerned with them, our fruitfulness is choked out.

God wants our time to be taken up with prayer and the Word of God.  He knows that His Word is our source of life.  Jesus said, "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God." (Matthew 4:4)  Passive unbelief takes us away from the Word as we fill our life to overflowing with other activities.

2 Corinthians 10:5 gives us an insight into passive unbelief:  "...casting down arguments (reasonings), and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God..."  Unbelief comes with reasonings which set themselves up against the Word of God.

Jesus gave His disciples the remedy for curing this type of unbelief:  it has to be starved to death!

Relief from Unbelief

Do you remember a time in your Christian life when you rarely listened to the radio or watched television?  Do you remember when the Word was the most important thing to you? You filled each spare moment with the Word.

In those days, your faith worked every time.  You were growing daily toward maturity, and each mountain you faced seemed to head toward the sea.  Your faith may have been small, but it was completely free from unbelief.

But now, do you come home after work and sit in front of the television for hours at a time? Do you listen to the radio or other things while in your car?  Is your home filled with movies instead of Bible teaching?  Do you surf the internet all evening and into the morning hours?  

Is it any wonder that the demons who used to flee and the mountains which used to head for the sea, now won't budge?  The faith which used to be unhindered is now stifled by human reasonings.  The thorns of unbelief have rendered your faith unfruitful.  Relief from this type of unbelief demands prayer and fasting.

You must starve unbelief.  Unbelief feeds off input from the world.  I recommend "fasting" from such input for a beginning period of one to two weeks.  Spend more time listening to the teaching of God's Word, don't turn on the television, read a teaching book.  this will begin to starve your unbelief to death.  Your faith will find a freedom it has not experienced for years.

After only one day you will notice a great difference.  You will find yourself meditating on the teaching you have heard and read.  Instead of songs and news which only produce human reasonings, doubt, and unbelief, human reasonings will be starved to death and will no longer exalt themselves against the knowledge of God

You will have liberated your faith.  And once again, it will be unhindered, free from unbelief, and ready to carry mountains off into the sea!

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The Pearl of Great Price

Bob Yandian

Parables of the Times

In the seven parables of Mathew 13, Jesus gave His disciples a picture of what the earth would be like after His departure.  There would be two periods of time:  first, the church age, in which we are now living, and then the Great Tribulation, which is yet to come.

Three of the Lord's parables describe life in the church age.  The parable of the sower, the mustard seed, and the yeast.  All tell how faith comes and how it grows.  The theme of all three parables is that the kingdom of God will start with a small beginning, but it will grow and produce great results.

These parables are followed by two others that describe how, at the end of the age, the angels will separate the righteous from the wicked, throwing the wicked into the "fiery furnace where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth."  (Mathew 13:50)

Connecting the parables of the church age and those of the Great Tribulation, we find two parables of great sacrificial love.  I believe these two short parables, one of finding treasure in a field, the other of finding the pearl of great price, are especially timely and significant for us, providing insights into God's design for these last days.

The Treasure in a Field

“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field." (Mathew 13:44)

The man in this parable found the treasure, hid it again, sold everything he owned, and then purchased the field.  I believe this man was the Lord Jesus, and the treasure He found was the nation of Israel.  The field He purchased was the entire world.  Jesus paid for the sins of the whole world so that anyone who believed in Him would have eternal life, but He came first of all for His own people, Israel.

Israel is described here as a treasure which was hidden in a field.  A treasure is made up of many types of precious gems, such as diamonds, rubies, sapphires, and emeralds.  In Scripture, God used twelve such gems to represent the twelve tribes of Israel.  In Exodus 28, God commanded Moses to place twelve gemstones on the breastplate of the high priest, one for each of the twelve tribes.  He goes into great detail, naming each of the stones by name and telling how to place them row by row.  Then He told Moses:  "And the stones shall have the names of the sons of Israel, twelve according to their names, like the engravings of a signet, each one with its own name; they shall be according to the twelve tribes."  (Exodus 28:21)

Hidden Twice

When the man in the parable discovered the treasure, it was hidden.  When he went to purchase the field, he hid the treasure again.  As a nation, Israel was started in obscurity and has been returned again to that hidden place.

When the Lord began the nation of Israel, He found one man, Abram, and called him out from among the heathen.  From this one man began a natural and spiritual race which numbers, today, as the stars of heaven (Genesis 15:5).

As Abraham and Sarah learned to trust the Lord, their promised son, Isaac, was born.  The treasure was forming.  From Isaac came Jacob and from Jacob the twelve sons.  The nation grew in captivity in Egypt and left for Canaan with over two million.  The treasure reached its peak when Jesus was born.

But when Jesus came to Israel, they did not receive Him.  They rejected Him and finally nailed Him to the Cross.  Jesus had already warned the Jewish religious leaders of His day that He would turn to the Gentiles if they rejected Him as their Messiah (Mathew 21:43).  On the day of Pentecost, God turned to the Gentile nations and Israel was hidden again.

The good news is that Israel will not be hidden forever.  Their time will come again.  When the Church is caught up to heaven in the Rapture, God will dig Israel out of obscurity and use them again.  The time of their unveiling will be the seven years of tribulation.

Jesus prophesied that Jerusalem would be "trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled" (Luke 21:24).  The Treasure will again be revealed to the world one day.  It will be revealed by the One who purchased the entire field, the One Who paid for the sins of the world.

In the meantime, God is sculpting another work of beauty.  He is building the pearl of great price until it is time to again unearth the treasure from the field.

The Pearl of Great Price

"Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it."  (Mathew 13:45, 46)

When I was growing up, our ministers would tell us the pearl of great price was the Lord Jesus.  We even had a hymn which told of Jesus, our pearl of great price.

But, as I found out later, this was not true.  The parable of the pearl is not about Jesus.  It's about the Church.  You see, Jesus was never purchased - but the Church was.  The pearl is the Church, of which you and I are a part.  This pearl was so beautiful, the merchant man was willing to sell everything He had to buy it.

The merchant man is the Lord Jesus.  After discovering us, He sold all by going to the Cross and dying for our sins.  He did not do this for Himself, but for you and me.  What a wonderful love Jesus has for us!

He died to redeem us, to purchase us for Himself.  Once we accept Jesus, we belong to Him.  The Church is our Lord's most valuable possession, His pearl of great price.

Pearls

Of all the precious gems of earth, pearls are the most unique.  Nothing else is like them.  In the same way, the Church is unique - nothing like it has ever existed before.  Peter calls the Church "a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar (unique) people..." (1 Peter 2:9)

I have found several remarkable parallels between the uniqueness of the pearl and the Church:

1.  Pearls are taken from the sea.  All other gem stones come from the land.

The sea is a type of the many nations of the world (Daniel 7:2,3; Revelation 17:1, 2, 15)

Israel was established from one land and one nation, but the Church of the New Testament has been taken from every kindred, tribe, tongue, and nation.  All races, colors, and nationalities are included.

2.  A Pearl is one complete, indivisible unit.

No matter how large or small a pearl is, it is one complete unity.  All other gems have to be cut, ground, and polished.

When a pearl is discovered, it is already complete.  Colossians 2:10 tells us that we are (present tense) "complete in Him."

3.  Pearls begin with one irritating stone.

At the center of a pearl is a single grain of sand.  When that tiny stone becomes lodged in its shell, the oyster releases a film to coat the sand and relieve the irritation.

Jesus is our single stone, the very beginning of the Church.  His our chief cornerstone (Ephesians 2:20).  There is no other foundation that can be laid.  The pearl - The Church - exists because of the stone - Jesus.

Jesus irritates Satan's kingdom and all those who live in darkness.  1 Peter 2:7,8 says that this stone, Jesus, is precious to those who believe, but to the disobedient, He is a "stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence."

4.  Pearls are "built" one layer at a time.

This makes the pearl unique among gem stones, as all other stones are not built in layers, but are formed.

Jesus said, "...I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it" (Mathew 16:18).  We are all "living stones" (1 Peter 2:5), "layered" onto Jesus.  One day, the final layer will be added to the original stone, and the Church will be completed.

5.  Pearls can only be displayed when lifted out of their place.

One day. Jesus will come back and lift up His Church.  He will lift us out of the earth and take us to heaven with Him.

"For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord."  (1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17)

It is impossible for us to know how close we are to the day when the pearl of great price gets that one last layer, to the time when those who love Jesus "will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father" (Matthew 13:43).

These are the last days.  And the Lord wants us to know that we, His Church, are His pleasure and pride.  We are His pearl of great price and He loves us above all else.  He will come one day and take us home with Him,  where He will display us forever before all the hosts of heaven!

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Knowledge and Wisdom

Bob Yandian

Knowledge and Wisdom

But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.”  (James 1:22).

Taking in the Word is what James calls being a hearer of the Word.  Putting out the Word is being a doer of the Word.  We all want to be a doer of the Word, because it is in the doing that the blessings come, right?  But you can’t be a doer until you are a hearer.  It’s just like breathing.  You breathe in and you breathe out.  You take in the Word, and you put out the Word.

Taking in the word of God is called knowledge.  The correct output or application of that knowledge is called wisdom.  You must have knowledge before you can produce wisdom.

Knowledge is up to you; it takes discipline to obtain it – taking the time to get into the Word and study it.

The Bible says, “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Tim. 2:15).  But once you have taken in the Word and gained knowledge, then the Bible says, “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God,” (James 1:5).

Solomon, full of knowledge, asked God for the ability to produce the Word (wisdom).  That is what we should be doing.  We should be saying, “Lord, give me an opportunity to share.  Help me put the words together.”  The more you study God’s Word, the more the Holy Spirit will give you the right word at the right time.  That is wisdom.

Wisdom and Knowledge Will Give You Stability

Isaiah 33:6 says, “Wisdom and knowledge will be the stability of your times, and the strength of salvation; the fear of the Lord is His treasure.”  If there is anything that Christians need today,  it is a stabilizer,  because the devil is still knocking Christians over left and right.  There are Christians who are mentally ill.  Christians are becoming oppressed and depressed all around us.  Being born again doesn’t make you immune to the attacks of the devil; none of us are immune.  But it is the Word of God that makes you stable in the midst of the attacks.

You can’t stop the thoughts and doubts from coming, but those who have the Word of God in them know how to cast them down and keep their minds on the Word.

There are times I begin to look around and say, “When was the last time the devil attacked me?’  Then I realize that he has been attacking me, I just haven’t noticed it because the Word of God has been a stabilizer on the inside of me.

There are a lot of Christians today who aren’t even sure they are born again.  This is one of the big tools of the devil.  The very fact that a person wants to get right with the Lord, but they think they can’t do it is an indication that they haven’t committed an unpardonable sin and they continue to believe the lies of the devil.

How can a person get strength of salvation?

Through knowing the word of God and applying it – knowledge and wisdom.  When you apply the Word in your life, you have strength of salvation.  There’s no devil; that can convince you that you’re not saved.  You know you are.  Feelings have nothing to do with it.

Taking in the Word

“Blessed are the poor in spirit:  for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”  (Matthew 5:3)

The Greek word for “blessed” is makarios which means ‘happy, jubilant.”  The word “poor” here actually means “to be destitute,” or “bankrupt.”  How could someone who is bankrupt be happy in spirit?  It goes on to explain how: “For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

This is the Beatitude of the new birth, and it is telling us that Jesus died for the ungodly; salvation is provided for the sinner (1 Timothy 1:15).  Jesus didn’t die just for the elect, or just for the few who would accept Him; He died for the whole world.  (2 Corinthians 5:19; 1 John 2;2)

If you haven’t accepted the kingdom of heaven and the blessings of God, that’s not God’s fault, it’s your fault.  He has already blessed you If you’re sick today, you’re still blessed.  Why?  Because healing already belongs to you.  If you’re broke today, you’re blessed anyway because prosperity belongs to you.  The riches of heaven already belong to you whether you’ve accepted them or not.

Become Teachable

Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth.”  (Matthew 5:5)

“Meek” is a word that has been grossly misused.  People often think to be meek is to be “weak.”  When we picture a meek person, we always think of a scrawny guy who lets everyone run over him.  He’s easy to pick on therefore he’s meek.  No.  The word “meek’ does not mean to be weak, it means “to be teachable.”

If you are meek, you are teachable.  James tells us to “receive with meekness the implanted word,” (James 1:21).  That means “be teachable while the Word is being taught.”  There are a lot of things you can learn if you’ll just be teachable.  I have been to services when someone may preach something that I may not agree with or what sounds like a lot of unbelief.  Instead of closing him off, I remain teachable and start looking for things with which I can agree.  I might find only one or two points, but there have been times when I’ve remembered those points and was able to use them somewhere.  I probably disregarded 98 percent of his message, but the 2 percent I remembered was usable.  I stayed teachable.

One of the first things you need to do in the Christian life, therefore, is become teachable.  Read good books.  Get under a pastor you can trust and start learning the Word of God. 

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Bob Yandian

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David, who wrote the first Psalm, was a man of intense happiness. In fact, the Bible tells that David was a man after God's own heart.  He found out how to be happy with God.  (That's not to say that he was perfect - David also had times of intense misery when he was out of fellowship with God.)

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People today are talking a lot about God's power and that we have the greater one living in us and we are more than conquerors. If we do have the greater one living in us, why are Christians giving up?   Why are they fainting and ready to give up?

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