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From creating the Garden of Eden for man to dwell in, and creating clothes of skins for them when they fell. Making a way for Noah’s family and the animals in the plans for the ark, providing a new land for Abraham and a son in his hundredth year. The list could go on and on. But, of course, God’s greatest provision came in His son Jesus, for the redemption of mankind. After Jesus was crucified, buried, and rose again, He spent time with His disciples. He wanted to comfort them in the fact that he was leaving soon and that all would be alright. In Luke 24:44-53 we read of such an encounter. And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me. Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And ye are witnesses of these things. And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high. And he led them out as far as to Bethany, and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them. And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven. And they worshipped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy: And were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God. Amen. (Luke 24:44-53 KJV) So here we see that Jesus makes a promise of a promise: He will send what the Father promised. The promise comes with a condition: Remain in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high. Just imagine what their waiting was like! They didn’t know what, when, where, and how. They only knew the who was them, and that’s all they knew. In Acts 2 we see the fulfillment of this promise. And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. (Acts 2:1-4 KJV) It truly is a miracle that they were all together in one place. They had their own personalities and their own likes and dislikes. They were like the rest of us; mortal men in need of a savior. Unity has not been the hallmark of the Christian church. Frank Bartleman, a key figure in the Azusa Street revival of 1906 in Los Angeles, wrote the following about unity: “Every fresh division or party in the church gives to the world a contradiction as to the oneness of the body of Christ, and the truthfulness of the Gospel. Multitudes are bowing down and burning incense to a doctrine rather than Christ. …The Spirit is laboring for the unity of believers today, for the ‘one body,’ that the prayer of Jesus might be answered,' that they all may be one, that the world may believe.’” Controversy, jealousy, and lack of unity eventually squelched the fire that had burned so hot and bright at 312 Azusa Street. Now, let us continue the story in Acts chapter 2.
And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans? And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born? Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia, Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God. And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this? Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine. (Acts 2:5-13 KJV) Confounded (bewildered), amazed and astonished( so much so they marveled), perplexed! When was the last time you were in a service where people were bewildered, amazed and astonished, and perplexed? Bewilderment, amazement, astonishment, and perplexity will always bring with it the question, “What does this mean?” The church better have an answer, because the world has an answer waiting! Satan has a counterfeit for everything that the Church should be walking in the reality of. Not just in words, but walking in it with power. Good old Holy Ghost power. Even Pentecostal peoples are not walking in the Power. Things have become comfortable. Things have become rote. We laugh at the churches that use the liturgical form of worship but many of our ‘Spirit filled’ churches are no better: 3 hymns, 3 choruses, announcements, offering, sermon, altar call (only if somebody new has slipped in) and a pat on the back for church well done. Well, how many know that when you cook something well done, a lot of the flavor is lost? In many ways we’ve lost the flavor, we’ve lost the anointing. We cannot live in the glory of yesterday. Yesterday’s anointing was for yesterday. The anointing is like manna. It is fresh each new morning and you can’t keep it for another day. Let’s read about that in Exodus 15 and 16. So Moses brought Israel from the Red sea, and they went out into the wilderness of Shur; and they went three days in the wilderness, and found no water. And when they came to Marah, they could not drink of the waters of Marah, for they were bitter: therefore the name of it was called Marah. And the people murmured against Moses, saying, What shall we drink? And he cried unto the LORD; and the LORD shewed him a tree, which when he had cast into the waters, the waters were made sweet: there he made for them a statute and an ordinance, and there he proved them, And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the LORD that healeth thee. And they came to Elim, where were twelve wells of water, and threescore and ten palm trees: and they encamped there by the waters. And they took their journey from Elim, and all the congregation of the children of Israel came unto the wilderness of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after their departing out of the land of Egypt. And the whole congregation of the children of Israel murmured against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness: And the children of Israel said unto them, Would to God we had died by the hand of the LORD in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the flesh pots, and when we did eat bread to the full; for ye have brought us forth into this wilderness, to kill this whole assembly with hunger. (Exodus 15:22-16:3 KJV) Sometimes the past life seems to hold all that we now need. Our flesh was satisfied in the sin and slavery that we found ourselves in. We ate our fill. Jesus explains our former state like this in Luke 12. And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. But God said unto him,
Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God. (Luke 12:16-21 KJV) We were happy when we sat by the fleshpots and ate our fill of bread. We said, “Soul, this is the good life. I’ve got a nice house, new car, all the toys I want, and money in the bank. I’ll just kick back, eat my fill of what the world has to offer, drink myself silly, and be happy!” But what happens when, in our merriment, we find ourselves mortgaged to the hilt, no money to fix the new car we wrecked, and all the toys are as broke as we are? What happens when, with our lifestyle, we auction off our life to the lowest bidder? Let’s continue in Exodus. Then said the LORD unto Moses, Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a certain rate every day, that I may prove them, whether they will walk in my law, or no. And it shall come to pass, that on the sixth day they shall prepare that which they bring in; and it shall be twice as much as they gather daily. And Moses and Aaron said unto all the children of Israel, At even, then ye shall know that the LORD hath brought you out from the land of Egypt: And in the morning, then ye shall see the glory of the LORD; for that he heareth your murmurings against the LORD: and what are we, that ye murmur against us? And Moses said, This shall be, when the LORD shall give you in the evening flesh to eat, and in the morning bread to the full; for that the LORD heareth your murmurings which ye murmur against him: and what are we? your murmurings are not against us, but against the LORD. And Moses spake unto Aaron, Say unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, Come near before the LORD: for he hath heard your murmurings. And it came to pass, as Aaron spake unto the whole congregation of the children of Israel, that they looked toward the wilderness, and, behold, the glory of the LORD appeared in the cloud. And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel: speak unto them, saying, At even ye shall eat flesh, and in the morning ye shall be filled with bread; and ye shall know that I am the LORD your God. And it came to pass, that at even the quails came up, and covered the camp: and in the morning the dew lay round about the host. And when the dew that lay was gone up, behold, upon the face of the wilderness there lay a small round thing, as small as the hoar frost on the ground. And when the children of Israel saw it, they said one to another, It is manna: for they wist not what it was. And Moses said unto them, This is the bread which the LORD hath given you to eat. This is the thing which the LORD hath commanded, Gather of it every man according to his eating, an omer for every man, according to the number of your persons; take ye every man for them which are in his tents. And the children of Israel did so, and gathered, some more, some less. And when they did mete it with an omer, he that gathered much had nothing over, and he that gathered little had no lack; they gathered every man according to his eating. And Moses said, Let no man leave of it till the morning. Notwithstanding they hearkened not unto Moses; but some of them left of it until the morning, and it bred worms, and stank: and Moses was wroth with them. (Exodus 16:4-20 KJV) Has the anointing we should gather anew each morning bred worms and become foul? Are we trying to live with the nourishment of an old anointing? There is no nourishment left. It has spoiled. Is Jesus not the one who quenches our thirst, and satisfies our hunger each evening and morning? In John 6 we read: Jesus answered them and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled. Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed. Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent. They said therefore unto him, What sign shewest thou then, that we may see, and believe thee? what dost thou work? Our fathers did eat manna in the desert; as it is written, He gave them bread from heaven to eat. Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth
you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world. Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread. And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. But I said unto you, That ye also have seen me, and believe not. All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day. The Jews then murmured at him, because he said, I am the bread which came down from heaven. And they said, Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? how is it then that he saith, I came down from heaven? Jesus therefore answered and said unto them, Murmur not among yourselves. No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me. Not that any man hath seen the Father, save he which is of God, he hath seen the Father. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life. I am that bread of life. Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead. This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat? Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me. This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever. (John 6:26-58 KJV) There is a time when the manna is fresh. If you wait, it will leave you. How many are hungry for the bread that comes down from heaven, satisfies your every hunger, and never grows old? How many are thirsty and would like to thirst no more? What promise has the Father made you? What promise has Jesus said to you, “I will send?” What condition was put upon it? Have you been waiting in the city? And the waiting! You don’t know in what form it will manifest. You don’t know the hour it will come. You don’t know where you will be when it comes. And you don’t know in what way it will come. The only thing you know is that it is a promise for You! Have you been waiting in Jerusalem and it’s now feeling like you’re in the desert? Are you weary? Are you needing fresh water, fresh food, provision for your journey? Are you a pastor and would say, “I’ve been trying to work with an old anointing and it isn’t working? I’ve been trying to hold onto the glory of the past?” Whether that was last month or 20 years ago, your manna has become wormy and foul and it no longer satisfies the hunger of your congregation. When was the last time the Spirit moved in such a way that “All were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “What does this mean?” God has always been a God of provision. Will you allow Him to provide for you?