1st svc, 15 Feb 2009
as noted by Yeo Choon Meng Terence
2 Cr 9:10 He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness.
In years’ to come, NCC will be known as a healing centre. Recently Pastor Henry Yeo of NCC conducted a seminar on healing for NCC leaders. Pastor Henry had prayed for a boy with Kawasaki’s disease and this boy was healed.
HEAVEN WILL MEET EARTH IN TODAY’S SOWING – MIRACLE SEED SUNDAY
There is a valley in Israel called Jezreel which means — God himself will sow
Holiness is to be like God. Sowing is not so much to be rich, but we want to emulate God / Jesus. In other words, our attitude is not so much to expect returns, but we want to be more like Jesus.
Hsa 2:21 “It shall come to pass in that day [That] I will answer,” says the LORD; “I will answer the heavens, And they shall answer the earth.
Hsa 2:22 The earth shall answer With grain, With new wine, And with oil; They shall answer Jezreel. [Editor: The footnote in NKJV says that Jezreel "literally" means "God will sow"]
Hsa 2:23 Then I will sow her for Myself in the earth, And I will have mercy on [her who had] not obtained mercy; Then I will say to [those who were] not My people, ‘You [are] My people!’ And they shall say, ['You are] my God!’ “
The word “Hosea” has as one of its roots “Yah” which means the Lord.
Today as we sow in Miracle Seed Sunday, Heaven will meet Earth.
God answers Heaven and Heaven answers earth.
Hosea 2:22 the shall answer “answer Jezreel”
This passage is Hosea so aptly describes NCC.
FOOLISHNESS TO NATURAL MAN
1 Cr 1:22-29 For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, [are called]. But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty
3 John 1:2 Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.
Holy Communion deals with our fears, worries and stress.
Often, God wants to deal with our soul realm first (healing us from our stress, fears, worries, etc) before the restoration of health manifests. That is why, sometimes, there is no apparent manifestation of healing despite taking Holy Communion. Nevertheless, persevere on with Holy Communion!
Isa 53:5 …. The chastisement for our peace [was] upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.
Notice the words “chastisement for our peace” i.e. shalom (spirit and emotional realm first) before “by His Stripes we are healed” (physical manifestation of healing).
There is progressive manifestation of the healing — 30 fold, 60 fold, then 100 fold — spirit, soul and then body!
Usually, on taking Holy Communion aggressively in faith, you may experience no physical manifestation of healing in the first week, BUT, you do notice that you experience, less stress, worry, etc. Don’t give up, or else your miracle will be still-born. God’s medicine has no side-effects.
Luke 18:8 …. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?
This story in Elisha’s life (2 Kg 4:38 and 2 Kg 6:25) took place in a time of famine (so we would do well to study it since we are experiencing economic recession today).
2 Kings 6:1 And the sons of the prophets said to Elisha, “See now, the place where we dwell with you is too small for us.
2 Kg 6:2 Please, let us go to the Jordan, and let every man take a beam from there, and let us make there a place where we may dwell.” So he answered, “Go.”
2 Kg 6:3 Then one said, “Please consent to go with your servants.” And he answered, “I will go.”
2 Kg 6:4 So he went with them. And when they came to the Jordan, they cut down trees.
2 Kg 6:5 But as one was cutting down a tree, the iron [ax head] fell into the water; and he cried out and said, “Alas, master! For it was borrowed.”
2 Kg 6:6 So the man of God said, “Where did it fall?” And he showed him the place. So he cut off a stick, and threw [it] in there; and he made the iron float.
2 Kg 6:7 Therefore he said, “Pick [it] up for yourself.” So he reached out his hand and took it.
Elisha typifies Jesus in the OT. It comprises of the Hebrew root words transliterated as EL (Mighty God) and Sha (Salvation). Jesus is Yeshua in Hebrew.
The “sons of the prophets” are therefore a type of the Believer i.e. Us
The “sons of the prophets” remarked in 2 Kg 6:1 that “the place where we dwell … is too small for us” and this is similar to us in NCC, and that is why we need to move to One-North from our current premises at Suntec City’s Rock auditorium. We need a bigger space for more miracles, salvations, etc.
The “sons of the prophets” went to Jordan (2 Kg 6:2) which means: FLOWING from the NORTH . This is because Jordan comprises of two words: Yar - Dan. Yah means, flowing or descending from. Dan refers to the tribe of Dan which was located in the north of Israel. It was common in Bible days to describe the entire length of the country of Israel from north to south as from “Dan” to “Beersheba” which was in the south (first mention Jdg 20:1) .
The fact that this story is set in the place of the river — flowing from the North — is very inspirational for us because our new place is called One-NORTH!
Let us all “take a beam” (2 Kg 6:2) to build the new house of God at One-North.
Elisha (2 Kg 6:2) tells his people to “GO”. This too is the word of the LORD for us now, GO, and build the new house of God.
If we do not move when the LORD moves, we will feel the heat of day (that is why the Children of Israel followed the Pillar of Cloud, which provided shelter, as this manifested presence of God moved from time to time, during the Exodus).
Elisha in 2 Kg 6:3 promised to go with his people. Likewise Jesus shall be with us. Heaven has answers for earthly ills. Today, heaven is going to meet earth.
GOD WANTS TO PAY OFF OUR DEBTS
The ax head had fallen into the water (2 Kg 6:5) and there was cry as “it was borrowed”
Whatever we borrow, directly or indirectly, God wants to pay off our debts (even legitimate housing debt).
When the River Jordan is flowing (especially when it is the time of year when it overflows its banks), it can be very dangerous and thus very difficult to retrieve any object lost therein.
The lost ax head thus describes a situation where you borrow something (“it was borrowed” 2 Kg 6:5) and have no power to repay.
Likewise, many of us realise that we cannot save our way out of debt.
The typical man will try all of the world’s ways except God’s way to get out of debt. He will try to (a) beg, (b) borrow, or (c) steal, his way out of debt!
God’s way is this:2 Kg 6:6 So the man of God said, “Where did it fall?” And he showed him the place. So he cut off a stick, and threw [it] in there; and he made the iron float.What has happened is that our ax head, in a particular area of our lives, has now become dull and it has lost its cutting-edge. What is the remedy? Recognise that you have lost this cutting-edge and ask Jesus to show you “Where did it fall?” and then bring Jesus into the situation (“cut off a stick” – picture of the Cross) and “threw [it] in there”; and the iron floated! The Cross will cause your situation, whatever it is, to float and be redeemed! The Cross will cancel our debts.
Iron cannot float in water by the natural laws of physics. Likewise, the naysayers in the financial media will deride us when we bring Jesus into our debt situations but Jesus will cancel our debts and cause iron to “swim” (KJV 2 Kg 6:6)!
God can change the laws of science for the sake of his people, if only we would obey Him and follow His ways.
So if you are in a difficult situation now, ask God where you fell and lost your cutting edge. It may be a relationship that is not blessed; or some compromise in your life; or you have a particular sin in which God has forgiven but your conscience has not.
God is interested in what we borrow. This is because the Borrower is servant to the Lender (Proverbs 22:7). We don’t want to be servants to the devil and God wants us and our finances set free!
2 Kings 4:1 A certain woman of the wives of the sons of the prophets cried out to Elisha, saying, “Your servant my husband is dead, and you know that your servant feared the LORD. And the creditor is coming to take my two sons to be his slaves.”
2 Kings 4:3 Then he said, “Go, borrow vessels from everywhere, from all your neighbours–empty vessels; do not gather just a few.
2 Kings 4:5 So she went from him and shut the door behind her and her sons, who brought [the vessels] to her; and she poured [it] out.
2 Kings 4:7 Then she came and told the man of God. And he said, “Go, sell the oil and pay your debt; and you [and] your sons live on the rest.”
How do we get out of debt? Ask what do I have in my house (2 Kings 4:2)?
Exo 4:2 So the LORD said to him, “What [is] that in your hand?” He said, “A rod.”
Exo 4:4 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Reach out your hand and take [it] by the tail” (and he reached out his hand and caught it, and it became a rod in his hand)
The rod is representative of Moses’ career as he was a shepherd. We see in Exo 4:3 that in every rod or career, there is a ‘snake’. Only when our rod / career is given to the Lord, is that career sanctified and given back as God’s rod / career. [Editor's Note: You do not catch the snake by the tail in the natural as the snake will then easily turn around and bite you. It was therefore by God's supernatural Grace that Moses' took the snake by the tail and it returned to being a rod.]
The word mortgage is from “O.Fr. mortgage (13c.), mort gaige, lit. “dead pledge” … from mort “dead” + gage “pledge;” so called because the deal dies either when the debt is paid or when payment fails.”
Nothing in the house but a jar of oil?
Clearly there was something wrong with her statement! She had something to give — the jar of oil !
Elisha told the woman (2 Kings 4:3) to “Go, borrow vessels from everywhere, from all your neighbours–empty vessels; do not gather just a few.”
God’s instructions are for us to start preparing for our miracles ! If you are sick, start acting like you are healed ! Go out and have fun. If you cannot walk, stretch. There are so many miracles in the NT which Jesus began with a call on the individual to stretch out the limb (Mat 12:13, Mark 3:5, Luke 6:10) and the manifestation of healing then took hold. Act in the natural and Jesus acts in the supernatural.
The woman in 2 Kings 4:6 ”said to her son, ‘Bring me another vessel.’ And he said to her, ‘[There is] not another vessel.’ So the oil ceased.
Clearly from 2 Kings 4:6, we see that the miracle of continuing supply of oil could have persisted had there been more vessels for the woman to pour the oil into. God could have continued the miracle. Man limited God.
According to your faith, so be it unto you [Matt 9:29] There was so much abundance of oil that the woman could have lived in a mansion had she borrowed more vessels!
If God had a company on earth, it would be called “God and Sons UN-limited”!
Elisha in 2 Kings 4:7 told the woman to “Go, sell the oil and pay your debt; and you [and] your sons live on the rest.” After selling the oil to pay the debt, there was still plenty left over for the woman and her sons to “live on the rest”. God is so gracious!
The story in 2 Kings 4:1-7 illustrates that debt cannot be cleared by simply keeping money in the bank — keep pouring the “oil” out as God guides you, don’t hide the “oil”!
God takes care of the vessels (a picture of us) when the oil is being poured out from them and ensures that they remain clean and not stale. If GOD can get his blessings through you, He will get His blessings to you. Commit yourself to being a channel of blessing for God!
ELIJAH AND THE WIDOW OF ZAREPHATH
1 Kings 17:2 Then the word of the LORD came to him, saying,
1 Kings 17:4 And it will be [that] you shall drink from the brook, and I have commanded the ravens to feed you there.”
1 Kings 17:6 The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning, and bread and meat in the evening; and he drank from the brook.
1 Kings 17:8 Then the word of the LORD came to him, saying,
1 Kings 17:10 So he arose and went to Zarephath. And when he came to the gate of the city, indeed a widow [was] there gathering sticks. And he called to her and said, “Please bring me a little water in a cup, that I may drink.”
1 Kings 17:12 So she said, “As the LORD your God lives, I do not have bread, only a handful of flour in a bin, and a little oil in a jar; and see, I [am] gathering a couple of sticks that I may go in and prepare it for myself and my son, that we may eat it, and die.”
1 Kings 17:14 For thus says the LORD God of Israel: ‘The bin of flour shall not be used up, nor shall the jar of oil run dry, until the day the LORD sends rain on the earth.’ “
1 Kings 17:16 The bin of flour was not used up, nor did the jar of oil run dry, according to the word of the LORD which He spoke by Elijah.
Initially, Elijah was provided for by the Lord at Brook Cherith (1 Kings 17:4), but after a year (the Hebrew word translated as “a while” in 1 Kings 17:7 is transliterated as yown and which can be understood as a “year”) the water which had had been supernaturally provided in the Brook Cherith dried up. God was telling Elijah that it was time to move on.
God told Elijah to “Go to” Zarephath where a widow would provide for him (1 Kings 17:9) We need to find our place where God has commanded us to go and where He will provide for us there.
Zarephath means place of refining or refinery
The Lord sent Elijah to place of refining to refine Elijah and remove the dross from him.
As men of God, we like Elijah would rather pride ourselves living supernaturally and to be provided by God in a constant stream of miracles. Thus, Elijah, had his pride affected, when God commanded him to find provision via a widow. [Editor: More often than not, God's typical mechanism of provision for us is not via miracles but by things which are supernaturally natural.]
Moreover Zarephath is a place of idolatry and this is the region where Jezebel, Elijah’s nemesis originated. So it was very humbling for Elijah to take food from woman, and even more so from a woman from an idolatrous country.
NOTHING IN GOD’S HANDS REMAINS LITTLE
In 1 Kings 17:10, Elijah asks the widow for water, then he asks for bread (1 Kings 17:11).
The widow responds in 1 Kings 17:12 that, “As the LORD your God lives, I do not have bread, only a handful of flour in a bin, and a little oil in a jar; and see, I [am] gathering a couple of sticks that I may go in and prepare it for myself and my son, that we may eat it, and die.”
Nothing in God’s hand remains little! God always multiplies the little!
The widow was not exercising faith and reacted naturally when Elijah approached her in 1 Kings 17:12 especially when in 1 Kings 17:9, it was revealed to Elijah by God that He had already commanded the widow to provide for him.
The widow could have been a secret beliver in the Living God because in 1 Kings 17:12, she says “.. as the LORD [YHWH] thy God [Elohiym] liveth…”
Only God knows who are the secret believers in your house or perhaps in a country where Christianity is prohibited.
In Kings 17:12, the widow is also not answering Elijah’s request directly. While God had told her to do something for Elijah, she says she is preparing the flour for bread to eat as last meal before she and her son died.
THOSE WHO REPRESENT GOD MUST BE KIND
Thankfully, Elijah was a kind man. It seems like Elijah did not hear or see what widow just said in the previous verse because he presses in and in 1 Kings 17:13 says “Do not fear; go [and] do as you have said, but make me a small cake from it first, and bring [it] to me; and afterward make [some] for yourself and your son.”
He continues to exhort the widow to do as God had commanded and encourages her. As a result, the widow and her son experience the manifestation of God’s miracle in their lives.
The “cake” in 1 Kings 17:13 is bread and not the type of cake we associate the word “cake” with today.
Elijah may seem cruel but God was setting up the widow for her miracle and blessing!
GOD CHANGED THE METHOD OF PROVISION FOR ELIJAH FROM MIRACLES TO THE WIDOW BECAUSE HE LOVED THAT WOMAN IN ZAREPHATH!
God is so good! If the miracles in Cherith had continued, only Elijah would be blessed and there would have been no overflow to the widow.
The LORD’s loving-kindness is better than life!
SETTING US UP FOR A BLESSING
God was setting up the widow for a blessing — the key was whether she was willing to give.
She was willing to give and as a result:
1 Kings 17:15 So she went away and did according to the word of Elijah; and she and he and her household ate for [many] days.
God is setting us up for a blessing today in NCC’s Miracle Seed Sunday. We too will not have our flour used up or oil run dry notwithstanding the worldwide economic crunch.
Whenever we pour out, God will give us more. However, the more you accept your natural state, the more you grow old. Thus, if you are tired and you still play with your kids or you continue to serve in church etc, God will give you more grace and empowerment and supernaturally renew your youth and strength, etc. Don’t hoard or save, pour it out!
JESUS RECOUNTS THE STORY OF THE WIDOW OFZAREPHATH. Luke 4:24 Then He said, “Assuredly, I say to you, no prophet is accepted in his own country.
Luke 4:25 But I tell you truly, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, and there was a great famine throughout all the land;
Luke 4:26 but to none of them was Elijah sent except to Zarephath, [in the region] of Sidon, to a woman [who was] a widow.
Luke 4:27 And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Elisha the prophet, and none of them was cleansed except Naaman the Syrian.”
Luke 4:28 So all those in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath
Jesus recounted the story of the widow and Naaman to the people to illustrate to them that the miracles and provisions of God are by Grace alone. As long as the people thought they deserved the miracle, they would not receive it. It is only by God’s Grace.
It is all by grace, but as the stories above illustrate, it still required woman’s sowing ! Let’s sow into the Kingdom of God today!