Tag Archives: activity

LOWING CATTLE AND BLEATING SHEEP



William Andrew Dillard

HEBREW HONEYCOMB
LOWING CATTLE AND BLEATING SHEEP

How blessed and marvelous is a dedicated church whose members are on fire for God! Their motive and purpose is to please God, and to influence others toward Him. They understand that Christ is the head of the church, the Savior of the body, and that His Word is sweet, even so highly desired as the very bread of life. In my mind, this was the status of the early churches of Paul’s ministry. I think of Ephesus in particular having had the privilege of visiting that ancient city. Ephesus fell into decay and is no more. The zealous church that the apostle planted there is also gone, having suffered marginalization, persecution, and pressures from a godless, but religious society. It is interesting to note that only a few decades after its birth, the church received stern warning from Jesus in the words, “I have somewhat against thee…” Though commended for some spiritual assets, the charge must have been stinging to their hearts. They had busied themselves with religious activity instead of the necessary, personal, one-on-one relationship with Christ Jesus; hence, they were told “. . . thou hast left thy first love.” Rev. 2:4. Simply put, they were engaged in religion, but their motives were misdirected. Could they turn a deaf ear to the Lord? Could they continue as a church that way? The answer is “yes” but they would not be a church belonging to the Lord Jesus. They must remember from where they had fallen, repent or else they would lose their candlestick (be severed from Christ as His body). This problem did not end with the Ephesians. It goes on in wholesale manner today. All of God’s people need to re-think Samuel’s confrontation with Saul when the king declared he had done the will of God. Samuel asked, “What meaneth then this bleating of the sheep in mine ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear?” I Sam. 15:14. The prophet then replied: “. . . Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.” I Sam. 15:22 Church activities may involve a lot of misdirected motives! But, God is pleased when His people return to their first love: a personal relationship with God and His Holy Word. Forget the fat cattle and sheep, and the “sacrifices” to the Lord that cost you nothing! Let the Creator’s Word reign supreme in practical obedience to its meaning!

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Revival


To many contemporary preachers and pastors, the word revival is anathama. Their mis-understanding of the word has caused them to revile the practice of old time Landmark Missionary Baptists and dis-continue the practice of having revivals. Bro. W.A. Dillard has nobly and exquisitely considered the the scriptures relating to, and the meaning of the word “revive.”

There is a true need for revival in this nation. It will come by prayer, passionate preaching, and repentance. The following is the article written so ably by Brother W.A. Dillard.

 

THINKING OF REVIVAL

Psalm 85:6: “Wilt thou not revive us again: that thy people may rejoice in thee?”
Isaiah 57:15: “For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.”
Hosea 14:7: “They that dwell under his shadow shall return; they shall revive as the corn, and grow as the vine: the scent thereof shall be as the wine of Lebanon.”
Habakkuk 3:2: “O Lord, I have heard thy speech, and was afraid: O Lord, revive thy work in the midst of the years, in the midst of the years make known; in wrath remember mercy.

Please notice and ponder the word “revive” as it appears in the context of the several verses above. The English word “revive” is a composite of “re” plus “vive” literally meaning “again to live.” It does not convey a loss of life then acquiring it all over again, but the stirring of that which one already possesses to produce such joy, peace, and appreciation of it as to make it the number one priority of one’s days.
The one Hebrew word translated “revive” in each of the verses above is “Chayah.” It means to possess life in all its awareness and attendant activities; to know life in zeal, and a high level of awareness, especially in spiritual things. This is the same root word that God used in the Hebrew language to reveal his name to Moses which is translated “I am.” Exo. 3:14. He is the source of life; and where there is life, there is activity.
The churches of the Lord Jesus Christ stand in need of a revival of proper activity! They do not need a revival of socialism or of bigger, more comfortable facilities, but a revival of joy, hope, and peace that flows from the Holy Word. I do not mean an acquiescence to the Word, rather a personal acquaintance with it, and agreement with its contents. From this flows all things right and holy in human life; hence, in the churches.
So, what shall we say of “revival” meetings? They are not just an intensification of formal worship services, but a dedication of life to the will of God, and to the working of the Holy Spirit within. That dedication is absolutely individual. It does not come from the will or decisions of the pastor; nor of the will or the majority vote of the congregation. It must be within the heart of each of us. It is true repentance toward God, and from the indifference of a backslidden condition. It is to allow ourselves to be enveloped without reservation in the teachings and work God has given to us that will produce the type of person He wants here on earth now as well as to rule with Him in the age that is about to happen. God, please give us unreserved submission to you that we may indeed know revival!!!

 

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