Statement of Faith Current Teaching Teaching Index
Come and Dine!
November 2013

A little girl walking in a garden noticed a particularly beautiful flower.  She admired its beauty and enjoyed its fragrance.  "It's so pretty!" she exclaimed.  As she gazed on it, her eyes followed the stem down to the soil in which it grew.  "This flower is too pretty to be planted in such dirt!" she cried.  Therefore, she pulled it up by its roots, ran to the water faucet, and washed all the dirt away.  It was not long until the flower withered and died.

When the gardener saw what the little girl had done, he exclaimed, "You have destroyed my finest plant!"  "I'm sorry, but I didn't like it in that dirt," she explained.  The gardener replied, "I chose that spot and I mixed the soil personally, because I knew that only there could it grow to be a beautiful flower."

Often we murmur because of the circumstances into which God has sovereignly placed us.  We fail to realize that He is using our pressures, trials, and difficulties to bring us to a new higher level of spiritual beauty.

As all of us know, there are some dramatic changes about to take place in our world.  These changes are going to drop our world into confusion and turmoil.  It is happening already!  Just look at the news and notice the wars, the rumors of wars the cry for peace, peace.  One side saying the war could change the world for good, while other declares that it will cause another World War.  Others say that these possible wars could end in a nuclear conflict, with Israel right in the middle.  Either way we are in for some dramatic changes in our world.  These change demand that the body of Christ change with it.  After all, whom did Christ ordain to clean up the mess that is right, the Body of Christ!

We are now in the time that these rapid and dramatic changes will take place.  These changes will take place.  These changes must come!  They will prepare us for what is ahead like it or not.  A new move of the Spirit is about to take place.  No matter what happens, change is inevitable.  Change will force the Body of Christ to prepare for the final day revival many are now predicting and sensing as close.

We as the Body of Christ must become the embodiment of the message found in Psalm 23:5.  Only then will we be the Christ ordained, life giving organism that Christ intended.  We will then take our rightful place, fulfill our rightful ministry, and become a beacon of light to a world lost in its own sin-filled darkness.  If we cannot, we will become ineffective as a body, and as a result, many will die that God did not intend to die.

Psalm 23:5 says:  "You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over." 

          We must notice four things in this verse.

1.           You prepare a table (feast) before me

2.           In the presence of my enemies

3.           You anoint my head with oil

4.           My cup runs over

The position of this Psalm is worthy of notice.  It follows the twenty-second, which is the Psalm of the Cross.  There are no green pastures, no still waters on the other side of the twenty-second Psalm.  It is only after we have read, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me"  that we come to "The Lord is my Shepherd."  We must by experience know the value of the blood shedding, and see the sword awakened against the Shepherd, before we shall be able truly to know the sweetness of the Good Shepherd's care.[1]  In other words, our spirit must be killed and then revived anew before the revealing of the Good Shepherd.

The Good Shepherd has called us to Himself, saved us by His blood, adopted us into His family, opened wide the door of fellowship and is preparing us for His work.  He has also equipped us for battle, filled us with His power, and now He "prepares a table before me."

The Church of Jesus Christ is standing at the place where a table or a great feast has been prepared specifically for us.  The Hebrew word for "table" is "shulchan."  The word implies a table containing great amounts of delicacies, foods, new wines and priceless objects, all of which are there for our enjoyment and benefit.  Notice also, that it is the Lord's Table.  The feast is the Lord's, He prepared the table for us and it is in the exact place the Lord wants it.  We are His guests of honor! 

This feast is arrayed in great beauty and splendor.  The people present are all His loved ones, members of His family.  They all came from the same place of sin, just like you and I!  They have all come at the Lord's invitation and are all accompanied with a host of angelic beings.  The angels are all singing praises that shake the very foundation of the universe.  They are all arrayed in beauty and splendor such as never before been witnessed.  Nothing is being spoken but the life, light, and wisdom of God.  Pure love engulfs us all, for it is the atmosphere in which we now live.  Beauty is everywhere! 

We then behold the elaborate table set before us and we see every good thing imaginable.  He fills the table with all we can use to strengthen our weary bodies, satisfy our hunger and quench our thirst.  John 4:13-14 says; "Jesus answered and said to her, 'Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, 'but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst.  But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life."  In addition, it says in John 6:35 "And Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life.  He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst."  What a feast the Lord has prepared for us!

God prepared this table especially for you.  Notice what the verse says, "You prepare a table before ME!"  It does not say He prepares a table for everyone or anyone.  He uses a personal pronoun "Me."  Why?  Because, He wants us to taste and see that He is good.  He knows our every idiosyncrasy.  He knows what we like and dislike.  He knows our every desire and need.  Therefore, He prepares the table and its enormous blessings especially for ME.  In other words, you were the one solely on His heart and mind when He went through all the trouble and work in preparing this feast, which contains all your wants, needs and desires.

There are no restrictions on how much we can eat or drink, and there is no time restriction on how long we can remain at the table.  In fact, He tells me that I should abide in Him.  Because, "As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.  I am the vine you are the branches.  He who abides in me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without me you can do nothing" (John 15:4-5).  The Greek word for "abide" here is "meno" which means to continue, or dwell with, endure, to remain, stand, or to tarry.  In John 15: 4-5 it refers to the relationship between our Lord and us.  We in Him must abide, and He in us, will abide.

          So let us now ask a few questions.

1.     Why is the body of Christ so weak, distracted, powerless, afraid and embarrassed?

2.     Why are we always making excuses for our continued sins?

3.      Why is not the body of Christ making a noticeable impact in the direction the world is heading?

4.      Why do we go to church to be revived instead of bringing revival to the church?

5.      How many souls have been saved under your ministry in the last year?

Could it be that though we are standing in such a glorious position, and able to get all of our heart, mind and spirit's desires, we refuse to partake fully?  Are we afraid to enter?  Are we too fearful to throw away the shackles that hold us to this world?  Perhaps we are so attached to the world that we are worrying about our clothing, our language or our mannerisms and all that because we do not want to be talked about.  Could the table's location be the distraction?

Remember the table is set before us "in the presence of our enemies."  Are we afraid of what our enemies might do if we sit at the table and therefore we look for a hiding place?  When our enemies attack us, do we react as if they can truly hurt us?  When Satan vexes us, do we shrivel up in shock and awe?  When we confront our past, do we hide from embarrassment?  Does our pride force us to cover up those embarrassing moments with useless and vain excuses?  Any one of these responses and many more can easily distract us from the glory of the Lord's feast.  They will pull us away from the very presence of the Lord, which will weaken us and render us useless and ineffective parts of the Body of Christ.  Remember it was only after Peter took his eyes off Jesus and noticed the turmoil around him that he started to sink to his death (Ref. Matthew 14:25-33).  Remember also that Jesus continued to walk toward him reached down and pulled Peter to safety.  Therefore, if you have fallen, reach up grab the hand of the Savior, He will pull you out of the miry clay and plant your feet on a rock to stay.

Why is it so difficult to stand on His word?  Don't you know that "if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new" (2nd Corinthian 5:17).  There is no reason for excuses.  God knows what we were, and He does not care any longer about your past, He is only concerned about your todays and tomorrow's.  We are now in Christ, and "if I walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His son cleanses us from ALL sin."

We the Body of Christ are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation.  We must understand that God decided on the exact location of the table.  God knows exactly what He is doing.  He did not set the table there by mistake.  The location God has chosen in regards to what is around it, is irrelevant.  It does not matter where the table is, only that the Lord's table is where He wants it and that He is standing right there.  Jesus is telling us to remember His word.  "No weapon formed against me shall prosper, and every tongue which rises against you in judgment you shall condemn.  This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is from Me, says the Lord" (Isaiah 54:17).  So forget what is around you, enjoy the presence of the Lord.  Taste and see that the Lord is good!

If we stand and enjoy the presence of the Lord the way God ordained it, no evil devised by the hearts of men can stop the blessings Christ wishes to bestow upon us.  Evil men will come to realize the same fact that the hosts of Hell have always realized, whom God wishes to bless, will be blessed, and whom God condemns, will be condemned. All that evil men can do is see the blessing of the Lord, envy it or fret about it, for they cannot do anything about it.  May God truly make this a reality in our hearts!

Come out from under the table, and look to Jesus the author and finisher of our faith.  He is standing over you ready to "anoint your head with oil."  In the eastern culture, people frequently anointed their guests in the same way.  They do it with very expensive perfume; and with it the quests are given a cup or glass of choice wine.  The host then takes the wine and carefully fills the glass making sure some overflows.  This gesture demonstrates their love and respect.  It also implies that the guest was to remain and partake in the abundance set before them.  So what is David, under the anointing of the Holy Spirit saying?  God truly cares for us.  He wants us to enjoy and remain in His presence. 

          There are three qualities to be aware of regarding the anointing oil.   

1.       How smooth it is to the touch

2.       Its brightness to the eyes

3.       Its fragrance to the smell 

These qualities cause delight and satisfaction to those anointed.  The Bible refers to anointing oil as the "oil of gladness," and the "joy of the Holy Spirit."  So why should we not want it?  Obtaining it means, we must feast in His presence.

This anointing is also for power in spreading God's word, and in conforming us into His image.  When His anointing comes upon us, we will start to change the world (Acts 1:8).  When anointing comes, lives are changed, people are saved, healed and delivered, and revival begins.  The anointing of the Holy Spirit is the power and presence of God!  With the anointing, comes a call to service.  We are His hands, feet and voices in this world.  We must open our minds to receive all the anointing that God wishes to pour upon us.  If we allow His anointing to fill us, "My cup will run over."  As I stated earlier, He wants us to enjoy and remain in His presence, for there is enough of God and His anointing to go around.

Where does the anointing flow when it overflows you?  It flows to everyone and everything around you!  That is the point of this teaching.  Our lives should be lived in the presence of God.  This life will so fill us with the anointing of God that it overflows and the world will feel the impact of its life giving flow.

We are heading into a time of change.  This change will bring with it new challenges that must be met, new experiences to encounter and new enemies to overthrow.  We must grab hold of the fact that it is God that is making these changes, and leading us ever forward.  The message of Psalm 23:5 is telling us that we must stay in the Lord's presence, allow all the anointing God wishes to pour on us and let it overflow to others.  Do not allow the world or its cares to stop you, for "God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love and of a sound mind" (2nd Timothy 1:7).  "We are more than conquerors" (Romans 8:37).  We are a victorious Church made in the image of God, one that the devil will not be able to prevail against (Ref. Matthew 16:18).  Let us start acting like it!  God is bidding us to come and dine.

Sit at the feast table prepared specifically for you.  Kick back, enjoy, and partake of the myriad of beauties presented to you.  Embrace the unlimited power and majesty that comes with being a child of God.  We must enjoy whom we are with, not fear where we are!  Do not be caught up in the surroundings; be caught up with the person giving the feast.  Do not be shy; take as much as you are able from the table.  Absorb all you can from those around you.  In the upcoming times of uncertainty and change, remaining in His presence, partaking of all He has set aside for us, will be vital for a victorious Christian life.  We must run the race, yes!  However, more important than running the race is finishing the race!  "Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him" (James 1:12).

To affect and change the world we must first be affected by His beauty, majesty and be in-filled with His presence.  If we accept the invitation of Psalms 23:5 we can easily obtain all we need to change the world or at least the part of it we are living in.  Come and Dine!

          Let us summarize.

1.           We are at a feast especially prepared for us

2.           Everything needed to become mighty warriors that can stand fast despite any opposition can be obtained

3.           This table is set up by God where God thought best

4.           There is a war raging

5.           Are enemies are all around us

6.           This war has no cease-fires and will never end until Jesus comes

7.           To have an impact in this war we must have absolute trust and assurance that the Lord has and has given us all the
              power necessary to defeat the enemy

8.           No weapon formed against me shall prosper

9.           No matter what happens, God is in control, His thoughts for us are for peace and not evil, to give you a future and a
             hope (Ref. Jeremiah 29:11
)

10.      Those whom God has chosen are already victorious

11.      God will always give us more then we deserve or need to fight the good fight His anointing is always constant, continual
           and sufficient

The keys to understanding this message are as follows:

   It is the Lord's Table

   It is the Lord's anointing

   It is the Lord's choice of location

   It is the Lord's choice of guests

   It is the Lord's feast prepared especially for you

   It is the Lord's presence everywhere

   It is the Lord's invitation to eat and drink as much as we want

   It is the Lord's protection and safety that are steadfast and unlimited


    [1]            The treasury of David, Vol. 1 , C. H. Spurgeon, McDonald Publishing

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