The Lion, the Cup and the Sword

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There are different types of food that some people like and dislike. There are possessions that some people regard as treasure and others as trash. There is one regard of beauty and another regard of ugliness. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  To receive something with gratitude depends on how you see it.  You may have received a gift and the person who bought it thought you would like it but when you got it is was not what you wanted. The giver anticipated you would like it as they did. The Bible teaches there is a two edged sword, its double sided. It kills and it heals. The gospel can be a savour of life unto life or the same gospel death unto death.

The Cup that Is In the Hand of the Lord

Psalm 75:8 For in the hand of the LORD [there is] a cup, and the wine is red; it is full of mixture; and he poureth out of the same: but the dregs thereof, all the wicked of the earth shall wring [them] out, [and] drink [them].

In the hand of the Lord is a cup. One cup.

Isaiah 51:22 Thus saith thy Lord the LORD, and thy God [that] pleadeth the cause of his people, Behold (have a look), I have taken out of thine hand the cup of trembling, [even] the dregs of the cup of my fury; thou shalt no more drink it again:

Here is a cup of fury, a strong drink. A cup of trembling, a bitter cup and he says behold I have taken it out of your hand. In the hand of the Lord is a cup and he has placed it into the hands of humanity. Then he says behold I have taken the cup out of thine hand. God is speaking to us that we will not drink it again.  I ask the question, has God taken the cup from you? This cup in Jeremiah 25 will make the nations mad. In our last study ‘The Cup of Tribulation’ https://sabbathsermons.wordpress.com/2009/11/01/the-cup-of-tribulation-2/ we considered the five human reactions to taking this cup.

Jeremiah 25:15 For thus saith the LORD God of Israel unto me; Take the wine cup of this fury at my hand, and cause all the nations, to whom I send thee, to drink it.

Is this cup the one in Gods hand? The cup of Psalms?

The Sword and the Cup

Jeremiah 25:16 And they shall drink, and be moved, and be mad, because of the sword that I will send among them.

25:17 Then took I the cup at the LORD’S hand, and made all the nations to drink, unto whom the LORD had sent me:

The verses go on to lists the nations;

Jeremiah 25:27 Therefore thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Drink ye, and be drunken, and spue, and fall, and rise no more, because of the sword which I will send among you.

25:28 And it shall be, if they refuse to take the cup at thine hand to drink, then shalt thou say unto them, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Ye shall certainly drink.

This cup we established in our last study (The Cup of Tribulation) was the cup of bitterness and woe. The five reactions to this cup were;

  1. Cain who got mad. He blamed God and said this is not fair of the punishment and anger stirred up. This reaction was nothing less than mental problems. He was a maniac. He threw his fist at heaven.  There is a saying that if you spit toward heaven it will come back and land on your face.  It didn’t help him.
  2. The second reaction was that of going cold. Cutting your feelings off and saying I don’t care anymore. Whether I live or die it doesn’t matter, I have no feelings anymore.
  3. The third was going into the world. I can’t find happiness in Christianity so I’ll go somewhere else.
  4. The fourth was doubting that God can save me. This guilt I’m feeling is only the beginning of the suffering of hell so I may as well get used to it.
  5. The fifth was the one of Judas who was manipulative that things aren’t going my way so I will make them. I am going to get out of this problem my way.

Jeremiah 25:28 And it shall be, if they refuse to take the cup at thine hand to drink, then shalt thou say unto them, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Ye shall certainly drink.

This cup in the Lords hand is the same. The wicked will drink the remainder of it. This cup no one can get out of. You try and get out of it but you will be running from a lion and will meet a bear and then in a house a serpent;

Amos 5:18 Woe unto you that desire the day of the LORD! to what end [is] it for you? the day of the LORD [is] darkness, and not light.

5:19 As if a man did flee from a lion, and a bear met him; or went into the house, and leaned his hand on the wall, and a serpent bit him.

5:20 [Shall] not the day of the LORD [be] darkness, and not light? even very dark, and no brightness in it?

Suffering is in this world even for Christians and you can’t get away from it. God had poured out an abundance of blessing on us and Israel. Blessings alone never train a child, it always must be discipline.

The Lion, the Cup and the Sword

Hosea 5:14 For I [will be] unto Ephraim as a lion, and as a young lion to the house of Judah: I, [even] I, will tear and go away; I will take away, and none shall rescue [him].

5:15 I will go [and] return to my place, till they acknowledge their offence, and seek my face: in their affliction they will seek me early.

In Jeremiah we have a sword and now a lion.  A bitter cup, a sword and a lion. We can establish in Hebrews the sword that he will send;

Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God [is] quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and [is] a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

This sword is the word of God. Jesus said I am not condemning you. The words I speak they will condemn you.

The Flying Roll

This sword he has identified as the flying roll. It flew over the houses of those that transgressed and this roll bashed down the houses.

Zechariah 5:1 Then I turned, and lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and behold a flying roll.

5:2 And he said unto me, What seest thou? And I answered, I see a flying roll; the length thereof [is] twenty cubits, and the breadth thereof ten cubits.

5:3 Then said he unto me, This [is] the curse that goeth forth over the face of the whole earth: for every one that stealeth shall be cut off [as] on this side according to it; and every one that sweareth shall be cut off [as] on that side according to it.

5:4 I will bring it forth, saith the LORD of hosts, and it shall enter into the house of the thief, and into the house of him that sweareth falsely by my name: and it shall remain in the midst of his house, and shall consume it with the timber thereof and the stones thereof.

The end time destruction whether a lion, a cup or a sword are all destructive elements. This sword will discern your thoughts. What happens if your thoughts are good? Will this sword kill you? If your thoughts are good then all this sword is doing is going to testify that what you are doing is good. If your thoughts are good, that will be your salvation. If that same word goes in the same way into the same mind but the thoughts are evil, what will happen?  You will be dead.  What really is the killing element? Is it not the way you think? Will that not be to your loss?

2 Corinthians 3:6 Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.

It is the same sword but one will kill and one won’t. The sword that comes to smite the nations is the word of God.  Who is coming from heaven with his garments dipped in blood who is it? The Word of God. He is coming to smite the nations but the word of God can be your salvation. You can see a clear description of end time events. God has not made something to kill people it is how they think.  Their thinking has taken them on the deadly side of God’s love. The sword comes to set us free. The truth shall set you free yet this sword is coming to smite the nations.

A Roaring Lion

Hosea 5:14 For I [will be] unto Ephraim as a lion, and as a young lion to the house of Judah: I, [even] I, will tear and go away; I will take away, and none shall rescue [him].

Is there another lion in the bible? Satan is like a roaring lion. But we also have God saying I will be like a lion.Everything hinges upon how you think! We can say a lion is like our problems. We either allow our problems to kill us as lions often kill people or we can be like Samson.

Samson

Judges 14:5 Then went Samson down, and his father and his mother, to Timnath, and came to the vineyards of Timnath: and, behold, a young lion roared against him.

14:6 And the spirit of the LORD came mightily upon him, and he rent him as he would have rent a kid, and [he had] nothing in his hand: but he told not his father or his mother what he had done.

14:7 And he went down, and talked with the woman; and she pleased Samson well.

14:8 And after a time he returned to take her, and he turned aside to see the carcase of the lion: and, behold, [there was] a swarm of bees and honey in the carcase of the lion.

Samson was going to see his parents and a lion comes out and roars at him. What would you do? I think you would break the world record of sprinting. The natural thing to do is run from a lion. But Samson through who destroyed the lion? The spirit of the Lord which came upon him. If it wasn’t for the spirit of the Lord Samson would have run. My personal opinion was that Samson was not a big muscle person as the pictures make him to be. His strength was the Lord. I don’t believe he was a natural muscle human and like every other Israelite. However, he had a gift from God the spirit and that spirit gave him power to destroy the lion.  If the lion is our problem what do we need to destroy the lion? The spirit of God. If we don’t have the spirit of God that same lion we destroy destroys us.  Here is a mind exercise of how we are to approach our problems. This story is beautiful as it doesn’t stop there, it continues. He went down and talked with the woman.

Hosea 14:7 And he went down, and talked with the woman; and she pleased Samson well.

14:8 And after a time he returned to take her, and he turned aside to see the carcase of the lion: and, behold, [there was] a swarm of bees and honey in the carcase of the lion.

14:9 And he took thereof in his hands, and went on eating, and came to his father and mother, and he gave them, and they did eat: but he told not them that he had taken the honey out of the carcase of the lion.

What happened? He came back to the same problem this lion but what was there? Honey. Here is Samson through the spirit of God had a problem. Death was staring him in the face but through the spirit of God he destroys this problem and then he comes back and that problem becomes sweet to him. What does that tell us? Isn’t that how our mind approaches a problem?  Is it a sweet experience to meet a lion? If you ask a Christian of the second century they will tell you what it’s like to meet a lion. This experience came back and yielded this sweet honey. This experience is indeed how we are to approach things through the spirit of God. The spirit of God doesn’t get mad when things go wrong or cold, or doubt, or turn to the world or manipulate circumstance to get out of it.  The Spirit of God will get out of the problem and turn into sweet.  Is it a cup of bitterness, blessing or cursing? It depends on how you think.  It is a cup of wrath without mixture.

The Cup of Communion

1 Corinthians 10:16 The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?

What does the word communion mean? The first part is about communication and union is in unity. Engaging together as one. This cup of blessing, is this not the blood of Christ the thing that makes us one with him?

1 Corinthians 11:25 After the same manner also [he took] the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink [it], in remembrance of me.

11:26 For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord’s death till he come.

What are you showing by drinking this cup? The Lords love? This is the Lords death. Why was Jesus trembling in Gethsemane? He was dying. He told the disciples they will drink the cup also and here the disciples call it the cup of blessing but the world calls it the cup of cursing.

A Cup of Blessings?

Could you say trials in your life are blessings? When we bless God for the miseries they don’t seem so miserable anymore. This cup of blessing, thankfulness, happiness is it not the cup of the communion of Christ? Do we not show the Lords death as we do this?

1 Corinthians 11:27 Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink [this] cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.

This is a very negative picture to the same cup. This cup of blessing shows the Lords death. It’s a good Christian experience to engage in but it says whoever does this unworthily is guilty.

1 Corinthians 11:28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of [that] bread, and drink of [that] cup.

Here the bible is telling us that if we are going to drink the cup of Christ, we must consider ourselves and how we think. How am I coping with my problems here? Am I blessing God with my problems or am I running and avoiding all my problems? This is what he bible is saying. Consider. Let a man examine himself. How do you react when you are drinking the cup of death or the cup of life? The cup of trembling? Is it a curse to you? Are you cursing God and saying this is so unfair on my life? I’m not going to relate to anyone anymore. No one understands me. I’m going to shut down. Is this how we think? This is the examination we must do before we drink. For if we judge ourselves we should not be judged. If we are judging ourselves and realise I’m thinking really wrong here, does God have to tell you? You already know if we can examine ourselves and judge ourselves.

1 Corinthians 11:31 For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.

11:32 But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.

11:33 Wherefore, my brethren, when ye come together to eat, tarry one for

God will chasten us if we sin and that is part of the cup. If you judge that you have done something wrong then you must also judge you will meet the consequence thereof.

1 Corinthians 11:32 But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.

Our problems are our biggest blessings. This is why the apostle said this is the cup of blessing which we bless. Do you thank God for problems in your life and tackle them like the lion of Samson?

1 Corinthians 11:29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.

I have often thought before communion I don’t know if I want to drink this cup because if I am not quite right I am drinking damnation. Perhaps I shouldn’t drink it. This is not what the bible is talking about. We should drink it. We will drink it wether it’s now or later. We should drink it worthily.

1 Corinthians 11:29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.

They don’t discern Jesus Christ.

Philippians 3:10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;

The cup and bread is communing. Communicating in a harmonious experience. If you want to commune with anyone you have to know them. What really were his sufferings? Wasn’t it the cup of trembling? Was it not that he thought his life was a mess? Out of all the missionary reports I hear that were negative Jesus’ report was the worst.  I have spent my strength for nought.  He was the most successful missionary ever yet he gave this bleak report. This cup of trembling that everything was a problem. The problems of me and you all upon this soul. The nails didn’t cause his suffering, the crown of thorns didn’t cause his suffering it was sin that separated him from his Father. This cup of communion is getting your mind to think that yes with all my problems I will go forward in the Lord with it. I will fellowship with Jesus in my problems. You don’t have to be problem free to engage with the Lord. You need to determine that you will take all your problems with Jesus together. If you say in your mind yes I will discern the problems he felt then you are worthy to take the cup of communion. If you separate your problems from Jesus and say he doesn’t know my problems or understand me then you are then taking this cup but not with Jesus and it will do the same to you as its doing to the nations of the world, kill you. You are eating and drinking damnation to yourself. This cup of blessing to those who are pure in heart will be life to them. The purpose is to make a clear cut decision. All my problems I will deal with them with Jesus. This lion in front of me, I will take the spirit of God with me and kill it. That is the decision that needs to be made. When I feel cold and all these negatives I can know God is washing my clothes. When I am in the fire of affliction I can know that God loves me and he wants to make me a serviceable sword in the battle of the Lord.  We can imagine the Lord is taking my sword and he is beating me on the anvil and then he is putting me in the fire to make me strong. That is how I will think about my problem and walk with Jesus. Although everything looks black before me I can know the power of his resurrection. When Jesus comes to you as a lion or as a sword, or a bitter cup, what will you think? There were two demoniacs. They had the spirit of Satan – the carnal way of thinking. Jesus comes near them like someone who want to commune;

Matthew 8:29 And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time?

He comes to save them and here is the demonic reasoning that comes out of them. You come near us to torment us before the time? They knew at the end of the world they would be tormented. Have you ever thought and said to the Lord are you bringing me torment before the time? Judgment now to kill me? This is the way demons think. Yet the same Jesus can go to the love of John and John can lie on his breast. One is going to be tormented and the other will be at peace. The same Jesus the same love, the same desire. One is coming to a sinner who accepts him and the other to a sinner that doesn’t want to be healed. How do you deal with your life’s problems? Do you sense Jesus is coming near to bless you or that God is cursing?

Life is disciplinary. While in the world, the Christian will meet with adverse influences. There will be provocations to test the temper; and it is by meeting these in a right spirit that the Christian graces are developed. If injuries and insults are meekly borne, if insulting words are responded to by gentle answers, and oppressive acts by kindness, this is evidence that the Spirit of Christ dwells in the heart, that sap from the living Vine is flowing to the branches. We are in the school of Christ in this life, where we are to learn to be meek and lowly of heart; and in the day of final accounts we shall see that all the obstacles we meet, all the hardships and annoyances that we are called to bear, are practical lessons in the application of principles of Christian life. If well endured, they develop the Christlike in the character and distinguish the Christian from the worldling. {5T 344.2}

What separates the world from Christians? How you think. That’s all. How you think obviously comes out in how you speak and act. This is how we are revealed. In our experience we have been in an awkward situation here in Perth with our church split but can we praise God in our church experience in the last few years? Perhaps God has done it to see how we react. To see what angers stir up. To see how will treat the situation. We learn that life is a school. We are learning. Perhaps we have failed, we still keep going. These issues that we are dealing with are our biggest blessings. Jesus is like our Joseph. It’s a famine, there is no food but Jesus has the store house of the grain he has kept in reserve for us. When we are hungry, when the Canaanites were hungry and came to Egypt Joseph gave them the rations. We are to ask Jesus when we are hungry. The blessings have been harvested and are in a barn ready to distribute to those who come to Jesus. It is my prayer we will be like Samson and not run from the lions of our life that we can treat the lion through the spirit of God and deal with it and then we can come back to a sweet lion.  May the Lord bless our fellowship together and that we can drink of this cup discerning his fellowship.

Amen.

Posted on November 13, 2009, in Divine Service Sermons, Sermons For Sabbath and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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