16 September 2021
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Seek first and then

Speaker: Apostle Ernie

In Matt 6:33, we read: But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

Today I want to talk to you about the object of your faith.

As Christians, we have been taught the object of our faith ought to be Christ and Him crucified. If we keep Him as the object of our faith, we will have His imputed righteousness which guarantees our salvation and provision in this life. So, according to Christianity, if you need anything such as healing, salvation from a financial crisis, you should always trust Jesus to come through for you. Another version, depending on your denomination, says you should always trust God to come through for you on account of your faith and trust in Jesus.

How is that working for you? Can you honestly say that you have been healed, provided for, and delivered every time you have been in a crisis because you trusted in Jesus? And I know most of you would say yes, but let me rephrase my question: Have you had any miraculous healings, deliverances, or provisions which are indeed miracles because you trusted in Jesus. ? Miracles in such a way that if someone were to test and see what you had experienced, they would conclude that it is impossible to explain how this happened to you?

If you were one of the early Christians or the Apostles, the answer would be a definite yes. But as a Christian in 2021, I guess the answer is no; most of us have never had any miracles happen to us.

There is a reason for this:

The truth is this; there is a considerable discrepancy between the life of the Apostles, the life of the early Christians, and the life we Christians live today. Why are we not living the book of Acts? Why are we not seeing the dead raised, the lame walk, the deaf have their hearing restored, and the blind eyes opened?

Because we have a wrong object of faith:

When we read Matt 6:33, we are taught to interpret it as if Jesus is saying: Seek first the cross of Christ and His imputed righteousness; then all these things will be delivered unto you. This is not what Christ is saying here; what He is saying is this: Seek first the law of Moses, and then all these things will be delivered unto you.

This is quite different from what most Christians believe, so we need to know that we understand this correctly:

When Christ spoke those words, He had not yet been crucified. No one except Himself knew what was going to happen in the future. At no point do we see Him mentioning the crucifixion. What Christ is saying here is a direct quote from Exodus 19 and Deut 28:1-14 where it says if we obey Yehovahs law, then He will give us all the things we need. Because he quotes the Old Testament, we know for sure He is not talking about the crucifixion.

If this does not convince us, perhaps the book of Acts and church history can persuade us. In the book of Acts and the first 2-300 years of Christianity, Gentile and Jewish believers in the Messiah lived and practiced their faith as Jewish Christians. Both Gentile and Jewish believers obeyed the law of Moses, not because they wanted to be saved but because they were saved. No one had a New Testament; no one knew anything about the phrase the Old Testament. They only had the Old Testament, the Gospels, and several letters circulating amongst the congregations telling them how to understand what we call the Old Testament. When they read Matt 6:33, they did not understand it as: Seek first the cross of Christ and His imputed righteousness. They understood it as it was supposed to be understood: Seek first the law of Moses, and then all these things will be added unto you.

This is why we can know that the Apostles and the first Christians had the law of Moses as the object of their faith. On the other hand, we have been taught to have the cross as the object of our faith. They lived the supernatural life, we talk a lot about the supernatural life, but we never experience it.

There is a vast discrepancy between them and us, and it all has to do with the object of faith. This is not the only difference; they suffered more than we, and our lives’ lack of suffering should concern us.

Reading the letters of Paul, John, James, Peter, and the Acts of the Apostles, it is evident to see how suffering was a natural consequence of being a Christian. Hand in hand with their suffering, they walked in miracles and saw supernatural events. Why did they suffer so much for their faith? Because their message was different from ours.

Most Christians today are taught not to offend anyone; we are told to focus on the love of Jesus and the “wonderful plan” God has for us. The first Christians had a very different message: Their message was “turn or burn,” If you turn (repent), make sure to be reconciled to Yehovah by the cross.

Most Christians look the other way when a brother or a sister chooses to live a sinful lifestyle. But when faced with unsaved people living a particular sinful lifestyle, we quickly point out their need for repentance. On the other hand, the first Christians were not afraid to confront a fellow brother or sister, telling them to repent, and at the same time, they made sure they kept the law themselves.

When you tell people they will burn if they dont turn, you will not become popular and quickly gain many enemies. But this is what Christ told us to do; He told us to preach repentance, teaching everyone how to turn, warning them of the judgment to come.

There is a connection between the lack of miracles in the church and the lack of suffering amongst Christians. We need to repent and start preaching the Gospel, telling everyone to turn or burn, warning them of judgment to come, and, if they turn, be reconciled to Yehovah by the cross. Of course, we will suffer for it; we will be hated and persecuted for it. But when we do, our Lord Jesus Christ promises us that He will be there with us and His Father Yehovah will meet our every need.

Yes, this is an essential aspect of Matt 6:33, the promise to have our needs met hinges not only on us obeying the law of Moses but on us telling everyone to repent and be reconciled to God. Because if you obey the law and you are reconciled by the cross, you know you are disobedient when you look the other way when a brother or a sister engages in a sinful lifestyle. You know you are disobedient when you choose to tell your neighbor about the love of Jesus, but you do not warn him what will happen if he refuses to repent.

But when you do your duty, and you are obedient, having the law as the object of your faith, you can always expect Yehovah to heal you, provide for you and meet your needs because you keep the law. Then you will see true miracles; miracles people will be unable to explain.

But keep in mind, most of the time, it will never happen in an instant. You will still have good reason to worry and fear, but you are responsible for choosing faith over fear in situations like these. How? By choosing to remind yourself that Yehovah will rescue you from this situation the way He sees best, when the time is right, because you are obedient to Him.

How can you know this for sure?

Because it has happened in the past, this happened with Moses at the Red Sea; Yehovah did not tell Moses what He was about to do. Yehovah did not remove the Egyptians the first time the Israelites saw them. He allowed them to come close to the camp, positioned Himself between them and the Israelites, and then told Moses to stretch forth his staff.

If I were Moses, it would be very tempting to question Yehovah and ask, “how do I know for sure you will do this? What will you do? When will you do it? Are you not going to do anything about the Egyptians?” Instead, we see Moses telling the people not to complain, not to fear and trust Yehovah to rescue them. We never see Moses questioning Yehovah, only being obedient to Him. And because he was obedient, the waters parted they could cross safely. Why was Moses able to do this? Because his object of faith was the law.

We need to be like Moses when confronted with a need or a life crisis. We need to trust Yehovah enough to say, “I dont know what will happen when it will happen, but I know Yehovah will rescue me from this crisis because I keep the law of Moses, and I am reconciled to Him by the cross.”