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Sermons By The Heal The Land Ministry

My Cup Runneth Over

Posted by Job on March 18, 2007

 James 2:23 – And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.

Many of our Messianic Jewish friends insist that Gentile Christians miss out on the full meaning of the Bible because there are a lot of things regarding not only the use of language (i.e. their idioms, clichés, and references) that we do not understand, but things are also hidden from us because we are unfamiliar with Middle Eastern culture. An example of this is how modern western Christians really do not know the true meaning of the phrase “redemption from sin”, believing that it means “cleansed from sin” or “forgiven of sin.” But in the Middle Eastern culture of the time, to “redeem” someone referred to either buying someone from slavery, or paying someone’s debt so that they can get out of jail. That fully explains I Corinthians 6:19 – 20 when it says “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” The person living in the modern western humanist/individualist mindset would hear “Christ redeemed you from your sins” and respond “Gee, thanks for forgiving and cleansing me, but now that I am forgiven and clean, I can go my way and you go yours: there is no cause for me to feel any further obligation towards you.” And you will also just see your sin as an imperfection, a flaw, in an otherwise good person, like a smudge on a windshield. You think that Yeshua HaMashiach redeeming you from your sin was merely his washing the smudge off your windshield, allowing you to drive off. The notion that you would owe a person who merely cleaned your windshield anything more than a thank you and maybe a $3 tip is absurd. But if you know that you were a slave to sin; if you know that you were a prisoner of sin, and that Christ did not merely wipe you clean but paid the debt so that you could go free, then THAT demands an obligation! THAT exposes the moral bankruptcy of this “it’s all about me” fast food Christianity religious culture that is gripping the western church.  And in a similar fashion, some Christians may not realize full meaning of the 23rd Psalm. Of course, some say that to REALLY get the meaning of the Psalm, one has to be a shepherd, A Shepherd Looks At Psalm 23 by W. Phillip Keller is great in that regards; here is a link to excerpts. But my focus is on verse 5: “Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.” Once you understand the Middle Eastern cultural traditions behind this, you will see that it is a picture of salvation; being accepted into the Kingdom of
God!
At the time, men in that region would often take long journeys alone that would take several days for whatever reason: whether a personal, family, or business trip or a religious pilgrimage. So, there was a custom whereby if it were evening and any such person while traveling would happen upon a house and there was someone home, he would have the right to go to the house and ask for some food. If the head of the household were to either refuse such a person or to cut the lights out and pretend that they were not home, the traveler would go to the next house and tell them of his treatment, and that would bring shame upon that family around the region, for virtually everyone had males in their family who had to take long trips, and it was in the interests of the general welfare of the culture for all of them to be well treated. By the same token, men who traveled knew to be on their best behavior for the same reason. Oh if our own supposedly advanced modern western culture were so sensible … we have traded any sense of common hospitality and cooperation within not only communities but whole lands for the protection and advancement of the interests of all to a culture of selfishness and self – interest. (Incidentally, this also puts Luke 10, where Yeshua HaMashiach sent the 70 out across the countryside “without purse or scrip” – meaning without money or provision – and told them to curse any town in which no one would provide them hospitality while they performed their ministry into better context, for it meant that the people in that town were so opposed to Yeshua HaMashiach – or so given over to evil spirits that opposed him – that the whole town would break cultural hospitality traditions in order to oppose anyone coming in His Name, saying that “it will be better on the day of judgment for Sodom than for that city.”)  Now the minimum amount of acceptable hospitality would be to go to the door, give such a traveler a small bit of food, like maybe a piece of bread and some cheese or something, and then to say good evening or something and shut the door. While a household given to such behavior would not have the best reputation – and remember family reputation was critically important in those days not only for the treatment of your own male travelers, but in business transactions, legal disputes, marriage proposals, etc. – but it would be enough to keep the outright hostility and scorn of people from being heaped upon you. See, males in this position would usually not stop merely because they were hungry, because in most instances they would have prepared for their trip by taking provisions – whether food or money to buy some – along the way. And of course, they would not want to be known as someone who went from house to house taking food from people who were having a hard enough time providing food for themselves; again consider the family reputation. And though the local customs demanded and enforced hospitality, that did not change the fact that these sorts of social transactions would always mean both parties having to endure a degree of risk, as yes there were criminals and exploiters about in those days. Therefore, a man taking advantage of such hospitality would generally do so only because he was very tired, cold, ill, had run out of food or money, or was lonely. That is why refusing such men was so looked down upon, and why even meeting them at the door with a bite to eat without a good excuse for not inviting them in was barely acceptable: men would not show up at your door unless they were borderline desperate. Again, realizing this puts the many references in the Bible of men traveling alone and seeking a place of rest into context, as going anywhere of any distance would be a long, difficult, tiring, even dangerous endeavor, and to be forced by difficult to seek hospitality (which required surrendering a bit of male pride and admitting that you were in want or need of assistance, and please remember how important male pride is in the Middle East; if men in OUR culture are unwilling to pull into a gas station and ask for directions when lost, consider theirs) and then not be invited in would be an absolutely crushing experience, not only a denial of needed assistance but a huge blow to pride. To be treated in such a fashion was something that every man dreaded, and yet was an experience personally familiar to a great many of them.  But even being invited in was not the end of the ordeal for the desperate traveler, but rather the beginning. For then, the traveler would have to proceed to the family dinner table where he would be evaluated by male leader of the household. (Again, the references to a traveler being fortunate enough to find a kind accommodating elderly woman of some means, especially a widow, so that you would be able to avoid having to win over “the man of the house” in these situations are put into proper context, as in these societies all women had to show great deference to males, even in their own homes.) The man of the house would first give a detailed sight evaluation of this person: his looks, clothes, grooming, hygiene, mannerisms and behavior, whether he was on animal or on foot and if on animal the nature and condition of said animal, whether he was carrying anything with him and if so what and how, etc. Anything that would tip off the character of this individual, the reason for his trip, and more importantly the reason why he arrived at your doorstep would be duly noted. And then the verbal evaluation would begin. The man would be asked questions concerning his family, acquaintances, occupation, the destination and purpose of his journey and his travel experiences, his religious beliefs and observances, etc. Why? While it is true that in a culture that so valued honor and reputation no one would want a person of questionable character, behavior, and background under his roof for any longer than it was required, there were also more legitimate reasons: no one wanted to be giving cover to a fugitive, or to give a possible criminal a chance to victimize your household then or later, and it was the responsibility of the man of the house to both fulfill the tradition of hospitality while protecting the reputation and security of his family.

Now the traveler he would be invited to the dinner table with the family, with his table manners and conversation being part of the extended evaluation. At some point during the dinner, the man of the house would have to give the guest wine, to indicate his level of approval of the guest. If the man of the house filled your cup only half full, then it would indicate that you had utterly failed, and now that you had gotten your needed bit of respite in the form of food, rest, warmth, and company, you should be on your way as soon as possible, and should your travels take you by that house again to not stop but keep going! If he filled it to the top, it would indicate that the man of the house found you somewhat lacking but not offensive, so you could stay a little while longer if you needed to and you could stop by again on your travels if you absolutely had to, but you had used up just about the limits of your host’s good graces. Of course, either such response was a clear rejection on some level, and such rejection was greatly dreaded! But if he filled your cup to the top, and then added a bit more so that your cup overflowed and some spilled out, it meant that you were approved, that you had won over your guest. You were not only free to finish and enjoy your meal, but to stay after dinner to avail yourself of whatever they had to offer that you needed and to provide and be given company and conversation. Maybe you were a long lost relative or the child of an old acquaintance; maybe the man of the house was impressed by your occupation or the reason or experiences of your journey and wanted to hear more; or maybe he just found your appearance, character, and conversation to be pleasing to him. Because of that the man of the house would want to talk to you and hear you talk some more, to also provide extra assistance to you to help you on your journey, and to cause you to remember his house so that you would visit them again if you were ever traveling in the area. But just as there were two levels of rejection, there were two levels of acceptance, and that was the first. The second level was that in addition to overflowing your cup, the man of the house would anoint your head with oil. That would be an unasked invitation for the visitor to spend the night as an honored guest. So while up until that point the guest was relying on the approval of the host, it would then be the up to the guest to show HIS approval; his comfort level with the family and his opinion of how he was treated, to accept or decline the offer to spend the night.   So now, let us go back to Psalm 23:5. Some Christians, especially those after the charismatic tradition, have done the best they could by interpreting it as God giving them the anointing of the Holy Spirit, especially after prayer or praise, until they “experience overflow” by being overcome by the presence and power and begin to spontaneously vigorously worship, dance, sing, and perhaps prophecy or speak in tongues. Christians of a more traditional sort may interpret Psalm 23:5 as being a way of explaining how God provides for and blesses them in overabundance. Both interpretations are very suitable and sufficient, but it still leaves the person lacking with regards of the true spiritual meaning of this verse, and why the 23rd Psalm is so important and cherished by Christendom. It particularly helps you understand the first portion of the verse: “thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies.” Now of course a shepherd literally does this for his sheep whenever he takes them out into a pasture to graze: they are actually out in the open where wolves and other predators are in the area, but they do not dare come near for fear of the shepherd! Again, a contemporary interpretation of this may be that God will overcome evil people that are trying to deprive you of your family, freedom, and economics to meet your needs; or that God will overcome the evil spirits that are trying to torment and corrupt you by pouring out upon you His Spirit. But the actual spiritual meaning of this fragment when considered in conjunction with the whole is actually a clear depiction of what happens at SALVATION. The sinner is outside the Kingdom of God, outside of fellowship with God. So, he is as one who is traveling alone in a strange country, and seeks the House of the Lord as refuge for his condition. Maybe such a person is heartbroken and lonely and needs companionship and comfort.  Maybe he is very ill physically, mentally, or emotionally and needs to be healed. Maybe this person is spiritually hungry is seeking the void within him to be filled with answers, knowledge; the Holy Spirit of Truth that comes by hearing and believing the Word of God. Maybe he is tired of running from and striving against God and instead is ready to submit to God and seek His Peace under His terms. Or perhaps he has heard of the coming storm, the all out war of the great tribulation and the certain destruction of the second death that will be poured out upon all who are not 100% on the Lord’s side, and he is seeking to be spared. When such a person seeks the House of the Lord, the Lord will not pretend that He is not at home, or offer the visitor a small bite at the door with some excuse, but He being righteous will rather honor the custom and invite him in.But realize that the person is invited in only because of custom! Why? Because the Lord and all that are in His House are Righteous! They are all Family! They all know each other, love each other, work together, and fight together against the hostilities, idolatries, and perversions of Satan and his house of Babylon! But you? You do not belong in that house. Why? Because you are a sinner! You are from Babylon. So you come riding up to the House of the Lord on your donkey or horse from
Babylon. You are arrayed in the filthy corrupt garments of Babylon. Your speech, mannerisms, mindset, behavior, occupation, even your very FLESH AND SPIRIT are all of Babylon, corrupt and detestable in the House of the Lord and before the Master of the House, the Lord Himself. So because of the sin that you were born into through Adam and because of your own personal transgressions of the law, you are at enmity with everyone in the House the second you step through the door. You are fouling and profaning the House of the Lord, and the people who live in that house, the saints and the angels, have every right to kill you on the spot, as does the Lord Himself. But you know what happens? The Lord doesn’t kill you. Quite the contrary, He shows you every bit of hospitality imaginable. Now the Lord COULD have His servants, His angels and His already redeemed saints, set the table for you, as certainly is not only His right but is also the universal custom. But no! Rather than have His servants welcome you, the Lord God Himself prepares the table for you. How? By going to the cross to pay the debt for your sins! That’s right. The Lord could have used someone else; any one of His angels or of the righteous men that were on the earth at the time. But no, God Himself took on the flesh of a man, and even though His flesh was not corrupted either by the sin of Adam for he was not born of Adam (the blood comes from the man, not the woman, so it was God’s Blood in Yeshua HaMashiach, not that of any tainted Adamic seed, which was why God told Eve that the Messiah would come from HER seed, for where she had been deceived Adam SINNED) or by any sin of His own for as the Word of the Father He resisted all temptation to do the Will of the Father, and therefore went to the cross to pay the debt of sin. Therefore, when you, a sinner, goes into the House of God, rather than being destroyed for the intrusion, you are given a place at the table which God has prepared for You with His own death, resurrection, and Blood. Though at the time you are an enemy of not only God but all that are in God’s House, just as the advance of the predators are stayed by the presence of the shepherd from attacking the sheep in the field, the Blood of Yeshua HaMashiach stays the Righteous Wrath of God from delivering your deserved destruction for your sins while you are in His Presence.   And guess what? While you are eating at His Table (which is hearing the gospel), God does not fill your cup half full, saying “sinner, I did you a favor by letting you stay awhile and get some food and rest, but now take your sins and go back to Babylon and await your destruction there.” God does not fill your cup full and say “You can stay awhile longer, talk to me and my angels a bit, and avail yourself of whatever blessings that you need if it makes you feel better, but you are still a sinner and I reject you for your sins, so at some point you will have to go back to Babylon and await your destructions.” Were the former or the latter the case, the works – based religions of the rabbinic Pharisee Jews, Mormons, Muslims, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and what have you would be true … you would have to keep coming back to the House of the Lord over and over again until you impress Him enough to let you stay. And even if you were to mess up during your stay, if you were to break a vase or drop something on the floor, you would be kicked out of the House back to
Babylon, and would have to start all over again. But this is folly. No matter how hard we work, we will still be sinners, and will never be worthy of being accepted into the House of the Lord. Even if somehow we get in through works – and we cannot – we would not be as God and the angels in His House. We are still in corrupt bodies of flesh, not spirits or even in perfect spirit – composed bodies that we will be raptured or resurrected into eternal life into. So, it would be inevitable that we would break something at some point, and have to be ejected back into Babylon, no matter how much we love God and want to be with Him and no matter how hard we try. But notice where I said above where a traveler’s length of stay in the house was dependent upon the good GRACES of the host, and yes I did use the term “GRACE” on purpose. For all who come to the House of the Lord by the hearing of the gospel, God not only fills their cup to the overflow indicating approval, but HE ALSO ANOINTS THEIR HEAD WITH OIL, an open invitation to stay! And it is not just a stay for the night! No, it is a permanent invitation to leave Babylon for the House of the Lord as a resident and citizen in the Kingdom of Heaven forever! You never have to go back to Babylon, because in God’s House are many mansions (rooms), a place for you is already prepared, and if it were not true God would not have told you in His Word (John 14:2). Why? Because though you were a sinner and not worthy of even setting foot in His House, the Lord already loved you and wanted to be with you and you with Him. He sent His Son, who is also God, to die for you to make sure that when you came to His House, the table would be set with YOU as the guest of honor. And though you were in the presence of all of these warrior angels with their big swords ready to chop you into pieces at any time lest the Host become offended with you by your unrighteousness and because of your sin you were utterly incapable of making a good impression in any least way because the very manner of your speech and appearance is loathsome, the beast that you rode in on is sick and diseased, your occupation is vile, and your works and accomplishments and sacrifices are a stench in the nostrils of God as if you haven’t taken a bath in ages, the LORD STILL APPROVES YOU. He STILL fills your cup overflowing AND anoints you with oil because He loves you so much and wants You to be with Him so badly! You have eaten a banquet at His Table by virtue of hearing the gospel of His Son’s Deity, life, death, and resurrection, you have been accepted by the Host, and your acceptance is not temporary or conditional based on your works but permanent because His Grace never runs out, so now IT IS ALL ON YOU. If you approve of the Host and like His House (which means if you are one of the sheep of His Pasture who respond to the sound of His Voice and if you have a desire to love God more than you love yourself, which is to love God’s Righteousness more than you love your own sins), then you will accept His offer of His Grace to dwell in His House forever! But you have an equal right to reject His Grace, continue to love your own sin, and go back to Babylon and await your certain destruction.   And THAT is why Psalm 23, and especially Psalm 23:5, was so important. The Holy Spirit spoke through David and used him to prophecy a picture of both the coming Savior AND how through Him the process by which men would be saved. Not by the law, not by sacrifices, not by works, not by heredity, but rather all as travelers seeking refuge, and being unconditionally and undeservedly accepted by the Grace of the Host. How sad it is that non – Messianic Jews, who came out of the very culture that wrote this verse and fully understood it, rejected its prophecy, meaning, and fulfillment when they saw the Messiah and rejected Him, and that rejection goes on to this day. And what a blessing it is when people do accept, not only Messianic Jews but Gentile Christians who accept the Messiah without even knowing the meaning of or the prophecy given in Psalm 23. That is why Paul said in Romans 11:11 that the faith of the Gentiles in the Messiah provokes the Jews to jealousy so that they would thereby be saved. That is also why Jesus Christ said at various points in the gospel that nations who would accept Him without even really knowing who He is would be blessed, but that His own people who knew these prophecies and writings and their true meanings and still rejected Him would be not only greatly accursed, but actually judged by the Gentile nations who accepted Him (Matthew 12:41–42, Luke 29-32). But please realize that we Gentiles should not judge Jews so harshly (as many have foolishly done in the past and thereby brought God’s curses upon their own heads) for despite not knowing the full meaning of the scriptures we know enough – that our own sins and desire to be forgiven of them and given Heaven as a free gift instead of our deserved fate in the lake of fire – to be saved. Indeed, many of us actually do worse than the Jews by claiming to accept the Bible when we do not. We call ourselves Christians but do not keep Christ’s Commandments. We claim that the Bible is not the final authority or inerrant, and we claim that God is not sovereign over us. We try to get God to worship us and serve us with false doctrines. We deny Trinity, and we deny grace, claiming that we can perfect ourselves with works. So while Jews reject Christianity and are in danger of judgment, Christians who reject true Christianity are actually in danger of BIGGER judgment. And that is why the warnings given in Revelation 2 – 3 were not to the Jews, but rather to the church. And yet so few churches and Christians obey them, take them seriously, acknowledge that it applies to them in any way, or even reads them! But to those who do keep the true gospel and words of Jesus Christ, in them is the glory and prophecy of Psalm 23 and especially of Psalm 23:5 is fulfilled and revealed, even if the person in whom this is gloriously fulfilled and revealed does not have a full intellectual knowledge and appreciation of it. And that, my fellowservants in Christ Jesus, is a true revelation of the power of God, and how God saves (which is the translation of the actual name of the Saviour, Yeshua), and not man! So all who read this, I urgently entreat you and go tell all men, saved and unsaved, the true meaning of Psalm 23:5. And if you have not taken advantage of Psalm 23:5, I urge you to do so today by following this guide (read this article). My prayers and love are with you and with the entire Body of Christ, and may God bless and keep you all.Prayer:

Father YHVH in the Name of Yeshua HaMashiach, we thank You for anointing our heads with oil and overfilling our cups; for sending Your Saviour into the world that through Him we might be saved from the wicked world and our sins. May more of your saints be emboldened to preach the gospel wherever they go and to then encourage the true doctrine of undeserved grace when they do so, and may more men accept Your offer and keep Your Commandments. Amen.

Deliverance:

The demons that work in this area are false doctrine and false teaching that cause people to reject God’s True Triune Nature which makes possible and available for every man the greatest possible gift, which is salvation not by works but rather through unearned grace. Both people who are bound by works doctrine and those who are not Christians after any sort urgently need to be set free from their oppression by hearing the true gospel, and telling them the actual meaning of Psalm 23:5 is a way of using the Word to contend against and overcome the enemy. Please read the Basic Spiritual Warfare guide to learn more about how to go against these demons to help set captives free and win battles in the name of your God through the power, authority, and victory given to you by his Son Jesus Christ and by his blood shed for you!

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3 Responses to “My Cup Runneth Over”

  1. […] by healtheland on March 18th, 2007 Please click on this link to access the document. Thank […]

  2. […] a lot of people problems too. But I am here, fellowservants of the Lord, the elect remnant and the redeemed from sin from the brethren, you should know your victory that Yeshua HaMashiach has already won for you, for […]

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