For God’s Glory And The Honor Of His Name

Pastor George Belobaba

Pastor George Belobaba

The grass withers, the flower fades: but the word of our God stands forever.Isaiah 40:8 NKJV

We have reached the final post for Scripture Nuggets. For over three and a half years, six (and sometimes seven) days each week, the wisdom which God gave to Pastor George Belobaba has been translated from print format to the internet. For greater than 740 posts, we have walked through study after study of God’s Word. Before Pastor Belobaba’s death on September 25, 2012, he was a regular visitor to this blog version of Scripture Nuggets. He thrilled to see God’s Word available to parts of the world the print format of his newsletter never reached. He wrote a letter just after this blog was created (only the “About” page had been published at that time):

“This is just a note today to express my thanks for the great Scripture Nuggets website. Last Monday, I typed my name in “Google” to see if AOGIF put a sermon there. They often publish one in their magazine. Lo and behold, I saw my name and Scripture Nuggets… I punched it in and there was the new website. Wow… and it was the day before the first message was in. Talk about timing… I was “awed.” I also have been thinking about what will happen to Nuggets when I finish writing. In the early hours of Tuesday morning, the Lord whispered and said, “George, don’t worry… I have taken care of it.” A great peace came over me. I know now that the Lord raised you up to put the Nuggets on the web.”

It has been a great honor for us to prepare Pastor Belobaba’s extensive writings for this blog. Many people have found Scripture Nuggets through internet searches and have grown in their spiritual walk with Jesus Christ as a result. It is our hope that you will return again and again, searching the vast number of posts and subjects, to find God’s wisdom and answers to questions you have about your Christian life and walk. We pray that you will be as blessed as we have been.

For God’s glory and the honor of His Name,

Susan E. Johnson–Editor
Hannah L. Johnson–Associate Editor

Copyright © 2013 by Scripture Nuggets Ministries
All rights reserved

Judah: The Backslidden Nation, Pt. 2

(Continued…)

Hosea exposes the nation’s backsliding…

Hosea 9:3… Ephraim goes back to Egypt and eats unclean things. In other words, people go back to doing the things that God has delivered them from.

Hosea 9:16… Ephraim is stricken, and not only that, his roots dry up. His fruit (children) are murdered (v. 13) and many others are aborted in the womb. Hosea may have also seen our day and our nation.

Hosea 11:7… Ephraim was bent on backsliding. The word “bent” means “determined.” He still had a love for the Most High, but refused to exalt Him. Most backsliders love the Lord but they love their evil ways too.

Hosea 12:1… Ephraim feeds on the wind and follows the east wind. The east wind is the doctrine that came from Babylon. “Take with you words, and turn to the LORD: say unto him, Take away all iniquity, and receive us graciously: so will we render the calves [fruit] of our lips” (Hosea 14:2, KJV). Our nation knows that it is doing the same as ungodly societies that are all around them. Very few prophets stand before our politicians and prophesy the word of God.

Hosea 12:8… Ephraim prospers financially because he became crooked in business and said, “I did nothing wrong.” Many giant corporations have fallen because of this same attitude.

The prophets called for Ephraim and Judah to return. The countries were determined to backslide. Yet, God, in Hosea 11:8, says, “How shall I give thee up, Ephraim? how shall I deliver thee, Israel? how shall I make thee as Admah? how shall I set thee as Zeboim?” (KJV. God says that He chose mercy, because He is God and not a man.

Hosea calls for the nation to return to God…

Hosea 14:1… God lays it on the line. “You are fallen and a backslider because of your own iniquity. You have no excuse, you can’t blame others; you made your own decisions.” The nation needs to call sin, sin, and not bad habits or something that you will get over. Our jails are full because of sin. Our medical costs ae rising because of sin. Our churches are powerless because of sin.

Hosea 14:2… God shows His concern. “Take with you words, and turn to the Lord: say unto him, Take away all iniquity, and receive us graciously: so will we render the calves [fruit] of our lips” (KJV). The Lord wants to help the backslider by giving him the right vocabulary. Often the sinner doesn’t know what to say. Our nation knows that it is doing wrong, and it doesn’t know what to say. Repentance has its own vocabulary. What does God want to hear from the backslider? “Take with you words.” Say to God, “Take away my sin, cleanse me, forgive me.” Hosea is saying, “Acknowledge your sin before God. Ask God to receive you again.” “Take me back, Lord.” Worship vocabulary comes after repentance. The backslider (v. 3) must recognize that the world (Assyria) can’t help him. You don’t repent by coming back on a “show horse”; i.e., making a big thing out of it. Repentance involves humility, remorse, weeping, and being sorry. You don’t return carrying any good works that you may have done while you were backslidden. You are saved by God’s grace and by God’s mercy, not by your own works (Ephesians 2:8-9).

Hosea tells what God will do for the returning nation…

Hosea 14:4-9… He heals them, loves them, and removes His anger from them. He refreshes them, He causes new growth, and He strengthens the nation’s roots. God enlarges them, gives them a new fragrance, brings a reviving into their life, brings a revival in their jobs and families, and brings new joys. He removes their desire to serve sin. They receive fresh prophetic direction. They are exhorted and shown that the way of the Lord is right. “You have been restored. Now walk in God’s ways.”

Pastor George Belobaba

Copyright © 2012 by Scripture Nuggets Ministries
All rights reserved

Judah: The Backslidden Nation

Hosea 14:1-7… “Take with you words, and turn to the Lord: say unto Him . . .” (v. 2, KJV).

Hosea wrote about Ephraim, who represented the nation of Israel and her spiritual downfall. He says in Hosea 4:1,6, “There is no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land . . . My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee” (KJV). Lack of knowledge was destroying the people of God. “Lack of knowledge” refers to forgetting the law of God in word and practice. In our terms it would be “not knowing the scriptures or the power of God.” God wanted to do mighty things in their midst, but they were backslidden. Paul wrote in Ephesians 3:19-21 that every Christian should have knowledge of the wide range of the love of God, and they should know that it is God who will do above all that we ask or think according to the power that works in us. Hosea 4:14 says, “Therefore the people that doth not understand shall fall.” This may be the reason why the power of God is absent in today’s churches. The text says, “Bring your confessions, and return to the LORD. Say to him, ‘Forgive all our sins and graciously receive us, so that we may offer you our praises’” (v. 2, NLT). I heard in my spirit the words, “My people do not know how to repent.” Think on it… many do not know how to say, “I am sorry, Lord.”

“Backsliding” means “turning from God, defection, apostasy, without adherence to God or to His word, stubborn, rebellious, bent on sinning, failure to grow in the knowledge of God.”

Hosea exposes the nation’s backsliding… These same signs are in the church today.

Hosea 4:17… Ephraim is joined to idols. In other words, divided loyalties were in his heart. There is danger in incomplete separation. Our nation is full of idolatry. People have made idols of other people, big homes, money, fancy items, big churches, big business, positions, and status, among others.

Hosea 5:3… Ephraim has defiled himself through immoral practices. Proverbs 12:28 says, “In the way of righteousness is life: and in the pathway thereof there is no death” (KJV). Sex is a big business in our nation.

Hosea 5:11… Ephraim, because of oppression, cannot make sound judgments because he willingly did wrong things. How can our leaders make sound decisions when their conscience tells them they are doing wrong? We are no different.

Hosea 5:13… Ephraim went to Assyria for help. Assyria represents taking a step in a wrong direction. The trip did nothing for Ephraim. The United Nations will never be the answer for our nation.

Hosea 7:1… Ephraim’s iniquity made an opening for the enemy to come in so that the enemy could strip him of his wealth.

Hosea 7:8… Ephraim brought mixture into his life. He was cake that was half-baked. Partial holiness is not good enough. The Bible has been compromised. The truths that the nation was founded upon have been watered down. Half-holiness will bring you death, not life.

Hosea 7:9… Ephraim was not aware that strangers were devouring his strength. So also in our nation–people who are alienated from God are bringing much damage. Spiritual deterioration comes in silently.

Hosea 7:11… Ephraim is pictured as a silly dove, i.e., senseless and confused about what direction he should take. God was silent; His counsels are refused.

Hosea 8:11… Ephraim made altars to sin. He was devoted to a false thing. Today, people love their SUVs and their big houses.

Hosea 8:14… Ephraim (Israel) had forgotten his Maker and built temples of false worship. Meanwhile, Judah multiplied its fenced cities and isolated itself behind walls. The church world divides for various reasons. A group splits, leaves a church, and starts their own church, giving it a spiritual sounding name to cover up their act. No splinter group ever calls their new work “We Split Life Center,” or “We Dislike One Man Leadership Fellowship,” or “Legalism Tabernacle.” Judah put up walls of exclusiveness around itself and acted as if they only had God in their midst.

(To be continued…)

Pastor George Belobaba

Copyright © 2012 by Scripture Nuggets Ministries
All rights reserved

Living Off The Powers Of The World To Come, Pt. 2

(Continued…)

The 120 started out with prayer and waited for the coming of the Spirit (Acts 1:14). They did not start out with, “Lord, give us power and success to do miracles.” They were very careful in that they did not use prayer for ego-expanding requests, nor did they use God for their personal selfish purposes. Prayer is not capturing Jesus to make Him serve us. Both Jesus and the disciples began on the right foundation. They prayed for the coming of the Spirit. The Spirit makes intercession for us (Romans 8:26-27). The Spirit helps us to pray according to God’s will. 1 John 5:14-15 mentions the words “according to His will.” The qualifying power for answered prayer is “according to the will of the Lord.” Too often the will of God is not in our praying. Faith in what He has said will bring the answer. The 120 prayed for the Spirit, and what each wanted for themselves, they wanted for all. With the Spirit came the miracles from the world to come.

The disciples saw Jesus’ countenance change when He prayed (Luke 9:28-29). Prayer changes the way you look. Prayer made Jesus look better. Prayer can make you look better… believe it. If you want a good facelift, pray. The glory of the Father manifested itself on the body of Jesus. Paul writes of these things in 2 Corinthians 4:17-18. It can be so, that through prayer we can become alive, aglow, anointed, and permeated with His glory. If prayer lags, our bodies sag. “Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance” (Acts 2:28, KJV).

The disciples saw Jesus praying in Gethsemane (Luke 22:39-46). He prayed that He would accomplish the purposes for which He came–the cross and the shedding of His blood for the remission of sin. Prayer was generated towards a specific purpose. Prayer put a Divine compulsion upon Him to do the Father’s will. If prayer lags, your ministry sags. Prayer gives us a mission and the power and ability to accomplish that mission. When saints pray, they soon exchange the chip on their shoulder for the Lord’s hand upon their shoulder apprehending them for Kingdom purposes.

A story is told of an old riverboat pilot. A passenger had marveled at his skill in navigating the paddlewheeler up and down the river, “You must know where all the sandbars are.” “No,” said the pilot, “but I know where the channels are.” Jesus knew the channels that led to a Spirit-empowered life… so did the early saints. The channel is prayer and faith in God’s Word. Because they knew how to pray, they knew how to live (which was by the powers of the world to come). We can experience the miraculous abundance of the world to come as the early saints did. The key is prayer and having faith in what God says. Prayer brings the Spirit, and with Him comes poise, peace, purpose, and power. Many saints seek only the proof of prayer when they should be seeking the practice of prayer. Prayer is talking something over with God rather than trying to talk God out of or into something.

Pastor George Belobaba

Copyright © 2012 by Scripture Nuggets Ministries
All rights reserved

Living Off The Powers Of The World To Come

Hebrews 6:5… “And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come” (KJV). The NLT reads, “Who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the power of the age to come.”

What a great verse. It tells of saints who learned how to live in troubled times. They learned how to pray and how to believe in the Word of God. They tasted God’s utterances and experienced how good God’s message is. They were nourished by the Word, and the results were fantastic. They lived off the miracles of the world to come. Mighty works were in abundance. When they believed the Word, they set in motion the powers of the supernatural world. If we know how to pray, we know how to live. If prayer sags, life sags along with it.

I was meditating on this text some time ago, and of the possibility of entering into and reaching into the world to come, taking from that world, bringing into this world, and living by the powers of that world. The NCV reads, “They found out how good God’s word is, and they received the powers of his new world.”

Of course, the powers of the world to come was in receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit. If Christians today can grasp this… That coming age was the “age of the Holy Spirit,” the New Testament era. It is now. I personally believe that soon there will be extraordinary manifestations of the power of God that cannot be explained away. “Is there not a cause?” (1 Samuel 17:29, KJV).

Prayer will help us to penetrate through the natural world into the supernatural world, the realm of God. Prayer draws from His realm the needs for our realm. We can live by the abundance that He provides. If prayer lags, supplies sag. The New Testament teaches that it is by faith we have access (Romans 5:1-2), and by the blood of Jesus the way was opened for us to come in (Hebrews 10:19). There are things in God’s realm that will not come to us unless we pray and believe. God is willing to supply all our needs when we are willing to seek first the kingdom of God (Matthew 6:33). The saints in our text learned to live by tapping into the supernatural by prayer and by faith.

The disciples saw Jesus praying. He relied on prayer for fellowship and communion with the Father. He prayed first at His baptism (Luke 3:21-22), and the Holy Spirit came upon Him. Prayer brought the Spirit, and with the Spirit came the power and the abundance. Jesus prayed for many things as well. When the disciples saw Jesus praying, they asked to be taught how to pray (Luke 11:1-4). Jesus taught the importance of relationship (“Our Father”). He taught them the power of the Name of Jesus (“Hallowed be Thy Name”). He also taught the necessity of the Holy Spirit (Thy kingdom come”). In the early manuscripts of the Gospel of Luke, the words “Thy kingdom come” reads as “Thy Spirit come upon us” (Cambridge Bible, 1910). In the 1950s, I was reading the Lord’s Prayer and came to the words “Thy kingdom come.” The Holy Spirit said to me that this refers to the Holy Spirit coming upon us, and that when we pray, the Holy Spirit needs to be in our asking. It’s the Holy Spirit that brings the powers of the world to come into our living today.

(To be continued…)

Pastor George Belobaba

Copyright © 2012 by Scripture Nuggets Ministries
All rights reserved

 

Taking Responsibility

Ezra 10:4… “Arise, for this matter is your responsibility. We also are with you. Be of good courage, and do it” (NKJV).

Are you secretly hoping someone else will follow through in an area for which you are responsible? Here in Ezra, there was a marriage problem. That may or may not be your problem. Too often people will say, “But that’s not my problem; it’s yours. It’s your responsibility.” People often avoid their responsibilities by shifting the blame to someone else or to something else, hoping that the problem will go away. It will not. Your responsibility to do a thing is your responsibility.

Why offer excuses? Why not take courage and do it, as our text says? Don’t cover what you have to do with a lot of long explanations; accept responsibility and hold yourself accountable. Learn how to establish a habit of action to heal and correct a problem before it destroys you. Proverbs 18:9 reads, “He who is loose and slack in his work is brother to him who is a destroyer and he that does not use his endeavors to heal himself is a brother to him who commits suicide” (AMP).

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PERSECUTION WATCH… Many Asian nations have passed new religious laws which forbid Christians from gathering together or converting others to Christ. Jail time is certain. The persecution comes about through courts, lawsuits, and restrictions which limit the voice of Christians to express the Gospel message. These nations do not hate Christians; they hate the Lord Jesus Christ. John 15:18-19 reads, “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you” (KJV).

This same spirit is rising quickly in our nation. Many pastors and churches will soon face lawsuits and persecution. If ever there was a day to be faithful to Jesus, it is today.

*******

IF YOU DO NOT LISTEN, LIFE WILL JUDGE YOU… 2 Chronicles 24:20 reads, “Why break the commands of the Eternal, why defeat yourselves” (Moffatt). In Jeremiah 36, Jehoiakim received a word from the Lord through Jeremiah. He read a few pages, didn’t like what he read, cut them out with a penknife, and threw them into the fire. “That’s that! That settles it!” he may have thought. But had he settled it? Jeremiah wrote again and “added many more words.” Do you ever try to get God’s words out of your life? They will come back stronger than ever. An old quote reads, “He who will not heed the helm must heed the rocks.” The king did not heed the Word. He defeated himself and life judged him.

Pastor George Belobaba

Copyright © 2012 by Scripture Nuggets Ministries
All rights reserved

Amazing Grace

“Amazing grace, how sweet the sound…”

This is one of the greatest hymns of all time. “Grace” means “divine favor,” but it is also from the Greek word that is used for the word “gift.” Grace is God’s power in operation, or His operating power. Note Zechariah 4:7, “Who art thou, O great mountain? before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a plain: and he shall bring forth the headstone thereof with shoutings, crying, Grace, grace unto it” (KJV). Grace brings down mountains.

Picture this… Have you a problem? Heaven shouts “Grace, grace” to your valleys of depression. “Grace, grace” to your financial difficulties. “Grace, grace” to all your diseases. “Grace, grace” towards all your failures. Grace calls out to you, “I will help you.” The Bible declares, “He giveth grace to the lowly [humble]” (Proverbs 3:34, KJV). The word “humble” refers to those in affliction, those who are hurting.

Psalm 84:11 says, “For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly” (KJV).

Acts 4:33 reads,“And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all” (KJV).

The Lord is calling out to you, “My grace is sufficient for thee” (2 Corinthians 12:9, KJV). God’s grace never stops working; it is always full.

If we are living in days of unbelievable problems, then proclaim God’s grace towards the things that are causing you problems.

Pastor George Belobaba

Copyright © 2012 by Scripture Nuggets Ministries
All rights reserved