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Guard the Good Treasure

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Coming out of the meeting with Nigel McNeil, how will you use the gift that God has deposited into you?

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Recap meetings with Nigel this past week!

Hands up of everyone who attended at least one night with our meetings with Nigel over the past week?
Now, hands up of everyone who received something from Lord during these meetings? (This could vary: a healing (whether physical, spiritual, or emotional), a word of knowledge, a breakthrough of some sort in your life that you have been struggling with, etc.)
I shared with you the Wednesday night before Nigels coming to us, that my heart for Revival, was not directly linked to seeing the signs and wonders, per se, but I want to see new salvation brought in this house.
(This could vary
Acts 2:46–47 ESV
And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.
THAT IS WHAT I WANT TO SEE! AMEN?!
You see, true revival (an awakening), could break out at any time and any place!
Tell of Preacher and the Septic Tank!

This morning, I would like to talk with you about how and what you and I do with the impartations, such as we recieved while Nigel was here with us. (That is, what do we do with these blessed gifts of healing, restoration, wisdom and purpose, such as the Holy Spirit was giving as He moved amongst us during this past week?)

Let me take that same question a step further, especially since we have been talking recently about stewardship and our accountability to God.
What are you doing with all of the gifts that you have been entrusted by God throughout your life? (Your finances/job, your family/children, your health, and your time here!)
So, we are going to look at a couple of words this morning that have a specific theme/meaning and then apply this to our own lives and let Holy Spirit speak to us about these things. AMEN?!

Introduce the words, primogenitureand patrimony.

Primogeniture - Word not found in the Bible; derived from the Greek translation of the Hebrew word for firstborn. Primogeniture refers specifically to the exclusive right of inheritance which belonged to the firstborn male.
Patrimony - Inheritance from a father or ancestor. It is synonomous with the birthright”.
BIRTHRIGHT - Right or privilege belonging to the firstborn son in a Hebrew family. The eldest son ranked highest after the father and in the father’s absence had the father’s authority and responsibility. The birthright meant not only the honor of family leadership but also a double portion of the estate as an inheritance. If a man had two sons, his estate would be divided into three portions, and the older son would receive two. If there were three sons, the estate would be divided into four portions, and the oldest son would receive two. The oldest son also normally received the father’s major blessing.
Brand, C., Draper, C., England, A., Bond, S., Clendenen, E. R., & Butler, T. C. (Eds.). (2003). Birthright. In Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary (p. 220). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
Brand, C., Draper, C., England, A., Bond, S., Clendenen, E. R., & Butler, T. C. (Eds.). (2003). Birthright. In Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary (p. 220). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.. In polygamous Israelite society the birthright belonged to the actual firstborn of the father and could not be transferred to the son of a favorite wife without just cause.

So we are going to look at the birthright, large and in part this morning and then use this little nugget of knowledge by applying it to our own lives.

a.
Probably the more popular Biblical account of the word, birthright, is seen within the story of Jacob and Esau, right?
Now, real quick, before I talk specifically about Jacob and Esau, I wanted to make mention of something that you will find in their story in .
Genesis 25:21 ESV
And Isaac prayed to the Lord for his wife, because she was barren. And the Lord granted his prayer, and Rebekah his wife conceived.
Here is what I wanted to say. There are several accounts listed in the Bible of where we see barren women. (Women who are unable to have children.) And out of these women, we see God bringing forth some of the patriarchs of the Bible and even the direct lineage that our Lord and Savior Jesus came from! (Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebekah, Jacob and Rachel, Manoah and his wife, Hannah and Elkanah and Elizabeth and Zacharias.)
The main point here is this; how many people here have ever, in your life, (or maybe even right now), have been praying for something and have felt isolated and on your own? Like God isnt hearing or answering your prayers?
MENTION OF HOW WE HAVE THE FAST FOOD MENTALITY vs BUY THE LAND, GROW IT AND MAKE IT YOURSELF TIME-FRAME PRAYER LIFE!
How many of you know and understand what tells us?
Ephesians 3:20 NKJV
Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us,
Continue with the account of Jacob and Esau and the birthright. (Mention of the story of Esau and Nimrod.)
The end result, was that Esau saw little value in his inheritance, his birthright (his primogeniture/patrimony); thus the Bible states in Genesis that, “Thus Esau despised his birthright”. (He saw little value in in, compared to what he wanted.)
He squandered and let go of what was his. for the temporal!
Jacob then took his father’s blessing as we see in and completed the process that was both a deceitful act, but also a foretold one. (Remember, before birth, Rebekah was told by the Lord in
Genesis 27 ESV
When Isaac was old and his eyes were dim so that he could not see, he called Esau his older son and said to him, “My son”; and he answered, “Here I am.” He said, “Behold, I am old; I do not know the day of my death. Now then, take your weapons, your quiver and your bow, and go out to the field and hunt game for me, and prepare for me delicious food, such as I love, and bring it to me so that I may eat, that my soul may bless you before I die.” Now Rebekah was listening when Isaac spoke to his son Esau. So when Esau went to the field to hunt for game and bring it, Rebekah said to her son Jacob, “I heard your father speak to your brother Esau, ‘Bring me game and prepare for me delicious food, that I may eat it and bless you before the Lord before I die.’ Now therefore, my son, obey my voice as I command you. Go to the flock and bring me two good young goats, so that I may prepare from them delicious food for your father, such as he loves. And you shall bring it to your father to eat, so that he may bless you before he dies.” But Jacob said to Rebekah his mother, “Behold, my brother Esau is a hairy man, and I am a smooth man. Perhaps my father will feel me, and I shall seem to be mocking him and bring a curse upon myself and not a blessing.” His mother said to him, “Let your curse be on me, my son; only obey my voice, and go, bring them to me.” So he went and took them and brought them to his mother, and his mother prepared delicious food, such as his father loved. Then Rebekah took the best garments of Esau her older son, which were with her in the house, and put them on Jacob her younger son. And the skins of the young goats she put on his hands and on the smooth part of his neck. And she put the delicious food and the bread, which she had prepared, into the hand of her son Jacob. So he went in to his father and said, “My father.” And he said, “Here I am. Who are you, my son?” Jacob said to his father, “I am Esau your firstborn. I have done as you told me; now sit up and eat of my game, that your soul may bless me.” But Isaac said to his son, “How is it that you have found it so quickly, my son?” He answered, “Because the Lord your God granted me success.” Then Isaac said to Jacob, “Please come near, that I may feel you, my son, to know whether you are really my son Esau or not.” So Jacob went near to Isaac his father, who felt him and said, “The voice is Jacob’s voice, but the hands are the hands of Esau.” And he did not recognize him, because his hands were hairy like his brother Esau’s hands. So he blessed him. He said, “Are you really my son Esau?” He answered, “I am.” Then he said, “Bring it near to me, that I may eat of my son’s game and bless you.” So he brought it near to him, and he ate; and he brought him wine, and he drank. Then his father Isaac said to him, “Come near and kiss me, my son.” So he came near and kissed him. And Isaac smelled the smell of his garments and blessed him and said, “See, the smell of my son is as the smell of a field that the Lord has blessed! May God give you of the dew of heaven and of the fatness of the earth and plenty of grain and wine. Let peoples serve you, and nations bow down to you. Be lord over your brothers, and may your mother’s sons bow down to you. Cursed be everyone who curses you, and blessed be everyone who blesses you!” As soon as Isaac had finished blessing Jacob, when Jacob had scarcely gone out from the presence of Isaac his father, Esau his brother came in from his hunting. He also prepared delicious food and brought it to his father. And he said to his father, “Let my father arise and eat of his son’s game, that you may bless me.” His father Isaac said to him, “Who are you?” He answered, “I am your son, your firstborn, Esau.” Then Isaac trembled very violently and said, “Who was it then that hunted game and brought it to me, and I ate it all before you came, and I have blessed him? Yes, and he shall be blessed.” As soon as Esau heard the words of his father, he cried out with an exceedingly great and bitter cry and said to his father, “Bless me, even me also, O my father!” But he said, “Your brother came deceitfully, and he has taken away your blessing.” Esau said, “Is he not rightly named Jacob? For he has cheated me these two times. He took away my birthright, and behold, now he has taken away my blessing.” Then he said, “Have you not reserved a blessing for me?” Isaac answered and said to Esau, “Behold, I have made him lord over you, and all his brothers I have given to him for servants, and with grain and wine I have sustained him. What then can I do for you, my son?” Esau said to his father, “Have you but one blessing, my father? Bless me, even me also, O my father.” And Esau lifted up his voice and wept. Then Isaac his father answered and said to him: “Behold, away from the fatness of the earth shall your dwelling be, and away from the dew of heaven on high. By your sword you shall live, and you shall serve your brother; but when you grow restless you shall break his yoke from your neck.” Now Esau hated Jacob because of the blessing with which his father had blessed him, and Esau said to himself, “The days of mourning for my father are approaching; then I will kill my brother Jacob.” But the words of Esau her older son were told to Rebekah. So she sent and called Jacob her younger son and said to him, “Behold, your brother Esau comforts himself about you by planning to kill you. Now therefore, my son, obey my voice. Arise, flee to Laban my brother in Haran and stay with him a while, until your brother’s fury turns away— until your brother’s anger turns away from you, and he forgets what you have done to him. Then I will send and bring you from there. Why should I be bereft of you both in one day?” Then Rebekah said to Isaac, “I loathe my life because of the Hittite women. If Jacob marries one of the Hittite women like these, one of the women of the land, what good will my life be to me?”
Genesis 25:23 ESV
And the Lord said to her, “Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from within you shall be divided; the one shall be stronger than the other, the older shall serve the younger.”
Genesis 25:23 ESV
And the Lord said to her, “Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from within you shall be divided; the one shall be stronger than the other, the older shall serve the younger.”
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.
Genesis 25:23 ESV
And the Lord said to her, “Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from within you shall be divided; the one shall be stronger than the other, the older shall serve the younger.”
This whole account in the Bible is chocked up full of moral lessons for us. Jacob was already foretold to be the one that would have the birthright, by God, yet he and his mother deceitfully took it into their hands to make it happen! (Has God said something would come about in your life and yet you didn't want to wait for it and took matters into your own hands?)
Jacob had to lie to cover a lie in order for this to take place. (That is the big issue with lying; its a web of deceit that you will get caught up in!) The deceit did cost Jacob: HE NEVER SAW HIS MOTHER AGAIN, HIS BROTHER WANTED HIM DEAD, HIS UNCLE LABAN DECEIVED HIM, HIS LIFE WAS RIDDLED WITH DIFFICULTIES. (Be sure your sin will find you out.)
It was with the blessing and the birthright (primogeniture) that Jacob (Israel) prospered and went forth and had 12 sons who became the 12 tribes of Israel. Jacob valued the birthright and the blessings came forth!

The use and understanding of the birthright, existed long before the LAW was ever given to Moses.

In fact, it was implemented by man for the survival of the familys land, possessions and family lineage. The eldest son would carry the mantle and authority to overlook and protect the family and keep it going. Thus, with this responsibility, came the double portion as a reward!
However, with the account of the Exodus, something happens that would lead up to the greatest event in all of the worlds history!
God says this in ,
Exodus 4:22 ESV
Then you shall say to Pharaoh, ‘Thus says the Lord, Israel is my firstborn son,
This statement, “ Israel is my firstborn son”, becomes important, because of what God was about to to do for His people and also because of what He would require from them for it!
Look at what God says in ,
Exodus 13:1–2 ESV
The Lord said to Moses, “Consecrate to me all the firstborn. Whatever is the first to open the womb among the people of Israel, both of man and of beast, is mine.”
Because God had spared the firstborn of Israel during the passover of the death angel in Egypt, (to all who were faithful and did as He had commanded that is), He now claimed rights to the firstborn of all that came thereafter.
In Numbers we see God speaking to Moses about this subject and He says to Moses, “For all the firstborn males are mine. On the day I struck down all the firstborn sons of the Egyptians, I set apart for myself all the firstborn in Israel, both of people and of animals. They are mine; I am the Lord.
Now look what God does next as a provision for this, “And the Lord said to Moses, “Look, I have chosen the Levites from among the Israelites to serve as substitutes for all the firstborn sons of the people of Israel.
So, basically, what God did is this; He assigned to Himself, the tribe of Levi to serve under Aaron in the priestly line, instead of taking all of the first born sons of Israel for His own. Then, the firstborn of all clean animals were given as a sacrifice and all unclean (including humans) were to be redeemed by a payment of five shekels of silver, given to the Levites.
Are you starting to understand this a little better? The clean animals (those that God had said were good and acceptable for sacrifice before Him), were automatically set aside and used as a sacrifice. The unclean animals and all human males, had to be redeemed with payment, as set by God!
So, only the blood of a clean sacrifice was allowable and thus all other first-born animals, including the humans, were to be redeemed for the Lord. Only the priests from the tribe of Levi could perform the sacrifices for the Lord.
Now, God institutes the actual law of primogeniture (the firstborn) as we see in , in which God clearly states that this shall be observed by all and done fairly, so that discrimination of the father for one child over another is not allowed. The first born son was to get the double portion, period!
God assigned the law of primogeniture (the first-born status) to all of Israel for fairness to and to designate who would receive the authority and ownership of the father of the house, God also set a system of payment for redeeming the unclean which belonged to Him and He designated who would be responsible for making the sacrifices and collecting the payment for the redemption, (the Levites/priests).
There are quite a few examples within the OT of where the true state or right of the firstborn, was not followed. (Isaac and Ishmael, Jacob and Esau, David and his brothers, Solomon and his brothers). The main thing to understand is that God set the law for man as equality from man to man, not man to God.How many know that God does things for His own purposes, that are different than how we would or might do them?
It was an understood claim of ownership and authority that man could relate to and operate within, so that one day the true picture of first-born status could be embraced by the whole world through the one whom the Bible calls, the “firstborn” of all creation”!
This is why its important to note that God called the nation of Israel, His “firstborn son”. Israel was not the first of all nations, yet, by election, God chose them as His own and thus the authority and power would reside in and through them as given by the Father of the house to the firstborn son!
This was to ensure that the promise made to Abraham and to Isaac and Jacob would go forth and be able to affect all of the world; all nations. (There is only one way that primogeniture could affect every nation equally as promised by God and that promise came exactly as God had stated it would when He told the serpent, all the way back at the fall of Adam and Eve in the garden in ,

and between your offspring and her offspring;
Genesis 3:15 ESV
I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.”
he shall bruise your head,
and you shall bruise his heel.”
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

Listen to what God says about the messianic king that was to come, as found in .

Psalm 89:26–27 ESV
He shall cry to me, ‘You are my Father, my God, and the Rock of my salvation.’ And I will make him the firstborn, the highest of the kings of the earth.
In order for everything to happen that had to take place for mankind to have a savior and a redeemer, a perfect set of criteria had to exist.
It would require a priest and a king (Zechariah 6:13)
A king
Zechariah 6:13 ESV
It is he who shall build the temple of the Lord and shall bear royal honor, and shall sit and rule on his throne. And there shall be a priest on his throne, and the counsel of peace shall be between them both.” ’
a spotless sacrifice
one of firstborn status
It would require a spotless sacrifice ()
1 Peter 1:19 ESV
but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.
You see friends, Jesus Christ came born of a virgin, so as to have fleshly status and sonship, as He was the firstborn of His earthly/natural house (and entitled to primogeniture/patrimony in the natural sense).
He was sinless/spotless before God and thus acceptable to be offered as the sacrificial lamb for our sins.
He was listed as from a royal priesthood (under the order of Melchizedek; which was both king and priest to God most high.) Similar to another from the tribe of Judah, King David, who performed both priestly as well as king roles!
And He was affirmed by God, Himself, as the beloved only begotten Son of God; thus giving Him the primogeniture/firstborn claim to authority and power of the Fathers house and all that went with it; the double portion!
You see mankind was and still is looking to the natural understanding of who and what this great, saving king would be and how he would manifest!
Yet all the while, behind the scenes, God was working in the spiritual realm to bring His only begotten Son into the world, and present Him before the firstborn son, the nation of Israel first and then to the whole world!

Let me come back now and ask you about what I started off with this morning.

Those who are here this morning and were also present during some or all of the visits with Nigel over the past week and while during those visits, you received something from the Lord, in some way, shape form, or fashion; what have you done with this and what are you planning on doing with it?
And as I asked earlier, to the whole church body and anyone listening to this message, what have you done with and what are you going to do with the great treasure that the Father has bestowed upon you?
The word of God says that Gods people are destroyed for a lack of knowledge and also that where there is no vision, the people will perish!
Do you have an understanding of what the word of God has to say to you and for your life? Do you have a vision/plan for what to do with what He has given to you?
says,
Romans 8:29–30 ESV
For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.
Romans 8:28–29 ESV
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.
His will for all that are His own, is that they become more and more like His Son, Jesus. That is part of sanctification that falls on us. Its not a one time act and then you're through, but rather, its a daily process of taking the gift of salvation and using it to grow closer and more intimate with the Father through the Son!
Jesus became the firstborn of many brothers and through Him and His death and sacrifice upon the Cross of Calvary, you and I, through our faith and belief in Him, become joint heirs to the throne and that of Heaven!
Romans 8:17 ESV
and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.
Romans 8:16–17 ESV
The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.
The next morning, he was assigned the dreaded chore of cleaning the prison latrines. As he cleaned out a tin can overflowing with toilet paper, his eye caught what seemed to be English printed on one piece of paper. He hurriedly grabbed it, washed it, and after his roommates had retired that night, he retrieved the paper and read the words, ‘Romans, Chapter 8.’ Trembling, he began to read, ‘And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him. . . for I am convinced that nothing shall be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.’ Hien wept. He knew His Bible, and knew that there was not a more relevant passage for one on the verge of surrender. He cried out to God, asking forgiveness, for this was to have been the first day that he would not pray. . . . After finding the Scripture, Hien asked the commander if he could clean the latrines regularly, because he discovered that some official was using a Bible as toilet paper. Each day Hien picked up a portion of Scripture, cleaned it off, and added it to his collection of nightly reading. . . . What his tormentors were using for refuse — the Scriptures — could not be more treasured to Hien.” Eventually he was released from prison and fled to Tailand. Today he is a businessman in the United States, a radiant Christian and a living testimony to the power of God’s Word and its transforming power.
And
Galatians 3:29 ESV
And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.

God the Father and His Son, Jesus the Christ, went to great lengths and exhaustive measures to bring us in as sons and daughters to the position of firstborn heirs to the kingdom!

The real question is whether or not you treasure the gift that is has been given?
Just as Esau thought so little of the birthright and promise that he turned it away in disdain and yet Jacob did everything he could to obtain it and hold onto it; how do you and I look at it?
Do you regard the gift of salvation and the presence of Holy Spirit in your life as the greatest treasure, or do you just give it an occasional afterthought?
Matthew 13:44 ESV
“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.
Toilet Paper to Treasure
Ravi Zacharias tells the amazing story of a young Christian in Vietnam. He writes, “I was ministering in Vietnam in 1971, and one of my interpreters was Hien Pham, an energetic young Christian. He had worked as a translator with the American forces, and was of immense help both to them and to missionaries such as myself. Hien and I traveled the length of the country and became very close friends before I returned home. We did not know if our paths would ever cross again. Seventeen years later, I received a telephone call. ‘Brother Ravi?’ the man asked. Immediately I recognized Hien’s voice, and he soon told me his story. Shortly after Vietnam fell, Hien was imprisoned on accusations of helping the Americans. His jailers tried to indoctrinate him against democratic ideals and the Christian faith. He was restricted to communist propaganda in French or Vietnamese, and the daily deluge of Marx and Engels began to take its toll. ‘Maybe,’ he thought, ‘I have been lied to. Maybe God does not exist. Maybe the West has deceived me.’ So Hien determined that when he awakened the next day, he would not pray anymore or think of his faith.
The next morning, he was assigned the dreaded chore of cleaning the prison latrines. As he cleaned out a tin can overflowing with toilet paper, his eye caught what seemed to be English printed on one piece of paper. He hurriedly grabbed it, washed it, and after his roommates had retired that night, he retrieved the paper and read the words, ‘Romans, Chapter 8.’ Trembling, he began to read, ‘And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him. . . for I am convinced that nothing shall be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.’ Hien wept. He knew His Bible, and knew that there was not a more relevant passage for one on the verge of surrender. He cried out to God, asking forgiveness, for this was to have been the first day that he would not pray. . . . After finding the Scripture, Hien asked the commander if he could clean the latrines regularly, because he discovered that some official was using a Bible as toilet paper. Each day Hien picked up a portion of Scripture, cleaned it off, and added it to his collection of nightly reading. . . . What his tormentors were using for refuse — the Scriptures — could not be more treasured to Hien.” Eventually he was released from prison and fled to Tailand. Today he is a businessman in the United States, a radiant Christian and a living testimony to the power of God’s Word and its transforming power.

Two more Bible passages and I am closing today.

Colossians 1:15–20 ESV
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.
2 Timothy 1:12–14 NASB95
For this reason I also suffer these things, but I am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day. Retain the standard of sound words which you have heard from me, in the faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. Guard, through the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, the treasure which has been entrusted to you.
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