BattleOfJericho_Jean_Fouquet

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Bringing Tongues Of Fire
From The Sparks Of Faith...

 

 

LESSON 5

OLD TESTAMENT HISTORY

JOSHUA - JOB

By Rev. G. Evan Newmyer 

 

INTRODUCTION

History is often boring, there is no other way to put it; however, history can be a mirror of exposure, leading us to victory. History is our Example, not our excuse. It’s obvious, we are not going to cover all the particulars of history, but we are going to find some interesting elements. There are several different methods in which one can study Old Testament History, among those we have picked a method where we can view the victories and failures as they apply to concepts regarding our Christian walk, making them applicable to us as individuals. It would do little good if we studied history as something of the past, yet never applied it to our situations today. When history is left in its time, it becomes dead, but God is the God of the living; therefore, we seek to find ways to gain in Christ, not die in history. Jesus said, the Law, Prophets and Psalms testified of Him, but He didn't say the history testified of Him; therefore, history testifies against, or for the called children of God (Luke 24:44). On the same note we can't discount history, since we find many teachings in the New Testament where Old Testament history was used. As much as the Jew holds to the Torah, they have little to say about their history, except as it relates to David, yet David is a small part of the overall historical picture. There are mysteries in the history as there was in the Law, shall we begin?

The History of the Jewish people give us a type and shadow of the Net, the same Net Jesus said was like unto the kingdom of heaven. Although it's not the Net, it does show us the good and bad fish in the same Nation. These people were the "sand of the sea", not the "sea", thus to assume God was tossing the net into the sand is not the case, rather we know the Net is a New Testament concept referring to gathering in the Gentile. These people were born into a nation, we are called into the Kingdom. The Hebrews were separated from the Sea, but still near the Sea, thus they became the Sand of the Sea. Therefore, we should make the distinction between “Israel” and a “Jew”; Israel is the nation, a Jew is a person. The sign above the Cross read “King of the Jews” indicating how Jesus didn’t come to save the nation, He came to save the people in the nation. When Jesus returns He will separate people into sheep and goats, not lands. Today the term “Jew” has become a generic term pointing to a religious body who have a right to enter the established Covenant God made with Abraham. The Cross is the place where Jew or Gentile can gain right standing to enter the New Covenant. Covenant relationships become the procedure in which God deals with people, Covenants lay out the expected requirements for both parties, with Tokens to secure the responsibilities and rewards. Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness is our side of the requirement, if we do, God will see “the things added”. Covenants have duties, we do, God does, God does, we do, Noah had to build the ark, but God saved him. The New Covenant has duties for us as well, we seek, we put off, we put on, we obey, we believe, walk in faith, yet they are not duties using the flesh, or self-righteousness.

In the history we don’t find anyone casting out devils, but we can see some of the leaders or people acting devilish. The field is the earth, or kingdom of heaven, it has both good and bad, the good are the Wheat planted by God, the Tares are the wicked planted by the enemy. These people were either born into the nation, or married into it, there was no evangelistic endeavor to bring in other peoples. They were separated and dealt with by God to show us how God can separate, yet without something else from God to secure us, we are still in a state where we are more prone to be rebellious than obedient.

The wilderness and the crossing of the Jordan are also different. The wilderness is a place where the exposure of the self nature takes place, a time to move from unbelief to a firm establish belief. The crossing of the Jordan is a Journey of Faith, a time to gain a Courage through God, to find a place where we can't be moved by events, or people. Faith is not a mask of courage one uses in the face of adversity, it's a Confidence in God one has before the fact which carries them through the event, rather than minding the event. These people knew God was doing something New, thus they didn't go back to the old way, to find the answer. When they crossed the Red Sea the Rod divided the waters, now it's the Ark of the Covenant dividing the Waters. Both were signs of deliverance, but it took the Rod to bring them out of Egypt, but the Mercy seat to take them into the Promised Land.

The children were not taking a foreign land, God gave it to Abraham, thus they were taking their own land back from those who trespassed upon it. God allowed the stranger to visit for a time, but the time came to an end. The children finally got to a point where they desired to gain what God had given them, they gained it by believing in the Lord. They used physical force to take the land, but we can't use their physical battles as some excuse to attack others, but we can gain from their experience. We can't forget these people didn't have the Spirit, thus God used them as they were. Neither can we forget, we never fight flesh and blood. The battles in the history give us types of battles and battlefields. Some of us tend to think a frying pan is a spiritual weapon, not so, we have some great weapons, tired, true and perfect in all their ways. All we have to do is know how to apply them, yet we have to stop judging the event by the event as well.

We as Christians are cautious about the term "Will Power", for good reason, but there is a place and purpose for our Will, less the old power. The word Power points to Ability, thus it's the combination of the words Will and Power which seem to get us into trouble. We placed our Will in submission to the Will of God, we didn't kill our Will, rather we made a choice not to use the old Power of the carnal mind in conjunction with our will to bring things to pass. It doesn't mean we don't do anything, if we presume we must have God's permission to get dressed in the morning, we need a nursemaid, not a Lord. the Saving of the soul is the goal, yet we can't save our soul with will power. Neither do we want to kill our soul, we want all the Tares removed, so we can be a willing, working vessel as a blessing unto God; this purpose is termed, the salvation of our souls.

Our Will can be used to make positive choices in a forward manner, or choices in the area of a Godly Resistance. We can will to believe, or not. We can will to submit or not, we can will to resist the devil, or not, we can will to be humble, or rebellious. We know we make many decisions where our will is our resolve. There are steps, in order to resist the devil, we have to be humble under the mighty hand of God (James 4:10 & I Pet 5:5-6). We are not going to resist the devil by using pride, it would only encourage the evil forces. It does little good to resist the devil, while using his works to do it. God had a method for these people, but God has a better method for us.

Faith is a substance or confidence in God looking forward to the result of a Hope, but Faith is also the evidence of things not seen. Some of us think faith produces the unseen, yet Hebrews 11:1 says faith is the evidence of the unseen, rather than producing the unseen. However, faith must work by Love in order to please God; faith must also have a fruit identifying it to the unseen source. The unseen source can be multiple; since hope is not seen, it can be the source of our faith; since the New Man can’t be seen he can be the source of our faith, but since the spirit of disobedience can’t be seen, it too can be the motivation behind our faith. How we use our measure of faith determines the unseen source, if our faith is used in a self-based, self-pleasing manner the motivation is the old man; if our faith is used to please God, then it’s the New Man. The Bible speaks of two faiths, these faiths do not entail someone’s religious connections, or philosophy, the measure of faith is given to all men, so is Agapao love, thus they are attributes found in the created soul. Man uses faith in all sorts of ways, he makes plans to spend money he doesn’t have in hand, he makes plans to do things in the future, he looks for some manmade hope set before him, all elements requiring faith, but all by an unseen source not attributed to God. The measure of faith is designed to follow the steps of the Faith of Jesus by the Spirit. Therefore, the measure of faith is always looking forward through the unknown to something in the future, whether good or bad. The other Faith is of course the Faith of Jesus (Gal 2:20 et al), the Faith of Jesus has accomplished the task, proving it’s far better than the measure of faith. When Jesus came so did the ability of “faith to Faith”, thus the Faith of Jesus has left a path from the earth to the throne of God. The New Birth grants us the Spirit of Christ, the same Spirit uses our measure of faith in God to follow the narrow path until we reach the Hope in the completed First Resurrection.

Knowledge is the mental awareness of some information, wisdom is how we deal with people and events. If we want the Wisdom of God, all we need do is ask, but we must ask in faith. Why faith? In order to please God with the result, rather than please ourselves. Some want Wisdom so they won’t have to deal with people, but God’s Wisdom allows us to deal with people in a Godly manner. Solomon was granted wisdom to deal with people, as was Joshua, but it doesn’t mean they had God’s Wisdom. In order to have God’s Wisdom we must have the New Man, as the Word, or Greater He. None of these people had our advantage, but we will find some of their leaders were given a taste, or shadow of what we can have by the Wisdom of God. God may call us “Friend”, but He is seeking Fellowship, they are different. In order to Fellowship with God, we must treat God’s people in the same manner as He does (First John). God desires those who can worship Him in Spirit and Truth, the only way to accomplish the task is to have the Spirit of Truth by the New Birth. Nonetheless, we find these people have some information to share with us, something about them proves God is loyal to His own.

The Jew has two pillars upon which national Israel rests: first is the unity of God, then the election of Israel. To the Jew the word One, as it relates to One God means One In Existence, which cannot be divided into fractions. However, the Jew also holds the Hebrew word Elohiym as a singular, plural word, they say the title Jehovah refers to the Covenant presence of God, they believe the Spirit of God is nonetheless God, yet God is ElElohiymJehovah, Lord of the Universe and Almighty. Each title represents an aspect of God, we know God as Father, Word (Son) and Holy Ghost, One God with different aspects. It's the concept of a Incarnate God the Jew can't handle.

The Jews feel they are the chosen people of God, which is true, to a point. The Jewish concept is based on, Tzadiei Umot Haolam, or "The righteous people of the world"; however, they also limit the concept to a half view of a verse in Amos. God said through the prophet Amos, “You only have I known of all the families of the earth: therefore, I will punish you for all your iniquities. Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” (Amos 3:2-3). They use the first part as the basis for separation, but leave off the second part. Nonetheless we do find some interesting information, first their concept of Righteousness and Holiness is based on being separated. Being a “holy people” simply means God deals with us as children, but it doesn’t mean we’re Holy. The Righteous aspect for the Jew is based on “can two walk together”, pointing to a Covenant, yet, they know it takes Standing (Righteousness) to enter Covenant with God. However, their ability to enter the Covenants with God is based on the ability of someone else, such as Abraham or Moses. They keep the sabbath for the Law of Moses, and being circumcised of the flesh for the Abrahamic Covenant. They have nothing within themselves to assure they really do have standing. What about us? The New Man is created (or formed, same Greek meaning) After God’s True Holiness and Righteousness (Eph 4:24). We are Sealed by the Holy Spirit of Promise as our Token of being in the New Covenant, thus each of us who have the Holy Spirit have the inward Token to prove we are in the New Covenant. We don’t trust in our efforts, or good deeds to gain, rather we do things because we have gained. We are a Chosen People, but as individuals we are kings in Kingdom. Rather special, would you agree?

The word Iniquity means Unequal or a Failure to do something we’re suppose to do, while doing other things we should do, thus the failure to do what is required becomes the Iniquity. Jesus said, "Many will say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your Name? and in Your Name have cast out devils? and in Your Name done many wonderful works? And then will I Profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from Me, you that work iniquity" (Matt 7:22-23). Wow, something has to be wrong there; however, Matthew 7:21 tells us this group failed at something, it was their failure to walk in the Father’s Mercy (do the Will), it is the same difference we find between the vessels of honor and dishonor (Rom 9:22-23). Therefore, their works (doings) were not wrong, after all they did them in the Name of Jesus; thus the doing was not the problem, the failure at Mercy was, they were Unequal, doing what they wanted, but not doing what they should. This doesn't mean we cast away the Acts, it means we must seek the Ways as well as the Acts, or better we should be Balanced (Equal). Some of us want to see the Great Acts take place, yet we reject the Ways. We may not have “tremendous power”, but if God has forgiven our sins, we also have the Power to walk in Mercy. General Mercy, or the ability to forgive is an element found in the measure of faith, God’s Mercy endures forever, His Grace, but for a Season. Like belief, we find Mercy is a matter of choice. Mercy will be the element we will find among these people allowing them to gain God’s favor. David will be an example of one who walks in Mercy, as well as one who forgets about it at times.

Defining how the word Iniquity means a Failure to do something, but the word Sin is a Transgression, or a Trespass, or doing of something we're not suppose to do, it divides them into a non-act (iniquity), and an unlawful act (sin). To break it down, Iniquity is a failure to do something we have been empowered to do, Sin is the doing something we're not suppose to; however, if one is engaged in iniquity, they will soon fall into sin. Jesus never says, “depart from Me you who slip”, nor “depart from Me, you who have made mistakes”, it’s those who Work at iniquity, meaning they engage in a constant effort to avoid applying Mercy in their daily walk. It’s a far cry from someone who misses it once in awhile, or who slips, or who is seeking to walk right before God, but fails from time to time. Peter failed because he was weak in an area he felt he was strong, at times we fit the Peter mold, we think we are strong, only to find we used the weak flesh. Thank God this is the Day the Lord has made, repentance unto restoration puts us back on the Path.

The Jew knows there is a “second choosing” of God’s people, but they assume it took place when God gave Moses the Law the second time; however, the Law came as a result of unbelief, not righteousness. The reading of the Law of Moses a second time was not the same as a Second Law. The Law was holy, it came from God, but it's not from Whom the Law came, but to whom it was directed. When we hear phrases like "remember the Law", or "meditate on the Law" it's to think upon the reason the Law was given. On the same note, we can see the Shadow telling us to think and meditate on the Law of the Spirit. Once the Second Law (Law of the Spirit) was granted by the Resurrection of Jesus it became in hand, with the ability to perform it based in the New Birth. For these people the only Law they had was the Law of Moses, the Law of Moses defined the law of sin and death, it didn't do away with it. The Law of the Spirit on the other hand does do away with the law of sin and death. These are just some areas we want to keep separated, or we will think doing the Law of Moses is “spiritual” in nature, ending falling from Grace, rather than being secure in it.

At this time God isn’t telling the Jews He made them a chosen people, rather He said, "I will take you unto Me for a people", showing Process, thus the wilderness is the place to be chosen (Ex 6:7 & Deut 7:6). This doesn't say the Jews will be the only people, rather it says God is beginning a work in order to bring a people by the Cross and Resurrection of Jesus into a like Righteousness as God’s. This could only be done by God giving man a Seed holding God's Holiness and Righteousness, which Seed comes in the New Birth (Eph 4:24).

The Jewish concept of the Law is based in their concept of Revelation. According to Jewish concepts, the Law did not come as a product of the mind of man, nor as divine inspiration, rather it was handed to Moses by God, then Moses Delivered it to the people; however, God Spoke to Moses from the burning bush, He didn't make Moses the burning bush. Their concept comes from the tablets of stone, as God handed the tablets to Moses, all Moses had to do was read them. However, the tablets were of Stone which should have been a hint to the type of heart the Commandments were directed to. These views become important as we view the history of the these people, and discover how the pride of life can cause us to bow to an idol in the mind, while claiming we're serving God.

The Jews believe God is Merciful, but they also believe He is Just: to them, Mercy and Justice are One in the same. In truth, it is correct, since the Law of Moses is one of the two Witnesses during the Night, as the Night is purposed to make the enemies of Jesus His footstool. Yet, we will find how God placed His people under the hand of the heathen, yet He punished the heathen for treating His people wrong, go figure? Ahh, a chance to do right, there are times when God will place us under the hand of the heathen, but it's not to harm us, rather we find a two fold purpose. We don't serve a multiple God, but we do serve a God with multiple purposes. For us it's a learning process, or to expose something we have either ignored, or is hidden from us. For the heathen, it's a time to do right. God's Judgment is a matter of reflection and division. God divides the sheep from the goats, the Precious from the Vile, thus God’s Judgment is a matter of separation. The Word in us will separate as well, thus it is a form of Judgment and Separation. However, the Word in is not condemning us, rather the purpose is to Save us.

Mercy is outlined for us in many ways, we know we’re to pray For those who persecute us, rather than pray against them, but why? Whatsoever a person sows they reap, sow Mercy, reap Mercy. Jesus told us what we sow comes back shaken down and running over. Some of us limit it to money, but the context shows if we sow Mercy, Mercy comes back, but if we sow condemnation, then condemnation comes back. It could point to many things, but Jesus narrowed it down to Mercy, Condemnation or Judgment. An Act of Mercy is giving to people the same forgiveness God gave us, Condemnation would be giving people something God didn’t give us, in essence we find them guilty and worthy of punishment. Judgment is finding a person guilty, Condemnation is the sentence. Mercy is not granting to someone what we think they deserve, or not imputing sin on someone, even if they did sin against us. As the Son of Man Jesus Pardoned the sins of the people, a Pardon is based on someone making an effort to correct the wrong by a change in behavior or attitude. Making it different from the concept of Remission, we find Remission is the thought process saying we did nothing wrong, because there is no law to be placed against us, or no defining element to accuse us of any wrong. There is only one element in the history of man providing the hope of Remission, the Spirit of Truth as a result of the Cross and Resurrection of Jesus (Col 2:14-16).

We maintain our Mercy by two things, a constant awareness of our need for God’s Mercy, plus the constant awareness we are to deliver God’s Mercy. If we want God to apply Mercy to us, we must apply Mercy to others. If we find we’re in a situation where it seems impossible to apply Mercy, God has provided a means. We make the decision by our Will, God grants the Power and Authority, then we are ability to forgive.

When Jesus said, Be you therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful, He also said Judge not, and you shall not be judged: condemn not, and you shall not be condemned: forgive, and you shall be forgiven (Luke 6:36-37). To the Jewish mind, this makes no sense whatsoever, how could one be merciful without judgment? To them it's by the judging, one is able to apply Mercy, but we know Mercy is an attitude fully prepared to forgive, before there is a cause. To the Jew it’s just the opposite, they Judge by finding the person guilty, then apply Mercy. When they picked up stones to toss at Jesus, they felt they were “judging righteously” based on what they thought the Law said. In the Book of Acts there was a group of “one accord”, but their one accord was to kill Stephen (Acts 7:57). When the stones were hitting Stephen he said, “Lord, lay not this sin to their charge”, a true act of Mercy (Acts 7:60). On the other hand, to the Jew the act of an eye for an eye is a type of Mercy. To them it’s simple, they didn't take two eyes for one, thus it's merciful. However, Jesus said turn the other cheek, or don't use the same method used against you.

The Jew believes in Love thy neighbor, but they also believe "Thou shall not sow thy field with two seeds" (Lev 19:18-19). We understand the concept is not allowing the Tares to destroy the Wheat, or allowing unbelief to enter our belief, or doubt to enter our faith, or hate to enter our Mercy, or bitterness to enter Grace. To the Jew this means never allow the Gentile any standing in the Temple or nation. In the Kingdom we find there is neither Jew or Gentile, much different.

The Jewish history will show the importance of making Vows before God. We tend to make as many vows as we have socks, but God takes our vows seriously. God expects us to take Him at His Word, as He takes us at ours. These people came out of slavery, yet the slavery mentality tends to view God as a Great Taskmaster. The Law of Moses was established to allow God to bless a disobedient people, until the time when Faith would be presented by Jesus, but in the doing the Law, one admits their disobedience. The Law of Moses has more areas of punishment, than it does blessing, thus the Law of Moses is directed to the disobedient; whereas the Law of the Spirit to the obedient. The Old Testament speaks more on Judgment, than it does anything else, so we don’t want to get into a “judgment mentality”, or continue with a “slavery mentality”, we want to learn, so we can be among the Free Indeed; let us begin with Joshua.


JOSHUA

Joshua begins our Journey of Faith after our Courage in the Lord is established.  So what is Courage? Paul called it “standing”, it entails a confidence in what one is doing is right and just before the Lord, with a resolution to finish the course. Joshua will be told to have Courage for various reasons, he was given the task of dividing the land; he had to have courage to enforce the Law without wavering in the face of adversity; he had to have courage to face the people and events to come. With this Courage God would give Joshua the “spirit of wisdom” (Deut 34:9), but God also gave those who made the priests garments the “spirit of wisdom” (Ex 28:3). Wisdom is the attribute to deal with people and events, thus the Courage allowed him to stand, the Wisdom allowed him to deal with the people and events. Courage by itself would be great if Joshua was not a leader, but in order to lead he needed Wisdom, or he would find himself standing alone. All this connects to the meaning of the name of Joshua, which is Jehovah is salvation, or Jehovah is his help, a fitting name for the task before him.

Joshua was one of two men (Joshua & Caleb) who survived from the first group who entered the wilderness, both men were the only ones who stood in the face of adversity when the spies returned. More important it was Joshua who showed courage in the face of battle against Amalek, when Aaron and Hur held up the arms of Moses (Ex 17:10). Courage was not new to Joshua, the purposes were. Joshua’s wilderness experiences formed him into a leader, he didn’t wake up one day on the banks of the Jordan proclaiming himself a leader. He was trained over 40 years as the minister of Moses to be a man of courage. In our case our first wilderness of courage is when we face the old man, once we understand the Power of God is always greater than the bark of the old man we can face our Jordan knowing the Word of the Lord will see us through.

Joshua will be a type and shadow of taking down strongholds or the “walls of hindrance”, before one can enter the fullness of the promise. It takes courage, a decision to see those strongholds fall regardless. A coward will use the strongholds, while denying they are there. A brave solider will face those inner strongholds allowing them to fall.

Joshua entered the wilderness with Moses, he walked the wilderness with the children, yet he and Caleb were the only ones from the original number to leave the wilderness to enter the Promised Land. Moses laid hands on Joshua, separating him unto the Lord, then the Lord filled him with the "spirit of wisdom", which we know is the ability to deal with the people and events. The people would gain their courage by watching Joshua, something the Lord knew; in truth they should look unto the Lord, but God knew they would look unto Joshua. The wisdom Joshua obtained is not the same Wisdom we read about in James; this "spirit of wisdom" is based in the anointing God grants for the position of the leader (Deut 34:9 & James 3:17). In our case the Wisdom of God is granted to anyone who is Born Again, as an attribute to our Spiritual nature. Joshua had the ability to discern direction, but he was not Born Again, or filled with the Spirit of Christ. There is a difference between wisdom to rule man, wisdom to discern events and people to arrive at a Godly manner in which to deal with them (James 3:17).

We find many roads and paths for these people, the first generation came from the south of Israel then entered Egypt, the generation who left Egypt crossed the Red Sea and entered the wilderness, the generation of Joshua is not going to enter the land same way Jacob and his family left, rather they will travel all the way around to the place where the Lord will have them cross. The Lord was not going to have them enter the same way Jacob left, why? Wrong way to gain confidence, they were on a New journey they needed to face Jericho. The city of Jericho was not on the wilderness side of the Jordan, it was the hindrance or a gate blocking entrance to the Promised Land.

This entire effort is of great interest, they left Egypt with the spoils of Egypt, but they followed the Ark to leave the wilderness. God did most of His work with these people in the wilderness, they were introduced to the Commandments, a Covenant, a Law, how to build and maintain the Tabernacle, how to work together for the common good, how to listen to their anointed and appointed leader, more important, how to obey God.

They came out of Egypt by signs and wonders, but followed the Ark of the Covenant to the promised land. In the Book of Hebrews we find the children crossed the Red Sea by faith, the next time we read about faith it has to do with Jericho, thus faith entails obeying God when the circumstance seems "unnatural". All the training in the wilderness was to prepare them to rule, but some of them thought they were rulers as soon as they left Egypt. Patience is the yardstick of Faith, the training wheels of leadership.

Joshua was also known as Oshea (Numb 13:8), Oshea means Salvation, it was the family name of the man Joshua, thus Joshua is a compound word, Jah-Oshea, or simply Joshua. We know the Greek rendering of Joshua as Jesus, Jehovah's Salvation, thus in the Book of Hebrews we find a reference to Joshua, but it's the Greek spelling of "Jesus" (Heb 4:8). There are other things as well, the word Courage is not the same as Faith, since faith is a confidence of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Courage for Joshua was a decision made predicated by the experiences he had with God and Moses over the prior forty years. Joshua was not told, “here is courage”, he was to told to have it. Joshua saw the victories, as well as the failures of the people, he also knew what brought the victories and the failures. He made a decision to do it God's way, meaning Belief had to be a major part of his Courage. The word Courage is the Hebrew Amats meaning Established, it has a general meaning of "On Foot", or Standing, thus it's not the Action into battle, but the decision not to retreat, or run away in the face of battle, entailing a believe in God to accomplice the goal. Patience means to stay the course, if Jesus said Go to the other side, Patience will get there without moving from one side to the other, but Courage is maintaining in the face of adversity. The English word Courage means To withstand danger by enduring, it also relates to a decision to stand, indicating when we have done all to stand, yet we stand therefore, we are of Good Courage.

The word Strong in verses 7 and 9 is the Hebrew Chazag meaning To be attached or Hold fast, it also relates to Standing. The Hebrew Chazag has a negative meaning in the area of standing as well, it was used twelve times in reference to Pharaoh standing against Moses; therefore, one can Stand with God, or Stand against God. Showing it's not just Standing, but with whom we are standing, or against making the difference. Ahh, standing against God is rebellion, but standing with God is courage.

The word Success is the Hebrew Sakhal meaning Prudent, Apt to teach, or Knowing the reason for something. This explains why Joshua was told to meditate on the Law, he had to know the Reason, in order to gain the courage. If we don’t know the cause, we can’t believe in the cause, if we can’t believe in the cause, we will lack courage.

Joshua knew he was a tool to bring about the promise God made to the fathers. We then become the tools of the Spirit to complete the promise made by Jesus to His Father. Joshua was to consider the consequences of failure as an incentive to maintain Courage in the face of adversity; if he remembered, he would be successful in reference to his calling. Moses told the children "Be of good courage" (Deut 31:6 & 31:7), he told Joshua "be of good courage" (Deut 31:23), thus the call to be of Good courage was known to Joshua before Moses died. Moses didn't tell Joshua, "have faith in God", since it was not the issue here, rather he was to Believe based on the past experiences they had with God. Courage is not a faith issue, it’s based on Belief, the belief is based on Knowledge and Experiences. If God delivered them out of Egypt to walk the wilderness of training to take the Promised Land, then Courage was in order based on the knowledge obtained.

Joshua is also told to have confidence in the words of the prophet of God as well as the promises of God, thus these were past issues to secure Courage. God will tell Joshua to have courage in specific areas; first he had to have courage in the calling (Joshua 1:6); next he had to have courage in the Law (Joshua 1:7); lastly he had to have courage in the Lord (Joshua 1:9), all elements based in belief. One can lead by example, or they can lead by manipulation to dominate; the latter produces slaves, the former eager disciples.

Joshua is a type and shadow of the three points of our Standing. First we Stand to obtain our portion in the Kingdom (Joshua 1:6). We Stand to Observe to Do all the Lord has commanded us (Joshua 1:7). Then we Stand knowing the Lord our God is with us (Joshua 1:9). This last aspect also tells us Not to be afraid; the phrase "Be not afraid" not only means Don't allow fear to enter, but entails Don't use the spirit of fear to gain the result, thus we never inspire fear, which is a type and shadow of using the "spirit of fear". Everything produces after its own kind, if we use fear on others, we will be subject to fear. If we use Love on others, we become Love. Intimidation is the use of the spirit of fear,  when we use phrases or words to intimidate others, we are of the wrong spirit. The world uses it all the time, a Terrorist is not only motivated by fear, their existence depends on using the spirit of fear to terrify others.

By our words we are justified or condemned, before these people crossed the Jordan, Joshua posed a Vow to them (Joshua 1:10-15). Prior the Commandments were, Thou Shall Not, but a vow is based on something we want to do, thus it carries more weight than burnt sacrifices, or deeds of the Law. Therefore, a vow also carries more responsibility than a sacrifice; a sacrifice is given for the moment for something done, but a vow is based on some future action. Perhaps it’s the precise reason James tells us to add the phrase, "As the Lord wills" to our various vows. A vow is future tense, it’s based on our promise to do something, thus a vow entails being faithful.

Once the Vow was presented the people answered, "All you command us we will do" (Joshua 1:16). Sound familiar? Yes, it was the same answer the first generation gave Moses, thus we find two groups. The first generation said and did not, the second said and did. To the Jew this is the point of the second choosing, but they view this as ,"All the Lord has said, we will do and obey", thus they end limiting the phrase to the Torah alone. They limit the vow "until Joshua, not after", but it negates the Proceeding Word. This group is vowing to be Numbered among the nation of Israel to be separated from the rest of the world. They are vowing to hold to the Law of Moses as their written conscience. The Law could grant one a blessing, or a cursing, thus it had the authority to Judge. These people were guided by God, but they were not the "Body of God", they were the Body of Moses. They still needed a written conscience detailing right from wrong, the Ten Commandments provided it. Man would not know murder is wrong unless there was a Law, thus the Law of Moses is the result of failing to do the Commandments. Making both the Law of Moses and the Commandments against us, rather than for us. The Law of Moses identifies sin, places it on the person, accuses them, condemns them to the death related to sin, but then it provides a means to balance the scale for a time, granting the long life in the flesh. The Law of the Spirit is designed to allow us to impute the old nature dead, to gain a New Nature based in the Life of Christ, thus the Law of the Spirit is designed to do away with sin. The Law of Moses was designed for a people with a nature who had more of a potential to do evil, then good. The Law of the Spirit is designed for a people who are granted a Nature of Christ, who have the potential to do good based on their nature.

When these people cross the Jordan, the Ark will go before them. Within the Ark were the Tablets of the Commandments, some manna, and the rod of Aaron, but it didn't contain a copy of the Law. The people followed the Ark, they didn't lead it. We are told to Follow Jesus, thus the Ark being the "heart" of the Tabernacle is a type of Christ in us, thus we are the real Bread of life, the power of the Resurrection, the Law of the Spirit with a pure conscience found in the New Man.

The Jew held the Law in their hands to read it, thus to the Jew, the phrase, "all that the Lord has said", is a past tense phrase referring only to those things God has said in the Torah, yet in the Torah we read, "man does not live by bread only, but by every word  proceeding out of the mouth of the Lord does man live" (Deut 8:3). To the Jew it was still a past tense issue, yet Jesus made it a present tense statement. Jesus didn't say, "man does not live by bread alone, but by every word proceeding from the mouth of God", rather it was "proceeds from the mouth of God". Keeping what God has said is important, but just as important is knowing what God is saying.

This same premise was prevalent during the earthly ministry of Jesus. The Jewish mind accepts the Torah as the "bread (manna) of God"; yet we know Jesus quoted the Torah by saying, "Man does not live by bread alone, but by every Word (Greek Rhema, meaning a series of words, or the substance of the Logos) coming from the mouth of God". Paul said Faith comes by hearing, but the hearing by the Rhema (Word) of God  (Rom 10:17). If the Proceeding Word is the Rhema, yet the hearing is based on the Rhema, they must connect. Jesus as the Logos said the Rhema He spoke was Spirit and Life (Jn 6:63), thus the Hearing is to obtain Life by the Spirit. There is Idle Rhema as well, or words void of Spirit and Life, yet speaking of God.

The Scriptures are not the Word of God, they are the Holy Scriptures, words from God, about God, or His people. If the Bible is the defining factor, yet it defines itself as the Scriptures, while it defines Jesus as the Word, it seems the defining factor has defined. After all, the Pharisees used the Scriptures, but they didn't have the Word in them (Jn 5:38-39). The Scriptures speak of God, the Word (Logos) speaks as God, as the Word (Rhema) is the Grace filled Spiritual Word based in Life. Another mystery, Idle Rhema means words spoken from the spirit of man, with a religious tone, lacking Spiritual ability.

Jesus upset the theological boat of the Jew when He brought Truth, yet if they had continued in the Truth, they would be free; however, they assumed by continuing in the Law they would be set free, failing to accept the Proceeding Truth, much less continue in it. The mystery of self-deception is found in the mind of the Pharisees during the earthly ministry. They assumed they were a "free people", yet they were under the hand of Rome. They felt they had Life, yet they were the walking dead. They assumed they were doing the works of God, yet they were nonetheless children of their father the devil, doing the lusts (works) of the devil. They thought they were the righteousness of God, yet they put the Righteousness of God on the Cross. When Jesus told the Pharisees they were of their father the devil, He was making a statement of fact, not condemning them. Jesus also gave them the ability to move to the Truth, thus the Pharisees made a decision to remain in their condition, although the ability to be free was presented. What has this to do Joshua? Much, there will be one person in Jericho who will make a decision based on evidence she heard, her decision will save her life.

The Book of Joshua is not Part of the Torah, thus according to the Jew whatever is said in Joshua becomes Agenda, but to Joshua it was still a Commandment from the Lord his God. The people prior to this group, complained, murmured and demanded for God to meet their desires, yet they made Vows, they also refused to keep them. This Vow was not the second choosing, it was the acceptance of the first.

Do we think it was by chance when John the Baptist picked the Jordan to begin his ministry? Was it by chance the Pharisees stood on one side of the Jordan mocking John? Hardly, this was all seen from the foundation of the world; John was in the Jordan, which  should have told the Pharisees the times were changing, it was time to Crossover.

Those who entered the wilderness didn't do what Moses said, until disaster struck, neither did they repent until disaster struck, but this second group told Joshua, "According as we hearkened unto Moses in all things, so will we hearken unto you: only the Lord your God be with you, as He was with Moses" (Joshua 1:17). By connecting Moses to the Vow, they sealed the purpose of the wilderness, thus they didn't start again, they finished the course assigned to the first group.

Don't forget the purpose for crossing the Red Sea was to spend forty days in the wilderness as preparation to take the Promised Land, not spend forty years, then dying. The first group didn't make it, putting asunder the concept of  "do you think your unbelief is greater than God?". It appears as if the unbelief of the first group was greater than God’s desire for them, yet God worked their unbelief into plan as a lesson and warning for future generations. God was not the victim of their unbelief, they were, after the Lord saved the children, He destroyed those who believed not (Jude 5).

The concept of "spies" was looked at prior, but for here we want to keep in mind how God gave this land to these people, those who occupied it were really trespassers. If we looked at it from their side, we would get a different story, but we know this land was given to Abraham many years prior. Today we see the same conflict the Trespassers are fighting those who were given the land. The earth and the fullness thereof still belong to God, thus He can give it to whom He pleases, yet He promised a portion to Abraham’s seed of the flesh through Isaac. If we gave a pencil to one person, yet another came to us saying, "how dare you, I wanted the pencil, you had no right", we would think, "you greedy person, who are you to tell me to whom I can give, or not give?”. The same is true with God, who is man to say what God can give to another?

Once the Vow was taken care of, the seal of the Covenant had to be completed, yet Joshua would sent two spies to Jericho, rather than ten; perhaps fewer is better (Joshua 2:1). The spies went into a harlot's house, by the name of Rahab (Joshua 2:1). The king of Jericho not only heard there were spies in his city, but knew they went into Rahab's house (Joshua 2:3). Some look at Joshua 2:4 as Rahab lying to the king, but if we look at the context we find the two spies were hid, they were no longer in Rahab's sight, thus Rahab told the king there were two men, but at the point in time she couldn't see them (meaning of the wording "where they were", or "where they are" - Joshua 2:4). Lying would be saying, "men? what men, I never saw any men". She did tell the king, "when it was dark, the men went out: where the men went I know not: pursue after them quickly" (Joshua 2:5). Then we see how she hid them under some stalks of flax on her roof, which shows she couldn't "see" the men when she was talking to the king, nor did she know if they were still there. After the king's men took pursuit, she helped the spies to escape, which brought to pass the saying, "when it was dark, the men went out" (Joshua 2:6). From man's view point it would surely seem as if she lied, but the men did leave after dark, they did go to a place she didn't know, thus she stayed within the confines of the facts, she simply placed one before the other, or called something as a not yet, as a were then. This doesn't excuse her, but shows how her faith was centered on the safety of the two spies, above her own safety.

Rahab was not a Jew, but she lived in the land God gave to the Jews. She knew she had some slight standing by her association to the spies, but her decision was based on what she heard about the Hebrews, thus her faith came by hearing. In order to be a Jew one’s mother must be Jewish, either by natural birth, or adoption. Ruth became Jewish when Naomi  accepted her as daughter (Ruth 2:2); Rahab became adopted by the nation as a result of her faith. However, there is a difference, in order to be in the Kingly order of Israel one’s father (either natural or adopted, or accepted by the household) must be connected to David’s kingly line, thus Rahab is not seen in the family genealogy of Jesus, but she is seen in the kingly order (Matt 1:5). Luke proves Jesus is Jewish by using a phrase “as was supposed” as it was intended, as well as a mystery revealed. It doesn’t take long in comparing the list in Matthew with Luke’s to see many differences. Both show the lines of Jesus, but from two different aspects. The term “as was supposed” is used to first show Jesus is not the real son of Joseph, but it’s supposed. Next the phrase is used to point to the mother by noting the father of the mother to show the child was Jewish. The Jews would not list a female, but both Luke and Matthew did (interesting). We follow Matthew’s list as it goes to Solomon then David, showing Jesus has a right through Joseph to the kingly order. Luke on the other hand goes to Nathan, another son of David, who didn’t have a position in the kingly order. If we keep Matthew in proper prospective with Luke, they both make sense. Here we find Rahab was adopted by the nation, her line leads to the kingly order. It’s for this reason we find Solomon as a king, but in truth he was not a Jew, since his mother was connected to the Hittites (II Sam 11:3). Ruth had to be adopted by a member of the nation, Rahab by the nation, yet both show outsiders (Gentiles) who gained entry, it just so happens each becomes vital in the genealogy of Jesus.

James used Rahab as a symbol of one who not only had faith, but had the evidence of faith working (James 2:23-26). Rahab heard about God, made a statement, heard the words of the spies, then was tested, thus her faith at work was when she placed the safety of the people of God above her own. She could have heard, yet done nothing. In the face of danger her faith sustained her, yet it was her measure of faith. She is an example of how faith coupled to Mercy is not self-centered, rather she sought to please the people of God, in so doing she pleased God, thus she was treating the people of God, as God would, a point both John and James make.

Rahab tells the spies how she heard the stories of the Red Sea being parted, the defeat of the kings of the Amorites, and many other things. She knew the God of these people was the All Powerful God, her knowledge was the basis for her decision (Joshua 2:9-12). Rahab is also an example of one with a fear of God, thus a fear of God must be part of our faith, if not, our faith may be a mind game. Abraham on the other hand is an example of one who believed God so it could be by faith. When the Covenant came, so did the faith, but his faith was tested when he was asked to give up the Promise. The Book of Hebrews tell us the faith of Abraham was so strong, he knew God was able to raise the lad, even from the ashes (Heb 11:17-19). The Promise for the nation was in Isaac, it was up to God to produce the nation, thus Abraham heard from God and obeyed; whereas, Rahab heard about God and obeyed, both had actions backing up their faith.

Both Abraham and Rahab did something to prove their faith, thus James points out, some say they have faith, others prove it when their faith is worked. Talking about the great battle, yet fighting it are different. The first generation in the wilderness is an example of all mouth, no heart. The second generation is an example of putting one's heart with their mouth. Truth can be tough, but it's designed to set us free.

Rahab denied her personal safety as she rejected the protection of her people, for the protection of God. Although Joshua sent "spies", we don't follow suit by entering the world as "spies". We're ambassadors for the Lord, known by our faith, love and hope. When the spies came to Rahab, she added confidence to her hope by saying, "I know the Lord has given you the land, your terror is fallen upon us, all the inhabitants of the land faint because of you" (Joshua 2:9). This is very interesting, since she didn't say, "I know you have come to take our land", rather she knew the Lord gave the land to them, then she submitted to the concept by doing what she could to help the people of the Lord. She didn't say she fainted, she said the evidence was clear: The Lord He is God. When the children were first told to take the land, they said, "No, we are but grasshoppers", but Rahab said, "I know the Lord has given you the land". The children gave the people in the land the glory, Rahab gave God the glory, as issue of faith at work.

Joshua was told to have Courage, but when the people of Jericho heard about God's people, they lost their courage (Joshua 2:11). In order to take the city, the wall about the city had to be destroyed, yet Rahab lived on the wall. Nonetheless, she was promised protection, her faith knew God would spare her, since she spared the men of God (Joshua 2:15). Talk about warfare, she knew the wall had to fall, yet she lived on the wall. How was the God of these people going to destroy the wall, yet spare her? It really didn't matter, she knew He would.

Jericho was a fortified city, or a Stronghold. Paul tells us "For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (for the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds;) casting down imaginations, and every high thing exalting itself against the knowledge of God, bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ" (II Cor 10:3-5). The use of the metaphor Stronghold shows a fortified place full of imaginations (fables) or high things (pride) coming against the knowledge of God. Wait, I thought All Things were of God, what gives? A High Thing is a Thing taken too high, much like the revelation someone tells us is "too deep". The truth is, the revelation isn't "too deep", it's "too high"; probably an imagination coming against the knowledge of God. There are phrases we watch out for; when someone tells us, "I have a revelation the Body of Christ isn't ready for yet", we know we're talking to someone with a Stronghold. If they are a member of the Body of Christ, they're not ready for it either. How does a stronghold come down? We allow the Word in us to divide and separate, bringing us to the place of sound study discipline wherein Truth becomes the hammer to the stronghold. In this case, Jericho was a real place, with a real wall, but it also becomes an allegory, or symbol of how a wall comes down, but perhaps not on the first try. The meaning of the name Jericho is a Place of fragrance, it was a fenced city in the midst of a vast grove of palm trees, in the plain of Jordan, over against the place where the Israelites crossed the Jordan. Its site was near the ‘Ain es-Sultan, called Elisha’s Fountain (2Kings 2:19-22), about 5 miles west of Jordan. It was the most important city in the Jordan valley (Numb 22:1 & 34:15), noted as the strongest fortress in all the land of Canaan

These people still had to take the land after circumcision; the circumcision didn't deliver the land into their hand, rather it placed them in a position to receive the Abrahamic Covenant (Joshua 5:2-8). All these events connected; first came the words of the prophet, then the Vow, then the spies finding faith in the land, then the Word going forth, then circumcision, now they are ready for battle. Some of us want to enter "spiritual warfare" with a slingshot, then wonder why failure always falls on us. We fail to apply the warfare inside, yet expect it to work outside. Well, some times it works, being somewhat effective is not victory. The type and shadow shows we must submit to the circumcision made without hands before we can see strongholds removed.

There is a metaphoric content found in the phrase, "circumcise again, the children of Israel the second time" (Joshua 5:2). A second time? What gives? We don't know about the rest of you, but it seems a little difficult. The reasoning is found in the following verses, we find the second generation were not circumcised in the wilderness, but the first generation was circumcised before entering. Showing the Wilderness is not the place where our heart is circumcised, rather it’s a place after we are circumcised of heart, thus it becomes a place of exposure, joy, healing, and other attributes relating to our souls. Our Heart will guide us, but the Wilderness is still a place for the soul to learn to be one with the Spirit, bringing to pass our souls becoming Spiritual by the Spirit.

Although all these people made the Vow, some would pass the Jordan with the unbelief of the wilderness still in their hearts. They will become the symbol of those who say they are Born Again, but lack the ability, power and evidence to prove it. The manna ceased, but God provided the fruit of the land, thus the provision increased making it more fruitful (Joshua 5:12). Manna was just for the wilderness, when we break our wilderness the Manna of earth ceases, yet the Fruitfulness of the Spirit increases. This helps explain why Jesus said the manna was given to the fathers, yet they died in the wilderness, thus the manna didn’t change them, they still held their unbelief, but when Jesus comes into our life we have more than enough evidence to believe, we become the Bread of Life.

When Joshua was near Jericho, he saw a man with a drawn sword, Joshua didn't attack the man but asked, "Are you for us, or for our adversaries?" (Joshua 5:13). The man was a captain of the host of the Lord, he came to help Joshua (Joshua 5:15). This man is a type and shadow of the Law of the Spirit, he was for Joshua, not against him. Moses delivered them with a rod, but this symbol was ready for battle, thus we are delivered from the world by the rod of God, we Humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God as we become Born Again to obtain the Sword of the Spirit (Rhema), allowing us to speak words of Grace to the hearer.

Joshua was told, Loose your shoe from your foot; for the place whereon you stand is holy (Joshua 5:14). Moses was told the ground at the burning bush was holy, here Joshua is told the entire area is holy. The burning bush of deliverance was prior to Moses receiving the call, here it’s prior to Joshua taking the land, thus showing the call of Moses and the acts of Joshua all related to bringing the children out of Egypt into the Promised land. The children of the first generation assumed the deliverance was for their benefit alone, but God made Abraham, Isaac and Jacob a promise; therefore, the purpose was to complete the Promise of God to the fathers.

The method used to take Jericho seems strange, but it's the only method open to tear down the Stronghold. The Stronghold is the protection used by the strongman, when the Stronghold goes, the strongman is exposed, yet weakened. Jericho will be the gate or entrance to the Promised land, the place of beginnings for these people. As in our case there is the first battle, the place where the violent take it by force, which simply means we take the Kingdom by the Spirit. Natural man looks at the Stronghold then attempts to figure some way around it, or a way to use for his advantage, rather than see it fall, but God deals with these matters to set us free, rather than see us go deeper into bondage.

They marched around the city seven days, on the seventh day they marched seven times. Well, what happened to the sabbath day? It had to be one of those days, so why didn't they keep the sabbath? Marching is a work, Ahh, obedience, the very same thing Jesus talked about, it is far better to obey God, then give sacrifices. God formed the heaven and earth in six days, then rested on the Seventh, but here we find there are times when the Seventh is not a day of rest. Maybe it was a sabbath’s day journey? This alone shows there are exceptions to the rule, but this had to go further since they didn’t camp at the wall.

Here is the Courage, God was doing a New Thing, a battle where the action was silent. The decision made, it was now a matter of obeying the Lord, yet it seemed wrong in respect to man's method of warfare. Man would have huffed and puffed and blew the wall down, but silence? There are times to remain silent, times to speak, or shout, knowing what to do comes by hearing. Instead of shouting at the city, the children moved about the wall with silent humble hearts, when the time came, they shouted unto the Lord then the wall fell. They didn’t shout unto the wall, or the city, but gave a shout of Joy unto the Lord. On the same note we do speak to the mountain, but we must also add our praise unto the Lord for its removal. Paul tells us when our Obedience is full then we can revenge all disobedience, by bringing our thoughts into the obedience of Christ (II Cor 10:5-6). This shows the imagination is based in some disobedience, an area of unbelief, or in believing a fable, or making a tradition of man some doctrine, strongholds dictate our words, if we have a stronghold all information pertaining to the subject of the stronghold is filtered through it, even if truth comes, it will find opposition.

In Joshua 6:5 we find two different words for the word Shout. The first word Shout in the phrase, "shout with a great shout" is the Hebrew Rua meaning To shout with Joy, or to Praise with a loud voice (Judges 15:14 & Ps 60:8 [triumph]). The second word Shout in the same phrase is the Hebrew Teruwah meaning Acclamation of joy, both call for Joy, thus the power of their war cry was in their Joy, their Joy was in the Lord, thus it was Joy causing the wall to become weakened to the point of falling; the battle is the Lord's the victory is ours. Not only did the Lord have them use priests and trumpets, but He had them use exactly seven priests with seven trumpets, pointing to the Seven Sevens, or the 49 days from the Feast of Unleavened Bread to Pentecost.

While this was going on, Rahab's faith would also be tested, after placing her life on the line, she sees these Hebrews come in force, yet remain silent, march around the city and leave. Not once, not twice, not three times, but six days running (Joshua 6:8-14). On the seventh day she saw them go around the city six times in silence, all these events were testing her faith. The test of her faith was based in her patience, on the seventh trip the seven priests sounded the seven trumpets, then the people shouted unto God then the wall fell down flat (Joshua 6:17-20). Rahab didn't sit on the wall yelling, "hello down there, are you going to do something, or should I run?", she remained silent watching God work through His people.

Rahab lived on the wall, Jewish history shows the wall didn't fall over, it was consumed into the ground, how then could God spare her? The Hebrew translation shows Rahab lived in a room on the top of the wall; therefore, God not only spared her, but she didn't have to climb down, rather God brought the wall down so she could step out on solid ground (Joshua 6:25). Rahab received the righteous man's reward of deliverance in the midst of destruction. Her faith stepped out on nothing, but landed on something.

Rahab could have taken a completely different point of view in this matter, but as we know she had faith. She could have said, "great you come in here acting all tough, now you destroy my house, after all I've done for you". She could have said, "now you owe me, this is what I want". However she didn't, she had faith, she didn’t seek the self-benefit, she doesn't blame, accuse, or slander, she entered the same joy the children had.

Once the city was taken Joshua would curse the place (Joshua 6:26). This curse remained, and fell upon Hiel the Bethelite in the early days of king Ahab (I Kings 16:34). The premise might allow us to think we can curse things, or people, after all Joshua did, but as noted when we have the premise we find the example. Joshua was under a Law allowing both cursing and blessing, we are under a law void of cursing. If we have no law to curse, then cursing for us would be illegal. In our case the Law states we bless and curse not, we are children of the Day, not children of the darkness or night (Rom 12:14 & 12:17-21).

This is a good example to show us the harm in assuming we can take something from a Covenant God gave a different people, then attempt to use it for our benefit. The Galatians thought circumcision of the flesh was a good idea, after all Abraham did it, beside it was God who told him to. Keeping days sounded good too, after all the Old Testament saints did, they were termed "saints". Wrong, they were in bondage to the flesh, thus God gave them carnal ordinances, we are of the Spirit and have different methods under a different Law.

Achan was one of those who brought the wilderness with him. Achan was the son of Carmis of the tribe of Judah (Joshua 7:1). Tribe of Judah? Oh my, someone from the same tribe as Jesus who was not a "nice guy". Yes, but we also find Rahab is in the line leading to kingly line of Jesus. Our past doesn’t count, it's our future, God sees our potential in Christ, so should we.

After Jericho was taken, Joshua sent men to Ai; however, instead of taking the city, Joshua lost thirty-six men (Joshua 7:4-5). Thirty-six men may not seem like a lot to us, but when the Lord was with these people they never lost a one. Accordingly if Joshua lost one man, the failure was not the fault of God, there must be sin in the camp, but thirty-six? What sin could have caused this? Joshua will assume God has left them, he then falls on his face before God presuming the nations will destroy them, but he hears God say, "Get you up, wherefore lay you thus upon your face?" (Joshua 7:10). God explains there is sin in the camp, a "accursed thing" must be taken away to remove the hindrance. It was time to act, by removing the camp of sin. Here we find a paradox, Joshua cursed a city, yet one of his own cursed him. The difference? The city was cursed as a result of its folly, Joshua as a result of the wrong doing of another under his command. The tragedy in Achan's sin is the harm done unto others, Joshua and the thirty-six men did nothing wrong, yet they suffered because of Achan's sin. We assume our unbelief only effects us, but many suffer, if one suffers we all suffer (Joshua 7:6-9).

The Lord told Joshua, "Israel has sinned, they have transgressed My Covenant and they have taken of the accursed thing and have also stolen" (Joshua 7:11). Only Achan sinned, yet the sin fell on the entire nation of Israel. If our leaders are in sin, the camp suffers, causing us to suffer needlessly. A little leaven was causing the whole to be leavened. However, joy still came in the morning, there is a method provided to get out from under the curse, and back to being a blessing again.

In the morning Joshua judged Israel by tribes, when Judah was before him, he broke each tribe down into families, then by the wisdom given him, Joshua looked on Achan and said, "My son, give me I pray you, glory to the Lord God of Israel and make confession unto Him and tell me now what you have done; hide it not from me" (Joshua 7:19). Interesting, repentance is a type of Glory unto God, Achan answered Joshua and gave praise unto the Lord by saying, "I have sinned against the Lord God of Israel" (Joshua 7:20-21). Not only did Achan take silver, but he took a Babylonian garment, thus he reached back to Egypt allowing the glory of Egypt to blind him (Joshua 7:21). The metaphor "garment" refers to a covering of some type, we have the White Robe of the Resurrection waiting for us, yet now we know spots on our garments can hinder us; praise the Lord for the Blood of Jesus washing us clean.

Achan didn't mention the trouble he caused Joshua or the thirty-six men who died as a result of his greed. Achan becomes our example of self-repentance, or repenting because we're caught in order to escape the pending danger. Achan was remorseful, but not repentant, he was sorry he was caught, but not because of what his error caused. The name Achan means Troublesome or Trouble, like Judas, Achan brought trouble into the house of the Lord. Neither Achan or Judas were demon possessed, the devil put something in the heart of Judas, but the something was not a devil, thus Jesus never cast the devil out of Judas. Peter never made one attempt to cast the devil out of Ananias (Acts 5:1-5). Achan, Judas and Ananias allowed the old man to dictate through lusts, they all felt they could hide what they were doing from God. Achan took the treasure and buried it in his tent, Judas took his greed and buried it in his heart, Ananias allowed greed to govern his thinking, they all ended with death as their shield (Acts 5:2). Achan was killed by the men of Israel, Ananias gave up the ghost without one human hand touching him, and Judas hung himself (Acts 5:5 & Joshua 7:25-26).

Ananias gave up the ghost, he didn't give up the Spirit. In the Greek the word is ExPsuche translated as “giving up the ghost”, it means “out the soul goes”, relating to the first death as a separation of the soul from the fleshly body. The second death is a separation from any and all attributes of God, including light, love, joy, peace, and many other things, making the second death complete torment. The Bible tells us we will have no memory of the dead, thus the lake of fire will be just that, a lake of fire, just as the sun is the sun to us, nothing more or less. However, to those in the lake of fire it will torment forever and ever. Eternal means without time, it’s always now. It was once said if the earth was a steel ball, and a giant eagle came by every hundred years and brushed its wing on the earth, when the eagle has worn down the earth to the size of marble, eternity would have just begun. However, eternity being void of time remains a now, making it worse for those in the lake of fire. Praise the Lord, the Cross has given us the Door to avoid the wrath of God, we have a much better Promise.

Once the sin was taken care of, restoration takes place, now Joshua begins to take city by city, little by little, just as the Lord ordained. The saving of the soul is the same process, as we recognize those deadly tares of the self nature, including, but not limited to, pride, ego, unteachable thinking, theology full of high things, self-serving methods, self-centered thinking, self-reliant attitudes, the temptation to use the pride of life to meet our need, yet we also find they are without power, the Cross made them ineffective, thus the New Man not only removes them, at times little by little, but he also replaces the void with the attributes of Christ in us the Hope of Glory.

Joshua went back to Ai with the Lord at his side, then utterly destroyed all the inhabitants (Joshua 8:26). Then came the deceivers from Gibeon (Joshua 9:3). This is a type and shadow of natural knowledge from an outside source coming to disrupt our position and condition. The deceit from Gibeon caused a thorn in the side of Joshua; the word Gibeon means "hill city”, metaphorically it refers to a high thing. The inhabitants of Gibeon used deception by taking old garments and provisions making it appear as if they traveled a great distance. They came to Joshua saying they were from a far country, as strangers they sought protection (Joshua 9:6-14). Joshua made peace with them then gave them a vow of protection (Joshua 9:15). Like Timothy, Joshua would soon discover, some men's sins are evident, others are hidden. Joshua discovered the truth but his vow was set, it could not be reversed (Joshua 9:16-20). Paul says, lay hands suddenly on no man, yet Joshua approved the strangers finding himself burdened with them (I Tim 5:22). Timothy didn't inquire of the Lord, rather he trusted in his Inner Feeling (stomach's sake - I Tim 5:23). Paul says, don't trust in the water alone (feelings of the heart based in Mercy), but mix the Water and Wine (Spirit or Grace). The Greek word Paul used for Wine means "water and wine mixed" (I Tim 5:23). John tells us the Witness consists of the Water, Blood and the Spirit, not the Water alone (I Jn 5:6-9). The Water represents Mercy, the Blood represents Grace, the Spirit the New Man. The Witness is always going to carry out the Record, the Record is maintained by the Father, Word and Holy Ghost (I Jn 5:7-8).

Joshua didn't have the Water, Blood or Spirit, but he did have the ability to inquire of the Lord. If Joshua was still in the wilderness, he would have died, but now he has a holy place where repentance avails much. Joshua couldn't destroy the deceivers but he did place them in lower labor positions. If some deceiver fools us, or we laid hands on them, we can't cast them away, but they can be placed in lower labor tasks to learn of their folly. Neither can we make the mistake Timothy did, by using the spirit of fear to control them (II Tim 1:6, 1:13 with 1:7). God is still fully able to deliver us, but Timothy wanted to take the easy way out, in fact, he simply wanted out, but Paul encouraged him to stay, and face the mistake of his doing by trusting in the Lord by stirring up the Gift of God within.

The Lord would do great signs and wonders in the sight of Joshua, including bringing great stones from heaven upon Azekah (Joshua 10:11), making the sun stand still in the sky, allowing Joshua to fight by light, rather retreat until morning (Joshua 10:12-14). We fight in the Light by the Light, because Light always has authority over darkness. We don't turn on the darkness, we turn off the light, we don't turn off the darkness to bring the light, we turn on the light, thus the switch is a light switch, not a darkness switch. Jesus said, we are the Light of the world but a lamp without the Oil can't produce Light (Matt 5:14 & 25:1-11). Instead of cursing the darkness, we are the Light exposing the darkness.

Joshua would take Makkedah, Libnah, Lachish, Eglon, Hebron and Debiur (Joshua 10:28-43). Then he took other areas from Hazor unto Misrephothmaim (Joshua 11:1-14). Joshua didn't leave anything undone, he did all the Lord commanded of him (Joshua 11:15). Moses being a prophet spoke unto Joshua, but it was still the Lord through the man, thus we find as the Lord commanded Moses, Moses commanded Joshua. Jesus told us to be Baptized With the Holy Ghost, deny the self, pick up our cross and follow Him; have we left anything undone?

Joshua didn't take all the land, but he wasn't expected to. One person does not the Kingdom make, it takes members to complete the task. Division is a sign of a carnal mind (I Cor 3:1-3), with division comes strife, with strife comes all sorts of demonic activity (James 3:15-16 & I Cor 3:1-3). Division doesn't invite the devil in, it doesn't have to, it's demonic in nature causing people to take other routes to reach the result, or sending them in directions where there is no result. The carnal mind will do for the devil, what the devil can't do for himself. Jesus destroyed him who had the power of death, who is the devil, but if the devil is destroyed, why then are we told not to give the devil place? (Heb 2:14 & Eph 4:27). As we know, the word Destroy in Hebrews 2:14 is the Greek Katargeo meaning A cessation from outward activity, thus showing us how the Cross removed the effectiveness of the devil, yet if we go about Saying the devil has effect, we are also saying the Cross was ineffective. No wonder some of our battles are self-induced.

The Cross brought a separation from death unto life, from self-righteousness into God's Righteousness, from mind power to faith, from failure into victory. When we remain on the proper side of the Separation we hold victory before the battle begins, if we're on the other side we produce battles within the Body, if we attempt to live in both areas we are double-minded. This same Greek word used for destroyed in Hebrews 2:14 was used by Paul to show an End to the Law of Moses (Rom 3:3 & 3:31). Simply because there is an end to the Law of Moses doesn't mean the Law of Moses has ended, thus simply because we are separated from the devil, doesn't mean he is ended. It would seem silly for Jesus to destroy the devil, then bind him during the Time of Comfort. The Cross is the issue, in our Season we have the Cross, in the Night they will not, thus for them the devil has to be bound. In our Season we have absolute power and authority over the devil, demons, darkness, as well as over the wiles of the devil. So much so, the only way the devil can torment us, is when we give him place (Eph 4:27). If the Cross is can destroy the devil, think of how much more powerful the Resurrection becomes?

Joshua now divides the land, up to this point in time the children had either Moses or Joshua to lead them, both men were obviously walking in the shadow of God (Joshua 13:1-19:51). The Lord appointed the cities of refuge (Joshua 20:1-9); then the Levites received their cities (Joshua 21:1-45). Joshua then called the Reubenites, Gadites and the half tribe of Manasseh, who promised to fight with Joshua before they took residence on the other side of the Jordan (Joshua 22:1-8).  Each tribe had a section, giving us the first denominational division. Each tribe would have a part of the total picture, each would be responsible for their own area, yet they were joined into the one nation. We also find Dan had two areas, one to the north and one to the south, which becomes an important issue when we get to the Book of Revelation where we find Dan is one of the two tribes left out of the Revelation list of tribes for the 144,000. Dan being in two places gives us a type of the two horns found with the false prophet, one horn larger representing our Season, the smaller one representing the Season to come.

When the children of Reuben, Gad and the half tribe of Manasseh finished their vow, they returned to their land, but just before crossing the Jordan they stopped and made an altar. When Joshua heard this, he came after them; however, in this we find the differences between an altar toward God, or a memorial to remind man of the people of God, as opposed to an idol altar. When Joshua and the congregation came upon the children of Reuben they said, "What trespass is this you have committed against God and Israel, to turn away this day from following the Lord, as you have built you an altar, that you might rebel this day against the Lord" (Joshua 22:16). The children of Reuben had a pure intent, they said the purpose of the altar was, "not for burnt offering, nor for sacrifice: but it may be a witness between us and you and our generations after us, that we might do the service of the Lord before Him" (Joshua 22:21-27). The altar wasn't to worship God, or worship other gods, or man, rather it was a reminder to the future children showing Reuben, Gad and the half tribe of Manasseh were still among the children of God. The water couldn't separate them; thus there are times when someone under Mercy will drift back to the other side of Jordan, but their actions still didn't separate them from the people of God.

Joshua then gives the children a history lesson, showing a change in Seasons. There was a season between Adam and Moses where God allowed some things to take place, there was a Season between Moses and Christ where God allowed His children to get away with things, but what one group got away with in one Season doesn't allow those entering the New an excuse (Joshua 24:2-3). Joshua defined this by showing Abraham’s father worshipped idols, even before Abraham made his vow with God leaving his father’s house to serve the Lord; however, prior he may have been an idol worshiper, but it doesn't give us an excuse to worship or make idols. Joshua cursed the city, but it doesn't give us an excuse to avoid our command of "bless and curse not". David prayed against his enemies, but it doesn't give us an excuse. When Jesus came the Season changed, the idea of us obtaining vengeance was settled, it's in God's hands, we are those of Faith.

Joshua's warning points to any of us, if we "forsake the Lord and serve strange gods, then He will turn to do us hurt and consume us, after He had done us good" (Joshua 24:20). God is equal, if a wicked person turns from their wicked ways and becomes righteous, God will treat them as righteous, but if a righteous person turns from their righteousness to become wicked, God will treat them as wicked. If we are Born Again we have the advantage, rather then work for our righteousness, we find the New Man is based in the very Righteousness of Jesus, the same Righteousness is the Scepter of the Kingdom (Heb 1:8).

Once we know the Lord is good, we are either a witness for Him, or a witness against ourselves (Joshua 24:22). Joshua dies at a ripe old age of a hundred and ten years, they buried him in the land of Promise (Joshua 24:29-30). Ending this area we have a great and powerful lesson, of course we can see how seeking the face of God is beneficial, it goes without saying, but Achan gives us another area. When the sin of Achan happened we find the camp itself was not invaded with sickness, or the enemy, rather we find the sin of Achan caused a specific failure in a specific place. Un-confessed sin, or disobedience (unbelief) in any area is still sin relating to death in some degree, it may not be physical death, but a death nonetheless. Our positional office might suffer, or marriage, or our condition with God; however, this the Day the Lord has made, we can Rejoice if we just confess the sin, then allow the New Man to clean us either by the washing of the water by the Word, or by applying the Blood of Jesus. We have the advantage, there is no need for God to send us Judges, we can judge ourselves.


JUDGES

Success without a successor doesn't always mean there is no success, Joshua didn't appoint another human to take his place, yet he was successful, as were many after him. God picks the successor, as He has done right along. Simply because man fails to pick a successor, doesn't mean God hasn't. The world uses flesh and blood to replace flesh and blood, but all these people were in the hand of God, thus God is the Success for the Successor.

God's sovereignty is displayed in many things, but the one we know the best is the title "Alpha and Omega". God is not the "Alpha or Omega", nor is He the "Alpha but not the Omega", thus God is the Alpha while being the Omega. Man comes and goes on the face of the earth, but God Is. God's foreknowledge of events doesn't mean God planned all of them, it means God knows them before they are events. If we are who we say we are, then we must hold to the Sovereignty of God. The Lord wanted the people to come to Him as a group in the wilderness, but they rejected Him holding to their slavery mentality, this group in the land are no different; therefore, it wasn't Egypt alone, but the natural mind of man reaching for Egypt thinking. They obtained a different slavery mentality, one in which they looked for judges or leaders to tell them what to do, or what not to do, yet they had the Law of Moses as a guide: however, it also called for responsibility, natural man desires the benefit, but not the responsibility. If one wants to thin their mailing list, or see some pews emptied all they need do is preach on the responsibility of belief, faith or forgiveness. Here we find the same, wanting protection, but rejecting responsibility.

God told Joshua to meditate in the Law, rather than "do as Moses did". God still wanted to guide and instruct the people, thus Joshua didn't name a successor for a Godly purpose, although the purpose was rejected by the people. When the oppressed are given freedom the first generation are grateful, the second are lazy, the third generation begin to be rebellious ending as oppressors. The warning to the Body and the Remnant is; "he who leads into captivity shall go into captivity: he who kills with the sword must be killed with the Sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints" (Rev 13:10). These people were placed under oppression to learn the effects of bondage, but the purpose was to free others, rather than place others in bondage. The natural nature of man tends to twist this into “now it’s my turn”, the oppressed then become the oppressor.

The many wives and handmaidens were allowed by God, but it doesn't mean we can have more than one wife. These people had many wives, the nation, the city, the law, their pride, and many others. God will divorce the nation, but not the "daughter"; therefore, Paul said All Israel will be saved, but not all who are called Israel, are of Israel. Paul made a distinction between Jew and Israel, just as he made a distinction between Hebrew, Jew and Israel. A Jew is one who has the token to enter Covenant, a true Jew is one who has the token of circumcision of the heart. Israel is the nation, an Israeli is someone who lives in the nation, a Hebrew is a sojourner, one who has a promise of a land, but has yet to obtain it. There is no mention in the Bible of a “true Hebrew”, or “true Israel”, but there is a “true Jew”.

The tribes came from Israel, rather than Israel being a product of the tribes. Israel came from the man Jacob, thus we will find "the house of Jacob", "the house of Israel", the "house of Judah", the "tents of Judah", and "the house of David". All relating to different types of people; however, we will not find “a house of the Jew”, since the term Jew points to an individual who has a token to enter covenant.

God's purpose, and God allowing something are far different, as Jesus explained to the Pharisees. Jesus didn't say "God allowed", but He did say Moses gave them the law regarding the bill of divorcement based on the hardness of their hearts, not on their goodness (Mark 10:4-5). God allowing something, and something being in the perfect Will of God are different. God allowed the heart of Pharaoh to become hard, yet He said Pharaoh was raised for a purpose to show God's power, but we know Pharaoh was anything but "Godly". The sons of perdition have a purpose, they will be the test for the Woman in the very end, but it doesn't mean they are the "chosen of God". To whom much is given, much is still required, but praise be to God, He also has given us the Means and Ability to reach the goal. We have the unique ability to judge ourselves by the Spirit making us free of the wrath of God to come.

The word for Judges in reference to the Book of Judges is not the Hebrew Elohiym, rather it's the Hebrew Shaphat meaning to Vindicate or To punish, this is where the Jew obtained the concept of God’s Mercy as a means to apply Justice; however, the purpose of the Judges was to bring God's Justice, which is to feed the poor, protect the fatherless, care for the widows and make sure the people of God are protected (Ps 82). In our case the Protector is The Comforter (Holy Ghost), as He speaks to "another Comforter" (New Man) within us; therefore, we are told to judge not. To these people the phrase "if there are no judges in the house, there is no God" was true, but for us There are no judges in the New Testament Tabernacle, since we have One Judge, the Righteous Judge of all, Jesus (James 5:9). We judge ourselves, lest we be judged, thus we have a battlefield with weapons in hand, how we use them still determines if we run the race lawfully or not.

These Judges did punish those who oppressed Israel, at times they punished Israel for wickedness, but only after warning them of their folly. There are many references in the Old Testament regarding men being saviors; however, these saviors saved men from other men, they never saved man from himself, or saved man from the sin nature. The people still heard from God, thus if these natural, rebellious, stiff-necked people could hear from God, why can't we? They were subject to the Law, had the land in hand; therefore, any excuse we use still falls short when we read the Jewish history. The things of God didn't pass away, rather we find people separating themselves from God, yet the Power of God didn’t change, diminish, or vanish.

The hope in the history of Israel is found in the Judges, the Daniel's and the others who were in captivity, but not subject to it. When the Yoke of the flesh is removed, we will see our potential of Jesus in us is far greater then we thought. The established religious order associated with what is called the Body can be in captivity, but those with the Glory who are in the Church need not be subject to it. There are times when it seems as if there are more wolves than sheep, yet it’s the surface appearance, not the reality. We know a Few will walk with Jesus in white, but the concept of Few is only relative to the number from which it's taken. When we can't count the number of the Few, we know there is still room for us. Amen?

The people were in their promised land, yet the threats from the outside came against them. At this time Israel was without a leader, the people went to the Lord and He told them to send "Judah and his brother Simeon" (Judges 1:1-2). If one looked for two men by the names of Judah and Simeon in the Book of Joshua, they found none, rather God is pointing to the tribes (Judges 1:3-8). This sets the stage for the judges to rule Israel. God seeks those who will hear and obey, but at this point in time He used the tribes "Judah and his brother Simeon". This is clearer when we read how the "children of Judah" took Jerusalem back as the tribe fought against the Canaanites, thus it wasn't someone named Judah, but the people from the tribe of Judah (Judges 1:2-8). Nonetheless we will find people appointed as Judges as well.


CHART OF THE JUDGES:

Oppressor + King + Verse in Judges + Judge + Tribe

Mesopotamia+Chushan-Rishathaim+3:8,3:9-11+Othniel+Judah

Moabites+Eglon+3:12-14, 3:15-30+Ehud+Benjamin

Philistines+(No King mentioned)+3:31+Shamgar+Naphtali

Canaanites+Jabin+4:2-3,4:4-5:31+Deborah+Ephraim

Midianites+Oreb,Zeeb,Zebah,Zalmunna+6:1-6,6:7-8:35+Gideon+Manasseh

Civil War Of Abimelech+(No king mentioned)+(See vrs. for last 3 conflicts)

Ammonites+(No king mentioned)+(See vs. for last 3 oppressors)+Tola,Jair+Isachar,Manasseh

Philistines+(No king mentioned)+(See vs. for last 3 oppressors)+Jephthan,Ibzan,Elon,Abodon+Manasseh, Judah,Zebulun,Ephraim

Philistines+(No King mentioned)+(See vrs. for last 3 oppressors)+Samson+Dan

Verses for last Oppressors:  Chapter 9+10:1-10, 12:7-15,13:1-2,16:31

There was a time period for testing and proving for the children who left the wilderness. The testing was to determine if they would follow the Lord without having a leader; however, the evidence shows, every man did as he willed. There were those who wanted to worship gods formed by the hands of man, rather than worship the God who formed man by His hand. Wait, they had the Law plus all the prior warnings, right? Yes, of course we have all the Promises in the Promise, plus all the warnings as well, yet we find ourselves from time to time giving worship to things we should not. We can find ourselves giving worship to the anointing, the power, in some cases worship our worship, which is making idols out of the things of God. Idol worship in the mind is a formation of self-based theology, wherein the mind contrives an idea of what religion should be, then worships the idea. Any Religious person seeking to control their religion is idol worship, regardless of the name of the religion.

Since the fall there have been those with authority, and those who attempted to usurp authority. Judges gives us both examples, to Usurp Authority doesn't mean using one's authority over another, it means attempting to use someone else's authority. Back in Deuteronomy chapter 27 Moses told the children when they crossed the Jordan they were to go to two mounts, here we find some additional information. The battle ground changed, but the symbol didn't. The six tribes had something in common, Benjamin, Manasseh and Ephraim were all involved in giving the blessing on Mount Gerizim (Deut 27:12). Zebulun, Asher and Naphtali were on Mount Ebal giving the curse, yet all six ended mixing the blessing with the curse, forming a mixed report. Later the descendants of Ephraim and Manasseh would be called the Samaritans, saying the true worshipers of God worship from Ebal, the place where the Law was first spoken in the Promised Land, but the Jews would say the true worshipers of God worship in Jerusalem, the "city of God". A dispute seen again when Jesus meets the woman at the well.

God told these children not to mix with the heathen, rather they were to drive the inhabitants out of the land; however, Benjamin failed to drive out the Jebusites: Manasseh failed to drive out the inhabitants of Bethshean: Ephraim failed to drive out the Canaanites: Zebulun failed to drive out the inhabitants of Kitnon and Nahalol: Asher failed to drive out the inhabitants of Assho and Zidon; and Naphtali failed to drive out the inhabitants of Betshemesh (Judges 1:21-36). They failed to see God's command was for their own good, more important, it was for the good of their children. This type and shadow is the failure to confront the strongholds in our life, we soon find we will pass them on to our children, or to disciples under us. Jesus combated the many strongholds of His disciples by the Hammer of Truth, not a bad idea, Truth is always the hammer to the stronghold.

An angel of the Lord warned them of their folly, if they broke the covenant, the heathen would be thorns in their sides, the heathen gods a snare (Judges 2:1-3). The angel delivered a message, but we find it’s in the first person, so did the angel deliver? Or did God? The angel is not speaking for himself, he is giving the message just as it was given, thus an angel is one who delivers a message as they receive it, they don’t add to it, or insert their opinion. The people were warned about making league with the heathen, they were separated, then designed to remain separated. These people served the Lord, all the days of Joshua (Judges 2:7-9); but when the generation died, the next generation rejected the Lord and served Baalim (Judges 2:10-11). They failed to teach the youth in earnest about the events of the wilderness, thus the youth chased the idols of the heathen (Judges 2:10-14). The purpose of the Passover is to instruct the youth of God's ability to deliver, yet instruction without example becomes mere words in the wind.

Idol worship is perhaps the greatest insult placed against God, especially by His people. The anger of the Lord was Hot against Israel because of their idol worship, He delivered them into the hands of spoilers (Judges 2:14). He never left them, although they left Him, thus the devil didn't deliver them into the hands of the spoiler, God did. When they followed God, the Hand of the Lord was upon them for good, but when they did evil the hand of the Lord was on them for evil, yet they were always in the "hand of the Lord" (Judges 2:15).

The evidence showed how breaking the Commandment of the Lord had lasting effects. God will not make our choices for us, He will not believe for us, He will not force us to walk the right path, but He will give us a Character in the New Man to produce a change in us making us good. Once anyone enters the Kingdom of God there is no class difference, no one gets more Grace than another, no one is loved more of God than another. We all have opportunity, granted ability, with the information required to make it. These are matters of the heart; choice without the freedom to make a choice, is no choice at all, but it takes battles to maintain, the same is true with the Judges.

If we, or any child of God, even these children turn toward other gods after God has warned us, we have entered rebellion, leaving God no choice but to chasten us. God’s Mercy endures forever, during the Day God is always willing to forgive us based on our repentance, thus God heard their distress and sent them judges to deliver them (Judges 2:15-16). This is our hope; throughout history God sent deliverers, prophets or saints pointing to the corrupt condition and position in order to bring correction, to promote deliverance. He has not changed, the Book of Revelation shows in the last days He will again produce signs to gain repentance. If nothing else the Book of Revelation shows God reaching out until the last second, yet we find the people rejecting the call by blaspheming God. Choice, is still free moral choice, right up until it’s appointed unto all men once to die, then comes the judgment.

However, as we find, God sent, but the people refused to hear the judges, as they went after other gods bowing themselves unto idols (Judges 2:17). The Lord still raised up judges to deliver them, for it repented the Lord because of their oppressors (Judges 2:18-19). Again, when the Lord repents, He doesn't change His mind, He's sorry for what He must do, but do it He must. It repented Him to place His people in bondage, but God is not only faithful, He is a God of integrity. The punishment of man and the chastisement of God are not always with the same intent. At times man punishes to bring himself peace, God chastens to keep His own from ending in hell.

The paradox seen in these captivities shows how God places His own in captivity to bring them back to Him, for their own good, yet if the nation He used to bring punishment mistreats His people, they pay the price. The Lord sent the children into the wilderness to prove them, thus He also sent the judges to prove them (Judges 2:22). The nations used to chasten the children were used to prove them as well, but woe to the nation who felt they could mistreat the people of God.

The children of Israel who lived among the heathen, ended serving their gods (Judges 3:5-6). Our warning is clear, we don't use the world, the ways of the world, or take of the cares of this world, or we will end in bondage to the idols of the world. The Lord raised up Othniel to deliver the children from Chushanrishathaim the king of Mesopotamia (Judges 3:8-11). As soon as Othniel died, the children took up worshiping idols again, ending under the hand of Eglon the king of Moab (Judges 3:12-14). After eighteen years the Lord sent another deliverer by the name of Ehud (Judges 3:15). Ehud made him a dagger with two edges, which was an abomination, since it represented the two-edged Sword of the Lord, only the Lord knows how to handle both edges (Judges 3:16). Ehud used deception by telling king Eglon, "I have a message from God for you" (Judges 3:18-19). King Eglon was a heavy man, after Ehud killed Eglon, he locked the doors to the chamber with the dead king Eglon inside, then left the scene. When the servants of the king came to the chamber they assumed Eglon was resting, but after a great period of time they broke into his chamber finding the king dead. Ehud went to the children of Israel telling them, the king was dead, the Lord has delivered the land of Moab into their hand (Judges 3:26-29). God turned this mess around for good to those who were called according to His purpose, thus even if we miss it; or fine we are moved by the pride of life, yet use deception to call it faith, as long as our heart was set on serving God, He is fully able to turn it around for good, for those who love Him, and for those called according to His purpose (Rom 8:28).

After Ehud, came Shamgar who slew 600 Philistines with an ox goad (Judges 3:31). Ehud then died, the children did evil again; again the Lord placed them into the hand of the heathen (Judges 4:1-2). Then God raised up Deborah, a prophetess to judge Israel (Judges 4:5). She called Barak then rebuked him for failing to fight; however, she didn't attempt to fight for Barak, rather they agreed she would go with him (Judges 4:6-20). The power of the prophetess was so great, even the close friends of the enemy king joined her by killing the heathen king (Judges 4:20-22). The children prospered, the children of God always prosper when they believe the prophet of God (Judges 4:23-24). Deborah sang a song for several verses, in her song (prophesy) she was called a "mother in Israel" (Judges 5:7). Abraham is the father of circumcision, but Deborah is the mother of obedience, she would be the first person called prophet or prophetess after the children were established in the land.

The land was at rest forty years, then the children did evil in the sight of the Lord, again He delivered them into the hand of Midian for seven years (Judges 5:31-6:1). The Lord sent a prophet to the children to encourage them in the Lord (Judges 5:8-10). Then came an angel of the Lord unto Gideon telling him, he was appointed to save Israel (Judges 6:11-14). At first Gideon thought he was talking to the Lord, to some degree he was, for this angel was a spiritual messenger of the Lord (Judges 6:13). Later he knew he spoke to an angel, but at that, it was an awesome experience (Judges 6:22). Gideon was called to do battle as a judge, but Gideon wasn't looking for war, rather he built an altar calling it Jehovahshalom (The Lord Sends Peace). Therefore, by seeing peace Gideon was looking to the result of the battle before the battle started. Some of us look to the battle or the stripes of the battle, instead of looking ahead to the peace resting in the victory. God is still the Alpha and Omega, knowing the result before we pick up the Armor. Wonder how many times we had victory, yet missed it because we were sitting around feeling sorry for ourselves?

Gideon didn't begin with the "courage of the Lord", rather he went by night, because he feared his father's household (Judges 6:27). The idols of the land became the first order of business, they were cast down, thus the idols in our minds must be cast down before we begin spiritual warfare. Like the old man, when the people found their idols destroyed, they became angry, then set out to kill Gideon (Judges 6:29-30). The men of the city came to Joash, the father of Gideon demanding the body of Gideon, but Joash said, "Will you plead for Baal? will you save him? he who will plead for him, let him be put to death while it is yet morning: if he be a god, let him plead for himself; because one has cast down his altar" (Judges 6:31). Baal was unable to plead for himself, he was stone and metal, no voice, no heart, no life. However, God is able to raise His temple, thus Jesus said, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up", speaking of Himself (Jn 2:19). Could Baal raise his altar? Not in his best day, but God can raise His temples in our worst day. From that day forth, Gideon was also known as Jerubbaal (Baal will contend, or Contender of Baal - Judges 6:32 & 7:1).

Gideon needed encouragement, thus the Lord told Gideon the enemy was delivered into his hand before the fact. Gideon traveled with caution to the camps of the Midiantes and Amalekites where he heard a man talking about a dream he had (Judges 7:9-13). It wasn't the dream alone, but the interpretation of the dream birthing courage in  Gideon (Judges 7:13-15). A translation of the dream gained nothing, but when the interpretation came, Gideon gained faith, his faith brought strength, the strength enforced his courage.

When Gideon was doing battle he heard from the men of Ephraim, who wanted to know why Gideon didn't call on them to help. More often than not, there are many warriors looking to stand with us, if we just ask (Judges 7:22-8:1). However, Gideon found there were also those who wouldn't fight, as there are a few today who won't lift a finger to assist us in the battle, just as there are a few who seem to fight against us (Judges 8:4-8). Those who helped Gideon received the righteous man's reward, those who refused to assist him in any way received bondage, those who set themselves against him received destruction (Judges 8:6-21). In this we find three groups, those who were willing to stand with the man of God, those who refused to stand, then those who stood against the man of God. These types and shadows define the phrase Spiritual Warfare. We War to become Spiritual, we War to remain Spiritual, yet there are those who War against the Spiritual.

Natural minded people have a tendency to make heroes out of the people, even some the people of God tend to do so, the people came to Gideon and said "Rule over us" (Judges 9:22). This was a direct violation of the First Commandment; Gideon didn't fall into the snare, rather he said, "I will not rule over you, neither shall my son rule over you: the Lord shall rule over you" (Judges 8:23). Gideon shows what happens when we exalt people or things above measure, we tend to make them gods, then honor them as our idols (Judges 8:25-28).

Gideon made an Ephod from the earrings of the Ishmaelites, which all the male Ishmaelites wore as their sign of their covenant with Baal (Judges 8:23-24). Gideon's Ephod was a sign of how idol worship separates the child of God from God, but the people took the Ephod then made an idol out of it, causing it to be a snare to the house of Gideon (Judges 8:27). Gideon went to his house and died at a good old age (Judges 8:29-32).

After Gideon was dead, the children ran after idols again, thus their idol worshiping produced a guilt, which caused them to reject the house of Gideon (Jerubbaal - Judges 8:33-35). Abimelech was the son of Gideon (Jerubbaal), recalling how Gideon said his son would not rule over Israel we find a usurping of Gideon's authority by his son. Abimelech vowed to be as his father and rule Israel; however, his father judged Israel, he didn't rule it, since Abimelech incorporated his father into his folly, he also twisted the vow and authority of his father. Abimelech was self-appointed, the self-appointed always lack the ability to maintain without using manipulation to dominate. Some of the self-appointed end as self-based Pharisees, some as failures, others as "whackos" (Judges 9:1-3). Everything produces after its own kind, whackos have been around since Cain killed his brother.

Abimelech put together a ministry of thieves and oppressors (Judges 9:4-5). Gideon (Jerubbaal) had a younger son by the name of Jotham. the people came to Jotham complaining about their condition and position (Judges 9:5-6). Jotham went to the top of the mountain and shouted the secrets of Abimelech: nothing shall be hid, all things shall be open (Judges 9:7). Jotham told a parable about the trees seeking a king as they came to their own kind. The olive trees were first to be asked, but the olive trees said No. Then they went to the fig trees, but the fig trees said No. Then they ventured off to different classes, coming to the vine but the vine said No. Finally they came to the bramble brush, and the bramble is always full of pride and arrogance, showing it is under the curse, but the bramble being prideful said, Yes (Judges 9:8-15). This was an offense, but there are times when offense gets us off the fence. Jotham was a man with like passions as many of us, when he finished his prophecy he ran away (Judges 9:21). The parable indicated they ended with Abimelech, because none of the others wanted the position. Their struggle to hold the land was like the egg attempting to hatch the chicken. Their struggle to remain in the promised land is like unto someone attempting to hold the kingdom of heaven without seeking the Kingdom of God. They wanted the judges to deliver them, but justice placed them in captivity.

It would appear to the natural minded as if Abimelech was prosperous and successful in all he did, but success is never a sign of being in the will of God; obedience is. Abimelech would soon find his end when a woman cast a millstone hitting him on the head (Judges 9:53). Unto the very end Abimelech retained his pride, telling his servants to kill him, lest it be said a woman has killed him, yet dead is dead (Judges 9:54). It took time to end the reign of Abimelech, but what counts is the timing of God, not the time of man. Nonetheless God rendered the wickedness of Abimelech upon Abimelech (Judges 9:56-57).

After the evil reign of Abimelech, God raised Tola to defend (deliver) Israel (Judges 10:1). After Tola, came Jair, after his death there was no judge, again the people sought after idols (Judges 10:6). This time the children not only worshiped idols, but chased all the idols of the heathen culture (Judges 10:6-7). The anger of the Lord was hot against them again, causing Him to sell them to the hands of the Philistines, who in turn placed them into the hands of the children of Ammom (Judges 10:7). Israel cried unto the Lord again but this time He said, "You have forsaken Me and served other gods: wherefore I will deliver you no more" (Judges 10:13). This doesn't mean, when God does send a deliverer He changed His mind, rather it shows as long as they hold to idols He won't deliver them. The people repented with their mouths, not with their deeds. They retained idols, yet asked for deliverance; therefore, before deliverance could come, the idols had to go.

The same holds true for us, God seems to deliver the Babe In Christ time and time again, yet they retain idols of theology, or idols of the mind, or other forms of idols, but the day comes when the Babe must grow up, they must cast the idols out of the land before God will deliver them. Does this mean we use our self-effort? Not at all, it means we make the decision to see those idols dethroned then removed by the New Man.

God is looking for enthusiasm not emotionalism, emotionalism makes foolish vows in the heat of temporary excitement. Jephthah was excited over the battle, he made a foolish vow to the Lord (Judges 11:30). Jephthah vowed when he returned from the battle, he would make a burnt offering from the first thing coming to him from his house. In his mind this would be some animal, but he found a nightmare he couldn't get out of (Judges 11:31). The first thing he saw was his daughter, yet his daughter said, "Let this thing be done for me" (Judges 11:37). Some of us might say, "well God understands, Jephthah could have said, oops, sorry I didn't know"; however, a vow before God is a vow indeed. Do we expect God to change His vows? Would God change His covenant with us? We represent God, how then can we change our vows to Him? If God can change His vows, covenants, or principles, we have no hope. However, this is the Day, although we make foolish vows, or entrap others into foolish vows, God has a way for us correct the situation. We must hear and obey, while learning not to make the same mistake again. Leaders can fall prey to foolish vows, “I want to give this much, will you enter covenant with me?”, “wow, sure why not?”. It’s the Why not we need to be aware of, if the person fails to give, the vow falls on the leader to give in their place to the ministry until the vow is complete. Be careful of foolish vows, James had the right answer, “if the Lord wills” (James 5:12 & 4:13-15).

It wasn't the Lord's will for Jephthah or anyone else to sacrifice their child; however, God is true and faithful to His Word, He expects us to be true and faithful to ours. Jephthah left no adjustment for his vow, it repented him and his daughter, but both knew a vow before God was a vow indeed. Jephthah's daughter was granted permission to bewail her virginity for two months (Judges 11:38-39). The daughters of Israel went yearly for four days a year to recall this incident and the result of foolish vows (Judges 11:40). Some feel since the vow entailed Jephthah's daughter, the vow was adjusted to keep her a virgin, thereby ending Jephthah's line, whichever the case may be, Jephthah's foolish vow cost him and others.

After Jephthah came Ibzan, then Elon, then Abdom, yet the people again sought idols (Judges 12:7-13:1). It wasn't every other generation who sinned, rather it was the generations who failed to keep God first place. Jephthah made a stupid vow, but at least he kept God first place. The role of the Judges opened the door for Samson the Nazarite (Judges 13:2-25). Samson was strong, so much so no man could bind him although his nation was under the oppressor. However, Samson came upon a woman called Delilah, but his downfall was not all Delilah's fault, rather Samson had a weakness for the daughters of strangers. Delilah used a lust which was already in the heart of Samson against him (Judges 14:1-4). Everyman is drawn away by his own lust, even to the point of man being able to take a good gift from God, then filter it through a lust to make it evil (Jude 4).

There comes a time when God says, "I will deliver them no more", but the children of whoredoms are given a path of deliverance for those who hear and obey. God looks at the children of whoredoms saying, "I will finish what I started with you". He didn't change His mind, rather He provided a path of deliverance. Having this in mind we can view Samson as he becomes a symbol to us. Samson's first wife was like unto the world, our first wife was the world (Babylon - Judges 14:4). Although this marriage to a Philistine seemed anything but good, just as our time in the world seemed anything but good, it was still God ordained (Judges 14:4). God allowed us to be born of the flesh in the midst of captivity to experience the darkness, causing us to seek the Light. After Samson's lesson where his heathen wife and friends tricked him, he still went out and found a girl by the name of Delilah who held her bond to the Philistines. Delilah made a vow to Samson, but divided herself between him and the Philistines (world - Judges 16:14-15). Delilah is a symbol of the spirit of error, or those who accept the spirit of the world. This was a game to her, another challenge, another hidden agenda to boast her own pride and ego. Could she cause this great man to fall? The challenge was there, she took it.

Delilah will bring three temptations, Samson will fall on the third. Those run by the spirit of error will preach Jesus, even talk about the Holy Ghost, but they are opposed (anti) to the ability of the Spirit to bring us into a Christ Like condition. They preach a split agenda, on one hand it's "give yourself to Jesus", but on the other is slander, unbelief, and hindering spirits. They want to be the cause of our "religious experience", or the center of our worship, thus they say "praise God", but in their hearts they have placed themselves as God, calling themselves their own god; therefore, they presume the praise and worship is based on their greatness, making themselves another god in the temple of God.

Delilah's three temptations are the same old temptations, from the same old serpent in the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Judges 16:6-15). Temptations don't come in a set order; they come as darts looking for a target. We never use the Power of Christ for self-gain (Matt 4:3); we never "show off" the Power of Christ for self-recognition (Matt 4:6); we never use wicked means to accomplish what we assume to be a Godly result (Matt 4:8-10). The suggestion may sound good, it may have a little success, the world does it, it's legal, so what's the big deal? Wrong spirit, witchcraft works, that's why witches use it (Acts 13:6 & 16:19). However, the Power of Christ is greater, causing witchcraft to be subdued (Acts 13:9 & 16:18).

Nonetheless, Samson first told Delilah, seven green (moist) cords could bind him, but his vow never included being bound (Judges 16:7). Samson then said, if new ropes were used he could be bound, again his vow never included being bound (Judges 16:11). These elements couldn't bind the man of God, but when his vow was known and broken, his power and (sight) eyes were lost  (Judges 16:17-19). The man is playing a mind game, pride finds an entrance when we play mind games. He assumed he could fool her each time, but he was getting closer and closer to the wrong fruit. We are told of the importance of Jephthah’s vow, here the vow was a game to Samson, thus he lost what little he did have (Judges 16:21). When we lose the Power of Christ, we lose the ability to hear the Lord, without ears to hear, we will follow cunningly devised fables. However, Samson gained a last burst of Power greater than his first. The Church hasn’t died, the Body isn't defeated, we have a hope for Great Power. Samson’s vow included his hair, Paul equated hair as a metaphor for the anointing, to Samson his power was in his vow, when his hair was removed, he felt his power was gone, indicating his vow was violated, or he failed.

The story of Samson proves many things, the position is not something to play with, it’s something to honored. When the person of God falls based on their iniquity, the world praises their gods for the victory (Judges 16:24). The repentance of Samson gained him strength for a moment, but the moment was more than enough to bring the mocking of the world down on their heads. Samson killed more of the enemy in one push, then he killed all the days prior (Judges 16:30).

Samson pushed against the supporting pillars of the devil's house, the walls came down on the devil's workers, of course Samson also died in the process. God said, our vows are important, to prove it He also said Offer unto Him thanksgiving (for what  He has done), and pay our vows unto the Most High (Ps 50:14).

Next would come a compromise, as Micah (not the prophet) would use money dedicated to the Lord to make a graven image (Judges 17:1-3). Micah should have rendered unto God, the things of God, but his lust drove him to form his own god. Any of us can take something dedicated to the Lord, and form an idol out of it. Ministries are tools, not gods, yet for a ministry to live, it must die. When a ministry suffers death, it’s not made non-existent, rather it began at the Cross, it must die to the world, then be raised in the Power of His Christ. However, a ministry running from death produces carnal experiences laced with emotionalism; like anything carnal, the experiences will be short lived; thereby giving birth to self-based Pharisees, or Legalists.

In Micah’s case a Levite would come along, but instead of rebuking Micah for the image, the Levite took advantage of Micah (Judges 17:9-10). Micah lost his images, the Levite lost as well, including the city in the end (Judges 18:24-27). Micah produced a "wounded one" in the Way, but the Wounded One was God’s people. Instead of helping the Wounded one the Levite assisted the attacker, both the Levite and Micah lost.

In those days everyone did as they willed, including homosexual activity, rape and other related acts, all of which are the flesh ruling the mind, producing death (Judges 19:1-20:17). Then came fear as the result, although it was the fear of the preservation of the tribes of Israel, it caused the men to take many wives, whether the women wanted to be their wife or not; however, at this time the desire of women was to have babies to keep the family lines going, no matter what (Judges 20:35-21:24). They reached back to the past to justified their actions; after all, didn't Jacob have two wives? However, we also saw how God warned them not to look to the past to justify the present. God allowing something, and God approving of it are very different. Just as God submitting to our will, or our will submitting to God's Will are much different. To these people, the promise to hold the land was the most important thing; however, the means used to bring the result, caused them more problems and sorrow. We can believe and obey God to bring His desire to pass, or we can believe the desire, then use the pride of life to bring what we assume is the promise to pass; the latter produces sorrow. These people did what they assumed to be right in their own eyes, moving them from worshipping the Lord, to the extreme of allowing the flesh to rule them.

The history of Israel holds much for any child of God, explaining the mercy and longsuffering of God, yet it holds the justice of God as well. God does what He must, it isn't always what He likes. If our condition lacks mercy, we can't give mercy; if we can't give mercy we can't receive mercy, yet it's God's mercy forgiving our sins, or healing our bodies. Our sins were forgiven for Christ's sake, yet the proviso is for us give Mercy to others. When we gave our token of water baptism, it was signing the contract to forgive by the same Mercy (water) we received from God. However, the vow and token are based in the decision, before the action. We make the decision to forgive, then God will apply His forgiveness on us. Then the time of testing to firm the decision, if we are serious God will impart His Mercy, we then can impute mercy on others. The more we forgive, the more we are formed into vessels of honor (Mark 11:25-26, Matt 6:12 & Jn 20:23).

Looking back to Joshua 23:13, we compare it to Judges 2:3; in Joshua it’s “thorns in your eyes”, but in Judges it’s “thorns in your sides”; however in Joshua the word Scourges also means Pierce, as a thorn would do. Judges condenses the phrase, yet we see the obvious connection to Paul’s thorn in the flesh. This area defines the thorn as people, Second Corinthians 13:1 also defines it as carnal minded people. A thorn in the flesh is flesh related, it’s purpose comes from the flesh to get us to react by the flesh.

Now we move from Judges to Ruth to find our hope in the Kinsmen Redeemer. These people had Judges, but after they were delivered, they failed again. Their example shows we need Someone greater than the event to keep us in the position of deliverance. Ruth is a great love story, but if one misses the point they are left reading about a love, rather than having it.


RUTH

Elimelech was married to Naomi, they had two sons, one named Mahlon, the other named Chilion (Ruth 1:2). Elimelech means God Of The King, but Elimelech died in Moab, then Mahlon became Sick, he too died in Moab. Chilion means Destruction or Failing, he died in Moab as well. Naomi means Pleasant, but it would seem she was cursed up to her ears; however, God had a plan and a purpose in a situation appearing on the surface to be evil, but this event neither began evil or ended evil, rather it was Good for all God's children. Naomi will judge the event by the event, entering self-pity, but Ruth will not let the event overcome her based on her love for Naomi. Both Mahlon and Chilion married daughters of the Moabites by the names of Orpah and Ruth, both Orpah and Ruth are Moab names. Ruth means Friend, Orpah means Back Of Neck, coming from a word meaning Stiffnecked; therefore, the friend (Ruth) would stick with the pleasant one (Naomi) when sickness and destruction were in the same house.

Moab looked at Naomi as a stranger, unlike the Jewish Law, the Moabites didn't look kindly on strangers, Naomi wanted to go back to Judah (Ruth 1:7), thus Naomi told her daughters-in-law to return to their mother's houses (Ruth 1:8). Both daughters-in-law made a Vow to return with Naomi to Naomi's homeland, but only Ruth maintained her vow; Orpah (stiff necked) reneged (Ruth 1:12-15). Orpah is a type and shadow of those who vow, but end running from the responsibility. Ruth is a type and shadow of those who remain, when there appears no other reason to do so. The prosperity was gone, the hope of prosperity was also gone, yet Ruth was motivated by love, thus love bonded Ruth to Naomi.

Both Orpah and Ruth show us the bad and good fish in the net, as well as how endurance through love brings the reward. Some enter based on the reward, yet if they can't see the reward, they run; however, others enter based on their love, they will find the greatness of God's Love. For them the event doesn't matter, the Love does. Ruth made the decision to deny her desires by saying, "where you go, I will go; and where you lodge, I will lodge, your people shall be my people and your God my God; where you die, will I die and there will I be buried" (Ruth 1:16-17). Ruth put an action to her vow, which in turn made it a confession. She didn't make the confession hoping the decision would come; her decision produced her confession of Love. This same confession is the one we make to Jesus: Wherever He goes, we will go, without question; where He lodges, we will lodge; His people are our people; His is our God: we refuse to serve other gods; He died on the cross, thus we will be crucified with Christ, yet we will live by the Life of Christ in us. When we make the decision to deny the self, we are giving the Spirit permission to crucify us, thus the phrase "with Christ", really denotes the method. The result produces the Life of Jesus in us by the Spirit, so we might have Life More Abundantly.

Elimelech had property in the land of Judah, but there was no provision in the Law for the widow to inherit the land, nor was there a provision for a Moabites to inherit the land. There was a provision for the daughter of a Jew to inherit if there were no sons, but Naomi had sons, although both died, she had sons nonetheless.

Naomi could return to her homeland, but she would be nothing more than a Stranger, unless some relative took her in. Naomi didn't have a prayer in Moab, but she did have a chance in her homeland. Ruth was a different case, she had no right to anything under the Law, thus she had more to lose by leaving Moab. If a Jewish man died before his wife gave birth to a male child, she would go to her husband's brother, but she would have to be Jewish in order to enter the provision. Ruth was married to a Jew, but she was not a Jew. Since she didn't have any children by a Jewish husband, she had no standing, thus her venture into the land held nothing for her, other than her love for Naomi. The "house of him who will not build up his brother's house" would come into play, but Ruth was motivated by her Love for Naomi, love always covers a multitude of sins.

For one to be a king, their father whether adopted or natural had to be in the line from David, through Solomon; however, in order to be Jewish, one's mother had to be Jewish back to Sarah. Matthew traces the kingly line, Luke the Jewish as we saw. Luke trances the Jewish line back to Nathan, a son of David, but Matthew traces the kingly line back to Solomon, another son of David, yet both came from the line of Boaz and Ruth. We have said all this to set the stage, Naomi wanted to return to her homeland, Ruth wanted to go with her, but Ruth had to give up everything, including her family line in order to join herself to Naomi as a “daughter”, therein lays the key to the mystery. Unless Ruth had Jewish connections she could not go to the brother of her dead husband. Ruth is a type and shadow of each of us who decided Jesus is the most important person in our lives. If we truly love Him more than family, or even our own souls, then we will endure until the end. It's not loving Jesus instead of our family, rather it's a priority, do we love Jesus above all things? Or do we just say we do? (Matt 10:37 & Luke 14:26).

It's one thing to long for home, another to get there then find there is nothing. When Ruth and Naomi came to Bethlehem, Naomi "hit the pits"; telling Ruth, "Call me not Naomi, call me Mara" (Mara means bitter - Ruth 1:20). Even in the pit, Naomi saw God in control, as she said, "I went out full and the Lord brought me home again empty" (Ruth 1:21). Naomi reached into the very bottom of her heart, then gave her sacrifice of praise. A sacrifice of praise only counts, when there appears no reason to praise the Lord. When there appears no reason to Hope, yet we Hope in God, showing we have reached the area of walking by faith.

Naomi had relatives, but even a man like Boaz would never marry a Moabitess. Ruth proved her favor by her kindness to Naomi, thus Ruth was looked upon as Naomi's daughter, rather than a Moabitess. Ruth didn't parade herself around saying, "I'm Noami's daughter, don't you know"; she loved Naomi, she also made sure Naomi's need was cared for. Ruth gave Mercy, and Mercy would return, shaken together and running over. Ruth is also a type and shadow of each person who has the measure of faith, they don’t need the Spirit to show Mercy. Naomi's family proved their love for Ruth while in Moab, now Ruth was proving her love for Naomi in a strange land. When we were yet sinners, Jesus proved His love for us on the Cross, the Father proved His love for us by sending Jesus, now it's our turn to prove our Love for God. Jesus said if we Love Him, we will keep His commandments, beginning with the least Commandments of Mercy.

Naomi had a kinsmen of her husband's, a mighty man of wealth by the name of Boaz. Ruth went to the fields of Boaz to glean the ears of corn (wheat), while there Boaz spotted her (Ruth 2:1-6). Ruth asked permission to glean, but Boaz told Ruth to glean in his fields only: Boaz based this on the information supplied to him regarding her kindness toward Naomi. Therefore, her works went before her, becoming a testimony of love and mercy at work. She didn't have to tell Boaz, "well brother Boaz, you know I have done much for your people" or "Boaz, I cared for Naomi, worked my fingers to the bone, yet you, you jerk, you did nothing, nothing I tell you". Ruth allowed her inner kindness to speak for her, meaning her kindness became more evident than any words she could have used (Ruth 2:8-10). Boaz also discerned Ruth's heart toward the Lord God of Israel (Ruth 2:12).

In order to understand the importance of this, we must know the Jew does not use missionary services to gain converts, nor are they interested in missionary services, except among their own. If a non-Jew desires to join the Jewish religion, they are automatically rejected twice. The third time the person must make a petition, the reasoning behind this is to determine if the person really wants to be a Jew, yet they would be a proselyte, or a foreigner who came to dwell with the Jews. Ruth never requested to join the Jews, yet if she was taken by a kinsmen from the family line of her mother-in-law: she still wouldn't be Jewish, but when Naomi accepted her as “daughter” things would change, entering “as was supposed” where Ruth was considered Jewish based on Naomi being Jewish, making the children of Boaz and Ruth Jewish. Here is a very interesting twist, Ruth was not a Jew, she was clearly a Moabitess, if ones mother must be Jewish, would not the line from her remove all those after her from being Jewish? It would, except we have another evidence of God's mighty hand. If Ruth's husband was still alive the answer would be simple, none of her offspring could be Jewish, but we have an interesting set of events; her husband dies, leaving her not only a widow, but with a choice, if she leaves Naomi and returns to Moab, then she remains a Moabitess; however, she made the choice to care for Naomi, then Naomi called her "daughter", being a form of adoption (Ruth 2:2). Since Ruth was now the daughter of Naomi, then the offspring of Ruth would be Jewish. God had this well in hand, Amen?

Boaz made sure Ruth had more than enough wheat by causing several additional handful's to be cast in her direction (Ruth 2:14-18). Ruth didn't ask for the abundance, her kindness drew the excess. At the time of the harvest all the men would gather at the threshing floor. The men remained in the place of threshing during the entire time of the harvest. It would be this point in time when Naomi had Ruth lay at the feet of Boaz, but Ruth had to wait until all the men had fallen asleep (Ruth 3:1-5). This doesn't mean to lay sexually with Boaz, rather she was Naomi's token to her near kinsmen (Ruth 3:6-10). If Boaz took Ruth, then Ruth would be Naomi's token, not Ruth's token; therefore, the offspring of Ruth would be accounted as Jewish. However, there was a hitch in the plan, there remained another who could make the claim, another kinsmen who had first choice. Some women are offended at this situation, yet it has a good purpose, but nothing to do with being a male chauvinist. God provided a means where the woman was just as important as the male, yet He also set apart Israel as His own. God gave the kingly line to the males, but the birthright depended on the women. Paul saw this and said, For as the woman is of the man, even so is the man also by the woman; but all things of God (I Cor 11:12). This acceptance of Boaz, coupled with the presentation of Ruth was not Ruth being forced to accept Boaz, if it was the case she would be forced to accept the first in line. Rather we find Ruth desired Boaz as a husband, Boaz already let his feelings be known, yet there remained an obstacle,

Ruth didn't push the issue, rather Naomi told her to wait and watch the Lord work, for the day would not pass until the matter was settled (Ruth 3:18). Boaz went to the other kinsman providing the cost of Elimelech's land, thus who ever took the land also took Ruth, but the other kinsman wasn't about to take a Moabitess (Ruth 4:1-5). This would make it appear as if Ruth is a piece of property, but being a Stranger in the land one would think so. The only way she could have Jewish offspring was to be incorporated into the property of a Jew, while her mother was a Jew, proving the adoption. Even if Boaz fathered the child, it still didn't make the child Jewish, Ruth not only had to be incorporated into some property owned by a Jew, but her mother had to be Jewish in order for her to make the claim of being Jewish. The kinsman told Boaz, "I cannot redeem it for myself, lest I mar my own inheritance" (Ruth 4:6). This kinsmen knew if Ruth went with the package, his own family would reject him, but Boaz wanted Ruth, the property was an added bonus.

This brings us to the connection between John the Baptist, the Pharisees, the Law, and Ruth. To confirm the law of the kinsmen redeemer a man had to pluck off his shoe and give it to his neighbor, as we saw in the Law (Ruth 4:7). John The Baptist came doing one type of baptism, but preached another (Mark 1:4 & 1:7-8). The baptism of John was in his name, by water unto repentance, saying the people should believe. However, John's preaching clearly showed it would be Jesus who would Baptize with the Holy Ghost and Fire, yet Jesus baptized none during the earthly ministry, either in water, or with the Holy Ghost (Jn 4:2). The Doctrine of Baptisms points to the One Purpose, which gives us One Baptism with many parts. It's really not difficult, in the Greek there are different words for our English word "one". The word One could mean the one and only without parts, or it could mean one made up from parts, such as the One Body of Christ. The same Greek word for “One” is used for One Baptism, but in reference to the One Lord, it means one and only one, without parts. Therefore, we can have One Baptism with the Doctrine of Baptisms, since the reference to One Baptism shows only the Body of Christ has a God given permission to baptize in water. Any “baptism” outside the Body of Christ is not in accordance with the Authority of God, thus it’s a bath, a swim, or getting wet, but not a baptism. John’s baptism ended when John was cast into prison, the effectiveness ended when Jesus told us to go in His Name (Matt 28:18-20 & Acts 19:2-6).

Going back to the Law, we recall how it said, if a man died, yet the dead man had a brother, the dead man's wife would go to the brother seeking to dwell with him but if the man rejected his brother's wife, the dead man's wife would loose the shoe of the live brother in front of the elders, then spit in the man's face and say, "So shall it be done unto the man who will not build up his brother's house" (Deut 25:5-9). In the case of Ruth, there was no brother, but there was a kinsman, or one in the family order. To the Pharisees the Law applied, but not to us, we are not the brother or a member of the marriage, rather we enter based on our Kinsman Redeemer Jesus calling us to be the Bride of Christ.

The kinsmen redeemer went further than marriage, it included the property. Boaz took the responsibility of the Household, including all the items of property. Each piece of Elimelech's property was transferred to the ownership of Boaz, the property would include Ruth, plus being the daughter, she became Jewish. This loosed shoe didn't mean the other kinsman was rejected from Israel, rather it means they rejected the responsibility of caring for the family, thus they also rejected any ownership or right to the property.

Ruth put her mind on the task, not on outside interests, she cast away her old life, sought the new, sought God to gain entry into the promised house. From Boaz and Ruth would come Obed, from Obed beget Jesse, from Jesse would come David the first king in Israel who was both called and anointed of God; whereas Saul was the first king appointed by the people, but called a captain in the testing and training to be a king by God, thus Saul never made it to be a king in God's eyes, making David the first king of Israel. The people called Saul a king, but  people don't dictate God's Will.

As a result of Naomi taking Ruth as her daughter the lineage of Ruth changed. If it wasn’t the case, then Jesus wasn’t Jewish. Say what? Yes, if the child is Jewish because the mother is, then it stands Ruth had to be Jewish, yet she was a Moabitess. The agreement of adoption worked both ways, a son could be adopted, but so could a daughter, as Ruth (as was supposed).


FIRST SAMUEL

First and Second Samuel are named for the prophet and priest Samuel, since he was both prophet and priest (I Sam 2:18), but the separation between First and Second Samuel is determined by the change from Saul to David in reference to the kingly order; whereas First and Second Kings is separated by the change between the Prophets Elijah and Elisha. Under the Law of Moses, a king could be a prophet, a prophet could be a king, but a king could not be a priest, nor a priest could not be a king. God separated the government order from the religious order, thus David could be a king and prophet, but he could not legally be a king and priest. Samuel could be priest and prophet, but not legally a king and priest. The only exception, as we know was during the Maccabees period when Judah Aristobulus being a priest crowned himself as king of Judah, but he was self-appointed, the result was Rome taking over the land, then Herod killing the remaining kingly Maccabees order, including Herod’s wife and her two sons. There was never a legitimate king – priest, or priest – king in the entire history of Israel. However, each and everyone who has entered the Kingdom of God has been made a priest and king by Jesus (Rev 1:6). We cannot hold to the old priestly order and the New, they are opposed in their legitimacy.

How do we know Samuel was a priest? In First Samuel 2:18 he was serving the Lord with his Ephod (priestly garment) on. We also see Samuel was called as a prophet (I Sam 3:20), thus Samuel was both priest and prophet. Before Israel had a king, she had a prophet, before the king could be effective, they had to listen to the prophet of God. The king position is government, thus we find the Order for the Church is the Apostle, then Prophet (I Cor 12:28). When we hear and receive the words of the prophet, we gain the reward, but if we reject the words we become "kings troubled by evil spirits".

We must also keep in mind, when Jesus came the kingly order stopped for the nation, as did the prophet role, thus the New Covenant became the place to find God’s priests, kings and prophets. The only prophets in Israel are the written words of the Prophets, making them one of the Two Witnesses.

First Samuel begins with Hannah, the mother of Samuel pouring her heart out before the Lord for a "man child" (I Sam 1:11). Hannah becomes a type and shadow of Israel, who cried and cried for "the Man Child", but unlike Hannah, the Woman rejected Her Man Child (Rev 12:1 & 12:5-6). Up to this time Hannah had no children, much less a male child. This again relates to "multiply and replenish the earth"; if a wife didn't produce a male child, it was her fault, not the husbands. This of course is Agenda, based on Sarai sending Abraham into the handmaiden, which ended proving it wasn't Abraham's fault; however, in truth there was no fault, only timing; Agenda leaves no room for the timing of God. Our promise is centered on multitudes of people possessing the Kingdom of God; there is a difference between ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands from thousands. The latter explains taking away thousands from the tribes to bring about the 144,000, thus the word Remnant refers to the Remaining work to be do, who are assigned to Judgment. However, we see the Church as ten thousand times ten thousand, showing we are the ones who gained the "multiplying". There is a purpose for the Rapture, a purpose going further than a reward for those of us who are alive and remain, one we will see in the words of the prophets.

To these people a woman without a man child was a curse to her family. In our case, the Bride without the Groom is a shame to us. The children of Israel looked at nature and devised the method of multiple reproduction, but God made the animals to serve us, not for us to use as a means to complete the promise. From the natural observations or what the people saw, it appeared the only purpose for the woman was reproduction, but if it’s the case, the only purpose for the man is labor, both of these are products of the fall nature (Gen 3:16-18). They forgot "God created he him, male and female created he them" (Gen 1:27). We could ask, Why did God allow these chosen people to fall into multiple wife thinking? God will not debate the issue, even divorce was an issue granted based on the hardness of man's heart, not the righteousness of God. Yet, in Jeremiah we find God asking for a divorce, so is God’s heart hard? (Jere 3:8-9). No, the heart of the people grew hard as they ran after other gods (idols), committing adultery and fornication (rejection of their vows), leaving God no choice.

When the evil desire in us overrides the love we have for God, we will debate, cry, beg, then finally God will say, Go ahead, but it doesn't mean He ordained our action, approved of it, or even allowed it, it merely means He refused to argue or debate the issue with us. We pray "not my will but Your Will", then figure some method to have our will complete, thus proving we were tempting God, the result will be a test coming from God to expose our folly. With that, we also find there are lessons and purposes in all things pertaining to God. God will allow, yet He will also make a route of escape for us; in the process we learn as we become cleaned the more (I Cor 10:13) .

Hannah was praying, Eli the priest saw her lips move but he didn't hear any words, assuming she was "drunken" (I Sam 1:13). Hannah means Favored from a root word meaning Merciful or Gracious, although Mary means Bitter, she was still Favored before the Lord. Samuel means Heard Of God, which has a dual meaning, first Hannah was heard of God, yet Samuel will hear from God. Samuel didn't come out of the womb prophesying, rather during his youth there was no open vision of the Lord (I Sam 3:1). This doesn't mean God was asleep, nor does it mean "visions had passed away"; although it was a common thought. God was preparing a great work, thus the beginning of the work was hidden from the eyes of man. Instead of saying, "it has passed away", we should be preparing for the next move of God by entering faith.

Samuel will anoint the people's choice as a captain over Israel, later he will anoint God's choice as king over Israel. Saul and David are symbols of the kingdom of heaven; David is the also a symbol of one who seeks the Lord with all his heart, yet makes many mistakes along his path, nonetheless, David's love for the Lord would cover a multitude of sins. Saul represents the "bad fish", David the "good fish": these symbols are provided in the Shadow, but it doesn't mean David and Saul were in the kingdom, since no one was able to enter the kingdom of heaven until Jesus appeared as the Word made flesh.

Hannah promised to raise Samuel as a Nazarite (I Sam 1:11); however, instead of giving Samuel to the Lord, Hannah decided to loan him to the Lord (I Sam 1:28). This is a type and shadow of giving the event to God, but then demanding control over the method God deals with it. It's one thing to give someone or something to God, another to give Him the control while praising Him for His work. Some of us say, "I give it to You Lord", then when He begins to work we say, "Wait, I don't like this", which is a sign of how we gave the trouble to the Lord, yet demanded control over the method of operation. Control is a carnal means to maintain or obtain dominion over people and events, or to get people to do what we want in the manner we want for our self-pleasure. Discipleship is training someone for their own good, so they can do the work the Lord has for them.

In those days, one was either a son unto God, or a son of Belial, although Eli was the high priest, his two sons were sons of Belial (I Sam 2:12). Eli's sons worked around the temple, but used force and manipulation to gain for their self interests, which is control (I Sam 2:13-17). Eli's sons are a symbol of those run by the spirit of error, Eli a symbol of those who tolerate them, yet allow them to continue to handle the things of God. Eli would expose the sin of his children to their face; however, they would not hear the warning, eventually the Lord would be forced to destroy them in order to preserve the priesthood (I Sam 2:22-25). Instead of treating his sons as heathens, he allowed them to continue to service the Ark; Eli's iniquity caused his entire house (ministry) to be cursed. Choice was provided, Eli knew the history of tossing strange fire, he knew the evil of his sons, yet allowed the evil to invade the priesthood, he had no excuse, God is equal.

Samuel as a child worked in the temple, learning of the Lord through knowledge (I Sam 2:18 & 2:26). Samuel is a symbol of one who is called, but before they take the position they must engage in the process of learning. Unfortunately, at times he was in the presence of those who followed another spirit. Some of us end in places which seem like the home for the synagogue of Satan, we assume God sent us there to straighten out these “carnal minded people"; however, knowledge and wisdom are different. We know something is wrong, but we really don’t know what to do about it, God sent us to Observe how destructive carnal minded leadership can be. Samuel observed the two sons of Eli, he knew the effects of wicked hands on the things of God, thus his experience in the house of Eli gave him the wisdom to handle the house of Saul. Evil has a place, we learn how not to engage in evil to accomplish what we presume is a Godly result by observation, much better than learning by experience, thus Samuel saw, but didn't involve himself in the evil. The temple was not simply a bunch of stones, it had many elements standing out. The Ark was still around in those days, as well as other items which either came from the Tabernacle. Early paintings, and Jewish tapestry show many of the items.

Although there were no clear visions (giving hope for the future) of the Lord in those days, there were prophets, one such prophet came to Eli with a word. Before the Lord's anger fell on Eli's house the prophet told Eli, "Wherefore kick you at My sacrifice and at My offering, which I have commanded in My habitation; and honor your sons above Me, to make yourselves fat with the chief of all the offerings of Israel My people?" (I Sam 2:27-30). Paul was called before he was born, but he didn't understand, or enter the calling until he came face to face with the Power and Light of Christ on the road to Damascus. When Paul was still Saul the Christian hunter he was convinced he was doing the will of God, so much so he felt God was pleased with him, even to the point of consenting to the death of Stephen (Acts 8-1). However, Light brings clarity, on the road to Damascus Paul heard the Lord say, “Saul, Saul why do you persecute Me?” (Acts 9:4). Saul was hunting Christians, not the Lord, but wait, a mystery regarding the “spirit of antichrist”. The spirit of antichrist is not “anti-God”, or “anti-Holy Ghost”, or “anti-Jesus”, it’s when someone is offended to the point of attacking those with the Spirit (I Jn 2:11 & 4:1-4). Saul was a Jew, Jesus came for the Jews, Stephen was a converted Jew, thus Saul was killing his own. However, when he heard Jesus say, “it is hard for you to kick against the pricks” he knew it referred right back to the warning given Eli. Clarity it’s a wonderful thing, the saying sparked Saul’s knowledge of the Scriptures knowing it was a warning, thus he responded with, “what will You have me to do?” (Acts 9:6). Saul’s knowledge alone wasn’t enough, it was the words of the Lord bringing clarity to the knowledge, then came his repentance and submission. God has always sent warnings for the purpose of correction unto perfection, but we have to accept the warnings to avoid the result of foolishness.

The prophet told Eli, in one day death would come to Eli's two sons, then God would raise Him up a faithful priest (I Sam 2:34-35). This alone shows the concern was the priesthood, not simply the evil of the two sons; therefore the evil was mingling evil into the office the Lord had established. Eli did nothing, his sons remained, thus the warning can come, what we do with it, is still up to us.

Since the visions of the Lord were precious in those days, and since there were no clear visions, Samuel didn't expect to "hear from God" (I Sam 3:1). One night the Lord called out, "Samuel", but Samuel thought it was Eli. Samuel woke Eli, but Eli said, "I called not" (I Sam 3:4-5). It happened again, and again Samuel went to Eli, but then Eli perceived it was the Lord calling Samuel, thus he told Samuel, "Go, lie down: and it shall be, if He call you, you shall say, Speak, Lord: for Your servant hears" (I Sam 3:8-9). One would think Eli would be excited to hear from the Lord, but Eli knew he was in trouble. The Lord came a third time, this time Samuel answered the call.

There are some who assume the Lord doesn't speak today, but Samuel shows recognition opens the door; therefore, walking around saying, "The Lord doesn't talk to us" closes the door. Eli could have said, "you're having a dream, it can't be God, God doesn't speak to us anymore, it’s passed away, next time you hear it, rebuke it in the Name of Jehovah", but he didn't , even this priest who was carnal, who failed to bring us his sons in the way they should go, knew the Lord speaks. Doesn't leave some of us with much of an excuse, does it? It still takes ears to hear, without a mouth saying, "The Lord does not speak" (I Sam 3:10). However, it was not the case with Samuel, he bowed, then said "Speak, for Your servant hears" (I Sam 3:10). Samuel made a decision to have submissive ears to hear, and he heard from the Lord. However, the lesson shows us how Samuel had to submit to recognize the Lord, before the Lord spoke to him. At times we must recognize just because the Lord is talking, doesn’t mean we are listening.

The Lord tells Samuel, "I will do a thing in Israel, at which both the ears of every one who hears it shall tingle" (I Sam 3:11). This is not the same as "itching ears"; itching ears seek "smooth sayings" (II Tim 4:3 & Isa 30:10). Jeremiah says, itching ears don't want to hear the warnings of God, rather they seek the pleasant things, some call it “good time faith” (Jere 27:9-10). God is going to come against Eli, but He also warns Samuel, thus at this point in time Samuel is found in the role of a prophet, he hears from the Lord, then speaks what he heard so others can have the chance to repent (I Sam 3:12-14).

Eli knew the Word of the Lord concerned him, thus he sought out and begged Samuel to tell him all the Lord said. Don't forget there were no open visions of the Lord, yet here was one. Eli knew the Lord God had spoken, he also knew he better find out what was said. This test is also for Samuel, it will determine if he will give the prophecy as the Lord gave it (I Sam 3:15-17). Although the prophecy pointed to the destruction of the house of Eli, Eli nonetheless said, "It is the Lord; let Him do what seems good to Him" (I Sam 3:18). This sounds like faith, but it wasn't, Eli is simply saying, "I give up, whatever God does, God does", but he could have changed paths, his sons could have changed paths, but both he and his sons rejected the warning. This type of prophecy is two-fold, it’s a warning, showing the foreknowledge of God, since God knew Eli and his sons would not change. It’s also a test toward the prophet, will he say what he should? Or attempt to avoid the issue by not saying anything?

Once the door for Samuel was open, the Lord continued speaking through him; as Samuel grew, he became the established prophet in the land (I Sam 3:20-21). Samuel wouldn't have to ask again, "is it the Lord?", the experience removed the danger of the "voice of the stranger", as he grew the voice of the Lord became clearer. The testing was to show Samuel we speak as an oracle when we say what the Lord wants said, in the manner the Lord wants it said, without taking away, or adding what we think should be the “right emotion”, or inserting what we think God should say.

Time went on, Samuel became the prophet in the land, but then the Philistines gathered against Israel. The people of Israel called for the Ark of the covenant; however, the two sons of Eli, named Hophni and Phinehas were in charge of the ark (I Sam 4:1-4). At this point in time they still had the Ark, but the Tabernacle was no more, the last time we hear of the Tabernacle is with Eli in Shiloh. The Tabernacle is a type and shadow of the Rapture, one second it's there, the next gone. The word Philistine means To wallow in the self, it's always the Self causing the trouble, but wallowing in it is worse.

The act of having the two wicked sons in charge of the Ark, is the same as giving the sons of perdition the pulpit, failure was in hand, victory was no where to be found. The Ark was brought to the camp, all Israel shouted causing fear to fall on the Philistines (I Sam 4:5-8). The Ark had power, it contained the Tablets of God, but the representatives were so evil, the power remained in the Ark, it couldn't help the people. Here is a pure example of the Yoke or Veil, the Ark was there, the Hope was there, but they veiled it, yet they couldn't see the failure before their eyes was their own fault. God allowed the Ark to be taken by the Philistines, both Hophni and Phinehas were killed. When Eli heard the Ark was taken, he fell backward and died (I Sam 4:8-18). Eli's daughter-in-law was with child, when she heard the news, she started hard labor, just before she died, she gave birth to a son naming him Ichabod (no honor) saying, "The glory is departed from Israel: because the ark of God was taken" (I Sam 4:20-22). The glory didn't depart because the Ark was taken, the Ark was taken because the two wicked sons in charge of it lacked the glory to keep it. Here is another type and shadow of how misinterpreting the event brings confusion, not clarity. The daughter-in-law placed too much emphasis on the Object, the Glory wasn’t gone, it just couldn’t surface. The Ark would nonetheless show its power, perhaps not in the manner the Philistines, or the Jews thought. The Philistines took the Ark to the house of their idol (Dagon), but in the morning they found their idol had fallen on its face before the Ark (I Sam 5:1-3). They took their idol, Dagon, placing him upright again, but the next morning they found their idol busted in pieces (I Sam 5:4-5). Their idol fell down and bowed to the Ark, but the two sons of Eli didn't bow to God. However, the Philistines still "stole the Ark", the Ark was now defending itself, thus God brought a plague upon the Philistines (I Sam 5:6-7).

The Philistines returned the Ark to Israel, along with five golden mice and five golden emerods (I Sam 6:1-5). The mice represented the idols of man being nothing more than mice, the emerods regarded the plague. The Levites took the Ark back as the men of Bethshemesh gave burnt offerings, but they also looked inside the Ark, causing the Lord to smote them (I Sam 6:15-19). This shows, there can be a prophet in the land, the enemy embarrassed, the Ark back in our hands, yet people can die for doing foolish self-motivated things violating the principals of God. The rules were set, only the High Priest could view the contents of the Ark, only the Levities could move it.

The people ran to Samuel saying, "cease not to cry (plead) unto the Lord our God for us, so He will save us out of the hand of the Philistines" (I Sam 7:3-8). Although it's important to have intercessors, it's just as important to pray for ourselves. The people wanted someone to pray for them, rather than bow before God. Some run around looking for the "man with the prayer of faith", but the prayer of faith is said by the one in need, whereas, the Elders give the prayer of praise (James 5:13-15). This is the same as looking for Moses to stand between us and God. The leaders build the saints, they don't stand between the saint and God.

Samuel was a man of God, yet his sons were not. Raising our children in the way they must go, doesn't guaranty they won't go astray, it does mean God will make many ways for them to see their folly, so they can return to the right way. We can't assume God will remove choice from our children simply because we raised them in the way they should go. It doesn't mean God will ignore their behavior, it simply means we have planted Seeds, another will Water, God will bring the Increase in His time and timing. We know from the context here how Eli raised his sons in the methods of service, but something was lacking. We don't see where Eli taught them why one should Love the Lord, or to know the Ways of the Lord. Raising a child in the manner they shall go, entails being an example of one who loves and trusts the Lord regardless of the event. Children are not stupid, they are more moved by what they see, then what they hear. If they see one type of person in the local church, yet another type at home, how is the example raising them in the manner they should go?

The people knew Samuel's sons didn't walk right, the memory of Eli's sons caused the people to seek a king over them (I Sam 8:5-7). For some reason all of us think "if we have a leader, it will be alright"; yet history shows it’s not always the case. The people wanted a king to guide them, rather than God. We know Saul was appointed to be the first king of Israel, but God says, David is the first king. This is not confusing, God will appoint Saul as a captain with the promise of being a king; the people will treat Saul as a king, but God will still treat him as the anointed captain in training. In the people's eyes Saul was king, in God's eyes Saul was a captain being trained and tested for the position of king. Did God know Saul would fail? Yes, but Saul was the people’s choice, not God’s. The Saul, David allegory answer the question, “did God pick me, or am I the only one who would do it?”, or, "well God picked me, but only after others rejected the call", yet didn't God know those prior would reject the call? Yes, so God presented the call to others knowing they would reject it, then presented to you knowing you wouldn't. Why? So they could never say, "Lord, you never gave me a chance". In this case God yielded to the people, yet used Saul as a test for David, thus Good still reigned in the event from beginning to end. Whatever happens in the kingdom is still under God's control, it may not seem Right to us, it may not even seem Holy to us, but our belief says, "God Is",  based on the knowledge of God having purpose, even if we don't know it, or understand it.

Saul's testing is our example of the called never making it to the chosen; whereas, David is our example of one who moves to be chosen. David will make many mistakes, but the mercy of God will cover his repentant heart.

Samuel warns the people what happens if the people pick their leader independent of God, saying, the king will take their sons for the military, and appoint leaders over the people taking their harvest to feed his house (taxes - I Sam 8:11-16). The Tithe will turn on them, as the king will take a tenth, rather than the priests, thus it jumped to twenty percent (I Sam 8:17-19). Nonetheless, the people still wanted a king to care for them, man hasn't changed (I Sam 8:19-21). This establishment of government will be used by God in the long run, but we see the warning; we can also see the desire came because the nations around them had kings. They wanted to be like unto other nations, rather than set apart to from them. The lust to envy coupled with competition was driving them to want something out of God’s desire, yet God will give them a king. God worked it into the plan, but we can see it was not God’s desire for them to have a king.

Saul was from the tribe of Benjamin, there was none like him in all Israel (I Sam 9:1-2). The people always pick their leaders by what they see, later Samuel will learn, God picks His leaders by their hearts, not their physical stature. Saul was in the land of Zuph seeking out a Seer or Prophet of God, this desire to seek out seers would be Saul's downfall later (I Sam 9:5-9). Saul asked the whereabouts of the prophet, he was told the people were waiting for the prophet to bless the sacrifice before they ate (I Sam 9:10-13). Saul did many things before he took the time to seek God or have his sacrifice blessed, he would also make many self-determinations regarding sacrifices. This first introduction of Saul gives us a man seeking the knowledge of God, but it also gives us the impatience of the wanton soul. The people knew if God blesses their food, then sickness and disease would be driven from them; however, for those who are in Christ, they are priests with the ability to bring the blessing, without seeking a Seer (Rev 1:6).

The Lord told Samuel, Saul would be anointed as a "captain over Israel"; a captain is not a king (I Sam 9:16). Simply  because the people demand a king, doesn't mean God will give them one immediately, but it does mean God will give them a leader. There are two words used for Captain in the Hebrew, The Hebrew Nagid means Prince, Captain or Leader, referring to a religious, or military leader. The Hebrew Sar means a Leader, or Prince. Saul was known by both Hebrew words; therefore, Saul was anointed as a prince, promised the kingdom if he passed the testing and training to determine if he could obtain the promised position. Saul will be called “king”, but we find it’s really calling something a not, which could be. David will be anointed as king, yet he will also go through a time of testing. God looked at Saul as a captain, yet the people called Saul their king, thus just calling one a king doesn't make them one in God's eyes. Just saying we are Christian, doesn't make us Christ Like in God's eyes. Not all who call themselves Israel are of Israel, not all who call themselves Christian are Christ Like. Samuel makes it clear, Saul is anointed as a captain, not a king (I Sam 10:1).

God gave Saul "another heart", this isn't a "clean" heart, or a "created" heart, rather it refers to an attitude based on the anointing for the position; later we will see what happens to Saul when God takes away the anointing. This heart would be one of peace, yet the real Saul would not surface until he makes a move against the anointing on David. David refused to come against Saul, but Saul would come against David, thus we find the symbols of the Good Fish in David, the Bad Fish in Saul. The lesson is of course the anointing, if we are anointed one minute, yet come against one who is also anointed, we cause our anointing to cease.

Right after Saul was anointed by Samuel, he would come across some prophets, he begin to prophesy with them, producing the saying, "Is Saul also among the prophets?" (I Sam 10:6-11). There are prophets, and there are prophets, some prophets are like unto Samuel, some like Balaam. This phrase will return toward the end of Saul's reign. He began with the prophets of God, prophesying toward God, yet ended with the prophesy coming against his nakedness (no anointing). Saul was called to be a captain to work toward being a king, not a prophet. It doesn't say Saul was a prophet, rather he sought the  anointing of the prophets, but found himself taken by the emotions of the moment. The anointing of David will be evident, but Saul will attack it, simply because he can't steal it. The spirit lusting to envy which Saul retained all this time will come to the surface when God takes the "given heart", as the evil spirit of Saul becomes the evil spirit on Saul. How can God put an evil spirit on anyone? By taking away the anointing, the result is the real “Saul” coming forth.

Saul was promised the kingdom, God gave him the anointing to obtain it; however, Saul will lose what little he thought he had, his kingdom was taken from him. Our concern is to ascertain how to hold the kingdom, not lose it, but in knowing how Saul lost it, we can learn how not to lose ours. We know Saul will sit as a king, yet David will be the anointed king. The time element will prove David, yet testify against Saul. David will honor the anointing given to Saul, although Saul won't be operating under the anointing, nor honor the anointing on himself, he will not honor David, or the anointing on David, making Saul someone who is “anti-anointing”.

David knew it wasn't the person, but the anointing to be honored, thus one honors the anointing, even if the person is a jerk. This is the hardest of all tests, being faced with one who has the anointing, but refuses to honor the anointing on others. They attack, slander, lie, use strife, envy and division, yet we are bound to walk in Love, Faith and Mercy. We can't use their methods, then claim we are not of them, the moment we use their methods, we are of them. David was first anointed by Samuel in Bethlehem, but as king David, he was anointed in Hebron (II Sam 2:1-4), yet he was king in Jerusalem. There are three cities of David, of course the city of his birth is Bethlehem, then Jerusalem as king, but there is also Zion, which isn’t really a city, but a mount. Accordingly the city Jerusalem is built on Zion the mount, but prophetically there is a city of “Zion” where the 144,000 are marked (Rev 14:1 & 7:4-8).

The Ammonites came against Jabeshgilead, but Nahash the Ammonite made a costly proposal of peace. Nahash wanted to make covenant, but seal it by thrusting out the right eyes of the men of Israel (I Sam 11:1-3). Here we find Peace is the issue, but the method is not Godly in nature. The right eye is a symbol of the single eye, the left eye, to the Jew is a symbol of the evil eye, thus if they lost their right eye, they would be left with the evil eye. When Saul and the people heard this, they lifted their voices and wept (I Sam 11:4). The Spirit of the Lord came on Saul, his anger was kindled greatly. Anger from God is different from uncontrolled anger, rather it’s to stir up courage. Neither can we forget the Season for these people is not the “Day”, rather it’s still the time of darkness. Here the Spirit of the Lord is protecting the people of God by instilling courage in Saul, thus Saul is anointed as a leader, or Captain at this time, but not a king.

Saul took a yoke of oxen, cut them up, then sent them throughout all Israel saying, "Whosoever comes not forth after Saul and after Samuel, so shall it be done unto his oxen" (I Sam 11:7). Saul didn't say, so shall it be done unto him, thus the slavery mentality was still hanging over these people, the thought of losing their possessions caused them to fight (I Sam 11:7).

When it was known Saul was to be captain over Israel, some denied the call and challenged Saul's called position, but this battle will turn the hearts of the people toward Saul. The people called out to God for a leader, yet when God sends them a leader some are displeased, because God didn't meet their expectations, meaning God didn't please their self-based desires. God provided, but it wasn’t good enough, making the person the god over God. Saul began as a Captain in training to move into the position of king, much like us when we enter the kingdom. However, in his case he failed to reach the called position; harsh, but there are times when we are disappointed because we added to the vision, added to the prophecy, or misinterpreted the prophecy, when it didn't come to pass exactly as we planned, we're disappointed in God. We then add sin to our sin, claiming the devil stole it from us, as if the devil has more power than the Lord. Does this mean we're not to expect God to do something? No at all, it means we expect God to act, but we also give Him Glory and Thanksgiving for All Things, whether they meet our expectations or not, we don't go about with the "ahh poor baby in Christ, did God your Father disappoint you?" attitude. The people wanted a king, God gave them a captain, but He nonetheless gave them a deliverer as the captain. In reality a deliverer is what they needed, not some king who would shake every time the enemy came around. The people gathered with Saul then slew the Ammonites, then the people said to Samuel, "Who is he who said, Shall Saul reign over us? bring the men, that we put them to death" (I Sam 11:12). What a change in attitude, but only when they had the victory, not before. Our attitude counts in the blessing, but it also counts in the trials.

Whether the person is a jerk or not doesn't matter, challenging the anointing always brings death. Samuel tells the people, "Behold, I have hearkened unto your voice in all that you said unto me and have made a king over you" (I Sam 12:1). This doesn't say, God made the king, rather it was Samuel who made this statement, thus he is speaking of the intended purpose of the promise, pointing to what could be. It was Saul who failed to enter the path, by failing at the "what could be". God was still looking at Saul as the captain being trained to be the king, thus Samuel warns the people, it was God who made Moses and Aaron, not Moses or Aaron who made God (I Sam 12:6). The people called Saul a king, they didn't make Saul a king. When the people saw Nahash of Ammon come against them, they wanted a king, but they also rejected God as their King (I Sam 12:12-13). Saul being the appointed leader, was not a reward to these people, no more than voting someone into a political office is a reward to us. Trusting in the person in the position is dangerous, these people would suffer for years because of their folly.

Saul began as a person seeking God through the prophet, but he refused to hear "all the" prophet had to say, losing the prophet's reward. God was looking to make Saul a man of God, but Saul wanted to be a man of Saul. He wanted the position without making the change into the position, there are some who want the Christ experience without making a change. They demand for us and God accept them as they are, but they refuse to be changed by God. They use the premise of God accepting them as they are, which is true, but God accepts us to change us, not leave us as we were. They want Christ to identify with them, but they refuse to identify with Christ. Wanting Salvation and entering into it are different; if we want to remain the same old person, yet obtain Salvation we error greatly. However, a person in the office is a different story, the office makes the person.

The Philistines came after Israel when Saul was still in Gilgal. Samuel told Saul to tarry seven days, Jesus tells us to tarry for the Power from on High (Acts 1:8 and I Sam 13:8-9). Before Samuel came to Saul, Saul made the independent decision to sacrifice; however, he was suppose to tarry until Samuel came (I Sam 13:10). Saul always had an excuse, it may have sounded right, even wise, but it fell short. Saul said, "I forced myself therefore and offered a burnt sacrifice", but Samuel said, "you have done foolishly: you have not kept the commandment of the Lord your God, which He commanded you: for now would the Lord have established your kingdom upon Israel forever but now your kingdom shall not continue" (I Sam 13:12-14). This is the proof showing Saul was in training, the context is “would the Lord have” indicates something to be, or could have been, for this reason David is the first king of Israel. This trait of moving independent of the Commandment is a great lesson for us, Saul wanted to be king, but wanted to do as he willed, then call it "of God". Counterfeit faith is attempting to get God to please us by our words, rather than our ways of faith pleasing God. Saul would take the commandment, twist it fit his desire, or do something based on his self-desire, then say he did as the Lord wanted. Saul's king position and kingdom were at hand, but not in hand, as long as he attempted to control his hand, it would never be "in hand".

Saul acted before the time to tarry was complete, some of us jump into action as if we have power, without having it. The lack of Power produced excuses to blame the prophet of God, blame the people, then blame God. The sayings, "it has passed away", or "God has changed", are merely excuses we make for our failure to believe in the Power, or for our failure to wait for the Power. The same excuses were around before Samuel was called, thus Samuel thought Eli called him, after all "there were no open visions" (I Sam 3:1). Eyes that can't see, won't see, ears that can't hear, won't hear, but it doesn't mean God isn't seeking, talking, or calling. Therefore, just because God is speaking, doesn’t mean we’re listening.

The Philistines had all the skilled people, Israel had the labor, thus Israel could mine metal, yet it couldn't make swords or spears (I Sam 13:19). Israel would take the weapons of the defeated enemies, but they couldn't produce new ones. Idol worship caused them to loss their God given talents to manufacture, evidenced by all the items their fathers made for the Tabernacle.

Jonathan the son of Saul was a man of courage, Jonathan took his armor bearer to the garrison of the Philistines saying, "it may be that the Lord will work for us: for there is no restraint to the Lord to save by many or by few" (I Sam 14:6). Jonathan knew the power rested with the Lord, whether it was one hundred thousand or one, the Lord was able. Jonathan put out a "fleece", thus a fleece is like a prophesy, it merely confirms what we believe is the will of the Lord, it doesn't give us a right to shy away from the will of the Lord. However, we can make a fleece a farce, a fleece is suppose to define a direction we are seeking from the Lord, but we can put forth a fleece akin to "if it be you Lord, bid me to come", which leaves the Lord no choice in the matter. A fleece must leave choice for God in the matter, or it's an attempt at manipulation. A fleece is used when we can't hear the Lord clearly, it’s only used when we are seeking to do something for God. Using a fleece to gain for the lust of the flesh because we don't want to hear God say, No, is as much a sin, as bowing to Baal.

Jonathan heard the evidence of his fleece, and slew twenty men, which sparked the courage of the other men of Israel (I Sam 14:9-20). However, there are times when some from our camp who will join with the enemy based on their fears of being with the losers, thus when the battle goes our way, they run to our side, if it goes the other way, they run away (I Sam 14:21-22). Although we find these people walked with the enemy for a period of time, they were taken back, we can do no less for the backslider.

Saul gave one of his commands to the people by telling them, they should not eat until evening, but Jonathan didn't hear the command, when he saw some honey, he took it (I Sam 14:24-27). One might ask, "What's wrong with that, he didn't know", but when he did know, he didn't make amends, rather he justified his actions (I Sam 14:28-30). Saul's people did overtake the Philistines, as they took the livestock and began to eat without cooking the meat, thus they did "eat the blood" (I Sam 14:31-32). The command of Saul was for his benefit, thus he forced the commandment on the people. In many cases, David restricted the commandment to himself, yet his people loved him so much, they took the commandment voluntarily, thus volunteer obedience endures, forced obedience doesn't. Rules and regulations are put on people, policies are things we keep, whether the people keep them or not.

When food appeared before the people, the lust of the flesh won out over the forced obedience, they did sin. Forcing people to follow rules produces a greater sin in the end. Later Saul would find Jonathan who took of the honey, then said, "My father has troubled the land: see, I pray you, how my eyes have been enlightened, because I tasted a little of this honey" (I Sam 14:29 & 14:43). Rather than admit it was a mistake, he is using self-justification. Jonathan took a little honey, but the people used the self-justification as an excuse to eat blood. This is another important lesson for us, we will hear from time to time how a leader falls, but it doesn't give us the excuse to run out and do foolish things.

The king wanted to kill Jonathan, but the people rescued and preserved him. In essence Jonathan was only a mirror of Saul, but Saul failed to see it, or discern how he also violated the commandment, yet God didn't kill him, rather he was given another chance. Saul failed in Mercy time and again, he failed to "do unto others, what God did for him", which is the error of the Wicked. They enter based on God's Mercy, but they refuse to give unto others. The pattern of Saul's disobedience would continue, he failed to see his own actions being reproduced in his son. This doesn't mean every time our children do something, it's a "mirror", but it does tell us to be open. God will use our children, pets, coworkers, or the dog next door, to show us those things we have hidden away in our own souls. The "strongman" is famous for "that's not me", self-deception begins by refusing to see our ourselves as God does.

Samuel comes to Saul saying, "The Lord sent me to anoint you to be king over His people Israel" (I Sam 15:1). It would seem God "changed His mind", but it’s not the case, the phrase, "to be king" is future tense; therefore, Saul is given another chance to obtain the calling. The test would follow as Samuel says, "Now go and smite Amalek and utterly destroy all they have, spare them not; but slay both man and women, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass" (I Sam 15:3). Some of us hear the prophet say, "God has called you..", then we run off to do "the work of the Lord", before we are tested and trained into the calling. Saul will show us the calling is the first step, but it's only effective after the training and proving of the Lord.

When the world views these areas of killing the wicked they retort with "God kills babies", but the soul of man is eternal, only the flesh of man is temporal. God knows whether one will receive Him or not, as Isaiah said, God takes the righteous at a young age, knowing some evil lays ahead (Isa 57:1). God's salvation or predestination is never in question, it's always ours; it's not wise to question God, it's wise to obey without question..

Saul is given the commandment to physically kill all those who are already dead in heart, thus Saul was commanded to kill the walking dead, not the living. This test for Saul is clear to us, but Saul will twist it to do enough to make it appear as if he completed the commandment, yet still work his own agenda into the process. These people will have their chance when Jesus takes captivity, captive. The people outside the promise had no hope until Jesus went to the Cross, thus their chance would come during the three days and nights before the Resurrection. Psalm 22 shows Jesus preached to more than those in Paradise, there were others who joined the captivity taken captive to form the Cloud of Witnesses  who received Jesus at the Ascension (Acts 1:9 & Heb 12:1).

Saul will attack Amalek with a vengeance, but he will also take Agag the king of Amalek prisoner, as well as the best of the cattle. Amalek was evil, but had some "fine cattle", Saul sacrificed the cattle to the Lord (I Sam 15:8-9). Saul reasoned, why waste a good opportunity to sacrifice? After all it would be poor stewardship not to sacrifice the fine cattle, the king was a prize showing the victory, displaying "God's people are victorious", but it also showed "Saul is rebellious". Saul took the meat of devils, then gave it to God. We can use the ways of the world thinking we are gaining great treasure for the work of God, yet be up to our necks in the sacrifices of devils.

Samuel hears from God, as the Lord says, "It repents Me that I have set up Saul to be king" (I Sam 15:11). Again the phrase "to be king" shows a future tense promise, not a present tense condition. Our condition is mercy, our position is Grace; we come boldly (by the Spirit) to the throne of Grace (position) to obtain Mercy (condition) before we can find Grace (ability to maintain the condition and position). Mercy gives us right standing on earth, opening heaven to us, but Grace is our right standing in heaven; therefore we pray, "Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven", not the other way around. Pride says the words, but the intent is, "my will be done in heaven, as it is on earth". We seek Mercy in order to have our sins forgiven to be partakers of the Cross of Jesus. We seek Grace to obtain the power of the Resurrection, the Blood of Jesus, the New Covenant to obtain our position in heaven. Saul was not privy to the Cross of Jesus, the Blood, the New Covenant, or the Power of the Resurrection, but he was required to obey, since all mankind has the ability to obey.

Saul stopped along his way to the goal of his position, showing us, there is a calling and a position; we maintain the calling by our continual obedience in the position. One can be called. yet never enter the position, thus many are called but few are chosen, since few make the decision to be chosen. Judas was ordained an apostle, a man within the ranks, a man who had one position within the group (treasurer), but failed to reach his potential position, thus ordination is the beginning, not the result of the position. Saul not only gave sacrifices of devils, but his pride came to the surface as he told Samuel, "Blessed be you of the Lord: I have performed the commandment of the Lord" (I Sam 15:13). Saul didn't say, "blessed be the Lord, for He has delivered", or "The Lord has prevailed", rather, Saul made his own determination regarding the commandment, twisted it to fit his thinking, then took the credit, by giving blessing to Samuel, as if he was God, yet inserted his own “self-goodness” by saying, “I have performed”.     When Saul is caught, his testimony changes to "they have brought them" (I Sam 15:15). It went from "I have performed" to  "they did it".

Saul begins to justify himself further by saying, "I have obeyed the voice of the Lord" (I Sam 15:20). This places the blame on Samuel, since it was Samuel who projected the "voice of the Lord". The same old fall nature excuses, instead of saying "it was the woman you gave me", Saul says "it was the prophet you gave me". Saul is entering self-denial for his actions by looking for someone else to blame. When he supposed there was some glory he said, “I have”, but when he found there was fault it was “they have”, then “you have”, but when he points the accusing finger at Samuel, he also pointed it at God. However, his self-justification didn't Wash in the water of truth, as Samuel tells Saul, "Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the Lord?" (I Sam 15:22). Giving offerings isn’t wrong, the context is obedience before the offerings. God can tell us to do one thing, yet we do twenty other “Godly things” to avoid doing what God told us to do. We obeyed our own agenda, but we were in rebellion.

Samuel brings the iniquity to Saul's heart by saying, "rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft and stubbornness is as the iniquity of idolatry" (I Sam 15:23). This also shows when God says "Don't judge people", yet we go about judging people, it's witchcraft. This is another verse showing Iniquity is the failure to do something, since stubbornness is a refusal to obey God, while obeying idols. However, one would think if iniquity was the failure to do something and idolatry is doing something, how can idolatry be iniquity? The iniquity was the failure to obey God, which leads to idolatry. Rebellion "is like" witchcraft, it's not the same as witchcraft, but carries the same attitude. Witchcraft is using the natural assuming it will cause something spiritual, rebellion is an act of resistance, or defiance against authority. Saul was given something to do, he added to it assuming his agenda was better than obeying God’s agenda, thus he inserting his authority over the Authority of God, making his act one of rebellion. The act of usurping authority is using the authority of another, here Saul used his authority over the Authority of God.

Saul wanted to be king, but he didn't want to take the responsibility for the position (I Sam 15:19-20). Samuel tells Saul, "you have rejected the Word of the Lord and the Lord has rejected you from being king over Israel" (I Sam 15:26). This points to the promise to be king, as the wording, "rejected you from being king" shows. Saul lost his "kingdom position" by failing to hear and obey. Saul was still the captain with his hand on the throne, but not a king in God's eyes; therefore, David was the first king over Israel, not Saul. Samuel finishes the work for Saul (I Sam 15:32-34), yet the Lord repented for promising Saul to be king, but God gave the people the "desire of their heart", at times the desire of our heart shows we are still self-based (I Sam 15:35).

When the Lord repents, it's not because of something He did but because of something He has to do; whereas, we repent for something we did. The people called Saul their king, God called him a captain, but the people were stuck with their confession. Wait, didn't God know Saul would miss it? Oh, I see, God tricked him, right? Wrong, God gave Saul a chance based on the request of the people, this effort shows how God knew Saul would fail, but He also knew David would prevail, thus the First choice was David, yet Saul was given the opportunity, Saul could never say, "I never had a chance".

God submitted to the people by giving the "okay", but it doesn't mean God blessed the act. The spiritually minded know the sound "okay" often is God giving in to our will, simply because He won't debate the issue, but it doesn't mean God blessed the act. The people were now stuck with their own "Ishmael" king, yet God had a plan, He would bring forth His man.

Saul would remain on the throne acting in the position of king, but it repented God for allowing it. However, in this, God would use Saul to provide a testing for David, when David passes his test the result will prove the point; God allowed on one hand, to bring His will for David on the other. This would be something worked out for the Good of David who was called according to the Purpose of God.

The plan and record are different, the Record is in heaven. In order for the Record of the Father, Word and Holy Ghost to be performed on earth there needs to be the Witness, yet the Witness is the Water, Blood and Spirit (I Jn 5:7-8). Jesus didn’t come by water alone, but by Water and Blood, the Water connects to the Father’s Mercy, the Blood to the Word giving us the New Covenant, of course the Holy Ghost bringing the Seed of God which is the Spirit, thus until the Cross God worked with man according to the Plan, but the Record is for those who have the Witness. We pray “Lord, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven”, but it entails us submitting to gain the Witness in order for the Record to be done on earth. Peace on earth has nothing to do with peace in the world, it has to do with Peace between man and God, by the Record and Witness joining, thus in the Book of Revelation we find the Tree of Life is in two places, the Record and Witness (Rev 22:2).

Saul had two chances to obey, his third chance will involve giving the throne to the anointed one. God has a timing and time in a Season; the time of Saul was ending as the time of David was beginning, but Saul refused to give up the throne. Why didn't God simply kill Saul? Saul would be the vessel of dishonor used to test the vessel of honor, thus he would remain for a time. This allegory shows there are the Wicked in our Season, but they still have a chance to repent before the Night comes.

The anointing kept the evil in Saul restrained, yet when God takes the anointing away, it's the same as putting an evil spirit on Saul. Saul will not be able to control his emotions, his anger will flare up to control him, even to the point of attempting to kill the anointed. This type and shadow shows how the Wicked are self-transformed, yet they are protected by the Unction over the Body, yet when the time comes for the Unction to be removed, they will become the Beast of the Earth.

From the moment David was anointed the seat of Authority changed, yet Saul was sitting as a prince in the position of the king, causing his own downfall. David will give us a clue to Warfare, David didn't come against Saul, he knew better, it didn't matter if Saul was a jerk or not, what mattered was Saul at one time was the anointed of God. When Saul heard, "the Lord has rejected you from being king over Israel", he should have assisted Samuel in finding God's choice, instead of attempting to kill God's choice. Yet, Saul's actions were accountable to Saul, David's actions to David, Samuel's to Samuel. Every act Saul would do from this point on, would be usurping the authority granted to David. David would nonetheless treat Saul as if he was always anointed. David had a deep respect for the anointing, he never treated it as a joke, or something to play with. When we attack someone who has an anointing, we are really attacking our own position, not real smart.

God loves those who love and obey Him, thus one form of hating God is the failure to do as He says. God comes to Samuel saying, "how long will you mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him from reigning over Israel" (I Sam 16:1). God didn't mourn over Saul, He was sorry for allowing Saul to continue to play in the role of king, neither for appointing Saul as a captain. It was time for a Beginning, yet Samuel was still stuck in the Principality of the past. It was time in the Season to move on, thus Saul moved from a vessel being trained to become a vessel of honor, into becoming a vessel of dishonor to hone the vessel of honor (David - Rom 9:16-23). Saul wasn't rejected because he didn't keep the Law, or because he didn't keep the sabbath, it was because he refused to deny his self interests, in order to obey what God told him. Peter tells us how the Trinity works in the lives in the Elect, we are the Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, “through sanctification of the Spirit, unto Obedience and Sprinkling of the Blood of Jesus Christ” (I Pet 1:2). The “obedience” part is by us, the rest of it by God, thus an element of faith is obedience.

Saul accepted the calling, with the calling came the training. When we say, "Yes, Lord" we accept the gift or calling as well as the training, God is never sorry for giving us the gift or calling. Even in Saul's case, God was able to take advantage of Saul's rebellion by turning the event around for the good of David. All Saul had to do was Hear and Obey, but God knew Saul would reject and fail, but God also attempted to tell the people and Saul, their request for a king was failure in the making. Did God know there would be a king? Yes, there was the prophecy was in the Law (Deut 17:14-15). God even told them to pick a king from among themselves, yet later God would pick a King from among Himself, making His King the King of all kings, as the Word of God took on flesh as Jesus Christ.

Samuel now seeks God's choice for king, thus Saul was the people's choice, being trained by God, but David will be God's choice, approved and loved of God. We can vote our choice into office, but it doesn't mean they are loved or chosen by God. Saul was picked by the people because of his stature, but Samuel will learn how God looks for His chosen. Samuel went to the house of Jesse as God told him, Jesse was from Bethlehem (I Sam 16:2-4). This would be the first "city of David", as the city of David's birth.

Samuel saw the sons of Jesse, as he looked at the oldest and biggest first, then down the line, yet each time he found "he isn't the king" (I Sam 16:6-10). Samuel was looking at the outward appearance, just as the people looked at Saul, but God, "looks not on the outward appearance but on the heart" (I Sam 16:7). The people picked Saul, and God submitted to their will, here God will pick David. When David appeared, it was obvious, God looks at the heart (I Sam 16:7-12). No one using natural reasoning would pick David to be king, but God doesn't use the mind of man as His judge. Some of us pick teachers based on the outward appearance as well, if we don't like the way they look, we don't like their teaching. Carnal thinking often misses the greatness God has presented. Jesus came not as some "movie star", or "fancy Pharisee", but as a common person, one who fit among the masses, yet when He spoke, the people knew He was more than man. We are granted the opportunity to have the mind of Christ to be instructed by the Mind of the Lord, but it still depends on our obedience to accept the method God has established (I Cor 2:16). We could fall back on "God's thoughts are not ours, and God's ways are above ours" (Isa 55:8). Which was true for these people, but not true for us. Isaiah shows the Thoughts which are not God's belong to the unrighteous, the ways which are not God's belong to the Wicked (Isa 55:7). Are we unrighteous? Are we of the Wicked? If so, our intents (thoughts) are not God based, nor are our ways (actions) of God; however, if we are Born Again we are instructed by the Mind of Christ, we should know the Intents and Ways of God (I Cor 2:10-11). The Acts of God are important, but if we fail to know the Ways of God, we will end in unbelief. Without knowing the Ways of God, we will tempt God (Ps 95:10-11). How can we Know the Ways of God? God will show us His ways by Teaching us through knowledge, wisdom and experiences by the Spirit (Ps 25:4-5 & I Jn 2:19-23). The Acts of God are produced by the position held through the Name of Jesus, the ways of God come through the Seed of God; therefore, Jesus tells us to judge the Fruit (ways), not the acts to determine if the person using the Name of Jesus is walking with God. Judas used the Name of Jesus with results, yet Jesus said Judas was a devil (Jn 6:70). Oh, you mean, Jesus said Judas had a devil. No, the Scripture says Judas was a devil, thus people can be devils by their devilish behavior.

Saul had many Acts, but he rejected the Ways of God, David will have both Acts and Ways to show his heart was seeking God. Two men, both anointed of God, yet both very different in their Ways, thus we find the Fruit of the person is found in their Ways, not their Acts. The world judges a person by their Acts, we in the Kingdom judge the Ways of a person, not the person, or their Acts.

Although David is anointed the king, another sits on his throne. David had the natural right to take the throne by force, but he didn't have the Godly right. The minute David was anointed, God took the spirit (anointing) from Saul, causing  an "evil spirit" to come upon Saul (I Sam 16:13-14). Prior God gave Saul a "new heart" (anointing of the office), but God took it back since Saul refused to walk in it. If we assume God placed a demonic spirit in Saul, we error: God took the anointing from Saul, thus Saul was left with the result of his rebellion and witchcraft becoming evident in his nature.

One can remain in a position, but lack the power thereof. Don't forget, Saul was anointed for the position, but he misused it. Saul is an example of one who sits in the position, but lacks the authority to maintain it. This is different from the self-appointed “Jezebel” types (Rev 2:20), here we find one called, has the anointing, in training, but misused the position. Saul and Judas seem to have like tendencies, Judas never heard, “Tarry for power from on high”, neither did he hear, “All power on heaven and earth”, but he did hear the teachings of Jesus, he also had this history of Saul. Judas cast out devils, devils were not his problem, Judas was the problem of Judas. The name of “Judas” (the traitor not the prophet) is last heard of in Acts 1:27, none of the writers of the letters mention him, although Jude and Peter will mention Balaam. Jude will also mention Core (Korah) and Cain, but they don’t talk about Judas, the traitor, he was forgiven and forgotten; interesting at best.

Saul will make self-confessions regarding his position, but he is hardly confessing according to his position. We have several areas, we confess Jesus, but confession is more than words, it’s a way of life. We also have the “word of our testimony”, which is not what we say, it’s what others say about us. We have our “profession”, which is our confession as a way of life producing the word of our testimony. Saul had many great things to say about Saul, but one must know what God says in order to know the Truth. The error of Saul was this striving to please the Lord, but using ones own self-based standards as guides. Many kings in Israel and Judea destroyed the idols in the temple, but allowed the high places to remain. In their eyes the effort was pleasing, but in God's eyes it fell short. This type and shadow shows we can act "Christian" around Christians, yet act like the world around the world presuming we're "okay", we're not okay, it's not okay, okay? When we fail to see the event from the view point of God we will also refuse to see our error, then our error will become our guide. We are Overcomers by faith, not works, yet we do works. However, after we enter the Rest of God we cease from the dead works of self-righteousness, rather we work out of appreciation because we have obtained.

First Samuel will show how the music of the anointed one can hold back the evil spirit (I Sam 16:15-23). Music soothes the savage beast, praise destroys him (I Sam 16:23). Some of us go to church just for the praise, but after the service we're right back in bitterness or anguish. Why? The praise soothed us, but we weren't healed. We need to apply the praise to our souls in order to be healed by the New Man.

Saul will become passive when David plays, but then he will also attack David, but the cause was not the praises, rather Saul's evil prophesies against himself came to the surface in the hidden attitude of Saul. Saul had a choice, he knew his actions were evil, yet he condoned them by excusing his behavior while trusting in a position which was no longer his, becoming more self-possessed and self-deceived.

When the works of the devil, or the tares surface, it wasn't God who put them there, God is not using them against us, neither does He want us to use them for our benefit, rather He is allowing exposure so we can be free. This experience with Saul is vital in our experiences regarding exposure; there are some things we “think” we have dealt with, but all we did was prune some fruit off the tree, the trunk, or the roots remain. We become self-deceived in an area, thus God will expose the remaining areas so we can be free indeed. However, when those things surface, Watch out, anger, wild and uncontrolled behavior will also appear to protect the “old Saul nature”. Yikes we’re lost, we’re doomed! No, those words come from the old man, the New Man is saying, “It’s time to be Free indeed”. It’s time for us to recognize the Tares for what they are, not merely feelings, or fears, but dangerous Tares becoming choking elements planted by the enemy attempting to destroy us.

This insertion regarding the music of David is not in the chain of events, but given to show the type of evil spirit Saul maintained (I Sam 16:14 & 19:9). Everything produces after its own kind, Saul's rebellion and witchcraft caused him to chase after demonic forces to get advice. This seemingly out of place event gives us the driving force in Saul's soul, as well as the overcoming heart of David. Metaphorically we see this event as David applying Mercy (music), yet Saul as a type of antichrist attacking the anointing he rejected.

Prior Saul fought the Philistines and won, but now he is faced with Goliath, the giant of the Philistines (I Sam 17:1-4). Goliath stood approximately nine and a half feet tall, this monster defied the army of God, yet by this time Saul lost the anointing, his courage was gone as well, he couldn't do a thing, except hide in the ditch (I Sam 17:11 & 16:7). David's brothers were in the front lines; in those days they fought from sunup to sundown, then usually came home at night, but the men were looking at the greatness of their enemy, becoming afraid to move. They perceived the enemy by what they saw, and by what the enemy told them, they didn't perceive the enemy from God's point of view. To God this enemy was a "bag of wind", to Saul and his band the enemy was "bigger than God". The enemy has as much power as we give him, thus we are told "don't give place to the devil" (Eph 4:27). In Ephesians 4:27 the word "place" is the Greek Topos meaning A space limited in occupancy, or an Opportunity. When we give the devil Opportunity by our words, he takes it. Goliath gained his power from the fear of Saul as well as the fear of army of Israel. The spirit of fear runs the world, just watch the news, but it need not run us.

The death and Resurrection of Jesus destroyed (made ineffective) the devil, but we can give the devil place through our corrupt communication. However, if we can give the devil place, it also means we can remove place by our repentance. Here find Saul gave Goliath place by accepting the projected fear, thus Saul sat shaking in his armor in the face of the giant. In the mean time Jesse became concerned about his sons, thus he sent David to ascertain their condition. David came to the battle front and heard the giant as a small voice of defiance (I Sam 17:12-28). The word Philistine means To wallow in the self, Gath means Pressure, or Press, making Goliath a mirror, or reflection of Saul's heart. God placed a mirror before Saul, showing Saul was afraid of himself allowing fear to enter, thus all those under Saul also entered fear, but David's heart was centered on God. David viewed the enemy as one against God; whereas, Saul viewed the enemy as against him.

Saul was attempting to get someone, anyone to fight the giant. He offered great riches, but David didn't see riches or glory, he saw someone defiling the name of God. What was Saul doing? Looking for the escape. David's brother, Eliab had his soul exposed when he told David, "I know your pride and the naughtiness of your heart; for you are come down that you might see the battle" (I Sam 17:28). What battle? They were hiding in ditches, shaking in their armor. This is example of the man’s own words being his mirror, Eliab may have accused David, but voiced his own fear. Eliab was ashamed of just sitting around watching the image of fear challenge the people of God, so he took it out on his little brother. David answered, "what have I done now?", but Eliab couldn't answer (I Sam 17:29). This wasn't the first time Eliab used accusations or manipulation against David, thus it wasn’t the first time his manipulation or pride spoke. It wasn't David who caused Eliab's problem, it was Eliab who was afraid of the giant. When David asked his brother what was going on, the voice of accusation was stopped. David wanted to silence the giant, he told Saul how a bear and a lion came after David's sheep, yet David slew both the bear and lion (I Sam 17:30-36). David looked at the sheep as a charge given to him by God, Saul should have looked at the sheep in his charge, but at this point in time, Saul lacked the authority or power to take the oversight thereof.

This would almost sound as if David was bragging, not so, since he added how God saved him. David knew if he put his life on the line to recover God’s property, surely God would prevail, if Saul would just get out of the ditch God would move for His people. Saul was still a captain, the people of Israel were still Israel, God was still their God. The difference between David and Saul was found in the heart of each. David was a man who chased after the Heart of God, Saul was a man who wanted to use the Acts of God for self-benefit.

David attempted to use the armor of Saul, but Saul's armor was not proven for David, nor was it entrusted to David, it was entrusted to Saul (I Sam 17:39). In this we find two lessons; first we can't trust in the armor of another to do our fighting, when we have done all to Stand, we Stand with our own proven armor of God. Second the armor of the self never fits the saint who seeks God. We are not told to, "Take up the Armor of God", thus we need God's armor in order to fight the good fight of faith.

David picked up five small stones, for what reason? (I Sam 17:40). Goliath had four brothers. David wasn't looking at the present danger alone, but Prepared for the battle by being equipped for any surprise. From this we can conclude Goliath is a type of the spirit of fear, defining how fear stands in one position sending out darts to stop us. This also shows Goliath as a type of the gates of hell; they not offensive weapons, they pose hindrances, when we come upon a gate, we must go in a different direction. Saul was stopped, he could not advance based on his own fear. Once David moved by the Power of God in the face of the giant, the giant froze in his fear. This shows the projection of fear, the giant used anger and manipulation to cause fear in the heart of Saul. When Goliath challenged Saul, the fear surfaced in Saul, the giant knew he had the advantage, but David didn't accept the fear, thus the same challenge brought a much different response. Instead of hiding in the ditch, David came at Goliath at a full run.

Goliath had a spear, but both his spear and sword were useless in the face of faith. David used one small Rock against the giant, a piece of the Rock was sufficient to overcome fear, thus all the weapons of the giant were useless in the face of faith (I Sam 17:40-49). David took Goliath's sword, then cut the giant's head off. The only weapon this giant really had was his mouth, thus remove the mouth, remove the fear. With the giant being headless (no authority), all the little Philistines who stood behind Goliath made new doors in the wilderness of defeat.

The song went out, "Saul has slain his thousands and David his ten thousands" (I Sam 18:7). David killed one man, but tens of thousands made foot prints in the sand running from the battle, while Saul hid in the ditch. It's this event causing Saul to seek the identity of David, if we put I Samuel 16:15-23 before this event, we draw nothing but confusion. The killing of Goliath opened the door for David to enter the house of Saul, but David's ability to praise the Lord maintained David in the face of adversity. We are given First Samuel 16:15-23 to show how praise was a mainstay of David's life, not something he picked up after entering Saul's house, or after the death of Goliath (I Sam 16:15 & 19:9). David was praise ready before Goliath showed up, thus his praises kept him ready  when Saul's anger surfaced.

Recalling how Saul wanted to kill his son Jonathan over the honey episode, we can see why David and Jonathan had a bond by having something in common (I Sam 18:1-3). Jonathan loved David like his "own soul", meaning they were very good friends based on common likes and dislikes, or were as close as brothers.

The music soothed Saul, unless Saul had a weapon in his hand. Saul being troubled with an evil spirit would produce prophecy against himself, thus when he became enraged his bitterness came to the surface causing him to strike out at the anointing (I Sam 18:10). Saul was afraid of David, because he knew the Lord was with David, yet Saul's pride refused to give up the throne, his anger became the shield his fear (I Sam 18:12). Saul is now being run by the spirit of fear because he gave fear place when he faced the giant. The spirit of fear has two faces; not only does it project fear on others, but there are those who use the spirit of fear. It's not just being a victim we are concerned with, rather it’s the using the spirit of fear on others to get our own way we avoid. Like deception, the more we use, the more we become victim to it.

David was run out of Saul’s house, now Saul has set his mind on killing David. For some reason the evil ones assume if they can kill the man of God, they can kill the work of God (I Sam 19:2-10). Not so, the disciples after the Cross prove it (Acts 4:1-2). One day Saul sent his messengers to find and kill David, but the messengers came across Samuel and the prophets, the Spirit of the Lord overcame them as they started to prophesy (I Sam 19:19-20). Saul's messengers are examples of the "messengers of Satan", but in this case, we find when prophecy comes, the power of Satan is destroyed. When Saul heard it, he sent other messengers to take David, but like the first group, they came across Samuel, as they too began to prophesy (I Sam 19:21). Samuel's prophesy pointed to David's favor, but against Saul. Now Saul went looking for David and Samuel, when he came close to them the Spirit of the Lord overcame him and he started to prophesy as well (I Sam 19:24). This may sound strange, but really it’s not. The Spirit of the Lord overcame them, this is a example of why we judge the Ways, not the Acts. If we were judging the Acts we would assume because they gave prophecy they were of God, yet we find they are out to kill the anointed of God.

The praise of David exposed the nakedness of Saul, the prophesy confirmed Saul's condition; thereby causing the evilness in Saul's soul to lash out at David. The prophesy was against evil, but for good causing Saul to strip off his clothes, standing naked before the prophet of God, thus prophesy exposes (I Sam 19:23 & I Cor 14:24-25). If Saul would have taken the warning, he could have repented, but he didn't. If God knew it, why bother? A chance for the man, exposure is always given in order to repent, to bring healing. The word went out again, "Is Saul also among the prophets?", God was giving Saul "what could have been" (I Sam 19:24). The first time Saul prophesied with the prophets, he was not naked, thus the first time was for him, but this time it's against him.

At first, David didn't know Saul was out to kill him, David respected the anointing so much he felt the anointing of God couldn't kill the called of God, he was right. However, as we know the anointing was not on Saul at this time, yet David had such a high respect for the anointing, he still refused to harm anyone who either had it, or once had it. Perhaps this attitude was one of the main factors keeping him safe.

David sought out the intent and reason behind Saul's attacks, thus David was seeking restoration, not revenge (I Sam 20:1). Some of us think the attacks against us are personal, they very well may be, but if we are standing in the anointing the persecution is against the anointing, we should "jump for joy", but if the attack is used of God to expose our soulish condition we should fall on our face and repent. David wonders if he has sinned, Jonathan is a friend indeed telling him, "If I knew certainly the evil was determined by my father to come upon you, then would I not tell you?" (I Sam 20:9). The word Determined means Of God, thus Jonathan was telling David, If you sinned, I would tell you. A true friend tells us if sin is the cause, the enemy allows us to continue on the wrong path.

Saul continued to seek out David, although David would have chance upon chance to kill Saul, he refused to, he passed his testing in the wilderness of the Anointing (I Sam 23:1-24:2). Samuel died, then David had a band of misfits and castoffs who loved the Lord and David (I Sam 25:1-27:12). In the meantime Saul was lost without Samuel, the evil controlling Saul at this time caused him to kill all the priests except for Abiathar, only because Abiathar was with David. In reference to this, Jesus said, "how he went into the house of God in the days of Abiathar.."; however, in I Samuel we are told Ahimelech is the high priest (I Sam 21:1 & Mark 2:25-28). Perhaps an overzealous scribe? Perhaps Jesus didn't know His history? Not so, Jesus isn't pointing to the Ahimelech the high priest, but to Doeg the Edomite (I Sam 21:7). Doeg saw the high priest give David the shewbread, he then ran to Saul, the one who was out to kill David (I Sam 21:7-8). Saul returned to Ahimelech with Doeg, along with several men, he ordered the men to kill the priests, but the men refused; whereas, Doeg killed the priests to gain honor in the eyes of Saul (I Sam 22:11-19). Abiathar was the only priest to escape, he then came to David where he remained as David's high priest (I Sam 22:20-22). Jesus associates the Pharisees with Doeg, showing they are attempting to kill Jesus, the Son of David, just as Saul was bent on killing David. Jesus didn't make a mistake, Mark didn't make a mistake, the Holy Ghost didn't make a mistake, Jesus was rebuking the Pharisees by pointing to Abiathar, the one who escaped and joined David, rather than Ahimelech, the one who died.

Saul was without a Seer, but his lust to have one caused him to seek out any seer, he would go where the devil had his witch waiting. Saul had ears, but couldn't hear, he had eyes, but couldn't see, thus he sought out one with a "familiar spirit" to guide him. Many years prior Saul put away all those who looked to the stars for their future, as well as all those who played with familiar spirits, now he is seeking one himself. Saul is returning to the evil ways, like a dog to his own vomit (I Sam 28:3-7 & II Pet 2:20-22). The term "familiar spirit" means one has connection to a demon who is familiar with the person, as the person is familiar with them. The word Familiar means, intimate relationship; showing the person has an intimate relationship with the demon; today they call it “spirit guide”, whatever a rose by any other name is still a rose.

The meeting with the witch of Endor could get confusing if one thinks Samuel appeared, instead of seeing it was the familiar spirit connected to Saul. Saul disguised himself, but as soon as the witch saw the familiar spirit she knew the man was Saul. Witches know the familiar spirits of each other, this image prophesied events, but it was going to take Saul to enter into the evil prophecy before it could come to pass. Saul didn't see the image, but asked the witch what it looked like. All he heard was, "I saw gods ascending out of the earth", with "he was covered with a mantle" (I Sam 28:13-14). Saul assumed it was Samuel, then he told the image about the Philistines coming to overtake the land, but the image who portrayed Samuel said, "wherefore then do you ask of me, seeing the Lord is departed from you and is become your enemy", clearly a statement centered toward the fear attitude of Saul (I Sam 28:16). This image was the result of the evil spirit on Saul, the evil spirit was the result of Saul's rebellion. This should have been Saul's clue to find the door; the Lord wasn't Saul's enemy, Saul was Saul's enemy, as Saul made himself the enemy against the anointing. Saul was looking at the image of his own pride, ego and rebellion. The image went on to say, the Lord would deliver Israel into the hands of the Philistines (I Sam 28:19). If the image would have said, the Lord was going to deliver the armies of Israel under Saul into the hands of the Philistines, it would have spoke the truth, but David was more Israel than Saul, neither David or the army with him was delivered into the hands of the Philistines; therefore, this lying image implanted the thoughts of death and fear in Saul's mind, instead of the Philistines killing Saul, Saul would kill himself (I Sam 28:19). In order for Saul to enter the prophecy the witch had to entice him into some demonic act, not any act, but one connected to Saul's rebellion. The evil prophecy in and of itself had no effect, it would take Saul to join it in order to produce the mindset to complete the prophecy. Therefore, we never attempt to bring a prophecy to pass, the prophecy will prove itself by coming to pass. The witch knew Saul was fasting for the battle, thus she enticed him with a "morsel of bread" (I Sam 28:22). Saul was still leaning to the voices of men, although he refused the morsel of bread, his servants in conjunction with the witch compelled (begged) him to eat. When he agreed, the witch brought a fat calf with much bread (I Sam 29:23-25). When Saul obeyed the voice of the witch, his end was sealed, he became the product of the evil prophecy. The fat calf was a type and shadow of an evil sacrifice, just as Saul sacrificed against the commandment of the Lord, he was now joining to the sacrifice of devils. The battle against the Philistines was going bad against Saul, but it wasn't lost. However, Saul was looking for any sign of failure, when an arrow struck him, he just knew death was at hand, but the arrow only wounded him, it didn't kill him (I Sam 31:3). Saul recalling the evil prophecy, sought someone to kill him among his servants, but even his servants knew better than to harm anyone who had or has the anointing; therefore, Saul took a sword, falling on it killing himself (I Sam 31:4). The image said all Israel would fall, but the army of Israel under Saul ran, yet there remained others from Israel watching this battle, they didn't flee or fall (I Sam 31:5-8).

The image also said, Saul and Saul's sons would be with the image in the earth, rather than with Samuel in the Bosom of Abraham. All this shows how the "image" was a lying spirit, it wasn't Samuel, but Saul assumed it was. Saul accepted the lie, allowing the lie to become a fable, which in turn convinced him he would die. Saul was the one who brought the lying prophecy to pass, not God.


SECOND SAMUEL

Second Samuel gives us the second half of the anointed paths for the king, pointing to David then to the Son of David, including the House of David with promise. David may have been the second king for the people, but he was the first king called, accepted and anointed by God. The Law of Moses may have been first, but it's the Second in power, thus the Remnant have a "little strength" by doing the Commandments of God, but we have Strength unlimited in the Power of His Christ. The concept of the Son of David refers to the first anointed appointed person to fill a position, Jesus as the Son of David is the Son of man, the first anointed and appointed in the position to carry the Mercy of the Father for the Pardon of sin.

It's rather obvious Solomon was one of the sons of David, who was approved by God; however, Solomon was not The Son of David. The term Son means one represents the house, whether family line or course. Solomon took the throne, but he didn't complete the course. Jesus is the reason (spirit) for all prophecy, thus David was anointed based on what Jesus would do. David being a prophet as well as king placed words into the natural, Jesus came proving the words of prophecy. It was the Prophetic words spoken by David bringing the term "Son of David". In order for other sons to enter the order Jesus had to provide a means wherein we could die to the old, yet live to the New to complete the course of prophecy. Jesus had to die as the Son of man, yet live as the Son of God before other sons of God could be appointed. Therefore, He was made (not created) of the seed of David, but declared to be the Son of God by the Resurrection (Rom 1:3-4). We are sons of man by the Mercy of God, but sons of God by the same Spirit who raised Jesus from the dead. The Cross is the first step, not the last; we must accept the Cross before the Resurrection has effect to make us sons of God.

Jesus holds Three positions, the Son of man to represent man to God based on God’s Mercy, the Son of God to represent God to man based on Grace, then God the Son to complete the course of the Kingdom based on His Righteousness. Therefore, we find the New Man has the Holiness of the Father, with the Righteousness of the Son. The Righteousness of the Son is the Scepter of His Kingdom (Heb 1:8); thus if we are "kings in the kingdom" we have the Righteousness and Holiness of God. We do not work to obtain, rather we joyfully work because we have obtained.

David is the anointed and appointed king, his work now is not to obtain the kingship, but maintain it based on having it. David didn't know Saul was dead, much less having any knowledge of the death of Saul's sons. A man escaped the battle, coming to David at Ziklag, there the man told David, the people fled from the battle, many were dead. The man adds to the bad news by telling David, Saul and Jonathan were also dead (II Sam 1:1-4). Going back to the evil prophecy by the image conjured up by the witch of Endor, we recall the image said, "the Lord also shall deliver the host of Israel into the hand of the Philistines" (I Sam 28:19). Israel was not "delivered into the hand of the Philistines", some of the army of Saul was, but the "host of Israel" was with David in Ziklag. Was the host killed? No, David and his army remained free, at the time David was the anointed king in the land. We pray to enter the prophecies from God, but Saul entered the evil prophecy of the witch by his own actions.

David would ask this young man, "How do you know Saul and Jonathan are dead?" (II Sam 1:5). The young man reports how he just so happened to come across Saul, telling Saul he was an Amalekite. According to the young man, Saul asked the man to kill him, then this young man claims he killed Saul (II Sam 1:6-10). It was well known Saul was out to kill David, what could be wrong with obeying the command of Saul, while at the same time ridding David of his enemy? The man did tell some truth by saying he took Saul's crown and bracelet, but this young man didn't know the type of man he was talking to. It was not only Saul, his crown or bracelet, it was killing the anointed of God. It didn't matter if the anointing had passed, the fact remains, Saul was once anointed by God. Although this man lied about killing Saul, he was nonetheless attempted to take credit for it. David first mourned, when David’s men saw David mourn, they also mourned (I Sam 1:10-12). This is different from the time Saul ordered his men to fast: a leader who uses manipulation, gains forced cooperation, but one who leads by example, finds people willing to serve. The young man now discovers David is a man who honors the anointing of God, the young man paid for his lies, with his life. Saul paid for his rebellion with his life, there were many innocent people who died as a result of Saul's rebellion (II Sam 1:13-16).

Samuel is dead, now Saul is dead, David goes to the Lord for instruction (II Sam 2:1). When one who loves the Lord they seek God's Will, they will also find those who challenge the will of the Lord. Abner made a personal decision regarding who he thought should be king (II Sam 2:8). Abner took Ishbosheth, the son of Saul, proclaiming him king over Israel, while David was king over Judah (II Sam 2:8-10). Abner is a type and shadow of one who sits in the temple of God, saying he is God making decisions only God has a right to make. Ishbosheth only reigned two years, but Abner's act was carnal, self-based, without any regard for God. Abner set up a gate of hell, dividing what God has joined. Paul says, the carnal mind produces division in the Body through the acts of strife and envy (I Cor 3:1-3). Abner was able to make peace between Israel and Judah, but his test of peace came when he was faced with certain death (II Sam 2:17-27).

Although there was peace between the countries, there was war between the house of David and the house of Saul. This symbol gives us the battlefield between those who walk with Christ, and those who walk with the wrong spirit. They are in the same field, different houses. David grew stronger and stronger, yet Abner also grew strong in the house of Saul (II Sam 3:1-6). Pride became established in Abner, he assumed he was as good as the king, or as high as the highest in the house of Saul, but he died by the sword (II Sam 3:7-27). David didn't order the killing, it was motivated by Abner's involvement in the death of Asahel (II Sam 2:22-23 & 3:29-20). Once we get the picture of how the enemy works, we will stop giving him opportunities to use us.

Abner was the force behind the house of Saul, when Saul's son heard Abner was dead, he became feeble (weak in power and courage - II Sam 4:1). Saul's house is falling apart, yet there were two captains by the names of Baanah and Rechab from the children of Benjamin, who would take advantage of the distress for personal gain (II Sam 4:2). The young man who attempted to take credit for the death of Saul was an Amalekite, a stranger in the land, but these two were of the land, yet had the same evil intent. They wanted to make personal gain from murder, strife and division.

These two captains assumed they could kill Saul's other son, Ishbosheth then gain praise before David, after all, they were Jews, not strangers. They killed Ishbosheth, cut off his head then brought it to David expecting reward; however, David gave them what they gave Ishbosheth; whatsoever a man sows, so shall he reap (II Sam 4:8-12). Regardless of what Saul or Ishboseth did or didn't do, the house of Saul was called of God. The type and shadow provided here is very important. We know there will be bad fish in the net, but we don't make independent moves to destroy them, neither do we use slander to counter their slander. David knew Saul was not "good", yet he also knew Saul belonged to God, not David. The young man plus these captains were not anointed, thus they were outside of the protection making them subject to the king in the land, they paid for their error with their lives. It's far better to pray and obey, then attack and kill.

David became king over all Israel when the elders anointed him before the Lord when David was thirty years old (II Sam 5:1-4). Wait, didn't Samuel do this many years prior? Yes, and no, Samuel anointed David as king over Israel, this is a reconfirming of the established testing being complete (I Sam 16:1-13). David's first anointing was to enter the position to be tested, just as Saul, but here it's in the Position, something Saul failed to obtain. This was the acceptance of David's anointing by God, a type and shadow of the laying on of hands, it also shows why David is the first king. When we enter the Body we are covered with the Unction, but it doesn’t end our course, we need the Grace of God by the Spirit to bring the anointing within to make us kings and priests unto God.

David passed the test, he respected the anointing, maintained his calling, was quick to repent when he did wrong; however, does it mean he won't make mistakes? Hardly, we are about to see one.

To the Jew the age of Thirty has special meaning, their reasoning stems from David becoming king of Israel at an the age of thirty. A male child under the age of thirteen is not held responsible for their religious upbringing, but at the age of thirteen they were considered accountable to the Torah, as they become personally responsible for their moral and religious position. From thirteen to Thirty the male was expected to learn of the Torah, capability of quoting its contents. It's generally assumed Jesus started His earthly ministry at thirty years of age, yet He was already in the area of Understanding at 12 (Luke 2:42-49). Interesting, the intellect of the religious rulers didn’t impress Jesus, but the knowledge of Jesus, even at the age of 12, impressed the religious rulers (Luke 2:47).

Paul shows Jesus, Who being in the Form of God, thought it not robbery to be Equal to God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking upon Him the Form of a servant, and was made (not created) in the likeness of men, and being found in fashion as a man, He Humbled Himself, and became Obedient unto death, even the death of the Cross (Ph'l 2:6-8). Two elements to picking up our cross are humbleness and obedience.

David took the stronghold of Zion, which became another City of David. David was told to get rid of the blind and lame before he could enter the temple, but David didn't cast away anyone based on their physical handicap (II Sam 5:6-7). On the other hand, Jesus healed the blind and lame so they could enter the temple. Today the Jew looks at Zion as the temple area, not the temple itself, but the ground upon which the temple should be built, thus they refuse to build it anywhere else. They understand the metaphor "Moon" points to Zion, the metaphor "Sun" to the nation, thus they rightly consider the city the adopted daughter of the nation. From this we find the metaphors "daughters of Jerusalem" and "daughters of Zion", but we don't find the metaphor "daughters of David". We do find the metaphor "House of David", which refers to this event, showing Zion is the foundation upon which the city is built. This shows us why the 144,000 are marked on Zion, but weep over the abominations done in Jerusalem.

During this time the temple was not yet built, David did build a fort therein. From the sight where the fort was built would come the temple; therefore, the fort was first, the temple later (II Sam 5:9).

At first David had trouble receiving the concept of being king over Israel, but it wasn't being king in and of itself troubling him, but the purpose of the calling troubled him, a type of “what do I do now?”.  Like the anointing the position makes room for itself, we don’t make the position work, we allow it to work. David finally accepted the purpose, he knew God anointed him for Israel's sake (II Sam 5:12). David is not unlike the rest of us, God calls, we get all excited, then we become aware of the truth of the calling, then we panic; "How can I?", "I can't do it", “I don’t feel like I’m anointed”, all these are fears of the flesh attempting to avoid the calling. David didn’t feel like a king, he was concerned over what a king was to do, yet the position made room for him. God calls, God trains, God empowers. Faith understands the concept of believe you receive, but the flesh still holds to receive then believe. God grants us many things, but we have to receive them, the seed comes first, then the root, then the blade, a process. David began in training, during the training he was able to learn how to lead, now he is able to guide the nation.

David put his mind on the people as well as his calling, causing him to prosper, but there was an Order he followed. He refused to attack the anointing, even if the person in the office had an "evil spirit", which is a lesson in and of itself. David endured, trusted God for God's timing, doing as the Lord commanded. The gifts and calling of God are without repentance If we abuse or reject the Gift, God will still put the gift to work. Wait brother, you made a mistake, shouldn't it be "callings", rather than "calling"? No, the verse points to One Calling (Rom 11:29). The word for Gifts in Romans 11:29 is the Greek Charisma, the word Grace is the Greek Charis, thus Charisma is the active product of Grace, becoming Gifts by the Gift, meaning Grace is The Gift of God (Eph 3:7). The gifts within the gift are listed as, prophecy, ministry, teaching, exhorting, giving, ruling, and mercy (Rom 12:6-21). These are not "pick one", they are attributes of the Character we obtained by being Born Again into the Grace of God. The “manifestation of the Spirit” is the ministry of the Spirit in us in those one on one situations, the “gifts” are the attributes of the nature of Grace, we have both, if we are Born Again as the mind the Spirit replaces the mind of the flesh.

David had several children, but two draw our attention. Solomon was born to Bethsheba and David, it was Solomon who became king after David; the other son is Nathan who was born in Jerusalem (II Sam 5:14). These two sons explain the two lines of genealogy found in the Gospel. Matthew begins the Gospel with the genealogy pointing to the kingly line, but he begins with Abraham, not David thus Jesus had a right to the throne as The King of all the Hebrews long before Saul or David (Matt 1:1-2). Matthew gives us the mystery in the generations; there were fourteen generations from Abraham to David, fourteen from David to the carrying away to Babylon, and fourteen from the carrying away to Babylon until Jesus (Matt 1:17). It would appear, if one counted the generations there are only thirteen between Jechonias to Jesus (Matt 1:12-16); however, there is a hidden mystery in Matthew’s count. Matthew shows the fourteenth generation points to the Body of Christ; therefore, Jesus brought Christ, because He is The Christ who gave us His Body. The hidden Generation is hidden as the Christ Generation, as our Time and Season (Matt 1:17). It's alluded to in the Old, but manifested in the New. This explains why we find some references to Christ pointing directly to Jesus as the Head of the Body, but we also find references pointing to the Body, it's nonetheless the Same Christ, with Jesus as the Head (authority), but there are some in the Body who think they are the Head. This separation is the purpose of the Net, we also find the Wheat and Tares in the same Field. The Harvest is a point of separation in the Field, not the Net. We fish in the Sea, we harvest in the Field, two different places. The Sickles used in the end times take a Harvest, not the Net. This in no way takes away from Jesus being the Christ, rather it opens up our Generation, as the Generation of the Christ Like people who are the Firstfruits of the Spirit. This is not some mystery Generation yet to come, it came on Pentecost continuing until the Day Ends, if we receive it. The other generational line regarding Jesus being Jewish is found in Luke, which we discussed prior. This line goes to Nathan, the one in Matthew to Solomon, thus there is a difference, one kingly, one Jewish.

David set out to get the Ark of the covenant, but failed to contact the Levites, yet only the Levites can touch the Ark (II Sam 6:1-3). God established a method in which the Ark was to be moved by a specific order, this episode shows we can't change the Order, if God has not commanded us to do so. It was the Levites who carried it across the Jordan, but wait, what about the Philistines, didn't they take the Ark at one time? Yes, and God dealt with them (I Sam 5:1-12); thus the Philistines returned the Ark back to Israel (I Sam 6:7), which shows the error here involved was using the wrong source. David will use a new and fancy cart, but so did the Philistines (I Sam 6:7). David will use ox, but so did the Philistines. Ahh, David copied the order of the Philistines, rather than the order of God, yet he felt he was doing God a service, but he also felt he was out doing the Philistines. What would have happened if God allowed David to bring the Ark back in the same manner as the Philistines? Corruption and destruction, God would have to deal with Israel in the same manner as He deals with the uncircumcised. Taking this to our system, what happens when we promote God in the same manner as the world promotes its products? God has to deal with us, as He does the world.

Once God establishes a procedure for a people, it’s the procedure they must follow in order to gain the blessing, until such time as God changes the position of the people to higher level. Did God ordain the manner in which the Philistines took the Ark? No, He established an order, although David felt he was doing the right thing, although the people agreed, it was out of order, costing a man his life. Things can sound right, even good, yet be out of order. Doing the right thing with the wrong method, is still wrong.

Uzzah saw the oxen shake the Ark, he attempted to balance it and died (II Sam 6:6-7). Uzzah was not a Levite, thus his act displayed the breach; the Ark was unsure, it was an improper cart, being moved by those who lacked the authority. Did David have a warning? Yes, in Saul: David knew the position was more important than the man. This is not a lack of faith, but attempting to do something seemingly right, by using the wrong method. The error here was not in what Uzzah did, but what David did, as we will see later. David was displeased; he thought being king allowed him special privileges, but his position didn't allow him authority to change God's procedures, rather God had provided  the method in which Israel was to move the Ark many years prior, as well as those authorized to move it. The same is true with us, we have authority as kings, but we don’t have the authority to change God’s procedures.

After the error David left the Ark at the house of Obededom, the house of Obededom was blessed of God for the sake of the Ark (II Sam 6:12). The fault was not with the Ark, since it continued to bless, the fault was in the “method”, this it was the right thought, wrong method. Later after the correction David will take the Ark into the city with gladness by the proper procedure, when we follow God's order we are confident, happy and dance before the Lord. However, as David danced before the Lord, his wife, Michal, who was also Saul's daughter saw him, then she became displeased. David was displeased with God when Uzzah died, yet God must do, what God must do; now David faces Michal who is displeased with him, for doing what he couldn't help doing. The up side for David was the dancing, the down side was his wife telling him, he looked like a fool (II Sam 6:15-20). David said, "it was before the Lord", but the death of Uzzah was also before the Lord. David found whether it appears right or wrong, good or evil in our eyes, what counts is how it appears to God (II Sam 6:21-23).

Michal could care less if David's dancing was before the Lord, it was also before the people, thus the Ark coming into the city produced gladness in those who sought the Lord, but anger in others. When we follow God's plan we are happy and dance before the Lord. Michal’s displeasure was also out of order, she remained barren, thus her attitude in this matter caused her barrenness, she considered David’s dancing before the Lord a foolish act, without regard for the “king’s position”. She was more concerned about how the people felt about David, which would reflect upon her, than how God viewed David, or her, or the people (II Sam 6:15-20). David was an example before the people, but Michal failed to see being open and naked before God is more important than what people think.

Finally David had rest, the land was at peace. David looked about his house and saw all God had given him, now he wanted to give something to God, A House For God To Dwell In (II Sam 7:1-5). God didn't come to David, as He did Moses seeking a House (Tabernacle), this was something David wanted to do for God, yet God didn't need a house. David was a man with a heart after God (a heart seeking after God), since he wanted to do something for God, God would allow it based on the love David had for God. David knew there was importance for the Dwelling Place Of God, but in his time the only method open was to prepare a house of stone, wood, gold and silver. The Lord came to Nathan the prophet at Night telling him to tell David, "Shall you build Me an house for Me to dwell in?" (II Sam 7:5). Since the plans for the Tabernacle came in the Day, yet here God came in the Night, thus we find a separation; God would work more than one purpose into this event. The Temple is assigned the Night, the Tabernacle the Day, when there is no more Night (Judgment) in heaven, there will be no more Temple

We begin as a temple none of us can build, but we do prepare it to become a tabernacle unto God (II Sam 7:12-13). The building of the temple would be given to David's son, but we find the correlation to the position we know as the Son of David. Solomon will build a temple of stone, but the true Son of David will build the Tabernacle in our hearts. Even today, the Jew waits for a man to build their temple of stone, so it must be; however, it’s not the place for the Messiah, although they presume so. The true Tabernacle of God is not made with hands, but comes by the circumcision of the heart, the proof is the seal of the Holy Spirit, the New Man, the Greater He in us, Christ in us the hope of Glory. The only job Solomon had was to build the temple, the only job the New Man has is to save our souls. The Temple is a type and shadow of God's Judgment; the Tabernacle a type of His Salvation through Grace. However, we find after Solomon built the temple, he built his house twice as big as God's house. Man tends to build his own sandy castle twice the size of God's dwelling place, the result is a divided kingdom. The Kingdom of God will never be divided, but the kingdom of heaven is already divided. What? Yes, Jesus said there were tares planted by the enemy and Wheat planted by Him, the field is the kingdom of heaven, thus the Body will be broken, but woe unto him who causes it.

The lesson also shows how one Plants, another Waters, but God brings the increase. For some reason we assume we must bring the increase, yet it's God alone who brings the increase, or forms the vessels. The vessels make choices, but they don't do the forming. Paul would use this same premise in reference to Paul planting the seed, Apollos watering it, but only God can bring the increase (I Cor 3:6-8). It's the increase we need, yet the increase of the Seed brings the Wisdom to handle all things placed before us. If the Holy Ghost brings the seed, is Paul saying he is the Holy Ghost? Not at all, the Holy Ghost used Paul to plant the Seed, just as He uses us to plant the Seed, making us the instrument used by the Holy Ghost in the planting.

David also wanted to do something for Jonathan, since God was doing something for David. As it turns out, Jonathan did have a son, but when the child was just a lad, he was dropped making him lame (II Sam 9:1-5). The lad's name was Mephibosheth meaning Dispeller of shame; David would use Mephibosheth to dispel the shame on the house of Saul (II Sam 9:6-13).

Next would be Bethsheba (or Bathsheba), this lesson tells us how a lust can deceive us until exposure comes by the Word of the Lord. We need to resolve some issues here, Bathsheba was married to Uriah, who was a Hittite (II Sam 11:3). The Hittites were not Jewish, although we know Abraham purchased the grave site for Sara from one, and Esau married one (Gen 26:34), thus we have a problem here, or maybe not. Faith knows God framed the worlds, thus the complexity of what we are about to enter proves God is in control. If Bathsheba was not a Jew, then her children were not Jewish. However in order to be in line to the kingly order ones father has to descend from David, making a division between the father and mother of the child. Solomon had a right to throne of David, since David was his father. We also know Solomon married all sorts of women, some Jews, some not. This seems unimportant until we get to the New Testament where we find Matthew followed the line of Joseph, Mary's husband to show Jesus had a right to the throne of David, but was Joseph the real father to Jesus? No, we know Mary was a virgin, so maybe Matthew didn't know that. Wait, Jewish law tells us if Joseph accepted the responsibility of raising Jesus, then he was the father by proxy, or as Luke shows it was “supposed”: thus Jesus did have a right to throne of David. Being Jewish depends on ones mother, reaching the kingly line depends on ones earthly father. God had it all taken care of, even Ruth became an adopted Jew to settle the issue.

David was being a natural minded man on his roof when he spied Bethsheba taking a bath on her roof. David continued to look, the more he looked, the more the lust of the flesh took him captive (II Sam 11:2). The name Bethsheba means Daughter of an oath, she was given in a oath to Uriah, but Uriah gave his oath to fight for David. The thought entered David's mind after he looked, but when he played with the thought he formed a plan, then the plan became an action allowing sin to fog his mind. This is very important, without the Spirit in us the flesh will use the lusts of the flesh to trap us in the snare of the enemy. Jesus said playing with the evil thought causes the problem, James concurs, the thought is just that, a thought, but when we entertain it, or form plans to bring it to pass, then the thought becomes an action, the action becomes sin. David’s eyes saw, his mind produced the plan, once he formed the plan, he was trapped in his own illusion.

The choice was made, David took Bethsheba into his bed (II Sam 11:3-5). The act was choice, the aftermath was the responsibility for the choice already made, it was the responsibility David was attempting to avoid. David discovered Bathsheba had conceived, then his plan took on an added aspect of covering up his act. When David discovered how Bethsheba was with child, Bethsheba's husband, Uriah, was putting his life on the line for David in the battle front. David called Uriah home from the front, then sent Uriah home to Bethsheba. This act of manipulation was an have Uriah lay with his wife; thereby causing Uriah to believe a lie by assuming child was his. However, Uriah was more loyal to David, than David was to Uriah, as Uriah spent the night at the kings door. David sent Uriah to the front again, only this time David sent sealed orders to have Uriah go directly to the front of battle, then have the rest of the troops fall back, leaving Uriah in the face of the enemy, subject to certain death, the removal of Uriah was another attempt of David to avoid the responsibility of his act (II Sam 11:14-15). If Uriah was out of the way, who would know? It would appear as if the baby was Uriah's, who would know indeed.

The death of Uriah would be bad enough, but Uriah wasn't the only one to die, others also died (II Sam 11:17 & 11:24). In order to cover his sin, David had to kill others. God tells David, because of the sin of David the child will be in danger, thus God took the child to protect him (II Sam 12:14). This one verse shows God didn't take the child to punish David, rather the child was taken as a form of to protection. David's sin left a door for the enemies of God to attack David and the child, so God moved in to protect both, but in no sense is this "murder" on God's part. Isaiah told us, God takes the righteous at an early age, knowing what evil lays ahead (Isa 57:1). This is also between David and God, thus God took the baby to protect the baby, David had Uriah killed to protect David, much different.

David brought Bethsheba into his house, but the Lord sent Nathan the prophet to David (II Sam 11:25-12:11). This Nathan is not the same as Nathan the son of David, this is Nathan the prophet; therefore, God sent a prophet to expose the sin in order to save the king. Mercy under the Old Covenant still costs something, evil would fall on the house of David for Uriah's sake (II Sam 12:9-19). Is this fair? Is God equal? God had a place for the baby and Uriah, since they were innocent, just as He does today, but David was in sin. Nathan used an allegory to show David’s sin, as soon as David saw the allegory pointed to him, he repented, but knew he has sinned against God alone. How can this be? Many died, but in essence it was against God, causing God to do what God must do.

David wanted the child, but knew God's wisdom was far greater than David's desire. In II Samuel 12:15 we find the Lord “struck” the child, causing the child to become very sick. The word Struck is the Hebrew Negaph meaning a punishment or plague, or stricken in some way, so what happened? It’s the same concept as the curse, God takes His hand away and the curse falls, the curse never comes without cause, David produced the cause (Prov 26:2). The child did nothing wrong, but the child was a product of something making the child a target to be used to destroy David and the child, thereby corrupting the line of David to Jesus. The lesson is how the sin of one can cause an effect on many others, Uriah died, others died with Uriah, now the child is going to die, all as a result of the king attempting to cover up his sin.

When the child dies we find another interesting set of events, David is fasting and weeping for the child based on, “who can tell whether God will be gracious (merciful)” (II Sam 12:22), but when David finds the child is dead, he gets up knowing he cannot bring the child back, he then places his mind on the living (II Sam 12:23). Solomon is then born, as David is comforted Bathsheba, and the “Lord loved him” (II Sam 12:24-25).

At the same time Joab, who was over the host (II Sam 8:16) was at war against the Ammonites (II Sam 12:26-28). When the news came of the victory of Joab, David gathered up the people to finish the battle and capture the city in Rabbah. They took the crown off the head of the defeated king, then put it on David’s head, then David and all the people returned to Jerusalem (II Sam 12:30-31).

All seemed healed and in order, but Absalom the son of David had a sister by the name of Tamar, Amnon was another son of David who loved Tamar (II Sam 13:1). Tamar was a virgin, yet Amnon allowed his lust of the flesh to overcome him. Like David in regards to Bathsheba, Amnon put together a plan with the help of Jonadab, who became a type of a messenger of Satan, he spoke to the lust convincing Amnon. The plan was to fake a sickness, then have David send in Tamar to care for Amnon. Tamar did as her father asked, she cared for Amnon, but Amnon took hold of her, then raped her (II Sam 13:3-14). Then Amnon hated Tamar, really his hate was toward himself, but his deception was going to take it out on Tamar (II Sam 13:15).

Absalom wanted to save the "family name" by keeping Tamar in his house (II Sam 13:20-23), at the same time Absalom kept his anger inside, but it too developed into a plan of revenge (II Sam 13:24-28). Absalom had Amnon killed, but the news came back to David as, "all the king's sons are dead" (II Sam 13:30). Jonadab, the one who started all this told David, "Amnon only is dead"; then Jonadab used more manipulation by telling David, "don't take it to heart" (II Sam 13:32-33). Absalom fled to Talmai the son of Ammihud, the king of Geshur for refuge (II Sam 13:37-39). All this started because David took someone belonging to another, becoming an example.

Now, what is the difference between what David did with Bethsheba and what happened to Tamar? Much, Bethsheba was not raped, she was not a member of the family, but it still doesn't excuse the sin of David, or Amnon it only shows David was reaping what he sowed. Joab saw how David wanted to have Absalom back, he devised a method to open David's eyes (II Sam 14:1-19). Joab didn't use deception, since deception is a self-based demonic trick, rather his intent was to bring Absalom home, it worked to a degree. Absalom was allowed to come home, but not allowed to look on the face of David (II Sam 14:24). Absalom wanted to see David, he told Joab "now therefore, let me, see the king's face: and if there be any iniquity in me, let him kill me" (II Sam 14:32). When Absalom came before king David, the king kissed him (II Sam 14:33).

With all this, Absalom still wasn't clean, although he was restored in the king's house, he failed to repent before the Lord. Absalom gathered many men to himself (II Sam 15:6), then he killed the man who raped his sister, but instead of applying mercy, he applied condemnation, causing it to come back on him. Although Absalom had Amnon killed, the hate lingered on, the blood of Amnon couldn't stop the hate, his failure to repent produced more hate toward his own father. This symbol shows how hate grows, although God is doing everything He can to bring us to repentance, we still have to make the choice. Some will blame the devil, blame God, blame the prophet, blame the pastor, but they won't face their own hate and bitterness. There is a difference between the tares planted by the enemy, and the evil we retain based on our choices, but either left to its own still grows into a tree of bitterness.

It all turned on Absalom as he began to form a plan to steal the king's throne. Absalom used the tricks of Jonadab, as he had spies go throughout the land. The plan was based on the sound of a trumpet, when the trumpet sounded the spies were to say, "Absalom reigns (as king) in Hebron" (II Sam 15:10). Instead of David fighting his own son, he ran (II Sam 15:13-15). Zadok and Abiathar wanted to take the Ark with David, but David told them to return to Jerusalem with the Ark, thus he knew the time would come when this trouble would pass (II Sam 15:24-29). When David reached Bahurim, a man by the name of Shimei from the house of Saul came out to curse him (II Sam 16:5-7). David's men wanted to do something to Shimei, but David said, "let him curse, because the Lord has said unto him to curse David" (II Sam 16:10). The cursing was to help David, not harm him. The cursing was allowed by God to open the door for the Lord to stand for David (II Sam 16:11-14). Those who cursed David, would be cursed. Many things happen for a period of time, but one day as Absalom was riding a mule, the mule went under a bunch of thick oak branches Absalom's neck was caught between branches. As he was hanging there, along would come Joab to finish the job. Joab plotted against Absalom, but Absalom was still the king's kid, Joab would later pay the price (II Sam 18:9-16). David wanted to know about Absalom, he asked Cushi, "is the young man (Absalom) safe?" (II Sam 18:32). Cushi wasn't as foolish as past messengers, instead of telling David, "The king lives, I killed his enemies"; he told David, "the enemies of my lord the king and all who rise against you to do you hurt, be as the young man is" (II Sam 18:32). David mourned the death of Absalom, but David didn't take any joy in the death of one from his own house, even the death of a rebellious one (II Sam 18:33).

David would number (count) the people for war, which is different from counting them for worship. David's act was one of unbelief in the Lord's ability to fight for the nation of God. The weapons of our warfare are mighty through God, we don't have to count them, merely use them, they are designed for victory. Later David numbered the priests, yet it wasn't a sin, thus the numbering alone was not the sin, it was Why the numbering came about. In this case the Lord told David there would be a victory, then David counted the warriors to determine if he had enough men to win the battle, it was an act of unbelief in the word of the Lord. Solomon's act of numbering was proper, since he was ascertaining if there was room enough for the strangers to worship. Moses numbered the people twice, thus it’s not the numbering, but why one numbers the people.

David should have known his act was one of unbelief (II Sam 24:1), since God never told him to ascertain if he had enough men to fight. Joab attempted to talk David out of it; however, David was set on numbering the people. Nonetheless Joab didn't number all the people, for he knew it was a sin (II Sam 24:2-9 & I Chron 21:6). Holding a concept of "numbering the people is sin", doesn't take into account the intent for the numbering. David didn’t sit around numbering the people when he defeated Goliath; however in this case when David heard the number, he knew he sinned. Since this is the Old Testament, a price had to be paid to restore David (II Sam 24:10-13). God gave David a choice in the punishment, David picked what he assumed was the shortest of the three, but turned out to be the hardest of the three (II Sam 24:13-15). The Lord repented of the evil He had to do, but He did it, based on His integrity and faithfulness (II Sam 24:16). A holy God does what must be done, even if it breaks His heart.

David repented, staying the angel of death. Then David went to give a sacrifice at the threshing floor of Araunah, when Araunah heard how David wanted to sacrifice, he volunteered many things, but David gave a statement holding true today. David said, "neither will I offer burnt offerings unto the Lord my God, which cost me nothing" (II Sam 24:24). Giving what costs us nothing is giving nothing, but giving the Lord the one treasure of our soul is the gift and sacrifice God seeks. Having said that, what about Grace? It costs nothing to obtain, but it costs us to maintain. However, the benefit far out weighs the cost. David wanted to give, it was a part of his character, God still loves a cheerful giver.


FIRST KINGS

First and Second Samuel divide the two elements of the Net in reference to kingship. We first looked at Saul the one appointed by the people, approved by God to be a captain, then tested regarding the position, yet he retained his pride and became rebellious. Next was David, who was appointed, approved and accepted by God, who was also tested, but placed his trust in God obtaining the position. First Kings and Second Kings continues the premise with an adding the Prophet in the land. During the Night (Time of Comfort) there will be Two Witnesses, assigned to the last two churches. The division is again made clear, we have the Witness of the Water, Blood and Spirit, the last two churches in the Night have the Two Witnesses of the Law and Prophets (Rev 11:3-4 & 3:7-19).

However, before we venture into the prophet area we have to finish with David, who was both king and prophet. Before David would die, there would be a division in the family order. When David does reach the last few minutes of his life he will know of a certainty, the flesh never holds the answer. Although his servants obtained a virgin for him to keep him warm, he knew her not, he died looking for God, not the flesh (I Kings 1:1-4).

Regressing slightly, right before David's death would come the battle for the throne, the first one to raise up is Adonijah who "exalted himself" saying, "I will be king", but he could care less what God wanted (I Kings 1:5). This caused a division in the house of David, thus the house was divided against itself (I Kings 1:7-8). Nathan the prophet knew Solomon was God's choice as well as the king's choice, thus he went to Bethsheba, she in turn went to David. Between Bethsheba and Nathan, they reminded David Solomon must be king in order to build the house of the Lord (I Kings 1:11-44). Zadok and Nathan anointed Solomon king, yet when Adonijah heard, he was filled with fear, then sought mercy from Solomon (I Kings 1:50-52). Once Solomon was anointed, the controversy was settled, David died, and was buried in Jerusalem (I Kings 2:10). David’s grave becomes the marker for all Jews to claim Jerusalem as theirs.

Adonijah didn't appreciate the mercy, he wanted the throne. He sent Bethsheba into Solomon to ask for Abishag the Shunammite (I Kings 2:21-22). It wasn't the asking as much as the message, the name Abishag means, "father of error"; thus the message to Solomon was clear, Adonijah was telling him, David made an error in placing Solomon on the throne. Adonijah still thought he should be king, thereby, rejecting the mercy of the king, causing his own death.

Adonijah was a member of the House of the king, yet he wanted the throne, the power, and all going with it. Adonijah would use any means to get what he wanted, yet the position was not appointed to him. Solomon was appointed by "his father" as the rightful choice, which was proven when he gave Mercy to his brother. Although Solomon was not privy to Grace we know we need both the Mercy of the Father, and the Grace of the Son in order to walk in the Spirit. Solomon sought mercy over revenge, a sign of a good king, until the one who received mercy, rejected giving mercy, a sign of a vessel of dishonor. When Solomon saw the message, he said, "God do so to me and more also, if Adonijah have not spoken this word against his own life" (I Kings 2:23). Just as Pharaoh signed his own death warrant, Adonijah signed his. Solomon saw the interpretation of the message by saying, "As the Lord lives, which has established me and set me on the throne of David my father and Who has made me a house..."  (I Kings 2:24). Adonijah was put to death, thus the error remained with Adonijah, not Solomon; therefore, a lust to take what is not ours often brings death to our door; perhaps not physical death, but death nonetheless.

Abiathar joined with Adonijah in the rebellion, Solomon sent Abiathar to Anathoth or better retired him to his own land (I Kings 2:26-27). Joab also joined with Adonijah, he heard what happened then ran to the temple for safety. Solomon then sent Benaiah to kill Joab, but Joab wouldn't leave the temple, saying, "Nay, I will die here" (I Kings 2:30-31). Solomon answered, "do as he says", Joab was killed; he who lives by the sword, must die by the sword; even if, they stand in the temple of God (I Kings 2:31-46).

Solomon would make many mistakes, but his testimony was his foundation, Solomon "loved the Lord" (I Kings 3:3). Love still covers a multitude of sins, as long as we truly Love the Lord, He will watch over us.

Both books of the Kings give us a great deal of information, but the books of Chronicles will give us wisdom. Solomon knew what he faced, he knew his limitation as well. Since the Jews were God's people, it would take more than a mortal man to judge them. Solomon asked the Lord for understanding of heart in order to judge and discern the things of the people, for the people's sake, and for the Lord's sake (I Kings 3:9). Solomon didn't ask for the prosperity of the Lord, but gained it anyway. We seek the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness, the Things (prosperity) will be added. We can't seek the Kingdom for the Things, rather the promise is when we put our minds on the Kingdom, the Things will be added. Neither can we limit prosperity to gold and silver, which tends to change the concept of God's prosperity to the natural. The word Prosperity means Advancement, but the first premise is being favored before God, second is the real issue, we prosper as our souls prosper, by the saving of the soul we obtain the prosperity.

Solomon's wisdom was proven by experiences, one of those experiences is written for us (I Kings 3:16-28). The situation is between two women, each had a baby, one three days older than the other. One child died, the mother of the dead child stole the living child from the other mother, then claimed it as hers. There was a disagreement, both women claimed the live baby. They came before Solomon, the king knew one had a right to the child, yet the with the Right she would have a love to prove it, thus Solomon said, "divide the child" (I Kings 3:25). The wicked woman said, "Go ahead", but the real mother said, "Oh my lord, give her the living child, do not slay it" (I Kings 3:26). Those who attempt to replace the Old with the New have little love for the New, those who leave the Old behind to gain the New, will cherish the New. Solomon heard the words spoken by both, wisdom declared to him which was truly the mother. This shows Wisdom is the method used to deal with people and events. The child was restored to the rightful mother, the people knew wisdom was with Solomon, showing he was able to judge righteously (II Sam 3:28). It was in dealing with people, but in his own life it was a different matter, thus Solomon didn’t have the same type of Wisdom we gain from the New Birth.

Solomon's call was to build the house of the Lord, but why Solomon? It was David's idea, but wait is this a type and shadow as well? Yes, David couldn't build the house, but the son of David could. The type shows God isn't looking for a building of stone, or wood, but for circumcision of heart made without hands. The Seed of God induced into the willing soul of a person brings them a New Heart of Grace. Jesus said He would build the Church, not man, not denominations, not systems, or formulas. Jesus is building the Church from members of the Rock, the gates of hell shall not prevail against “it”.

Solomon required wisdom and knowledge beyond his limited intellect to complete the task of building the house, yet there isn't one person who has enough intellect to build the house of the Lord in us. Solomon made sure there wasn't the sound of hammer or tool in the temple, but it was obvious something was going on (I Kings 6:7). The building the Spirit does in us is approximately the same, we can't hear the hammers banging, or the Carpenter moving, but we know something is going on. The plans for the Tabernacle were from God, thus God had the plans for the Tabernacle then gave them to Moses, but Solomon made the plans for the Temple. Two different structures, each representing something different.

Solomon also had an If in his calling, the Lord told him, "If you will walk in My statutes and execute My judgments and keep all My commandments to walk in them; then will I perform My word with you, which I spoke unto David your father: and I will dwell among the children of Israel and will not forsake My people Israel" (I Kings 6:12-13). The wisdom received had a price, the entire nation was dependent on what Solomon did. The type and shadow shows why we ask for God’s Wisdom by faith, the faith is to apply the product of the prayer according to the manner which God desires.

While building the temple they examined the Ark, finding the two tables of stone, but the rod of Aaron and the manna were gone (I Kings 8:9). They had the temple, but they didn't have the rod budding with life, or the Manna. Part of the Glory was already gone, but the tables of stone remained to show the children the condition of their hearts. The rod and manna were types and shadows of something yet to happen in the land, just as the Tabernacle was a shadow of someone yet to come. Aaron’s rod us a type of the Resurrection, the manna a type of miracle, putting them together we find the Resurrection of Jesus began the day of miracles for us.

Solomon dedicated the temple by giving a prayer, within the prayer he said, "when your people Israel be smitten down before the enemy, because they have sinned against You and shall turn again to You and confess Your Name and pray and make supplication unto You in this house: then hear You from heaven and forgive the sin of Your people Israel and bring them again unto the land which you gave unto their fathers" (I Kings 8:33). Clearly, this is prayer is based on atonement, as it asks forgiveness for the people's sin against God before the fact. The wisdom of Solomon spoke, thus if the temple ever suffers harm, it's because the people to whom the temple belong have sinned. We also find the singular usage of Sin, rather than sins. This prayer had nothing to do with the sin between man and man, but it had everything to do with sin against God. For these people the Sin against the Lord was coming against His people, but what is this Sin? Rejection of the statues of God, thus Solomon remembered the If clause. The prayer also left room for repentance, if repentance takes place God will again bring them into the land. This prayer was also a prophecy, because it’s exactly what will happen.

In the process of building there are times when we think there is no advancement at all, the spirit of discouragement comes from nowhere, sitting somewhere. There are times when all of us want to give up, or just be a "Plain old Christian", accepting the world, doing social good, but we confused the tabernacle for the temple, we got sick and tired of fighting the wall of carnal thinking. Paul was no different, but he came to the attacks from those within, he still went to the Lord where he found Grace is sufficient. The Sufficiency of Grace includes the Joy to carry on, the Hope to reach ahead, the Courage to stand, even standing for those who misuse and abuse you. The Temple is a different story, it’s design in stone, it’s purpose is judgment, whereas the Tabernacle is purposed for Salvation.

As wise as Solomon was, he had a soul without the Spirit, causing his mind to drift from God. Solomon was given another IF as God said, "If you shall at all turn from following Me, you or your children and will not keep My commandments and My statutes which I have set before you; but go and serve other gods and worship them, then will I cut off Israel out of the land.." (I Kings 9:6-7). Solomon would drift to other gods, many of the kings who followed him drifted to other gods. Idols can be stone, wood, paper, or a thought taking the place of God. One can have God's name on their lips, but idols in their heart.

The queen of Sheba would hear of Solomon, she came to him with hard questions to prove him (I Kings 10:1). The queen of Sheba wasn't attempting to trick Solomon, rather she had hard questions, but she wanted some easy to understand answers. Solomon left none unanswered, then she said, "I believed not the words, until I came and my eyes had seen it and behold, the half was not told me: your wisdom and prosperity exceeds the fame which I heard" (I Kings 10:7). This is belief on her part, since she Believed not until she heard, thus she changed from unbelief to belief when she did hear. She also gave credit where credit is due by saying, "Blessed be the Lord your God, which delights in you, to set you on the throne of Israel: because the Lord loves Israel forever"; however, this is not a faith statement, but one of praise (I Kings 10:9). The wisdom of Solomon was not God's Wisdom from above, rather it was an ability to discern the circumstances regarding the people he was placed over by the anointing on his office. The Wisdom of God is an attribute joining to the Word in us, allowing us to deal with people and events in a Godly spiritual manner. Solomon was not spiritual, his wisdom did not go beyond his office, surely not into his own life, as his life shows.

There are those who will praise the people of God, yet plant seeds of pride as well. Although the Queen of Sheba did recognize it was God, we find Solomon received the words as some greatness on his part, shortly thereafter he fell into idol worship. Just as Saul heard the voices of men, Solomon made an error in interpreting what the queen said, thus the Lord would tell him, "I will surely rend the kingdom from thee, and will give it to thy servant" (I Kings 11:11). Paul faced a similar event, with a different result. There was a damsel possessed with a spirit of divination following Paul and Silas around, he was troubled in "spirit" by the words of this damsel. When we read Acts 16:16-18 we find this damsel made a factual statement, but it was nonetheless a lie (Acts 16:16-18). Paul and Silas were men of God, their mission was to promote the way of salvation, but the damsel was also attempting to build the egos of the men. God was mentioned, but Paul and Silas were being promoted as the great men, the ones of salvation, thus the evil spirit in the damsel was attempting to boast the ego and pride of Paul and Silas into a lustful position to use them to promote her idol concepts. However, Paul cast the devil out of the damsel, setting her free. What the devil planned for evil, God planned for Good. The same is true here, as rich as Solomon was, as blessed as he was, he was nonetheless a human being with a soul, lacking the Spirit. His guide was his flesh, ours is by the Spirit.

Solomon began to love many strange women, which took him to idols, causing him to do evil in the sight of the Lord (I Kings 11:1-6). Again this is the Old Covenant, Solomon paid for his sin; the kingdom was divided as Solomon lost most of his kingdom and his prosperity (I Kings 11:11-40). Although he was the richest in the land, his rebellion cost him most of it. This type and shadow will be explored in the next lesson, but for here, we find Solomon looked at God's house, yet made his house twice the size, then the Strange Woman appeared causing him to follow idols, but where did those idols come from? The Women, or his own mind? The idol was a lust in his own mind, the strange woman merely took what was there turning it against him. The devil does the same with us, our own words either justified or condemned us, thus if we speak from a corrupt mind, the devil takes those words then shoves them right back in our face. We can also speak words of Grace, Mercy, Love, Hope and Faith defeating the works of the devil, the choice is ours.

Solomon died, his reign over all Israel was forty years, the same time the children spent in the wilderness. Solomon was buried in Jerusalem, the same place David was buried (I Kings 11:41-43). From Solomon's rebellion the nation of Israel rebelled against the house of David, the division would continue until Jesus came, then another division would take place (I Kings 12:19). Wait, Jesus bringing division? I thought all division was carnal? Not all, it's the intent making the difference. In the Beginning God divided many things, but never based on any envy or strife. The carnal divide based on envy and strife, thus it's the intent behind the division telling the truth of the matter (I Cor 3:1-3). Here we find once the division took hold, so did the carnal mind of man. James adds to this, by telling us those who operate from envy and strife also produce confusion, with all sorts of evil work (James 3:16). Truth is never confused, the mind holding the fable is. The false know how truth will disrupt the fable, when Truth comes to expose the fable we also find confusion. The wicked use it to blame the Truth, in order to save the fable. "Were you confused before they came?, No? Well see, they brought confusion". No, it’s not the case at all, Truth came, those who hold fables became confused. If we have the Truth we are never confused, yet if we hold a fable when Truth comes, we will be confused. Confusion is not of God, yet we know when Jesus spoke there was confusion. Was it Jesus? Or the fables in the mind of the confused? Paul could not speak to the Corinthians as unto spiritual, for they were yet carnal. Spiritual matters interpreted by a carnal mind result in foolishness, or confusion. The division Jesus produced is to separate us from the world, to divide the Precious from the Vile, the wheat from the tare, the bad fish from the good, all Godly forms of division unto Salvation. God’s Judgment is merely a form of division, the sheep from the goats, the Precious from the vile, the good from the evil.

In the process of time, Jeroboam became the king of Israel, he said in his heart, "Now shall the kingdom return to the house of David" (I Kings 12:26). It may seem like a statement of faith, but it was pure rebellion, motivated by envy and strife. God said, the kingdom would be divided, but Jeroboam said, Not so Lord, I want it united. Jeroboam said "in his heart", a direct connection to the Lucifer mindset (Isa 14:11-27). Jeroboam wanted to sit on the Mount of the Congregation, his desire wasn't for the unity of the nation for God's sake, rather it was so the nation could be subject to him alone.

Prior Jeroboam fled into Egypt, when he returned he brought Egypt with him. Like the children in the wilderness Jeroboam grabbed idols and golden calves, then he placed a golden calf in Bethel, another in Dan (I Kings 12:2 & 12:29). Then he picked his own priests from the lowest of the people (I Kings 12:31). The word Lowest has two meanings, both apply; it means those on the border, next it points to the perverted. Jeroboam ordained his own perverted priests who were idol worshipers. Jeroboam was not Egyptian, rather he brought Egypt into the kingdom, becoming a type and shadow of the Wicked. Jeroboam was in the land, had a rebellious heart, returned to Egypt, brought his idols back to the land to corrupt the people, thus the type is akin to the "he in the world". Jeroboam came from the nation of Israel, but was not a part of Israel.

God didn't give up on the people, He sent a prophet (I Kings 13:1-2). Jeroboam denied the reward of the prophet by saying, "lay hold of him", but as Jeroboam reached for his idol, his hand dried up, the altar was rent (I Kings 13:4-5). When physical danger is upon the wicked, they seek God or the man of God; Jeroboam is no different, the man of God prayed, and Jeroboam's hand was restored, but his heart wasn't (I Kings 13:6-7).

The man of God left, then faced his own test on the road (I Kings 13:8-16). The man of God was told by the Lord not to stop, drink or eat, but another prophet stopped him and said, "I am a prophet also as you are, an angel spoke unto me by the word of the Lord saying, Bring him back with you into your house, that he may eat bread and drink water" (I Kings 13:18). This would seem like a Proceeding Word, but it was not, it was a test. The second prophet will give a Word from the Lord, it would appear as if the second prophet lied, but it’s a test. The same was seen when Abraham was told to present his son a sacrifice, the presentation was made, not the sacrifice. Here the angel said “bring him back”, the angel didn’t say, “he must go back”, thus the first word would still remain. The “bring him back” was on the second prophet, the first prophet still had the Word as he said (I Kings 3:16-17). The first prophet didn’t have to follow the second prophet, it was a request to him, not a demand. A fine line, but a line nonetheless.

This test came after the prophet completed his job, and was heading home. When the king made the offer he rejected it (I Kings 13:7-8), but then someone with “an office” like his made the offer he accepted it, causing him to be eaten by a lion (I Kings 13:21-24). This is the battle after the battle, there was no proceeding word demanding a change in direction, the first prophet was easily swayed by members of his office, something we should all be aware of. The heathen says “come go with me”, and we say, “nay heathen person I can not”, yet someone in our local body makes a request, we jump at it like a cat on a bug, without seeking the Lord’s will first. It’s the lesson here, the first prophet had the command, nothing changed, the Lord didn’t come to him, another person did. If the Lord gave him the first word, then if it changed the Lord would have told him so.

Jeroboam didn't reject his evil, even after God healed him. There are some who seek the Lord for a healing, simply for the healings sake, there are some who seek Him for prosperity, but it’s simply for the sake of prosperity, others who seek Him, because they love Him; only the latter receives Godly long lasting results. That's not to say the others won't receive, they will, but we desire the lasting results, not the thrill of the moment.

God brought evil to the house of Jeroboam, the house of Jeroboam will surface again because of the golden calf; this is one type of event we don't seek (I Kings 14:9-13). The evil of Jeroboam was not limited to his time, rather his folly moved in time causing many kings to fall. This type and shadow shows how the "Judas mind" as the son of perdition didn't stop when Judas died, it went on to others who retained a like mindset. The Judas mindset is a nature, not one we desire or seek after. Our old nature was imputed dead on the Cross of Jesus, we gained a New Nature in the New Birth.

Judah (the land) followed suit, doing evil in the sight of the Lord, they provoked God to jealousy with their sins, images and false worship (I Kings 14:22-23). Then Abijam reigned over Judah, but his heart wasn't right with God; nevertheless for David's sake the Lord gave him a place in Jerusalem (I Kings 15:1-3). We are saved from the world for Christ's sake through the Mercy of God, but the purpose is to become Christ Like in order to confess Jesus, as He confessed the Father. Here is an example of someone being placed in a position based on the love God has for another. This is a bit spooky, but this is also in the Season of darkness, not the Day. We entered a Relationship with the Lord, our position is far different. True, we did enter based on the Sacrifice of Jesus, true we do make it based on the Faith of Jesus, true we are saved by Grace through Faith, not of our own, but we are still in a relationship with the Lord based on the Spirit, thus Jesus calls us "Friend", but He is seeking Fellowship, so the Father can call us "son".

Then came Asa, his heart was right before the Lord, but the high places remained (I Kings 15:9-14). More division followed, some followed this fellow, others followed another (I Kings 15:21-15). The Body can sing and praise the Lord on Sunday, but unless we take down the high places (strongholds), or we have only fooled ourselves.

Then Ahab comes in the midst of divisions, these divisions set the stage for a prophet, who came from a place no one knew about, who had a boldness in the Lord they hadn't seen before. This one prophet would become the image of all the prophets of God, as well as a symbol of a Witness who would stand next to the Lord of the whole earth  representing all the prophets (Zech 4:14, Matt 17:1-4, Rev 11:3-4 & I Kings 17:1). The Body of Moses is the Law of Moses, but here we find the Body of the Prophets; thereby giving us Two Witnesses, the Law and Prophets who wear sackclothe (repentance) during the Season of the Night, they are assigned to the last two candlesticks only, rather than all seven. Elijah never had a book named after him, although he was a prophet among prophets, becoming a symbol of all the prophets on the Mount of Transfiguration.

Whether it be the Christ Church, or the Remnant, they all belong to Jesus. Paul said we are the Firstfruits of Christ, but there are also those who belong to Christ (I Cor 15:23). This doesn't give us the right to reject the call as the Firstfruits of the Spirit, attempting to be among the latter group, but it does show there is One Way, but more than one group, the ten thousand times ten thousand, and the thousands of thousands (Rev 5:11).

Elijah was a Tishbite, but Tishbite is not a people or location, but the message of Elijah. The word Tishbite means Recourse, or To Cause A Turn, John the Baptist was called Elijah if we receive It, not the man, but the message. John the Baptist would, "go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah to turn the hearts of the fathers" (Luke 1:17). The spirit (attitude or message) of Elijah was "repent for the time is at hand", in the latter days this same message will say, "come out of her My people, do not be a partaker of her sins" (Rev 18:4). Elijah was from Gilead, the word Gilead means, A Heap Of Testimony: Jeremiah asks, "is there no balm in Gilead?" (Jere 8:22). The Balm Of Gilead is a prophet with the message from God causing a change in the hearts of God's people. Nothing heals faster than repentance, nothing builds the tabernacle faster than repentance, and nothing gets the attention of God faster than repentance. When we receive the prophet's reward, we repent, then our sins are forgiven causing restoration, but if we fail to receive the prophet, we miss the reward and learn the hard way.

When Elijah came on the scene king Ahab was married to Jezebel, yet Jezebel was not a Jew, she was from Zidon. Her father was the Ethbaal the king of the Zidonians, who served Baal. Zidon means Hunting, but relates to the catching of fish, thus it becomes the counterfeit of the Net. The only place we find the name Ethbaal is here, it means With Baal. Ahab not only allowed idols, he married into them. Jezebel brought the worship of Baal into the land by bringing the priests of Baal with her. She is defined as a self-appointed prophetess in Revelation 2:20. This in no way means females cannot prophesy, since Philip one of the seven had four daughters who did prophesy (Acts 21:9). Balaam was a male prophet, but his teaching was corrupt, but Jezebel was neither prophet or teacher, yet she sent a message to the prophet regarding a future event she said would bring to pass, making her self-appointed. Okay, how can Jezebel end up among the “churches” in the Book of Revelation? Position, the same as the “son of perdition”, if Judas completed the position of the son of perdition, what is Paul doing telling us it’s yet to be revealed (II Thess 2:3)? Don’t confuse position with person, or we will have people being reincarnated all over the place, which we know is not right.

The Book of Revelation shows Jesus gave Jezebel room to repent, yet here we find she had room and cause to repent, but rejected it. Having the ability to repent, and doing it are different. However, the position defines the nature, we also find she will have children, yet they too will refuse to repent (Rev 2:20-23). Jezebel the self-appointed one will send a threatening letter to the anointed and appointed prophet, yet we find the anointed and appointed running away. How can this be? As we will see, as powerful as Elijah was in standing against the prophets of Baal, he was not prepared for the wife of the king.

Elijah marches into king Ahab, saying, "As the Lord God of Israel lives, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years but according to my word" (I Kings 17:1). Ahab couldn't kill Elijah, or there would never rain again, Ahab knew it. There isn't one reference to Elijah keeping the Law of Moses, but there are many references to the power (balm) being present in the prophet. This separation between the Law and Prophets was purposed of God to show us the Two Witnesses who bring the Testimony. We simply don't see a Prophet who keeps the Law of Moses, thus it wasn't the keeping of the Law making the person a Prophet, it was the calling of God. Therefore, God divided the Prophets from the Law so they could be Two Witnesses, rather than One; however we have the One Witness of the Water, Blood and Spirit, they agree as One (I Jn 5:7-8).

God used the ravens to feed Elijah, then God told Elijah to go into Zarephath of Zidon where there was a widow to sustain him (I Kings 17:4-9). This is great, the home land of Jezebel, even the Law of Moses forbid one from eating ravens, but it didn't forbid the ravens from bringing the prophet food. The Jew would die before eating pork, but what would they do if a pig brought them a Kosher meal?

When Elijah arrived, he found the widow woman, but he also found she only had "a little cake" (I Kings 17:9-13). The Lord told Elijah, the widow would sustain him; therefore, Elijah knew she would have much more than a little cake. It may appear to her all she had was in her hand, but Elijah knew God would not send him there to cause a widow woman to starve to death. There had to be something to start with, a seed, something. God gives the Seed to the sower, what the sower does with it determines the result (II Cor 9:10).

God purposed for the widow to be in the position she was in, in order for her to give what little she did have to the prophet, so God could bless her beyond her need and want. Elijah wasn't being demanding, rather he knew in her giving, she would be saved. Elijah told her, to give to him first, then make for her and her son. In all this we must keep in mind the prophet isn’t making this up, it’s not a “prophetic fable”, neither is it something he is attempting to use to take the widow’s substance. He is being obedient, he also knows God said “sustain” (or maintain Hebrew Kuwl), indicating the result was far greater than a “little cake”.

We are told to entertain strangers carefully, for one may be an angel unawares; the word Angel goes further than an winged being, an angel is a messenger from God, here we see the basis of Hebrews 13:2. We are also known as the angels who will minister to those who Shall be heirs of salvation. If we are heirs, why would we need an angel? If one "shall be an heir", they are yet an heir, thus they are the ones we are sent to (Heb 1:14).

Some might think, "the nerve of the man, making himself first, the ego, the greed, the self-based thing calls himself a prophet?"; however, the prophet knew the Principle and Procedure, his concern was not for him, but for the widow. In order for the widow to enter into what God had for her, it would take a sacrifice on her part putting the man of God above her own family. Once she did, then the windows of heaven would open for her.

Most of us would have looked at the little cake and said, "oh great, how is this woman going to sustain me, she can't sustain herself". Perhaps we are in the place of the widow, “great here comes the devil to steal my cake”; however, the widow did as she was told by the prophet (I Kings 17:15-16). How many false prophets go about using this very story to take money from widows? If there is one, it’s too many. There must be an inner witness, but even if there isn’t, doesn’t God judge the heart? Yes, if we look upon the person who tells us to give them our last cake, we give based on mercy, don’t you think God will honor it, even if the person we given to is crook? Yes, our giving is mercy based, each is responsible for their own doing, the thief to the house of thieves, the cheerful giver Loved of God (II Cor 9:7).

Then cometh the Test, after giving to the prophet, she received the reward, surely all be would run smooth and fine, after the all the barrel of meal is still full, the oil still flowing, things appear fine (I Kings 17:16). Ya think? The son of the widow fell sick, the attack for giving soon followed the giving (I Kings 17:17). The widow woman blamed the prophet, in part she was correct. Because of the prophet the attack came, but if we are never attacked, we are not a threat to the devil. Wait, my Bible says the devil is defeated, how can he attack? Once we enter the Kingdom, the devil himself cannot attack us, rather he either sends thoughts or darts by flesh and blood messengers with their slander, deceit, unbelief, doubt and strife. Here we are, we have our Joy, we just came out of a battle, truly the Lord gave us another victory. Then comes the Dart with all the bad news, deceit, attacking belittling words to kill our Joy. What then? Self-pity? “This always happens to me”? No, get mad? No, get even? No, pray for them who persecute you? Yes.

The Holy Ghost just visited the congregation, Joy was there, the activity of the Spirit of Truth was manifesting, then comes the messenger of Satan with all the accusations, or challenges. Darts? Words of discouragement? Yes, the Darts with their unbelief will attack, especially when they hear what we have done to their prophets of Baal. On the same note, if we have given place to the devil, then the devil will roll over us like a steam roller, but we must give him opportunity before he has the advantage.

Elijah prayed, the Lord heard the prayer by raising the child (I Kings 17:21-22). James says, many of us have like passions as Elijah, when some of us hear the voice of Jezebel we run to the cave, but James points out, the prayers of Elijah, raised the dead, then brought the rain (James 5:17-18). After the child was raised the mother said, "Now by this I know, you are a man of God and the Word of the Lord is in your mouth is Truth" (I Kings 17:24). The material prosperity didn't move her, but the power to raise her son did. This type and shadow goes to Believing Jesus is raised from the dead, which goes much further than an intellectual concept of Jesus breaking the power of the grave, rather it includes knowing Jesus destroyed him who had the power of death, who is the devil, coupled with the firm conviction of the same Spirit who raised Jesus is in us of a Truth, thus we will be raised in like manner.

It was time for Ahab to receive his sign, a time for him and Jezebel to repent. Elijah heard the Lord, it was time for the rain, instead of waiting for the rain, then telling Ahab, Elijah would tell Ahab the rain was on its way (I Kings 18:1-2). After Elijah left the presence of the king, Jezebel waited until she was sure the prophet of God left, then she stirred up the evil in Ahab. She had the king set out to kill the prophets of God, but Obadiah feared the Lord, he hid many prophets in caves (I Kings 18:3-4). The prophet spoke, the Jezebel spirit challenged, this in and of itself is a sign to us. When the Holy Ghost touches a body of believers, the Jezebel spirit will come along to destroy what God has sown. There are also times when the Lord hides His prophets in caves, while the Jezebels run about giving their evil prophesy to itching ears. These vessels of dishonor (Jezebels) hone the vessels of honor, when the people are sick and tired of hearing prophesy based in strife, fear, confusion, or the world, then the prophets of God will come on the scene with the words of Truth for those in the Body who desire Truth.

Obadiah and Elijah meet on the road, Elijah tells Obadiah, "tell your lord, Behold, Elijah is here" (I Kings 17:8). To Obadiah, this was a death warrant; he was convinced, Elijah would be taken away by the Spirit to some mountain top, or he would face the king with egg on his face, but Elijah assured him by saying, "I will surely show myself unto him today" (I Kings 18:15). Ahab being an example of a bad king, blamed Elijah for troubling Israel (I Kings 18:17), but Elijah told him, "I have not troubled Israel but you and your father's house, in that you have forsaken the commandments of the Lord and you have followed Baalim" (I Kings 18:18). This shows the prayer of Elijah to stop the rain was based on the actions of the evil king, not some made-up punishment by the prophet.

Ahab mixed his fall nature with his idol worship to enter his self-justification, "it was the prophet You gave me". We call the prophet for help, when the prophet tells us it's our fault, we jump all over them; our retort is the product of the fall nature, not the Christ nature. Clearly Ahab was the cause of the rain being halted, not the prophet.

John the Baptist went into the house of Herod, who was a Jew appointed by the Romans. John rebuked Herod for the sinful cohabitation, but John didn't make Herod live in sin, neither did John invoke a bunch of laws to force Herod to repent. Herod was a leader and a Jew, coupled with the prophet pointing out the sin of Herod to Herod’s face as a sign to the people during the time of the earthly ministry of the message of Elijah being upon them (Matt 14:3-5). Although John rebuked Herod, he didn't rebuke Pilate: Herod was a Jew, subject to the promise, whereas Pilate was a Gentile, not subject to the promise. The message of Elijah was specific to those of the Promise; Herod was in the Field, Pilate was not, Herod was suppose to act as a Jew, Pilate like a heathen, thus neither John or Jesus attempted to make Pilate a Jew.

Before the rain would come there had to be a change in heart among the people. The reference in James points to this experience, the prayer of Elijah for rain, would have little use if he or the people still had "faults between them", or if the people still bowed to idols (James 5:16). A Righteous man will always seek restoration, mercy and healing of faults between the brethren (James 5:16-17). Elijah had the same passions as many of us, he got mad at the people, but he also knew the power of forgiveness, repentance and restoration.

Elijah told Ahab to gather the people at Mount Carmel, a place purposed to anoint Saul as king, but ended being the fall of Saul (I Sam 15:12-13). The people all gathered, Elijah said, "How long halt you between two opinions? if the Lord be God, follow Him: but if Baal, then follow him" (I Kings 18:21). Carmel becomes the place of choice, we know an opinion is something we presume to be true, but lack the evidence to prove it so. These people would serve the Lord in the Temple, but served Baal on the mountains, or high places (I Kings 18:21). The word Opinions is the Hebrew Caiph meaning divided thoughts, or double-minded. James tells us a double-minded person should not expect anything from the Lord, so how would James fit here (James 1:4)? How about one who speaks of God, yet holds to the spirit lusting to envy (James 4:5-8)? Perfectly.

Elijah then says, "I, even I only, remain a prophet unto the Lord; but Baal's prophets are four hundred and fifty men" (I Kings 18:22). This doesn't mean Elijah is the only prophet in the land, rather it means he was the only prophet on the mountain standing for God at the moment. God purposed for Elijah to be out numbered by the prophets of Baal; therefore, we find, it's not the number of the enemy, but the anointing on the saint making the difference. Regardless of the voices in darkness, the anointing on the Body of Christ is more than enough to protect us, as it allows us to the do the good works of Christ.

Elijah calls the prophets of Baal, who were also the prophets of Jezebel, telling  them to prepare their sacrifice. Elijah gave them the first opportunity, if their god moved in any fashion the people would have followed, but Elijah knew something about this event before it took place. The Lord told Elijah, the rain is coming, thus Elijah knew the battle was won before the fight started. Elijah knew God wasn't guessing at the outcome, rather God had seen the victory as a Was, Elijah believed in God's report. Confidence in God based on the prophetic word of the Lord works every time.

The prophets of Baal did all sorts of things, including cutting themselves after their manner, then spilling their own blood on the sacrifice (I Kings 18:28). After several hours they were none the better, now it was Elijah's turn. Not only did Elijah prepare his sacrifice, but he took it further, ordering a total of twelve barrels of water to be poured on the sacrifice, one barrel for each of the twelve tribes, showing God’s mercy on Israel (I Kings 18:30-34). Elijah was displaying God's mercy upon the people, thus Elijah knew the outcome of the battle, before the prophets of Baal knew there was a battle. Elijah prayed, the prayers of a righteous man avail much (I Kings 18:36-37). Elijah didn't call fire down from heaven at this point in time, rather God brought fire to consume the sacrifice (I Kings 18:38). Elijah prepared the sacrifice, prayed for God to accept it, when God accepted it, the Signs and Wonders followed.

What symbolic gesture would this point to? How about when we are engaged in Godly Mercy by forgiving as we are forgiven, then the Holy Ghost comes with the heavenly Fire of God to burn away the sadness, unforgiveness, hurt, bruises from the stones of theological abuse, by healing all our internal wounds? Oh yes Mercy avails much.

The Fire of God gave the people enough evidence to change their opinion, they became "hot for the Lord" (I Kings 18:39). They took and killed the prophets of Baal at  the brook Kishon (I Kings 18:40). The rain could now begin, the people of God tossed down the idols, as they started seeking the Lord. Opinion just became Truth, the stronghold was down, the Truth was evident .

Elijah told Ahab, "Get you up, eat and drink; for there is a sound of abundance of rain" (I Kings 18:41). The "sound of the rain", was the voices of the people praising the Lord God of Israel; therefore, when the faults were healed we find the people back with their God, they were about to receive the prophets reward, the land was saved. Ahab did go to eat and drink as the prophet told him, but Elijah sought the Lord (I Kings 18:42). The servant of Elijah soon saw a cloud about the size of a man's hand, it was all Elijah needed, God answered his prayer. Elijah ran like the wind, the rain followed the man of God, but so did Jezebel (I Kings 18:43-45). Jezebel sent word, saying she would do to Elijah, what he did to her prophets. Elijah being a man of like passions as we, he ran faster than the wind into the wilderness (I Kings 18:46-19:3). The words of Jezebel were prophetic, since they pointed to a future happening, but they were destructive in nature, giving us another sign of the Jezebel “spirit” (mindset).

Elijah was about a day's journey into the wilderness, when he came to a juniper tree. He thought about his actions, the prophet of God running like a rabbit, he wanted to die (I Kings 19:4). Was the man discouraged? Yes, the discouragement came because of  the words of Jezebel, which sent the prophet on a marathon run into the wilderness. The Victory, then the Test, the same thing we see in the Book of Acts. The battles are over, now the joy, now the test, then the next battle.

The words of the modern day Jezebel’s are no different, God moves, the victory in hand, then the words of discouragement. Nonetheless, the words of discouragement can be a good sign, like the vessels of dishonor, they prove one thing above all else, It was God who moved, it was our Lord who came to us, the Holy Ghost did visit, jump for joy, the challenge only proved the truth, it shouldn't discourage us, it must encourage us.

On the other hand, Elijah thought he failed God, this same man who faced the king, stopped the rain, raised the dead, brought prosperity to the house of a widow, faced the prophets of Baal, had favor in the face of God, yet thought he failed God. He really thought he failed when God sent an angel, instead of His Word (I Kings 18:7). Elijah found a cave, a lonely dark cave, just the place for a prophet in self-pity (I Kings 19:8-9). Like Moses, Elijah spent forty days and forty nights on the mountain of God, but unlike Moses, Elijah was searching for the voice of the Lord (I Kings 19:8). The Word of the Lord came asking the prophet, "What are you doing here?" (I Kings 19:9). Elijah was asking himself the same question, wondering why he didn’t Stand in the face of Jezebel. Now Elijah thinks he is the only prophet in the land as he wonders, where are all those prophets Obadiah said were waiting in the caves, why didn't they come out and fight with Elijah? Even the Elijah's can become discouraged, wondering, "where are the prophets?". The prophets can become discouraged and say, "where are the Elijah's?", but God never gets discouraged and says, "what are you doing here?". Elijah, like us, thought "well bless God, if they're going to sit in some cave, so am I", but God had a different plan for this prophet. Faith comes by hearing, the hearing by the Word: Elijah would hear and faith would come. The "prophet's cave" is for each of us, it usually comes when some Jezebel has just tipped over our boat. It's the place where we gain the clarity of the calling, once we know what we're to do, and where we're to do it, then watch out, here we come anointed ready and willing to serve the Lord.

A great wind came but God wasn't in it: Elijah was looking for the Great Wind of the Spirit of God to blow away Jezebel and her house, but it didn't happen (I Kings 19:11). Then a great earthquake, Elijah was hoping for a Korah experience, perhaps the ground would open and swallow Jezebel, but it wasn't God's plan (I Kings 19:11). Then came the still small voice, as God's plan, Elijah wanted something to happen to Jezebel, but God wanted something to happen in Elijah, to bring the voice of one prophet in the land (I Kings 19:12). Elijah wanted God to do it, but God says, He did His job, the fire came, the boy was raised from the dead, He took care of Elijah's need and completed everything else He promised, but He also picked Elijah in the position, now it was up to Elijah to do his job. Then the Lord asks again, "What are you doing here", this time Elijah has an answer; however, his answer is not of self-pity, but of one who knows the calling is ahead, a mistake doesn’t mean he lost his position. Elijah tells the Lord how he is jealous for the Lord, how the people of God have forsaken the covenant, killed the prophets of God, now they were seeking to kill him, but it’s not the case at all. The “spirit of discouragement” will misinterpret events, causing us to think one way, when the facts speak of another. The people killed the prophets of Baal, it was Jezebel, not the children of Israel who was seeking to kill Elijah; yet not one prophet of God was killed. The Lord didn't answer the words of self-pity, He answered the calling, by telling Elijah to get up and do the works of his calling. Clarity of the calling came, Elijah heard the still small voice, faith came with the clarity of the calling. God didn't say, "now, now Elijah, you just sit here and get it together brother, you know God's ways are not your ways, you just rest"; rather God told the prophet the course was to anoint Hazael to be king over Syria and Jehu over Israel, to receive Elisha to be a prophet (I Kings 19:15-16). Then the Lord tells Elijah, those who escape the sword of Hazael, Jehu will slay, those who escape the sword of Jehu, Hazael will slay, oh by the way, there were seven thousand prophets who have not bowed their knee to Baal. That's the point, not whether or not they would fight with Elijah, but whether or not they were standing with God. The Lord turned His ear against the self-pity, but looked to the calling. The clarity of the calling came to Elijah with the full schedule of events. Elijah then squared his prophet's shoulders, moved forward not looking back at what was. Elijah gets the picture, repents and gets going. Surely Elijah is a man with like passions as we have.

Elijah then comes across Elisha, he casts his mantle (covering) over him. By this time the Word of the Lord mixed with the fire of the prophet's Calling, faith came, nothing was going to stop him. It takes the cave experiences to bring powerful faith to the zeal of the calling. Elisha wanted to kiss his father and mother good-bye, in part this is in conjunction with the Law (honor thy mother and father), but Elijah wasn't about to stop for anything now. Elijah says, "Go back again: for what have I done to you?" (I Kings 19:19-20). If Elisha wanted to go back, fine, don't expect Elijah to wait, the Lord has spoken, what can Elijah do, but obey and prophesy (Amos 3:8).

Elisha did go back to kill the oxen, then gave the meat to the people, which included his parents, thus he knew in order to gain from the prophet, he had to give his sacrifice. Then he caught up with the prophet to minister to him, becoming a disciple of the prophet (I Kings 19:19-21). The discipling will be the seeds to the prophet school Elisha will begin later.

The Lord told Elijah to anoint Hazael the king of Syria, but in the meantime Ben-hadad was the king, he gathered his people to come against king Ahab (I Kings 20:1-6). The anointing of Hazael would come later, the prophet didn't push the timing, he flowed in it. Ahab called his elders saying, "I pray you and see how this man seeks mischief" (I Kings 20:7). Jezebel had Ahab so self-deceived he couldn't see the hand of God. Ben-hadad told Ahab, "the gods do so unto me and more also, if the dust of Samaria shall suffice for handfuls for all the people who follow me" (I Kings 20:10). The words Jezebel spoke against Elijah regarding the death of her prophets, they were now turning back against her and Ahab. While this was going on a prophet came to Ahab and said, "Thus saith the Lord, have you seen all this great multitude? behold, I will deliver it into your hand this day: and you shall know that I Am the Lord" (I Kings 20:13). One would think God would allow Ahab to die, or one might see this as God giving honor to Ahab, but it’s not the case at all, it's time for Jezebel to repent, yet God knows she won't. This is the same as we find during the Day, God is giving the Wicked time to repent, whether they do it or not is still only known to God.

Ahab was told the young men of the princes would do the battle, as the Syrians were killed in a great slaughter (I Kings 20:15-21). The point was to give Jezebel and Ahab a chance to see the Lord He is God, thereby granting them evidence to repent, or they could reject it, ending weaving a hangman's rope for their own necks. Baal’s prophets weren’t around, but Jezebel didn’t have word one, both she and Ahab heard the prophet speak, they saw the result. What they do with the evidence is up to them, neither God or we can make people believe, all we do is present the evidence.

Ahab was told within a year the king of Syria will come again if repentance didn't come (I Kings 20:22). Both Ahab and Jezebel saw the power of God, but failed to repent, thus the Syrians were working on a plan to come again. The Syrians said, "their gods are gods of the hills; therefore they were stronger than we; but let us fight against them in the plain and surely we shall be stronger" (I Kings 20:23). The "gods in the hills" were idols, the Syrians made a fatal mistake by equating God to the idols of Baal (I Kings 20:28). In one day, one hundred thousand Syrians were killed (I Kings 20:29). Plain, mountain, valley, or even the valley of the shadow of death, it doesn't make any difference the Lord He is God. The Lord gave Ahab and Jezebel another sign, as another chance to repent. The Syrians sought peace this time, Ahab made a covenant with Ben-hadad (I Kings 20:31-32).

A certain prophet would give what might appear to us to be the strangest prophecy of all time. This prophet asked a man to hit him, but the man refused, the prophet said, "because you have not obeyed the voice of the Lord, behold, as soon as you depart from me, a lion shall slay you" (I Kings 20:35-36). It would seem blasphemous to strike a prophet, but God had a plan and a purpose, thus it wasn't the prophet speaking, but God. Ahab made a covenant with Ben-hadad, yet he was suppose to destroy him. The prophet found another, who did strike the prophet, thus the Word of God was smitten and ready to face Ahab (I Kings 20:37-39). The prophet disguised himself as a sign of how Ahab was wearing the mask of a king, but inside Satan was reigning. The mask of Ahab didn’t fool God, He saw how Ahab and Jezebel were using the Lord, rather than bowing to the Voice of the Lord. The prophet waited near the road for the king, when the king came the prophet said, "Because you have let go out a man who I appointed to utter destruction, therefore your life shall go for his life and your people for his people" (I Kings 20:33-42). This example shows God will have us do things at times appearing on the surface not to be Kosher, but He has a plan and purpose, obedience is better than burnt sacrifices.

Ahab went home heavy and displeased, but again failed to repent. The failure of Ahab and Jezebel to repent twisted their minds the more, when Ahab saw a vineyard belonging Naboth, he wanted it for himself, the failure to repent was causing envy to control Ahab the more, even to the point of wanting something he didn’t need or require. All Naboth had was the vineyard, but Ahab wanted to make a garden of herbs to look at (I Kings 21:1-3). The sign was before Ahab, but he failed to discern it. The vineyard was the promise to Ahab, yet God was about to destroy the house of Ahab for stealing the vineyard of the servant. Jezebel saw "poor old Ahab" then devised a plan to kill Naboth in order to get the vineyard for Ahab (I Kings 21:5-12). She used the Law of Moses to her advantage, but not for justice or truth. Jezebel obtained two men of Belial to be false witnesses under the pretext of "in the mouth of two or more witnesses a fact is affirmed", but she didn't understand the premise. The Pharisees used the Law of Moses to their advantage, but regardless of the Law, if one begins with an evil intent, they cause the Law to turn against them.

It doesn't matter if the false use factual conclusions, or an outright lie, it's the intent. Jezebel is in the process of libel laced with slander, becoming an example of a false prophet. She is a type and shadow of what happens when one prays against the people, or against the anointing of God (Rev 2:20). Whenever two join together, they are responsible for their words, either for, or against them (I Kings 21:13). Naboth was killed based on the false testimony, God sent Elijah in the Tishbite role (I Kings 21:17-20). Instead of running from Jezebel, Elijah will now prophecy against her (I Kings 21:19). Elijah said, "The dogs shall eat Jezebel by the wall of Jezreel" (I Kings 21:23 & Jn 8:17). This is a different man than the one who ran to into the wilderness. Ahab heard the words and repented, the Lord told Elijah, "see you how Ahab humbles himself before Me? because he humbles himself before Me, I will not bring evil in his days: but in his son's days will I bring the evil upon his house" (I Kings 21:29). This had to do with the evil on the house, not the prophesy against Jezebel.

As wicked and evil as Ahab was, one act of humbleness changed his path. This is still a time of darkness, Grace was still future tense, yet some of us think the Blood of Jesus isn't sufficient to clean us from all unrighteousness. When in doubt, think of Ahab, for in one moment of humbleness he gained a new start with God, yet the man was married to Jezebel.

For three years there was peace between Israel and Syria, then Jehoshaphat the king of Judah joined with the king of Israel to fight against Ramothgilead (I Kings 22:1-5). Ahab the king of Israel sent for the prophets, about four hundred showed up (I Kings 22:6). They told him to go and fight, for the Lord would be with him, but there was yet one more prophet to speak. The king of Israel sought Micaiah, the king knew Micaiah was truthful, but he also knew this prophet did prophesy against the king (I Kings 22:8). The two kings were all set for a "prophet show", Zedekiah would meet their request by making horns of iron then say, "Thus saith the Lord, With these shall you push the Syrians, until you have consumed them" (I Kings 22:11). Then came Micaiah who said, "Go, and prosper: for the Lord shall deliver it into the hand of the king" (I Kings 22:15). The king said, "How many times shall I adjure you that you tell me nothing, but what is true in the name of the Lord" (I Kings 22:16). The king knew Micaiah didn't prophesy the first time, but blessed. Even this king was able to discern the difference between someone giving a blessing, and a prophet speaking.

Now Ahab will hear the prophecy: Israel will be scattered upon the hills, the Lord saw the people had no master, they returned everyone to their own house (I Kings 22:17). This was a prophesy concerning the death of the Ahab, but he did ask for the Truth; however when he heard it, he said, "did I not tell you, he would prophesy no good concerning me" (I Kings 22:18). Truth is often hard to take, but at the same time it's designed to Set us Free indeed. The prophet wasn't done, he turned and prophesied against the false prophets, mainly Zedekiah (I Kings 22:19-25). The king had a fit, he had Micaiah arrested then carried back to Amon where the prophet was placed in prison to eat the bread and drink the water of affliction until the king returns (I Kings 22:26-27). Ahab, the king of Israel was sure he could change the prophesy, he had the prophet jailed, he was going to disguise himself (I Kings 22:30). A bowman let go with a wild arrow, sure enough it hit the king between the joints of his armor, the one place where it would bring death (I Kings 22:31-34). The king died, when they washed his chariot, the dogs licked up his blood, thus king Ahab died as the prophet foretold. The death was confirmed by a second prophet, from the mouth of two witnesses. The false witnesses Jezebel used was countered by two truthful witnesses, the stolen vineyard was for nothing.

The circumstances between the death of Saul and Ahab are different, yet alike. Saul believed the evil prophecy, taking his own life; whereas Ahab did everything possible to reject the prophecy of God, yet died. On one hand Saul believed the lie, on the other Ahab refused to believe God, yet both died in "battle".

Jehoshaphat reigned over Israel, he did what was right in the sight of God; nevertheless the high places remained (I Kings 22:41-45). Paul equated the High Places to the High Things exalting themselves against the knowledge of God (II Cor 10:5). Wild imaginations include wanting God to perform for us, or adding our own conclusions to what we think God should do. At times the thought may seem right, it may be based on Scripture, but out of order. When we get to Acts chapter 1 regarding the board meeting to replace Judas we will find things may seem correct, but out of order. We can pray, have Scripture, yet end tossing dice, or voting because no one is hearing from the Lord. We pray for God to expose and remove thoughts coming against the knowledge of God; we also need the Discernment of God to detect which tree we keep running to, or why we keep going back to it. When we were children we played with some toys more than others, but why? We liked them, they were more fun than the others, thus when we find ourselves playing with thoughts coming from the wrong place, we need a healing of our mind by the New Man removing the tares.

There were also "sodomites" (homosexuals) in the land, Jehoshaphat removed them knowing he was doing right in the sight of the Lord (I Kings 22:46). God never intended man to be with man, or woman to be woman, as Paul points on in Romans, thus Old Testament or New, God still doesn’t like it. If they want to remain a "sodomite", so be it, but let them know the warning as well. Christians are not against homosexuals, but they are required to speak as the oracles of God regarding the "practice". If someone thinks exposure of the practice is judging them, they are wrong, but we are wrong if we judge the person, rather than tell them the result of the practice. Words like "compromise" or "tolerance" are often used to keep the oracle silent, but if we say nothing, their blood is on our head. If we take pleasure in their sins, we are no better. How? By judging them, then feeling superior because they are "such sinners", which is taking pleasure in their sin. God has always allowed man choice, but choice without knowing the consequences or rewards actually removes choice.

Then came Ahaziah the son of Ahab who began to reign over Israel in the 17th year of Jehoshaphat. Ahaziah attempted to entice Jehoshaphat to battle, but Jehoshaphat would not. Jehoshaphat died, then Ahaziah continued his reign over Israel, but Ahaziah did evil in the sight of the Lord by walking in the ways of Jezebel (his mother) and Ahab (his father), but added the ways of Jeroboam by bringing in the golden calves of Egypt. Everything produces after its own kind; without a change in family order, we will continue to use the ways of the world, only in a religious vein. Ahaziah worshipped Baal, provoking the Lord to anger (I Kings 22:52-53). Some kings followed their fathers, some did not, but in each case they made their own choice with the evidence at hand. Here we find the “house of Ahab” was evil, thus when God said the evil would fall in Ahaziah’s time, it was based on the house of Ahab remaining evil. It was once said, "bad things happen, when good men do nothing", we find it may be when good men do things they should not do causing bad things to happen. Whether they were good kings or bad, they were still human beings, none of these sins are sins of ignorance, but Ahaziah will face his trial of fire in Second Kings.


SECOND KINGS

After the death of Ahab, Moab rebelled, but Ahaziah fell through a lattice in his upper chamber hurting himself. He then sent messengers to inquire of Baalzebub the god of Ekron (II Kings 1:1-2). Ahaziah didn't send to gain healing, rather he sent to inquire as to whether or not he would be healed. Ahaziah being the son of Ahab and Jezebel had the prior evidence of the prophets of Baal being destroyed, yet he sought after the same idols. The Pharisees attacked Jesus for casting out a devil then said, "This fellow does not cast out devils, but by Baalzebub the prince of the devils" (Matt 12:24). The title Prince means One who begins something, or is known by his principality, thus the Pharisees excused their lack of power by equating the acts of Jesus with the works of the devil, a very dangerous position to be caught in. It happens today, God moves, yet the carnal mind will first presume it's the devil, but do so based in their own lack of power. "Hey, but what if it is the devil?". Jesus answered by saying, Give God the glory (Matt 12:26-28). "Well, I need an example", good, when Paul received a thorn in the flesh from Satan, he went to Jesus finding Grace is sufficient, it always is (II Cor 12:9). To the carnal mind spiritual matters are foolishness, they can’t tell the real from the counterfeit, to them all of it is counterfeit. Not only were the Pharisees giving credit to the devil for the works of God, but they gave credit to the idols for the power of God.

The messengers of Ahaziah were on their way, when they came across Elijah who asked, "Is it not because there is not a God in Israel, that you go to inquire of Baalzebub the god of Ekron?" (II Kings 1:3). There are some who run all over seeking "confirmation", but fail to seek God for guidance. God will confirm His word, but we must have ears to hear with eyes to see the confirmation. God sent His Word to heal us, not destroy us, nor did He send His Word so we could use it to inflict pain, strife or enhance our egos. If we search long and hard enough we can find confirmation for most anything; however, if we wait, the Lord will confirm His word. Elijah answered his own question by saying, "Thus saith the Lord, you shall not come down from the bed on which you are gone up but you shall surely die" (II Kings 1:4). The messengers went back to Ahaziah to report the words of the prophet, then the king knew what manner of prophet stopped them (II Kings 1:5-8).

The king then sent a captain with fifty men to take hold of the prophet. When the captain faced the prophet, he showed no respect whatsoever, rather he showed honor to the king by rejecting the prophet’s position (II Kings 1:9). We honor the kings in authority, whether they are good or bad, but we give more honor to the prophets of God. Here is where Elijah calls fire down from heaven; however, it was based on his prior statement about No God In Israel (II Kings 1:10). The captain said, "Come down here", but Elijah said, "If I be a man of God, then let fire come down from heaven" (II Kings 1:9-10). The disrespect brought the fire down instead of the prophet calling it down. Jesus told his disciples, Elijah had come, but some took it to mean they could do as Elijah, rather than Say as Elijah. When Jesus was not received in Samaria, two of His disciples said, "Lord, will you that we command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, even as Elijah did?" (Luke 9:51-54). Elijah didn’t command fire to come down, rather it was based on the king seeking the advise of idols, coupled with the premise of, "no God in Israel". However, when the disciples talked to Jesus, God was surely in Israel, people were being healed by the King of kings. Jesus told His disciples, "You know not what manner of spirit you are of" (Luke 9:55). This doesn't mean they had an evil spirit, rather it shows they didn't know what type of spirit they were talking for. Jesus then says, "for the Son of man is not come to destroy men's lives but to save them" (Luke 9:56). When the False Prophet causes fire to come down from heaven in the last days, it's because the people of God elevate the False Prophet, thereby showing a disrespect for the Law and Prophets, indicating there will be no God in the land at the time, as the Law and Prophets lay in the Street, rejected. The False Prophet is not some superman, rather he is a liar, a master of deception, full of tricks and devices. His power is supernatural, not spiritual, yet we are called to the spiritual realm of God.

King Ahaziah sent another captain who was just as disrespectful as the first, the fire came again (II Kings 1:11-12). The next captain showed respect, instead of fire, God sent an angel, who told the prophet to go unto the king (II Kings 1:13-15). The three captains show us why a Jew will reject someone from entering the Jewish faith until the third time. It’s felt by some the concept is based on this Elijah experience.

There is a glory of the Sun and Moon, but there is also a Higher Glory of the Stars, each in its own order (I Cor 15:41 & 15:23). Some of our confessions and prayers keep the Spirit from being active in our lives, thus it's not God's fault, but ours. Jesus said of men born of women (natural birth process) there was none greater than John the Baptist, yet the least in the kingdom was greater than John (Matt 11:11). If there were none greater, it would include Moses, David, and even Elijah, yet the least in the kingdom is greater than John. If we are the least, why would we seek to be like Elijah? Elijah was a prophet of God, he is to be honored, but his message leads to the Day, it is not of the Day. Seeking the wrong position often puts us in the wrong “time zone”. After all the Father did say, “hear ye Him”, not “hear ye them”.

Elijah told the king the sickness was not the problem, rather it was the king seeking Baalzebub causing the death from the sickness (II Kings 1:16). It's not wrong to go to doctors, but it's wrong to go to doctors without first seeking the Lord. It would be iniquity to reject going to a doctor if the Lord told us to, a sin if we went without seeking the Lord. We cause many, if not all of our own problems. Some of us want to hear another human being give their learned opinion, rather than hear the Truth from God, or we want to be healed, but we don't want to face the reason for being sick. James tells us any of us can be sick, but the sickness may not be the problem, only a sign of something else as the problem. Of course, the sickness may be just that, a sickness. In any event we pray, we hear and we obey.

After Ahaziah died as the prophet said, his brother Jehoram took over as king, because Ahaziah had no sons. The time would be the second year of reign of Jehoram the son of Jehoshaphat (I Kings 22:50), but don’t confuse one Jehoram with the other, they are two different people, but with the same name.

It came time for Elijah to be taken by a whirlwind, this is not a sign of the Rapture (II Kings 2:1). Enoch is a sign of the Rapture: Enoch was prior to the days of Noah, he walked with God, one day he was not. The time of the event is just as important as the translation of Enoch. Jesus said, the latter days during the Time of Comfort (Restoration of Israel) will be as the days of Noah, not the days of Adam. Enoch is our type and shadow of being spared the Hour of Temptation. We are not appointed unto the Wrath of God, thus God has a plan wherein we of the Day are not going to be subject to the things of the Night. We prayed for God to Deliver us from the evil, thus part of our prayer is to be taken at the time of Doors, which means we who are alive and caught up, will go Through the Door by the Spirit at the change in seasons (Rev 4:1-2).

In the listing of those with faith in the Book of Hebrews we find another clue. We read about Enoch who was translated, then about how faith pleases God, then about Noah whose faith was based in fear, thus the "Enoch translation" will come before the Days of Noah return (Heb 11:5-7). The words Translation, Transformed and Translated are all different, to be translated is to be taken from one local to another. Elijah is taken up to Paradise, or the second heaven where Abraham's bosom was located. The first heaven is where all the physical creations dwell, including the birds, planets and stars; this is found in Genesis 1:1 where God created the heaven and earth. The second heaven was the old Paradise or Abraham's bosom, it was not the bosom of Moses, thus it still took faith, not the Law to get one into Paradise. Paul saw the third heaven, saying it was such any attempt to describe it in human languages would be blasphemy (II Cor 12:2-4). It was so beyond the words of man, any attempt to use the words of man would do the third heaven an injustice. However, it would be under the altar of God, not the throne of God (Rev 6:9). We have a place waiting higher than the Third heaven.

Paul says, the Lord will descend with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trump of God, then the dead in Christ shall raise first (I Thess 4:16). The word First means Before or Prior to the last statement, thus prior to the Lord returning for the judgment, the dead in Christ will be raised, those of us who remain will meet them in the clouds (witness location, under the altar), from there we all will meet Jesus in the air, but for Jesus to come to Air He must move from the throne, thus we find Jesus coming to the Air to gain His own where we will remain with Him forever (I Thess 4:17). New Jerusalem does descend from heaven, but it doesn't touch the earth, rather we find New Jerusalem as the Bride, gathers her Bridesmaids on the last day (Rev 21:9-10 & 20:4-6).

The dead in Christ are not in the ground, if they were we couldn't meet them in the clouds. If they were in the ground, they couldn't be under the Altar speaking to the Lord, no they are the souls in the "clouds", the plural usage of the metaphor Clouds points to Witnesses. When Jesus ascended, a Cloud received Him, the Cloud was all those He took captive as He took captivity captive, thus they are captive under the Altar (third heaven). When the time comes we will join them, then we will receive our White Robes. This is clearer when we see we are caught up together with the Dead in Christ, if they go First, how could it be Together? After Stephen was killed the other Cloud was formed, remaining until the Rapture. James was the first apostle killed, but Stephen was the first Christian killed.

To be transformed is a change on the outside, to effect a change on the inside. The Father’s mercy is a transfiguring experience. To be Transfigured is an introduction of something on the inside making a change on the outside. It's still the desire of God for all to be come to the saving knowledge of the Gospel so they can be transfigured and transformed to be translated.

Elijah knew it was time to step aside, but Elisha was bonded to Elijah, he didn't want to venture out on his own (II Kings 2:2-7). Elisha becomes an example of how dangerous it get be when we attach ourselves to our leader, even to the point we are afraid to do anything. Elisha did everything possible to acquire a like position as Elijah, even to the point of making the man of God promise something not within his power to give. Some of us think bonding is a great thing, but here it almost stopped one prophet from going, and the other from entering his calling. In reference to bonding, Jesus said, What difference does it make what He does with one person or the other, we Follow Him (Jn 21:22). Elijah had his ministry, Elisha will finish the ministry for Elijah, but he will also have his own. There will be some areas moving on to the ministry of Elisha, but they were two different men, with two different personalities.

Jesus used this experience to make a point regarding Abraham's bosom. The name Lazarus comes from the Hebrew meaning, God (is) Helper or God's Helper, Jesus shows Lazarus (Elijah) was a beggar or considered a beggar, who laid at the gate (Luke 16:18-31). The kings and the false prophets considered Elijah a beggar, a poor man, one who had to take from widows, yet the false prophets were rich, as were the kings, they didn't give Elijah a thing, but trouble. Jesus says, Lazarus (Elijah) was carried away by the angels to Paradise (Abraham's bosom), as Elijah will be. There was a great gulf fixed between Paradise and hell, thus they could see and speak to each other, but those in one place couldn't go to the other. Abraham's bosom was the place of captivity for the great congregation to wait to hear the Good News (Ps 22:22 & 22:25). When Jesus called it Abraham's bosom, He sent chills down the spines of the Pharisees. They felt they had life by the Law, but the Law never promised Life eternal, it promised a way of life in the flesh. Jesus told the Pharisees, "Search the Scriptures; for in them you think you have eternal life: and they are they which testify of Me"; indicating eternal life is found in Jesus (Jn 5:39). The Bible talks about Life, but it can't give it, it takes the Spirit of Christ to bring us Life. The living Word is Jesus dwelling in us, not the Bible, the Bible defines itself as the Scriptures, it defines Jesus as the Word. The point being the kings and false prophets had material things, but they couldn’t be raised to the Bosom of Abraham because of their lack of faith.

Before Elijah left, many of the prophets gathered to watch (II Kings 2:7). Elisha wanted a double portion of the spirit upon Elijah, this was Upon the prophet not In him (II Kings 2:9), in this case it’s the anointing of the position of the prophet, as the courage of his calling. We can see why, Elisha would be left alone, how could he complete the effort with the same anointing? How can anyone give double of what they have? If all we have is one hammer, how can we give two? Elijah and Elisha knew the spirit (Hebrew Ruwach referring to the courage of the prophet by the anointing) of Elijah was gained by the man’s experiences with God, it was not something to be rubbed off like some ointment. Elisha is making an unreasonable request, yet Elijah told him IF he sees him taken, then it shall be granted (II Kings 2:10). Elisha will see the chariot go, but neither he, or the other prophets saw Elijah go. The chariot of fire with the horses of fire separated Elijah from Elisha, the fire burned away the flesh of Elijah, leaving the soul, thus no appearance of the man (II Kings 2:11). Then came the whirlwind or storm cloud; since it was a storm cloud Elisha couldn't see the man Elijah leave, thus he didn't receive double the portion, but he did receive the mantel, as his own portion (II Kings 2:11 & 2:15). Elisha saw the event (It), he didn't see "him" taken, thus the IF condition wasn't met, nonetheless the authority of the office of prophet was more than enough to do the job (II Kings 2:11-12).

Even the prophets who were watching didn't see Elijah go into the heavens, they started looking toward the mountains, or in the valleys, thus when the fire hit, the flesh of Elijah was consumed in a moment, no natural man saw the soul of Elijah go in the whirlwind (II Kings 2:16-18). Elijah didn't feel the death, but he did enter it, yet he didn't go into the heaven, he went to Abraham's bosom. The parable by Jesus shows no man has gone to heaven, except He (Jesus) who came from the Father. Even a great prophet like Elijah couldn't make it to the throne of God, thus it still takes the Spirit of God by the New Birth in order to enter the place of God’s throne.

Elisha was now the prophet in the land, the first to see him, would be a bunch of "little children" who mocked the prophet by saying, "Go up, you bald head: go up, you bald head" (II Kings 2:23). This doesn't mean Elisha didn't have hair, rather it refers to his covering, they assumed his covering was gone, just as he did. It doesn’t take long to see Elisha was disappointed and angry (II Kings 2:8). In essence the children were saying, "where's your covering old man, why can't you go into heaven? come on let's see you go up too". The little children were consumed by two she bears, the two bears represent the world. Whether a little child or not, it’s very dangerous to mock the anointed of God, even if the anointed aren’t acting anointed. The little children had respect for Elijah, but not for the man who replaced him; the same situation can fall to any of us. We are asked to speak, yet the speaker prior is well liked, so much so all we see are people with their arms folded. In essence they are saying., “teach me something”, yet like Jeremiah we are not be dismayed at their faces. Elisha didn't have the same anointing as Elijah, but it didn't make any difference to God, don't mock the anointing, regardless of how little or how much we assume they have, it's dangerous, it could bring the Bear of the world on top of us.

Elisha was still in the land when the kings were operating, although there was a prophet in the land, the prophet was not given due respect as the kings allowed idols to reign (II Kings 3:1-3). However, when the kings were in trouble, they sent for the prophet (II Kings 3:9-11). Most of us treat prophets like spare tires, we want them handy, but hidden until the emergency comes. When king Jehoram sent for the prophet of God, the prophet of God said, "get you to the prophets of your father and to the prophets of your mother" (II Kings 3:13). This refers to the prophets of Baal, Jesus told the Pharisees, "You are of your father the devil and the lusts of your father, you will do" (Jn 8:44). The Pharisees knew they weren't worshipping idols of stone, but Jesus knew they were worshipping idols of theology, or idols of religious conceit. To the Jew an idol is a devil, here Jesus was going about casting out devils. My, my, what could it mean? Must be a trick. Hardly, the Pharisees had so many Strongholds they couldn't see their own Salvation before their eyes; darkness blinds the senses.

God wanted to deliver the people for the sake of the promise, although God won't look upon the king, He would look upon the prophet (II Kings 3:14-20). God delivered the people, when the king of Moab saw the battle going against him, he took his son and offered him as a burnt offering (II Kings 3:21-27). In this we find the counterfeit of Abraham placing Isaac on the altar. Abraham was told by God to take his only son to the altar, but God knew the result, Abraham didn't. The king of Moab made a self-determination based on his self-desires; God stopped Abraham, the devil encouraged the king of Moab; Isaac lived, the son of the king of Moab died. The lesson in this is for anyone in the Kingdom, we don't turn stones into bread to satisfy a self-desire, we don't do tricks to impress man with our power, we don't mix with evil people or use evil means to produce what we consider is a Godly result, rather we seek the fruit from the Spirit to witness for Jesus, rather than witness for ourselves. Those who are Full Age have their senses exercised by the Spirit to know the difference between good and evil without consuming the fruit from the wrong tree (Heb 5:14). Those who are full age know when the wrong fruit is presented, it may look good, but the end thereof is evil. With all this we ask "Is God done with Israel?", the events of today show God is not done. The Scriptures show the Remnant have a job left to do before they are overcome in order to make the enemies of Jesus His footstool. Here Elisha is really a remnant in his own right, he will nonetheless begin the school of prophets, or a school set aside to discipline those called to be prophets.

A certain woman of the wives of the prophets came to Elisha saying, "My husband is dead and you know your servant did fear the Lord and the creditor is come to take unto him my two sons to be bondmen" (II Kings 4:1). This woman was a widow indeed, both her and her house must be cared for as a testimony for the prophets. It's not up to the king of Israel to care for the widows of the prophets, it's up to the prophets. Elisha told her to save a pot of oil, but borrow as many empty vessels as she could. The pot of oil refused to empty until there were no more vessels, then it stopped (II Kings 4:2-6). This is a symbol of the Christ Character as it relates to the type and shadow of the Rapture. When there are no more vessels, the Oil will stop at the Rapture, so will the Day; therefore, the Anointing to be Christ Like will not run out until He who now lets takes us. It’s the same, He is still letting, He will let as long as we see wars, rumors of wars, pestilence and famine. The Holy Ghost is still looking for the willing vessels to fill with the Oil, yet a lamp without oil cannot make it through the Door. Mercy grants us the lamp, Grace the Oil, yet without a lamp the Oil has no light (II Kings 4:7). Mercy is equated to the Father, Grace to the Son, the performance of both is found in the Holy Ghost. We are to be merciful as our Father, full of Grace and Truth as the Son while holding the Wisdom of God by the Spirit, One God all in all, to complete our Promise, all and all.

After going through all this we can say "well now, I know the Bible says to desire the sincere milk of the Word" (I Pet 2:2). Which is true, but the words Peter used for Milk, Sincere and Word tell us where and why. The Greek word for Milk is Gala meaning something given regarding the rudiments or basic knowledge, the Greek word for Word is Logikos, although the root word is Logos, we find Logikos means From speech with the intent to serve. The last word is the Greek Adolos translated as Sincere meaning without fraud, deceit, or guile, thus one seeks those who speak without deception, fraud or guile. A reason to serve is found in the Bible, the ability to serve is found in the Spirit, don't confuse the two.

The woman received the prophets reward, because she listened and obeyed. Another woman received the prophet by turning a spare room into a place for the prophet to rest, we must make a place for the prophet in our houses (hearts - II Kings 4:8-13). This woman was barren, her reward was a child, but her blessing was attacked. One day the child cried out, "My head, my head", then fell into a comma and died (II Kings 4:16-20). The woman sent for the prophet, since the son was a product of the prophet's reward (II Kings 4:22). The prophet told them to lay his staff next to the child, but the child didn't respond (II Kings 4:26-31). This is also a type and shadow, showing the Staff as the Cross, thus we must add the Cross to the Resurrection to complete the course. Therefore, we are told to Believe Jesus is raised from the dead, rather than believe in the Cross alone. What? Don't believe in the Cross? It’s not what we said, rather we Believe in the Cross, Resurrection plus all Jesus did, but we must add the Resurrection or we have no hope. The Cross is the beginning of the adventure, not the end of it.

The prophet went to the child, where he prayed unto the Lord (II Kings 4:32-33). The prophet followed the Lord's instructions, yet the instructions may seem mundane or foolish to us, but the prophet knew God had a purpose. Faith still comes by hearing. This is akin to the prophet asking the man to strike him, what seems silly to us, is often very serious to God. The child sneezed seven times, and was revived (II Kings 4:34-37). The number Seven is the number of Rest and Completion, when the obedience of the prophet was complete life came back into the child.

Elisha then went to Gilgal unto the sons of the prophets, while in Gilgal the prophets made a pot of stew, as the sons of the prophets gathered many greens, but among them was poison. When they tasted the pot, they said, "O you man of God, there is death in the pot" (II Kings 4:38-40). Elisha put "meal" (bread) in the pot, then the death was gone (II Kings 4:41). How did they know the pot was safe? The prophet said so, they received the word of the prophet. Some of us would have said "Oh yea, you take some first". We trust God, but we must believe the prophet in order to gain the prophet’s reward.

Elisha then feeds many with little; Jesus took less to feed many more (II Kings 4:42-43 & Matt 14:15-21). It wasn't the food, the increase came based on the blessing. One can have food, money, desire, calling or anything else, but it can't increase without the blessing of the Lord. The fish were fish, the bread was bread, but when Jesus blessed them, they became more than enough. The first feeding took care of five thousand, with twelve baskets left over, one for each disciple, but there remained one factor producing the blessing. After Jesus blessed the fish and bread, He gave it to His disciples, they took care of the need of the people before they found their own need (Matt 14:19). Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, looking not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others (Ph'l 2:4-5).

A man by the name of Naaman was a captain for the king of Syria, but he was also a leper (II Kings 5:1). Because of this man, the Lord gave deliverance to Syria, thus the foundation for his healing. Naaman went to the prophet seeking healing, but the prophet gave him a command seemingly stupid to Naaman, yet it was nonetheless a command (II Kings 5:3-10). Prior the prophet heard a command which seemed silly, but he obeyed causing a child to come back to life. Naaman started to walk away mad, but his servant said, "my father, if the prophet bid you to do some great thing, would you not have done it? how much rather then, when he said to you, Wash and be clean?" (II Kings 5:13-14). In essence it was a Great Thing, simply have faith in God knowing God's desire is to Reward. In this lesson we see the prophets during this time were not Born Again, they didn't use the Name of Jesus, yet there were healings in the land; why then do we seem to struggle with this area, yet we have the Name of Jesus and the Spirit?

Naaman returned to do as the prophet said, and he was healed. In this we can see the baptism of John was important, it was in his name (Authority), it was based on repentance, adding the people should believe on Jesus; however, it was short lived, but important.

James said, the prayer of faith heals the sick one, thus the sick one must say the prayer of faith (James 5:13-15). The prayer of faith seeks the wisdom of God in order to deal with people and events, thus many times our sorrows come because we use the wrong wisdom in dealing with people or events (James 1:4-6).

Naaman was happy, clean and cured, then he wanted to show his appreciation but the prophet refused (II Kings 5:16). This doesn't mean the prophet always refuses, rather the purpose was a test for the prophet's servant, not the prophet or Naaman. God is not a multiple God, but He does has multiple purposes in His purpose. Gehazi was the servant to the prophet, although Naaman followed the command of the prophet, the prophet's servant didn't. Gehazi allowed "filthy lucre" to invade his thoughts, he sought after Naaman for the reward. The term Filthy Lucre doesn't mean money alone, it refers to where the money came from, or the intent in seeking it. Gehazi then obtained the reward and returned. Elisha asked him, "From where did you come from Gehazi?", Gehazi said, "No where"; Gehazi knew he sinned, now he is lying to cover it up (II Kings 5:20-25). Naaman's disease came on Gehazi, the curse went on to his seed forever (II Kings 5:26-27).

When Elisha wanted something, he went to the prophet or God, when Gehazi wanted something, he rejected the warning of the prophet, seeking it on his own. This doesn't mean the children of Gehazi paid for his sin, rather it means his seed did, his  Seed includes all those who follow in like manner, those who use the healing power of God to make personal gain. God will heal the one who gives the prayer of faith, but there are those who seek personal gain by taking advantage of the Name of Jesus, they are lepers, unclean, spotted by the flesh, their end will be worse than their beginning.

If Naaman would have left the gift without saying a word, then the prophet could have taken it, but if Naaman thought his gift purchased the healing, the entire thing would have been for naught. The prophet's warning to the servant was two fold, first to expose and save the servant from the greed in his own heart, then to save Naaman from assuming the reward after the fact secured the healing. Some lose their healing for this very reason; they assume their ability healed them, or they give glory to the man or woman of God, failing to see it was God’s Mercy, always give God the glory.

The sons of the prophets wanted to build a place for the prophets to dwell near the Jordan (II Kings 6:1-4). In the process, one of the men lost the head off his ax into the Jordan, he feared, for the tool was borrowed. Elisha took a cut stick, cast it into the water and the iron did swim (II Kings 6:5-6). This symbol shows us, even the iron of bondage can't hold us when we stand in the Mercy of the Father.

The king of Syria came against Israel with secret plans, but the plans were known to the camp of Israel, thus the king of Syria assumed there were spies in his camp (II Kings 6:9-11). The king of Syria found there was a man of God on Israel's side, nothing was secret, all things were known (II Kings 6:12 & Heb 4:13). Paul said, when the prophet speaks to the unbeliever or the unlearned the secrets of their hearts are opened and they will fall down, knowing God is among us of a truth (I Cor 14:23). Of course, if the secrets of the Wicked heart are revealed, they tend to get in our face, rather than fall on theirs.

The history of the Jew shows if there was a prophet in the land with a king who obeyed God, coupled with a people who sought after God, there was nothing impossible for them. This combination of the Three reflects to us walking in the Mercy of the Father,  holding the Grace of the Word (Son) while having the Power of the Holy Ghost by the Spirit to be all we can be in Jesus.

The king of Syria thought he could kill the prophet, then he could keep his secret; however, the best laid plans of Pharisees and the Wicked often go astray. The servant of the man of God woke early seeing wall to wall Syrians; he ran to his master saying, "My master, what shall we do" (II Kings 6:15). The first thing the prophet said was, "Fear not" (II Kings 6:16). Fear blocks our eyes to the deliverance of God; the prophet prayed for the eyes of the servant to be opened, then the servant saw chariots of fire round about the prophet (II Kings 6:17). These chariots were not around the enemy, they were around the prophet, much like the Armor of God surrounds and protects us. The servant went to the man of God to find the answer, yet the answer was standing about the man of God, thus the Anointing is also a protection for those who walk in it.

We can have eyes, but fail to see, if we fail to see, we will assume the Beast is greater than the Power of God. The blindness of the servant was removed when he looked upon the prophet, rather than the Syrians (II Kings 6:18). Elisha told the Syrians they were going the wrong way, blindness always takes us the wrong way, even if we are standing at the gate of the right way. Elisha lead the Syrians to the king of Israel, when their blindness was gone, the Syrians knew they were captive (II Kings 6:20-21). The first response of the people was Kill them, but the prophet had a better idea, one formed in Mercy. The prophet knew Mercy was connected to the anointing, thus failure to apply Mercy would also remove the anointing. The Syrians were given bread and much more, then released, thus they had heaps of coal on their heads. Mercy brought mercy, the Syrians came no more against Israel (II Kings 6:22-23). Instead of coming against Israel, the Syrians came against Samaria (II Kings 6:24-25). The people of Samaria were without food, they started to eat their babies. One day as the king was walking, and a woman called to him, he answered, "What can I do for you?". The woman told him how just the day prior another woman said, "Let's eat your baby today and tomorrow we'll eat mine", but the next day came and she refused to give up her baby (II Kings 6:26-29). The king blamed Elisha, since this was a prophecy coming to pass. Instead of taking the warning from the prophet, the king rejected it, then when the prophecy came to pass he blamed the prophet (II Kings 6:29-30). Instead of the king saying, "I have sinned", he said, It was the prophet you gave us.

The evil was brought by the Lord when the Lord removed His hand, but the act of removing His hand was predicated by the evil of the people. Even at that, the Lord had a plan for deliverance. Elisha told the king's servant (lord or overseer), there would be deliverance and the king would see it but not eat of it (II Kings 7:1-2). In the mean time there were four lepers, who said, "Why sit we here until we die?" (II Kings 7:3). Their reasoning was based in death, but nonetheless they did something. The conclusion of the lepers reasoning was, if they sit they die, if they go into the city they die, if they go to the camp of Syria, perhaps they might die, they picked the best of the three, but they never considered life as a prospect (II Kings 7:4). During the night the sound of chariots filled the camp of the Syrians, yet this wasn't a lie perpetrated by the Lord, rather the chariots of fire rode through the camp, the ears of the Syrians were opened. The sound caused the Syrians to leave, but it also caused them to leave their provisions behind. When the four lepers came in the morning they found the camp void of Syrians, but full of food (II Kings 7:6-8). The lepers were in the process of having their fill when they decided to tell the king; however, if they would have taken care of the needs of the people first, then had their fill, they would have been healed of their leprosy (II Kings 7:9-15).

When the people heard about the food in the camp, they ran to the camp. The king's servant (lord whose hand the king leaned on) stood in their way, thus although he saw, he was not able to eat thereof, just as the prophet said (II Kings 7:15-20). When we take the place of God by discipling people based on the thought of being lords over them, we will be trampled to death when they see the Bread of Life. We disciple (train up) by pointing to Jesus, rather than standing in the way of Jesus.

Elisha remembered the woman whose son was raised from the dead, he went to her and said, The Lord has called a famine for the land for a period of seven years (II Kings 8:1). The woman went to the area of the Philistines for the seven years, but when she returned, she found her land had been taken (II Kings 8:2-3). When Elisha came to the widow woman, she reminded him how he told her to leave the area. It would appear as if following the words of the prophet caused her to lose her prosperity, but she would find God has various plans, obeying makes the difference, not presumption. The throne changed hands, the new king called for Gehazi the servant of the prophet in order to hear the words of the prophet. As the servant was speaking the woman came in and told her story, thus the testimony of the prophet encouraged the king to restore her land, again she received the prophets reward (II Kings 8:4-6).

When Elijah was in the cave, the Lord told him to anoint Hazael as king over Syria (Damascus), but Hazael was still the servant to Ben-hadad the king of Syria; nonetheless Ben-hadad fell sick and told Hazael to take a present to the prophet to find out if the disease was unto death (II Kings 8:7-8). This is a far cry from Ahaziah who sent to Baalzebub (II Kings 1:2). The prophet said he may recover, but the Lord showed the prophet how Ben-hadad would surely die (II Kings 8:10). The man of God started to cry, and Hazael wondered why. Hazael was the choice of God to rule Syria, thus the man of God knew Hazael would rule Syria, but he also knew Hazael would do much evil to Israel (II Kings 8:11-12). Hazael would be king over Syria, as the Lord told Elijah, but it was Elisha who would complete the task of anointing him as king (II Kings 8:13-15). It would seem on the face of it, Elijah had a false prophecy, after all God told Elijah to anoint the man, yet it wasn't done. The prophecy went with the mantel, not Elijah the man, thus the mantel did complete the prophecy, although Elijah the man wasn't there. This also shows God appoints whom He will, the prophet saw the man would reign and be evil, yet he was appointed because of his evil. There are times when we get really mad at governments, but it's far better to discern what God is doing, than to allow our anger to rule our minds. The purpose for Hazael being king over Syria is discovered when Jehoshaphat became king over Israel. Jehoram did as the house of Ahab by bowing to idols and holding to perverse thinking. Then Ahaziah the son of Jehoram the king of Judah reigned, he walked in the ways of the house Ahab causing the entire land to be perverse (II Kings 8:16-19). Elisha was sent to anoint Jehu, going back to the cave of Elijah we can see Elijah had to join with Elisha through the mantel, thus it would be Elisha who would anoint both Hazael and Jehu (II Kings 9:1-6). Elisha didn't need a "double portion", what he needed was the same courage as Elijah, he obtained his office and anointing.

What then was the Mantel? In Ephesians we find Jesus appoints people in the offices, thus with each calling there is a Mantel, or covering for the person in the office. Elisha finished the ministry of Elijah, thus the Mantel of Elisha was not his, it belonged to Elijah. Like the anointing the mantel is not some lotion rubbed of one person unto another. Each of us have the Unction as a result of being in the Body, each of us who are Born Again have the New Man within, we don’t have someone else’s New Man. The Mantel Jesus places on us is for the position and calling of the Office (Eph 4:11-12).

Jehu would smite the house of Ahab to avenge the blood of the prophets who died at the hands of Jezebel (II Kings 9:7). All the young men would be cut off from Ahab's house and the dogs would eat the body of Jezebel, thus the self-appointed prophetess was eaten by the dogs as the words of the prophet said (II Kings 9:8-10:36). Some of us think the prophecy must come to pass during the time of the prophet, but if it were the case many of the Old Testament prophets would be in trouble. Some of us assume the only test of a false prophet is the prophecy not coming to pass, which is not the case. Even if the prophecy comes to pass, yet the prophet points us in the wrong direction, the prophet it is still false (Deut 13:1-3). The role of the prophet is directional, yet a prophet should never attempt to interpret their own prophecy. A prophet will prophecy in part, the other prophets judge. Forcing a prophet to interpret their own prophecy draws confusion, it doesn't remove it.

The Jews were not as considerate as the Greeks, they didn't name their kings "Jehoash the first of Judah" or "Jehoash not the king". The New Testament holds many such separations, such as "Judas, not Iscariot", to show us the person may be named Judas, but they are not the same as Judas Iscariot; however, in the Old Testament we can find as many as ten men all with the same name, some were kings, some priests, some nothing (Jn 14:22). We will move through as many as we can, and pray we don't get lost in the vastness of names.

Later Jehoash the king of Judah was carted away to the house of God to save him from the evil of Athaliah, who attempted to kill all the blood royal (II Kings 11:1 & 11:14). Jehoash was locked up with the people of God for seven years, when he became king, he did what  was right in the sight of God, but the people still didn't take away the high places (II Kings 12:1-3). The command went out to repair the breaches in the Lord's house, the priests put a box near the door with a slot cut in it for the free will offerings of the people (II Kings 12:6-10). This is much different from pushing the collection plate in everyone's face, rather the people knew the repair of the Lord's house was the purpose and cause of the collection, thus they gave much (II Kings 12:10).

Another Jehoahaz the son of Jehu reigned over Israel, but he did evil in the sight of the Lord by bringing back the golden calves of Jeroboam, and the homosexual prostitutes were allowed around the temple again (II Kings 13:1-2). From this we find why God didn't make the distinctions between the names. Israel and Judah had kings with the same names, but they were two different people with two different results, thus we have the soul of man divided between doing something for God and doing something for the self nature. Warfare? Yes, yet we are promised a Victory in the saving of the soul before the battle begins because we have the New Man. Our Promise in the Crown of Life is to conquer (victory) while having conquering (victory abundant).

Jehoahaz of Judah did what  was right before the Lord but he was not good before the Lord, as he allowed the high places to remain; whereas Jehoahaz of Israel opened the flood gates of the self by bringing in all sorts of idols. The anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel, He delivered them into the hand of Hazael, the king of Syria. God anointed Hazael to punish His people, thus God will appoint the evil king over the called, when the called fail to act like the chosen. Instead of cursing the evil, we should find out why we have ended under the  hand of the evil.

Elisha fell sick with a sickness unto death, Joash was the king of Israel, who came to the prophet saying, "O my father, my father, the chariot of Israel and the horsemen thereof" (II Kings 13:14). Here we have a prophet of God, who didn't sin, yet is falling sick, but his sickness was for a purpose beyond him alone. Finally the man of God received the honor of the calling, the statement is akin to Elijah going up by the chariot of fire. Joash knew the importance of having a prophet in the land, he knew the power of the king rested in the performance of the prophet. Elisha told him to use his bow and arrows as a symbol of the Lord's deliverance, and how the king would smite the Syrians (II Kings 13:15-17). Elisha told Joash to smite the ground, Joash did so three times; however, he should have continued until the prophet passed (II Kings 13:18-20). The bones of the prophet became a symbol of the last resurrection, one day as the men were burying a man they spied another band of men, and threw the dead man into the sepulcher of Elisha. As soon as the dead man hit the bones of Elisha, he was revived, standing on his feet (II Kings 13:21). This man was not resurrected but resuscitated; still a symbol of the last resurrection, not a sign of the Rapture. Any symbol of the Rapture is when something was, then was no more in the twinkling of an eye; whereas a symbol of the last resurrection is one standing up.

Amaziah would reign as king of Judah, he did right in the sight of the Lord; however the high places remained (II Kings 14:1-4). Then came Jeroboam as the king of Judah, who did evil in the sight of the Lord (II Kings 14:21-24). Thereby giving us the division again; Amaziah like Jehoash (king of Judah) did right in the sight of the Lord, but they were not perfect by allowing the high places to remain. Some kings did right (II Kings 15:3, 15:34 et al), but many of those who did right, didn't remove the high places. As long as the people were lukewarm, so was the nation. This type and shadow shows us being lukewarm gives opportunity to the devil, we think we have need of nothing, but if we are lukewarm we in danger of being spewed out of the Lord’s mouth.

Then came Ahaz, who compromised with Assyria by allowing the "stranger" in (II Kings 16:7-9). The priests also compromised their positions (II Kings 16:10-12). Both elements give us the effects of tolerance or compromise when we allow the Stranger to rule in our midst. It’s not simply doing business in the world system, it’s doing business as the world, to make money, regardless of what it takes. Not telling a drowning person their salvation is near is joining to their destruction. However, once they know the truth, they are responsible.

The compromise with Assyria continued (II Kings 17:1-7), thus the bondage for disobedience continues until this day (II Kings 17:7-13). When we do right, we maintain, but we really don't gain; when we do evil the Lord testifies against us (II Kings 17:12-35), but when we obey the Lord we gain the Ways of the Lord. Then came Hezekiah, the king of Judah, who not only did right in the sight of the Lord, but he took down the high places (II Kings 18:1-5). Hezekiah did right by obeying the Lord, thus he prospered; whereas the others who did right to a degree maintained, yet they didn't prosper (II Kings 18:5-7). Hezekiah becomes a type and shadow showing the difference between receiving Jesus as Savior, and receiving Him as Savior and Lord. It's one thing to make a change from the world, another to be changed into the Image of God’s Son. The foundation for Hezekiah was his testimony, he trusted more in the Lord than any before him, or after him (II Kings 18:5). Hezekiah wasn't Born Again, he wasn't privy to Grace, yet he trusted in the Lord; what then could be our excuse?

Then would come Isaiah the prophet of the Lord (II Kings 19:2). Hezekiah told Isaiah, "This day is a day of trouble and of rebuke and blasphemy for the children are come to the birth and there is not strength to bring forth" (II Kings 19:3). We obtain the word Tribulation from a word meaning Trouble, when the tribulation comes it does so to rebuke, not bless. The birth was there, but the strength to bring it wasn't, without the Strength of the Lord, the Kingdom won't be birthed. This is a shadow of the Violent taking it by force, it would take a Power greater than the king to bring this Birth; therefore, we are granted the Power of His Christ by the Spirit as our Energy to take and hold the Kingdom (Rev 12:10-11). The Lord looked to the Cross, then began looking to the daughters of Zion and Jerusalem (II Kings 19:20-21). Two groups we will discuss later.

Hezekiah would brag on his position to the men of Babylon, but Isaiah the prophet told him, "Behold the days come, all that is in your house and what your fathers have laid up in store unto this day, shall be carried away into Babylon: nothing shall be left, saith the Lord" (II Kings 20:17). It would take time for the seeds of Babylon to grow, yet Manasseh would add water of corruption to the seeds of corruption (II Kings 21:1-3). Then would come Josiah, who would stay the corruption (II Kings 22:1-2). Hilkiah the high priest would find a Book of the Law, the discovery came about because of Josiah's attitude. When we change our attitude we will find the Law of the Spirit written on our hearts. The Lord said, He would nonetheless bring the evil, but Josiah would not see it (II Kings 22:16-20).

Although Josiah did many things to rid the country of witchcraft, whoredoms, homosexuals and idol worship, the Lord could not change the course, for the Lord had spoken it, if it repented the Lord, so be it, it must be done (II Kings 23:21-26). This is another type, we find when the high places were taken down the man was spared the Wrath of God, yet the Wrath would come, just as the Night must come.

Nebuchadnezzar would become king of Babylon; Assyria is prophetically the same as Babylon, although there are two different places we find the two names relate to idol worship becoming interchangeable in prophesy (II Kings 24:1). God raised Babylon and Nebuchadnezzar to bring punishment on the people, but the Lord would also wound the head of Babylon, the wicked nation (Hab 3:13). John tells us the False Prophet will cause the people to worship in the same manner as the house who suffered the head wound, thus something seen as the preview, only confirms it will be (Rev 13:11-12 & Hab 3:13). The false prophet is not Assyria, or Babylon, rather he brings the idol worship back, it’s the

Woman who is termed Babylon. The false prophet is able to merge the Woman (City) with the world (Beast of the Sea), bringing about the bed of adultery.

Babylon came time and again, each time Nebuchadnezzar came he would remove something or someone. Little by little the children obtained, little by little they lost what little they did have (II Kings 24:3-25:30).


FIRST CHRONICLES

Chronicles is the chronological record of history, both books of the Chronicles give us the knowledge behind First and Second Kings. Chronicles begins with the genealogy of the Jews, within the grouping we find "Abram; the same is Abraham. The sons of Abraham; Isaac and Ishmael" (I Chron 1:27-28). We know Ishmael was born to Hagar and Abram, with Ishmael as the first, or the principle one (meaning first one, rather than top of the order), yet here it appears Ishmael was the second born to Abraham; however, in this we will learn something about how the first is last and the last is first. Isaac was born last, but became first; Ishmael the son of manipulation was born first but became last in all things. Our soul came first, but remains last, whereas our New Man was granted last (not in God's eyes, but as a result of receiving the baptism with the Holy Ghost), but is first in Order. The promise was given to the remnant first, but their time of Restoration is last; whereas the Church was granted the last Promise, but will be the first to receive the Reward. Simply, the time for the Remnant will be after our Season, thus we will be the First to enter the Great Throne Room of God at the Rapture.

Jesus told Nicodemus the concept of being Born Again was an earthly matter, yet He also suggested the knowledge was contained in the Scriptures of the Old Testament (Jn 3:12). Jesus then used the event wherein Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness to show the concept of being Born Again could not begin until the Cross (Jn 3:14-21). Peter tells us the Blood of Jesus began the process of bringing us into the Truth through the Spirit, denoting how Born Again is having the incorruptible Seed, all of which is a process beginning with the Cross and Resurrection (I Pet 1:19-23). Jesus never told anyone they were Born Again before the Cross, but He did lay out the principle many times; however, on the same note He told the disciples they would not understand the principle until after Jesus was glorified, He was glorified by the Resurrection (Jn 7:37-39). Therefore, there are things God tells us wherein we don't gain the understanding until after the fact.

If Jesus was Declared the Son of God by the Resurrection, how then could anyone else be declared a son of God without the power of the Resurrection? Ahh, it takes the Spirit by the Resurrection, Jesus is still the First Resurrected. No one can be a true son of God without having the Spirit of God. The Spirit (of God) bears witness to our Spirit (New Man, or Spirit which is of God), we are the children of God. The spirit of man knows the things of man, but is completely ignorant of the things of God, yet the spirit of the world is opposed to the Spirit which is of God (I Cor 2:11-12). Without the Spirit in us we cannot be Spiritual, without being Spiritual we will not understand the things of God. The Promise to a child of God could not be realized until Jesus died on the Cross and was Resurrected. Within Chronicles the promise of Jesus is clear, as we read, "For Judah prevailed above his brethren and of him came the chief ruler but the birthright was Joseph's" (I Chron 5:2). When John sees the book no man can open, he also hears, "Weep not, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David has prevailed to open the book" (Rev 5:5). Then in reference to the 144,000 John sees Joseph as one tribe along with Manasses, yet in the Old Testament we either see Joseph alone, or Manasses and Ephraim (the sons of Joseph); therefore, we are attached to the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, the Remnant to the Root of David. We have the Lion of Judah the Prevailing One, the remnant have the birthright of Joseph. As for us, we have the opportunity to have Life by the Spirit before physical death, granting us the opportunity to be partakers in the First Resurrection, the Remnant will face the resurrection unto Life. We are the children of the Day, they are of the Night; for us this is a present tense issue, one of faith, for the Remnant they will look upon Him they have pierced. We have the unique opportunity to receive the Spirit by imputing the flesh dead now by the Cross of Jesus, so we can obtain the Spirit of Holiness as the Power of the Resurrection. Our purpose is unto Salvation; whereas the Remnant are purposed for the time of judgment, the time when the enemies of Jesus will be made His footstool. Two different means to reach the result, thus Jesus said the times and seasons were equated to the Father (Mercy), but our times and seasons are equated to the Father through the Word, by the Holy Ghost (Acts 1:6-8).

We see list upon list of names, some were good people, some evil; some mighty, some weak; some saved men from men, some sold men to men; some were kings, some were not, but none of them could save man from himself. We even have the lines coming from Ishmael and Esau. It's interesting Esau had kings before Israel (I Chron 1:43), but we also find the Dukes of Edom. The Hebrew word for Kings in verse 43 is Melekh meaning A ruler, or false god, or An idol-king. Melekh was a common term for virtually any magistrate, good, bad or indifferent. The Hebrew word for Duke in verse 51 is Alluph meaning a Family ruler of a clan. Before Israel was established Edom had both kings and dukes, yet God picked Israel out of all the nations in the world (Amos 3:2).

In First Chronicles 2:15 we find David listed as the Seventh son of Jesse, but in First Samuel 16:10 and 17:12, we find David was the Eighth. Is there a mistake, or a mystery? Clearly there is a difference in the numbers, some contend one of Jesse's sons died, but we also have the advantage of the Book of Revelation, where we find a mystery. Although there are Seven churches listed in the Book of Revelation we find an Eighth who came from the Seven (Rev 17:10-11). We also find a reference to the Rapture, since Five kings are fallen, one is, and one is yet to come, as John sees the Woman in the wilderness (Rev 17:10). Oh wait, these seven kings, are they not the seven mountains (nations) of the Beast of the Sea? No, since the Beast of the Sea begins with Ten, then three are taken it becomes reduced to Seven, here we find Seven with Five gone, one is, and one yet to come, then when the Seventh Comes, so does the Eighth, thus we have more than one order of kings, just as we find here in Chronicles. The Seven from which the Five come are the seven churches, the Fifth church has some qualities linking it to the church to see the Rapture. Jesus will confess them before the Father, at the time those who are alive and remain are caught up (Rev 3:3). They are told they can walk with Him in white, then we see those who walk with Jesus in white in heaven when the 144,000 are marked on earth (Rev 3:4, 6:11, 7:9, 7:14 & 7:4-8). The word Fallen means either to fall forward as one would fall down and worship, or to fall backward as one would draw back to perdition, at the Rapture both meanings will be correct. Of the Five some will be before the throne. or fall forward to worship, but the drunken who go into the night are those who draw back to perdition, thus the Eighth comes out of perdition (Rev 17:11). When the five are fallen then comes the Sixth to spread the knowledge of the Lord, then comes the Seventh who are lukewarm, they allow the Eighth, who is the Beast of the Earth to invade, bringing the abomination to make desolate. We are showing these matters to bring the concept of the net to our time, as the end times were not something John wrote about in the Book of Revelation, but knowledge spread throughout the Scriptures. The Revelation of Jesus is not the Revelations (plural), nor is it something Revealed to Jesus, rather it's the Revealing of Jesus. Paul showed two types of the Revealing of Jesus, one is unto us from faith to faith (Rom 1:17), the other Revealing comes when the Wrath of God is revealed (Rom 1:18). David is prophetically used here in Chronicles, he was the Seventh son, but the house of David will be invaded by the Eighth in the very last days, thus the Remnant are associated with the Root of David, the Root relates to the foundation, or what is hidden from the eye. The association is made to the Sixth church, they are told Jesus has the “key of David” (Rev 3:7). They are told they have a Door or entrance no man can close (stop), nor can any man open (cause to be opened). Yet we also have a Door, behold Jesus stands and knocks and if any man open, He will come in and sup with them (Rev 3:20), thus it’s called the Time of Doors (Matt 24:33 & Mark 13:29). The eight son is a prophetic message projected to the future, giving us another clue in the Old regarding what will be.

In Chronicles we find "Esau and Israel", rather than "Esau and Jacob", giving us another clue to a division, or Brokenness, or separation. We know the title Antichrist never appears in the Book of Revelation, yet the same John wrote First John where we first see the term, yet in the Book of Revelation we don’t see the term. John tells us the antichrist could not come until there was first a Christ like person (I Jn 2:18), thus the spirit of antichrist is limited to the time when mankind can receive the Greater He, which time ends at the Rapture. The spirit of error is also termed the spirit of antichrist, the error being not receiving the Greater He. The he of the world would be the spirit of the world, the same spirit opposed to the Spirit which is of God (I Jn 4:3 & 4:6). The Book of Revelation holds information about the Night, but we never see the title “antichrist”, but we do find the title, “Beast of the earth” as the false prophet. Jesus said there would be false christs or those who said they were Christ Like but were not, then there would be false prophets, same group, two different seasons (Matt 24:24).

Then John shows this antichrist is a them, as they went out from us. If they were around in John's day, what makes us assume they are not around today? This element came from us, yet retained the he of the world (I Jn 2:9-11). The Eighth is also known as the Wicked, the self-possessed, the bad fish, tares, children of the wicked one (Matt 13:38), yet they are seen among the Seven churches, but not as "The Antichrist", rather they are termed the "Synagogue of Satan". The word Synagogue isn't restricted to Israel, rather it means a Gathering, not a Calling Out From. The division shows they say, they are Jews, but are not; a true Jew is circumcised of heart. This is the same premise Paul uses regarding the false apostles who are self-transformed, the same premise Peter uses for those who promise Liberty, but are still in bondage to the flesh. They hold the Doctrine of Balaam, or the Nicolaitanes, they are the Jezebels; they entered by God's Mercy, but refuse to give it. This mystery of the Eighth will be seen in many verses between here and the New Testament, yet before Jesus came as the Word made flesh, this element was eluded to, but non-existent, since Jesus equated it to the seven churches, which could were not in existence until Ephesus the first church mentioned began.

The Key to David opens up the House of David, yet it’s appointed for a Season, a Season known as The Time Of Comfort, or The Restoration of Israel, but the Eighth gained its beginning in our Season. Jesus will show the enemy planted Tares among the Wheat, then the enemy left. When the Blade broke the ground, so did the Tares (Matt 13:34-41). This Parable points to the end times, but John said the Last Times began in his day (I Jn 2:18-19). The Parable gives us the method of operation regarding the enemy, thus we are sent to destroy the works of the devil. The children of the wicked are not called demons, since they are not demon possessed, yet they are devilish, they hold to the spirit lusting to envy. They refuse to truly denounce the spirit of man, rather they found instead of it ruling them, they can rule and use it, turning it into the spirit of the world. The spirit of antichrist is using the spirit of the world, while claiming to be of Christ. The New Man is the Greater He removing the strongman from our souls, by brining the spiritual attributes of God. Truly greater is He in you, than the he of the world. Therefore, we find “ye must be Born Again” is not a suggestion, it’s a commandment (must).

In the Parable of the Wheat and Tares the children of the kingdom are not called children of God, although their purpose is to reach the goal. This Parable gives us a pattern and concept regarding how the devil plants his works, as well as telling us how we can be free. It's no secret, there are some who mouth the title Christian, but they are Tares, not Wheat. Their minds are carnal, they join themselves to carnal matters. David being both the Seventh and the Eighth shows how the Eighth is hidden among the Seven until a time appointed. At this point in the study we will not attempt to expose the many verses pertaining to this element, rather we will expose this element as we go along, in so doing we will find there is a very good reason to enter the saving of the soul: it’s also a good reason to be prepared for the Rapture.

Then we find Saul's sin of asking counsel of one who had a familiar spirit, as he failed to inquire of the Lord; therefore, the Lord slew him (I Chron 10:13-14). Wait, Saul fell on his own sword, ahh, the Lord allowed it. It wasn't Saul's attacks against David, or his refusal to vacate the throne, but his rebellion springing forth into witchcraft causing him to attack David, finally ending in his death.

Then we read about the three mighty men of David (I Chron 11:10-25). First was Jasobeam (meaning The people will return), then Eleazer (meaning God is helper), and lastly Abishai (meaning The Father of the gift). These three give us, "the people will return, for God is their helper and the Father will present the gift". There was Benaiah (meaning, JAH has built) who was among the thirty, but who didn't make it to become among the mighty three (I Chron 11:22-25). Mercy is the beginning of the building, but without the gift of Grace we can't make it to the Mighty Three of the Trinity (Father, Word, Holy Ghost).

Chronicles tells us about Uzza putting his hand to the Ark and dying, but we also learn it was based on David's failure to have the priests move the Ark (I Chron 13:9 & 15:11-13), his failure resulted in his attempt to out shine the Philistines (I Sam 6:7). David was forgiven, and able to dance before the Lord. Although Michal despised him, he found his peace in the Lord, then he wrote his first Psalm (I Chron 15:29-16:7). In all this history it's obvious these people missed it time and again, yet God continued to reach out; even to the point of having to put them into captivity to wake them up. Interesting, captivity to wake us up? Sounds like there will be times when we will be under the hand of the ungodly to open our eyes and ears to the Lord. However, the Mercy of the Lord endures forever, even in our time of captivity.

These people didn't have New Testament Grace, they didn't have the Greater He, they didn't have access by the faith of Jesus, really true Faith didn't come until Jesus; whatever we have done, we know God's Arm is still reaching out, it doesn't matter how dark the cloud is, God is fully able to reach in to rescue us. When we are down in the pit, we reach up by presenting the sacrifice of praise as we recall how God kept reaching out to these people. Not a point of Faith, but one of belief in what God will do for His own.

The ability to maintain courage in the calling is found in Chronicles as we read, "Be of good courage, let us behave ourselves valiantly for our people" (I Chron 19:13). If we entered the calling to appear important before mankind, we will fail, but if we entered for the sake of the Lord, courage will prevail. The same call Joshua heard, these people hear. We know courage is a decision to stand, the action of courage is merely a reaction based on the decision. If our decision was to get all we could out of this thing for our own benefit, then we will run like a rabbit when danger comes. If our decision was to please God, then we will stand and laugh in the face of adversity.

The numbering of the people for war by David is exposed as we find it was Satan who enticed David, thus the fear of being overcome entered David’s mind causing faith to take a hike (I Chron 21:1-8). When the angel of the Lord moved the plague on the people because of the numbering, David repented, then the Lord commanded the angel to "put up his sword again into the sheath" (I Chron 21:27). Jesus told Peter, "put up your sword again" (Jn 18:11), the same premise prevails. Peter wanted to stand for the Lord as the angel of revenge, but Jesus was looking for a servant of mercy.

We also find David asked the Lord to give Solomon understanding, but the understanding was limited to building the house (I Chron 22:1-12). Solomon asked for wisdom and knowledge in order to judge the people (II Chron 1:10). Both requests were granted, Solomon had understanding in building the temple, he also had wisdom and knowledge in judging the people; however, Solomon didn't have the Wisdom of God. There is a vast difference between wisdom from God to conduct earthly matters, and the Wisdom of God. Just as there is a vast difference between the knowledge of God on the earth, and God’s Knowledge granted to those who are Born Again. Paul said Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for them who love Him. But God has revealed them unto us by His Spirit (I Cor 2:9-10). The only way we are going to know the Ways of God, is by the Spirit. Acts will happen, they are needed and great, but we also need to know the Ways of God.

First Chronicles 23:15 shows how the sons of Moses (Gershom and Eliezer) remained with Moses after Jethro brought them and the wife of Moses into the wilderness. The line of Moses produced the "chiefs", in First Chronicles 24 we find the line of Aaron produced the priestly order. Out of the priestly order two of the four sons of Aaron died, based on their rebellion. The remaining priestly order came under Eleazar and Ithamar the remaining two sons of Aaron. Later David distributed, or split the duties, Zadok came from the sons of Eleazar, Ahimelech from the sons of Ithamar. This was an important issue, when the nation split the priestly order split as well. This is a type and shadow of the two orders of Israel, one before the Cross, then the Remnant who will conduct themselves in a Godly priestly order in the beginning of the Night.

Some seek God for self-based reasons, some play religious games, some seek God based in a sound love for the Lord, but the Lord knows the hearts and souls of those who seek Him regardless of their motives (I Chron 28:9). When we give ourselves unto the Lord willingly we will gain the joy of the Lord, by holding the rejoicing heart filled self-less love of God. God’s love is an adventure, it takes us to realms no man of the earth knew about until Jesus Revealed them to us by the Spirit (I Chron 29:9). Motive is always an eye opener, the Word in us separates the motive from the thought, thus the thought will not always tell us the motive. The motive becomes the purpose for the doing, the thought is the means to produce the plan to carry out the motive. We learn to discern.


SECOND CHRONICLES

The numbering of David for war, and the numbering of Solomon were different, as well as differences between the various numberings David conducted. The main difference is the intent and motive, when David wanted to count his people for War it was a sin, when he counted the priests it was not; when Solomon counted to determine know how many strangers were in the land, it was not a sin; three different numberings, but only one was a sin (II Chron 2:17). David made mistakes, but he was a man after God's heart, or a man who desperately wanted to know what the heart of God contained. The driving force in David's heart was to build the house of the Lord, in our case it’s the building in us by the New Man (II Chron 6:6-10). It's one thing to find people to worship the Lord, another to search out excuses to war against people. When God tells us we have the weapons of our warfare, yet we turn and count to see if God is right, it's a sign of our unbelief. We don’t test our weapons, we use them in accordance with the manner God has ordained.

Elijah wasn't the only one to see fire fall from heaven on the sacrifice, Solomon saw the fire of God as well (II Chron 7:1-2). God tries us in the fire of affliction, from the fire comes the pure refined gold of God. The fire of God finishes the work, forming our souls unto the purpose of our faith, even the salvation of our souls (I Pet 1:9). When the temple of the Lord is prepared by the fire of God it becomes the chosen, sanctified house of God (II Chron 7:13-16). When we reject the saving of the soul, we force God to pluck us up by the root (II Chron 7:20). Jude said, the false (wicked) are twice dead, "plucked up by the root" (Jude 12). How could they have Roots? Was the Seed planted? Yes, Jude shows they are twice dead, not once dead, thus they are engaging in acts leading right to the Second death. Jesus said, the fruit of being Born Again is when the Blade comes forth, rather than the seed or root stage (Mark 4:28). We don’t celebrate or conception day, there was a time from conception to fetus to birth, thus birth is different from the Seed being planted.

James tells us to humble ourselves in the sight of the Lord (James 4:10). Peter tells us to humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God. No one can be truly humble and prideful at the same time; therefore, we humble ourselves, we don't wait for the Rock to fall on us to bring humbleness. If we humble ourselves, then the Lord will not destroy us, rather He will deliver us (II Chron 12:7).

History shows us the Lord will place His people under the hand of the king of Babylon: there are times when we refuse to humble ourselves, forcing God to place us under Babylonian kings to teach us humility. We can either fight to force change, yet finding ourselves in bondage, or we can admit we are in bondage because we refused to humble ourselves. If we admit the latter God will bring a change in us, then there will be deliverance. Religious orders force change on the flesh by using will power, the Christian is changed by the Power of God, much different. Yet, if we refuse to be humble, pride will rule in our lives. Humbleness is a weapon of our warfare, it negates pride.

Attempting to force the king of Babylon to adhere to our values is fruitless, it produces nothing but bitterness and frustration for us. We end running to the king of Babylon for our protection and need, rather than seeking the face of God for deliverance. We can't prosper while under bondage, but we do prosper in God through His freedom (II Chron 13:12).

Next comes the concept of the Rest of God, which comes when the people believe in God, as well as enter covenant with the Lord by their belief (II Chron 15:10-15). The New Covenant is based in the Blood of Jesus, yet we can't reach the Blood until we believe the Blood of Jesus is capable of cleaning us. The New Covenant is not based on what we do, it's based on what Jesus did; therefore, we submit to become what God wants us to be, rather than using God to become what we want. Some trust in God for the moment, some trust in God to perform: we put our trust in God regardless of the event. We can trust people to do as they should, but we never put our trust in mankind to deliver us, meet our need, protect us, guide us, or save us. Our Communion is to Remember what Jesus did for us, not what we did for Jesus. We discern our part in the Body, which is a matter of Mercy, then we focus on His Blood, which is a matter of Grace. Jesus told us to be merciful as our Father is merciful, thus mercy is a constant attitude to forgive before there is a reason to, often referred to as refusing to impute sin on people. God's Love works by Mercy, Godly Faith works by Love, we need the working order in place, before we can finish the work of God. We submit to the Spirit allowing Him to determine if we have died to our self-interests, thereby allowing Jesus to live His life through us (Gal 2:20). Our whole desire must be to enter the Covenant (II Chron 15:15); it doesn't matter if we ever raise the dead, what does matter is our belief in the ability of God to raise us from the dead by the Spirit of Holiness. Faith without a hope is a mind game, our main Hope is to be partakers in the First Resurrection.

Asa the king sinned because he relied on the king of Syria, thus failing to rely on the Lord (II Chron 16:7). If we rely or trust in the civil authorities, rather than God, we have fallen from Grace into the world system. Obeying the civil authorities and trusting in them are different. If we believe in the Lord we shall be established, if we believe His prophets, we will prosper (II Chron 20:20). If Faith begins by our belief in God Is, then our Faith will know God is all powerful, meaning the event isn’t our problem, it’s our soulish reaction becoming the problem.

Fear is the counterfeit of faith, fear trusts in anger and manipulation to attack what it fears. If we have "faith in God", then it's in God, if we have faith in anything else, it's either presumption or assumption. We can be morally correct, yet fail to cast down the high places, the high places produce strongholds (II Chron 20:33). The weapons of our warfare are not carnal (natural), but mighty through God to the pulling down of the strongholds. Strongholds are not over some city, rather they are found in the imaginations of the mind (II Cor 10:3-5). Imagination means extending a metaphor, or extending a premise beyond its intended purpose to make it a fable. Paul's comments on the Strongholds clearly points to the mind, to make the stronghold some demon takes it beyond its intended purpose, thereby, proving the point, if we hold strongholds as demons we have a stronghold based on the fable of strongholds being demons. Just as Eve said, "it was the serpent", we tend to call the Egypt traits we brought with us "demons", rather than seeing we are not demon possessed, rather we are self-possessed truly in need of a cleaning by the Washing of the Water by the Word.

There are differences between, Atonement, Pardon and Remission. Atonement merely balances the scale, the sacrifice is placed on one side, to bring a balance between the sin and the sacrifice, but it never does away with sin. Pardon or the forgiveness of sin removes the accusation of sin, which is the authority of sin to deceive us, but it doesn't remove the Stain of Unrighteousness. Only the Blood of Jesus can bring Remission, thus Remission is being in a position where sin can't be defined. In the Beginning was the Word before the Garden, before the Trees, and before Adam partook of the fruit. The Word was before God said, “In that Day”, indicating the Word is completely sinless. Don’t forget sin did not begin outside the Garden, it began in the Garden. However, the first place we find the word Sin is in reference to Abimelech, the first person to admit sin was Pharaoh, both Abimelech and Pharaoh were not in the Promise, they were of the world (Gen 20:6 & Ex 9:27). The failure of Adam shows sin is a worldly trait, the cleaning a Kingdom attribute.

Strongholds are the products of natural, they are worldly corrupt seeds producing misconceptions regarding people and events. High things or Strongholds are based on natural reasonings. The imaginations come from corrupt teachings, misinterpretations of Scripture, or events, or by attempting to define the spiritual from a carnal position. Paul said the High Things come against the knowledge of God, rather than coming against God, but what does God know? All things? Yes, thus this means we can make strongholds based on misconceptions of events, people, or words. All Strongholds are protected by a strongman, and the strongman is the sprit lusting to envy. Jacob thought Esau was going to kill him and his family, but Esau had no intention of harming Jacob, thus Jacob formed an opinion which reigned in his mind, becoming a stronghold. These supposed stronghold treasures appear to our souls as pearls, but they are poison, death and hindering elements keeping us from being Free. Why do we think they are treasures? Deception, believing the report of the flesh, while rejecting the report of the New Man. God is fully able to expose, tear down, or destroy corrupt areas, whether they are theological in nature, or events, or  misunderstandings. Often it’s not what is said, but how the person perceived it, we could say something completely innocent, yet have the person received it as a threat, or a challenge. They will form an opinion, feed it with natural reasoning, giving birth to a stronghold. The natural intellect of man never saved man from himself, taking pride in one's intellect is making another idol in the mind (II Chron 25:15). Using any form of witchcraft is dangerous; in our case it's the use of our mind power to project a Christian appearance (II Chron 33:6-7). Before we can understand the prosperity of God we must cast down the self-serving idols, allow God to tear down the high places and imaginations by receiving with meekness of the engrafted Word, which is always able to save our souls (James 1:21).

Before we leave here we're going to revisit the error of David when he wanted to move the Ark of the Covenant. This study in the history opens a few areas for us to consider, but we are far from being done. Clarity comes when the Light, Love and Life of God are all connected in us by the Seed of God, thus history allows us to see what David couldn't see at the time of his error. We want to revisit the time when David moved the Ark causing the death of Uzzah (thought we forgot didn't you). David was a man after God's own heart, but like the rest of us, he made mistakes. God didn't cast him off, ask for his crown back, or banish him. The man attempted to outdo the Philistines by copying them, yet God didn't take away David's kingdom. Why? Intent, David wanted to do something for God, like Peter the intent was good, the method faulty based on a weakness. God corrected him, but he didn't beat his brains out. Teachers will correct when we are in error, or rebuke us when we are ungodly. David had Nathan as a prophet, as a prophet he was also a teacher. It was Nathan who rebuked David with the story of the stolen sheep; however, David didn’t inquire of the priests when he moved the Ark, one cannot move or remove something without the proper Authority, or without using the Godly method. Attempting to save the soul by the soul is the wrong Authority and method, failure will be the result.

Some of us think since the people like our idea, it justifies the means. Not so, the people all agreed with David, thus David felt he had the right plan, yet it caused the death of Uzzah, a man of war. The story is contained in II Samuel Chapter 6 and I Chronicles Chapter 13, but the clarity is found in I Chronicles Chapter 15, yet they all connect to using the right authority. Why did Uzzah die? Because he was the one who touched the Ark? Partly, but how did they get the Ark on the cart to begin with? Someone had to "touch it", so why Uzzah? The "method" used for transportation was "out of order", a venture costing a man his life.

David was appointed and anointed by God for a position, but it didn't mean he couldn’t make mistakes, nor did it mean he could change the methods of God then expect the Glory to fall. "Hey, well I know the man made a mistake with Bethsheba". True, but his affair with Bethsheba was wrong from the outset, here we find the premise seems right, the method seemed more than right, all the people agreed with the king, so what could possibly be wrong with wanting the Ark? It had the Mercy Seat, the place where God rested. The Ark belonged with the people of God, it was given to them. So, why not have it back? Procedure and method, David was a king, not a priest.

David was going to show some class, he had some powerful men around the Ark, some real big names, he had a new cart, a real fancy one. Let's face it, on the surface it appeared as if God would be pleased. David felt, like most of us, as long as it seemed right and Godly, then it must be right and Godly. Not so, we can make an error in the method used, just as we can in the plan used. Everything David used was better than any old uncircumcised Philistine could build, God should be very pleased, right? Wrong, the intent was good, the method wrong. Wanting to have things is not wrong, using the wrong method to get them is. Taking the fruit from the wrong tree always seems right at first, but it ends in evil.

Why did Uzzah die? He attempted to make it right, but he was not the one who caused the error. When the Hand of the Lord moved to expose the error, Uzzah attempted to make it right by the hand of man. This is clear when we see how the Scripture reads, "for his error" (II Sam 6:7). What error? In the Hebrew this could also read, "for his rashness", the Hebrew word is Shal meaning a transgression, or fault, yet the only place it's used in the entire Bible is II Samuel. The Hebrew Shal comes from another seldom used Hebrew word (Shalah), which means, to be deceived, or mislead, thus this word tells the story. The error was being mislead into thinking the hand of man could correct the error. Most of us would have seen the Ark falling and do the same, or perhaps we would have assumed it was the devil, then we would have jumped up, and said, "I come against you devil". However, from the Scriptures we find it wasn't the devil, it was God based on the misconception of man; therefore, the Ark slipping was a sign to these people of their error. Their dancing and shouting didn’t correct the error, they had a plan, but used the wrong people, thus the people involved lacked the Authority. Discerning really does keep us from burning.

First Chronicles chapter 11 and most of chapter 12 give us some information concerning the warriors, they were men of valor, able to fight beyond the limits of most men, some of them could fight with either hand, some were so powerful they didn't speak to the mountain, they simply picked it up and moved it. David was impressed with these warriors, he consulted with the captains and leaders. If moving the Ark "seemed" good unto them, then he was going to bring it back (I Chron 13:1-2). The people said it seemed right to them as we read, "it was right in the sight of the people" (I Chron 13:4). David made a "new cart", had the best of the warriors around the Ark to protect it. They "played" before God, they had music, laughter, singing, and what some of us would call a "revival", but it was self-based emotional religion (I Chron 13:7-8). The word "played" is the Hebrew Sachaq meaning To rejoice, or laugh, which sounds okay, but it also means "to mock" or "hold in contempt". The problem came when David had a thought, made up his own premise, even though it seemed right to him and others, no one thought of asking God.  We can have a sound premise, but lack the authority it will end in error.

The oxen picked to pull the cart had no idea what they were carrying, yet one of them stumbled. When the "madness of the prophet" is guiding the way, the Ark and all it contains begin to rock to and fro. Uzza put forth his hand to old up the Ark, and "the anger of the Lord was kindled against Uzzah (or Uzza), and He (the Lord) smote him, because he put his hand to the ark" (I Chron 13:10). "Well, maybe Uzza had a lack of faith?". No,  what matter of faith would be the issue? The Ark was slipping, he reacted. Uzza had a brother by the name of Ahio, their father was a man by the name of Abinadab (II Sam 6:3). The Ark was in the house of Abinadab (II Sam 6:2), yet to find who Abinadab was, we have to go back to First Chronicles 2:13. In First Chronicles we find Abinadab was a son of Jesse, in fact he was the second son born to Jesse, which made him a brother to David. Following the line of Jesse back we find he came from the Tribe of Judah (I Chron 2:3-13). Uzzah was not a Levite, yet only the Levites were allowed to handle the Ark of the Covenant (Ex 38:21). How do we know this is the error? Like all mysteries in the Bible, they are explained in the Bible. First Chronicles 15:15 shows David discovered his error when he found how the Ark was to be carried on the shoulders of the Levites, not on a cart. All this time (3 months) the Ark remained in the house of Obededom (I Chron 13:14), when they moved the Ark, Obededom became one of the two doorkeepers (I Chron 15:24). Why would the Ark need a "doorkeeper" it didn't have any doors? Ahh, the ones who make sure no one touches the Ark, unless they have the authority granted by God. Instead of having oxen pull the Ark, the Levites gave them as sacrifices (I Chron 15:26). The point of all this shows we can have a right idea, a proper thought, one seeming right, yet the method we use is wrong, or lack the proper authority and innocent people get hurt.

What other aspect do we find here? We know David made inquiry of the people, but not of God. The Ark belonged to God, it was His property, it did contain His Mercy Seat. Well, perhaps the Levites weren't around. No, When David called the people the priests and Levites were also called (I Chron 13:2). Wait, if the priests and Levites were there, they knew what God told Moses, why didn't they say something? Good question, there are times when we see something "out of order", but it doesn’t give us the right to bring correction which only adds error to the error. We must wait on the "Word from the Lord" before we can speak as an oracle of God. This event had to be, it was a lesson in handling the things of God.

In First Chronicles 14:10 when David was faced with the warring Philistines he had no trouble in inquiring of the Lord, here in moving the Ark he uses the methods of the Philistines, yet never asked God. Ahh, using the methods of the enemy, even if we have a good idea, still brings death. Correct, if we use the wiles of the devil in our warfare, they are still the wiles of the devil, even if we put “the Name of Jesus” on our endeavors. Principle and Procedure, use the proper Godly method to obtain true success.

Jeremiah waited for the "Word of the Lord to come unto me saying", before he would run off "saying". When David knew the error, he called the Levites. They appointed Heman the son of Joel, Asaph the son of Berechiah, Ethan the son of Kushaiah, and others all of which were "no bodies" in our eyes, but all of which had the proper authority to carry the Ark. To David there could be no building until the Ark was in hand, for us there is no Building until the Word is in us.


EZRA

At one time both Ezra and Nehemiah were one book, but the Holy Ghost separated them for our sake. Both Ezra and Nehemiah were written after Esther, but Esther being a separate piece of history was placed after these works. However, we find the term “Jewish language” in Ezra and Nehemiah, but really the first historical time we find a person termed a Jew would be in Esther (Esther 2:5).

Ezra and Nehemiah begin the books of prosperity; Ezra tells us why, Nehemiah tells us how. Before one seeks God's prosperity, they must ask of themselves four questions. First, Why do we want God's prosperity? If we are seeking to consume it on our lusts? We may gain some results, but the end thereof is death. Next we have to ask ourselves if we really know what God's prosperity means? Prosperity in God's view is being favored before God, or a method of advancement by God, we become favored by believe and faith. Next, do we love Jesus more than the prosperity? If our goal is obtaining the prosperity alone, we will gain the whole world and lose our soul. Lastly, what means are we going to use? We can use the Law of Moses and have some success, or we can seek the Kingdom of God and have God's prosperity chase us down. All this connects to one phrase, prosper as your souls prosper (III Jn 2). If we prosper, yet our soul is not, we haven’t gained a thing, but if we put our minds on the Spirit allowing our soul to prosper in the Spirit, then we will find true prosperity.

We can chase prosperity from pillar to post, labor, fight and work day and night to maintain the Abrahamic Covenant, or we can use the means Jesus provided. Principle and Procedure are given to us in the Scriptures; don't worry, seek the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness, and the things will be added. We ask, yet God knows before we ask, so the asking is important, but ask with Thanksgiving, which includes being satisfied with the answer God grants us. A lust can be identified by our reaction to the provision. We wanted something, God gave us what we needed, yet we are disappointed. Rather than blame God, we blame others for not doing what we felt they should do. Our lust is exposed by our thoughts and reaction, if we trust in God as we say, we will be satisfied with the provision God grants us. Paul knew by instruction how to abound and how to be abased, yet he could do all things through Christ Which brought him strength (Ph’l 4:12-13). Paul didn’t say, “Christ Who”, but “Christ Which” referring to the anointing of Christ in him. Prosperity is a state of mind based on our Trust in God to deliver, maintain and guide us, as He saves our souls. In the process we find God exposing elements we should not be using, as He guides to things we should be using.

God wounded the head of the wicked house of idol worship, then brought king Cyrus of Persia to stand over the Jews for their own good (Hab 3:13). The Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem (Ezra 1:1-2). Paul told Timothy, "neglect not the gift which is in you, which was given you by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery" (I Tim 4:14). The Gift is the Action to the Seed of God (the Charisma of Charis - Grace) by the Spirit of God (Acts 8:17). Paul also told Timothy, "stir up the gift (Charisma) of God, which is in you by the putting on of my hands. For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of Power and of Love and of a Sound Mind" (II Tim 1:6-7). Wait, isn't this the same Paul who warned about who we lay hands on? Yes, but he didn't say "watch out who lays hands on you", neither did he say, "don't lay hands on anyone", rather it was partake of the Water and Blood to hear, before you lays hands on people to ordain them to a position. A Sound Mind is the Mind of Christ, not our natural intellect. Paul confirmed the Gift is by the Holy Ghost, as he says, "that good thing which was committed unto you keep by the Holy Ghost which dwells in us" (II Tim 1:14). The Holy Ghost grants us the Office, as well as the Spirit, here it points to both; Timothy is to keep the Office granted him, by stirring up the Gift in him.

The spirit of fear is a means one uses to control people, fear always produces bondage. One of our basic tenets is the concept of being Born Again by the incorruptible seed of God, removing us from being intimidated by the spirit of fear (I Pet 1:23). This is a process of obtaining the Seed of God (I Jn 3:9), which Seed came by the Holy Ghost by the Blood of Jesus (I Pet 1:19). The Seed of God in us is the means to produce the Living Water. Jesus talked to the woman at the well regarding the Living Water, as if she could obtain it then; however, He also taught the Pharisees on the Living Water and John says, "But this spoke He of the Spirit which they who believe on Him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because Jesus was not yet glorified" (Jn 7:39). Our Prosperity begins in the New Birth, when Jesus was Transfigured it was a type and shadow of the New Birth. This is evident when we know Peter, John and James were there, but they were not transfigured. When Jesus was transfigured He also told His disciples "Tell the vision to no man, until the Son of man be risen again from the dead" (Matt 17:9). Why? They were not Born Again, they couldn't speak of it without mixing it with their carnal thinking, spiritual matters to the natural mind are still foolishness, thus one must have Position before they can speak of spiritual things. The disciples could speak of Jesus as the Christ of Mercy, the forgiveness of sins on earth, but before Pentecost they didn’t have clue what the Cross and Resurrection stood for (Mark 9:32). One form of prosperity is being able to understand spiritual matters by the Spirit.

The Promise of the Father is the Spirit by the New Birth, the Promise was granted After Jesus ascended. One of the principle concepts we hold is confessing Jesus as Lord, as we believe God raised Him from the dead (Rom 10:9-10). Yet no one can call Jesus Lord but by the Holy Ghost, yet the Holy Ghost was not given in reference to the New Covenant until Jesus was glorified. Not saying the Holy Ghost wasn’t active, rather the performance of the Holy Ghost regarding the New Covenant was not active until Jesus was Glorified by the Resurrection.

How many people before the Cross believed Jesus would be raised from the dead? Not one, yet many believed on His ability to heal their flesh and forgive their sins on earth. They equated to the flesh, not the Spirit, they understood healing, since it was found in the Law as well, thus they understood Mercy, but they didn’t understand Grace. It takes the New Birth to bring the Spirit in us to bring the confidence of knowing we have passed from death to life by the same Spirit who raised Jesus. We may hold a mental conclusion regarding the concept, until death faces us, then we will find if we Believe, or merely hold a premise based on earthly knowledge. The New Birth is the construction process to build the tabernacle of God within, a process we are incapable of doing, yet God is fully capable of doing. We put our trust and faith In God, not in the building process.

We can't eat of the Holy Bread until the Urim (light) and Thummim (perfection) stand up in our hearts (Ezra 2:63-64). To begin with, nothing is perfected by the Law of Moses (Heb 7:19);  therefore, attempting to do any point of the Law of Moses takes away perfection, it doesn't bring it. Jesus said, "I Am the Light of the world: he who follows Me shall not walk in darkness but shall have the Light of Life" (Jn 8:12).Yet, we can't follow Jesus until we deny the self and pick up our cross, principle and procedure. God is Light and Life, in order to have the Light of Life we must have the Greater He in us, in order to Follow Jesus we must be led of the Spirit. Doing religious works based on what we want to do, is not a servant, but a master of our religion.

Self-denial and denying the self are different. Self-denial is still using the self to accomplish the task, thus it's not denial, but self-exaltation. The process of denying the self means to make a decision not to engage in the use of the self nature for our benefit,  rather we allow God to expose as He forms our souls by the New Birth into the Image of His Son. Jesus took His Cross for us, we take ours for Him. Jesus died so we might Live, we account ourselves dead so He might live in us. We can't jump over denying the self then assume we picked up our cross based on doing some religious service. We picked the service, picked the means in which to accomplish the service, then go about saying we have denied the self, when all we have done is exalt the self. Without denying the self, we can't be crucified with Christ, if we're not crucified with Christ, we never picked up our cross, we can't live in the New Birth until we die to the old. Living for Jesus can't be accomplished until we first die for Him. No one is going to be Resurrected until they first die, thus Jesus died a completely innocent death, for us who were completely guilty. By His death we can impute our old nature dead, in so doing we complete the purpose of the Law of sin and death. Once completed it has no more power over us, it remains nailed to the Cross. We then travel to the grave where we find our calling and purpose, we let the dead bury the dead, as the Root grows. Then we gain the Power of the Resurrection in the New Birth, then we have the perfect overcoming ability within. The Greater He is the Perfection and Light (Urim and Thummim) of God within, the ability is not by our hand, but by the New Man.

Praise lays the foundation for our Fellowship with God, as praise thanks God for all things, whether we like them, understand them, or need them (Ezra 3:11). When the foundation is laid, then come the mockers who stood by all those years watching the temple fall apart (Ezra 4:2-5). Envy is the demonic motivation behind the spirit of man, who comes to remove every brick of our faith, yet those by the spirit lusting to envy think they are doing God a service. Their goal is to cause us to use our faith in a means not intended by God, which leads to pride, the door to failure. When we believe unto the building of the tabernacle, the mockers will claim it's the "city of rebellion" (Ezra 4:12-13). If we hear the Lord and obey, rebellion can't enter the house of the Lord. The carnal will pray against us, send letters to disrupt the building process or mock the builder (Ezra 4:23-5:17). We go to the Master Builder, He will speak forth the command, "Let the work of this house of God alone" (Ezra 6:7).

One step to gaining from God is being open to His prophets (Ezra 6:14). Today we are told to Prepare the Kingdom, yet preparation always begins with repentance. The saving of the soul destroys the old foundation, bringing the New one upon which God builds His Tabernacle. We can't build on Sand (Law of Moses), we must build on the Rock (Anointing, Christ the Body). Each piece removed from the old temple will seem golden in nature, but it's part of some golden calf we brought with us, it's "gold", but the wrong kind. It seems strange, but the method God has given us to obtain prosperity is not to seek it, rather we seek the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness, then God will add the Things (Ezra 7:10 & Matt 6:33). Some of us get it backward, we seek the things, thinking God will add the kingdom. A Kingdom principle is seeking the Kingdom and God’s Righteousness. When we seek the things we will use self-righteousness, thereby placing us in a different realm (Ezra 8:22).

One of the bricks sitting next to the Corner Stone is the brick of repentance, another is our confession of Belief (Ezra 10:1). Our confession is the sign post of our heart, before we go about confessing to others, we must check our confession to determine the source (tree). All those "I think" confessions, or "my studies have shown me" confessions are products of strongholds and high things. It is better to say "The Lord has said" or "the Holy Ghost has revealed", with the evidence from the Bible to show it was the Holy Ghost, and not the spirit of man. We don’t confess to believe, rather we believe therefore we confess.

While checking our bondage baggage for slavery mentality we look for strange mates (Ezra 10:11). There are times when we attempt to move into the temple with the wrong baggage or some dirty shirt hidden in the luggage. We must be the husband of one wife, not many. This goes much further than a male and female as our mate. We can have the mate of pride, the mate of ego, the mate of self, the mate of greed, the mate of the lust of the eye, the mate of the lust of the flesh, the mate of religious conceit, the mate of unteachable, the mate of bondage, the mate of strife, the mate of carnal thinking, the mate of self-glory, the mate of misused authority, or the mate of spiritual wickedness. Those would be bad enough, but the most dangerous of all is the old man (spirit of man), which is bent on destroying us. The old man is the biggest enemy of all, when the day comes when the Truth is evident we will stop using the wiles of the old man. All these idols of the mind must be put away with all the sons of manipulation (Ishamels) they produced (Gal 4:24-30).


NEHEMIAH

Ezra gave us the first steps to obtaining, now Nehemiah will give us the How,  beginning with a desire to set the captives free (Neh 1:3). We learn how we don't fast to afflict the soul, rather the afflicted soul causes the fast (Neh 1:4 & Isa 58:3-7). If we fast for self gain, we gain nothing, but if we fast to cast out the strangers and prepare our hearts we always gain (Isa 58:4). God tells us, "Yea, they have chosen their own ways and their soul delights in their abominations" (Isa 66:3). Today some tell us, God doesn't speak anymore, but God says, "I called, none did answer" (Isa 66:4). Ears hearing sounds of the world are as common as sand, ears hearing then obeying the Lord are rare indeed. God speaks, whether we hear or not is the question, it was once said just because God is talking doesn’t mean we’re listening. Faith still comes by hearing, if one believes God doesn't speak, they can't hear, thus if they can't hear, Faith never comes to them. The premise of Hearing is to seek the Word (Rhema), the Rhema ears focus on Life and Spirit (Jn 6:63). If our ears are Rhema centered, we will hear, if we hear, faith will come, when faith comes our souls are willing to obey the Lord (Neh 1:9).

The afflicted soul changes our presence before the Lord, then our request is answered (Neh 2:1-6). We must enter the grave, before we receive the Resurrection Power of His Christ (Neh 2:11). When Nehemiah started he had nothing, but the beast he rode (Neh 2:12). However, he gave which did cost him, he gave his life to the Lord. The one decision of giving all we are, is the hardest. Some give of themselves to gain money, some to gain fame, but if we give of ourselves to please God, it must be by faith, then we enter God's prosperity of advancement through the saving of the soul. Prosperity for the soul is knowing God is forming us into the Image of His dear Son.

The procedure Nehemiah will give us begins with going to the King to make our request known. Our desire is to rebuild the tabernacle, from the bottom up and inside out, but it takes the Master Builder to tell which beams to cast off, or which jewels to keep. We don't look to build the prosperity, we place our hearts on the building the House (Kingdom), God will bring the prosperity to complete the process. The secret is putting the idea of prosperity behind us, instead of in front of us. If it's behind, it will catch up, as Elisha caught up to Elijah, but if it's in front we spend all our time chasing it. The prosperity of Elijah depended on his prophecies being completed; Elisha anointed the two kings in place of Elijah, which completed the prophet's prosperity. Nehemiah's prosperity followed him, it didn't come with him, but it was predicated on his vision and desire to complete the temple. Elijah's prosperity was predicated on his successor being faithful to the work of the Lord. Our prosperity is predicated on obtaining the promise of God (Spirit) to become Christ Like. It was impossible for anyone other than Jesus to be Christ Like before Pentecost, the purpose of the New Birth is to form us into the Image of God’s Son, thus it's not by our might or power (mind power), but by the Spirit. There are those who stood around for years giving us corrupt theology, but they could care less about the walls of our kingdom falling apart. However, the moment they see our joy, peace and faith, they come to mock, scorn and laugh at us (Neh 2:17-19). Count on it, it's a test to determine if we really want this Tabernacle of Praise raised in God's glory.

Jesus told us the Porter brings us to the Door of the sheepfold, yet we must enter by the Door to find Jesus (Jn 10:1-5). The Porter is the Holy Ghost, Jesus is the Door, thus John entered the Door by the Spirit (Rev 4:1-2). Once we enter then we hear the voice of the Lord, only then can we go in and out at ease. It stands, we must begin by building on the established foundation, the Remnant have the Gates and Window, we have the Wall and Door, but it still takes a sound foundation.

The Window is used to pour something out of, it's not made for entrance. The Thief attempts to make entry in a way not afforded, the Saint uses the proper means. The Window is not covered with the Blood, but the Door is (Neh 3:1-32). We discern the spirit by having the Spirit of Truth, yet the Spirit of Truth was not given until Pentecost (I Jn 4:1-4 & Jn 15:26). No one was able to discern the Truth before Jesus gave of Himself, yet they saw Him, touched Him, watched Him work even sat at the same table with Him. Discerning the spirit is allowing the Spirit to determine if we have allowed a wrong thinking to enter to confound the building process. Knowing God has a plan, and knowing the details of the plan are different. Faith in God as our Master Builder to complete the process to reach the result He promised is productive faith at work.

When the mockers see the Porter, they will come against us, but this we know, the mockers walk after their own lusts, they are sensual (soulish) natural thinkers (Jude 18-19). One of those mockers is our old man, who sits back telling us, it's not worth the effort, or there are other ways to enter. Voices from the darkness are set against us, yet they call us friend. They want us to stop the process, but the New Man encourages us to keep building, never stop preparing, never stop seeking, and never stop believing. We build our most holy Faith by praying in the Holy Ghost, something the mockers can't do, really something no one could do before Pentecost (Jude 20). It's better to be mocked by the naturally minded, than miss the Door. Nehemiah also tells us to pray when the mockers come against us (Neh 4:9). Jesus said, jump for joy when anyone persecutes us for the Word's sake (Matt 5:11-12). Of course this is dependent on being persecuted for the Word's sake, rather than rebuked for holding foolish theology. It's also dependent on moving in Mercy as we are ready to jump for joy, rather than jump into a debate.

The Scriptures are profitable for Doctrine (not doctrines), reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness, but we Preach the Word (II Tim 3:15-4:2). When one turns their ears from the Truth, they turn to fables (II Tim 4:4). The word Fable used in II Timothy is the Greek Muthos, from which we gain our English word Mythology. A fable is fabricated in the mind, yet partly based on a fact. The basis for the Adam-God, or Adam-Glory thinking is based on Adam, but nonetheless a fable. The premise of the Kingdom of God being a physical observed element is a fable, yet based on the fact of the Kingdom of God being existent. Jesus said "the Kingdom of God comes not with Observation" (Luke 17:20). The word Observation is the Greek Parateresis meaning Seen with physical eyes. Attempting to make the Kingdom come as something observed, means one doesn't have the Kingdom within (Luke 17:21).

God didn't have to force Nehemiah, rather God encouraged the desire already in the heart of the man. The man's vision and heart joined then his courage came to the surface. However, once we begin the building process, we will find a trick of the enemy is to trick us into the darkness, but if we go out from the building process to fight the enemy, the building stops. If we prepare for battle and continue to build, we will able to war and build at the same time (Neh 4:14-18). When the work begins to prosper, the old man will say, "we have mortgaged our lands, vineyards and houses that we might buy corn, because of the famine", thus the old man sees it as a famine, when in truth it’s God beginning blessing unto prosperity (Neh 5:3). The old man will then add, "we have borrowed money for the king's tribute and upon our lands and vineyards" (Neh 5:4). Some fear the next move, based on the something in the past. Tend the Precious, let the vile go: what was, was; what is, is; what will be, will be. Every move has its ups and downs, grab the ups, let the downs go.

Usury is the act of making financial gain off investments or loans, it places us in a position where our trust is in usury, which leads to sin (Neh 5:6-8). Attempting to make prosperity by taking usury isn't a blessing, it robs from God’s people (Neh 5:10 & Rev 13:18). When these matters were settled, prosperity came, the people held their joy (Neh 8:12). When the joy comes, we remember our foundation by keeping the Corner Stone (Jesus) in high regard. We never forget our feet are shod with the preparation of the Gospel, we prepare by repentance and belief (Neh 9:2). We recall the history of the Jews, or the history of the Body to learn where they failed and where they gained, thus we learn our lessons well, gaining from the errors and victories (Neh 9:9-10:38). Then lastly we write it all down, when times look good, read it: when times look bad, read it (Neh 9:38). The promises of God are Yes and Amen, Yes to begin them and Amen to the finish, don't stop with the first brick, go on until the building is complete or we go home, one or the other.

God's wrath is much more than sickness, or chastening us, it's massive plagues among His own people because of their iniquity and sin against Him or against His faithful saints. God's wrath is punishment, His chastening is correction, much different. Later we will look at the three horsemen who go out to bring war, famine and pestilence, yet they are not the Wrath of God sent to the world, but the correction of God. We have a Promise to be lifted from the evils of the world into the Rest and Peace of Almighty God. All it takes is belief and faith on our part, with the knowledge of what we have available to us. This answers the question, “How can God allow them to do that?”, this is the Day of Salvation, God’s wrath is stayed, His Grace and Mercy endure as part of His Longsuffering. However, it doesn’t mean we can play in the devil’s sandbox and get away with it. The Night is for those who reject the call of Grace and Mercy presented in the Day. Never think God will deliver His wrath while there is yet one Christ like person on this earth, this is the Day of Salvation, let us rejoice and be glad in it. God is really Good, isn’t He?


ESTHER

Esther is a conceptual book of how God watches out for His own, even if we find ourselves in the wrong camp, even if we are under ungodly authority, even if it appears as if our entire nation will be destroyed, God is there. Esther is our lesson of discerning the event, rather than judging the event by the event; becoming a classic example of the result of the event telling the tale, rather than the event itself. Esther’s time period was about thirty years before Ezra and Nehemiah, the first time we find a person identified as a “Jew” is here in Esther, although we find the Jews in general referred to in II Kings 16:6, and 18:26; the first time we find a person referred to as a Jew is here in Esther. Since Esther and Mordecai were in captivity they could not be “Israelites”, since the term means one who lives in the land of Israel. However, Hebrew was still used, yet we find the title Jew, very interesting indeed. Esther’s Hebrew name was Hadassah, meaning Myrtle, Esther seems to be a Persian word meaning Star (Esther 1:7).

The concept of Gentile and Jew is interesting, one might make the mistake of thinking there could be no Gentiles unless there was first a Jew. It’s like saying there could be no brown horses, unless there was first a red one. Simply saying a Gentile is anyone who isn’t Jewish could imply one can’t have a Gentile until there was a Jew, but it in truth it means anyone who isn’t Jewish, is a Gentile, yet the Gentile was first, then God called Abraham the Hebrew from the Gentiles, from Abraham the Hebrew came the Jews. The Jew was “separated out” from the Gentile world, accordingly God only recognizes three groups of people the Jew and Gentile, then those of Christ who are neither Jew or Gentile. Since the Jew was separated from the Gentile world it tends to show the Gentile was first, then the Jew. In any regard Paul tells us we are neither Jew or Gentile in Jesus.

Esther gives us the feast day of Purim for the Jews, as well as an added aspect to the word Prosperity for the Christian. We tend to limit prosperity to money or material items, but God's prosperity goes directly to having the New Birth, which Esther was not privy to, but her story becomes an allegory.

The story of Esther develops during the time of king Ahasuerus: Ezra referred to the beginning of the reign of king Ahasuerus as the rebellious sect were opposed (anti) the rebuilding of the temple. The rebellious wrote to the king, but instead of hearing "well done" they heard, "stop not the work" (Ezra 4:6 & 6:7). Esther's story begins in the third year of the reign of Ahasuerus, thus the story of Esther points to the time when we are established in God's eye, yet in our eye it appears we are not.

Esther's parents died, a man by the name of Mordecai, raised her as his own daughter (Esther 2:7). Mordecai will be the first person in the Bible to be known as a "Jew" (Esther 2:5), we know the term Jew first referred to one from the tribe of Judah, but the first person called a Jew is a Benjamite, go figure? Ahh, the true meaning of the term relates to one who has standing to enter Covenant with God, although Mordecai was under the rule of king Ahasuerus he still had Godly privileges. Esther was the daughter of Abihail, who was the uncle of Mordecai, thus Mordecai took Esther as his daughter (Esther 1: 7 & 2:15).

King Ahasuerus had one wife, queen Vashti, but he also had a vast harem. King Ahasuerus decided to have a great feast, after seven days of feasting he was "merry with wine", calling for Vashti. However Vashti wasn't having anything to do with the "old drunk", as she rejected the king (Esther 1:10-12). This posed a great dilemma with the men of the land, what if the story of Vashti got out, the women throughout the land would despise their husbands, or rebel against the household (Esther 1:16). Needless to say, Vashti was banished, then the king started looking for another wife.

Esther was living in the region, she was gifted with a natural beauty and charm (Esther 1:7). Vashti also had a physical beauty, but an ugly rebellious heart, she is a type and shadow of the self-transformed. Vashti's beauty was skin deep, Esther's beauty came from within, two types of Beauty, but only one will win the war. Esther was chosen among all the maidens in the land, since her inner beauty was manifested on the outside, she becomes a type and shadow of one who is transfigured by God. However, Mordecai told her not to reveal her Hebrew background: there are times when God will tell us not to say we are Christian, rather He desires for our Christ nature to prove the Beauty of God's Love in us. One can say they have faith, another will prove they are of the Faith.

Before Esther could face the king, she had to be groomed in the manner of the women in the king's house. Clearly, she is submitting and allowing a change to take place, although the change looks on the surface to be evil, God has a Good purpose in store. She was already beautiful, so why change her at all? The wife of the king had to fit the requirements, although God sees us as Beautiful in His eye when we are Born Again, there is still a change required to complete the process.

Esther spent twelve months in the purifying process, six months with oil and myrrh, then six months with sweet odors (Esther 2:12). This preparation time is akin to our wilderness experiences, or the time in the prophet's cave, or those other times when God is preparing us for something which is about to happen. The Holy Ghost is our teacher, but  He teaches by comparing spiritual to spiritual, in the case of Esther she was being taught of man (I Cor 2:13). This is also akin to the time while the seed moves from the Root to the Blade; there is always a Preparation time, a time where God prepares us for growth experiences. For the most part when our souls can't determine what is to come, they will go wild, a time to gather in the imaginations, while we stand with God.

There was also Haman, a man close to the king in position, but closer to his pride, ego, arrogance and self-centered self-reliance. Haman is a symbol of our old man who seeks his own at any cost. One day the king established Haman above all the princes in the land, the pride of Haman grew as he walked around watching the people in the land give him reverence. This shows the seed of pride in Haman was greater than his desire to be a faithful servant to the king.

One day as Haman was taking in all this supposed self-glory, he came across Mordecai who bowed not (Esther 3:1-2). Haman being a type and shadow of the old man demands honor to inflate the ego, the result of rejection produces anger uncontrolled (Esther 3:5).

When we read how God loves the sinner, but hates the ways of the Wicked, we get confused, but the confusion is based in our misunderstanding of what God hates, and who the Wicked are (Prov 6:16-19, Ps 7:11 et al). The Wicked are those who made entry, but denied the process therein, thus God does hate their ways, since they cause the destruction of all the earth; however, as sinners in darkness we were loved of God. There is a vast difference between coming from the world into the kingdom, and going from the kingdom back to the world. Got it? Good, since Haman is not of the nation, but he is attacking one in the nation, meaning he is not a type of the wicked, but he is a type of the spirit of man.

Haman was set to kill all the Jews because Mordecai refused to bow (Esther 3:4-7). Here is the example of pride gone wild, Haman was not satisfied with killing one man, he set himself against the nation of God. Over the years many have tried to follow the acts of Haman, all have failed, and will fail until the time appointed in the Night. As this plot of Haman’s was going on we also find Esther had favor with the king, but so did Haman, thus Haman obtained a letter from the king to rid the land of the Jew.

Before Haman was promoted, there were two men by the names of Bigthana and Teresh who formed plans to kill the king, but Mordecai discovered the plans and told Esther, who in turn told the king. This placed her in a position of trust in the king's eyes. Before Haman was promoted, even before his anger toward Mordecai formed, God made sure Mordecai has his honor in the king's house, which produced protection. Haman was in the court of the king, which is just outside of the king's throne room, seeking permission to present his petition to king regarding getting rid of the Jews. Haman's intent was not to see the Jews ripped from the land, rather he used the excuse to see Mordecai dangle from the "highest yardarm". In the meantime the king discovered his life was spared by the information supplied by Mordecai, thus he wanted to honor Mordecai. As the king was attempting to ascertain what good deed to give Mordecai, he called for his servants, "is there anyone in the king's court?". His servants said, "yes, Haman is here"; however, Haman had no idea what was on the king's mind (Esther 6:1-5).

The king called Haman then asked him, "what shall be done for a man who has done the king great honor?" (Esther 6:6). Haman being the personification of pride, just knew the king was talking about him, thus his pride couldn't pass up this opportunity to look honored before men. Haman suggested to the king, how this "favored subject" should be given the royal apparel and a crown, then parade him in the street as the king's favored (Esther 6:7-8). Then Haman heard, "good idea Haman, do so for Mordecai" (Esther 6:9-10). Our New Man does many things, many of which seem slight or little in stature to our natural reasoning, but God sees them as our growth of Christ, bringing the Crown Of Life and the Royal Apparel (white robe) to our souls. There are some things which seem insignificant to us, but could be a breakthrough in the spiritual realm, there are other things which seem innocent or right to us in the natural, can be devastating in the spiritual realm. Discernment by the Spirit detects the difference.

While all this is going on, Mordecai also discovered how Haman was seeking to kill every Jew in the land. Mordecai told Esther but she thought, "Oh No, I can't, I'm but a small one in the king's court". Mordecai told her, "think not on yourself that you shall escape in the king's house, more than the Jews" (Esther 4:13). Paul told us, think not everyone on their own things but on the things of others, let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus (Ph'l 2:4-5). Mordecai also points out how much God is in control by reminding Esther her predestination could be this issue (Esther 4:14). Esther prepared a feast, desiring to present her feast to the king and Haman. Haman's ego grew by a million miles, he couldn't wait to brag on the invitation. There are some who mix bragging with their testimony, our testimony begins by showing our position was the lowest of low, so low even society gave up, our family gave up, but Jesus didn't. If Jesus would do it for the lowest of the low, there is no excuse for others. Haman on the other hand bragged on his position, condition and stature, his testimony was against him, not for him. Our old man thinks he's great, has done many wonderful things for man and God, even for humanity, yet in the mind there is pride, ego and arrogance. The saving of the soul removes the old man, as the New Man brings the perfect character of Christ into our lives as our nature. The New Man brings our souls into a saved nature, as Lights in a dark place, as peace and joy in the Lord as we are formed into the Image of God’s Son.

When the feast came, Esther became the still small voice by revealing the sin of Haman to the king. Haman being an idiot, yet clever knew the king didn't want to kill him, so he made request of Esther, but his concern to save his own soul placed him on the queen's bed, then the king walked in and had a royal fit. Haman ended hanging from the same "yardarm" he prepared for Mordecai. The Jews were given permission to rid the land of their enemies, they did so to the tune of 500 men in the palace of Shushan, and 75,000 in the land. The 14th day of Adar became the feast day to remember the Pur (lot), now called Purim. The month Adar is akin to our February – March, which is the sixth month of the Jewish civil year, but the twelfth month of the Jewish sacred year.

What does all this have to do with prosperity? Esther is a story of submission, and authority properly applied. Esther gained her role in this because Vashti rebelled, from the rebellion of one, the order of another was established (Esther 1:19-20). Esther didn't jump up and insert her opinion, she waited until the authority was granted, then she exposed the wrong; from the correction came the prosperity. Order had to be established, yet merely saying she was a queen, didn't make her one. She was able to prove her authority and maintain order in the process.

Esther gives us the prosperity of peace in the house, when Christ reigns in the house, darkness is defeated before the battle begins. Haman is our example of the old man showing regardless of the pride or ego the only thing the old man knows is to destroy. Therefore, we can't convert the old man, we must have the New Man to save our souls. The old man is a nature based on the fall nature, which cannot be saved, thus we need a New Nature in Christ to win this race. Ye Must be Born Again.


JOB

The dating of this book is open to discussion, we find a Job in the family line of Issachar (Gen 46:13), the prophet Ezekiel groups Job with Daniel and Noah (Ezek 14:14 & 14:20). Since Job will have boils it would seem it was written after the plagues in Egypt, but it’s still questionable. Nonetheless Job is our Book of Ministry, yet it displays two areas of ministry, one from the temple, the other from the tabernacle. There will be several people involved in the ministry of Job including Job’s wife and friends. Out of them all only one will present Job with ministry to recover the man from his woes. Job didn't sin with his lips, but his internal fear broke a hole in his hedge. Job would be only six chapters long, if his three friends never showed up. Job will give us the five areas of ministry, but only one works. Job's wife had her ministry of "frying pan persuasion" which became totally ineffective. Three of Job's so-called friends used the three pillars of Christian psycho-cultural ministry, which caused more confusion and chapters of confusion than any other book in the Bible. Job entered self-ministry through self-justification, which leads to more problems than he began with. However, we also have the one method of ministry which worked, one person waited with the prophetic word of God, then it came like a whirlwind breaking the barrier of self-pity, the veil of self-justification and the wall of pride.

Job gave sacrifices, at first he didn't sin with his lips, but we can hold fear in our heart, yet not sin with our lips, it’s the point here. There are two areas in which one can Fear God, one can Fear God based on the knowledge of God’s integrity, knowing God is holy, or they can fear God will take away everything they possess if they are bad. Job only sacrificed from the fear in his heart, his fear allowed Satan to ask, "does he serve you for nothing?". Job was a "son of God" (a descendant of Seth), but so were Job's sons and daughters, but they feasted when they should have fasted: they played when they should have prayed. Not only did Job's sons call for a great feast, but they involved their sisters; the feast caused Job to sacrifice out of fear, rather than faith (Job 1:4-5, 31:3 & 8:4). Job was convinced his children must have sinned, this preconceived idea provoked the sacrifice of fear. Job "eschewed" evil, but did he Trust God? (Job 1:8). Job was perfect and upright on the earth, but he looked at God as One who would take away everything for one little mistake, it was Job's heart being judged, not his mouth or his position. The word Eschewed is the Hebrew Sur meaning To reprove; however, reproving evil doesn't mean one trusts in God as a Rewarder. Some work day and night in their religious endeavors to reprove everything they think is wrong, but their intent is based on a legalist attitude, rather than love, their action is fault finding, rather than Truth finding.

There those who hate the word “forgiveness” when it’s their turn to apply it;  "Someone must pay for all the evil done unto me", it’s the exposure of failing to let the past die on the Cross. The seed of Vengeance grows to hate, the seed of validation breeds bitterness. Unless we forgive, we can't be forgiven. "Oh I forgave, I just want someone to admit the wrong done”, seeking validation to prove our innocence is pride based, not Mercy motivated. We are not told to seek validation, we are to forgive as God for Christ’s sake has forgiven us.

Job helps us understand how Satan gains entry into sacrifices, it also explains Luke 10 where Satan was seen cast down as lightning. In Luke 10 we find the 70 disciples going out to do Good, when they returned they heard Jesus say, “I saw Satan as lighting fall from heaven” (Luke 10:18). Wait, lighting goes up before it comes down, ahh as quick as lighting comes down, showing how fast Satan lost his ability to be above the ground, the prophetic word of the devil eating dust came to pass. The 70 went out to heal the sick and preach the kingdom, but they found the Authority in the Name of Jesus also caused the devils to be subject to them, meaning they devils were lower. They are not the twelve, they were not the three of the inner circle, they were the 70 (Luke 10:17). This was before the Cross, before Jesus was glorified, before the Holy Ghost brought the gift, thus the Authority 70 operated in Mercy. They heard, “I give unto you power (authority) to tread on serpents (malicious, slanderous people), and scorpions (deceptive people), and over All the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you” (Luke 10:19). This was not, “you shall receive”, this was based on the now (I give), yet it’s still earthly endeavors, thus it was based in God’s Mercy, something we forget from time to time. To tread upon doesn’t mean to stomp on them, it means they have no power over us. There were three things mentioned; the serpents, those who slander or use malicious intents, the scorpions who are deceptive in nature as they lie in wait to deceive, then all the Power of the enemy. Wow, but as good as it is, Jesus still said, “notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you, but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven” (Luke 10:20). The problem with taking great joy in having power over darkness, is we forget it’s not the goal, the goal is the saving of our souls so we can get to heaven.

Job was giving a sacrifice, or presenting himself to God, yet Satan entered the sacrifice and came before Jehovah. Some of us mix up our concepts, and say, "man I was in my prayer closet, and I sure gave it to the devil", excuse me? What is the devil doing in your prayer closet? Sounds like one too many. "Well it works", sure it does, witchcraft works, that's why witches use it, but where is the example? Where do we find Jesus bringing the devil into His prayer life? Fear and Hate invite the devil into our prayers as our means to take out our anger on what we assume is a likely foe, but it’s not dealing with our anger, it’s venting it. Here we find Satan was able to gain entry by the prayer life of Job, we know Satan is the enemy of mankind, thus something in the prayer of Job give Satan place. Why was Job praying? Out of fear, not faith, at that he still didn’t sin with his lips, but his lips were not the issue, his soul full of fear was.

Satan tells Jehovah, "does Job fear God for nothing?" (Job 1:9); he didn't say, does Job fear You for nothing? or Does Job respect You for nothing? rather the introduction of the word Fear in this context is not a Respect for God's lessons or protection, rather it's a fear of destruction, there is a difference. The question centers on, Does Job serve for any other reason than the reward? Does Job love the Lord, regardless of the reward? Does Job serve for the prosperity alone? These questions will be exposed in the testing of Job. Job will be one of those who served based on what he thought was the protection of the Almighty, but found he truly did love the Lord, thus in the testing he discovered his love for the Lord was greater than his fear of destruction.

Job will be moved by the event, he was fine until he opened his mouth, yet he only opened his mouth when his three friends began their carnal ministry. All the so-called evil seemed to be "without cause"; however, the Bible says the curse never comes without cause (Prov 26:2). God’s principles are God’s principles, the curse could not come on Job unless there was a cause, thus the cause was the fear Job kept inside. This is a testing to bring Job to a higher understanding of God (Job 2:3). God will not tempt us with evil, but clearly we find Satan given permission to do something to Job. If we fail to discern what is going on here, we will end with one verse fighting the other. James doesn't say God won't tempt us, he says God won't tempt us to do evil, there is a difference. However, God is not doing the tempting, He is allowing in regard to bring a test for the betterment of Job. The same was true with Jesus allowed Satan to sift Peter, Jesus didn’t sift Peter, but He did allow it (Luke 22:31-32).

Here we find Job didn't sin with his lips, but his iniquity was remaining in the fear regarding his children. Job kept part of the undefiled religion, although he had not been tested in the area of his love, his possessions showed God had blessed him. The thing Job feared the most came upon him, indicating Job's foundation was fear, not faith, yet he held a type of "God Is", but it was based in the fear of destruction (Job 3:25 & 31:23). There are some testings to allow us to get our priorities in order, we may hold the ministry above the Lord, or have fear out weigh faith, or work on our faith, forgetting our belief. Job’s testing will be one of fixing his priority list.

However, our main concern here is the various aspects of ministry by Job's friends. Job's priorities were being tested, but carnal ministry looks to the event, not the purpose. When the sacrifice was laced with Satan it was Job's children who caused it, but it was Job's fear bringing it to pass. At first Job didn't sin with his lips, but when his eyes centered on the event, then his self-justification and self-pity came to the surface causing him to enter iniquity, producing a failure to trust God. Job's fear of God's destruction was first based on his fear of God destroying his children, then possessions, then himself, becoming his motivation for prayer, in his fear we find his own fear opened the door to bring about what he feared the most. Prayer is powerful, so powerful it can change our position in the event, or open closed doors, but here we find the difference between a “prayer of fear” and a “prayer of faith”. It did not please God to allow Satan access, but Job’s prayer was giving Satan place.

The classic view of Satan tells us he doesn’t know a thing about Godly matters, Satan said there was a hedge, Jehovah said, “behold”, or “look”. There was no hedge, Satan assumed there was. However, we find the challenge was opened through the fearful sacrifice for the children, the first two targets of Satan will be Job's livestock and children.  In this we find Job was still the protected one.

Instead of protecting them by the sacrifice, Job found the hedge was breached by the fear of destruction. Job feared his children "may have sinned", thus he had a suspicion based on knowledge, which became his motivation. James says we are draw away by our own lust, yet we find Job was upright, but being upright doesn't mean we don't have a lust, it means we are striving to meet God's favor. Job will go through an exposure to reach the cleaning, thus the end will be greater than the beginning. Job's fear assumed his children cursed God in their hearts, thus we find the element of the “curse” was in his mind, yet his lips were under control. Clearly Job had an insight regarding his children, he knew their intents were to curse, not bless. During the good times our lips can be under control, but when the pressure comes our souls will push the fear to the surface. Job's children had the blessing in hand, but failed to appreciate it, thus their hearts held cursing. Without the valley's we will never know if we serve based on love or not. The valleys give us the courage to take the mountains.

Job's three friends will come with carnal ministry, we will see a War, but it's War based on "your lusts warring in your members" (James 4:1-4). We can't assume James didn't take the Book of Job into account, since we also find, "Behold, we count them happy which endure. You have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord" (James 5:11), with "let patience have her perfect work" (James 1:4). Truly we are seeing the "testing of Job" as it relates to the teaching in James. For some reason both James and Job are gateways into, or out of the wilderness. Both contain knowledge of why we enter, as they explain how we get out of the wildernesses.

When the fire fell and burned up Job's sheep, the evidence of the tainted sacrifice was obvious (Job 1:16). When our giving is laced with greed, we have tainted our sacrifice, instead of finding the blessing, we have given place to the devil. When our fear overrides our faith, it will guide our words, causing us to project fear, rather than faith. All this is still based on the basic principle of “God Is” belief. Job believed “God is going to destroy everything”, his premise stopped the “Rewarder” concept of faith before it had a chance to begin. On the same note we don’t lie either, fear is there, it must be dwelt with, but it must be dwelt with by Belief, in order to establish our faith foundational in God.

When Elijah called fire down from heaven, it was because the king was seeking idols, rather than seeking God (II Kings 1:1-7). Job was not seeking God, or idols, rather he was attempting to protect his children from God. There is a difference between standing for our children, or attempting to hide their sins from God. When Elijah faced the prophets of Baal, God brought fire down to consume the acceptable sacrifice, but here the fire consumes any animal which could be used for some future sacrifice. Next Job hears how his children have been killed (Job 1:13-19). All this came in one day, as Job's sons were feasting and making merry, just shortly after Job sacrificed (Job 1:4-13). However, it was Satan who said to the Lord, "put forth Your hand now, and touch all that he has, and he will curse You to Your face" (Job 1:11). Yet, the Lord didn’t put forth His hand, but He did allow Satan to go forth. It would appear as if Jehovah caused it, but in truth we find Jehovah was still protecting Job, since Job was speared (Job 1:12), thus the Lord allowed to prove Job, so Job could face the Lord with Peace in his heart, rather than a fear of destruction. How about the children, maybe they would have repented? God knows if they would or not, the walking dead are the walking dead, some will repent, some will not, as the Book of Revelation shows.

There are Suddenlies for the moves of God, there are Suddenlies for the justice of God, which suddenly we face is found in the type of ground the Seed is planted in. Our decision to be truthful before God as we trust in Him will make the ground soft. Job was not ready for the Reward; he kept his eyes on protecting the Old. He counted the blessings, but he also accounted God as a destroyer. Faith says God is not the destroyer, since it’s founded on the Believe of God Is. In this case, Job failed to seek God, he was attempting to keep God from knowing what he knew.

When Job heard the news he said, "Naked came I out of my mother's womb and naked shall I return thither: the Lord gave and the Lord has taken away: blessed be the Name of the Lord"; yet Job did not sin, nor charge God foolishly (Job 1:21-22). Job didn't blame God, or give Satan credit, thus he spoke the truth in reference to entry into the world, and the exit thereof, what he left off was the time between entry and exit. If we don't understand what is going on here, we will end calling Job a liar, yet the Scripture says, "In all this Job sinned not" (Job 1:22). We also see this wording was a form of worship (Job 1:20); however it was not what Job did, but what he failed to do.

Job will again present himself to the Lord, again Satan gains entrance into the man’s prayer. Job had right standing on earth, as the Lord points out (Job 2:3), Job's integrity was based in his refusal to blame God or give the devil credit, but he left a hole on his side of the hedge. God saw it, then allowed Satan to attack in limited areas, all having to do with the sacrifice Job gave, or the parties involved. It tells us the sacrifice was his thought of his projection regarding his fears, indicating how he felt about God. We don’t read where he said anything as he gave the sacrifice, only his giving. Nonetheless we see where the Lord speaks of Job’s Integrity, and how Satan was attempting to make the Lord move against Job (Job 2:3). The word Integrity is the Hebrew Tummah referring to some form of innocence, it only appears five times, four of those in Job (2:3, 2:9, 27:5 & 31:6), it doesn’t mean completely innocent, it means innocent to the degree of punishment, thus to destroy Job was out of order. However, we find the sacrifice allowed Satan to come before Jehovah as the method used by Satan to go back the same way to bring the attack, it has to tell us something about a righteous prayer life, or a prayer life laced with validation, vengeance, lacking mercy, or is full of fear. When we invite the devil into our prayer life, we are giving him place in our prayers, not real wise.

Since sacrifice and prayer are the subjects, the connection to James and Paul is established. As we know, the word Wiles used in Ephesians means Methods, Works, Methodology, or as we know the Method of Operation, but we also find it means Methods Limited. The devil has power, authority and a seat, but all are darkness related, thus the authority can't stand in the face of Light. Any of us can enter the Job thought process, then fall into self-pity, or begin to promote our self-justification removing ourselves from the Clarity we need to understand the event. If we assume the devil hit us with a log, we’re standing too close to Egypt. By death Jesus destroyed (make ineffective) him who had the power of death, who is the devil (Heb 2:14). Unless we give the devil place (opportunity) he is not the problem, the wiles of the devil we keep using are.

Prior the items sacrificed and the subject of the sacrifice were attacked, now the Lord exposes the flesh of Job (Job 2:5), this is "touching" the man himself, but based on the second sacrifice. The hole was still there, the hedge was breached. Job is now faced with Boils, the plague of Egypt. What does Job use? Ashes, back in Exodus 9:8-12 the Lord told Moses took Ashes then sprinkled them toward heaven, the result was boils in Egypt. The magicians could not stand before Moses because of the boils (Ex 9:11). The hardened heart of Pharaoh was the cause, here we find the boils were on the outside, but the problem was internal (Job 2:7-8).

Job couldn’t figure out what was happening, yet by his words things were coming to pass. Some of us think if we speak words of faith, the fear in our hearts won’t be seen by God. We might trick the devil, but we should be speaking what we believe, not speaking in order to believe, thus we need to change our belief in order to have a sound foundation for our faith.

The first one to minister to Job was his wife, as she told him, "do you still retain your integrity?, curse God and die" (Job 2:9). She looked at the evidence, to her the Boils were proof enough, "the old man is in sin, no doubt"; however, we know better. This also proves the test was not on Job alone, others were being tested by Job’s test. God was building off stage, forming a patch for the breach to keep it from being breached again.

Back to "Mrs. Job" and her ministry, were her Words encouragement? Are they words of comfort? Words of edification? Job told her she was foolish, thus she charged Job foolishly for it wasn't his integrity, nor was it material items, Job knew the material belonged to God, thus the material was a fringe benefit not the real benefit (Job 2:8-9). The thing Job feared the most had come upon him, fear was his problem. Job still didn't sin with his "lips", but his heart was producing seeds of self-justification (Job 2:9-10).

Then comes Job's three friends, Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar with the three pillars of soulish ministry. They will use the formulas of past experiences, theological discourses laced with natural reasoning, then self-based exposure, all of which have a form of  knowledge, but no wisdom. The formulas of past experience only work in the past, these three carnal ministers brought the old ways for a new problem. We use faith not formulas, Truth not theological discourses, exposure unto healing, not exposure based on the event. Instead of healing the hedge, they were attempting to widen the breach. Theological discourses without wisdom end attacking, or belittling the person, causing them to enter self-justification. Natural reasoning (intellect) is the means of the world, the blind leading the blind never bring Freedom. The word Psychology means the study of the soul, the word Psychoanalysis means to analyze the soul; the word Analyze means to separate into parts, but a corrupt soul viewing another corrupt soul brings self-based awareness, which produces the fruit of the wrong tree in abundance, it doesn't expose it, or rid one of it. Yet, a saved person guided by the Spirit has the insight to heal, as the Word in us will analyze, divide and bring a healing through the exposure.

Faith statements based in the self-nature, are still presumptuous, producing defeat. Someone made a statement based on their faith, we heard it then copied the same saying, but it doesn't mean we are of faith because we said it, it merely means we copied something someone of faith said. We know the statement worked for them, thus we copy it; however, it worked for them because of their faith, on the other hand we are saying it to avoid using faith: in our case it becomes a natural formula lacking faith.

The three friends see Job, they begin to weep and carry on with grief, but none of the three said, "let's inquire of God before we speak" (Job 2:12). It would be the fourth, the silent minister who would speak for God, these three speak of God, but not for Him. They sit around looking at Job for seven days, yet never say a word, not one word of seeking God, seeking the reason, seeking the purpose, not one word (Job 2:13). When one is in the pit, it's better to keep our mouths shut until we hear from God, but to sit there and just stare at them is not the course of ministry. Then Job did speak his self-pity begins to flow, but in this he still didn't sin with his lips, but he did enter the pit of self-pity. When he did, he was using the works of the enemy (Job 3:1-26 & Matt 16:22-23). Prior it was, "blessed be the Name of the Lord", now it's, "let the day perish wherein I was born" (Job 3:3). What a difference a few days make, what a difference it makes when someone just sits and stares at us, when we're in the pit. We are not told how they looked at Job, but we know the feeling when someone just sits and stares for a little while, much less seven days.

Now Eliphaz the Temanite speaks; Eliphaz means God of gold, Temanite comes from a word meaning south or right hand side. Eliphaz brings his past experiences with all the "I have overcome" boastings (Job 4:1, 4:16, 5:3 & 5:8). Eliphaz starts with his "faith statements", ending with "faith statements", but his faith statements were all based in past experiences which had nothing to do with the event in hand. Faith is future tense, Eliphaz is attempting to take "faith statements" from past experiences, thus the carnal mind confuses the faith statements of the past as reasons to believe, as they attempt to make a formula of deliverance. Eliphaz tells Job to recall all the times Job ministered to others, or how Job instructed others, now Job is on the other side, so he must recall all he told others to do (Job 4:1-7). That's fine, if the others were going through the same event as Job, but it’s not the case here. Eliphaz should have remembered how Job ministered in the past, then sought the same wisdom in order to minister to Job, rather than telling Job to remember. Job needed a reason to believe, a substance for Faith, thus this type of Eliphaz ministry was off base and useless.

Then comes the bragging, as Eliphaz used his faith to show how he overcame. A time of competition, “well brother Job I used my faith, I guess you just don’t faith like I do”. Eliphaz ends telling Job, "He shall deliver you in six troubles: yea, in seven there shall no evil touch you" (Job 5:19). Big deal, Job is covered with boils, the sheep are already dead and so are his children, does it mean he has yet five or six more troubles to come, some faith statement. With these misused faith statements the self-pity of Job grows, now he retorts with, "Oh my grief were thoroughly weighed and my calamity laid in the balances together" (Job 6:2). Look Out Below, Job is headed deeper into the pit. With self-pity, comes self-justification, the two sisters of defeat (Job 6:3-6).

Job now complains because God hasn't answered his prayer, here is where we find the evidence of the iniquity (Job 6:8-10). Job wanted God to forgive the sins of his children, and God will work with, protect, or help our children but He can't forgive their sins, until they ask. The iniquity of Job was three fold, first he should have confronted his children, next he should have advised them of their failure to thank God for all they had, the last one is the most important, he wanted God to do what he should have done. At the very least he should have told them, "if you play, play in the open, if you worship, worship in the open, but don't play games with worship and don't worship while playing games". Job is still hiding the intent of his children, he assumed the sacrifice covered their sins, but it merely exposed his fear, which is often the case. Job asked God to do something God couldn't do without violating all God stands for, in the same manner we see Job is attempting to hide things from God, prayer is to be open before God.

Job couldn't follow the advise of Eliphaz, but Eliphaz should have followed his own. Job did minister to others, but here Eliphaz is telling Job to minister to himself. The reason Job ministered to others is because they were in a state where they couldn't minister to themselves. The event wasn't the problem, all the help Job was getting from his soulish ministers was the problem. We must learn to ministry to ourselves, but not while we are in the pit of despair. Eliphaz is a combination of the prosperity and faith teacher who is sitting on the mountain top, telling Job, "look at me, I made it, be like me, overcome my brother", but Eliphaz's attitude is found in James. Eliphaz was the safe one, rather than minister to Job, he told Job of all his victories.

Eliphaz was going through the motions, but he won't come off the mountain top to help Job climb up from the valley. Jesus had both Pity and Compassion, pity feels for the person, but pity knows the person really doesn't want to be raised out of the pit; whereas, Compassion knows the person desires to be raised, it then stands with longsuffering until the goal is reached. Job wanted to be raised, but Eliphaz wasn't willing to "weep with them who weep" (Rom 12:15). Eliphaz was rejoicing, while Job was weeping, producing more self-pity, there is nothing worse than someone bragging on their faith when we are fighting to get our faith in line with the Faith of Jesus.

Eliphaz is the motivational speaker, he brings the great message of pulling ourselves up by the boot straps of faith, overcoming the event, conquering the devil, but Job needs to know why this happened, he needs to discern the event, thereby gaining from it, before he can be raised out of it. Job could ignore the boils and claim to be healed, but it still won't tell him why the boils came. This is a Test, not merely an attack, and some of us confuse the two, avoiding the test, assuming it's merely an attack. If we are in the Hand of God as we claim, then God has something for us in every event, whether we gain it, or not is still up to us. We can go off cursing the darkness, or gain through the discernment of the Wisdom of God, the choice is ours.

Perhaps Job needs to be comforted in this event, if so, there is another friend who might fit the bill. Now comes the second minister, Bildad the Shuhite (Job 8:1). The name Bildad comes from an undetermined origin, but refers to comfort in the form of desist (to cause one from doing something), the word Shuhite means to incline or bow, thus Bildad comes with soulish comfort to force Job to bow in order to cease his self-pity. Eliphaz brought soulish edification, now Bildad brings soulish comfort. Both were attempting to minister, but they were using their own emotions, thinking, and theological formulas, but Job wasn't getting better, he is getting worse.

Eliphaz says, "stand up Job", but Bildad tells Job, "bow down"; we have all been in the pit and heard, "get faith"; "stand up"; "sit down"; "hang on", or "let go". Bildad attacks Job with, "how long will you speak these things: and how long shall the words of your mouth be like a strong wind?" (Job 8:2). It's one thing to tell someone their confession is based in stinking thinking, another to help then by the Spirit to change the confession unto one of praise. Would it not have been better to enter a good praise time? Yes, the sacrifice of praise can gain us much more than fifty pages of formulas.

Bildad brings a soulish counterfeit of the ministry of reconciliation by exposure, he uses all the theological discourses, in essence he portrays, "is it not written brother", but knowing it's written and knowing why it's written are different. Bildad is one who uses Scripture, Bildad tells Job, "if you were pure and upright: surely now He would awake for you" (Job 8:6). This is great news, most of us have heard like words; surely Job if you had faith or if you were as righteous as you say, this event never would have happened. The rain falls on the just and unjust, but only the just can gain from it. Some of us have been subject to this type of soulish ministry, if we do get sick, the last one we want to talk to is Bildad. We want the elders who know how to worship the Lord, not the one who tells us "you don't have enough faith". This experience of Job's shows we can find ourselves in adverse events, not because we did anything wrong, but because God has a plan to clean and raise us in order to get us to a higher ground. Simply, Job needed to move on, but his “friends” kept him from it.

Job is no different from many of us, if we only knew God was behind this, we could handle it. However, if we're a child of God, our faith should know God is behind the event for our benefit. It's the flesh who wants to remain in the same position, the old man keeps blaming the devil every time God moves. Why would the old man do that? To give the devil the glory for the works of God, leaving an opening for the devil. Our impatience desires the "microwave" rather than the fire of God, yet when we accepted the baptism with the Holy Ghost we also accepted the baptism of fire.

Bildad is using his personal conclusions of God to force Job into some sort of submission. Peter tells us, humble ourselves, not humble others. Bildad adds to his personal conclusions with, "Behold, God will not cast away a perfect man, neither will He help evil doers" (Job 8:20). This assumes God has cast Job away, or at least Job is an evil doer, which is not the case at all. Baldad is using manipulation is put guilt on Job, thus making Job bow out of fear, yet fear is Job's problem. God will do what God will do, the evidence shows God will help the evil doer, if the purpose is to benefit the saint. James tells us to remember how Job held patience in the affliction (James 5:10-11). Job was willing to wait on the Lord, or let Patience have her work, but his friends were the ministers of impatience.

Affliction comes from within, thus Job's affliction was within the grouping, although we will find Job made mistakes in this mess, it would still be Job's prayers in the end to save these three carnal ministers from facing the wrath of God. In essence they came to minister to Job, but they will be saved by the prayers of Job.

Persecution comes from without, but affliction is within. When we ask for the Wisdom of God, we do so by faith. Why? Faith reaches to the hope of the completed Wisdom of God as a working attribute in our walk. How then do we think it will happen? Experiences, being subject to events and people where the Wisdom of God is called for. Will we always use God’s Wisdom? No, it’s why patience has to have a work. The purpose is for us to discern before we build an ash pile.

Bildad's theological discourses fall to the ground, his intent was to make Job bow, but the result was Job's self-justification manifesting the more (Job 9:1-15). Job has entered a position where he refuses to believe unless God proves Himself (Job 9:16). Job then says, "If I justify myself, my own mouth shall condemn me" (Job 9:20). Job saw the trap, the lust to justify ourselves in the midst of the battle. However, although he saw it, he begins to fall into it. Confession in conjunction with the Word in us is Godly, confession as a means to manipulate people into our self-justification is not. Job is entering an area based on the carnal ministry being projected at him. Once self-justification begins, it also establishes excuses, making the event worse. Job at this point is refusing to face God, or seek God's Mercy. His concept is limited to a God of destruction, thus his heart assumes even if he does seek God, it will no doubt get worse, a false thinking prolonging the event (Job 9:33-34). Job also knows these three ministers are probing, none of them know the reason, intent, or purpose of Job's condition and position (Job 10:6). Job begins to use fall into a soulish roller coaster, up and down, up and down (Job 10:14-18). Babes in Christ are yet carnal, are expected to be like this, thus we find them going from "praise the Lord, oh my soul", to "you don't know the power I have", to "I come against you", to “I’m being beat up by the devil” all within moments of each other. However, if we've been in the Body for years, it's time to grow up, having the patience of stability in order to endure in faith as a Godly example.

Now comes the third friend, Zophar the Naamathite with his concept of exposure; however, it's soulish exposure by soulish methods, it’s a counterfeit to the Spirit bringing exhortation. There is a Godly exposure, Paul told the Corinthians, "lest being present I should use sharpness, according to the Power which the Lord has given me to edification and not to destruction" (II Cor 13:10). Comfort tells us "it's okay, God Is"; edification, charges us from an outside source to build us to stand in faith; whereas, exhortation exposes the tare, wall, barrier or soulish condition in order for us to be cleansed by God; however, these areas are only effective by the Spirit, and very ineffective through the lost soul of man. When the corrupt soul of man counters, or copies these areas it’s based in natural or sensual (soulish) reasoning ending devilish. The wild soul seeks emotionalism, but emotionalism lasts until the parking lot, then it falls apart. God uses enthusiasm, which comes from another source other than ourselves; whereas, emotionalism is a product of the flesh. Emotions are not wrong, God has them, but He doesn’t make decisions based on his emotions; neither does He allow emotions to govern His behavior.

Zophar means Departing, Naamathite means Pleasantness, thus Zophar will depart from pleasantness into corruptness. Zophar knows Job is self-deceived, or sitting in lap of self-pity, but Zophar’s method of exposure fails. Zophar tells Job, "you have said, My doctrine is pure and I am clean in your eyes; but oh that God would speak and open His lips against you" (Job 11:5). "Open His lips against you"? This guy is praying against Job, not for him. Great now the man thinks Job needs to be rebuked the more, this kind of prayer is never within the realm of Mercy.    There are times when the "finger of the prophet" is right in our eye, the words are anything but pleasant, but when they come from the Spirit, they expose tares without hurting the wheat; whereas the wild soul rips up tares, tramples wheat as it plants more tares than it removes.

Job now becomes the attacker by saying, "no doubt but you are the people and the wisdom shall die with you" (Job 12:2). Job begins his own theological discourses with the addition of his own soulish sarcastic remarks (Job 12:16-14:22). Then Eliphaz jumps back with more ideas from his soulish reasoning (Job 15:1-3). Job then gets mad, saying, "miserable comforters are you" (Job 16:2). The soul walked into the debate, the debate produced the fruit of anger, then came the battle in the wrong battlefield. Where is the Peace? Job says his prayer is pure (Job 16:17); yet none of them at this point have even suggested prayer, neither are they seeking the face of God, it appears they could care less if God has a say in this matter. Soulish counseling brings formulas, past experiences, Bible verses out of context for the event, producing more problems, by using the reasoning of man, far better to allow the Spirit to teach us correct ministry.

Paul told the Corinthians they didn’t understand spiritual matters, then he spent several chapters talking about spiritual things, just so they would not be ignorant (I Cor 12:1). When we speak by the Spirit (New Man) we never have to worry about calling Jesus accursed, yet no one is going to call Jesus Lord but by the Holy Ghost (I Cor 12:3). Does it mean they can’t “say” Jesus is Lord? No, it means they can’t live up to Jesus being their Lord without the intervention of the Holy Ghost in their life. After the issue is settled, Paul then breaks down the areas of the spiritual. There are different Charisma by the Grace of God through the Spirit, these are by saints for saints (I Cor 12:4 & Rom 12:6-12). These are not one here or there, they are attributes we find in someone who is Born Again. They are listed as, prophecy, ministry, teaching, exhortation, giving, ruling and mercy (Rom 12:6-12). Then Paul speaks of the Offices, the Doma (gift) given by Jesus through the Holy Ghost (Acts 13:1-3); they are listed as apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers (Eph 4:11-12). These offices are in the Body, for the Body (Eph 4:12). The Operations of God (Father) are listed in I Corinthians 12:28 as apostles, prophets, teachers, miracles, gifts of healings, helps, governments, different tongues. This areas are by saints for saints, thus in the Operations we don’t find the evangelist in the grouping, since the evangelist goes out to bring converts to established bodies, showing it’s still saint for saint related. After those areas are listed we find the Manifestation of the Spirit, this is the Witness of Jesus thorough us by the New Man in those one on one situations, whether we’re talking to saint or a heathen, a family member or a co-worker, or someone we just started talking to. This is the area where it’s for “all men”, or better, toward all men, but obviously the source is the Spirit in the Born Again believer. Any one who is Born Again should have these attributes operating through them. A word of wisdom tells someone how to deal with an event or person; a word of knowledge is information, the faith is not some faith in us, since these areas are from us to others, rather this is when we’re speaking, then the other person gets faith as they hear and receive the words spoken; then gifts of healing, this is different from the Operations: in the Operations it was gifts of healings (both plural) showing it’s for the masses, but in the Manifestation it’s gifts of healing (singular) showing one on one. The gifts being plural point to physical or mental; a healing is a restoration of something. A miracle is the placement or something where is no foundation, much like a foot where there is no foot. The prophecy here is not the Office of Prophet, this area doesn’t give direction, or doctrine it pertains to edification, exhortation or comfort. The discerning of spirits is detecting the spirit being used by the person, much like Paul with damsel in Acts 16. Then tongues and the interpretation of tongues (I Cor 12:7-11). In Job’s situation we find the one on one endeavor, yet we know none of these people were privy to the Manifestation of the Spirit, but we can still see how natural minded ministry is useless. In their situation the best help would be the prophetic word of God through a prophet.

The debate would go on and on, until someone stands who isn't listed among Job's friends, but will become his best friend, next to God. Elihu the Buzite waited until all the hot soulish wind ceased, before he spoke (Job 32:4-5). Elihu wasn't going to enter the debate, when the wild anger souls of Job and his friends ran out of steam, it was time for God to speak. Elihu submitted to the "elders", who were elders in age only, not in wisdom or knowledge. Elihu followed the procedure, when the time came, he stood and allowed God to move.

The name Elihu means, God of him, but the name Buzite means Shamed; however, it doesn't refer to being ashamed, rather it means to point out one's shame. When Jeremiah talks about the Cup of God's wrath we find the nations of "Dedan, Tema and Buz" (Jere 25:23). Instead of looking at a family line, perhaps we are given a location from which Ezekiel and Elihu came from, we are also given a mystery. Elihu is from the "kindred of Ram", which is a short term for Aram, a location close to the modern day countries Syria and Turkey, which would be the border of the Wilderness, thus this prophet speaks when Job is at the border of his wilderness experience. Also we find Elihu is the son of Barachel, this is the only place we find the name Barachel. Perhaps we can find something about Elihu by knowing the name Barachel means God has blessed, opening the mystery. The other three were saying "God has cursed", but Elihu looks to the ways of God, showing the event is not the entire picture, rather in this event the purpose of God is To Bless, not curse. Simply because the event looks terrible, doesn't mean the gates of hell have prevailed. The Book of Job holds many things, one is how we can venture into soulish ministry, prolonging the event, but we also find the event may appear to us as if the devil is running wild, but it doesn't mean God isn't behind the scene waiting for us to invite Him in. Once the prophetic word begins the Truth beings to bring a wind of cleansing. Then time the plan is seen, God does have a people who Love the Lord with all their heart, mind, soul and strength.

Elihu begins with the truth, "Great men are not always wise: neither do the aged understand judgment" (Job 32:9). Elihu will speak for God, yet God will speak more than once in this mess, but no one heard Him (Job 33:14). When we listen to Satan, we will never hear God, but if we hear God, we won't hear Satan. The still small voice shocked Elijah to his position while in the cave, it now begins to come out of Elihu (Job 34:1-37). Elihu speaks on behalf of God, but Job attempts to enter self-justification again, only this time it was in the face of God, the results are much different. As Elihu speaks the whirlwind of God comes forth rebuking Job to the bone, but it also exposes and lifts (Job 38:1-39:30). The lust was exposed, but done so by the prophetic Word of God, not by the efforts of the soulish retorts of man. This time Job knows the "voice of the Lord", he is now paying attention, while he is being healed, restored and able to do proper battle to save his friends.

Elihu is a type and shadow of the New Man, the Spirit of God bears witness with our Spirit (Spirit that is of God), to give our souls reason to stand upright. No one can figure out God, using our mind to determine the event produces the problem (Job 37:12). God asks Job, "shall he who contends with the Almighty instruct Him?" (Job 40:2). All of them were instructing in the ways of God, but they didn’t know the ways of God. We have the Mind of Christ, we are instructed by the Mind of the Lord, it’s not the other way around (I Cor 2:13 & 2:16). How can we instruct others about the mind of the Lord if we don't have the mind of Christ?

Job gets the idea, he now brings forth fruit of repentance by admitting his iniquity, but instead of producing a sacrifice, he speaks words based in Faith, thus Faith came, Job received it, causing true repentance for Job (Job 42:1-6). Job's humble heart brought the repentance, the repentance removed the iniquity, thus the Mercy of God was always there waiting for Job to ask (Job 42:7-8). Job never sinned with his lips, his problem was iniquity. Now Job knew what he thought he knew, he was now able to stand. He now knows God is a delivering God, now he can pray for his friends with earnest, not an attempt to hide their errors, but to see them healed of their errors.

God not only restored Job, but lifted him to a higher position. The entire test or lesson was not to convict Job, but to bring Job closer to the Lord. Job's children could have cared less about God, whether they died then or a hundred years later, they were still among the walking dead. This situation could have ended the first day if Job's friends would have allowed Elihu the prophet to speak first, but nonetheless this is written for our sakes. From here let’s go to Psalms for knowledge, Proverbs for  Wisdom; Ecclesiastics to understand Wisdom, then the Song of Solomon to understand our potential in Christ.


By Rev. G. E. Newmyer - s.b.i. les5rev10/© 2003