And Jehovah answered me, and said, Write the
make it plain upon tablets, that he may run
that readeth it.
(Habakkuk 2:2 -
20 Sept 2022
Biblical and Prophetic
Perspective For Our Times
whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words,
of him shall the Son of man be ashamed,
when he cometh in his own glory,
and the glory of the Father,
and of the holy angels.
(Luke 9:26 - ASV)
I have set
Jehovah always before me:
Because he is at my right hand,
I shall not be moved.
(Psalms 16:8 - ASV)
Mark can be reached
Contents On This Page
Samuel Part 5
Samuel Part 4
Samuel Part 3
Samuel Part 2
Job Part 87
- Our Place
- Seal Number Three
- Wicked Counsel
- Hewn Down
- In Praise Of Humility
- A Matter Of Trust
- Malak Elohim (Angel
Of the Lord)
Fearlessness Of Faith
- Lawfare And Spiritual
- A Curse
1 Samuel Part V
And Elkanah her
husband said unto her,
Do what seemeth thee good; tarry until thou have
only Jehovah establish his word. So the woman tarried
and gave her son suck, until she weaned him.
(1 Samuel 1:23 - ASV)
not going to argue with his wife over this and seems
to have deferred this matter into her keeping. Clearly
Elkanah saw that the hand of the Lord was in this. For
now, he had a male heir by the woman he clearly
preferred. So Elkanah went up to offer sacrifice and
to give thanks to the Lord. Elkanah, we can see was a
man of faith in God. In times of what was certainly
increasingly religious depredations (as we shall see)
and apostasy, Elkanah kept faith with his God and did
not wickedly depart from him. He wants God to
establish this miracle that has come about, '...only Jehovah establish his word'.
And when she
had weaned him, she took him up with her,
This was a
woman, yes even household that kept their word.
Particularly to the Lord. This is something I have
always striven to do. Be a man of my word. It's a rare
thing these days. People, particularly Americans are
so flippant about their word, so nonchalant they
rarely keep it. My rule of thumb has been this - if
someone in these troubled times promises to do
something, expect him to do the exact opposite. This
rule of thumb naturally does not always work, but it
does often enough that I tend to remember it when
someone makes a commitment to me. How did the Psalmist
with three bullocks, and one ephah of meal, and a
bottle of wine,
and brought him unto the house of Jehovah in
Shiloh: and the child was young.
And they slew the bullock, and brought the child to
(1 Samuel 1:24-25 - ASV)
Lead me, O
in thy righteousness because of mine enemies;
Make thy way straight before my face.
For there is no faithfulness in their mouth;
Their inward part is very wickedness;
Their throat is an open sepulchre;
They flatter with their tongue.
(Psalms 5:8-9 - ASV)
been my experience. It was one of those things that
foreigners I knew have noted and made very plain to me
when I lived overseas when they were commenting on my
countrymen. Keeping one's word says volumes about a
man's character. The fact that Hannah did not lie
before the Lord and was determined to fulfill the
thing she promised shows a woman of character -
character so lacking in our modern world. Hannah was
not waiting around, procrastinating and making excuses
to fulfill her word. She got right to it.
that she brought three bullocks is probably
significant. Some commentators think three were used
because only two were required for the annual offering
and the third would have been a special thank
offering. Others think one was for a burnt offering,
one for the vow and the other a peace offering.
The key is
that she did as she had vowed and went up to Shiloh
and brought with her the sacrifice and the child for
dedication. They offered it up and then presented the
child to the High Priest, Eli.
the man who keeps is word to the Lord. Vows are
forbidden to us Christians, but keeping one's word is
not. To do otherwise is to be false.
But in so
keeping her word, she not only got herself a son that
she so desired, but also one of Israel's greatest men
of God, Prophet and Judge who was to guide Israel
through some difficult and rapidly changing times.
And she said,
Oh, my lord, as thy soul liveth, my lord,
brings the child before Eli, she has to remind him of
the incident that her presence in the tabernacle has
brought about. Who the 'he' (H1931
in Strong's Hebrew Bible Dictionary) is in verse
28 is not clear (who worshiped). We do not know for
certain that Elkanah was with Hannah when this
occurred, but he may have been. So the 'he' could
refereed to either Elkanah or Eli, who thanked the
Lord for hearing her and his prayer. Remember Eli also
requested God do this thing for her (1:17).
I am the woman that stood by thee here,
praying unto Jehovah.
For this child I prayed; and Jehovah hath given me
which I asked of him: therefore also I have granted
him to Jehovah;
as long as he liveth he is granted to Jehovah.
And he worshipped Jehovah there.
(1 Samuel 1:26-28 - ASV)
lifts up her voice in praise and prayer to the Lord.
prayed, and said:
thanks to the Lord for what he has done for her. She
was clearly very happy that the Lord had taken away
her shame and given her this gift she so very much
desired. In this she was enlarged over those who
scorned her; those who were her enemies. This is one
of those uncommon Psalms/prayers that are recorded
that were made by women (think Miriam, Deborah and
My heart exulteth in Jehovah;
My horn is exalted in Jehovah;
My mouth is enlarged over mine enemies;
Because I rejoice in thy salvation.
There is none holy as Jehovah;
For there is none besides thee,
Neither is there any rock like our God.
(1 Samuel 2:1-2 - ASV)
This is as
much a Psalm of thanksgiving as it is one of praise
and prophecy. Clearly Hannah knew God and had put her
faith fully in him. In that he has done this miracle
for her, she lifts up her horn and voice in praise to
his name and his ways. In times of growing religious
apostasy, she acknowledges that only the Lord, he is
Talk no more
so exceeding proudly;
humble circumstances and what it meant to be mocked
and laughed at. She also knew that it was folly to be
proud and arrogant when God sits on high. Hannah could
not have forgotten the verbal stings and harsh words
spoken about her to her face and behind her back
because of her barrenness. They spoke in pride and
arrogance against a humble daughter of the Lord who
put her trust in him.
Let not arrogancy come out of your mouth;
For Jehovah is a God of knowledge,
And by him actions are weighed.
The bows of the mighty men are broken;
And they that stumbled are girded with strength.
(1 Samuel 2:3-4 - ASV)
God knows how
to raise up the humble and abase the proud, let the
arrogant man beware!! God can break the bows (arms) of
the mighty. This is a word for anyone, anywhere who
puts his faith in arms of warfare of any kind or in
his money bags. God can and often does break them and
cause those who think they are strong to stumble and
begin to tell you how the Lord looks out for me! I
stand today only because of the power and
grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! God has
protected me in this very humble ministry and kept me
by his power ALONE! So I know how Hannah feels - I
give thanks always for his grace, love and power to
protect his saints from the power of their enemies,
both temporal and spiritual!
When was the
last time you thanked the Lord for the times
he saved you and protected you from your enemies?
were full have hired out themselves for bread;
acknowledges that God can raise up and humble,
strengthen and even humiliate the proud. There are
those who once 'had it all' and now had to work for
others just for sustenance. The barren woman who had
to bare shame all of her life, she can bare children -
And they that were hungry have ceased to hunger:
Yea, the barren hath borne seven;
And she that hath many children languisheth.
Jehovah killeth, and maketh alive:
He bringeth down to Sheol, and bringeth up.
(1 Samuel 2:5-6 - ASV)
God knows how
to bring the proud and arrogant low, brothers and
sisters... don't you even worry about it!!
He can take that loud mouthed, blowhard who has been
mocking and castigating you and put his mocking behind
in a homeless camp, should he so choose. How did
Hannah prevail? She put her trust in the Lord. That is
how you and I prevail when our enemies rise against
us. God will vindicate our trust in and obedience to
him, in his way and in his time and to
continue Hannah's prayer of thanksgiving next week,
1 Samuel Part 4
And Hannah answered and said,
No, my lord, I am a woman of a sorrowful spirit:
I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink,
but I poured out my soul before Jehovah.
Count not thy handmaid for a wicked woman;
for out of the abundance of my complaint and my
have I spoken hitherto.
(1 Samuel 1:15-16 - ASV)
at Hannah was incorrect. He made an assumption he
should not have and impugned her character with his
words. Eli, who was acting as High Priest, his words
clearly troubled Hannah. So she, with great respect
towards his office, explains her problem and corrects
his assumption that her presence in the Temple derived
from lingering at the wine cask.
She also did not want to be reckoned with the
daughters of Belial. The reference to Belial (wicked
woman) is that to a reckless, worthless and wicked
person. It is not impossible that Eli thought she
might have been a hooker who may have come into the
temple or stood without from time to time. This
problem will be described later (1Samuel
2:22). So Eli's original thought was
probably based on previous experiences with women who
wandered in drunken looking for business. No, not this
time. The Law and religious life at this time was
probably not being practiced by many or even most
Israelite's at the time. So Eli's assumption while
wrong, was probably not unfounded when based on such
Hannah had come into the temple of a broken heart and
to earnestly seek the Lord about her problem.
answered and said, Go in peace;
and the God of Israel grant thy petition
that thou hast asked of him.
(1 Samuel 1:17 - ASV)
Eli answers her kindly and accepts her
gentle corrective rebuke. Again, this was probably not
a common thing for such a woman to come into the
temple as Hannah did, wholly to seek the Lord and
place a supplication before him. So Eli blesses her
and hopes that God will hear her prayer. It is not
clear if his words were merely a blessing or a
And she said, Let thy handmaid
find favor in thy sight.
So the woman went her way, and did eat;
and her countenance was no more sad.
(1 Samuel 1:18 - ASV)
Having found favor with Eli, she hopes that it
will continue. She was clearly encouraged by her prayer
and the kind words spoken by the High Priest. Oh what a
good and kind word of encouragement can bring,
particularly when spoken by an anointed man of God!!
Hannah was indeed encouraged.
And they rose
up in the morning early,
and worshipped before Jehovah, and returned,
and came to their house to Ramah:
and Elkanah knew Hannah his wife;
and Jehovah remembered her;
(1 Samuel 1:19 - ASV)
Let's remember that the whole purpose of them being in
Shiloh was to go up to worship the Lord (1Samuel 1:3). So they
arose that morning, worshiped the Lord and then went back
home. Today, we don't talk much about these kind of
pilgrimages. The Christians in earlier ages did perform
So husband and wife slept together and God indeed did hear
and it came
to pass, when the time was come about,
that Hannah conceived, and bare a son;
and she called his name Samuel,
saying, Because I have asked him of Jehovah.
(1 Samuel 1:20 - ASV)
Yes, the Lord hears the prayers of the humble soul who
puts his faith in him. Yes, he does. I cannot tell you the
times God has heard my prayers. Indeed, I got an answer to
one of mine (prayed with the group of insiders) on the day
I wrote this (which was back in late 2019).
Well, back to Samuel...
The name itself means 'heard of God'; Shema El (H8085, H410 in
Strong's Hebrew Bible Dictionary). Hannah clearly
did remember from whom this blessing came and named her
son accordingly. Unlike so many who get something from the
Lord, Hannah did not forget her prayer nor her promise to
And the man
Elkanah, and all his house,
In the following year after the Lord heard Hannah's
prayer, the annual pilgrimage to Shiloh was to be made.
Clearly this was a pious house. But Hannah did not go by
reason of the infant. The last phrase in verse 21 'and his vow' is not clear.
There is no mention of any vow regarding the child in the
narrative made by Elkanah. But this may refer to the law
on women and vows found in the book of Numbers 30:3ff. Thus, the
vow to the Lord may have been obligatory on the husband. I
confess I am no expert on these nuances in
the Mosaic Law and make no claim to be. But my cursory
reading of the passage is that if the husband did not
repudiate the vow or remains silent regarding it, he is
bound by it.
went up to offer unto Jehovah the yearly sacrifice,
and his vow. But Hannah went not up;
for she said unto her husband,
I will not go up until the child be weaned;
and then I will bring him,
that he may appear before Jehovah,
and there abide for ever.
(1 Samuel 1:21-22 - ASV)
Hannah's unwillingness to go to Shiloh was not excuse
making. Her intention was to take him later and dedicate
him there to the Lord and there he should always serve the
We will continue our look at this wonderful book as God
1 Samuel Part 3
And her rival provoked her sore,
to make her fret, because Jehovah had shut up
And as he did so year by year, when she went up to
the house of Jehovah,
so she provoked her; therefore she wept, and did not
(1 Samuel 1:6-7 - ASV)
This is the result of Polygamy. There is always
going to be enmity. John Gill (1697-1771) in his
exposition of the Bible notes that this was the same thing
that happened to Socrates, who also had two wives. So
here, the barren wife was always being provoked by the
wife who could bear children. This provocation seems to be
more than just a few snide remarks, but the words used
here seem to indicate that she was loud and boisterous
with her complaints and taunts. The word for provoke is H3707 in Strong's Hebrew
She may have been quite haughty and used violent words to
her. The description seems to indicate that they may have
had some heated quarrels. This went on for years, not days
or weeks. Hannah had borne these reproaches for a long,
long time. Hannah probably cried herself to sleep many
times and often would not even eat.
People can be so cruel. One can see the true spirit of
people when you give them a blessing or more particularly,
some money. You want to know what people can be? Give them
some money or some power or merely hold the promise of it
out if they do some kind of evil or treachery. You'll
often see the real person then. Here, Peninnah had a
blessing that the Lord had withheld from Hannah and rather
than just be thankful and kind; gentle and generous with
Hannah, there was this cold hearted taunting and
provoking. Instead of sympathy and kindness, Peninnah
showed contempt for the less fortunate.
Hannah suffered, but her travails did not go unnoticed by
her husband who truly loved her and did his best to
comfort her as in the following passage.
her husband said unto her, Hannah,
why weepest thou? and why eatest thou not?
and why is thy heart grieved?
am not I better to thee than ten sons?
(1 Samuel 1:8 - ASV)
Clearly these two shared a special love for one another
and Elkanah did not want her to fret. What the passage
seems to indicate is that Elkanah may not have been aware
of the deep animosity or perhaps, was only now becoming
aware of how deeply hurt Hannah was over the taunts of the
sharp tongued woman. It seems clear that what is happening
here is that Hannah had the special love of the husband
that Peninnah did not and this aroused her jealousy. So
she threw Hannah's barrenness in her face whenever she
could. The idea of the last stanza may be that to say that
no matter how many sons the other bore, his special love
for Hannah was not diminished.
This is a troubled, tumultuous household. But his can be
expected when someone departs from God's divine order. We
don't know why Elkanah decided to marry two wives. There
may have been a shortage of men in those days. Or, perhaps
slightly more likely is that Hannah was the first wife who
bore no son, so he married Peninnah in order to get a son
(not totally unlike Abraham). Then came marital/domestic
rose up after they had eaten in Shiloh,
We don't know the circumstances of her eating. It may have
been the daily meal for which she had finally partaken or
it could have been some kind of feast that was ongoing.
But whatever it was she did not stay long, she ate and
then decided to leave. She went to the House of the Lord
and Eli the Priest was there, sitting upon his seat. The
word for seat has the connotation of a throne or perhaps
seat of judgment.
and after they had drunk. Now Eli the priest was
upon his seat by the door-post of the temple of
And she was in bitterness of soul,
and prayed unto Jehovah, and wept sore.
(1 Samuel 1:9-10 - ASV)
Who was Eli? He was a direct decedent of Aaron (via his
fourth son). He also appears to have acted both as Judge
in Israel and probably as High Priest. So here she is in
the tabernacle crying her eyes out before the Lord about
the way she had been treated. God hears the prayers of
those so afflicted and in trouble (see Psalms 50:15).
And she vowed
a vow, and said, O Jehovah of hosts,
Now, in NT times, vows for us are forbidden (Matthew 5:34). But back in
those days, they were not. They were a solemn pledge. Here
the vow is that Hannah would keep her end of an agreement
with God. She is making a promise to God that if he will
hear her prayer and grant her a son, she will in essence,
dedicate him to the Lord and his service.
if thou wilt indeed look on the affliction of
and remember me, and not forget thy handmaid,
but wilt give unto thy handmaid a man-child,
then I will give him unto Jehovah all the days of
and there shall no razor come upon his head.
And it came to pass, as she continued praying before
that Eli marked her mouth. Now Hannah, she spake in
her heart; o
nly her lips moved, but her voice was not heard:
therefore Eli thought she had been drunken.
And Eli said unto her, How long wilt thou be
put away thy wine from thee.
(1 Samuel 1:11-14 - ASV)
The idea of the razor not touching his head was to set him
apart as a Nazarite. These were special men who dedicated
a set period of time to a specific purpose for God,
usually not longer than 100 days (Eaton Bible
Dictionary). The laws concerning Nazarites can be
found in Numbers chapter six. They often set their
own time period for this service and during it, they would
not shave, thus marking them out. They were not hermits,
just dedicated to a purpose. The practice carried on long
after those days. Even in the Gospels (Luke 1:15) and the book of
Acts (21:23ff) we see
this custom still practiced.
Hannah here dedicates this potential son (she had not
received it yet and had to wait upon him by FAITH) to the
Lord's service for his whole life. This is unusual in that
these vows were usually not lifelong binding.
But during her prayer Eli was keeping an eye on her,
thinking she had been lingering at the wine bottle too
long and wandered into the temple in an unsanctified
fashion. He incorrectly rebukes her, not that he should
not have rebuked her if she had been drunken, but that he
made an assumption that he should not have. We should not
make negative assumptions about people. It's easy to do,
but often we can be dead wrong, as Eli was here.
We shall continue our look at Samuel as the Lord wills!!
1 Samuel Part 2
Now there was a
certain man of Ramathaim-zophim,
of the hill-country of Ephraim,
and his name was Elkanah,
the son of Jeroham, the son of
Elihu, the son of Tohu,
the son of Zuph, an Ephraimite:
(1 Samuel 1:1 - ASV)
Here begins the genealogy of Samuel and
a look at his family. Elkanah was his father and he is
said here to be from the Tribe Ephraim, but his ancestry
from Zuph would make him a Levite. Kiel and
Commentary on the Old Testament gives
a good background to this genealogy for those of you
interested. I will not bore you with it here. The name
of place Ramathaim-zophim means two high places
(Ramathim) where as Zophim means watchmen or watchers.
It was probably a location of two hills where men stood
watch against foreign invaders. But it could also mean
that it was a place of the prophets. Of note, the fact
that this book begins with the pronoun 'Now' (or 'and')
has led many to believe that this book in reality is a
continuation of the Book of Judges. Also of note is that
some seem to think that Samuel's father represents the
fifth generation of settlers that came out of Canaan.
This city is usually known as Ramah and is where Samuel
was born (Samuel 1:19-20
worked (Samuel 7:17
and died (Samuel 25:1
and he had
two wives; the name of the one was Hannah,
and the name of the other Peninnah:
and Peninnah had children,
but Hannah had no children.
(1 Samuel 1:2 - ASV)
Now on to Elkanah's marital situation. Polygamy was not
strictly forbidden (Deuteronomy
). But Abraham's experience should
tell us all that the practice is fraught with all manner
of trouble. Often it's the 'two against one'
Someone winds up out in the cold. The names of his wives
were Hannah and Peninnah. Hanna's name means favored
Peninnah's name means pearl
Verse two begins to describe the source of strife and
trouble in this polygamous arrangement, it was the fact
that one had children and the other did not. So while
Polygamy is certainly frowned upon today and is illegal
in most countries, back then it was practiced. We should
remember that there are passages in the NT that suggest
(though not necessarily proves) that some Christians may
have had more than one wife, but that this marital
situation precluded people from certain offices in the
Church (1Timothy 3:2; 3:12;
). Keep in mind that Paul
recommends that people remain in the situation where
they were called. (1Corinthians
). Understand here, I am not
endorsing polygamy in any way shape or form. I am only
saying that firm and incontrovertible scriptural
commands against it in any and all instances will be
difficult to find. My personal view is this - Marriage
is trouble (1Corinthians 7:28
polygamy... double trouble!!!
man went up out of his city from year to year
to worship and to sacrifice unto Jehovah of
hosts in Shiloh.
And the two sons of Eli, Hophni and
priests unto Jehovah, were there.
(1 Samuel 1:3 - ASV)
So Elkanah was a pious man. We don't know if he had any
office in the Priesthood, but what we do know is that he
was not like many others who worshiped other gods, but
he served the Lord. Shiloh was the place of worship
because this was where the Ark of the covenant was.
Males were to attend the major feast days of the Law (Deuteronomy 16:16
many probably did not do that. There was probably
considerable religious disorder in those days. In short,
most probably did not observe this requirement, but
Elkanah did, marking him out as a man who truly revered
Of note, the name of God Lord Of Hosts
for the first time in this passage. The term clearly is
a reference to an army or military numbers but some
think it also denotes his command over the hosts of
heaven as well. Such a meaning would have particular
significance to those who worshiped the hosts of heaven
as this title demonstrates that he is Lord over them as
well and should be the true object of worship and
The last part the verse introduces two priests of the
Lord and the name of their father, Eli. Eli's sons were
notorious as we will see as we move through the book.
And when the
day came that Elkanah sacrificed,
he gave to Peninnah his wife, and to all her sons
and her daughters, portions: but unto Hannah
he gave a double portion; for he loved Hannah,
but Jehovah had shut up her womb.
(1 Samuel 1:4-5 - ASV)
is about the offering to the Lord that he was making and
not about any inheritance. Elkanah was making this
offering in accordance with the old Law (Deuteronomy 16:10-11). He
gave to the Lord offerings regarding Peninnah and her
children, but with Hannah, he gave a 'worthy' one. Many
modern translations translate this a 'double portion'. The
double portion is clearly indicative of a very special
love he had for Hannah. But Hannah was barren. This
barrenness will be a key part of the next few verses of
the narrative so let's leave off here and continue on with
this in the next section.
I thought that I would begin a look at an old
time prophet who came long before the major and minor
prophets we have in the Old Testament. I am going to take
my time with this book like I did with Job.
I hope you get a lot out of it and remember this all of
you - God will fulfill his words, but he usually is
in no hurry to do so. We humans are the ones constantly in
a big hurry and impatient. God isn't. He see's the end
from the beginning. We do not. Let us always remember that
and wait patiently on our God. God has his own plans that
he often simply does not share with us fallen and sinful
This is a very
old book. It was written long before Rome was founded
but may have been complied later. The book is also
referred to by some as the first book of the Kings. It
covers the establishment of the monarchy and the acts
of her first king, Saul and David's rise to the
throne. But we call it the book of First Samuel
because he is one of the key people both in the book
and in the events therein.
not certain of the authorship. Because it contains the
events of his life, it may have been written by
Samuel. Some think so. But it may have been written by
Nathan the prophet as he is known to have written some
history of the Kings (see
Other theories exist that it may have been written by
Ezra or even Jeremiah. Though some have opined that
Jeremiah may have merely been a compiler. But this is
all conjecture. We don't know for sure who wrote it,
but it seems to me that the first part of the book
that dealt with Samuel's life, who was not a King, and
the fact that the book is largely a history of Kings -
this may lend some credence to his authorship, at
least the first several chapters. But I think that
Samuel's authorship or at least his strong influence
on perhaps an unknown writer is clear in that it shows
how Samuel was really a key instrument of God in the
formation of the Kingdom of Israel. His ministry marks
a transition from the times of the Judges to the times
of the Kings. Samuel is considered the last of
Israel's Judges, who was preceded by Eli of whom we
will talk about in the parts of the book that deal
life of the ministry of the Judge/Prophet Samuel is
the important spiritual and religious transition of
Israel described in the book, from a tribal state with
judges set up over them to one of a monarchy. This is
a very important transition for reasons that will
become apparent. Israel - God's vision of Israel, was
that she was to be a nation of citizens who were close
to God and served him. In short, he wanted them to be
a kingdom of priests (Exodus
in their lust to be like the world around them, they
wanted a King.
But the book is a fascinating read in
that it's history is rich with faith, tragedy,
disobedience, hope, despair, war, hero's, villains and
much more, given to us in a rich prose that is not only
spiritually enlightening, but also quite engrossing and
dramatic. The story moves quickly but is detailed enough
where the narrative is clear but it never gets bogged down
in too much detail, (though my comments may at times!).
So on that note, we will start to look at this book
probably next week. I will try and have an update for you
on it (most) every week as we move through the rest of the
In loving and humble service to the Living God and his son
Job Conclusion Part II
We will finish up the study in Job today with a
final look at suffering.
Some commentators have stated that one thing that Job
seemed to have been lacking in his character was that
until the Lord spoke to him face to face, he simply had
not fully submitted to the will of the Almighty, whatever
that will may be. We must not be too hard on Job as the
religious thought and theology of those days was very
rudimentary, as we saw in the lengthy debate in the text.
They all thought that if you did right, good came your
way, without exception. The whole idea that God would
allow such evil to befall Job not because he was evil, but
in essence because he was righteous and good was
beyond their theological understanding. Nor could they
comprehend a key principle that we in the New Testament
era probably take somewhat for granted.
And we know
that to them that love God
all things work together for good,
even to them that are called
according to his purpose.
(Romans 8:28 - ASV)
all things including sufferings; they work together
for our good. But as with all promises like this,
there is a condition. In order for such things, even
the troubles we endure to work for our good we have to
love God, and be called according to God's purpose. So
this does not hold true to the lost and those who know
not God. In short, God allows these things into our
lives to test us, mold us, guide us, help us and teach
But Job was deeply beloved of God so this trial taught
him some important lessons. Not least of which
according to some commentators, the character trait of
submission to God's will, even if we don't like the
situation we are in or must suffer. If belong to him,
God is in it. He was involved in Job's ordeal and
allowed it. Job thought God had forsaken him and
without any cause was punishing him. He could not have
been more wrong.
This is the fallacy of looking at
things the way they appear to the natural mind and our
human eyes. As we saw in Job, there is a spiritual
world which our natural mind cannot see or comprehend
but deeply effects our lives. It was Satan's
accusation that brought on Job's troubles and Job was
utterly unaware of the controversy that took place in
heaven. This is often how things go for us down here.
But we must remember that we as saints, are involved
in spiritual battle with the Lord's enemies and like
any warrior, he is going to have to fight and take a
few 'hits' from time to time. There is no way around
it if you are in the thick of battle.
Paul lays this theme out again and
again in his letters. Paul was no stranger to
be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
the Father of mercies and God of all comfort;
who comforteth us in all our affliction,
that we may be able to comfort them
that are in any affliction, through the comfort
wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.
For as the sufferings of Christ abound unto
even so our comfort also aboundeth through Christ.
But whether we are afflicted,
it is for your comfort and salvation;
or whether we are comforted, it is for your
which worketh in the patient enduring
of the same sufferings which we also suffer:
and our hope for you is stedfast; knowing that,
as ye are partakers of the sufferings,
so also are ye of the comfort.
For we would not have you ignorant,
brethren, concerning our affliction
which befell us in Asia, that we were
weighed down exceedingly, beyond our power,
insomuch that we despaired even of life:
yea, we ourselves have had
the sentence of death within ourselves,
that we should not trust in ourselves,
but in God who raiseth the dead:
who delivered us out of so great a death,
and will deliver: on whom we have set
our hope that he will also still deliver us;
ye also helping together on our behalf
by your supplication; that, for the gift
bestowed upon us by means of many,
thanks may be given by many persons on our behalf.
(II Corinthians 1:3-11 - ASV)
Paul knew what it was to suffer
and face death. He faced it many times. He also knew
despair. But Paul knew his God and the path he had set
him on and he was by no means ever going back. He
pressed forward in full confidence in the God who
raised Christ from the dead.
Yes, this is all New Testament.
Job and his friends did not understand these things.
But we do.
But suffering is hard. But as hard as it is, God wants
us to as much as we can, be joyful in difficult times.
Count it all joy, my brethren,
when ye fall into manifold temptations;
Knowing that the proving of your faith worketh
And let patience have its perfect work,
that ye may be perfect and entire, lacking in
But if any of you lacketh wisdom,
let him ask of God, who giveth to all liberally
and upbraideth not;
and it shall be given him.
(James 1:2-5 - ASV)
word translated temptations can mean a trial or
adversity or temptation. James is telling us to count
it joy. How did the early Church look at persecution?
They were doing God's work, but had to stand trial for
their actions and were beaten for it.
him they agreed:
and when they had called the apostles unto
they beat them and charged them
not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them
They therefore departed from
the presence of the council, rejoicing
that they were counted worthy to suffer
for the Name. And every day,
in the temple and at home,
they ceased not to teach and
to preach Jesus as the Christ.
(Acts 5:40-42 - ASV)
Yes, it can be hard to rejoice in
such circumstances, particularly when your back is
covered in bruises and welts, but this is what the
early Church did when facing persecution and hardship.
Job's story is one of faith, endurance but also one of
human failings and God's ultimate mercy to those who
keep faith with him. Job was not ever, ever going to
forsake his God. No matter how confused and hurt he
was during his trial, he was going to maintain his
confidence in God.
This to me is the key message of Job. We don't
understand why things are the way they are. Why am I
writing on the internet like this? I don't
particularly like it, but it is what I have been
commanded to do. God has had my back through many
trials and attacks against me and this very humble
ministry. There are times when God just wants us to
wait on him in very difficult circumstances. This is
what Job had to do and thus we have the phrase
'patience of Job'. Waiting like this can be very
difficult and in and of itself, can be a serious trial
of our faith.
Some of you have lost jobs, incomes, been dissed by
your families, hated, mistreated at work, mocked by
your Church buddies, have to deal with health issues,
family issues, financial issues. Sometimes these
things last a long time, longer than we want or
expected. Remember Job. Sometimes, all
God really wants to do is to get us to be totally
dependent on him. It's a lesson that was and is
hardest for me for I love independence and freedom.
Having to rely totally on anyone for anything is
contrary to this part of my nature. But God has had to
teach me humility in this and to depend totally on
him. I can tell you this - sooner or later, he will
one day teach it to you as well, if you are to be of
any use to him.
So let us remember Job and how he suffered but also
remember why he suffered (the devil) and that
God allowed it and that God, after having taught Job a
thing or two (like submission and humility), blessed
him twice as much again. Why? Because he loved and
respected his servant Job.
I exhort you all to aspire to be that kind of servant,
one that God loves and respects. A person who can
honestly be called in the corridors of Heaven, the Friend
Friends will go the second mile for one another. This
is what Job's faith demonstrated during a trial for
which he was utterly confounded as to the reason for
it. He stood by his God.
Can you do that? Will you?
Time will tell, though I think many of you will pass
with flying colors and stand before God with great
shouts of joy and thanksgiving on the day of our
Salvation and look at the trouble we had to endure as
very light compared to what God has in store for all
who love him.
Here ends this commentary on the book of Job.
Job Conclusion - Part I
that exposition took a very long time and I am
sure many of you may not have gotten much out of it. I
did. It had been many years since I studied that book
with any depth. I discovered many nuances about the
book that I had either not known or had long
forgotten, while doing this study.
One thing I will never forget. When going though the
most difficult trial of my life years and years ago, Job 13:15 (as
read in the KJV) was the verse that kept me going. It
is the passage that any saint who is facing serious
trial and even death should never forget. That even if
the Lord should require our lives, we must continue to
put our trust in him.
In the New Testament, this thinking is laid out for us
(Revelation 2:10; 12:11). But
in the times of the Old Testament and before, which is
when this book was almost certainly written, such a
sentiment was not well known. As we moved through the
book we saw the simplistic theology of Job's friends
and their refusal to face facts on suffering,
prosperity and poverty that stared them in the face.
No, the wicked are not always punished in this life
and no, the righteous are not always rewarded. Job
knew he was innocent of any crime that could have
caused him to deserve his fate, but could not convince
his friends. He only had his confidence in God to
There may come a time in our lives when we are faced
with similar circumstances. How do you think that
foreign pastor feels when he is given a heavy sentence
for preaching the gospel? When these things happen,
sometimes the sheep scatter and the shepherd is left
all alone. How does one deal with this? Or with those
who are in the Church who begin to mutter harsh things
against such a pastor and begin to malign and slander
him for being a 'criminal' while he sits in chains for
serving the Lord? Like Job, such a pastor is being
punished by the devils ministers for doing right. For
Job, he too was being punished by the devil and his
ministers for doing right - serving God and pleasing
him. This is the way the devil operates. He will
reward those who do great wickedness and punish those
who do right. Look at the rewards that organized
criminals have. The money, the mansions, yachts, sexy
women and other toys the devil lays out for his
children. Herein lies a major fallacy in much of
today's western religiosity and prosperity teachings.
We tend to measure the success of a pastor by the size
of his Church, the amount of money in the Church
coffers and the number of attractive, wealthy people
he can get into his pews on Sundays. We measure things
materially - not spiritually. We can all be somewhat
guilty of this. You can almost hear the
thinking..."He doesn't have a big new car and runs
that old ramshackle church on the wrong side of
town. He must be 'off' in his doctrine". We make
a horrible mistake when we look at the material goods
as a measure of a man's godliness. It is the same
basic mistake that Job's friends made. They saw Job's
circumstances and immediately assumed he had committed
some horrible sin.
Let us keep in mind that the Lord gave Satan a free
hand to deal with Job to see if he would curse God.
All the horrors that Satan could conjure up were
thrown at Job and even in this most horrible
affliction, he maintained his faith and kept his walk
with God. What Job endured and the way he came through
it, shows a remarkable man of God. God was correct
when he praised Job so, in the court of heaven! This
in many ways was a test of Jobs faithfulness. His
motivation for serving God and his faithfulness.
Another word for this kind of faithfulness is loyalty.
God was testing Job's loyalty. Now let me ask you this
- are you loyal to God and Christ Jesus? Will you
withstand your trial or do like Peter did when he
denied the Lord (Matthew
26:34)? Who is it that is with Christ
at the end of this age? What words are used to
describe them (Revelation
17:14)? Look at it like this. God is
looking for people he can depend on to assist him in
running things once the devil is locked up and his
followers/assistants are sent packing. He wants to see
who he can trust. Will you be among them, or will you
be like those angels who turned and later rebelled
against God? The simple question is - can he trust
I think another important thing we can also take away
from Job is this - when we suffer, we often have to do
it alone. Those around us can be hindrances. Job's
wife who exhorted him to curse God and die and his
friends whose accusatory tongue he had to deal with
for the weeks or months of his ordeal - they were no
help to him, "...Miserable
comforters are ye all." (Job 16:2b)
We have all heard the saying
'grace under pressure'. That is what Job displayed and
something we must all strive for as well. That when
trials come we must be ready to endure sufferings as
Job did, patiently, in faith and a determination to
stand with God, no matter what. Can you do
that? This is going to be a lesson that we may all
have to ask ourselves as the system of Antichrist
rises and persecution becomes more significant in our
world. Many in far off nations understand this. We
Americans? Most of us do not. Perhaps in a book level
understanding, but not in a 'fires of trial'
level of understanding. As this new system continues
to rise before our eyes, however we may all obtain a
healthy dose of both levels of understanding.
One thing I have learned to do when under trial is to
detach myself as much as I can from my temporal
circumstances. I try and move my mind into positive
things, peaceful things and hopeful things. Here I
find Paul's advice to be most telling.
And the peace
of God, which passeth all understanding,
shall guard your hearts and your thoughts in Christ
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true,
whatsoever things are honorable, whatsoever things
whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are
whatsoever things are of good report; if there be
and if there be any praise, think on these things.
(Philippians 4:7-8 - ASV)
This helps. Be positive, even in
midst of your trials. I try hard not to dwell on my
problems, no matter how hard they are. Try and keep
your mind free from the worries of your particular
trial. Another thing? I try my best to stay way from
negative people. Folks who are always negative,
critical, argumentative and hateful. When I see them
coming, I try and make sure they don't see me as I
head in the other direction!
Now some of these things are much harder to do if one
is in prison or in serious pain. But for many of us,
the other trials we must deal with, these things can
be done and often help refocus the mind back on God,
the source of our strength, rather than the trials we
I find that we must often make our face like flint (Isaiah 50:7) and
despite all the 'slings and arrows of outrageous
fortune' that we must endure (as Shakespeare put
it), we must push forward toward our goal in Christ.
Yes, our inheritance in God. What did God say
to his friend, Abram (for his name was not yet
After these things the word of
It is God
himself who is our reward, to be welcomed into his
family as one of his sons - that should be our primary
goal and what we need to focus on when we are going
through the fires. What we have to endure down here in
this present age is not worthy of comparison for what
God has in store for us.
came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not,
I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great
(Genesis 15:1 - ASV)
For I reckon
that the sufferings of this present time
are not worthy to be compared with the glory
which shall be revealed to us-ward.
(Romans 8:18 - ASV)
let none of us ever forget that our Lord showed us the
path to life is not strewn with roses and flower
petals, but that it is marked with sacrifice and yes,
But we behold
him who hath been made
a little lower than the angels, even Jesus,
because of the suffering of death crowned
with glory and honor, that by the grace of God
he should taste of death for every man.
For it became him, for whom are all things,
and through whom are all things, in bringing
many sons unto glory, to make the author
of their salvation perfect through sufferings.
(Hebrews 2:9-10 - ASV)
Yes, brothers, the book of
Job is certainly for us today. While it is one of the
oldest books known to man, it is still very relevant
for us today. Particularly for us Christians who live
in this age, where more and more of us must suffer for
We will look at the final part of the conclusion to
Job next week, God willing!
Job Part LXXXVII
blessed the latter end of Job
more than his beginning:
And he had fourteen thousand sheep,
and six thousand camels, and a thousand yoke of oxen,
and a thousand she-asses. He had also seven sons
and three daughters.
(Job 42:12-13 - ASV)
Now we see how God blessed
Job's latter end. After the trial, the blessing comes.
This is a powerful one. God doubles his former wealth
and demonstrates his love and graciousness. Job showed
himself faithful, even unto death (Job 13:15) and was in
no wise about to forsake his God just because things
were rough and he was confused about the cause of his
The hardest thing for Job was not so much the loss of
his goods and social stature, but that God had
seemingly forsaken him. Here he showed the devil up
for what he was, a liar. Satan figured he would follow
his wife's wicked advice to 'curse God and die'. No,
job held steady and true and this is his reward.
called the name of the first, Jemimah:
and the name of the
and the name of the third,
And in all the land were
no women found so fair
as the daughters of
Job: and their father gave them
inheritance among their
(Job 42:14-15 - ASV)
So Job had some gorgeous daughters.
Their names? Jemima means warm or like a dove. Some
think this name means 'fair as the day'.
Kezia means the cassia spice. It was a perfume in
those days. Cassia is also a kind of cinnamon.
Keren-Happuch means horn of some kind of cosmetic or
One gets the impression that all the local young men
were hanging around Job's house when these women came
The really unusual part of this passage is that Job
assigned a portion of the inheritance with the
daughters. This was not generally done in those days.
Why Job did this is not clear. But Job had a lot of
wealth... there was plenty to go around.
this Job lived a hundred and forty years,
and saw his sons, and his
sons' sons, even four generations.
So Job died, being old and
full of days.
(Job 42:16-17 - ASV)
So God gave Job a long life where he
could see his family to four generations grow up. This
is one reason why I am suspect that this all took
place in the time of the patriarchs. Before the flood,
men lived many centuries. After it, lifespans steadily
Job had a full life and the book that was so tragic in
its beginning ends on a very positive note.
Taste and see that the Lord is good (Psalms 34:8)! Yes, he
is. Blessed is the man who has faith and
remains faithful to the Lord, even in the
midst of great trials!!
We will do a conclusion to Job
beginning next week, God willing.
Job Part LXXXVI
And Jehovah turned the captivity of
when he prayed for his friends: and Jehovah gave Job
twice as much as he had before.
(Job 42:10 - ASV)
See how good the Lord is! Job, after this horrible trial
Job receives God's favor yet again, yes even twice as much
as before. A 'double portion' of blessings from the hand
of God for standing firm in his faith during this brutal
trial. I say brutal because it was, remember the Lord told
Satan that all Job had was in his hands (Job 2:6). Yes, the devil
can be most brutal. When we see a lot of brutality, we can
be pretty sure that the devil is behind it.
The word captivity is used to describe Job's ordeal. In
ancient times, being held captive by a band of marauders
or a foreign king was considered one of the greatest
calamities that could befall a person. One loses all when
one is carried away in chains to some far off land, often
to be a slave. Thus the word was probably used in a
general fashion to describe any great calamity.
It is not clear if his restoration was conditional on his
praying for his friends, but probably was as the Lord had
directed Job to do so. Job would have probably been in
rebellion if he did not. There are things and people we
are obligated to pray for and those we are not (i.e., 1John 5:16). When we are
obligated to pray, we should do so, when we have a choice
in the matter, we should pray that God's (not our) will be
done. He see's much more about any situation than we do.
But prayer must always be lined up with the will of God
and done in such a way as to not wind up 'bouncing off the
ceiling'. There are many admonitions about prayer and when
we go into the prayer closet and make intercession we must
be careful what we are asking for. Be most careful.
I have prayed some prayers in the past and the Lord
punished me by giving me what I asked for. It was a harsh
lesson I have never forgotten and will never forget.
Now, when I intercede for another, I am very, very careful
about what I ask of the Lord and like Job here, pray
according to God's will, not necessarily my own. You all
know the old saying.... be careful what you ask for,
you may get it! So before I intercede for anyone I
make sure I know what it is I am asking of God and
seriously consider all the ramifications of it as much as
my limited human mind and understanding will allow. Such
careful consideration before one comes before God's throne
makes anyone a more effective prayer warrior.
But Job had to forgive his friends of their cruelty and
they certainly did not show him much love or mercy when he
was going through the fires of trial. This forgiveness is
not specifically stated here in the narrative, but
certainly appears to be the principle that the Lord was
using on Job. It is hard to pray and intercede for someone
with whom you have not forgiven.
So Job prayed and was restored. The Lord is surely good!!
there unto him all his brethren, and all his
and all they that had been of
his acquaintance before,
and did eat bread with him in
his house: and they bemoaned him,
and comforted him concerning
all the evil that Jehovah
had brought upon him: every
man also gave him
a piece of money, and every
one a ring of gold.
(Job 42:11 - ASV)
Now all of Job's old buddies and family came by his home
and comforted him over the ordeal he had to endure. Job
sufferings and restoration are a perfect example for us
call them blessed that endured:
ye have heard of the patience
and have seen the end of the
how that the Lord is full of
pity, and merciful.
(James 5:11 - ASV)
Yes, the Lord is good and merciful! Look how he blessed
Job! The question should probably be asked - how long did
this restoration take? That is hard to say, We don't know
for sure. Reading the passage one may get the impression
that it happened right away. I don't think this is the
case. This probably overall took many years to transpire.
But Job was a wiser man now and like wise men, he probably
developed a healthy (though not hateful) suspicion of all
of these old friends who would not come near him when
things were rough. These 'fair weather friends' were the
same ones who forsook him before (Job
19:13ff). Indeed, the rich man always has
'friends'. The poor man? Well, when Job lost all, he had
to sit alone on an ash heap and had to scrape his skin
with a potsherd. Job was certainly wise enough to
understand this and as a result certainly had a far
different view of his family and friends than he had
before is ordeal. We all would.
Now about the money and the rings. The word used for money
only appears on the oldest of the OT books (H7192 in
Strong's Hebrew Bible Dictionary -
Jos 24:32 and here in Job). It was probably
just an engraved coin or perhaps a measure of silver.
Rings were used by both men and women in the east in those
days, these too were given to Job. The Hebrew word here
used for rings can mean nose or earring.
So Jehovah blessed the latter end
of Job more than his beginning:
had fourteen thousand sheep, and six thousand
and a thousand yoke of oxen,
42:12 - ASV)
In the final passages of Job, we get an idea of just how
much Job was blessed by God after his ordeal. What is
listed here is considerable wealth. How he acquired it
again, is not clear though some have suspected that Job's
old friends may have contributed to his wealth. After the
divine rebuke they received, such an idea seems most
We will get to the last section of Job next week and God
willing, do a conclusion and wrap up our look at Job soon
Yes, this has taken a long time, but it is
something that I have long wanted to do... even since my
days in College - do a long detailed study on Job and set
it to paper and book...
...well... that was in the days before the internet!!
God bless and keep all of you who put your trust in Jesus
Job Part LXXXV
Then Job answered
Jehovah, and said,
I know that thou canst do all things,
And that no purpose of thine can be restrained.
Who is this that hideth counsel without knowledge?
Therefore have I uttered that which I understood
Things too wonderful for me, which I knew not.
(Job 42:1-3 - ASV)
Job has finally come to his senses. His earlier
great swelling words attempting to justify himself before
God have now given way to humility. Here he confesses his
ignorance about the things of which he had spoken and
acknowledges God's power and wisdom. It is noteworthy here
how Job's attitude has changed totally. Whereas before he
was demanding a hearing before God and just about accused
him of being unjust, now his whole outlook has
fundamentally changed. Job has been humbled. One aspect of
this that probably should be mentioned is that Job
understood that God was all powerful, and that he was all
wise. But there appears to have been something lacking in
his outlook, and that was total submission to the creator;
even and especially in his hour of trial. He did not
submit himself to God's will but rather, questioned God's
justice and wanted a 'special hearing' to argue with God
about the way he ran things. This attitude is now gone and
now we see a person who has learned an important lesson -
don't argue with God or question his ways or wisdom, we
are neither wise enough nor strong enough to win any case
brought before him. The duty of man is to trust and obey
and in Job's case particularly, to submit.
Hear, I beseech thee, and I will
approaches God with a different attitude, one of
humility and submission, and begs the Lord to hear
him, for he does not have to. Now, rather than trying
to instruct God, Job now is in far more teachable
disposition. FYI, the word 'demand' above is probably
better translated here as to ask or to request
and it is the word H7592
In Strong's Hebrew Bible Dictionary.
I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto me.
I had heard of thee by the hearing of the ear;
But now mine eye seeth thee:
Wherefore I abhor myself,
And repent in dust and ashes.
(Job 42:4-6 - ASV)
But Job's humility goes even further than just repentance
of his previous loud acclimation of innocence and his
insinuation of God's injustice. After coming into contact
with God he realizes just how vile and sinful he is. Job
is utterly ashamed of himself. I can only imagine how he
felt having said so many harsh things in the bitterness of
his soul and then having come face to face with God, who
was none too pleased with what he heard, nor the attitude
that his servant had displayed.
Brothers... humility, true, honest humility is one of the
first steps towards godliness. I am not talking about
dissembling or putting on a false front of humbleness when
one is still proud, boastful and arrogant in his soul. No,
to understand what man is, truly is, is to be
humble. Our lives are like a puff of smoke and is short of
span and dissipates almost as soon as it forms. In the
overall scheme of things eternal, it is barely worthy of
And it was
after Jehovah had
spoken these words unto Job,
Jehovah said to Eliphaz the
My wrath is kindled against
and against thy two
for ye have not spoken of
me the thing that is right,
as my servant Job hath.
(Job 42:7 - ASV)
Now the Lord turns his attention away
from Job to his miserable comforters. He starts off with
Eliphaz who was the first to speak and was in all
likelihood the eldest among them. Moreover, he seems to
have set the tone in the case against Job. But the other
two friends are also included in the divine rebuke.
Of note is that only two of Eliphaz's friends are
mentioned (Bildad and Zophar in the following passages).
Again, the mystery of Elihu and his speeches is further
re-enforced here. He is completely left out. Elihu just
appears and then disappears from the narrative, though
several chapters are devoted to his speeches. Matthew
Henry thinks that Elihu escaped rebuke because he acted
more as a moderator than an accuser of Job. I personally
do not share that view, but thought it worth mentioning.
It may be that he escaped divine censure because of his
youth. Perhaps, but again, it is not a view I share.
But God is angry with these three and makes his anger
plain. The things they spoke were not right and somehow,
on some level, they may have known that they were not
right, but spoke them anyway. One can only wonder if
they had developed a kind of 'institutional
; one that is so common among those in
high Church officers but also in government. To have
ones opinions depart from others in the group is to
invite calls of 'heretical' or 'unpatriotic' thought.
Rather than speaking what is right and true, such people
test the political and theological winds and then speak
the words that are best suited to them - almost always
to further ones own position rather than to get to the
truth - the whole
But we cannot underestimate the anger of the Lord here.
What they said truly raised the ire of the Lord. To me
one of the greater sins they may have committed was to
show so little pity and mercy to their friend who was in
such a lamentable state and to start to sound
'pharisaic' when Job was in such suffering that he had
to scrape his skin with a potsherd.
Now therefore, take unto you
seven bullocks and seven rams,
and go to my servant Job, and offer up for
yourselves a burnt-offering;
and my servant Job shall pray for you; for him
will I accept,
that I deal not with you after your folly;
for ye have not spoken of me
the thing that is right, as my servant Job hath.
So Eliphaz the Temanite and Bildad
the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite went,
and did according as Jehovah commanded them:
and Jehovah accepted Job.
(Job 42:8-9 - ASV)
These three had sinned now they had to offer sacrifice
to God for having offended him. The number seven here
has significance in the Mosaic law, but we must remember
this was probably written many years before Moses. We
don't know where they got the animals for sacrifice as
each was far from their home. But they probably had to
go to market, buy them and then sacrifice.
The real thing here I think of note is that Job now has
to act as intercessor for these three. God would only
listen to Job's supplication on behalf of his friends
folly. God will accept Job, he will be lenient with
these three only after
Job intercedes on
their behalf. Who knows, the Lord may have prepared the
'trials of Job' for each of the three because of the
things they said, should Job not have interceded! It is
never, EVER wise to anger the Lord.
So they did as they were bid and all were accepted. I
think it worth mentioning that even while the Lord was
chiding Job in the previous chapters, he vindicates Job
here, fully. Job had spoken right, his friends wrong and
even though Job got on his high horse and began to
demand 'justice' from God, in essence he was correct in
the things he had said. You have God's word for that. "...ye have
not spoken of me the thing that is right, as my
servant Job hath.
I think the lesson here is that God understands our
human weaknesses and our limited understanding of
things. Once Job humbled himself before God, he was set
right. It may have been that the other three after
hearing the Lord rebuke Job as he had, they may have
gotten puffed up feeling 'justified'. They could not
have been more wrong.
We will continue the last couple of sections of Job in
the following couple of weeks, God wiling!!
Job Part LXXXIV
Canst thou draw
out leviathan with a fishhook?
Or press down his tongue with a cord?
Canst thou put a rope into his nose?
Or pierce his jaw through with a hook?
Will he make many supplications unto thee?
Or will he speak soft words unto thee?
Will he make a covenant with thee,
That thou shouldest take him for a servant for ever?
Wilt thou play with him as with a bird?
Or wilt thou bind him for thy maidens?
Will the bands of fishermen make traffic of him?
Will they part him among the merchants?
(Job 41:1-6 - ASV)
Here the Lord continues to interrogate Job on
the wonders of nature. He moves on to a different member
of the animal kingdom, Leviathan. What this animal is, is
not 100% clear. Some think it refers to the whale. Others
to the crocodile. Since the previous passages dealt with
the the Hippo it seems logical that another river creature
would follow on. Furthermore, the descriptions that follow
do seem to indicate that this is a crocodile (see verse
15) and not some mythical sea monster as some have opined.
I hate to keep reminding everyone of this, but remember
this is poetry. The literary device used in Job allows for
considerable license. The idea here is not to give us a
lesson in zoology, but to show God's power and wisdom and
Job's ignorance and impotence over the animal kingdom
The passages above ask Job if he has any kind of power
over this dangerous beast. The passages poetically
describe the act of taming this wild beast. Can Job tame
it? Get a rope and try and control its fury? Bore a hole
in its jaw and get it to do what he wants? No. This beast
defies training in such a manner. Job cannot make any kind
of agreement with this creature. Verse six is not clear,
but seems to mean that when men go out to fish, they don't
mess with this creature. His flesh (in those days) was not
a marketable commodity.
fill his skin with barbed irons,
The passages above need no real comment. They seem pretty
clearly to describe the Crocodile, his power and wonder in
poetic terms. His scales (vs 23), his heart, (vs 24), how
he rises up out of the water (vs 25); his skin so strong
that the spear cannot get past that tough skin and scales
(vs 29). This is a fearsome animal and the rest of the
passage describes him.
Or his head with fish-spears? Lay thy hand
Remember the battle, and do so no more.
Behold, the hope of him is in vain:
Will not one be cast down even at the sight of him?
None is so fierce that he dare stir him up;
Who then is he that can stand before me?
Who hath first given unto me, that I should repay
Whatsoever is under the whole heaven is mine.
I will not keep silence concerning his limbs,
Nor his mighty strength, nor his goodly frame.
Who can strip off his outer garment? Who shall come
within his jaws?
Who can open the doors of his face? Round about his
teeth is terror.
His strong scales are his pride, Shut up together as
with a close seal.
One is so near to another, That no air can come
They are joined one to another; They stick together,
so that they cannot be sundered. His sneezings flash
And his eyes are like the eyelids of the morning.
Out of his mouth go burning torches, And sparks of
fire leap forth.
Out of his nostrils a smoke goeth, As of a boiling
pot and burning rushes.
His breath kindleth coals, And a flame goeth forth
from his mouth.
In his neck abideth strength, And terror danceth
The flakes of his flesh are joined together: They
are firm upon him;
they cannot be moved. His heart is as firm as a
Yea, firm as the nether millstone. When he raiseth
the mighty are afraid: By reason of consternation
they are beside themselves. If one lay at him with
it cannot avail; Nor the spear, the dart, nor the
He counteth iron as straw, And brass as rotten wood.
The arrow cannot make him flee: Sling-stones are
turned with him into stubble. Clubs are counted as
He laugheth at the rushing of the javelin. His
are like sharp potsherds: He spreadeth as it were a
threshing-wain upon the mire. He maketh the deep
to boil like a pot: He maketh the sea like a pot of
He maketh a path to shine after him; One would think
the deep to be hoary. Upon earth there is not his
That is made without fear. He beholdeth everything
that is high:
He is king over all the sons of pride.
(Job 41:7-34 - ASV)
will get to the final chapter of Job sometime in mid-July,
For the body is
not one member, but many.
If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand,
I am not of the body; it is not therefore
not of the body. And if the ear shall say,
Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body;
it is not therefore not of the body.
If the whole body were an eye,
where were the hearing?
If the whole were hearing,
where were the smelling?
But now hath God set the members
each one of them in the body,
even as it pleased him.
(1 Corinthians 12:14-18 - ASV)
Let us look at something that we all who know the Lord
should be asking ourselves from time to time. What is my
place in Christ? What is my job in the body and in the
It is easy to get down and a little depressed because we
are not all 'great men of God', duly praised by the
corporate Christians and Social Media storms. We can
perhaps feel a little useless if we are not the big 'rock
star' whose name is bantered about the media as some
'Christian light' and not getting the praise and attention
they do. It is easy to wonder why we have not been chosen
to be a big name pastor or evangelist; a famous musician
or famous humanitarian, parading our 'good works' for all
to see. It is easy to feel kind of insignificant and even,
well... useless to God.
But we should never feel that if we are indeed walking
with Christ. Fame and a million Social Media followers
does not make a true man or woman of God. A Christian
'idol'? Yes, in many cases. But it is hardly proof of a
man who has been born again, broken and is in the process
of being remade into the image of Christ - who was
exceptionally humble. Such true men of God know the value
of true humility and don't seek fame for fame's sake. They
seek Christ for Christ's sake. This brothers and sisters,
is a tell tale sign of those who are in the public eye who
are really Christ's or those who are just in it for
themselves or for the 'others' they are secretly working
for - a major problem in Christendom today.
But we must not let fame and fortune, the masses pointing
and telling each other what a 'wonderful' person that
person is to become our guide. Such things happening
to us quite frankly, is not a very good sign.
Woe unto you,
when all men shall speak well of you!
for in the same manner did their fathers
to the false prophets.
(Luke 6:26 - ASV)
Let us be careful and never let ourselves become 'fame
The better way to go is to find out what God wants us to
do, find out where he needs us and then go there and do
Let us say that you are a talented Christian musician and
singer. I mean you are really good, and famous musicians
and agents have told you as much. You have been offered a
major contract with a label and all the marketing and
support those people can offer to launch your career. Yet
God wants you out on the mission field. He tells you to
forsake your dreams of fame and fortune and to go and
preach the gospel in the Congo. What is that person going
to do? This is the kind of test the Lord will often place
before those who really want to serve him. It is really in
some ways, a test of motivation. What are you placing
first, your career and your future as a major 'Christian'
artist or God and his kingdom?
Does the world really need yet another 'Christian'
singer/pop star making records today? I would say that it
needs another one like a person needs a third hand or a 6th toe on each foot. So one
has to ask oneself what is their real motivation for
seeking such a career? I say this not to denigrate artists
and those people who are famous that God has called to
such things, but to show you the mentality and outlook
that we must all take if we are to be of any use to God
and his kingdom. We have to put him first and as often as
not, it will entail some kind of sacrifice on our part -
away from self and towards Christ. We must not love
ourselves more than our place in Christ and we must not
love this world, its pomp or glory or the trinkets the
devil will surely put in our path that would lead us away
from our mission in Christ.
One thing the Lord has been speaking to me about privately
is that I need never concern myself with what others think
about me. Not friends, not family - not anyone but God
and to a lesser degree, what other true believers in
Christ think. This is so important particularly in these
times where such contempt for the gospel and Christians is
growing, we just have to cease concerning ourselves about
what the world thinks about us. I would go so far as to
say this - if the world, lost souls, unsaved family and
associates all think you are wonderful and great, you are
probably on very shaky ground, spiritually. Let me ask you
this, could a real Christian have been acceptable to the
residents of Sodom? Were they praised when they lived in
Nazi Germany? No. So as our world now is more and more
taking its moral cues from the spirits of darkness, let us
consider carefully whom we should please - God or man; the
God of all things or the King of Sodom; Jesus Christ or a
future Adolph Hitler? These are key questions because I
don't see the world getting any better, spiritually or
morally speaking, but worse... much worse.
So what is your place in Christ? Are you chosen to be a
deacon? A pastor? A prophet? An interpreter of tongues? A
missionary? An evangelist? A scribe? How is God using you?
How will he use you in the future? You may be little more
than the forgotten pastors assistant today, but if you are
faithful, you may find yourself standing before the God of
all things being given a special charge from God, as Moses
was. Or be called to be a prophet like Samuel or Elijah;
or be called to lead a nation not yet created for God's
people in these end times. I don't know where your job is
and I don't know where God will eventually lead me. But
this I know, what he has given me to do today, that I will
do. The rest will be revealed due course.
May God bless and keep each of you in Christ and guide
each of you into the ministry that best serves his
One would have hoped that during this time of
conflict and war, that the Church could be a real
instrument for healing, peace and some kind of
reconciliation. But sad fact is, that the seeds of this
current war could be seen germinating in the Church a few
years back. There was a schism, many of you may remember
back in 2018, involving Ukrainian Church and the Russian
Orthodox Church. For those wanting a quick take on this,
Wikipedia's entry is pretty good (2018
One could see a serious problem back then. I won't get
into the politics of all of this. Rather, what I do want
to say today is that what I see is a very serious problem
with what calls itself Christianity today. It's a problem
that has been with the Church for a very long time. In my
perusals into history, I do like to look into the history
of Byzantium. This is where Orthodoxy really comes from,
the Eastern half of the Roman Empire. As you all know,
there as a much earlier schism between east and west long
ago. The Eastern Church refused to be ruled by the Pope in
Rome (the West), the two excommunicated each other and the
schism continues to this very day, though the mutual
anathema's were reversed back in the 1960's. Nevertheless,
the split remains. This is known as The Great Schism.
Even within the Church in Russia, there a serious crisis
brewing within it.
One of the big problems today in my humble view is that
the Church, or what calls itself the Church is too tied in
with the temporal political order. This is very true in
Russia, where the Orthodox Church has long been closely
tied in with the Government. This was true during both the
Czarist era as well as the days of the old Soviet Union.
Many of the priests were really spies for the government.
Just before the Bolshevik revolution, a Father G. A. Gapon
(1870-1906) was a very popular working class hero,
but it turned out that his movement was heavily influenced
by the Russian secret police. The Church in Eastern Europe
during the communist era has a long history of this kind
of thing. But truth be told, such things are not
completely unheard of here in the west. The Church is a
power in any society and consequently those who run state
security will often have their eyes on the Church and any
religious group, person or entity that they cannot
control, intimidate or otherwise co-opt.
Look at how China is dealing with Christians. Look at some
of the things going on in Russia to Christians who worship
outside of the State approved Orthodox Church. Great
change can be fomented with religion. But we must not
mistake temporal political change wrought by the
administrative Church for God's will. The Church may claim
to speak for God, but I think we all can see in our times,
that this is not often the case, much of the Church having
lost its spiritual way.
I have long seen much of the modern Church and its
administrative, political, and financial structures as
being probably the greatest impediment to many believers
being able to act in concert with God and the Holy Spirit,
rather than the passing political whims of the temporal
state and the temporal desires of religious leaders. I
think this has been a key problem with the Church since
the days of ancient Rome and Christianity's general
acceptance in Roman society. As time passed, a high office
in the Church could be a path to weave ones way into
political power. A low born person could move up the
hierarchy, get some influence and as you all know, the
Church became very rich in the Dark and Middle ages as
well as during the Renaissance. Religion was big business.
Need I remind you of the splendid wealth some Churchmen
possessed back in those days?
But you see, I think a key missing ingredient the Church
has today is independence from temporal state affairs.
Mind you, it cannot ignore key issues going on around it,
but it should do so with an eye towards the Kingdom of
Heaven and the will of God, not the desires or dictates of
the State. Christ was very clear that he called us out of
this world. Yet much of the Church too often appears to be
not just too close to the world, but married to it. It is
supposed to be the future bride of Christ and instead,
spiritually speaking - parts of it are 'available' for
I think this is why there are some of these schisms. The
Churches in a great many places are just too close to the
state, so they follow state policy - consciously and
unconsciously - rather than building up the brotherhood in
Christ for his kingdom, they too often build up
the state, often for godless activities.
But not all schisms are bad. When a body of believers
decide to leave a denomination because of key doctrinal
issues based solidly on scripture, and wish to hold onto
scripture, this is not a bad thing. For we Christians are
duty and honor bound to serve God first, not the
Church first. Churches are run by men and men are often
mistaken, corrupted, compromised or just plain evil.
Now back in the Middle ages, ordinary people could be
excused for following the Church when it went in the wrong
direction. Why? Because there were no Bibles in the hands
of people. Only the Church and its priesthood had the
Bible. The people had to rely on Church interpretation of
scripture. This put tremendous power in the hands of the
Church to interpret or deliberately misinterpret
things in order to serve the state, the king or the
emperor. In return for the favor of the Church, the state
rewarded the Church with wealth and power.
But today, the Bible is translated into most, but not
every language. People can read the scriptures for
themselves. Men and women who have been born again and
have the Holy Spirit within them (probably not
such a great number today) can read the Bible, get
guidance and use their discernment as to what is right and
what is not and if their Church is really doing God's work
More importantly with this great gift of being able to
read the scriptures, comes greater responsibility. We
cannot claim ignorance when the Church goes off the rails
and we continue to condone those actions by silence or by
continuing membership in a Church that no longer follows
the commands of Christ; or is more concerned about its
status within the state, than its status with God.
So these days, I don't see many Church leaders as being
true representatives of Christ or God, but many rather
being state sponsored interlopers who have interjected
themselves for the advantage of state or self-centered
So where are the true apostles, the true workmen, those
who are truly dedicated, not to their respective nations,
racial groups, or social-cultural subsets, but rather are
dedicated to God, Christ Jesus and his work? How did Jude
put this most important theme? Contending, not for the
state, but for the faith.
while I was giving
all diligence to write unto you
of our common salvation,
I was constrained to write unto you
exhorting you to contend earnestly
for the faith which was once for
all delivered unto the saints.
(Jude 1:3 - ASV)
These are times when there are various ways some men
within the Church are departing from the faith, the basic
and fundamental faith delivered to us by the Apostles. Not
just on points of doctrine, but I think also in
fundamental priorities. Serving God, Christ and spreading
the true gospel as delivered by the Apostles, living
righteous and humble lives - these things should be
priority number one. But since the days of Ancient Rome,
those priorities have been slowly eclipsed by the things
of this world. In short, I just think too many Churchmen
are in love with this world, rather than the Kingdom of
Love not the
So where do I think the real root of many of these schisms
come from? Men who have other priorities than Christ.
Often, they just want more power for themselves or more of
this world's pomp, wealth and glory.
neither the things that are in the world.
If any man love the world,
the love of the Father is not in him.
For all that is in the world,
the lust of the flesh
and the lust of the eyes
and the vainglory of life,
is not of the Father, but is of the world.
And the world passeth away,
and the lust thereof:
but he that doeth the will of God
abideth for ever.
(1 John 2:15-17 - ASV)
So brothers, I write this piece today so that we are not
shocked at many of the schisms that are taking place
within the Church. In the end, there will be two groups -
those that serve Christ and do his will and commandments
and those that do not. The name 'Church' won't mean a
thing. There will be Saint's and Ain'ts.
Let you and I make sure we are Saint's because only the
Saints are going into the Kingdom.
The others, ain't.
they that wash their robes,
that they may have the right to come to the
tree of life,
and may enter in by the gates into the city.
Without are the dogs, and the sorcerers,
and the fornicators, and the murderers,
and the idolaters, and every one that loveth
and maketh a lie.
(Revelation 22:14-15 - ASV)
Seal Number Three
And when he
opened the third seal,
God's grace and peace be upon you all who are reading this
and who truly serve the Lord.
I heard the third living creature saying,
Come. And I saw, and behold, a black horse;
and he that sat thereon had a balance
in his hand. And I heard as it were
a voice in the midst of the four
living creatures saying,
A measure of wheat for a shilling,
and three measures of barley for a shilling;
and the oil and the wine hurt thou not.
(Revelation 6:5-6 - ASV)
I am sure you have all been following the news and
consequently. I will not burden you with repeating what
you already or should already know. Things have not yet
gone, but seem on a very serious trajectory to spinning
out of control.
But let us look at the above passage. We see what
is in store for the world when the seven seals are opened.
What is listed above is the opening of the 3rd seal. Now before I begin
I am not at all saying that this seal has been
opened. What I am saying is that sky high food prices will
be a key factor in the last days.
Let us look at a couple of things here. First the color of
the horse is Black. This color is often used to signify
calamity (see Lamentations 5:10;
Jeremiah 14:2; Ezekiel 32:7, etc). Clearly
what is going on is a major famine and it probably is the
direct result of the previous seals/horses - conquest and
war. Again, it is not my intention to impute this passage
to events now transpiring, but I suspect we are close
enough to those seals being opened up that we need to take
note of what saith the scriptures for the last
The prophetic imagery above shows that food is
being measured. This may very well indicate some kind of
food rationing (a balance). People only get one
quart of wheat for a days wage. What about the other
necessities of life? Exactly... what about them how can
people get by when all they earn just goes for food? This
is a time of bare sustenance existence. Something has
happened to make this come to pass and the order of the
seals indicates (but does not necessarily prove) it is
I have been scanning articles on the web and come
away with a real concern being echoed in the world's power
centers for not just a serious rise in the price of key
agricultural commodities (wheat, fertilizer, etc) but also
that this kind of price rise could lead to unrest and
perhaps even a new spate of turmoil in poorer nations by a
genuinely angry populace seeking enough to eat at prices
they can reasonably afford.
I have been reading about how some US farmers are
scrambling for fertilizer. The fertilizer issue existed
before the current crisis and now will only worsen. Do
your own news searches on the topic and see what you find.
Things are not good right now on the food front... this before
the current crisis. Head on over to the Food Security
Cluster and read their reports on Haiti, Yemen, etc.
Go over to the Famine Early Warning System and
read about the situation in Ethiopia
and parts of Nigeria,
to name a couple.
This is nothing many of you don't already know. Food
prices are going to rise unless some solution is found and
I don't see one on the horizon; not even close. This will
deeply effect the poorest and most vulnerable. Famine in
Afghanistan? Well, perhaps not yet, but there are warnings
about it. The UN Secretary General told the world recently
that millions are still at risk in Afghanistan, according
to news reports. Thanks to donors, a catastrophe was
averted, but the deeper problems remain and will surely
rear their head once again soon.
Also on the food and famine front is a warning no one
should ignore. The chairman of one European chemical
company warned the west what could very well happen to the
German economy. Already, according to the articles I read,
that company has already reduced the production of
fertilizer. This is not a good thing. He warned of an
economic catastrophe and compared it to the end of WW2.
Brothers and sisters, these are some difficult times and
this crisis is going to cause a lot of problems all over
the world. Many of those problems may be things that hit
people out of the blue. They just won't realize how much
their jobs and livelihoods are going to be vulnerable to
the economic backlash heading their way. It could get very
ugly, particularly in Europe. Think about things like
Diesel. Most trucks use it. How does food get from A to B?
I will tell you. Trucks. I read a story recently that
talks about the possibility of rationing diesel fuel. This
could be devastating on jobs, production and yes food
Well, all I can say is this. We need to keep our eyes open
on this whole affair. Things have been bad in some parts
of the world, but look to worsen considerably. For we who
live in the US, it is not time to hit the 'panic button',
but for those who live in places around the world already
food insecure... well, let us pray accordingly.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, I think God has been most
patient over many long years as the western world
continued its spiritual and moral descent and mostly for
the sake of his many saints who live within those borders.
I don't think he will sit still much longer without some
kind of real chastisement; Covid-19 being I think a
preliminary kind of attention getter for the world. This
is why I think we saints who live in these times and
within the US and west need to make sure that we are doing
what God would have us do, so that our names are written
down in that book of remembrance (see Malachi 3:16) I mentioned
the other day (for insiders) - so that the Angel of the
Lord, who bears the Lord's sword and shield can protect us
from those who would do us harm. We do not know what the
Lord has planned for the US, Russia, Ukraine; Eastern and
Western Europe or the rest of the world. But the 'sin
meter' and 'wickedness scales' in many places are reading
into the red zone, so let us be wise and take heed.
Brothers, what this nation needs is a spiritual awakening,
followed by sincere repentance. But I don't see that
happening until the discomfort level rises most
significantly in the US. Yes, we as a nation need to
repent. I read a little piece over at the Christian
Post about John Perkins, the Christian minister and
Civil Rights activist - he has a message for America. You
may want to check it out.
God bless and keep you all in Christ!
FYI - We will
probably continue our look at the Book of Job, later
this month, God willing!.
These are opinions and comments often based
on fast moving events. Things change and so
can the information as well as the basic
narrative. Please make allowances for
inadvertent errors, omissions and/or a basic
change in the facts as presented in the
major and alternative media on which these
comments are based.
Additionally, this is not any
kind of professional medical, investment,
financial or any other kind of advice and
should not be construed as or acted upon as
Spirit lifted me up,
and brought me unto the east gate
of Jehovah's house, which looketh eastward:
and behold, at the door of the gate
five and twenty men; and I saw in the midst
of them Jaazaniah the son of Azzur,
and Pelatiah the son of Benaiah,
princes of the people.
And he said
unto me, Son of man,
these are the men that devise iniquity,
and that give wicked counsel in this city; that
The time is not near to build houses: this city
is the caldron,
and we are the flesh.
11:1-3 - ASV)
The prophets were having a hard time getting the people
to believe and prepare for what God had in store for
them. Some of the reasons for this were false prophets
and evil counselors among the people. The prophets were
saying one thing and the evil advisors; those who
carried what we will call 'the Devil's narrative',
said another. People by and large, when they are in a
reprobate spiritual state, listen to the devil. This
passage is very interesting as it is part of a larger
vision of Ezekiel's vision of the Glory of the Lord and
the cherubim (chapter 10).
This word appears to be broadly addressed to the
militarists in Israel, the super-patriots - the kind of
folks who are always calling for war, if I can use a
modern analogy. The idea seems to be that they believed
that city was militarily impregnable and that God was
with them... he would not let the city fall.
This was the opposite of what God's true prophets were
warning the people. The reference to the caldron appears
to be an oblique reference to what Jeremiah said in his
prophecies (Jeremiah 1:13).
The idea was that like food that is boiled in a pot they
would not leave the city until they died. These men may
have seen themselves as we kind of now look back at the
Alamo. But unlike the Alamo, these were people whom God
had pronounced a weighty and most unpleasant judgment
upon. They were going to build houses and live securely
despite what the 'doom and gloom' prophets told them...
or so they thought. Only unlike the movies, there would
be no calvary charging in that will bring overall
victory to the cause. God had other plans and he was
going to carry them out.
prophesy against them,
prophesy, O son of man. And
of Jehovah fell upon me,
and he said unto me, Speak,
Thus saith Jehovah: Thus have
O house of Israel; for I know
that come into your mind. Ye
your slain in this city, and
filled the streets thereof
with the slain.
Therefore thus saith the Lord
Your slain whom ye have laid
in the midst of it,
they are the flesh, and this
city is the caldron;
but ye shall be brought forth
out of the midst of it.
Ye have feared the sword;
and I will bring the sword
saith the Lord Jehovah.
(Ezekiel 11:4-8 - ASV)
God had other plans for this wayward and
wicked people. When God has had enough, he has had
enough. They had their plans, but God knew them all. God
calls them out over all the innocent people they killed;
God's prophets they killed... God remembered. He was not
going to forget... this was an outstanding 'account'
that God was getting ready to collect upon... and as is
noted in Chapter 10, this particular action was
particularly noteworthy for the glory of the Lord had
arrived on the scene. I just don't think the Israelite's
knew just how angry God was with them, though he had
warned them time and time again.
Have you ever been around someone who never listens and
never learns? Who is so contrary they almost seem
learning disabled? People
whom it seems that the only way they ever seem to learn
is when serious misfortune or near unendurable pain hits
them? For example - you tell them over and over again to
drive more carefully. They don't listen and then one day
they are laid up in the hospital all cut up and may not
ever walk again after an accident in which they were
fully at fault. Ever known anyone like that? I have.
Watching their behavior would make a good comedy movie
were not the results of their hardheadedness often so
tragic. They not only won't learn, they simply and
stubbornly refuse to.
This was the state Israel was in. Warning was not going
to help. God had sent enough of this prophets to warn
them. So, God had a different school to send his people
to - we will call it the school of the unholy
sepulcher... the place where the spiritually unfit
and the morally recalcitrant get taught their final
lesson... that does not do them a bit of good after
having 'learned' it - their 'diploma' is engraved on
Would not listen
would not learn,
so my new instructor
is named the worm.
worm dieth not,
and the fire is not quenched.
(Mark 9:48 - ASV)
They were afraid of war. Well, now God has pronounced
the judgment of war upon them. Brothers, war can be a
horrible judgment. I was listening a bit last night
about the last days of the Civil War and General's
Sherman's march to the sea. In it the author recalls
Sherman's words 'war is hell'. He is right and the
longer quotations (easily found on the net) are most
worthy of the read. Wikiquotes has a page that can
be found by searching on Letter To the City of
Atlanta Sherman 1864 wikiquotes
that letter to Atlanta on that page.
Many people don't understand that, except via the images
we see on TV, which often are very heavily censored.
those in the Army, Marines
and Special Forces - who served in battle - they know
what war is. Those who served in Iraq, Afghanistan and
other unnamed places in combat... they know that war is
nothing to be played with. They can tell you stories...
if you can drag them out of them of friends who were
standing next to them one minute cracking jokes and the
next minute parts of them were scatted all over the
battlefield. They can tell you of rape, people shrieking
and groaning in pain with wounds that would make most
people's stomach turn just looking at them; of murder,
children running screaming for pain and loss... I could
go on and on.
Today in the western world... this new generation... I
don't think really understand this... not really. Far
too many think war is a new show they can watch on cable
news or a new video game and often don't factor in the
enormous suffering war brings on others. In short, to
them war... it is something that happens to other
people. But when war comes close to home, it's a
different story and this is what was getting ready to
happen in Israel. Those who remained there could talk
proud, make patriotic noises, beat their chests in
defiance and arrogance, but war was coming and their
defeat was guaranteed. So to anyone anywhere who is
calling for war let me say this.... be careful what you
wish for, you just may get it... right on your front
doorstep and not live long enough to realize what a
horrible mistake you made when calling for war in the
first place. War is hell.
And I will
bring you forth
out of the midst thereof,
and deliver you into the hands of strangers,
and will execute judgments among you.
(Ezekiel 11:9 - ASV)
They said they were in a 'cauldron'. Well God was going
to pluck them right out of it and then execute judgment
upon them for their sins. God knew their plans and their
fall by the sword;
I will judge you in the
border of Israel;
and ye shall know that I am
This city shall not be your
neither shall ye be the flesh
in the midst thereof;
I will judge you in the
border of Israel;
and ye shall know that I am
for ye have not walked in my
neither have ye executed mine
but have done after the
of the nations that are round
(Ezekiel 11:10-12 - ASV)
These words are self explanatory. They had their plans,
and God had his. They refused to walk in the way God
commanded when he gave Israel the land, so now it was
time for them to be ejected from it. They refused to
listen to God and his prophets and instead followed
after the ways of the heathen.
And it came
when I prophesied, that
the son of Benaiah died. Then
fell I down
upon my face, and cried with
a loud voice,
and said, Ah Lord Jehovah!
wilt thou make a full end
of the remnant of Israel?
(Ezekiel 11:13 - ASV)
Pelatiah, was mentioned in verse one
above. He was one of the ones this was directed at. As
his personal name was mentioned, he was probably one of
the more prominent leaders. While Ezekiel was
prophesying, Pelatiah drops dead. Even Ezekiel is moved
by this sudden death. When God want's to drive a message
home this is one way he does it (see Acts 5:1ff). We can see
that Ezekiel is not one of those people itching for
judgment to fall on his people; just the opposite, he
seems to be a rather reluctant witness of God's words.
We see this in Ezekiel 3:14.
So the Spirit
lifted me up, and took me away;
and I went in bitterness, in the heat of my spirit;
and the hand of Jehovah
was strong upon me.
(Ezekiel 3:14 - ASV)
Some commentators think that Ezekiel was angry as he
shared the Lord's displeasure with Israel. I don't think
that is the way this passage is meant to be understood
at all. I think Dr. John Gill in his commentary (Dr.
John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible) gets
it right when he says Ezekiel was angry to have been
given this job and have to go and give all of these
horrible prophesies to Israel. Ezekiel had to know what
often happens to God's prophets. Nevertheless, God was
dealing with Ezekiel powerfully and he went... he was
hot with anger about having to do this job... but he
We will leave this passage off for now.
What is God telling us in this passage? That pride,
arrogance, good military defenses and patriotism are no
replacement for getting and staying right with God.
Israel may have had a good military, good fortifications
and high morale, but that wasn't going to help them with
the battles that were coming. They were going to be
fighting both the enemy and God, who was siding against
Israel. Israel was spiritually defenseless and she was
going down. She was like a man in the ocean who was
encumbered with the weights of wickedness and cement of
sin trying to wade ashore. They aren't going anywhere
but to the bottom.
Anyone who wants to forget about God should beware, he
may one day forget about you. just when you need him
You cannot fool or trick God. He knows us better than we
know ourselves. Let no nation, church or person think
that they can get away with long term recalcitrant sin,
particularly after they have been warned and warned
again about it. Such an entity is living on borrowed
... and those 'interest payments' on sin and evil can
indeed add up substantially.
Let we who know our God remember to whom we belong and
to mind the business of our God and his Kingdom. Doing
this will keep us from becoming entangled with
deceptions and troubles that beset the kingdoms of this
world. Let us also be careful about who we take advice
from be we President or a prisoner; a banker or a truck
driver. Let us all be wise in whom we seek advice or
FYI: This piece was
written on January 25th
of this year and posted for insiders on that day.
And even now
the axe also lieth
at the root of the trees: every tree therefore
that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down,
and cast into the fire.
(Luke 3:9 - ASV)
This theme of cutting down those tree's that did not bear
good fruit to God is echoed by both John the Baptist and
Jesus Christ (Matthew 7:19).
This is a hard word. It's something that we Christians in
our age need to chew on because such words are not the
typical 'baby milk' that is fed in many Churches today.
God demands fruit from his trees. He cares for them, tends
them and makes sure they have what they need to grow.
But he expects something in return. Fruit. This was the
theme that Christ made clear in the Gospel of Luke in a
And he said
unto the vinedresser,
The vinedresser here is acting as a kind of priest or
intermediary for this unfruitful tree. He is trying to
save it from becoming firewood in the masters hearth. So
he asks the owner to wait just a little longer, he is
going to try one more thing...
Behold, these three years I
seeking fruit on this fig tree,
and find none: cut it down;
why doth it also cumber the ground?
And he answering saith unto him,
Lord, let it alone this year also,
till I shall dig about it, and dung it:
and if it bear fruit thenceforth,
well; but if not,
thou shalt cut it down.
(Luke 13:7-9 - ASV)
Now brothers, when I look at what is happening in many of
the modern Churches in the west and some of the craziness,
sinfulness; the divisions, the unscriptural doctrines
being taught, the controversies and the worldliness, I
cannot help but wonder how much longer God is going to put
up with a tree that is not bearing much or any godly
fruit. Something must be done. I read recently where a
poll was taken and that said many Christians did not
believe in the Holy Spirit. Now how can you be saved and
not know who the Holy Spirit is? It's work is essential in
the act and process of Salvation. Yet we have large
numbers of Christians who are clueless about it at best or
don't believe in it at worst! These people really think
they are saved. Well, that is like saying one can drive a
car and not know what a steering wheel is! Today, there is
less and less sound, Biblically based doctrines in our
Churches... and these views on the Holy Spirit are very
dangerous. Why? To blaspheme against the Holy Spirit is
the one unpardonable sin (Mark
3:29). You cannot blaspheme against anyone
but God. These so-called Christians really need to
understand some of the very basics of Christianity and
clearly, many simply don't.
Many of you are not going to like what I say here, but I
think one of the greatest obstacles to getting people
saved, truly saved is many of the Churches - or
rather much of the corporate (administrative and legal
structures of the) Church. I say that because so many of
them say the right words (though today that is not so
true), when it comes to salvation, but they just don't
live it. One of the things that kind of sent me off the
rails of my walk with Christ when I was younger was the
way Christians acted and behaved and the consistent
mistreatment I got from other so-called Christians. I was
really on fire for God and when I pulled back the
'curtain' and saw what was really going on, I became very
disillusioned and were it not for God recalling me many
years later, I would have certainly lost my soul.
My point is that one can be wayward for only so long and
then comes the time of decision - repent or the ax
will fall - individually and collectively (the
I think this is a major spiritual issue right now - the
state of the Church and I would not be surprised if God
and his holy angels and counselors have not been
discussing this issue with increasing regularity and
concern. I suspect he has as it regards western
I am reminded of an exchange the Lord had with the
religious leaders of his day, the Pharisees and scribes.
They had become a hindrance to people getting saved. They
were in the way.
But woe unto
you, scribes and Pharisees,
These were the religious leaders of Christ's time. They
claimed to be speaking for God. But they weren't. Christ
had a long list of sins, crimes and spiritual omissions
for these religious hypocrites and told them in plain
simple language, that they were children of hell (Matthew 23:15). Christ was
not talking to the pagans of ancient Rome or the
worshipers of Baal, but to the religious leaders of his
own time and nation. They were a big, big problem;
thinking they had a map to heaven when in actuality, had a
chart to hell. They were on that road and took those who
listened to them there as well.
hypocrites! because ye shut
the kingdom of heaven against men:
for ye enter not in yourselves,
neither suffer ye them
that are entering in to enter.
(Matthew 23:13 - ASV)
My deep concern is that this is pretty much where much
(though certainly not all) of American, yes even western
Christendom is at right now. That God is not pleased with
the trends in the churches, not pleased with the lack of
fruit that is coming off the tree.
My point in writing this brief piece today is to say this.
I think the time of separation in the Church is already
underway. Those who hold to solid biblical teachings I
think are or are in the process of moving out of Churches
that refuse to teach sound doctrine and continue to walk
stubbornly into great spiritual error. The problem is so
many of the newer believers, the ones who have no real
grounding in the word of God, these are like young
saplings who could be in the gravest of danger from this
But God is most gracious. He is not wanting to destroy the
Church. But that may mean that while he won't destroy it,
he may very well chastise it and such chastisement may
turn out to be quite severe, depending on where the Church
is at, spiritually speaking. How God deals with different
Churches is laid out for us in the book of Revelation,
chapters two and three. Here is how those seven letters
I John, your
and partaker with you in the tribulation
and kingdom and patience which are in Jesus,
was in the isle that is called Patmos,
for the word of God and the testimony of Jesus.
I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day,
and I heard behind me a great voice,
as of a trumpet saying, What thou seest,
write in a book and send it to the seven
unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna,
and unto Pergamum, and unto Thyatira,
and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia,
and unto Laodicea.
(Revelation 1:9-11 - ASV)
Each Church had its issues, some good and some not good.
The Lord lays out what they are to do and what is ahead
for them. So it is not wise for us to think that God is
going to deal with all Churches, denominations and
congregations in the same way. He won't. Each will have to
deal with their own challenges, the consequences for their
own sins and the reward for their own abundance of good
fruit. God see's all, no one is going to pull the wool
over the Lord's eyes.
But the real questions is at what point does a person,
church, or denomination get itself hewn down? When does
God cut down the unfruitful tree and pluck it up by the
roots? That tree that did nothing but take up precious
This is what he did with Israel. He got tired of their
sins and of warning them about them. Finally he had had
instant I shall speak
concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom,
to pluck up and to break down and to
if that nation, concerning which I have
turn from their evil, I will repent of the evil
that I thought to do unto them.
And at what instant I shall speak
concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom,
to build and to plant it; if they do that
which is evil in my sight, that they obey not
then I will repent of the good, wherewith
I said I would benefit them. Now therefore,
speak to the men of Judah,
and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem,
saying, Thus saith Jehovah: Behold,
I frame evil against you, and devise
a device against you: return ye now
every one from his evil way,
and amend your ways and your doings.
(Jeremiah 18:7-11 - ASV)
God showed great patience with ancient Israel. As we also
see, he showed the same kind of patience with the Church.
Six times in the letters to the seven Churches Christ used
the word repent to get them to change course (Revelation 2:5; 2:16; 2:21; 2:22;
3:3; and 3:19).
I cannot help but wonder what the Lord would have an
apostle write to the Churches of the west today - to the
Lutheran, the Baptist, the Catholic, the Presbyterian, the
Methodist, the Adventists and the Orthodox. What kinds of
words of praise and rebuke would he have for them today?
I do not know, but I cannot help but wonder - have God's
holy angels begun getting in line to get their tree axes
Let us pray that if they are, we are not part of the field
that that is targeted and that those who are targeted,
fully understand the danger they are in so that they may
repent before the ax hews down the
Let us also pray for the pastors across the western world
that are doing right and have kept faith with God in spite
of all the evil pressures from inside and outside of the
Church that would lead them off course. That they may
continue on preaching and teaching the word in ways that
please our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. That the sheep
learn to turn their backs on false teachers and preachers
and turn their faces towards God and sound doctrine as
found in the scriptures.
In Praise of Humility
The reward of
and the fear of Jehovah
Is riches, and honor, and life.
(Proverbs 22:4 - ASV)
Today, let's talk very briefly about being
Let us always be humble. Mankind? Brothers and sisters,
not one of us has any right to be proud and lifted up
about who we are or what we do. Not the rich and famous,
not the powerful, not the beautiful and not the mighty.
Humility, true humility comes from knowing who we are in
the overall scheme of things - in God's eyes, but also in
light of the great expanse of the universe and eternity.
When one looks at the sons of men from this perspective,
we are little more than a puff of smoke, which exists for
a very short time and then disappears.
As Christians, humility - true humility must always be a
key part of our walk. When we come to God in prayer, we
have to do it humbly, not with any kind of pride and
certainly not spiritual pride. We must come to God even as
King Josiah did, when he inquired of the Lord. God had
determined to bring evil upon his people for forsaking
him. But the king found favor in God's eyes. Why?
But unto the
king of Judah,
who sent you to inquire of Jehovah,
thus shall ye say to him, Thus saith Jehovah,
the God of Israel: As touching the words
which thou hast heard, because thy heart
was tender, and thou didst humble thyself
when thou heardest his words against this
and against the inhabitants thereof,
and hast humbled thyself before me,
and hast rent thy clothes, and wept
I also have heard thee, saith Jehovah.
Behold, I will gather thee to thy fathers,
and thou shalt be gathered to thy grave in
neither shall thine eyes see all the evil that
I will bring upon this place, and upon the
inhabitants thereof. And they brought
back word to the king.
(2 Chronicles 34:26-28 - ASV)
The King pleased God and this is how we have to behave
when we come to the Lord. We have to be humble and totally
honest with God, knowing that we are made from the very
dirt that our feet walk upon.
I tend to think that some of the greatest obstacles to
personal happiness and contentment are pride, arrogance
and worldly ambition. It's also a key obstacle to any kind
of relationship with God. Humility - deep and sincere
humility on our part is a key part of that relationship.
But he giveth
God resisteth the
but giveth grace to
(James 4:6 - ASV)
And whosoever shall exalt
shall be humbled;
and whosoever shall humble
shall be exalted.
(Matthew 23:12 - ASV)
We have all heard
these versus before, but let us always keep them in our
minds as we walk our daily walks with Christ. To be
humble, kind, unassuming and helpful when appropriate. We
should spend less time trying to be attention getters to a
lost world and rather becoming an attention getter in
The way to get God's attention is 180 degree's different
than the world's way. With the world you have to have
money, fame, good looks, be 'popular' with the 'in crowd',
say and do popular and trendy things. People do it to be
acceptable to onlookers. But with God, he is looking for
that quiet, faithful soul who is noted for his humility
towards God and his righteous life. The person who has a
quiet, holy and humble life in faithful service to God...
this is the person that gets God's attention. God will set
his hand over that person and watch over him and guide him
in the paths that lead to life.
But we must be humble enough to receive the Lord's
instruction and learn from him. God will set those whom he
loves often on a very different life path than that of
others. Often this is a quieter and humbler path, the one
that does not have so many people on it. It may be a path
that leads one from the Corporate Board room to a quiet
place in the country and drives that person into the
prayer closet instead of a steady stream of corporate
merger negotiations. Or perhaps to the mission field,
instead of performing in front of the theatrical
Too many men and women expect that God is going to put
them on some pedestal and make them some new Christian
celebrity or some 'great man of God' in the eyes of the
the world or Christendom. Somehow deep down inside, I
suspect many think that God should be honored to have them
serving him and expect to be rewarded appropriately with
importance, fame and fortune.
Before God can use, really use such a person such
thinking has to be done away with and they must learn to
take the back seat and an unrecognized part in things.
This humbler mindset must become second nature to them. In
short, they have to be broken of that kind of me first
or I'm important kind of thinking.
In our times particularly, we should not be seeking great
things for ourselves. I think of Jeremiah's faithful
scribe and how the Lord set him straight about seeking
great things for himself.
thou great things for thyself?
Now Baruch had connections to the Royal Court as his
brother was the King's chamberlain. So he may have had
some secret aspirations. What they were we are not privy
to, but clearly God saw something in them and wanted to
gently correct Jeremiah's faithful scribe. If he was
looking for a place at court, God here dismisses that
clearly in Jeremiah 45:4
where he tells him he was going to break down and pluck up
his people. Getting a high position in a court that was
going to go into exile wasn't a very practical aspiration,
considering the plans God had in store.
seek them not; for, behold,
I will bring evil upon all flesh,
saith Jehovah; but thy life will I give unto
for a prey in all places whither thou goest.
(Jeremiah 45:5 - ASV)
This is why we should always find out what God wants us to
do and be where he wants us to be. It's better to live a
humble life in a quiet cottage with God's love and
protection than in a million dollar penthouse suite in a
huge metropolis that God has marked down for destruction.
So it should be with us. In a world heading for God's holy
judgment, how valuable do you really think being
'important' is in this increasingly wicked world? Who
wants to fight and claw their way to the top of a dung
heap that is about to be cast into the fires? That is how
I view those people who are ambitious in the things of
this world. The real issue I think is that deep down
inside, they are still very much in love with this world
and the pomp, glory and wealth that the system has to
offer. More in love with those things, than with God.
Brothers, it behooves us to always be humble in all we say
and do. God really does not like pride; but rather a
humble, thankful and obedient heart.
destruction the heart of man is haughty;
And before honor goeth humility.
(Proverbs 18:12 - ASV)
A Matter of Trust
This brothers and sisters is going to be one of the most
important things for each of us in the last days - who do
you trust? In these days of false prophets, controversial
pastors and questionable politicians, it is often going to
be a serious choice for many of us. This matter of trust
may be one that causes us to leave our jobs, move, change
churches or even the country we live in. Who do you trust?
Officials in government? Bureaucrats with long titles?
Pastors with many university degree's? Public Health
officials? Hollywood Stars? Who should you
trust? In times of crisis who should you believe?
You see when one gets to belief systems, you are hitting
at the root and target of any propaganda campaign because
almost all propaganda is targeting those core belief
systems. The MSM wants you to believe and trust them,
alternative media wants you to believe and trust them, the
government wants you to believe and trust them, etc. They
are all trying to gain your trust when many of them simply
don't deserve that trust. How many times have officials
lied to us?
Liars are real. Hitler lied his way to power and then used
his lies to kill millions. But many Germans trusted him.
They really believed him and in his party. I think the
real problem is not so much that people believed him, but
that it was convenient to believe him, or at least
pretend you did - and with others, they wanted to
believe him even though deep down inside, they had their
doubts. But with many in both groups, I think fear and
cowardice were at the root of their 'belief'.
In these days of massive propaganda, fake news, lying
narratives put forward by corrupted governments, we just
have to be careful about whom we believe. A government
with a long and often negative track record... I think it
wise to be most reticent before we put much faith in such
a system. Why not? Simple. Believing a lie, any lie, no
matter how small is the first step on a long road to the
city of deception. It may be paved with the most beautiful
lies, layered in gold and platinum, with beautiful people
smiling at you giving you gifts as you head down that
road, but in the end you will only find you have been
fooled, surrounded by people who took the same wrong turn
you did when they listened to the lie and continued down
the path of deception.
I can remember one time I had a conversation with someone
who was struggling with their faith. They asked me why did
God demand faith. I suspect they seemed to think it was a
'cop out' for God not coming down and performing some
magic tricks to get people to believe in him. I said, you
have to go back to the Garden of Eden.
They looked at me kind of funny and with a high degree of
incredulity, but I just said, Yes, because that is where
it all began. They wanted me to continue, so I did.
I told them, that when God put man and his woman in the
garden, he gave them a specific commandment.
This is basic Christianity 101, but I think it key. God
gave Adam a commandment and the man (and later his woman)
had to obey the commandment, but at the root of that
obedience is the idea of belief. They had to believe
God was sincere in what he said would happen. It is the
same today, if God gives us a commandment we have to
believe God about that commandment and the consequences
for disobedience. It comes down to a matter of faith... do
you believe God, will you trust him or will you disobey
and show unbelief in what he just told you to do? This was
a test for Adam that God was giving him - Do you
believe and will you obey the Lord, your God?
the man, saying, Of every tree
of the garden thou mayest freely eat:
but of the tree of the knowledge of good and
thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day
that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
(Genesis 2:16-17 - ASV)
This I think is a key aspect of a rather enigmatic
statement Christ made in the Gospel of John about
spiritual blindness to the Pharisee's. One has to know
what God commands and once one does, there comes spiritual
One has to hear what God has to say, believe
in what he says, and then do as he
commanded. This is the essence of that key ingredient in
the Gospel, faith.
If ye were blind, ye would have no sin:
but now ye say, We see:
your sin remaineth.
(John 9:41 - ASV)
Faith was broken in the Garden as you all know. How? By
the devil planting the seeds of both doubt and deception
in what God had commanded.
serpent was more subtle
The devil had a plan and he executed it with his usual
demonic skill. He found the weak point, exploited it,
caused doubt to arise, and then sprung his trap with the
lie - Ye shall not surely die.
than any beast of the field
which Jehovah God had made.
And he said unto the woman,
Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat
of any tree of the garden?
And the woman said unto the serpent,
Of the fruit of the trees of the garden
we may eat: but of the fruit of the tree
which is in the midst of the garden,
God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it,
neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.
And the serpent said unto the woman,
Ye shall not surely die: for God
know that in the day ye eat thereof,
then your eyes shall be opened,
and ye shall be as God, knowing good and evil.
And when the woman saw that
the tree was good for food,
and that it was a delight to the eyes,
and that the tree was to be desired
to make one wise, she took of the fruit
and did eat; and she gave also
unto her husband with her, and he did eat.
(Genesis 3:1-6 - ASV)
The key? The woman ceased to believe God and chose instead
to listen to and believe the devil. Again it was a
question of whom to believe. Eve and later Adam made the
wrong choice and ceased to believe God. But God was indeed
true to his word and every human who lives has died since
then. God does not forget his word and
always carries it out.
I really wanted to get to belief systems today and the
whole idea of faith because of the vicious and pervasive
information war that is being waged all over the planet on
a whole range of key issues today. Who and what we believe
will invariably dictate how we behave and the choices we
make. If you believe you can cross a bridge without
incident and need to, chances are you are going to go
across, but if you believe that if you cross it, it's not
going to hold up, you probably won't. This is a basic and
yes, an oversimplification of a most important aspect of
human behavior - belief.
Taking hold of Christ and his work on the cross requires
faith. We have to hear the word of God, believe
it and then obey it. Christ's work restores the
faith-trust relationship with God that was destroyed in
the garden and why God demands it from all of us.
This is how I explained the need for faith to this person
some 25 years ago. In our times, we must always examine
and reexamine our belief systems and make sure they are on
and remain on the firm foundation of God's word and
keep faith with God. I can tell you this brothers and
sisters from my personal experience - God honors
faith. Put your trust, your whole being in
God's hands - and this can often entails some degree of
risk or even danger - and God will honor it. That has been
So in our times, let us always be skeptical of anything
and anyone before we believe what they tell us. Trust is a
good thing, but it can be a most dangerous one, even
suicidal if it is placed in the wrong person, group or
system. To me, trust is one of the most precious gifts one
can give to another and it should not be given away to
just anyone... not if you want to live a long and happy
God bless and keep you all in Christ!
Malak Elohim (Angel Of The Lord)
These words in Hebrew mean Angel or Messenger (H4397 in Strong's Hebrew
Bible Dictionary) of the Lord.
Other times in scripture the phrase Angel of Jehovah
is used. These are beings created by God who serve him in
the spiritual and temporal realm. Their job for the most
part is to execute the will of God. They are 'deputized'
by the Lord to carry out specific tasks for which they are
both commanded and empowered.
These beings can bring comfort to the despised (as Hagar
was when Sarai pushed her out of the house), they can
bring in powerful messages to God's servants (as with
Joseph in the NT - Matthew 1:20)
or they can bring interpretive messages to prophecies as
with Daniel, Zechariah and John the Revelator. They can
also prepare a lowly person to become a great warrior or
servant of the Lord, as with Gideon. If there is an
important task for one of God's people to do, you can be
pretty sure there is an angel around to help that person
carry out that task.
Brothers, I honestly don't think I would be alive today
were it not for the angel's that God sent to protect me.
If we serve the Lord and fear him, he will indeed send his
angels to look out for us.
The angel of
round about them that fear him,
And delivereth them.
(Psalms 34:7 - ASV)
If you serve God, you have powerful protection. Protection
that has probably protected you many times in the past in
ways you were never aware of. These angels can be powerful
spirits. God has in the past shown me (in the spirit) both
the demons that were arrayed against me and the angel that
was sent to protect me.
God I think wanted me to understand what was happening
from another perspective; the real battle lines
that were not seen by the naked eye or natural mind.
Sometimes we have to see things in this other way in order
to get a resolution to our own particular woes and know
how to pray and approach a problem.
These angels can warn us of impending danger. (Matthew 2:13) They can
also bring words of encouragement (Zechariah
These angels that protect us and those who obey the
commandments of the Lord, some of them are very, very
powerful. Remember when Hezekiah was afraid when he heard
the King of Assyria was coming against him? The Lord had
For I will
defend this city to save it,
for mine own sake, and for my
servant David's sake.
And the angel of Jehovah went
forth, and smote
in the camp of the Assyrians a
and fourscore and five
thousand; and when men
arose early in the morning,
these were all dead bodies.
So Sennacherib king of Assyria
and went and returned,
and dwelt at Nineveh.
(Isaiah 37:35-37 - ASV)
While Hezekiah may have been afraid, in reality there was
nothing to worry about. God had his angel at the ready to
deal with Sennacherib, whose army was no match for one
single, solitary angel of the Lord.
I write this brief piece for each of you today so that no
matter what you are facing, God knows about it. If you
belong to him, God can set his angel about you and if it
is necessary, God can send that angel reinforcements.
Brothers, I know many of you are worried about what is
happening in our world. Some of you are worried about your
jobs, your livelihoods, your kids, the price of
necessities and your future.
Just know that what you are facing is something that God
knew about long ago. Do you serve the Lord? Chances are
excellent that your angel knows of your situation and is
either busy at work on your behalf or standing by awaiting
orders from the Most High God.
You are not alone.
And when the
servant of the man of God
was risen early, and gone forth, behold,
a host with horses and chariots was
round about the city. And his servant said unto
Alas, my master! how shall we do?
And he answered, Fear not; for they that
with us are more than they that are with
And Elisha prayed, and said, Jehovah,
I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see.
And Jehovah opened the eyes of the young man;
and he saw: and, behold, the mountain
was full of horses and chariots of fire
round about Elisha.
(2 Kings 6:15-17 - ASV)
Whatever your situation, I just wanted to remind each
of you the powerful angelic protection that you have as
a 'fringe benefit' of serving God and placing your faith
in his Messiah, Jesus Christ.
You are not alone in what you are facing, today or in
Keep faith with God. I have found that he can always be
depended on, not necessarily to do what we want, but to
bring a situation to a resolution that is best. We may
think we know what is best, but in reality it is God
that knows what is best for us, those around us and his
So if it seems as though God is about to throw you into
the fiery furnace like the three young men in the book
of Daniel, just remember there was another person in
that flame that protected them who had the appearance of
one of the son of the gods (Daniel
3:25). Despite any fears those three had,
there was never any real reason to be afraid. God had
...for he that
toucheth the apple of his eye.
Zechariah 2:8b - ASV)
In closing know this - God has not gone
to sleep. He knows about you and your situations. I
believe it best to fret not yourself, but trust in God
in all things, obey his voice, even when it
sometimes does not seem to make sense to your natural
mind. What? Do you think it made sense for Naaman to go
and wash in Jordan to be cured (see 2Kings 5:10ff)? It
didn't. He could have missed his blessing if he had
chosen to listen to his natural reasoning rather than
the words of the Lord and his prophet.
So brothers, be encouraged, have faith and stand
Grace and peace to each of you and may God
bless and keep you all in these troubling, confusing and
Today's update is not about current events. Its about how
we all must deal with the troubles that come our way and
the strangeness of our times.
As you all know, I read a lot of things from a wide
variety of sources. Left, Right, Christian, secular, US
and foreign. I often get information overload reading so
much. But one thing I have noted in the past year and a
half since the 2020 election and Covid's spread across the
globe. It is the incredible amount of fear-mongering and
half-truths being spread not just by the 'unofficial', the
dissenters and others, but by officialdom and
semi-officialdom as well. The fear, misdirections,
half-truths and disinformation are real. They are not a
figment of yours or my imagination. A lot of money is
being spent to influence opinion and the government has
hardly been innocent in this battleground, duly spreading
fear and contributing significantly to the deep and
troubling divisions in the country.
Fear is a powerful emotion. Fear and hate are two powerful
tools an adept propagandist and liar uses when he wants to
spread his poison into your mind. The tentacles of this
kind of propaganda, when it is run by governments and
their secretive agencies can be very significant. These
forces have 'influence' in many of top line establishment
news and even in many alternative news sites. With some of
these sites and sources, I see them as kind of a 'fake
opposition', designed specifically to control forces;
racial, social or political groups who they know will have
problems with some policies at some time in the future.
These state run or state connected forces operate on all
sides of the political spectrum. They deal in social,
racial and gender based news sources and blogs. In the US
they use these tools often ostensibly to counter foreign
propaganda. I want to stress the word ostensibly
because today, it appears that there is little real
control over these forces and their efforts to ride
roughshod over the basic rights of ordinary, hard working,
law abiding Americans who have more than a few
inconvenient questions about some of the things going down
in the country today.
My point here today is to school you in the university of
faith. When the demons of fear and hate start to preach
their horror and brimstone driven sermons, we must not
take the bait. Many Christians and their sites are just
dripping with fear based stories. Horror, dread and scary
stuff just oozes from the computer screen once the proper
URL is entered in. Let us be careful of such sites, forces
and people. They may or may not be operating from the best
of intentions but the key to remember is that fear is not
faith. We must not allow ourselves to be inundated with
all of the stuff on the net, the scary, the wacky, the
hateful or the deceitful.
Some of you are worried about Covid. Some of you were
worried about Biden becoming President, the left is
worried that Trump might return to the White House. My
question is - where is the faith of God's people and of
those who constantly spread fear and dread into
You see, I think many of these so called Christians have
lost sight of some important truths. That the devil is
running this planet for he is the prince of this world.
Why should we be shocked when he shows his true colors?
Authoritarianism? Yes, this is what the devil is working
towards and his servants in this world are helping - some
knowingly, most not. One of the first things the devil
wants to do is to destroy truth tellers so that the big
lie can be told unchallenged. This is why we have seen so
much censorship in this world. The official lie must never
be challenged. This is the first rule in any
authoritarian, non-free, political system. I think we can
all smell the stench of such a system in the west, however
This is why we must always be on our guard for the devil
will certainly throw his darts at us in the form of
various falsehoods and in these times, we can all see just
how dangerous such lies can be. Ask the Jews of Nazi
Germany how the lies spread about them by the party about
their very membership in the human race put millions in
the gas chambers. The devil knows how to lie and he knows
how to get people to believe them. If you don't think you
can be fooled, you have been already.
But we who know the truth need not fear such lies. We must
remember our place. Then we must remember the place of
those who have rejected God's truth. Brothers, this is
just going to be hard for a lot of you. You are just going
to have to toughen up and realize that many of them are
just going to go walking blithely into a multitude of
traps that you and I can see, but they cannot and in most
cases, simply refuse to.
We cannot save the world. We must not try. We can only
preach the gospel, live our lives in love and hope and let
the world do what the world does best - rebel against God;
sometimes in lesser ways, other times in greater. When God
wants to warn the world of what it is doing, he will raise
up a or many prophets.
With many Christians particularly a lot of blogs and news
sites, I think they get frustrated because they are trying
to do the impossible. They are trying to 'teach the dead
to sing'. No matter how hard you try, with the best of
intentions you will only get silence out of a corpse. So
it is with the world. This world is lost. It will always
be lost. Those who are part of this world are and will be
lost. You cannot teach it to be a Christian because it
knows not Christ. The corpse must cease to be a one if it
is ever to learn to sing. When we are born again, we come
out of this world and are alive to Christ, we have the
potential to 'sing', though with many this never develops
into anything but a failed potentiality. We are no longer
of this world, but have been given the power to become
sons of God.
I realize that many are deeply concerned about the trends
in the nation and world. Don't be. These things must needs
be. Cease to do the 'freak out' thing and worrying
yourself and others half to death. We as Christians must
walk in this world; we must traverse the land of Sodom,
the valley of Gomorrah, the high places of
idolatry and false religion and the minefields of lies. We
cannot get distracted by the sins of others nor be enticed
by the temptations the devil will put in our path to
divert us from our steady course. Nor can we live in fear
and dread for what may or may not happen. If you serve
God, I mean truly serve him, you are in his hands. If not,
you are going to be cannon fodder for the devil, who hates
mankind only a little less than he hates God.
Are you walking with God? Is your pathway directed by him?
Have you dedicated the rest of your life here on this
earth to his service? Then these words should encourage
What were the first two words the Lord spoke to Abram
here? Fear not! This vision took place right after a major
battle where the King of Sodom was involved and Abram
would not take so much as a shoe lace from him. He did not
want it said that the King of Sodom made him rich. Abram
knew that some gifts have too high a price. There are some
things that are better not taken. In today's world there
are some jobs we just should not do. They may be perfectly
legal and even somewhat respected by the world, but that
does not mean we should take them.
the word of Jehovah came unto Abram in a
saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield,
and thy exceeding great reward.
(Genesis 15:1 - ASV)
For Christians - ever thought about taking a job as a
check out clerk at the local grocery store at $20k a year
rather than a job at some big corporation that censors
Christians, finds ways to harass believers, pushes things
on society that they know God hates for a salary of $100k
a year? It is not an easy decision, but one that may in
the long run, spiritually speaking, turn out to be by far
the best. All that glitters isn't gold and even if it is,
what lies underneath all that flash may be dangerous or
even lethal, spiritually speaking. This is one of those
things you must truly seek the Lord about in prayer
before making such decisions.
Remember Lot? When there was strife between Lot's herdsmen
and Abram's the two separated. Lot chose what looked good
on the surface (Genesis 13:10)
to move to. But this was where Sodom was before it was
destroyed. While it may have looked good on the surface,
let us never forget that Lot only eventually escaped that
place with his life, and even then only after Abraham
interceded for him. His wife didn't make it. Lot saw
something that glittered but later, it turned into
brimstone when the Lord got finished with it.
Then God tells Abram that he is his shield, that being his
protection. God will protect you if you are
his and serve him honestly and honorably. God had a
mission for Abraham. In order for him to get that
protection, he like we do, have to stay the course on what
God wanted him to do. He was on his way to the promised
land - a land that God would show him. We too are on our
way to the promised land. If we stay the course, God will
help keep us on course and protect us. God protected
Abraham and he will protect you and me as well.
So to those of you who serve God, I write this brief piece
today so that you cease to worry and wonder about the lost
world. There are some things you can fix and there are
things you cannot. A wise man knows the difference and
concentrates on what he can change rather than getting
worry lines in his forehead about things he cannot.
Our jobs are simple - to live the gospel. Most people are
not going to believe or accept it and in time, we will be
badly persecuted here in the west for our faith. But some
will come to the cross, but only some of those will do
what the scriptures command - endure to the end.
Brothers hear me out on this - most souls will not make
it. They are just going to be lost. Many of your families,
friends and loved ones... they are going to be lost. They
chose it and remember this - no one deserves heaven.
God has granted us this great salvation by his grace and
love. As a race, mankind is lost, reprobate and vile. We
don't see ourselves that way... while we commit
unspeakable crimes one upon another. We wallow in our
moral filth and claim to be righteous; our hands stained
with the blood of our brother, lips dripping hate and lies
and pockets holding dishonest gain.
No brothers, every soul that is lost will be lost because
of his own choosing. Every soul that is saved is there
because of God's grace.
I have always looked at this salvation thing like this.
There is the divine harvester. He is looking only for the
choicest parts of the harvest. Only the very best gets
into his barn. He gets rid of the rest. It simply is not
good enough to meet his standards. He sells off the refuse
and the devil is more than willing to take it.
So it is with salvation. We are special to God, very
special and he has taken a lot of time and effort to build
us up into what he wants us to be.
Let us remember that and that we have no part in
this world, its ways or its fate. He who remembers this on
a daily basis will find he is less likely to make key
mistakes in these troubling times.
and I will
bless them that bless thee,
and him that curseth thee will I curse:
and in thee shall all the families
of the earth be blessed.
(Genesis 12:3 - ASV)
May the blessing of Abram (Abraham) be
upon each of you who truly and faithfully serve the Lord
and have kept the faith in good times and in bad and not
denied the name of the Lord Jesus Christ nor are ashamed
of the Gospel.
Note: This piece is not
any kind of professional financial or career advice
and should not be construed as or acted upon as
such. This is merely personal commentary and a 'food
for thought' piece for Christians as we navigate
these troubling and difficult times. This site's
full disclaimer policy can be found at the bottom of
Lawfare And Spiritual Warfare
Navigating the future in the west I don't think is going
to be easy. When Churches are not allowed by law to
congregate while others are is a problem. One that needs
to be explored.
During this pandemic, Churches have done right I think so
far by obeying authorities during the pandemic but also by
using the courts to deal with authorities edicts
restricting worship. But what about when perhaps some
future edict goes directly against our great commission or
the commands of scripture? What then? This is no little
matter, because such days may not be so very far away,
given the political landscape and some of the other things
being slowly moved legally and administratively against
Christians in the west.
Are there any examples in scripture about this? Are there
examples of 'lawfare' in our Bibles? Men who used the law
subtly to entrap God's servants? Yes. I will just use one
today, because I think it most apt.
Daniel was a man
greatly beloved of God and who served the Emperor Darius.
He was very good at his job and no one could find any
occasion against him. He was wise, most efficient and the
emperor had a lot of respect for him. So much so that he
was to be the number two man in the Kingdom, above all the
Daniel was distinguished
above the presidents and the satraps,
because an excellent spirit was in him;
and the king thought to set him over the whole
Then the presidents and the satraps
sought to find occasion against Daniel
as touching the kingdom;
but they could find no occasion nor fault,
forasmuch as he was faithful,
neither was there any
error or fault found in him.
(Daniel 6:3-4 - ASV)
Daniels' enemies were looking for something... anything
they could use against him. But could not find anything.
Man, do I personally know what that is like! Well, if they
can't find anything - create something against them. Here
is what went down with God's servant, Daniel
We shall not find any
occasion against this Daniel,
except we find it against him
concerning the law of his God.
(Daniel 6:5 - ASV)
This is lawfare in the age of the Medes and the Persians.
Lawfare based on religion. And not unlike today, the
deeper ramifications are spiritual in nature. Perhaps it
would help to look at this like the spiritual stronghold
of Babylon was coming against a man of God. What was the
'hook' this stronghold used to entice these men to come
against God's man? Jealousy. In order for the devil to get
people to act he has to have some kind of 'hook' to pull
them in the direction he wants them to go. So these
princes of Babylon were hatching a plot against Daniel.
They realized it had to be against his religion and his
God after having looked everywhere else.
presidents and satraps
assembled together to the king,
and said thus unto him, King Darius,
live for ever. All the presidents of the
the deputies and the satraps,
the counsellors and the governors,
have consulted together to establish
a royal statute, and to make a strong
that whosoever shall ask a petition
of any god or man for thirty days, save of
O king, he shall be cast into the den of
Now, O king, establish the interdict,
and sign the writing, that it be not
according to the law of the Medes and
which altereth not.
(Daniel 6:6-8 - ASV)
Like most good
administrators, they were clever. They created this law,
which only had temporary effect (30 days) and during this
time, no one could could come to any God and pray...
except of course to the emperor himself. Here they show
that they understood a few things. First that such a law
if for an extended period could cause social unrest;
second, it was OK to come to the King. Here they appealed
to the Kings vanity, who now would be the exclusive 'god'
to whom the people could come to in order to make any
petition. This was a firm law and one that could not be
revoked. The penalty for breaking it was death by lions
Now this is one crazy law, but one cannot think for a
second that men in power in any age are not capable of
putting such laws into action. Here the motive was for one
reason alone, to kill Daniel. They shifted the whole
religious and legal landscape of the empire to kill one
godly man. Make no mistake, a truly Godly man who yields
himself to God is someone that the devil will take the
greatest pains to try and destroy.
signed the writing and the interdict.
(Daniel 6:9 - ASV)
This is rather sad. Why in the world did Darius sign
this? He had to realize this would effect Daniel,
his most trusted servant? We don't know. But it is not
impossible that Daniel was 'out of the office' that day,
perhaps out tallying the grain supply or inspecting the
royal armory. These administrators probably waited until
an ideal time to spring this on the king. Perhaps after
the emperor had a few glasses of the special Persian
vintage of wine and some Persian dancing beauty did her
little performance for the court (this is not unheard
of in scripture - see Mark
6:22ff). However they did it, they were
able to get the king to sign this stupid law.
Here is the thing, once he knew it was signed Daniel did
not change a thing. Knowing the danger and certainly
knowing his enemies had arranged this trap, he continued
to serve the Lord and prayed like he did before - even
though it had become a crime, punishable by death.
that the writing was signed,
he went into his house (now his windows
were open in his chamber toward Jerusalem);
and he kneeled upon his knees
three times a day, and prayed,
and gave thanks before his God,
as he did aforetime.
(Daniel 6:10 - ASV)
Daniel had to navigate this legal and administrative
jungle with all of these administrative and legal snakes,
crocodiles and piranha out to devour him. How did he do
it? In this instance, it was a head-on approach. he was
not going to be frightened out of serving God. He was not
going to be scared out of praying to the Lord. He went in
his room turned towards Jerusalem, got on his knee's and
prayed. In short, Daniel, with his actions was saying 'pass
all the laws you want, I am going to serve the Lord'.
This was faith for Daniel knew that he moment he
got on his knees he was according to the law, a dead man.
These days, many Christians are relying on political
parties, non-profit legal organizations and others to
protect their rights from bad laws that attack Christians.
Certainly these organization are for the most part, doing
excellent work and have done much to protect us. But we
must never forget that this is ultimately, not a political
or legal battle, but a spiritual one. This was the secret
that Daniel knew and his enemies did not.
together unto the king,
and said unto the king, Know, O king,
that it is a law of the Medes and Persians,
that no interdict nor statute
which the king establisheth
may be changed.
(Daniel 6:15 - ASV)
On the surface, it looked like Daniel's enemies had won a
major victory. They run to the king like a group of
tattle-tale school children, probably unable to contain
their joy in their news that Daniel was now committing a
But the king realized that he made a major error in
signing that decree and did what he could to fix things.
But his administrators were adamant, they wanted Daniel,
or what was left of him after the lions were finished,
under six feet of dirt... no if's, no and's and no but's.
They had the King as well as Daniel in a trap.
The King did not appreciate this as we see and
administrators and lawyers often do make big mistakes.
This was a major political mistake they made - tricking
and entrapping the king. They probably thought they were
We know the rest of the story. God sent an angel to
protect Daniel from this unwise and unrighteous edict and
the wicked men behind it. Daniel came out of the den
This is not what happened to Daniel's enemies.
And the king
they brought those men that
had accused Daniel, and they cast them
into the den of lions, them, their children,
and their wives; and the lions had
the mastery of them, and brake
all their bones in pieces,
before they came to the
bottom of the den.
(Daniel 6:24 - ASV)
Despite all that his enemies had planned against God's
man, Daniel prospered (Daniel
I have gone over this passage for a reason. As we watch
the generational shift in the country as well as attacks
on religious liberty, we must understand that we are
indeed in a kind of jungle. We have enemies who are lying
in wait for us as we traverse the dangerous landscape.
They want to do us harm, even kill us. But we who know our
God can depend on him to look out for us. To protect us
from the wickedness of those who would do us harm.
Sometimes God has to let our enemies get so far, so he can
beat them back. Let them do their wickedness so they have
no excuse when they are thrown into the lions den, as they
would do to God's people.
This is the boomerang effect and at times, I have seen it
at work. What people try and throw at God's people can
sometimes comes right back around at them. The key is to
never take vengeance yourself, keep faith with God and
keep your eyes and ears open to what is going on and more
importantly to what God wants you to do.
Also remember that Daniel was willing to pour out his life
for his God and such a call may be made upon us one day.
because of the blood of the Lamb,
and because of the word of their testimony;
and they loved not their life
even unto death.
(Revelation 12:11 - ASV)
For one day, all hell will break loose and that great
dragon, Satan will be given enormous authority here on
earth. He will make war on we who follow Christ Jesus.
dragon waxed wroth with the woman,
and went away to make war
with the rest of her seed,
that keep the commandments of God,
and hold the testimony of Jesus:
(Revelation 12:17 - ASV)
I beheld, and
the same horn
The war will certainly start off with legal aspects to it.
You can't worship, you can't congregate, you can't
witness, you must bow down before the emperor, etc. The
devil will make sure that in such a war, laws are passed
to do just that - attack Christians for that is his
primary purpose, to make war against the saints.
This is clearly what happens with the Mark of the Beast. A
law is passed making taking the mark compulsory along with
the worship of an image. The penalty will be death. It
will be lawfare but with a specific spiritual or rather,
demonic purpose in mind. But God as well will be working
his own purpose in this - he is going to allow it. It will
test the whole world as well as his saints. Those saints
who are here will have to go through it but God will spare
others of this great trial which will come upon the whole
world (Revelation 3:10).
made war with the saints,
and prevailed against them;
(Daniel 7:21 - ASV)
And it was given unto him
to make war with the saints,
and to overcome them:
and there was given to him authority
over every tribe and people
and tongue and nation.
(Revelation 13:7 - ASV)
There will be different ways for different people on how
to navigate the coming jungle. Paul when being questioned
used his wisdom to confound his interrogators by asserting
a resurrection when the council was divided about that
issue (Acts 23:6ff).
God will show us what to do if we put our trust in him
fully. He has done that with me and at times he is very
specific about what I am to do. He will do this with you
if you are truly walking with him and have chosen to be in
his service. But for many, if not most of us who are alive
when the mark is instituted, we must steel ourselves for
death. The spirit distinctly says that this spirit of
anti-Christ will have power to overcome us (in the body).
But we ultimately do overcome by the blood of Christ and
the word of our testimony.
In conclusion, I see lawfare as intensifying as anti-God
forces move more and more into the corridors of power all
over the world. False religion, anti-religion and others
will work on behalf of the devil and in nine cases out of
ten, won't know who their ultimate employer is. We must
prepare our hearts for it. The devil is deadly serious
about his attacks on we who are of Christ. It is only when
he is given authority that he can come after us in full.
Today as we can see, persecution is more a regional
phenomenon. We in the west are harassed, but rarely feel
the brunt of the kinds of persecution that is felt in many
parts of the world. That one day is going to change. When
and how I cannot say, but you can be certain that if God
warned us about persecution, we must be prepared for it
and not try and kid ourselves that persecution only means
for someone else.
So as we move through the jungle of our times let us
recognize that there are many predators out there who will
seek our harm and even our lives and when possible and
practicable, let us avoid the traps the devil and his imps
will lay for us in the days ahead.
God bless and keep you all in Christ!
said unto Abram,
Get thee out of thy country, and from thy
and from thy father's house, unto the land
that I will show thee: and I will make of thee a
and I will bless thee, and make thy name great;
and be thou a blessing: and I will bless them
that bless thee,
and him that curseth thee will I curse:
and in thee shall all the families
of the earth be blessed.
(Genesis 12:1-3 - ASV)
This is one of those subjects that are often
best avoided in polite 'Christian' society. But the idea
of a curse is a very serious affair and frankly, I am not
so sure many 'generic' Christians really believe in and or
understand just how serious it is.
In the above passage, God had called out Abraham for a
very specific purpose. He was going to use Abraham's
obedience and faith as a key instrument to bring salvation
to mankind. Obedience because Abraham (at that time Abram)
had to do something, he had to get out of his native land
and away from his family and go to a place that God did
not specify exactly but would reveal at the proper time.
Then he gives him a powerful promise. Anyone who blesses
Abraham will be blessed and anyone who curses him will be
cursed. As we noted in the last part of Samuel, we see how
God does indeed protect his people when they are on a
divinely appointed mission. God was going to protect his
servant and that he did many times in his long journey.
A curse brothers is a horrible thing. It can entail all
manner of evils, illnesses, pain, or poverty. It's
something that is a sign of great divine displeasure. The
reality of a curse is clearly maintained all through the
Pentateuch (the five books of Moses) and there are
many blessings and cursing within those pages. A curse is
almost always based on a person's behavior.
And it shall
come to pass,
I think of the long history of the people of Israel. I
think of their first exile to Babylon, but also what I
consider the far more important exile which took place
after the Romans came in 70 AD. Israel was
scattered all through the world. For centuries they
wandered and lived as foreigners and 'outsiders' in just
about every place they went. Some European nations had
periods of time where they expelled the Jews, hated them
and treated them with deep contempt. This went on for
nearly two millennia. How did Moses prophecy what would
happen to the Jews if they did not do as God had
commanded them, the God who did all manner of miracles for
them and freed them from their slave chains in Egypt?
when all these things are come upon thee,
the blessing and the curse, which I have
set before thee,
and thou shalt call them to mind among all the
whither Jehovah thy God hath driven thee,
and shalt return unto Jehovah thy God,
and shalt obey his voice according
to all that I command thee this day,
thou and thy children, with all thy heart,
and with all thy soul; that then Jehovah
thy God will turn thy captivity,
and have compassion upon thee,
and will return and gather
thee from all the peoples,
whither Jehovah thy God
hath scattered thee.
(Deuteronomy 30:1-3 - ASV)
shalt become an astonishment,
a proverb, and a byword,
among all the peoples
shall lead thee away.
(Deuteronomy 28:37 - ASV)
The whole chapter of Deuteronomy chapter 28 describes the
blessings and curses that will befall Israel, wholly
dependent in on their obedience to or rebellion against
God's commandments. When Israel entered into the covenant
with the Lord, I just am not so certain they took the Lord
at his word and that God has a long memory... the
longest in the universe. It is not a mistake that we
Christians should repeat. Let Israel's travails be a clear
example to us. God will keep his word and deal quite
harshly with those who reject him, his word and his ways.
Particularly those who entered into covenant with him.
Once we have been born into the Kingdom of God by the work
of the Holy Spirit, we have entered into a new covenant; a
new 'contract' signed, if you will, in the blood of
We must also remember that God will do his part in the
work of salvation, or in any divinely appointed task he
has assigned us, but that we must do ours as well. One
thing we must do is to keep our faith - mental belief
coupled with actual obedience.
It's not talked about much but the NT does have a curse
mentioned for those who turn away from God.
who were once enlightened
and tasted of the heavenly gift,
and were made partakers of the Holy Spirit,
and tasted the good word of God,
and the powers of the age to come,
and then fell away, it is impossible
to renew them again unto repentance;
seeing they crucify to themselves
the Son of God afresh, and put him
to an open shame. For the land which
hath drunk the rain that cometh oft upon it,
and bringeth forth herbs meet for them
for whose sake it is also tilled,
receiveth blessing from God:
but if it beareth thorns and thistles,
it is rejected and nigh unto a curse;
whose end is to be burned.
(Hebrews 6:4-8 - ASV)
The principle is not at all dissimilar to what we saw in
Deuteronomy 28; there is the blessings that comes from God
and then there is the clear prospect of a curse. All
depending on the 'fruit' that the 'ground' bears.
fruits ye shall know them.
Do men gather grapes of thorns,
or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree
bringeth forth good fruit;
but the corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
A good tree cannot bring forth evil
neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good
Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit
is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
Therefore by their fruits
ye shall know them.
(Matthew 7:16-20 - ASV)
We must lay these things to heart and not ignore them or
think them of little account - the divine 'accountant' is
coming and he is a most exacting fellow, he
expects a spiritual profit; a basket of good fruit for all
the investment he has made and brothers, he had better get
it! See the parable of the fig tree in a vineyard (Luke 13:6ff).
How is it that the prophet Malachi talked about the
Priests in his time? God was sore upset with his religious
representatives. The men who were supposed be guiding
Israel. You will see below what God thought about them.
And now, O ye
Some of you may say that is only meant for the priests
under the old law. You would be mostly correct. This is
not a generalized threat to all of Israel, only to the
priests, the House of Levi.
this commandment is for you.
If ye will not hear,
and if ye will not lay it to heart,
to give glory unto my name,
saith Jehovah of hosts,
then will I send the curse upon you,
and I will curse your blessings; yea,
I have cursed them already,
because ye do not lay it to heart. Behold,
I will rebuke your seed,
and will spread dung upon your faces,
even the dung of your feasts;
and ye shall be taken away with it.
And ye shall know that I have sent
this commandment unto you,
that my covenant may be with Levi,
saith Jehovah of hosts.
(Malachi 2:1-4 - ASV)
But ye are an
Yes, we true Christians are a priesthood as well. Again,
representatives of God. So let us take such words as we
find in Malachi with seriousness. The old Levitical
priesthood was one that was not eternal, it was passed on
from generation to generation. We are part of something
much more permanent and yes, important. Therefore, our
responsibility is also that much greater. We must not
spurn God's word or hold his words and commandments in
light regard. That is the way to very great error. We must
not pollute the gospel message any more than the priests
were not to pollute the offerings to the Lord (see Galatians 1:8-9).
a royal priesthood, a holy nation,
a people for God's own possession,
that ye may show forth the
excellencies of him who called you
out of darkness into his marvellous light:
who in time past were no people,
but now are the people of God:
who had not obtained mercy,
but now have obtained mercy.
(1Peter 2:9-10 - ASV)
We who serve God, let us keep faith with him in all things
so that we may obtain the blessing and not anger the Lord
and incur his displeasure. Or worse, his curse.
These times? Brothers I see a nation and world heading
into a curse. Right now I think God is trying to get our
attention but that phase is not going to last forever. I
look at our nation and the things going on and I am
shocked at the trends in it.
America is changing and its spiritual moorings with God
are being slowly unhinged as the nation continues its
spiritual drift. Sex-sin is in, God is out; drugs are in,
Church is out; false narratives and fake news are in and
God's truth is out. I suspect we are a nation that if it
does not change its ways, will receive from the hand of
the Lord one thing in particular... a curse. I hope and
pray that does not occur. Americans have
certainly received a great many blessings from God's hand
and have been in a great many ways, the envy of the world.
But how has the country repaid him?
I hate to write on such a negative subject, but this
morning I kind of got a most troubling word from the Lord
that I am not going to share, but it did have to
do with the whole idea of the curse.
[Note: This piece should not under ANY
circumstances be construed (or deliberately
misconstrued) to be against Israel or the Jewish people.
Too many men in Church history have abused the
scriptures and twisted them to incite hatred of the
Jewish people. This site is absolutely
against any form of hate, including and
especially anti-Semitism. Jesus Christ was a Jew and I
am and will continue to be one of his followers and
maintain a love for the Jewish people as I am commanded
to love all men.
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