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Tuesday, March 28, 2017

I DO NOT UNDERSTAND!

THIS JUST DOES NOT MAKE SENSE



Psalm 27:13, “I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.”


ELIJAH

May I introduce to you two of the greatest men in the Bible? Their names are pronounced almost exactly a like. One is named Elijah and the other is named Elisha. Elijah was the older of these two men. He it was who was called by King Ahab during a famine a troublemaker. Ahab blamed Elijah for causing this famine. Elijah pointed his finger to Ahab and said I did not cause this famine you did!

Elijah was a great man, a powerful man, and a man’s man. God deliver me from sissy men and their fish handshakes. “Preacher don’t you love everybody? Yes, but I don’t’ like everybody!” Ha! I do not want a sissy man shaking my hand and tingling. Elijah was a powerful strong masculine man.

It was he who challenged the prophets of Baal to a contest to see who could pray down fire from Heaven to consume a sacrifice on an altar. It was he who told the prophets of Baal to put their sacrifices on the altar and pray to their gods and if their gods sent fire to consume their sacrifice then Elijah would worship their gods! If that did not work then Elijah would pray to his God and if his god sent fire then they would worship his God.

They put their sacrifice on the altar and prayed for their god to answer but no god is going to answer except the true and living God. So they prayed! Now I like Elijah – he made fun of them! They cried, “Oh Baal, hear us, hear us, and send fire!” Elijah said, “Why don’t you cry a little louder for he may be dear or he may be on a hunting trip.”  Elijah said maybe he is pursuing or hunting – he’ll be back!

The Scriptures says they were so upset they actually cut themselves in frustration. Elijah steps up and says men I am about to show you who the real God is! Elijah says, “I want you to pour seven barrels of water on the sacrifice. Oh, don’t worry our God can send fire on a wet sacrifice as well as a dry sacrifice.”

Elijah then prays after the water is poured on the sacrifice and says show these men that thou art the living God! The fire then came down and consumed the sacrifice. Elijah is a great man!


ELISHA

In our story there was a younger man named Elisha. A very wise man and he said, “I’m going to hang around Elijah. I’m going to watch him and I’m going attempt to emulate him in my life and in my ministry.” Elijah and Elisha had been to a place called Gilgal and Elijah decided to get to Bethel for the Lord told him to go to Bethel.

Elijah said to the younger man Elisha, “You stay here and I’m going on to Bethel.” Elisha said, “As the Lord liveth and as thy soul liveth I will not leave thee.” So, Elijah went to Bethel and then Elijah said to Elisha, “I’m going to go to Jericho and you stay here.” Elisha once again said, “As the Lord liveth and as thy soul liveth I will not leave thee.” Every young man of God should hang around men of God and so it was with Elisha at Bethel and at Jericho.

Then Elijah said, “I’ve got to go to Jordan and Elisha you stay here.” Elisha said for the third time the same thing, “As the Lord liveth and as thy soul liveth I will not leave thee.” So, Elisha goes with Elijah!

Word got out that Elijah was going to be taken up into Heaven. He was not going to die but a chariot would take him up into Heaven. Elijah said to Elisha, “Is there anything I can do for you before I go?” Elisha said, “I’d like a double portion of your spirit to fall on me.” I like a young preacher like that! Elijah said, “If you see me go up into Heaven and you catch my mantle then a double portion of my spirit will fall on you. However, if you don’t see me leave it will not be so.”

So, Elisha stayed right beside Elijah. He would not let Elijah out of his sight. Finally came the horses and chariot from Heaven to take the man of God up into Heaven. Elisha saw it! Elijah dropped his mantle and Elisha picked up his mantle. Elisha smote the same Jordan River Elijah had smitten before and shouted, “Where is the Lord God of Elijah?” That is a good question but I have a better one, “Where are the Elijah’s of the Lord God?”

Elijah hung around Elijah the man of God and Elisha received his mantle. He took the mantel and smote the Jordan River and the Jordan River parted just like it did for Elijah. Though both were great men Elisha did receive a double portion of Elijah’s spirit.

·      Elijah performed seven miracles
·      Elisha performed fourteen miracles

Elijah was discouraged one time for Jezebel said she would kill him. Elijah said oh not you will not for you’ll have to catch me first. The truth is Elijah had no choice but run for it; for if he had whipped her how would that look and if she whipped him he’d been destroyed for sure!

Elijah became discouraged, but we have no record Elisha ever became discouraged. Elijah had a better-known name but the truth is Elisha was a better man. Elisha was more successful at fighting idolatry than Elijah. Elisha never ran from a woman where as Elijah did.


TWO EVENTS

The Scriptures tell us that a whirlwind came, horses and a chariot came from Heaven and Elijah is taken to Heaven.

·      No lingering illness
·      No pain that racked his body
·      No death bed that lurked
·      No family that lingered beside his bed as his body withered
·      No doctor that attended
·      No gradual decay
·      No strength that waned


What a fortunate man! He was caught up into Heaven! Wouldn’t it be wonderful if Jesus came while you were reading this article? What a deal for Elijah!

May I take you from this event to another event?

·      A dark room
·      A sick prophet named Elisha
·      A gradual decline in his health
·      A lingering illness
·      A slow and painful death
·      An earthly house of his tabernacle being dismantled bit by bit

Note the difference for here is Elijah being caught up into Heaven and does not die. On the other hand here is Elisha gradually wilting away to nothing physically. He suffers the pain of a gradual death with his family watching him as he lingers and lingers and lingers with his earth house being dismantled piece by piece.

THIS DOES NOT MAKE SENSE TO ME

Please forgive me but to me this just does not make sense! I thought Elisha was the best Christian; best of the two, and in my opinion deserved the blessings of God more than Elijah.

Elijah the less deserving was caught up into Heaven without pain, suffering, lingering, and gradual decay. Where as Elisha the strongest of the two, the better of the two, the more productive of the two, the one greater used of God of the two, lingered, and died a gradual death while being the lesser of the two escaped the sting of death. The truth is I do not understand!

Elisha was visited on his deathbed by King Joash and the king rubbed salt into his wounds by quoting “The chariot of Israel and the horseman thereof” reminding him of Elijah’s translation to Heaven. He had to compare Elijah’s departure to his. He had seen how Elijah had been taken to Heaven without death. Here Elisha is lingering, suffering, agonizing, and pain as he slowly and painfully enters into the jaws of death.

Elisha died and never knew why he had to die and yet Elijah didn’t! Elisha died and never knew why he had to suffer and Elijah didn’t! Elisha died and never knew why he had to gradually wilt away and Elijah didn’t! It just does not make sense? Elisha was more valuable to God and to man than Elijah. It doesn’t make sense nor does it seem fair.

Shortly after Elisha’s death there was an invasion by the Moabites. Elisha is dead and Elijah is caught up into Heaven with Elisha dying a slow and lingering death. The Moabites are attacking and Elisha is dead.  In an emergency they took a dead man’s body to the grave of Elisha. They lowered that dead man’s body down into the grave and when the dead man’s body touched the body of Elisha the dead man came to life again. This dead man is living because he touched the dead body of Elisha. I would imagine that up in Heaven Elisha had a spell while Elijah just looked with awe!

If you compare a man being taken to Heaven in a chariot to a man whose body can give life to a dead man there is no comparison. Elisha did receive the biggest blessing because he continued to give life to dead men.

However, Elisha did not know about this until he went to Heaven. The truth is there is always a “why.” There was a why but Elisha did not know about it until he died and until he went to Heaven.


OBSERVATIONS

·      There is a why
·      It is not always revealed here
·      It is the people who suffer the most who touch the most people
·      The people who touch the most lives live the longest




Thursday, March 23, 2017

THESE ARE NOT WAR GAMES BUT WAR!

STRATEGY



I Kings 22:31, “But the king of Syria commanded his thirty and two captains that had rule over his chariots, saying, Fight neither with small nor great, save only with the king of Israel.”

Zechariah 13:7, “Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that is my fellow, saith the LORD of hosts: smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered: and I will turn mine hand upon the little ones.”

Ahab was the King of Israel. Jehoshaphat was the one who ruled over Judah. Israel being the northern kingdom and Judah being the southern kingdom after Israel had been divided into those two kingdoms. King Ahab said to Jehoshaphat in I Kings 22:3, “And the king of Israel said unto his servants, Know ye that Ramoth in Gilead is ours, and we be still, and take it not of the hand of the king of Syria?” 

Ramoth and Gilead was a high place a strategic place. The nations wanted Ramoth and Gilead and possession bounced back and forth between them. Israel had it for a while then Syria would fight for it and win it back only for Israel to fight and win it back. On and on it went with constant battle continuing over Ramoth and Gilead.

Ahab said to Jehoshaphat the northern kingdom is not strong enough to take Ramoth and Gilead back from the Syrians and neither is the southern kingdom strong enough. However if we join together, if Israel, the northern kingdom, and Judah, the southern kingdom, would join together we would be strong enough to take it back. So, they joined together, the north and the south and that in itself was an amazing thing. They fought together for Ramoth Gilead. All of this leads to our Scripture.

The King of Syria commanded his 32 captains to fight only with the king and do not fight with anyone but the king. They were instructed to go after only the king. What he is saying is if we can get the king we will win the battle.

Such is the tactic of Satan! In Zechariah 13:7 it says, “Smite the shepherd and the sheep shall be scattered!” That is what the king of Syria is saying! He is saying if we can get the king, Ahab, we will win this battle. They did just that and the king was killed in the battle. Such is the strategy of Satan!


SATAN’S STRATEGY

He goes after the King of kings! He today through his false Bibles is going after the King of kings. He goes after God’s Word, His virgin birth, His sinless life, and His vicarious death. The devil is after the King of kings!

The word “begotten” is left out of John 3:16 and if the devil can bring the King down man has no salvation. If the devil can bring the King down man has no hope. If the devil can bring down the King man has no Heaven.

In the War of Independence for Texas the command was shoot only at those wearing the brass buttons. If you can smite the shepherd the sheep will be scattered or if you can smite the king the kingdom will be scattered.

In every area of our lives the devil is after the leader in that area. The higher you go the more the attacks and the larger your influence the stronger the attacks. When I pastored 50 people nobody attacked me. The devil did not go after me, but you become pastor of a great church like Longview Baptist Temple for three decades and all Hades breaks loose! 

You start IBOCINDEPENDENT BAPTIST ONLINE COLLEGE, ibaptistcollege.org, and all the imps of Hell come after you. You stand for and fight for the doctrine of salvation against the “limited atonement” crowd and attacks come from the pits of Hell. You believe homosexuals can be saved like any other sinner and Westbororites come out of the wood work to slander you and threaten you. The higher you go the more the attacks and the larger the influence the more the attacks.

Satan smites more at the preacher than he does the layman. Satan smites more at the deacon than he does the members. He smites at the large church more than he does the small church. Satan smites more at the fundamental church than he does the Evangelical church. He smites more at the Evangelical church than he does the liberal church. Satan smites more at the principal than the faculty. Satan smites more at the faculty than he does the students. The president of the college is shot at more than the faculty and the students. The devil smites more at the preacher boys of the college than the other students.

If you have surrendered your life to be a preacher of the Gospel you best be prepared because the devil is after you more than any other person.

     '   The devil smites more at the president of a college than Administration
·      The devil smites more at the administration than the faculty
·      The devil smites more at the faculty than the preacher boys
·      The devil smites more at the preacher boys than the other students
·      The devil smites more at the father than the mother
·      The devil smites more at the mother than the children

Fathers leave their families a 100 to 1 in comparison to mothers who leave their families. The devil is after the father in the home. Satan is attempting to smite the shepherd so the sheep will be scattered. The devil smites more at the parent than at the child. The devil smites more at the Sunday school teacher than the Sunday school pupil. Satan smites more at the bus worker than the bus rider. Satan smites the senior in college more than he does the freshman in college.

Why? Because if he can get the bus captain he will get a lot of the bus riders. If he can get the teacher he will get a lot of the students. Satan goes after the college student in a Christian college more than he does a high school student in a Christian high school. Satan goes more after the coach than he does the team. He goes after the college student more than he does the teens back home. Satan goes more after the leader than the follower.

Satan goes after the president of America more than he does the citizens of our country. Satan goes after the big brother more than the little brother. Satan goes after the oldest child more than the youngest child.

It does not matter what institution you belong too Satan will smite more at the leaders than the followers. Why, because Satan is attempting to smite the shepherd so the sheep will be scattered.

Satan is doing the same thing in I Kings 22:31 when the King of Syria said, “Don’t fight with the little but rather with the great. Do not fight with the private, the little; the great, the sergeant, or the corporals fight only with the king. If the king is killed the war could be won!”

I can recount to you case after case where the king had been wounded while the shepherd had been smitten and the followers had been scattered. I am thinking of a deacon who use too faithfully serve. He was smitten by the devil and that deacon took half dozen laymen with him.

Please dear deacon be careful and pay attention to this article! You cannot afford to miss Sunday school, Sunday morning service, Sunday night service, Wednesday night service, or church wide soul winning. The devil is after the deacon because he actually wants to scatter the sheep.

I am thinking of a pastoral staff member years ago. Satan wounded him. Satan felled him. Satan smote him. He fell and I could list a dozen people who were scattered because he was smitten.

Pastors must be careful! Pastors cannot afford not to read their Bibles, to pray, to have a quiet time, and to go soul winning. Leaders do not understand the powerful influence they have and how followers depend upon their example. The devil is after the leader!

I am thinking of a college faculty member who served with me years ago. Satan smote him and dozens of students were taken down with him. If you are on the faculty of a Christian college you are somebody to those students. You are loved, respected, and looked up too! Please do not misstep!

The devil’s strategy is always the same “kill the king” or “smite the king!” Do not fight with the corporal, the private, the sergeant, or the captain. Fight with the king!

I am thinking of a pastor! This man of God was popular, dynamic, nationally known, powerful in his delivery, he built too great works, he was idolized by younger preachers, he was an R. G. Lee, and he was an Apollos type preacher. He was on top and Satan smote him. Satan found his weakness and Satan dropped him like a hammer! The more popular one is the more the devil will be after him or her rather than being after those who are not as popular.

 REQUIRES VIGILANCE ON THE PART OF THE LEADER

The devil is after the leader more than he is the follower. The devil is after the bus captain more than he is the bus worker. He is after the teacher than the students. He is after the youth pastor more than he is the teenagers who follow. He is after the choir director more than he is after choir member. He is after the church member more than he is after the mission man.

If you have risen to the top or a place of leadership you had better walk carefully and circumspectly because Satan has you in his sights and he is attempting to bring you down. He really does not care about you he cares about yours! If God has entrusted you with a place of responsibility in God’s work please put your shield up and protect yourself. Why, because the devil is after you and yours!

I am thinking of a church of 3,000 people that is down to 100 as of this writing of this article. Likewise I am thinking of a dozen churches that went down with that great church. How did it happen? Satan smote the pastor, felled the pastor, then this led to the members being taken down, and resulting in other churches becoming discouraged causing their down fall.

I am thinking of a great and growing church in West Memphis, Arkansas. However, Satan smote the pastor and the sheep scattered resulting in a church death. All because of that an independent Baptist church is not accepted in West Memphis, Arkansas.

I am thinking of a 3,000-seat auditorium that is never used anymore. Why, Satan smote the pastor! I am thinking of a great work in California in the 70’s pastored by one of the favorite preachers at the Bible College I attended. Satan smote the pastor and the pastor fell in the 80’s causing the sheep to scatter and it almost destroyed the church. Why? Because Satan got to the pastor. The devil is after the leader in every area of life and if you fall he will take down those under you. The battle cry of Satan is “Fight only the king!”

I am thinking of a worldwide ministry that folded because the devil got to the king. I am not a charismatic nor could I ever be one but when Jim Bakker fell so did his religious empire. When Jimmy Swaggert fell so did his religious empire. The devil is after the leader so he can get to the follower! Colleges have fallen, churches have fallen, schools have fallen, mission boards have fallen, and pastors have fallen because of this battle cry of Satan, “Fight only the king!” It is interesting to note what Satan uses!

·      He smote Moses with the weapon of temper
·      He smote Elijah with the weapon of fear
·      He smote David with the weapon of sex
·      He smote Paul with the weapon of pride
·      He smote Noah with the weapon of liquor
·      He smote Jacob with the weapon of deceit
·      He smote Judas with the weapon of money
·      He smote Lot with the weapon of greed
·      He smote Solomon with the weapon of stupidity
·      He smote Absalom with the weapon of disloyalty
·      He smote Thomas with the weapon of doubt
·      He smote Barnabas with the weapon of stubbornness
·      He smote Abraham with the weapon of stubbornness
·      He smote Jeremiah with the weapon of discouragement
·      He smote Aaron with the weapon of compromise
·      He smote Achan with the weapon of covetousness
·      He smote John Mark with weapon of homesickness
·      He smote Rehoboam with the weapon of bad advice
·      He smote Demas with the weapon of worldliness
·      He smote Ananias and Sapphira with the weapon of lying
·      He smote Esau with the weapon of pleasure
·      He smote Paul with the weapon of inconsistency

Satan is also after you and plus he knows our weakness! Please notice in each case above their weakness was in their strength not their weakness. Elijah’s strength was courage and the weapon used was fear. Moses strength was meekness and he was brought down with the weapon of temper. David’s strength was purity and he was felled with the weapon of sex. Solomon’s strength was wisdom and he was brought down with the weapon of stupidity. Noah’s strength was being a preacher of righteousness and he was brought down by liquor and nudity. Saul’s strength was humility and he was brought down by pride. Abraham’s strength was faith and he was brought down by unbelief.

Why? It is very simple we guard our weaknesses and leave our strengths unguarded. I am speaking to young people whose dreams and aspirations of a great ministry will not come to fruition if their strengths go unguarded. These unguarded strengths may be their downfall with their dreams turning into nightmares.
  
GOD’S STRATEGY

In Ephesians chapter 6 we have the armour of God. We are told to put on the whole armour of God. Actually the armour only covers four parts of the body.

·      The helmet of salvation
·      The breastplate of righteousness
·      The loins girded with truth
·      The feet shod with the preparation of the Gospel of peace

This simply means that God knows where the devil is going to attack.

Protect the mind

God’s children must guard their mind so the devil has no avenue of attack. TV, bad magazines, movies, and such are avenues through the eye gate to the mind. Young preachers should be extremely careful of whom they lendtheir minds too in the books they read! They will never fall if they shut the avenue to their mind off too the devil.

Satan wants evil thoughts to enter the mind of God’s children especially his servants! Satan wants the leader to take a peek at a Playboy Magazine or the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue.

God’s strategy is for the leader to keep his or her mind clean thus God covers the head with the helmet of salvation.

                                   Protect the heart

The second piece of armour of God has is the breastplate of righteousness. Why, because the devil will attack the heart of the leader second. Satan attacks the mind and then the devil attacks the heart. If he cannot get you to think wrong he will then attempt to get you not to be happy about doing right!

Have you ever seen a liberal preacher holler “AMEN” or stand up and wave his Bible? Have you ever seen Robert Schuler cut loose and shout, “Praise the Lord?” Have you ever seen a liberal preacher set up a tent and conduct a tent campaign or a revival meeting? No, they are dead as a birds’ nest! Have you ever heart a liberal preacher stand up and shout, “Praise God my Bible ain’t so” or “My Bible is not inspired?” Liberals do not have church on Sunday night! Why? The devil has gotten to their heart. 

Protect the loins

Satan is after the purity of God’s children! Satan is after their loins! Bad music will do nothing but get you so worked up with your passions that it will be easy for you to lose your purity. Hey dear Christian keep your lips to yourself and keep your hands to yourself. One-day young person you will give your bride or your bridegroom a clean and virtuous person and not a second hand mate. Satan is after your loins!

The devil is after the king or the future leader or the present leader! He goes after the mind, the heart, and the loins! He is after the coach more than the team, the pastor more than the staff, the staff more than the church members, the principal more than the teachers, the teachers more than the students, the choir director more than the choir, the president more than the administration, the administration more than the faculty, the faculty more than the college pupils, etc.

Protect your feet

God’s strategy is for His people to cover their head, heart, loins, and to cover their feet. Those are the only four body parts that are mentioned to be covered by the armour of God.

He is saying to the leader keep on soul winning! Join up and be apart of the soul-winning program of your church. Do not leave it up to the followers to do the soul winning for the church. One of the greatest mistakes made is when a church becomes successful at winning souls that the leaders start easing up!

The devil is after the king, the shepherd, the father, the mother, the pastor, the pastoral staff, the deacon, the faculty, the president, the coach, the choir director, the Sunday school superintendent, the Sunday school teacher, and the bus captains. Why? Because they are the leaders! God’s strategy is for His leaders to cover their head, heart, loins, and feet!





Wednesday, March 15, 2017

LEADERS SUFFER IN ORDER TO GROW

THE SUFFERING OF LEADERS

Jeremiah 48:11, “Moab hath been at ease from his youth, and he hath settled on his lees, and hath not been emptied from vessel to vessel, neither hath he gone into captivity: therefore his taste remained in him, and his scent is not changed.”

Zephaniah 1:12, “And it shall come to pass at that time, that I will search Jerusalem with candles, and punish the men that are settled on their lees: that say in their heart, The LORD will not do good, neither will he do evil.”


Moab was a small nation. Moab had been at ease from his youth he has settled on his lees or dregs. He had not been emptied from vessel to vessel neither had he gone into captivity there his taste remained in him for his scent was not changed according to the Scriptures.

God is saying here that Moab the nation has not been poured from vessel to vessel thus Moab has not been poured from vessel to vessel he settled on his dregs and he doesn’t taste any better. His taste has not improved! His scent or odor has not improved because he has not been poured from vessel to vessel.

This ancient people had lived a passive life.  They lived undisturbed! No external enemy had attacked them. No great natural national disaster had befallen them and for this reason they had made no progress. They had become a contented and complacent people and therefore God is saying they were not a blessing to anybody in the whole world.

THE EXAMPLE OF THE NATION ISRAEL

On the other hand the little nation Israel had been and would influence the entire world for good.

·      From Israel would come the Word of God
·      From Israel would come the Son of God
·      From Israel would come the New Testament Church

 Israel the nation was a blessing for Israel had a good taste and a sweet scent. Why, because Israel had been poured form vessel to vessel.

God uses the example of making wine. When the grape ripened it is taken from the tree, put into a vat 8-foot square with little holes in the bottom. Below that vat is another vat 5 inches lower. The people would come and trample those grapes or tread those grapes. The juice would fall from the pulp and go down into the vat underneath. 

Then they would take the juice and pour it into a vessel. They would leave the vessel there for a short period of time. They would take the juice and pour it into another vessel. They would leave it there for a while more that way some of the dregs would be left. They would take and pour it into another vessel and keep on pouring this juice form one vessel to another vessel. Now every time they poured it some of the dregs were taken off and made it made the juice a little better. The scent was better!

God is saying Moab had not been poured form vessel to vessel and because Moab has not been poured form vessel to vessel she has not been a blessing to the world. However, the little nation of Israel had been poured from vessel to vessel.

The entire history of Israel is an alternation between prosperity and trouble. Under one king they enjoyed the blessing of peace. Under another king they endured the hardships of war. During one age they endured a revolution that divided them and in another age it brought the humiliation of exile. From vessel to vessel they were poured and as a result they were a blessing.

However Moab sat there on his lees: no disturbance, no heartaches, no problems, no burdens, and thus Moab was not a blessing.


THE EXAMPLE OF JACOB

Jacob was the man to the nation Israel was named after. His name was Jacob at first then his name was changed to Israel, which means “prince.” This man went from out bargaining Esau, deceiving his own father, out smarting Laban, and he went on to become the prince of God. How does this man become the prince of God? He was poured from vessel to vessel with the disobedience of Simeon and Levi, the trouble between him and Hamor, and the death of his beloved Rachel, the mysterious disappearance of his son Joseph, the detention of Judah in Egypt, and the demand for Benjamin. 

All of these are God making him a prince by pouring him from vessel to vessel to vessel! God is saying I’m going to make Jacob a prince so I will have to disturb him with burdens, heartaches, problems, and heartbreaks. God is saying I must pour him from vessel to vessel to vessel!

No one has ever been used of God who has been allowed to stay like Moab! If God is to use His people mightily He will have to disturb them by pouring them from vessel to vessel.


THE EXAMPLE OF GREAT CHURCHES

Who are the churches that have blessed a nation the most? They are churches like Dr. J. Frank Norris’ church, Dr. G. B. Vick’s church, Dr Lee Roberson’s church, Dr. Dallas Billington’s church, and a Dr. Jack Hyles’ church.

Wait a minute! All of these churches have something in common for the hand of God has disturbed them. They have been poured from vessel to vessel to vessel. Are these churches that were satisfied with the status quo? NO! Are they churches that sat in their lees? NO! Are these churches that had arrived and not need to gain higher ground? NO! Are they churches that were comfortable and sat in their lees? NO!

The First Baptist Church of Fort Worth, Texas, under Dr. J. Frank Norris had been poured and poured and poured and poured! This church was the mother church of the independent Baptist church movement and was a blessing to a nation.

Hold it! When that same church no longer wanted to be poured from vessel to vessel she went back into the Southern Baptist Convention and no longer was a blessing to a nation but she sits in her own dregs!

Temple Baptist Church of Detroit, Michigan, under the leadership of Dr. G. B. Vick was poured from one vessel to another vessel to another vessel for years resulting in her being a blessing to a nation. However one day she no longer wanted the stigma of old fashioned fundamentalism and now even the Baptist Bible Fellowship is ashamed of her Saturday night rock and roll shows. That same church is no longer being poured and she has ceased to be a blessing to our nation for she sits in her dregs!

The great First Baptist Church of Hammond, Indiana, was poured from vessel to vessel under the leadership of Dr. Jack Hyles and she was a blessing to a nation. 

In every case when the pastor that pastored those churches was poured from vessel to vessel to vessel the church was a blessing, but when those men of God died, or resigned, someone came in who refused to associate with old-fashioned fundamentalism. The result was the dregs began to collect, the taste was gone, the scent was gone, and a nation went unblessed!


THE EXAMPLE OF FAMILIES

Hey dad and mom? Do you want your family to be a blessing? Then you thank God for the burdens, the heartaches, the trails, the heartbreak, the tears, the pain, and let God pour you from vessel to vessel to vessel. However, the minute you decide you don’t want to fight anymore for right or struggle anymore for right and you decide to let your little pin-headed son or daughter take you out of the battle and refuse to let God pour you from vessel to vessel you will end up sitting in your own dregs. Your family life will be filled with dregs, a bad taste, and a bad smell.

God said to Moab, “I cannot use you! You will not have a good taste or scent and I can’t use you! You have been sitting there complacent in your peace, no attacks, no battles, and no outside enemies.” God is saying Moab, “I cannot use you” but I will take little Israel and I’ll pour her in this vessel and then pour her over and over again into other vessels and she not Moab will give us the Saviour, the New Testament Church, and the Scriptures!

My mama who went to Heaven on Christmas Day of 2010 at 98 was poured from vessel to vessel to vessel. She scrubbed floors in a nursing home to help support the family. She finished her GED for high-school diploma. She went on to college and became an Administrator of several Nursing Homes. She was poured from vessel to vessel to vessel. She never sat down in her own dregs and as a result she was a blessing!


THE EXAMPLE OF PREACHERS

God comes looking to seek a preacher and he does not want Mr. Personality, Mr. Orator, or Mr. Pretty Boy for God is looking not for the obvious leader but a boy born in poverty with a drunken dad while being reared by a single mom. It is the Jack Hyles’ whom God is looking for. These are the ones poured from vessel to vessel to vessel who are not sitting in their own dregs. These are the ones who are a blessing to a nation and not afraid to be the off scourging of the earth for they have lived that way for a lifetime.

These were not born with a silver spoon in their mouths! Ignorant and unlearned much like Acts 4:13, “Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marveled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.” When some Reverend rails on you for being unlearned and ignorant praise God for it!

Some of you reading this chapter have been poured from vessel to vessel to vessel and I want you to thank God for it! You are sitting here reading this and asking yourself, “When will the hurt ever stop and end?” The truth is you are going to be mighty tasteful one day! You are going to have a sweet scent about you one of these days!

What preacher gave us “Pilgrims Progress?” It was John Bunyan who was poured from vessel to vessel. Check the biographies of great men and you will not find any who had it easy! The Moody’s, the Spurgeon’s, the Paul Radar’s, the B. R. Lakin’s, the Beauchamp Vick’s, the J. Frank Norris’, the Lester Roloff’s, the Lee Roberson’s, and the Jack Hyles’ were all poured from vessel to vessel and were not found sitting in their own dregs.

The John Wesley’s were poured from vessel to vessel. The John R. Rice’s were poured from vessel to vessel. The Bill Rice’s were poured from vessel to vessel. The Billy Sunday’s were poured from vessel to vessel. These men were not found sitting in their own dregs. Too much pouring to have them sitting in dregs!

I must allow God to pour me from vessel to vessel so that I may be available to be a blessing! I do not say run toward suffering but I do say if you do right and refuse to run with the compromisers you will suffer! When this happens keep letting God pour you from vessel to vessel so you can avoid the dregs of life!

When God chooses to take a husband from your side, or a wife from your table, or a little child from your arms, or your health, or the health of a loved one never forget God is pouring you from vessel to vessel. He does this so you will taste good, so you will have a sweet scent, and you can be a blessing to the world around you!


Monday, March 6, 2017

THE DANGER OF FAKE FRIENDS

FAKE FRIENDS

II Samuel 13:3, “And Amnon had a friend, whose name was Jonadab, the son of Shimeah David’s brother: and Jonadab was a very subtil man.”

I Samuel 18:1, “And it came to pass, when he had made an end of speaking unto Saul, that the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul.”


It does not mention here in verse one that their souls were knitted to each other. It does say specifically that Jonathan’s soul was knit to David’s soul. In essence you have one soul in two bodies. Jonathan became a friend to David. The truth is when one becomes a Biblical friend to someone it is as if you lose your own will to be of help to them to do God's will.

Jonathan was the eldest son of King Saul. Jonathan was heir apparent to the throne. Jonathan was a man of character and quit capable of being king, but when he gave his soul to David his desire was that David be king instead!

Jonathan gave his friendship to David because he observed God’s hand on David. Jonathan witnessed how little David took the challenge of the giant Goliath and how he slew the giant. Jonathan perceived the anointing of God on David and he realized David would be a greater king. He decided that the nation would be better off with David as God’s choice and not Saul’s choice.

Jonathan gave David his sword, robe, scepter, and girdle. Notice real friendship is not two souls knitted together because that is a selfish agreement but one soul in two bodies is an unselfish commitment. Yes, it is one sided, but it is real Bible friendship!

Both Jonathan and King Saul have been killed in battle. David had tasted real friendship and he desired another relationship of real friendship. However, David did not examine what he had done to cause God to give him Jonathan as his friend. We have no record in Scripture of David being Jonathan’s friend, but we have clear Scripture to tell us that Jonathan was David’s friend.

David has experienced real friendship and he coveted it again and as a result he disqualified himself from being a friend and having a friend. David thus creates a title of “friend.” David later on made it a government office. Solomon later on made it the principal office, the office of “friend.”

David was attempting to find another Jonathan, but you do not make another Jonathan because it is God Himself who gives a Jonathan as a gift! David chooses Hushai to be the official “friend”

One of these friends was appointed to David’s first-born son whose name was Amnon. Jonadab was given by David, who was king, the family title of “friend” just for Amnon! King David now places on the payroll a "friend" for each of the royal children. Jonadab was paid to be a friend to Amnon not a friend like Jonathan, but an appointed hired “friend”

HERE IS THE STORY

Amnon became infatuated with the beauty of his half sister Tamar. Amnon lusted after her and called it “love.” However, it was merely a physical attraction. The hired “friend” Jonadab came to see Amnon and noticed that Amnon’s countenance was not good. He asked Amnon what was wrong? Amnon told Jonadab that he was in love with his half sister Tamar. Jonadab then began to help Amnon with this ungodly lust.

He told Amnon to play like he was sick and when the father comes and asks what is wrong tell him you are sick and need Tamar, the half sister, to come and take care of you. Jonadab then said when she comes in with the food ask the others to leave so you can be alone with her. Wait a minute this was his friend’s counsel. This is a kind of a friend that will give you worldly wisdom and tell you what you want to hear not what is best for you.

James 3:15, “This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.”

This is how any one ends up justifying the use of dope, liquor, bad music, etc. No one reading this article would say that Jonadab was a real friend. However, the truth is if you think hard enough you will realize you have Jonadab’s in your own life that are nothing more than hired friends. If you scratch their back they will scratch your back.

Amnon finally ended up raping his half sister Tamar. Jonadab is the kind of a friend who is against parental authority in fact any kind of elder statesmanship. This is the kind of a friend who with subtilty turns people against their elders. This is the type of person who is a friend as long as he has a title, but without the title does little if anything to help. “If you’ll be my friend I’ll be your friend! If you don’t do it my way I’ll do nothing for you.” Hired friends! Prostituted friends!

The Consequences

The result of this kind of so-called friend is hate, rape and death. David sends Tamar into Amnon who is professing to be ill. Amnon forces himself upon Tamar and rapes his half sister. Don’t forget this it was Amnon’s hired friend that thought this plan up! It was this fake friend who led him into this sin that was a crime against his own half sister.

It is time that we unselfishly give ourselves to those we profess to be friends. Why don’t we lose ourselves in a cause that is greater than ourselves that will lift us up above ourselves? This hired friendship caused Amnon to do some awful things that had built in repercussions.

·      He raped his half sister Tamar
·      Absalom David’s third son was infuriated with Amnon the first son
·      Absalom thus began to hate Amnon
·      Absalom plotted to murder Amnon
·      David punished Absalom and banished him for 5 years from the palace
·      As a result Absalom rebelled against his own father
·      It caused a revolution against King David
·      It resulted in Absalom being killed in battle

Don’t forget this hired friend caused Amnon to rape Tamar, which caused Absalom to be banished from the palace. Have you not wondered why Absalom rebelled against his father David? He was furious because David exiled him for murdering Amnon for raping Tamar and all of this because of a fake friend in Jonadab.

This hired friend Jonadab caused Amnon to rape his sister, Absalom to kill Amnon, King David to expel Absalom, Absalom to rebel against his own father, and a revolution against the King!

Absalom would not have been killed had he not led in a revolution against his father. He would not have led a revolution had he not been exiled for 5 years. He would not have been exiled had he not killed Amnon. He would not have killed Amnon had Amnon not raped Tamar. Amnon would not have raped Tamar had he not had Jonadab as a hired or fake friend!

I have often wondered how many men died or were destroyed because of a fake friend like this? I have often wondered how many orphans were made because of a fake friend? I have often wondered how many widows were created because of a fake friend?

The silence of friends is more deafening than the voices of your enemies.

When you are on top and winning they will be right there beside you riding your coattails. However, when you are attacked and it appears you are losing they will quickly deny they ever knew you.  

Focus on doing the will of God by meeting the needs of others and do not worry about having a friend, but concentrate on being a friend.