When GOD Allows the Outside to Reflect the Inside – 2 Kings 5:1-27

A Study in 2 KingsAnd HE was saying,

That which proceeds out of the man, that is what defiles the man

For from within, out of the heart of men proceed the

Evil thoughts, fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries

Deeds of coveting and wickedness, as well as

Deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride and foolishness

All these evil things proceed from within

And defile the man

Mark 7:20-23

In this BIBLE study of 2 Kings Chapter 5, our Beloved LORD GOD focuses on two men, Naaman (2 Kin 5:1-19) and Gehazi (2 Kin 5:20-27). Within the study of these two men, are nine powerful lessons for each one of us.

As we began to look at Naaman and Gehazi, we learn in 2 Kings 5:1 that Naaman was:

  • captain of the Aramean (Syrian) army
  • highly regarded and respected by his master, the King of Aram; because by him our GOD gave victory to Aram
  • a valiant (courageous, determined, successful) warrior
  • a leper

From the study in 2 Kings Chapter 4, as well as 2 Kings 5:20, we are only told that Gehazi is the servant of Elisha the man of GOD.

Before we continue with this BIBLE study, let’s stop and address its title, “When GOD Allows the Outside to Reflect the Inside.” There are two types of leprosy:

  • Physical leprosy a progressive infectious disease caused by a particular bacteria that attacks the skin, flesh, nerves, etc.; it is characterized by nodules, ulcers, white scaly scabs, deformities, and the eventual loss of feeling in the affected parts of the body. When left untreated it causes death.
  • Spiritual leprosy a progressive hardening of the heart caused by ongoing, unrepentant sin. This sin causes gradual insensitivity to the promptings of The Holy SPIRIT, deafness to the voice of GOD, lack of thirst for the presence of GOD, absence of hunger for the WORD of GOD, and no remorse for sinning against GOD. This unholy progression makes spiritual leprosy as menacing to the soul as physical leprosy is to the body.

When left untreated, long-term physical leprosy is easily detected in the smell and appearance of the body; whereas long-term spiritual leprosy is reflected in the thought processes, attitude, and behavior of affected individuals.

Naaman was a physical leper. His body was cleansed from the leprosy when he humbled himself and followed the instructions given to him by Elisha (2 Kin 5:9-14). Afterwards, his soul was also cleansed when he both believed and confessed “there is no God in all the earth, but in Israel” (2 Kin 5:15). Naaman being made whole, determined within his heart, to serve only our Beloved LORD GOD, so he sought forgiveness when he had to go with his master the King of Aram into the house of the false god Rimmon as his aide (2 Kin 5:18-19).

Gehazi was a spiritual leper. And his spiritual leprosy was revealed through his actions (2 Kin 5:20-26). Gehazi’s heart of greed (which is a heart of idolatry-Col 3:5) would be revealed to everyone, when he suddenly was covered with leprosy (2 Kin 5:27). His love for money caused him to covet the treasure Naaman had brought with him as payment for his healing. Which led to him lying to both Naaman (2 Kin 5:22) and Elisha (2 Kin 5:25) to get some of it. But like Ananias and Sapphira, he would soon discover he was not lying to man, but to GOD (Act 5:1-10). Gehazi’s sin of greed/idolatry, like Achan (Jos 6:17-19, Jos 7:1-26) and Judas Iscariot (Jhn 12:4-6, Mrk 14:3-10, Mat 26:6-16, Psa 109:4-20) before him, not only affected him, but also his descendants (2 Kin 5:27).     

Are there other physical and spiritual lepers in The BIBLE who were made whole or revealed? Yes, there are:

  • Two physical lepers who humbled themselves before our Precious LORD JESUS CHRIST, were made whole:
    • A Jewish leper (Luk 5:12-14)
    • A Samaritan leper (Luk 17:11-19)
  • Two spiritual lepers whose diseased hearts were revealed through physical leprosy:
    • Miriam’s heart of envy, led her to criticize and disparage GOD’s chosen leader, her younger brother Moses. Her judgment for speaking against GOD’s leader, was seven days outside the camp cut off from the rest of Israel, until both her heart and body were healed (Num 12:1-16).
    • King Uzziah’s heart was full of pride, causing him to try and force himself into a place that was not his to have. He spent the rest of his life with leprosy, cut off from the house of The LORD (2 Chr 26:16-21).  

Lessons within the Lesson:

  • All things work together for good (2 Kin 5:2-4, Rom 8:28). The captivity of a little girl from Israel brought healing and salvation to a man of valor from Aram.
  • HE can use any messenger (2 Kin 5:3-4, Luk 19:37-40). The message of a prophet in Israel with a gift of healing through a little Israeli servant girl, was heard and received.
  • It’s not about you (2 Kin 5:5-7, Gen 45:5-8, Deu 9:4-6, Act 16:25-31). There are times when things good or bad happen around us, or to us, but we must not lean to our own understanding about the event(s) taking place (Pro 3:5), we must trust GOD. Perhaps we are not the reason but the instrument.
  • GOD knows (2 Kin 5:3, 2 Kin 5:8, Heb 4:12). Absolutely nothing is hidden from our Beloved LORD GOD, there is no where we can hide our thoughts, actions or deeds from HIM, HE sees and knows it all (Psa 90:8, Psa 139:1-12, Jer 23:24, Eze 8:7-12).
  • Healing comes with humility (2 Kin 5:9, 2 Kin 5:11-14). When we humble ourselves before our loving, compassionate and gracious GOD, HE has promised we will be healed (2 Chr 7:14), our sorrow turned into joy (Jam 4:8-10), and our heads lifted up (Psa 3:3).
  • A true servant of GOD will never distract from HIS glory (2 Kin 5:10-11, Psa 115:1). Our heart must be humble, like our Precious LORD JESUS CHRIST, HE came as a servant (Mrk 10:45) who never tried to take honor for HIMSELF (Php 2:5-8).
  • GOD’s gifts are not for sale (2 Kin 5:15-16, Act 8:18-20). Like Naaman, we must completely understand that it is GOD at work by HIS servants (Act 19:11). We have freely received from HIM to build up HIS Church and expand HIS Kingdom, we must freely give (Mat 10:7-8).
  • GOD reveals men’s hearts (2 Kin 5:20, 1 Cor 4:5) as well as all things done in secret (2 Kin 5:21-26, Luk 12:2-3, 1 Tim 5:24-25). See comment on bullet point 4).
  • GOD will judge those secrets (2 Kin 5:27, Rom 2:16). Each one of us must stand before the judgment seat of CHRIST (2 Cor 5:10), and give account for everything we did in our bodies (Ecc 3:17, Ecc 11:9, Ecc 12:14).

                                                                                              

And HE said to them

You are those who justify yourselves in the sight of men

But GOD knows your hearts

For that which is highly esteemed among men

Is detestable in the sight of GOD     

Luke 16:15

LORD, LORD

Lord, Lord before the throne“Not everyone who says to ME

“Lord, Lord”

Will enter the kingdom of heaven

But he who does the will of My Father

WHO is in heaven will enter

Matthew 7:21

On this 26th day of April 2020, the news headlines for just the last week, are filled with many prophetic events from Ezekiel, Matthew and Revelation. And though not included in the illustration below, the current global headlines also included earthquakes, wars and raging fires:

  • Ezekiel 14:21 speaks of four severe, catastrophic, or dreadful judgments (war, famine, wild beasts and plague) to cut off men and animals because of sin.
  • Matthew 24:3-9 speaks of events (war, famines, earthquakes, persecution) that will signal HIS return. Matthew 24:8 identifies these events as birth pangs, indicating things will get more severe as HIS return draws nearer.
  • Revelation 6:1-9 gives more detail concerning the events spoken of in Matthew 24:3-9, and tells us the birth pangs being experienced on earth are actually seals being opened in heaven.

Global Current Headlines

On March 29, 2020 our Beloved LORD GOD sent me with the message “Take Heed.” The time of sleeping is over, it is time to be sober and alert, to the events happening all around us, events which signal HIS imminent return. Today, almost a month later, HE has sent me with the same message, HE first sent through HIS apostle Peter more than 2000 years ago.

May GOD give you more and more grace and peace

As you grow in your knowledge of GOD and JESUS our LORD

By HIS divine power, GOD has given us everything we need for living a godly life

We have received all of this by coming to know HIM

The ONE who called us to HIMSELF, by means of HIS marvelous glory and excellence

And because of HIS glory and excellence, HE has given us great and precious promises

These are the promises that enable you to share HIS divine nature

And escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires

In view of all this, make every effort to respond to GOD’s promises

Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence

And moral excellence with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control

And self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness

And godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone

The more you grow like this, the more productive and useful you will be

In your knowledge of our LORD JESUS CHRIST

But those who fail to develop in this way are shortsighted or blind

Forgetting that they have been cleansed from their old sins

So, dear brothers and sisters, work hard to prove

That you really are among those GOD has called and chosen

Do these things, and you will never fall away

Then GOD will give you a grand entrance

Into the eternal Kingdom of our LORD and SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST

2 Peter 1:2-11 (New Living Translation)

As a result of this message it is imperative that we examine ourselves to see if we are still in the faith (2 Cor 13:5). We should start by honestly analyzing who is Lord of our lives.

How many of you know that salvation of our souls came not just with believing that both JESUS CHRIST is The only Begotten SON of GOD (Jhn 3:16), and GOD raised HIM from the dead as proof of WHO HE is (Rom 10:9-10, Act 17:31), but also that we must fully surrender our lives to HIM (Rom 10:9)? We are no longer the boss of our lives HE is!

Our Beloved LORD JESUS CHRIST tells us on judgment day (Mat 7:21), many will come before HIM saying “Lord, Lord” hoping to be given entrance into the Kingdom of Heaven. But sadly HE will turn them away, because HE is not their LORD, and HE doesn’t know them because they continually lived a life of disobedience (Mat 7:22-23). This is a powerful lesson for all of us, doing things you think are pleasing to GOD, means nothing if you are not living a life obedient to GOD (1 Cor 13:1-3, 1 Jhn 4:16, Jhn 14:23).

There are two devastating statements not one of us would ever want to hear from our Beloved LORD JESUS CHRIST:

  • “I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS” (Matt 7:23)
  • “Why do you call ME, ‘Lord, Lord’, and do not do what I say?” (Luk 6:46)

Regrettably, many professing Christians do not know that JESUS HIMSELF will be The One WHO we will stand before to be judged for everything we did in our physical bodies (Act 17:30-31). Many have been quoted two passages from John (Jhn 3:17, Jhn 12:47), as the basis why JESUS does not judge. But if they had been good Bereans, or studied GOD’s WORD for themselves they would know HIS first coming was for salvation only, but HIS second coming will be for judgment (2 Cor 5:10). Each one of us will give an account of ourselves to GOD (Rom 14:12, Mat 16:27) for our:

  • Words (Mat 12:34-37, Eph 4:29, Jam 3:9-10)
  • Obedience (Mat 7:21-23, Luk 6:46)
  • Relationship with HIM (Luk 13:22-30, Tit 1:16)
  • Love for others (Mat 25:31-46, 1 Jhn 3:16-18)
  • Readiness (Mat 25:1-13, Luk 12:35-38, Heb 9:28)

This message is not to bring fear and uncertainty about your relationship with our Beloved LORD GOD and Precious LORD JESUS CHRIST, instead in HIS great mercy and compassion, we are each being given an opportunity to examine ourselves.

And these words of comfort from HIM, for HIS faithful followers:

But if anyone loves GOD

He is known by HIM

1 Corinthians 8:3

No one who abides in HIM sins

No one who sins

Has seen HIM

Or knows HIM

1 John 3:6

According to 1 John 3:6, no one who sins, knows HIM. How can one not sin? If you carefully re-read 1 John 3:6, you will see the very first statement is “No one who abides in HIM sins.” That means if you abide in our Beloved LORD GOD and HE abides in you, you will not continually live a life of sin (practice – 1 Jhn 3:4-10).

If after examining your lifestyle through Scripture, and you feel convicted about something you are continually doing, knowing it is not pleasing to GOD. Seek HIS forgiveness (1 Jhn 1:9) and seek HIS help (Psa 51:6-13). HE promises not to cast out those who come to HIM (Jhn 6:37-40).

Now may the GOD of peace HIMSELF sanctify you entirely

And may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete

Without blame at the coming of our LORD JESUS CHRIST

Faithful is HE who calls you, and HE also will bring it to pass

1 Thessalonians 5:23-24

The LORD is our KEEPER – 2 Kings 4:1-44

A Study in 2 KingsI will lift up my eyes to the mountains;

From where shall my help come?

My help comes from The LORD,

WHO made heaven and earth.

HE will not allow your foot to slip;

HE who keeps you will not slumber.

Behold, HE who keeps Israel

Will neither slumber nor sleep.

The LORD is your Keeper;

The LORD is your shade on your right hand.

The sun will not smite you by day,

Nor the moon by night.

The LORD will protect you from all evil;

HE will keep your soul.

The LORD will guard your going out and your coming in

From this time forth and forever.

Psalm 121:1-8

In this BIBLE study of 2 Kings Chapter 4, our Beloved LORD GOD will comfort and encourage us through several truths, as HE makes HIMSELF known as The True SHEPHERD through a widow, a Shunammite woman, and a company of prophets.

Why is the foundational Scripture Psalm 121:1-8, and not from a Scripture(s) in 2 Kings Chapter 4? When I studied 2 Kings Chapter 4, I asked our Beloved LORD GOD what was HIS message for this passage. HE said “The LORD is our KEEPER.” HE then led me to Psalm 121:1-8, and by examining the English word “Keeper” in the Hebrew language of origin, HE gave me the following understanding:

In the NASB translation, of Psalm 121:1-8, there are five English words (keep, keeps, keeper, protect and guard) that are all transliterated from the same Hebrew word “shamar” (OT: 8104); it is a primitive root word, that means to:

  • hedge about (as with thorns) ― to place a boundary or barrier around for protection (Job 1:10)
  • guard ― to keep safe, protect (Psa 121:8, Act 20:28)
  • protect ― defend, or guard from loss (1 Sam 17:34-37, Amo 3:12, Jhn 10:11-13, Jhn 10:28-29)
  • watch-over ― stay awake, be alert, observe carefully, look after, guard, protect (Job 36:7, Pro 15:3, Heb 4:13)
  • preserve ― keep from harm, danger, damage, evil (Psa 32:7)
  • tend ― to take care of, to watch-over (Isa 40:11, Mrk 6:34-44, Jhn 21:15-17)
  • take care of ― to look after, to provide for (Gen 50:24-25, Psa 55:22, Mat 11:28-30, 1 Pet 5:7)

In Romans 15:4 our Beloved LORD GOD tells us “whatever was written in earlier times, was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.” As a result, whenever I read The BIBLE, I ask our Beloved “what instructions should I personally receive from the passage I am reading?” While I pondered the definition of a Keeper, in Psalm 121:1-8, our Precious JESUS CHRIST revealed that I was looking at the conduct of a true shepherd. And it is how HE, our SHEPHERD (Psa 23:1, Jhn 10:11, 1 Pet 2:25) takes care of us, HIS people, the sheep of HIS pasture (Psa 95:7, Psa 100:3, Eze 34:11-16).

As our Beloved SHEPHERD, HE is our Keeper, our Constant Companion, our Guardian, our Protector, our Preserver, our Defender…

  • HE continually keeps us safe from harm (Psa 121:7, Jhn 10:27-30). This doesn’t mean we will not suffer, it means that what pain HE allows will not destroy us (2 Cor 4:7-9, Luk 21:12-19, Jhn 3:16).
  • HE never ceases to be watchful over us (Psa 121:3-4, Isa 27:3, 2 Chr 16:9, Psa 33:18). HE never grows tired or fatigued (Isa 40:28).
  • HE is very attentive to us (Psa 121:8, Deu 28:6, Jhn 10:1-10). HE knows the condition of HIS flock (Pro 27:23). HE is completely aware of every part of us (Psa 139:1-5). HE continually knows what we are doing, and where we are doing it (Pro 5:21, Jer 16:17). And everything we say and do is recorded in books in heaven (Jer 17:13, Mal 3:16-18, Mat 12:36-37, Rev 20:12). HE knows the desires of our hearts (Psa 10:17, Psa 38:9), and every need we have (Mat 6:8).

 Background:

  • Israel was divided into two kingdoms after Solomon’s reign (1 Kin 11:11-13, 1 Kin 11:31-32). The first kingdom located in the north continued to be called Israel, and its capital was Samaria (2 Kin 17:6). The second kingdom located in the south became known as Judah, and its capital is Jerusalem (1 Kin 14:21).
  • Elisha’s prophetic ministry like Elijah before him, was in the northern kingdom (2 Kin 1:17). And like Elijah, he traveled between cities in Israel. The map at the end of the study reflects the places Elijah and Elisha traveled to/from during their ministries. 2 Kings Chapter 4, records Elisha’s travels between Mount Carmel, Shunem and Gilgal (underlined in red on the map ― 2 Kin 4:8, 2 Kin 4:25, 2 Kin 4:38).
  • Mount Carmel is located by the Mediterranean Sea (Jer 46:18). Several significant activities are recorded at this mountain:
    • King Saul set up a monument for himself at this mountain (1 Sam 15:12), after his partial obedience in the battle with the Amalekites (1 Sam 15:1 -23)
    • GOD used Elijah to reveal the true GOD in Israel through fire from heaven (1 Kin 18:17-41)
    • Elijah went to the top of Mount Carmel to watch for a cloud forming on the horizon of the sea– the sign that The LORD GOD had ended the famine in Israel (1 Kin 18:42-46)
    • Elisha and his servant Gehazi resided at the mountain’s base
  • Shunem was one of the cities in Israel belonging to the tribe of Issachar (Jos 19:17-23). It was located between Gilgal and Mount Carmel (as shown on the map at the end of the study). Shunem is known as the place where the Philistines encamped for their final battle against King Saul and the Israelites (1 Sam 28:4). It was during this battle, King Saul and three of his sons died (1 Sam 31:1-10).

As we examine 1 Kings Chapter 4, we are first introduced to a widow (2 Kin 4:1-7):             

  1. Filled with fear, because her husband, one of the prophets died leaving a bill she could not pay. The creditor of the bill came to take her two sons away, to work as his slaves (2 Kin 4:1, 2 Kin 4:7). The creditor’s heart was not right before GOD, because he ignored our Beloved LORD GOD’s instructions to treat the poor in Israel as a hired man and not as a slave in order to pay off debt (Lev 25:39-41, Neh 5:1-5).
  2. She knew if the creditor took her two sons, her means of support would be taken with them. According to our Beloved ABBA’S WORD, adult children and adult grandchildren should take care of their elderly parents when they can no longer provide for themselves (Mrk 7:10-13, Luk 7:11-15, 1 Tim 5:3-5). Our Precious JESUS CHRIST demonstrated the importance of this; HIS final accomplishment before laying down HIS life on the cross for each one of us, was to make sure HIS mother was taken care of (Jhn 19:25-30).
  3. Who felt she had nothing in her house to satisfy her debt. But our Beloved LORD GOD reminded her, she had a jar of oil. The prophet Elisha gives her instructions concerning the jar of oil (2 Kin 4:3-4). Through faith and obedience, our Beloved LORD GOD miraculously provided oil in abundance, so the debt was paid off, and money was left over to live on (2 Kin 4:5-7).

Throughout The BIBLE our Beloved LORD GOD has given us examples of HIM working with what we have (2 Cor 8:12) to provide for our needs (1 Kin 17:1-16) and the needs of others (2 Kin 4:42-44, Mrk 8:4-7, Jhn 6:9). Our Great SHEPHERD will not only deliver us from all our fears (Psa 34:4), but HE also provides for us (Gen 22:14, Neh 9:21, Psa 136:25, Psa 145:15-16, Jhn 21:12-13). When HE is our SHEPHERD, we will not want (Psa 23:1), which means we will not be without, have a lack of, or have a need not provided for (Psa 37:25-26, Mat 6:25-34, 2 Cor 9:8-11, Php 4:19).

We are next introduced to a Shunammite woman (2 Kin 4:8-37):

She is identified by our Beloved LORD GOD as a prominent (or great) woman living in the village of Shunem (2 Kin 4:8). The English word “prominent” in 2 Kings 4:8 was transliterated from the Hebrew word “gadol” (OT 1419) and means great of power, nobility or wealth; distinguished; very much above the ordinary.

Whose actions demonstrate she was indeed great in:

  1. Hospitality (Heb 13:1-2, 1 Pet 4:9). To truly be hospitable, one must be welcoming, warm and generous. This woman from Shunem wasn’t selfish (Pro 23:6-8). She was very generous, persuading Elisha and his servant Gehazi, to share their food not once but continually (2 Kin 4:8).
  2. Her love for GOD (1 Jhn 3:17-18, 1 Jhn 4:20-21). She could not have compassion for Elisha and Gehazi, if she did not have the love of GOD within herself (1 Jhn 4:19). She welcomed Elisha instead of mocking him (2 Kin 2:23), perceiving (or knowing by experience and recognition) that Elisha was a man of GOD (2 Kin 4:9). The Shunammite showed love for GOD’s NAME by ministering to HIS servant (Heb 6:10, Mrk 9:41) by providing for all he and his servant’s needs (2 Kin 4:9-11).
  3. Contentment (Php 4:11, 1 Tim 6:6-8, Heb 13:5). Though questioned, she requested nothing from the man of GOD (2 Kin 4:12-13). And she did not linger after her questioning, hoping to receive something. In fact Elisha had to call her back (2 Kin 4:14-15). Which testifies to her generous heart once again, she was not expecting anything in return for her kindness and generosity.
  4. Faith (Luk 1:37, Heb 11:6). The Shunammite woman knew nothing was impossible with GOD, and through HIS servant, she and her husband would not experience the loss of their only child. Our Beloved LORD GOD reveals her faith by her response three different times. First, when her husband asked why was she going to see the man of GOD, she simply answered “It will be well” (2 Kings 4:23). Second, when Elisha sent Gehazi to inquire if all was well with her husband, herself and their child, she answered “It is well” (2 Kings 4:26). And finally, she refused to return to her dead son if the man of GOD did not go with her (2 Kings 4:30).

 Our Great SHEPHERD is a Restorer. HE brings us back to a former condition (Gen 5:1, Eph 4:22-24, Rom 12:2), and HE gives back what was lost (Joe 2:25-27). As HE did with:

  • The Shunammite woman who lost her child through death (2 Kin 4:31-37), and later her house and field through famine (2 Kin 8:1-6)
  • Each one of us who trusts in JESUS (Jhn 3:16) and faithfully obeys HIM (Jhn 3:36), are restored to grace (Rom 5:15-21), reconciled to GOD (Rom 5:8-11), given eternal life (Gen 2:17, Jhn 6:40), and access to the tree of life (Gen 3:21-24, Rev 22:1-5).

We are finally introduced to a company of prophets living in Gilgal (2 Kin 4:38-44). This company of prophets faced death twice, first because of the scarcity of food during the famine (2 Kin 4:38), and second when one of the prophets gathered poisonous gourds (or a plant called a “squirting cucumber” which has a very bitter taste and is poisonous) cut them up, and put them into the pot (2 Kin 4:39). When the prophets began to eat the stew they cried out to Elisha for help (2 Kings 4:40). Our Great SHEPHERD and Keeper protected the prophets from death (Psa 68:20), by using HIS servant Elisha to throw meal into the pot which miraculously made the stew edible.

Our Beloved LORD GOD protected the prophets from death (2 Kings 4:41), and later provided for them by blessing what was not near enough for 100 men to eat, into more than enough (2 Kin 4:42-44). HE not only protected and provided for the company of prophets, HE protected and provided for the nation of Israel at Marah (Exd 15:22-25), and for all HIS creation (Psa 136:25, Luk 6:35, Mat 5:45). But for those who trust in HIM (Psa 28:7, Pro 16:20, Jer 17:7, Jhn 5:24, Jhn 12:44-45), HE also provides spiritual (Jhn 14:16, Jhn 14:26-27) and eternal support (Jhn 14:1-3, 1 Jhn 2:25).

Those who trust in The LORD

Are as Mount Zion, which cannot be moved but abides forever

As the mountains surround Jerusalem

So The LORD surrounds HIS people

From this time forth and forever

Psalm 125:1-2

Map of Mount Carmel, Shunem and Gilgal

Take HEED

Take Heed frog in boiling potThe Revelation of JESUS CHRIST

Which GOD gave HIM to show to HIS bond-servants

The things which must soon take place

And HE sent and communicated it by HIS angel to HIS bond-servant John

Who testified to THE WORD of GOD and to the testimony of JESUS CHRIST

Even to all that he saw

Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy

And heed the things which are written in it

For the time is near

Revelation 1:1-3

We open up this message to “take Heed” looking at a very distressed frog in a boiling pot of water. This picture is based on a metaphor conveying the thought “If the frog in the boiling pot, had been heeding the gradual change of the temperature in the pot, he would have been saved from injury or even death.”

Many of GOD’s people today, is that frog in the boiling pot. The LORD has continually sent messengers like me to tell HIS people they need to spend time with HIM, in prayer and study of HIS WORD. But they are too busy. Even now, the entire world has been shut down due to the coronavirus. People all over the globe have been forced by their governing authorities to remain in their places of residence, except for outings absolutely necessary for health, safety or welfare. But instead of taking this time to seek HIS face through prayer and study as individuals and families, social networking, television watching, online streaming, and video gaming has increased.

Because they don’t know GOD’s WORD, they are not taking heed to the things written. Nor are they aware that the things happening all around the world, are prophecies being fulfilled, signaling that the second coming of JESUS CHRIST is near (Rev 1:3, Rev 22:7-12).

For the last couple of months the news has daily reported on the coronavirus. Informing us that because of it, millions of people around the world have lost their jobs, hundreds of thousands have been infected, and thousands have died. But just three months ago the local, national and global news was filled with reports of fires burning down homes, entire neighborhoods, and 92 million acres of woodland, grassland and rainforest around the world. And before that, the world’s focus was on catastrophic weather events due to global warming. Along with all this, there has continually been reports of wars being fought around the world, continual gun violence, and escalating forms of crime. All spoken of in The BIBLE. And if GOD’s people would read HIS WORD they would understand why there is no reason for them to fear like the rest of the world (Isa 41:10).

What does it mean to take heed? It means to pay close attention to, to take careful notice of. Using the Message translation (a personal paraphrase of the Bible in English by Eugene Peterson from the original languages), we see Romans 13:11-14 says:

But make sure that you don’t get so absorbed and exhausted in taking care of all your day-by-day obligations that you lose track of the time and doze off, oblivious to GOD. The night is about over, dawn is about to break. Be up and awake to what GOD is doing! GOD is putting the finishing touches on the salvation work he began when we first believed. We can’t afford to waste a minute, must not squander these precious daylight hours in frivolity and indulgence, in sleeping around and dissipation, in bickering and grabbing everything in sight. Get out of bed and get dressed! Don’t loiter and linger, waiting until the very last minute. Dress yourselves in CHRIST, and be up and about!

In Hebrews 9:28 our Beloved LORD GOD tells us that our Precious JESUS CHRIST first came to this earth to save us from our sins, and that HE will come a second time to save those who eagerly await HIM from the wrath of GOD. Please don’t miss that only those who eagerly await HIM, are the ones who will be saved from GOD’s wrath.

What does it mean to “eagerly await” JESUS CHRIST? It means to be:

  • expecting HIS return, like someone who stays on alert because news of a thief in the neighborhood (Mat 24:42-44, 2 Pet 3:10, 1 The 5:2-8, Rev 3:1-3)
  • waiting for HIS return, like the ten virgins waiting for the bridegroom (Mat 25:1), or creation anxiously longing for the revelation of GOD’s true children (Rom 8:18-19, 1 Jhn 3:2)
  • ready for HIS return, like the Israelites were the night death passed over every household in Egypt (Exd 12:11), or the five wise virgins who took along extra oil for their lamps (Mat 25:4, Luk 12:35-38, Ecc 9:8)

Many know the Gospel concerning JESUS CHRIST and why HE came to earth the first time (Mat 1:21, Jhn 1:29, Act 13:38-39), but not many know HE returns for HIS faithful saints to save them from GOD’s wrath (Zep 1:14-18, Rom 5:8-9, 1 The 1:10, 1 The 5:9) that will be revealed from Heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness (Rom 1:18).

GOD is merciful to those who will forsake their sins and return to HIM (Isa 55:7), but out of love HE will discipline those who refuse to obey, though that discipline may grow more and more severe (Lev 26:14-39) until they turn from their evil ways (Lev 26:39-42). As it is not HIS desire for anyone to perish.

“And behold

I am coming quickly

Blessed is he who heeds the words of the prophecy of this book”

I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things

And when I heard and saw

I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who showed me these things

But he said to me, “Do not do that. I am a fellow servant of yours

And of your brethren the prophets

And of those who heed the words of this book

Worship GOD”

And he said to me

Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book

For the time is near

Let the one who does wrong, still do wrong

And the one who is filthy, still be filthy

And let the one who is righteous, still practice righteousness

And the one who is holy, still keep himself holy

Behold, I am coming quickly

And MY reward is with ME

To render to every man according to what he has done

Revelation 22:7-12

Knowing How to Battle – 2 Kings 3:1-27

A Study in 2 KingsThen he went and sent word to Jehoshaphat the king of Judah, saying

“The king of Moab has rebelled against me. Will you go with me to fight against Moab?”

And he said, “I will go up; I am as you are, my people as your people, my horses as your horses.”

He said, “Which way shall we go up?”

And he answered, “The way of the wilderness of Edom.”

2 Kings 3:7-8

 

In this BIBLE study, we will not only be looking at how king Jehoram went about his battle against the king of Moab, but we will also examine the lessons to be learned.

Background:

  • Jehoram (aka Joram) was a son of king Ahab of Israel (2 Kin 3:1), and became king when his older brother Ahaziah died, because Ahaziah had no sons (2 Kin 1:17).
  • Jehoram like his father and brother before him, was an evil king in Israel. He too served idols instead of GOD. Though he did not serve Baal as his father, mother, and brother had. He had the pillar of Baal removed when he became king (2 Kin 3:2). However, he still served the two golden calves that Jeroboam the fifth king of Israel created, causing the whole nation of Israel to sin (2 Kin 3:3).
  • History of the golden calves. Most people know about the golden calf Aaron made for the idolatrous Israelites while Moses was still meeting with GOD on the mountain (Exd 32:1-8). But many do not know about the two golden calves, that Jeroboam created. Though GOD had given Jeroboam the ten tribes living in the northern kingdom of Israel, and promised to make his kingdom endure if he walked upright before HIM (1 Kin 11:26-38). Jeroboam did not trust GOD’s WORDs, and out of fear, sinned as Aaron had, by making two golden calves (1 Kin 12:25-33). After the two golden calves had been created and set up, Jeroboam like Aaron declared the same blasphemous words “behold your gods, O Israel, that brought you up from the land of Egypt” (Exd 32:2-4, 1 Kin 12:28-29).
  • Jehoshaphat the king of Judah was a man who did what was right in the sight of The LORD, like his father Asa and David (1 Kin 15:9-15, 1 Kin 22:41-44). He often inquired of The LORD, and called a nationwide fast, when seeking help from The LORD from Judah’s enemies who were too many and too powerful (2 Chr 20:1-30).

In order to be victorious in the battles we face, we must know how to battle. Which means:

  • Be experienced in warfare → Experience only comes with doing (Before David was a man of war-1 Chr 28:3, he was a protector of sheep-1 Sam 17:33-37). You must practice in order to become experienced (Heb 5:14, Eph 4:13-15, Psa 119:100-102)
  • Have an understanding of the battle you face → Our struggle is not against flesh and blood (Eph 6:11)
  • Be aware of, or be familiar with the tactics of the enemy → Satan is a tempter (Gen 3:1-3, Mat 4:3-11); an accuser (Gen 3:5, Rev 12:10, Zec 3:1-5); a liar (Gen 3:3-4, Jhn 8:44); a deceiver (Rev 12:9, Rev 13:14, 1 Tim 2:14, Gen 3:13); a destroyer (1 Pet 5:8, Jhn 10:10, Jhn 8:44, Luk 22:31)…
  • Know how to win → Do not fight alone (Ecc 4:9-12, Mat 18:19-20, Mrk 6:7-13, Luk 10:1-12); fight with a champion (Isa 42:13, Isa 19:20, Jer 20:11, Jer 15:20-21, Zep 3:17, Rom 8:31)

Lessons Learned in 2 Kings Chapter 3:

  • Choose your Allies wisely (2 Kin 3:7, Psa 46:1-3, Psa 146:3-5, Jer 17:5-8).
  • Do not assume your decision is GOD’s decision (2 Kin 3:8-9, Pro 3:5-6), your thoughts are not HIS thoughts (Isa 55:8-9, 1 Cor 1:27-29). Remember our Beloved LORD GOD gave victory to:
    • Gideon―with trumpets, pitchers and torches (Jug 7:16-23)
    • David―with a slingshot and a single stone (1 Sam 17:40-50)
    • Jehoram―with trenches (2 Kin 3:16-23)
    • Kingdom of Judah―by praise and worship (2 Chr 20:14-22)
  • Do not blame GOD for your circumstances (2 Kin 3:10, 2 Kin 3:13, Num 11:1, Job 1:20-22, Job 2:7-10).
  • Always inquire of GOD first (2 Kin 3:11-13, 1 Sam 9:9, Heb 4:14-16), then you will know when to fight and when to stand (1 Sam 17:46-47, 2 Sam 5:17-25, 2 Chr 20:15); only those with a clean heart can inquire of HIM (1 Sam 28:6, Eze 20:1-3, Isa 59:1-3, Mat 5:23-24↔1 Pet 2:5, Rom 12:1, Heb 13:15-16, Jhn 9:31).
  • Seek GOD’s presence through prayer, praise and worship (2 Kin 3:14-15, 1 Sam 10:5, Psa 100:1-5, Psa 95:2, Php 4:6).
  • Obey HIS WORD (2 Kin 3:24-25) without going too far (Deu 4:2, Deu 12:32, Pro 30:6, 2 Jhn 1:9-11, Rev 22:18-19). The armies led by Israel slaughtered the Moabites (2 Kin 3:24), causing GOD’s wrath to rise against Israel (2 Kin 3:27, Zec 1:15).
  • Know your weakness, and your enemy’s strength (2 Kin 3:26), a hard lesson learned by the seven sons of Sceva (Act 19:11-16), who did not know GOD is our strength (Psa 81:1, Psa 62:7-8, Luk 11:20-22).
  • Do not forget the reason for the battle (2 Kin 3:4-7, 2 Kin 3:27) and do not rejoice over your enemy’s downfall (Pro 24:17-18).

Transformed

butterfly transformation2And do not be conformed to this world

But be transformed by the renewing of your mind

So that you may prove what the will of GOD is

That which is good and acceptable and perfect

Romans 12:2

Most of you know that a caterpillar is an insect that physically changes into a butterfly through complex metamorphosis.

But few know, the first thing that happens during this process is that most of the caterpillar’s old body dies. It is attacked by the same sort of juices the caterpillar used in its earlier life to digest its food. Literally, the caterpillar digests itself from the inside out. This process which destroys the majority of the caterpillar’s old body is called “histolysis.” What remains of the insect’s old body after “histolysis” is tissue that was hidden within a number of special formative cells. These special formative cells played no part in the caterpillar’s life, and stayed hidden or protected during the caterpillar’s partial death. 

Once the caterpillar’s partial death “histolysis” is completed (or appears to become soup), the hidden tissue known as “imaginal-disk” will be used to rebuild the caterpillar into a butterfly.  The “imaginal-disk” will reproduce rapidly to build a new body; developing into wings, legs, hairs, antennae, etc. out of the soup or insect’s digestive juices from the old larval body.

This complex metamorphosis of a caterpillar is such a powerful visual of what happens spiritually to a person who is truly “born again.” Once a person surrenders their life to our Precious JESUS CHRIST by acknowledging that HE and not they hold the power, authority, and final decisions in their life (Rom 10:9-10); and believe that our Beloved LORD GOD raised HIM from the dead, thus declaring that JESUS CHRIST is indeed The SON of GOD (Rom 1:4, 1 Ths 1:9-10), the transformation (metamorphosis) begins.

That part of the spiritually reborn person that was hostile toward GOD, also known as ‘flesh’ (Rom 8:7-8); their human nature which is prone to sin (Rom 8:5, Gal 5:19-21), is eventually destroyed, just like the caterpillar’s body. And the spiritual “imaginal-disk” or the hidden/innermost part or the mind of man (that invisible part of man that thinks, feels, remembers, judges, perceives, understands and determines) is transformed into a new creature (2 Cor 5:17) by GOD’s SPIRIT (2 Cor 3:18, Tit 3:5) and HIS WORD (Rom 12:2).

What is the outcome of this transformation? The thoughts, desires and behavior of one who is spiritually reborn will change. This person will no longer be conformed to this world (living the same lifestyle as the ungodly in this present evil age―1 Pet 1:14, 2 Tim 3:1-5), but will be conformed to the image of JESUS (Rom 8:29, 1 Pet 1:15).

 

Therefore

If anyone is in CHRIST

He is a new creature

The old things passed away

Behold, new things have come

2 Corinthians 5:17

One Taken One Doubly Anointed – 2 Kin 2:1-25

A Study in 2 KingsWhen they had crossed over, Elijah said to Elisha

“Ask what I shall do for you before I am taken from you.”

And Elisha said, “Please, let a double portion of your spirit be upon me.”

He said, “You have asked a hard thing.

Nevertheless, if you see me when I am taken from you,

It shall be so for you; but if not, it shall not be so.”

2 Kings 2:9-10

In this study of 2 Kings Chapter 2, we will examine two major events which occur, Elijah is taken alive up to heaven and Elisha receives a double anointing of our Beloved LORD GOD’s Holy SPIRIT as his successor. We will also carefully consider several events surrounding the two aforementioned events. But let’s first look at some historical background, to provide more understanding of details that might be missed.  

Background:

Circuit of SamuelSamuel was both a prophet of GOD, and a Judge of Israel (1 Sam 3:19-20, 1 Sam 7:15). He presided over companies of prophets (1 Sam 19:20) who lived in Bethel, Gilgal and Mizpah (the towns which were part of his annual circuit as a Judge―1 Sam 7:16-17) as seen in the attached map.

Elijah who now presided over the prophets in these towns, knew our Beloved LORD GOD was going to answer his prayer to end his physical life (1 Kin 19:4). He was traveling from Gilgal to the other side of the Jordan River (2 Kin 2:1-9), perhaps traveling home to Gilead on the other side of the Jordan to die (1 Kin 17:1, Jug 12:4, Num 26:28-29).

Elisha who had been anointed by GOD to replace Elijah as HIS prophet (1 Kin 19:16), was traveling with Elijah. Elijah became Elisha’s master (boss), at the moment he threw his mantle on Elisha, symbolizing the transference of the power and authority of his ministry to Elisha (1 Kin 19:19).

Points to Consider:

  • Though Elijah tried to talk Elisha out of following him to his death, Elisha refused to leave his master’s side. Elisha, like Ruth who refused to leave Naomi (Rut 1:15-16), and Ittai who refused to leave King David (2 Sam 15:19-22), declared that only death would separate him from Elijah (2 Kin 2:2-6). Each one of us should be this determined to follow our Beloved LORD JESUS CHRIST. We should cling to HIM and HIS WORD the way a belt clings to a waist (Jer 13:11, Psa 119:31, Rom 12:9). As faithful servants we should follow our Beloved MASTER wherever HE goes (Jhn 10:1-9, Jhn 10:27); including death, for HIS NAMESAKE (Rev 12:11, Php 3:7-8, Act 21:13, Mat 16:24-27, Mat 10:37-39).
  • Our LORD makes known HIS plans to HIS prophets (Amo 3:7) and to those who do HIS will (Jhn 15:14-15, Pro 3:32, Psa 25:14, Gen 18:17-19). That is why in 2 Kings 2:1-6, Elijah, Elisha and the prophets who lived in the places they traveled to, knew our GOD was going to take Elijah.
  • When Elijah used his mantle to strike the waters of the Jordan river (2 Kin 2:8), it was the third recorded time our Beloved LORD GOD parted the waters for HIS anointed to walk miraculous through them on dry ground (Exd 14:15-30, Jos 3:5-17, Jos 4:1-24). This powerful work of our Beloved LORD GOD occurred for three reasons. First, it confirmed GOD’s choice of the individual for service (Exd 14:31, Jos 3:7, 2 Kin 2:13-14). Second, it demonstrated that our Beloved GOD is The Almighty to those who didn’t know them (Jos 4:23-24). And third, those who knew HIM, would honor and revere HIM (Psa 76:7, Jer 10:6-7). Just like, HIS people who came before us, HE will not let the waters overflow us (Isa 43:2), take a moment and reflect on and thank HIM for the situation(s) in your life, HE prevented from overtaking you (Psa 18:1-19).
  • When Elisha requested a double portion of the Spirit that was on Elijah be upon him (2 Kin 2:9), he was not asking for twice as much of GOD’s Holy SPIRIT that dwelt on Elijah. He recognized the magnitude of Elijah’s ministry, and was seeking to be qualified to continue Elijah’s ministry with the help of GOD. Remember Elisha was not among the prophets, he was a farmer, out plowing in the field, when his divine call came (1 Kin 19:20-21). Two things, we should consider. First our Precious Savior and LORD JESUS CHRIST can use anyone, as demonstrated by HIS call of Elisha. And two, HE has promised, that each one who trusts in HIM, will carry out HIS mission of preaching The Gospel; not just in Israel but throughout the world (Jhn 14:12-14). Do you trust HIM to go forth in all the world, doing what HE has called you to do? (Mrk 16:15-18).
  • Elijah knew that Elisha’s request to have a double portion of GOD’s Holy SPIRIT was something only GOD could give (Num 11:16-17). And only if GOD allowed Elisha to see Elijah be taken up to heaven, would Elisha’s request for a double portion be granted (2 Kin 2:10). As it was in 2 Kings 2:12.
  • Elijah like Enoch was take to heaven without dying (2 Kin 2:11, Gen 5:21-24, Heb 11:5). Being translated (changed in the twinkling of the eye) will also be experienced by the living faithful at the time of our Precious LORD JESUS CHRIST’s second coming (1 Cor 15:51-52, 1 Ths 4:15-17).
  • GOD gave both witness and confirmation to Elisha. HE gave witness that HE was with Elisha, just as HE had with Moses, Joshua and Elijah before him, by parting the waters of the Jordan River (2 Kin 2:13-15). HE also confirmed Elisha’s new ministry when the leaders of Jericho came to him for help (2 Kin 2:19). Our GOD confirmed Elisha’s ministry through two symbols and a miracle (2 Kin 2:20-22). A new jar containing salt. The new jar symbolized, the new ministry bestowed on Elisha; the salt symbolized a binding and eternal union between our Beloved LORD GOD and HIS prophet (Lev 2:13, Num 18:19-20, 2 Chr 13:5↔2 Sam 7:12-16). Furthermore, The WORD of GOD in the prophet’s mouth purified the waters, symbolizing the salt in the new bowl. Is your faith united to HIS WORDS bringing you eternal life (Heb 4:2), or does unbelief keep you in darkness, destined for death?
  • Elisha’s new ministry was challenged by both the godly, and the ungodly:
    • The godly (the prophets) challenged Elisha’s ministry, questioning his insight (2 Kin 2:16). Elisha saw Elijah taken up to heaven, so he knew the prophets would not find him. But instead of standing firm on what our Beloved LORD had made known to him, he allowed them to shame him into giving approval to go and seek for Elijah (2 Kin 17-18). Has our Beloved LORD GOD revealed something to you, that instead of standing firm and trusting HIS WORD, you gave in to the crowd?
    • The ungodly (a large number of young men) mocked Elisha as he was leaving Jericho (2 Kin 2:23). Our Beloved LORD GOD confirmed Elisha’s ministry twice, yet, this ungodly group followed him with mocking and harsh words. When Elisha turned and cursed the ungodly men (2 Kin 2:24), it was not because of his pride, but their disrespect of our GOD and HIS WORD (Jud 1:14-16). Those who persist in mocking GOD’s WORD and HIS messengers will eventually suffer GOD’s wrath and death (2 Chr 36:15-16). Those who speak harsh things against GOD in ignorance are forgiven (Heb 5:2, Heb 9:7, Act 17:30-31, 1 Tim 1:13), but when it is done with knowledge of WHO GOD is; it is blasphemy and brings death (Eze 20:27, Eze 18:24, Mrk 3:28-29↔Jhn 4:24, 1 Cor 3:16, Rom 8:9-10, Jhn 14:23).

 

Then we who are alive and remain

Will be caught up together with them in the clouds

To meet The LORD in the air

And so we shall always be with The LORD

1 Thessalonians 4:17