All posts by Tribal Ministries

All Things Work Together For Good!

Precious Morsels 2 June 27, 2020And we know that GOD causes all things to work together for good
To those who love GOD
To those who are called according to HIS purpose
Romans 8:28

In 2 Kings 4:8-37, our Beloved LORD GOD tells us about a gracious Shunammite woman who provided food and lodging for HIS prophet Elisha. She did not do it for profit, she did not do it to get something in return, she did it because she perceived he was a man of GOD.

Elisha wanting to repay the Shunammite woman for her kindness, called her and asked what he could do for her, she basically told him “nothing” and departed. She indeed appeared to have everything, but the prophet’s servant noticed that she had no son, and her husband was an old man. Elisha called her back and told her that at this season next year she will be holding her own son, in her arms. And indeed, my GOD blessed her with a son that very next year.

One day after her son had grown into a young boy, he went out to the fields with his father, but began to experience a severe headache. The boy’s father instructed his servants to take the boy to his mother, where after a few hours he died. The Shunammite woman carried her dead son up to the room, she and her husband had built for the Elisha and his servant to sleep in. She placed her son on Elisha’s bed and then went to find Elisha. She found him and did not leave his side until he returned to her home with her. Elisha entered his room, closed the door behind him and prayed to our Beloved LORD GOD. When the boy’s life was restored, Elisha gave him back to his mother.

Why would our loving GOD allow this child to die in the first place? The Shunammite woman had not asked for him, though she loved him, and was very blessed to have him. And even though our Beloved LORD GOD restored this boy’s life, why would this faithful woman be allowed to experience such heartbreak?

Later, in 2 Kings 8:1-6, our Beloved LORD GOD tells HIS servant Elisha, that a severe famine would come up on the land of Israel where the Shunammite woman lived. And upon the advice of Elisha, she and her household temporarily moved to a neighboring land without famine, for seven years. At the end of seven years, she and her household returned, but she needed help from the king to get her home and field back. Just before she went to the king to appeal for her home and field, he heard about the death and restoration of her son’s life. Shortly after, she came to the king, he was told, “this is the woman whose son had died, and his life restored through the prophet Elisha.” Once she confirmed the events that actually happened to her son, the king appointed a certain officer to restore all that was hers, and all the produce of the field during the entire time of the famine. So, our Beloved LORD GOD not only restored what belonged to her, but also provided for her and her household for the next seven years.

Truly through the testimony of the Shunammite woman, we witness all things work together for good. Even a situation so horrific and hurtful, that in the midst of the suffering, would cause you to wonder how our loving GOD could possibly be working in that situation. And yet we see that HE did!

Be encouraged. If you love the LORD (which means both loving HIM and obeying HIS Will – John 14:15), indeed every situation, every circumstance in your life, HE is working out for good.

ABBA FATHER

ABBA FATHERBut when the fullness of the time came
GOD sent forth HIS SON, born of a woman, born under the Law
So that HE might redeem those who were under the Law
That we might receive the adoption as sons
Because you are sons
GOD has sent forth The SPIRIT of HIS SON into our hearts, crying, “ABBA! FATHER!”
Galatians 4:4-6

The word “Abba” (άββā NT:5) is actually an Aramaic word for “father.” It is found in only three places in The BIBLE (Mrk 14:36, Rom 8:15 and Gal 4:6). It is a title for GOD. We are first introduced to this word in The BIBLE during our Precious LORD JESUS CHRIST’s prayer in the garden of Gethsemane. Knowing how horrible HIS suffering will be, our Precious JESUS through great anguish is talking with our Beloved ABBA FATHER concerning HIS impending crucifixion for our salvation (Mrk 14:32-36).

Please note In Mark 14:36, Romans 8:15 and Galatians 4:6, the word “Abba” is always paired with the word “Father” (Pateér NT:3962, signifying a nourisher, protector, upholder). These two words together “Abba! Father!” expresses the love and intelligent confidence of the relationship, while indicating the deep trust between parent and child.

In Romans 8:14-17 and Galatians 4:4-6, our Beloved LORD GOD gives us a beautiful truth. When we are redeemed through the precious blood of our Precious JESUS CHRIST (1 Cor 6:20, 1 Pet 1:18-19), we are also adopted by our Heavenly FATHER (Eph 1:5). With redemption comes adoption.

Why is being adopted by GOD so significant? There are many reasons, but here are four good ones:
1. Our GOD’s kindness and compassion, is reflected in HIS being a Father of the fatherless (Psa 68:5), a helper for the orphan (Psa 10:14), and a support for the fatherless (Psa 146:9). But with adoption we become one of HIS own (Rom 8:17, Gal 3:26).
2. We are born again (1 Pet 1:23), not from the loins of man but from the will of GOD (Jhn 1:12-13, Jam 1:18). HE is love (1 Jhn 4:16) and HE demonstrated HIS enduring love through our redemption and adoption (Rom 5:8, 1 Jhn 4:9-10).
3. Though at different times, and in different ways, we have been rejected by man; we have been selected by GOD to be HIS own forever (Eph 1:4-8, Tit 2:13-14).
4. Our past sins have been blotted out (Isa 43:25, Col 2:14), and our old self (our former manner of life) is gone (Rom 6:1-7, Eph 4:22-24).

What is meant by “our old self”? The old self is our essential fallen character. That part of each one of us, that was alienated from GOD, hostile in mind and engaged in evil deeds (Col 1:21-22). But when through faith we surrendered our life to CHRIST (Rom 10:9-10, Col 3:3), that old self died spiritually, and the new self with a new heart was born, and sealed by The Holy SPIRIT of GOD (Eze 36:26-27, 2 Cor 1:21-22, 1 Jhn 3:24).

Are there times when we hold onto the old self? Yes, there are many, even some who are going through this study, are not walking in newness of life (Rom 6:4). They keep holding on to the things from their old life that has died (2 Cor 5:17). They continually look back, holding memories, burdens, and feelings from the past. Instead of giving them to our Beloved LORD GOD (Psa 55:22, Mat 11:28-30, 1 Pet 5:7). When one continues to look back at what was; it is like driving forward while looking in a rearview mirror. Your past remains clear, but your present and future are out of focus. And when one continues to drive forward while looking into the rearview mirror, they make no further progress. Our Beloved LORD JESUS reminds us to “remember Lot’s wife” (Luk 17:32). She was turned to a pillar of salt when she looked back toward Sodom (Gen 19:26).

Why was she turned to a pillar of salt? I asked our Beloved LORD GOD that very same question. HE told me she was disobedient. Like her family, she had been given specific instructions concerning their escape, which included not looking back (Gen 19:17). Her disobedience rendered her useless, unable to progress further. As people of GOD we are called to be salt (Mat 5:13). But when one is disobedient, they lose effectiveness as salt, becoming useless (incapable of acting or functioning effectively). Which leads to one becoming like a pillar — stationary, unchanging in condition, progressing no further (2 Pet 1:8)

How can one stop living in the past?
Surrender your life to JESUS CHRIST (Rom 10:9-10). To surrender your life is to recognize HIS Lordship or authority over your life. Acknowledging HIS redemption or purchase of your soul (1 Cor 6:20, Act 20:28, 1 Pet 1:18-19).
Purpose in your heart to KNOW GOD (Exd 33:13). Through studying The WORD of GOD (Ezr 7:10). It is only then you will get to know HIM (Psa 25:4, Psa 119:33-34); and get to know HIS ways, knowing what is right in HIS sight, able to be pleasing to HIM (Jhn 8:29, Eph 5:10, 1 Jhn 3:22).
Obey HIS WORD (Luk 6:46). It is only through obedience that we truly become children of GOD (1 Jhn 3:10) and brothers and sisters of JESUS (Mat 12:50, Luk 8:21).

Taking Up Arms

taking up arms for home defenseDo not be afraid of sudden fear

Nor of the onslaught of the wicked when it comes

For The LORD will be your confidence

And will keep your foot from being caught

Proverbs 3:25-26

Our Beloved LORD GOD forewarned us that in the last days times would be exceedingly difficult; hard to bear; perilous; troublesome; and dangerous. Those times would be so because of the extremely sinful condition of ungodly men (2 Tim 3:1-5).

Today we are currently living in the last days, and those perilous times have come upon us. So much so, that in the last few months, more Christians have begun to ask about the BIBLICAL perspective on:

  1. taking up arms (securing weapons), in order to defend their lives, their loved ones, and their homes
  2. taking the life of a perpetrator

Before we respond to what our Beloved LORD GOD says on these matters, there are four questions every Christian should carefully consider:

  1. Do you trust GOD?
  2. Do you trust HIS WORD?
  3. Do you trust in the power of HIS NAME?
  4. Do you trust HIS plan?

If your answer to any one of these questions is “I think so”, “I am not sure”, “No” then the following response will be of no value to you. And you are in a far more perilous place than you realize, both in this present life and the next life. This position may seem harsh, but it is truth, and we will take a moment to explain.

If you do not trust GOD, not trust in HIS WORD, then you will die (Jhn 8:241 Exd 3:14, Jhn 8:56-58). Why, because you are refusing to believe in The only ONE WHO can save you. We have as an example of the unbelieving Israelites who came out of the Egyptian exile (Deu 1:29-36, Heb 3:12-19). Our merciful GOD (Psa 145:8-9), repeatedly warns us that death is the outcome for anyone who trusts anyone or anything instead of HIM (Psa 135:15-18, Pro 11:28, Pro 14:12, Pro 28:26, Jer 17:5, Eze 33:13). HE also warns us that we will get exactly what we expect when we do not trust HIM, nothing (Jam 1:7).

However, if you trust GOD, you trust HIS WORD, and you trust in the power of HIS NAME, you will experience many blessings (Psa 32:10, Jer 17:7); your prayers will be answered (Psa 34:17, Psa 116:1-2); you will have peace in all circumstances (Isa 26:3, Jhn 14:27); and you will witness miracles (Psa 22:4-5, Dan 3:24-28, Dan 6:18-23); as did three women who had nothing in common but their trust in GOD, HIS WORD, and the power of HIS NAME. Pauline Jacobi a 92-year-old woman living in Dyersburg, Tennessee; Marion Chadwick, an owner of a small store in Frisco, Texas; Nayara Goncalves, a 20-year-old manager of a phone store in Boca Raton, Florida. All three women faced death by a robber holding a gun, pointed at each one of them. When a masked man pointed his gun at Marion and demanded money, she commanded him to leave her store in The NAME of JESUS. He demanded money again, she responded again for him to leave her store in The NAME of JESUS. He turned and walked out. When robbers pointed guns at Pauline and Nayara and demanded money in exchange for their lives, they began to speak with them about JESUS. Pauline’s gunmen wept as she spoke with him about JESUS. She then handed him all the money she had, $10. He kissed her on the cheek and departed. Nayara’s gunmen held his head down as she spoke about JESUS, admitting he was a Christian desperate to get money to pay his rent. He left Nayara with an apology, and none of the store’s money.

When you trust GOD, trust HIS WORD, and trust in the power of HIS NAME, you will also trust in HIS plans. This level of trust can come only by knowing HIM personally. And this begins with knowing through HIS WORD, HIS ways and HIS will. As reflected in the example of five male Christian missionaries from America. In 1956 these five men left their wives and children behind in an attempt to evangelize the Huaorani (Waodani) people of the tropical rain forest of Eastern Ecuador, in what was known as Operation Auca, The young son of one of the missionaries spotted a gun in his father’s plane and asked his father: If the Waodani attack, will you defend yourself? Will you use your guns? His father Nate Saint answered: Son, we can’t shoot the Waodani. They’re not ready for heaven… we are. Nate Saint, and the four other male missionaries were killed by a group of the Waodani tribe. But as a result of their deaths, the entire tribe eventually came to CHRIST.

Completely trusting our Beloved LORD GOD, means we completely trust HIM, HIS WORD, the power of HIS NAME, and HIS plans. There are countless more, but we introduced you to eight Christians who completely trusted GOD and know HIS WORD, which gave them understanding of HIS perspective. They didn’t meet violence with violence, they met violence with trust in HIM and HIS WORD. Their trust, changed the hearts, lives and souls of their attackers.

Our Precious LORD JESUS tells us in Matthew 5:38-39, “You have heard that it was said, ‘AN EYE FOR AN EYE, AND A TOOTH FOR A TOOTH.’ “But I say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. If anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, let him have your coat also. Whoever forces you to go one mile, go with him two. Give to him who asks of you, and do not turn away from him who wants to borrow from you.” HIS WORD is counter-intuitive to our thoughts and actions, and yet HE also tells us, “For MY thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways MY ways,” declares The LORD. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are MY ways higher than your ways and MY thoughts than your thoughts” (Isa 55:8-9).

Do not take up arms. Trust in The LORD. Weapons give you a false sense of security. Our Beloved LORD GOD will keep you secure (Pro 1:33).

 

O give us help against the adversary,

For deliverance by man is in vain.

Through GOD we shall do valiantly,

And it is HE WHO will tread down our adversaries.

Psalm 60:11-12

Sorcery

Pharmakeia 2But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers

And immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars

Their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone

Which is the second death

Revelation 21:8

There are many references in The BIBLE to sorcerer (Deu 18:10), sorcerers (Exd 7:11, Jer 27:9, Dan 2:2, Mal 3:5, Rev 21:8, Rev 22:15), sorcery (2 Chr 33:6, Gal 5:20, Rev 18:23), sorceries (Isa 47:9-12, Mic 5:12, Nah 3:4, Rev 9:21) or magic (Eze 13:18-20, Act 8:9-11, Act 19:19).  

Sorcery, magic, witchcraft is the same thing, and is evil in GOD’s sight. This practice is both detestable, and an abomination to HIM (Deu 18:9-13, 2 Chr 33:1-6). And those who practice such things will be judged by GOD HIMSELF, WHO will be a swift witness, bringing compelling evidence against them (Mal 3:5).

Sorcery takes two forms:

  1. The practice of sorcery, witchcraft or magic is to deceive by lies, manipulation and drugs (Exd 7:11, Jer 27:9, Eze 13:18-20, Dan 2:2, Act 8:9-11, Act 19:19, Rev 18:23).
  2. The use of drugs (whether prescribed, illegal, or magic potions) to satisfy the flesh by bringing the mind to an altered state (Gal 5:19-21, Rev 9:21, Rev 21:8, Rev 22:15). And the dispensing of drugs (druggists, pharmacists, or drug dealers) as demonstrated by the graphic above, in the first definition of “Pharmakeia” OT:5331.

The first form of sorcery is spoken of throughout the BIBLE. And with the global distribution of thousands of books, movies, games, etc., for Beauty and the Beast, Brave, Cinderella, Doctor Strange, Frozen, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings Trilogy, Seventh Son, Snow White, The Chronicles of Narnia Trilogy, The Hobbit Trilogy… magic has become so widely accepted that many Christians are ensnared. They are deceived into thinking these movies are okay, because good magic always triumphs over evil magic. Failing to understand two things, first, any type of magic is sorcery, making all magic evil. And second our Heavenly FATHER has warned that much sorrow, grief, misery, trouble and affliction (woe) will come to those who call good what HE has called evil (Isa 5:20-24). In conclusion, our Beloved LORD GOD has commanded that sorcerers or witches should not be found among us (Deu 18:9-14), which means even the books, movies, games, etc. that contain them, should not be brought into our homes.

Numerous Christians are unaware that the use of drugs (whether prescribed, illegal, or used for magic potions) for one’s own gratification is sorcery. The non-medical application of prescription drugs is just as grave physically and spiritually as illegal drugs. When medications prescribed by a doctor or other medical professional are used in a way that was not intended for those medications to be used, abuse occurs. Many who abuse prescription drugs are deceived into thinking that taking prescribed drugs will not lead to addiction (a compulsive, ongoing, destructive behavior). Yet any drug which opens the mind to an altered state, opens that mind up to demonic activity. Countless people worldwide did not believe their prescribed medications to reduce anxiety, relieve stress or irritability, stop pain, stimulate the brain to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), or relieve certain symptoms while providing a feeling of well-being (marijuana), would lead to addiction. And yet it did. When legally prescribed drugs produce the same behavior as consummation of illegal drugs, or influence by magic potions; the mind is being controlled or influenced by something or someone else, this is sorcery. And any drug dealer who purposely provides drugs knowing they will alter the physical, mental and spiritual state of an individual, is a sorcerer.  

How would one know they are not taking legal medicine as prescribed? The following are the top signs of prescription drug addiction provided by Medical and Addiction Recovery Professionals:

  1. Continued use of the drug, even after the pain it was prescribed for has ceased.
  2. Complaining about vague symptoms to get more medication.
  3. Lack of interest in treatment options other than medications.
  4. Mood and behavior changes, such as becoming hostile, volatile, agitated or anxious.
  5. Secretive or deceitful behavior in order to obtain the drug, such as stealing prescriptions, forging them, “losing” them, having multiple prescriptions from more than one doctor or buying and selling them on the street.
  6. Using prescription pills prescribed for others.
  7. Physical withdrawal symptoms when doses are missed. Flu-like symptoms such as joint and muscle aches, night sweats and insomnia. In fact, any major increases and decreases in sleep are signs of prescription drug addiction.
  8. Acting extremely hyper or revved up, acting sedated, or acting stuporous (having slow or confused reactions, groggy).
  9. Using more than the recommended amount of medication.
  10. Developing a high tolerance so that more pills are needed for the same desired effect.
  11. Withdrawal from friends, family and society, especially if people close to you, say you have a problem.
  12. Financial problems associated with having to purchase more and more pills.
  13. History of drug addiction.
  14. Poor decision making in general.

Our Beloved LORD JESUS CHRIST calls us to pursue and acquire true wisdom (the ability to know what is true or right – Heb 5:14, Jam 1:5). True wisdom is only found in HIM and HIS WORD (Pro 2:1-8, Jam 3:17). Wisdom not from above is earthly and demonic (Jam 3:15), that is why HE warns us not to lean on our own understanding (Pro 3:5, 1 Cor 3:18-20); for doing so will also cause much sorrow, grief, misery, trouble and affliction (woe – Isa 5:21). So if you have completed this study and you have reservations, we ask that you will prayerfully study the Scriptures, and go back to the original language (Hebrew, Aramaic, or Greek), and see if what has been laid out in this study is so.

Now the deeds of the flesh are evident

Which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery

Enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions

Factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these

Of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you

That those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of GOD

Galatians 5:19-21

What Every Christian Life Should Look Like – 2 Kings 6:1-33

A Study in 2 KingsSo he went with them; and when they came to the Jordan, they cut down trees

But as one was felling a beam, the axe head fell into the water

And he cried out and said, “Alas, my master! For it was borrowed”

Then the man of GOD said, “Where did it fall?”

And when he showed him the place

He cut off a stick and threw it in there

And made the iron float

He said, “Take it up for yourself”

So he put out his hand and took it

2 Kings 6:4-7

In this BIBLE study of 2 Kings Chapter 6, our Beloved LORD GOD gives us a visual of what every Christian life should look like. As Christians, we are followers of JESUS CHRIST (Mat 16:24, Jhn 10:27); the people of GOD (Deu 14:2, Tit 2:14, 1 Pet 2:9); lights in this dark world (Mat 5:14-15); aliens (Heb 11:9-10, 1 Pet 1:11). We are in this world, but we are not of this world (Jhn 17:14-18), so we do not:

  • look like this world (2 Chr 6:41, Psa 132:9, Isa 61:10, Rom 13:12-14, Gal 3:27)
  • think like this world (1 Ths 5:8, Col 3:1-3, Php 3:18-20, Rom 8:5-8, Mat 13:22)
  • behave like this world (Psa 51:6, Mat 6:2-8, Jhn 13:34-35, Eph 5:1-3, 1 Pet 2:12)
  • speak like this world (Pro 12:18, Eph 4:29, Eph 5:4, Col 3:8-9, Col 4:6, Jam 5:12)

What is meant by “this world”? This world is the place where Satan temporarily rules (1 Jhn 5:19, 2 Cor 4:4, Jhn 16:11, Jhn 12:31). It resides in the souls of ungodly men, who are hostile against GOD and all that belongs to HIM (Luk 11:53-54, Act 26:9, Rom 8:7, Col 1:21, 1 Ths 2:14-16) It is an evil, organized, unseen realm under Satan (Eph 6:12), operating through unbelieving people who are opposed to GOD (Eph 2:1-3, Jud 1:15-16).

What is meant by “aliens”? Aliens by definition are people residing in a place where they do not have citizenship or permanent residency. Aliens are strangers (Heb 11:13); sojourners―a person who resides temporarily in a place (Gen 47:9, Psa 39:12).

Who are the people of GOD? We were purchased by our GOD (Act 20:28, Rev 5:8-10, Jhn 1:29), and transferred from the authority of Satan (Col 1:13). We operate in both the seen world (physical, natural, temporal―1 Cor 5:9-11, 1 Jhn 2:15-17), and the unseen world (eternal, spiritual―2 Cor 4:18, 1 Cor 2:14-16).

Background:

  • 2 Kings 6:1-3. By way of reminder from the BIBLE study in 2 Kings Chapter 2 (One Taken One Doubly Anointed), our Beloved LORD GOD anointed Elisha to replace Elijah as HIS prophet (1 Kin 19:16). On the day Elijah was taken up to heaven, Elisha received the authority of Elijah’s ministry. And he begin to preside over the various companies of prophets who lived in Jericho near the Jordan River (2 Kin 2:5-7), Bethel (2 Kin 2:3), and Gilgal (2 Kin 4:38). The number of prophets who lived in Jericho had increased to the point, they had outgrown their current facility. So they sought Elisha’s permission to go to the Jordan River and build a new facility there (2 Kin 6:1-3).
  • 2 Kings 6:8. The king of Aram (Syria) was Ben-hadad (2 Kin 6:24). He is the king that attempted to besiege Samaria (the Capital of Israel before) before by taking 32 different Kings with him to fight against Samaria (1 Kin 20:1). Our Beloved LORD GOD intervened and Ben-hadad was soundly defeated twice since he thought our Beloved LORD GOD could only defeat him and his army in the mountains and not in the valley (1 Kin 20:2-30). After our Beloved LORD delivered king Ben-hadad into the hands of king Ahab of Israel, king Ahab let king Ben-hadad go, allowing Aram to continually raid and war against Israel.
  • 2 Kings 6:9. The king of Israel is still Jehoram (aka Joram) the ungodly king, and was in constant disobedience to the WORD of The LORD. We first became acquainted with Jehoram during our study in 2 Kings Chapter 3. Jehoram is the son of king Ahab, of Israel (2 Kin 3:1), and younger brother of king Ahaziah (2 Kin 1:17). Jehoram, like all who are disobedient and unbelieving, though he had witnessed attesting miracles from the true GOD in Israel, he still walked in sin and unbelief (2 Kin 6:31). His sin caused the nation of Israel to continue in sin and hostility to GOD. Consequently, the nation was enduring two severe punishments, besiegement by its enemies (Deu 28:52), and famine (2 Kin 6:24-25). The famine was so severe because of the besiegement, people were eating their own children (2 Kin 6:26-30) as forewarned by our Beloved LORD GOD (Deu 28:53-57).       

 Points to Consider:

  • 2 Kings Chapter 6, reveals our relationship with our Beloved SHEPHERD (Psa 23:1, Psa 100:3, Jhn 10:14):
    1. Our GOD will go with us as demonstrated by Elisha accompanying the prophets to build a new home (2 Kin 6:3-4). HE will never leave us or forsake us (Heb 13:5-6), HE is with us always (Psa 46:7, Isa 41:10, Mat 1:23, Mat 28:20), as HE was with Joseph (Gen 39:2-3, Gen 39:21-23), Moses (Exd 3:12, Exd 33:14), Joshua (Deu 31:23, Jos 1:5), and Paul (Act 18:9-10, 2 Tim 4:16-17).
    2. Our GOD restores that which is lost (2 Kin 6:5-7, Eze 34:11-16, Luk 19:10).
    3. Our GOD reveals hidden matters to HIS own (2 Kin 6:8-14, 2 Kin 6:31-33, Gen 18:17-22, Psa 25:14, Mat 11:25-27, Jhn 15:14-15, Jhn 16:13).
    4. Our GOD grants HIS servants requests (2 Kin 6:17-20, Psa 116:1, Jhn 14:13-15, 1 Jhn 3:22, 1 Jhn 5:14-15).
  • Our Beloved LORD GOD uses Elisha’s actions to give us a visual demonstration of what every Christian life should look like, as a faithful follower, or true Christian:
    1. We have a personal or one-on-one relationship with JESUS CHRIST (Jhn 14:6, 1 Jhn 5:20). Elisha was identified as a “man of GOD” who stood before HIM, indicating his personal relationship with our GOD (2 Kin 5:8, 2 Kin 3:14). A personal relationship with our Beloved LORD GOD, comes only when we abide in HIM and HIS WORD through faith (Jhn 14:23), leading to an obedient life (Gal 2:20, Jud 1:24).
    2. We continually speak with GOD (1 Ths 5:17). We listen to and obey the Voice of GOD (1 Sam 3:9-10), even if it seems foolish. Elisha, Moses, Gideon and Ananias demonstrated listening to the voice of our Beloved LORD, appearing to do foolish things, which led to miraculous outcomes (2 Kin 6:6-7, 2 Kin 4:40-41, Exd 15:22-25, Jdg 7:2-8, Act 9:10-15). We speak with HIM concerning all things (Col 4:2, Php 4:6, Eph 6:18, Jhn 11:41-42, Luk 18:1, Luk 6:12, Luk 5:16, Mrk 6:46), as Elisha did when he asked that the eyes of his servant be opened, and the eyes of the army of Aram be closed (2 Kin 6:17-20).
    3. We rely on GOD and HIS WORD, seeing the unseen. We walk by our faith, our firm persuasion (Heb 11:1) not by appearance (2 Cor 5:7), as shown by Elisha when the city he was in was surrounded by Aram’s army (2 Kin 6:15-17, Isa 11:3, 2 Cor 4:18, Heb 11:1, Heb 11:27).
    4. We walk in love for everyone, which includes compassion for our enemies (Rom 12:20-21, Rom 5:6-10, Luk 6:32-36, Mat 5:43-48), as reflected through Elisha’s actions toward the army of Aram (2 Kin 6:21-23).
    5. Our character reflects The Presence of GOD in our lives (Jhn 15:1-8, 1 Cor 13:13, Gal 5:16-25, 1 Jhn 3:10-11, 1 Jhn 4:7-8), as demonstrated by Elisha’s willingness to go with the company of prophets to the Jordan River (2 Kin 6:1-5, Jhn 13:35, Col 1:3-4).

If you were of the world, the world would love its own

But because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world

Because of this the world hates you

John 15:18-19

Discerning the Times

Red skies in OhioThe Pharisees and Sadducees came up, and testing JESUS
They asked HIM to show them a sign from heaven.
But HE replied to them
When it is evening, you say, ‘it will be fair weather, for the sky is red’
And in the morning, ‘there will be a storm today, for the sky is red and threatening’
Do you know how to discern the appearance of the sky
But cannot discern the signs of the times?
An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign
And a sign will not be given it, except the sign of Jonah
And HE left them and went away.
Matthew 16:1-4

In this passage of Scripture we saw religious leaders wanting JESUS to prove that HE was indeed the Messiah sent by GOD, by providing a miracle from heaven (such as when fire came down from heaven to the earth, proving Elijah was the prophet sent by The true GOD in Israel (1 Kings 18:36-39).

Our Beloved LORD JESUS WHO had already performed many miracles up to this point, had provided sufficient proofs that HE was WHO HE claimed to be. Yet these religious leaders still did not believe in HIM. Knowing that sufficient proof of the truth would never be enough for hardened and unbelieving hearts, HE simply stated “An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign; and a sign will not be given it, except the sign of Jonah.” HIS statement to the unbelieving religious leaders was expounded upon in Matthew 12:39-41:

But HE answered and said to them,
An evil and adulterous generation craves for a sign
And yet no sign will be given to it but the sign of Jonah the prophet
For just as JONAH WAS THREE DAYS AND THREE NIGHTS IN THE BELLY OF THE SEA MONSTER
So will The SON of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth
“The men of Nineveh will stand up with this generation at the judgment, and will condemn it
because they repented at the preaching of Jonah
and behold, something greater than Jonah is here

The Pharisees and Sadducees did not believe in our Beloved LORD JESUS CHRIST, doubting that HE spoke absolute truth. To this very day, unbelievers doubt the BIBLE as being both absolute (100% true with no exceptions-Psa 119:160, Jhn 17:17) and infallible (always perfect, always accurate, no errors – Psa 19:7). And because of their unbelief, unbelievers will:
Test or question the truth, not because they want to learn, but for the purpose of discrediting it (Luk 11:16, Mat 12:38–42, Luk 16:27-31). Those who reject the truth will always be deceived (1 Kin 18:36-39, Rev 13:11-14 Mal 4:5, Mat 17:10:13, 2 Ths 2:10-12).
Mock the truth, choosing to ridicule rather than earnestly search for it (Php 3:17–19, 2 Tim 4:3-4, 2 Pet 3:3-7, Jud 1:18). Insulting the truth rather than clinging to it, will always lead to destruction (2 Chr 36:15-17, Pro 1:20-33, 2 Ths 1:8-9).
Ignore or reject the truth, as they are not willing to turn from their evil ways. They reject both HIM (Heb 12:25-28) and HIS messengers (Zec 7:11-14). Which leads to both physical (Luk 17:26-27, Gen 7:17-23, 2 Pet 2:5) and spiritual death (Rev 21:8).

Only through The BIBLE (The WORD of GOD), can we discern (understand or recognize) the times we are currently living in, and understand what we should do (1 Chr 12:32). Discernment of the times we are currently living in, brings:

  1. Knowledge of what we should do (1 Ths 5:1-8), and what type of people ought we to be (2 Pet 3:14-15).
  2. Insight through both The SPIRIT of GOD and The WORD of GOD, enables us to see and clearly understand people, circumstances, and events all around us (Psa 119:99-100, Isa 41:20, Dan 11:33, Dan 12:10, 1 Cor 2:14-16).
  3. Watchfulness that keeps us from being caught off-guard; unprepared; asleep (Mat 24:42-44, Mrk 13:32-37, Luk 12:35-40, Rom 13:11).
  4. Peace which surpasses all understanding (Php 4:7), the peace which GOD gives (Jhn 14:27). We are not filled with fear like those who have no discernment (Luk 21:25-26), instead we should be filled with expectation (Isa 26:3, 2 Ths 3:16).

Just one final point, fully understanding that we are in the very last days does not mean we should give up and quit living. We should do quite the opposite, following the lead of our Beloved SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST. Knowing that HIS departure from this life was near, HE did not quit, HE continued to minister until HIS very last breath (Jhn 13:1-20, Jhn 19:28-30).

But what about the non-ministry part of our lives, how should we live, knowing that time is short? We will answer this in two parts. First, we should live wisely (Psa 90:12). You might be wondering what it means “to live wisely or have a heart of wisdom.” It means to understand our lives are fleeting (Job 14:1-2, Psa 144:4, Jam 4:14), therefore being careful how we live (Pro 19:16, Eph 5:15-17), because we know we will appear before the judgment seat of CHRIST, and give an account of how we lived (2 Cor 5:10). Second, every part of your life should be ministry. To minister means to serve, to provide, take care of, to distribute, to do the things necessary to sustain life. Whether it is physical life, emotional life or spiritual life, we are each called to minister throughout our lives.

But when these things begin to take place
Straighten up and lift up your heads
Because your redemption is drawing near

Then HE told them a parable
Behold the fig tree and all the trees
As soon as they put forth leaves
You see it and know for yourselves that summer is now near
So you also, when you see these things happening
Recognize that the Kingdom of GOD is near
Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away
Until all things take place
Heaven and earth will pass away
But MY WORDS will not pass away

Luke 21:28-33

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