Having A Heart After GOD (2 Kings Chapters 18, 19, 20)

A Study in 2 KingsAfter HE had removed him
HE raised up David to be their king
Concerning whom HE also testified and said,
“I HAVE FOUND DAVID the son of Jesse, A MAN AFTER MY HEART, who will do all MY Will”
Acts 13:22

What made king David “a man after GOD’s heart”? David was a man who loved (Psa 18:1, Psa 132:1-5), trusted (1 Sam 17:1-51, Psa 21:7, Psa 28:7), and obeyed GOD (1 Kin 14:8, 1 Kin 15:5). David also sought GOD’s counsel (1 Sam 23:1-5, 1 Sam 30:3-10, 2 Sam 2:1-4, 1 Chr 14:8-17).

Where there any other kings in Israel that had a heart after GOD? Yes, there were two descendants of king David, who had hearts after GOD; king Hezekiah, and king Hezekiah’s great grandson king Josiah. We will study king Josiah later, but we will examine king Hezekiah now, through 2 Kings chapters 18-20, 2 Chronicles chapters 29-32, and Isaiah chapters 36-39.

Our Beloved LORD GOD gave witness of king Hezekiah’s heart, through HIS WORD. HE showed us, king Hezekiah had the following traits, signifying both a personal relationship with HIM, and heart fully given to do HIS Will. King Hezekiah of Judah:

  1. trusted in GOD (2 Kin 18:5, 2 Chr 32:7-8)
  2. listened to GOD, by clinging to HIM, and fully obeying HIM (2 Kin 18:6)
  3. reformed a nation according to GOD’s commandments (2 Chr chapters 29-31)
  4. talked with GOD (2 Kin 19:14-19, 2 Chr 32:14-20)
  5. sought GOD (2 Kin 19:1-7, 2 Chr 31:21)
  6. whole heartedly served GOD (2 Chr 31:20-21)
  7. GOD was with him (2 Kin 18:7)

These seven traits present in righteous king Hezekiah, should also be present in the righteous today. You might ask, “how could we reform a nation?” Your transformation by GOD’s WORD and HIS Holy SPIRIT (Rom 12:2, 2 Cor 3:16-18), draws others to GOD where HE reforms lives (Mat 5:14-16, Jhn 4:39-42).

Can one today, really be a person after GOD’s own heart (1 Sam 13:14)? Yes, our JESUS is the same yesterday, as HE is today, as HE will be forever (Heb 13:8). And when your heart is filled with The SPIRIT of GOD (Jhn 14:23, Rom 8:9), your life will be fully surrendered to JESUS CHRIST (Rom 10:9, Luk 6:46-48, Act 5:32), causing you to be a person after GOD’s own heart. As evidenced by you:

  • actively living-in constant obedience to GOD (Psa 40:8, Psa 119:33-39, Psa 119:101-104, Jhn 4:34).
  • responding properly when confronted with sin (Gen 39:7-13, 1 Cor 6:18, Dan 3:8-18, Rev 12:11).
  • being drawn by GOD’s love (1 Jhn 4:19, Hos 11:3-4, Psa 73:25-26, SS 1:4), and holiness (Exd 15:11, Isa 6:1-7, 1 Pet 1:15-16).

Did king David and king Hezekiah leave any other legacies? Yes, they both lived miraculous lives of faith in GOD. King David had three distinct battles, where GOD fought on his behalf. First, the Philistine giant Goliath, was defeated by king David, who came against Goliath, in The NAME of The LORD, one slingshot, and five smooth stones (1 Sam 17:31-50). Second, GOD HIMSELF and the angel army fought against and defeated the Philistines on behalf of king David and his army (2 Sam 5:22-25). Third, when Absalom led Israel in battle against his father king David, the forest killed more people that day than the sword (2 Sam 18:8). King Hezekiah’s faith in GOD, also brought victory over an Assyrian army and its king, without he or his army personally engaging in battle (2 Kin 19:32-37, 2 Chr 32:1-23).

 Were king David and king Hezekiah continually obedient? No, only our Beloved LORD JESUS CHRIST continually walked in obedience (Jhn 4:34, Jhn 8:29, Heb 4:15, 1 Pet 2:22, 1 Jhn 3:5).

The legacy of king David includes two grave sins; one where the upright man Uriah was murdered, because king David lusted after and impregnated Uriah’s wife (2 Sam 11:1-27, 2 Sam 12:1-25); two, king David’s pride caused him to take a census of the fighting men of Israel. Putting his trust in their numbers, instead of GOD (1 Chr 21:1-30).

The legacy of king Hezekiah was marred, when our Beloved LORD GOD extended his life for fifteen more years, he became arrogant instead of humbling himself in gratitude (2 Kin 20:1-11, 2 Chr 32:24-26).

In conclusion, we remind you once again that our Beloved LORD GOD tells us in Romans 15:4 “for 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.” What more can we learn from king David and king Hezekiah, two men with a heart after GOD? Both men were bold (2 Sam 22:1-51, 2 Chr 32:1-8). As stated in Proverbs 28:1, “the wicked flee when no one is pursuing, but the righteous are bold as a lion.” The English word “bold” is transliterated from the Hebrew word “batach” (OT:982) and it means to be secure, confident, sure, reliant, trusting. This boldness only comes with an intimate relationship with our faithful, all powerful GOD (Pro 3:32, Jhn 14:21, 1 Jhn 1:5-7). And because of HIM and our confidence in HIM, and HIS WORD we do not run from our enemies we chase them (Lev 26:7-8); we do not fall, we stand (1 Cor 16:13, Eph 6:10-11); we do not give up, we endure (Jam 1:2-4).  

For The LORD will be your confidence
And will keep your foot from being caught
Proverbs 3:26

Refused, Removed, Adulterated (2 Kings Chapter 17)

A Study in 2 Kings2 Kings Chapter 17 records the fulfillment of GOD’s WORD to send the northern kingdom of Israel into exile, because of their continual wickedness. Over and over, our Beloved LORD GOD sent HIS prophets, to Israel calling them to repentance (2 Kin 17:13), but they refused to listen, and turn from their evil ways (2 Kin 17:14-17). Finally, GOD fulfilled HIS promise and removed Israel from the promise land, sending them into Assyrian exile (2 Kin 17:6).

As we examine 2 Kings Chapter 17, not only will we see Israel refuse to obey GOD, until HE removed them from HIS land (Deu 11:8-12), but we will be introduced to different races of people who are exiled into Samaria (2 Kin 17:24). These people became known as the very Samaritans who exist even today, living in the West Bank. These foreign people adulterated the worship of GOD, as they continued to worship their own gods, while learning to honor our GOD, in order to appease HIM (2 Kin 25-33).

Refused (2 Kin 17:7-17, 2 Kin 17:34-40)

The people in the nation of Israel were not willing to obey The LORD GOD, and their numerous sins were great against HIM. The people in Israel:

  • practiced idolatry by honoring and serving other gods:
    • two molten calves of gold (introduced by king Jeroboam, 1 Kin 12:26-30)
    • made an Asherah, a Assyrian fertility idol
    • served a Canaanite idol, Baal
    • sacrificed their children to Molech (false god of Amon), by burning them alive
    • worshiped all the host of heaven
    • built for themselves high places in all their towns, and on every high hill and under every green tree
    • burned incense on all the high places as the wicked nations before them
  • did things secretly which were not right against The LORD their GOD (2 Kin 17:9, Psa 94:7, Isa 29:15, Eze 8:6-12)
  • provoked The LORD, by doing evil in HIS sight (Isa 65:2-3)

Though our Beloved LORD GOD continually warned Israel and Judah through all HIS prophets, “Turn from your evil ways and keep MY commandments, MY statutes according to all the law which I commanded your fathers, and which I sent to you through MY servants the prophets.” They refused to listen, refused to repent, and refused to obey (2 Kin 17:13-15, 2 Kin 17:34-40, Jer 7:25-26).

How does GOD instruct Christians today, concerning Israel’s refusal? Let us began by citing two truths from The BIBLE. First truth, using the new living translation, “History merely repeats itself. It has all been done before. Nothing under the sun is truly new. Sometimes people say, “Here is something new!” But actually it is old; nothing is ever truly new. We don’t remember what happened in the past, and in future generations, no one will remember what we are doing now” (Ecc 1:9-11). Second truth, “For 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” (Rom 15:4). Both the Israelites of yesterday, and Christians today are GOD’s people (Deu 14:2, 1 Pet 2:9-10). And the behavior of our brethren the Israelites, serves as a witness to those of us today. Each one of us, must examine ourselves in light of Scripture, and ask ourselves the following questions.

  • Are there idols in my life, that I am I clinging to? (Php 3:19, Col 3:5)
  • Is there anyone or anything, I love more than I love GOD? (Job 23:12, Mat 10:37, Php 3:7-8)
  • What things do I refuse to repent of, or turn away from? (Isa 30:15, Heb 12:25)
  • What things keep me from fully obeying GOD? ? (Psa 119:34, 1 Tim 1:9-10, Tit 2:12)
  • What things which furnish no benefit to my soul, can I easily indulge in for hours, while having a hard time spending at least one hour with GOD? (Gal 6:7-8)
  • What ways am I willfully disobeying GOD’s WORD? (Luk 9:23, 1 Cor 15:33-34, 1 Jhn 2:15-16, Jam 4:4)
  • Am I knowingly not doing the right things? (Jam 4:17, 1 Kin 11:38)
  • Am I knowingly doing things the wrong things? (Gal 2:18, Heb 10:26, 2 Pet 2:20)


  • Is there something our Beloved LORD GOD keeps warning you about?
  • Do you keep hearing the same message over, and over, and over, and over?
  • Do you notice things are getting more difficult in your life?
  • Do you serve JESUS to please HIM, or to appease HIM?

Removed (2 Kin 17:1-6, 2 Kin 17:18-23)

From the time Israel came out of Egypt as one nation, our patient and merciful GOD spoke to them about obedience, called them to repentance, and warned them about the consequences of their sin (Jer 7:22-26, 2 Kin 17:7-20, Jer 7:29-34). But they refused to listen (2 Kin 17:34-40), and refused to take correction (Jer 7:27-28). Consequently, our Beloved LORD GOD removed them from both HIS sight (2 Kin 17:18), and HIS land that flowed with milk and honey (Exd 3:7-9). HE chose Shalmaneser, king of Assyria to carry the nation of Israel from the promised land to exile in Assyria (2 Kin 17:3-6, 2 Kin 17:23). HE would later send Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon to remove Judah into Babylonian exile (2 Kin 17:19, 2 Kin 24:10-16).

Our Beloved LORD GOD is speaking to many Christians today concerning obedience, repentance, and the consequences of their sin (Eze 18:20-32, Rom 2:5-8). But they like the Israelites refuse to listen (Jer 7:27-28, 2 Kin 17:34-40); and sadly, will eventually be removed from both HIS sight, and eternal life (Mat 7:21-23, Mat 25:8-12, Mat 25:41, Luk 13:22-27).

How do you know “many” Christians today are refusing to listen? First and foremost, JESUS HIMSELF told us beforehand “many” Christians for different reasons would refuse to listen to HIM, accept HIS correction, or obey HIM. We will discuss further who these many Christians are, but we will first stop and define the word “many”. It is an English word that has been transliterated from the Greek word “polloús” (NT:4183) and it means multitude, numerous, majority. So according to the word of our Precious LORD JESUS CHRIST the majority of those who:

  1. once followed HIM will fall away (begin to distrust and desert HIM); they will abandon their faith in JESUS and obedience to HIS WORD because of affliction, persecution, and deception (Mat 13:20-21, Mat 24:10-12, 2 Ths 2:10-11, 1 Tim 4:1).
  2. call HIM “Lord” (Mat 7:22), professing to know HIM and have a relationship with HIM, as evidenced by their ministry in HIS NAME (Mat 7:21). However, HE will profess that HE never knew them. And HE will remove them from HIS presence (Mat 7:23). JESUS is truly LORD, to only those who obey HIM (Luk 6:46). HE also emphasizes in 1 John 2:3-6, those who truly know HIM are those who obey HIS WORD.
  3. appear to still know HIM (Mat 25:1-12); they look like virgins (undefiled by the world), waiting for HIS return. But there is no oil in their lamps, The Holy SPIRIT of GOD is missing from their souls. One of the symbols of the Holy SPIRIT in the Scripture is oil, which was used for anointing. We see Aaron set apart for the service of high priest to GOD, by anointing him with oil (Exd 29:7, Lev 8:12, Psa 133:2). Our Precious JESUS was anointed with The Holy SPIRIT of our Beloved LORD GOD as HE fulfilled HIS mission here on earth (Isa 61:1, Act 10:38). And we who obey, are anointed with HIS Holy SPIRIT (Act 5:32, 1 Jhn 2:27↔Jhn 14:26). But just as HIS Holy SPIRIT left the temple in Jerusalem when it was defiled (Eze 8:1-18, Eze 9:3, Eze 10:4, Eze 10:18-19, Eze 11:22-23), HE will depart from those who refuse to obey; who refuse to repent (1 Sam 16:14, Psa 51:11-12).
  4. think they know JESUS because they think they had fellowship with HIM, “We ate and drank in YOUR presence, and YOU taught in our streets”; they attended Church, Bible studies, small groups, and hung out with other Christians; yet HE will say to them “I tell you, I do not know where you are from; DEPART FROM ME, ALL YOU EVILDOERS.” (Luk 13:22-28). Our Precious JESUS tells us that true fellowship with HIM is reflected in how we conduct our hidden lives (1 John 1:5-7, Psa 51:6).

 Adulterated (2 Kin 17:32-33, 2 Kin 17:41)

After Shalmaneser, king of Assyria, carried the nation of Israel into Assyrian exile (2 Kin 17:3-6); he brought men he had conquered from five other nations and settled them in the cities of Samaria. The people of these foreign nations brought their idolatry into the promised land, causing idolatry in our GOD’s land to continue; HE sent lions among them. In response, the Assyrian king sent a Levitical priest to teach the foreigners the ways of our LORD (2 Kin 17:28). Instead of learning HIS ways and serving HIM only, they served HIM, while continuing to serve their own false gods. Thus adulterating the worship of the true GOD in the promise land.

Please define “adulterating”? To adulterate, means to corrupt, contaminate, dilute with a lesser quality. This very day many of GOD’s people walk in an adulterated manner. They serve both JESUS and their modern-day idols of money (Mat 6:24), relationships (Luk 14:26-27), or desires for things of the world (1 Jhn 2:15-17). These are apostate believers who hold to a form of godliness, but do not walk obediently (2 Tim 3:5, Tit 1:16, 1 Jhn 2:4), because they do not want to hear GOD’s WORD (2 Tim 4:3-4). These once faithful Christians have become contaminated by unfaithfulness (Deu 32:5, Jer 3:21), corrupted with sin (Deu 31:29, Psa 14:3). Some might be thinking these last set of Old Testament Scriptures have nothing to do with the Christian today, but as previously mentioned we must consider Romans 15:4, and know that our Beloved LORD GOD has told us that all Scripture is inspired by GOD and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness (2 Tim 3:16).

The Israelites who came out of Egypt did not enter the promise land because their unbelief in GOD, led to their continual disobedience (Psa 78:22, Heb 3:18). And we will suffer that same fate (unable to enter an eternity in the presence of our GOD), if we do not remain obedient and keep our faith in our LORD JESUS until the very end (Mat 24:13, Rev 14:12). the As we close, let us consider the following diagram:

Something to Consider diagram

The Wall Between Us

Standing before a brick wall abstractBut your iniquities
have made a separation
between you and your GOD
Isaiah 59:2

Have you been waiting and waiting for an answer(s) from GOD? Are you asking the questions Job asked in the midst of his suffering (Job 6:11), “What is my strength, that I should wait? And what is my end, that I should endure? Do you feel like your prayers keep hitting a brick wall? And what is your frame of mind as you wait, are you waiting in despair, or are you waiting in expected hope?

What would cause someone to feel despair why waiting, versus someone who remains expectant in their hope? The one who waits in despair does not have a personal relationship with GOD. They may truly feel they know GOD because of their activities (Church attendance, BIBLE study, and Prayer), yet they do not trust GOD. The one who remains expectant in their hope, is the one whose life is completely dependent on CHRIST.

Please explain what causes the difference between the two?

The one who waits in despair usually has the following four characteristics. This person:

  1. Misunderstands GOD. They do not have a correct view of GOD (Job 42:7), they believe HE condones their sinful lifestyle (Psa 50:16-21), or they see HIM in a harsh light (Mat 25:18, Mat 25:24-30).
  2. Wrong Focus. They are focused on self, either concerned about basic needs (Luk 12:29-30), or satisfying pleasures (Jam 4:3).
  3. Doubts. They are fearful HE will answer, causing them to be double-minded, going back and forth between belief and unbelief (Jam 1:6-8), they are not sure GOD can answer their prayer (Mrk 9:22-23), they choose to trust in someone or something other than GOD (Psa 146:3, Isa 45:20).
  4. Unrepentant sin in their life (Jhn 9:31, Mic 3:4, Pro 1:28-30), is the reason their prayers feel like they are hitting a brick wall (immovable obstacle, hinderance to progression).

The one who remains expectant in their hope usually:

  1. Knows GOD. HE has given them a heart to know HIM (Jer 24:7), HE is their Shepherd (Gen 48:15, Psa 23:1, Jhn 10:14).
  2. Right Focus. They are focused on GOD alone (Psa 123:2, Psa 130:5-6, Mic 7:7), because they know HE is where their help comes from (Psa 121:1-2).
  3. No Wavering. They fully trust GOD (Rom 4:20, Psa 26:1, Heb 10:23), as they have experienced HIS faithfulness (1 Ths 5:24, 2 Tim 2:13).
  4. Confidence. They know HIM, they know HIS WORD, they know HIS Will, and they keep HIS WORD (1 Jhn 5:14-15, 1 Jhn 3:22), so they know their prayers will be answered, in HIS perfect timing (Mat 7:7-11).

Will GOD never hear the prayer of a sinner? Remember the “brick wall” is unrepentant sin (Isa 1:15-16), so our Beloved LORD GOD is waiting on you (2 Chr 7:14). If you acknowledge your sin (Psa 32:5), confess that sin (1 Jhn 1:9), seek reconciliation by seeking to be in HIS presence (Psa 105:4), ; or turning from your wicked ways, back to HIM (Eze 18:30-32); the “brick wall” will come down; and HE will hear and answer prayers that line up with HIS Will (1 Jhn 5:14), forgive your sins by taking your wrongdoings away (Psa 32:1-2), and bringing healing to your heart (Psa 41:4) and your life (Jer 33:6-8).

Answers to John chapter 11

Lazarus+coming+out+of+the+graveNow a certain man was sick, Lazarus of Bethany
The village of Mary and her sister Martha.
John 11:1

Here are just a few questions you should prayerfully consider when studying the aforementioned passage:

  1. John 11:1 mentions Lazarus, Mary, and her sister Martha:
    • What is Lazarus relationship with Mary and Martha? Lazarus is the brother of sister Mary and Martha.
    • What passages state this relationship? There are six passages of Scripture that state the relationship (John 11:2, John 11:19, John 11:21, John 11:23, John 11:32, John 11:39).

2. Why does John 11:2 mention what Mary did for our Precious JESUS? There are two answers. The first reason is found in Matthew 26:13, and Mark 14:9:

Truly I say to you
Wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world
What this woman has done
Will also be spoken of in memory of her

The second reason in found at John 11:2 (we will discuss it in further detail at the next question).

  1. How many times and on what occasions did Mary anoint our LORD with oil, and wipe HIS feet with her hair? Mary anointed our Precious LORD JESUS CHRIST with oil three times, but only two of the three times did she wipe HIS feet with her hair. All three times Mary anointed our LORD with oil is in the following chronological order with details:
    1. (Luk 7:36-50)
      1. she was the unnamed sinner in Bethany, who brought an alabaster vial of perfume (Luk 7:37)
      2. kneeling behind JESUS, she kissed HIS feet, as she anointed them with perfume (Luk 7:38)
      3. in her love and repentance she wept continually, covering JESUS feet with her tears, wiping them away with her hair (Luk 7:38)
      4. she was at the home of the critical, inhospitable Pharisee (Luk 7:36, Luk 7:39-47)
      5. JESUS forgave her sins (Luk 7:48-50)
      6. JESUS later identified her (Jhn 11:2)
    2. (Jhn 12:1-19)
      1. six days before the Passover, JESUS had dinner at Mary, Martha, and Lazarus home (Jhn 12:1-2)
      2. this occurred after HE had raised Lazarus from the dead (Jhn 12:1, Jhn 12:9-11)
      3. in her love and gratitude, Mary anointed the feet of JESUS a second time with perfume (Jhn 12:3)
      4. this second time Mary did not weep, as she anointed the feet of JESUS; but she once again used her hair to wipe his feet; and the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume (Jhn 12:3)
      5. this caused Judas Iscariot to question why was the costly perfume not sold and given to the poor (Jhn 12:4-5); Judas Iscariot had no love for our Beloved LORD JESUS, and no concern for the poor, he was a thief and only cared about himself (Jhn 12:6)
    3. (Mat 26:1-13, Mrk 14:1-8)
      1. two days before the Passover, JESUS was having dinner at the home of Simon the leper in Bethany (Mat 26:1-6, Mrk 14:1-3)
      2. this third time, Mary broke the alabaster vial (Mrk 14:3), and anointed the head of JESUS with the costly perfume it contained (Mat 26:7, Mrk 14:3)
      3. this final time, Mary was anointing HIS body beforehand for the burial (Mat 26:12, Mrk 14:8)
      4. this third anointing of JESUS by Mary, was more than Judas Iscariot could stand; he became indignant (Mat 26:8-9, Mrk 14:4-5); left and went to the chief priests our Beloved SAVIOR’s enemies (Mat 20:17-19, Mat 26:59, Mrk 14:10-11) to make a deal to betray HIM for the price of a slave (Mat 26:14-16, Mrk 14:10-11, Exd 21:32, Zec 11:12-13, Mat 27:3-30) 
  1. How did JESUS feel about Lazarus, Mary, and Martha? HE loved them (Jhn 11:5).
  1. Why did HE wait two days before going to heal Lazarus? JESUS was not going to heal Lazarus, HE was going to raise him from the dead. By waiting two days, JESUS knew:
    • because Lazarus was in the tomb for four days (Jhn 11:17), no one would doubt he was truly dead (Jhn 11:39)
    • resurrecting Lazarus from the tomb was a much greater miracle than restoring him from a sick bed. This powerful miracle would confirm HE truly was The SON of GOD, doing the works of HIS Heavenly FATHER (Jhn 10:34-38, Jhn 11:4)
    • many Jews who witnessed the miracle of Lazarus’s resurrection, believed that GOD had sent HIM, and begin to believe in HIM (Jhn 11:41-45) 
  1. If JESUS only waited two days before going to heal Lazarus, why was he dead for four days when JESUS arrived? Where JESUS was located at a place beyond the Jordan (Jhn 10:40, Mat 19:1), which took one day to walk from Bethany, and one day to walk to Bethany. So two days of traveling (walking 20-26 miles per day) and two days of waiting, is four days. Essentially, Lazarus was already dead when the messenger arrived (Jhn 11:3). 
  1. Where is Judea located? Judea is the Greco-Roman name for Judah. Under the Romans, in the time of CHRIST, it denoted the southernmost of the three divisions of Palestine (Matt 2:1-6, Mat 3:1-6, Mat 4:25). 
  1. The disciples objected to JESUS going to Judea, why? The Jews in Jerusalem were seeking to stone JESUS, because they accused HIM of blasphemy (Jhn 10:22-33, Jhn 10:39, Jhn 11:7-8).
  1. JESUS gave three answers to their objections, what were they and what did HE mean? The three answers JESUS gave to HIS disciples objections about going back to Jerusalem were:
    1. “Are there not twelve hours in the day?” We must work while it day (Jhn 9:4). As long as we have breath, we should be doing the will of GOD.
    2. “If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world. But anyone walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him.” As long as we are doing The FATHER’s will, we are safe, as we are walking in HIS Light (Jhn 9:5, Psa 23:4, Psa 3:5-6, Psa 27:1-3).
    3. “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I go, so that I may awaken him out of sleep.” Lazarus had died, and JESUS was going to resurrect him from the dead (Jhn 11:11-14), by calling him from the tomb (Jhn 11:43-44).
  1. Who is Thomas Didymus? He is one of the twelve disciples/apostles that our Beloved LORD JESUS chose after praying all night long (Luk 6:12-15). His name “Didymus” signified he was a twin. Why did he make such a statement? Either Thomas was being facetious (treating a serious issue with deliberate inappropriate humor), or he had a deep love for our LORD JESUS CHRIST and felt that returning to Jerusalem would be certain death. But he was unwilling for our LORD JESUS to do it alone. But either way, Thomas still faithfully followed our LORD JESUS.
  1. What did JESUS mean in John 11:25 that HE is the resurrection and the life? When we truly have faith in JESUS, our newness of life, our eternal life begins right here and now. We are no longer dead in our sins, even if we die physically, we live spiritually. And when we live spiritually, we will never die eternally (Rom 6:4-5, Jhn 12:50, Jhn 17:3)
  2. Why did JESUS weep, since HE knew HE would raise Lazarus from the dead? Our Precious JESUS CHRIST is the visible image of our Beloved invisible GOD (Col 1:15). So HIS every action, HIS whole being reflect our GOD. And our GOD is love (1 Cor 4:8), gracious and compassionate (Psa 116:5). HE cares for us (1 Pet 5:7), HE grieves when we sin (Psa 78:40-41), HE sympathizes with our weakness (Heb 4:15), and HE both rejoices (Zep 3:17) and weeps (Rom 12:15) with us.

A Lesson in Studying The WORD

True BIBLE Study

For Ezra had set his heart to study The LAW of The LORD
And to practice It
And to teach HIS Statutes and Ordinances in Israel
Ezra 7:10

Ezra was a scribe who was very knowledgeable in the law of Moses (Ezr 7:6), and set his heart to study, practice, and teach The WORD of GOD to Israel. In this lesson, we want to teach you how to study The WORD of GOD.  

What does it mean to study The WORD of GOD? To fully answer the question the word “study” must be defined, and then compared to the word “read”. Why, because each one of us should be studying GOD’s WORD not merely reading it. Reading through short devotions are fine, but studying GOD’s WORD is a must. I recently read an interesting article “Difference Between Studying and Reading” written by Evah Kungu on June 4, 2018, on the  www.differencebetween.net site. The article seemed very redundant to me, but had good insight. I have taken highlights from the article, shored-up definitions using both the English and Hebrew languages, and adjusted the diagram accordingly.

Both studying and reading are familiar terms within the learning process. Both are required, and are inter-dependent, e.g. reading helps with studying. These two processes, however, differ in performance and nature as defined below:

  • Studying is the process of fully concentrating and devoting ample time to a particular subject, in order to fully understand an array of topics within that subject:
    • it requires devotion of time and attention to
    • it is a detailed investigation and analysis of a subject or situation
  • Reading is the process of going through a topic within a given subject in order to gain information from it:
    • it requires acquiring information about a subject
    • perusing through texts to understand the concepts and meanings within the subject

Study versus Read

With these definitions in mind, please carefully read through John 11:1-57. Make notes in a journal what GOD spoke to your heart as you read through this passage. Next please, prayerfully study John 11:1-57, by answering the following questions. The answers will be provided in two weeks.

Here are just a few questions you should prayerfully consider when studying the aforementioned passage:

  1. John 11:1 mentions Lazarus, Mary and her sister Martha:
      1. What is Lazarus relationship with Mary and Martha?
      2. What passages state this relationship?
  2. Why does John 11:2 mention what Mary did for our Precious JESUS?
  3. How many times and on what occasions did Mary anoint our LORD with oil? How many times and for what reasons did she wipe HIS feet with her hair?
  4. How did JESUS feel about Lazarus, Mary, and Martha?
  5. Why did HE wait two days before going to heal Lazarus?
  6. If JESUS only waited two days before going to heal Lazarus, why was he dead for four days when JESUS arrived?
  7. Where is Judea located?
  8. The disciples objected to JESUS going to Judea, why?
  9. JESUS gave three answers to their objections, what were they and what did HE mean?
  10. Who is Thomas Didymus? Why did he make such a statement?
  11. What did JESUS mean in John 11:25 that HE is the resurrection and the life?
  12. Why did JESUS weep, since HE knew HE would raise Lazarus from the dead?

Walking By Sight

Walking by SightThus The LORD saved Israel that day from the hand of the Egyptians
And Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the seashore
When Israel saw the great power which The LORD had used against the Egyptians
The people feared The LORD
And they believed in The LORD and in HIS servant Moses
Exodus 14:30-31

The same Israelites who were in awe of The LORD and believed in both HIM and HIS servant Moses (Exd 14:31); sang HIS praises (Exd 15:1-19); danced before HIM with joy (Exd 15:20-21); and believed in HIS WORDS (Psa 106:12); because they saw the great power HE used against the dead Egyptians on the seashore (Exd 14:30-31). Quickly forget HIM and all HE did for them (Psa 106:13, Psa 106:19-22). This congregation in the wilderness walked by sight until the very end.

 Despite all our Beloved LORD GOD did for the Israelite wilderness congregation, and all the signs HE performed in their midst, they quickly forgot HIM, HIS WORDS, and HIS miracles. This congregation forgot to the point, they did not give HIM honor, nor continue to believe in HIM (Num 14:11). Sadly, that is still true today, of many professing Christians (and yes, I use the term “professing Christians” because our LORD tells us in Tit 1:16, there are those who profess to know HIM, but how they live, denies they belong to HIM).

As true followers of JESUS CHRIST, we have been called to live our lives, through faith in HIM (2 Cor 5:7). We should not be living our lives according to what we see, or what we believe we know; for the seen is temporal, and our understanding is limited. Instead, we should be living our lives focused on the unseen, the eternal things (2 Cor 4:18). That was a mouthful, what does it mean? It means that Christians are not guided by what we see, but we are guided by trusting in our unseen GOD and HIS eternal WORD.

When one is walking by sight, they:

  • Live based upon how things appear, feel, or seem
  • Rely upon their own instincts instead of GOD’s WORD
  • Make decisions based on self-interest rather than GOD’s commands
  • Are concerned with the present rather than the eternal
  • Reject any advice that does not agree with their own logic
  • Suspect the motives of others
  • Will live lives unable to see when good comes, (Jer 17:6)

How does one know when they are walking by sight? If you need GOD “to show you, then you will trust HIM” you are walking by sight. A person who needs GOD to show them, before they will trust HIM, is a person who will trust HIM for the moment, and quickly return to unbelief. The Israelite wilderness congregation were such people, unable to enter into GOD’s rest (Heb 3:16-19).

How does one know when they are walking by faith? A person who has not seen HIM, but loves HIM; does not see HIM now, yet still believes in HIM; is a person walking by faith. This person is full of peace regardless of the circumstances; always grateful; filled with a joy too strong to be described or conveyed in words (1 Pet 1:8, 1 Ths 5:18, Jhn 14:27). This person has complete faith in GOD, their trust in HIM does not waver in circumstances; their mind is steadfast; and their heart stays in perfect peace (Isa 26:3). A person who walks by faith is blessed (Psa 84:12, Jer 17:7), has answered prayers (1 Chr 5:20), and is helped (Psa 28:7).  Abraham was such a man (Gen 22:1-18, Rom 4:13-22).

Is there any hope for a person who is walking by sight? Yes, if that person truly seeks to know GOD (Jer 29:13) and is willing to listen to HIS Words (Mrk 9:7-8, Jhn 6:60-68), HE will cause their faith to grow. But for those who refuse to turn from living ungodly lives, they will never come to a place of faith in JESUS, and trust in GOD.

Is there an example in the BIBLE where a person went from “walking by sight” to “walking by faith”? Yes, our Beloved LORD GOD gave us that example in Thomas Didymus. He was one of our Precious LORD JESUS CHRIST’s twelve disciples who faithfully followed our JESUS, expressing his opinion (Jhn 11:14), voicing his questions (Jhn 14:5), and stating the proof he needed that our LORD had risen (Jhn 20:25).  

And though you have not seen HIM
You love HIM
And though you do not see HIM now
But believe in HIM
You greatly rejoice with
Joy inexpressible and full of glory
Obtaining as the outcome of your faith
The salvation of your souls
1 Peter 1:8-9

Teaching Again and Again

Preaching The WORDThey have turned their back to ME and not their face
Though I taught them, teaching again and again
They would not listen and receive instruction
Jeremiah 32:33

Are you listening to HIS instruction, or are you dying spiritually? You cannot do both. You are either listening, obeying, and growing spiritually (Heb 5:11-14). Or you are dying spiritually, because you are not listening (Jer 32:33), nor progressing any further in your spiritual walk (2 Tim 3:4-9).

 Our Beloved LORD GOD is merciful (Psa 103:8-10), and does not desire for anyone to perish (2 Pet 3:9). That is why daily, HE still rises early (Jer 7:13, Jer 7:25), sending all HIS servants (Jer 25:4), with warnings and messages for the well-being of HIS people.  Every day HE calls to us:

MY son, keep MY Words, and treasure MY Commandments within you
Keep MY Commandments and live
And MY Teaching as the apple of your eye*
Bind them on your fingers
Write them on the tablet of your heart
Proverbs 7:1-3

What specific instruction have we been called to keep? Many are summed up in the following messages:

  • Believe and Trust in GOD (Psa 37:3-5, Jhn 6:29, 1 Jhn 3:23, Jud 1:5)

If you do not accept as true, that GOD is (Heb 11:6), you will not be able to believe in HIM or trust in HIS salvation (Psa 78:22).

  • Love GOD, with your entire being (Deu 6:5, Mrk 12:30).

The English word “love” in Deuteronomy 6:5, has been transliterated from the Hebrew words “ahab” or “aheb” (OT:157). When these two Hebrew words are broken down to a further Hebrew definition “in the Qal,” it describes the human love for GOD or toward GOD. This type of love has an affection for; a strong emotional attachment to; a desire to be in the presence of (Deu 15:16-17). And the English word “love” in Mark 12:30, is transliterated from the Greek word “agapaoo” (NT:25). This love which is a continual, willful, and deliberate choice; when given to a master, GOD or CHRIST, the word involves the idea of affectionate reverence, prompt obedience, or grateful recognition of benefits received.

  • Do not have any other gods before HIM (Exd 20:3-5, 2 Kin 17:34-40)

The NLT version of 2 Kings 17:34-40, states clearly what our Beloved LORD GOD means by “not having any other gods before HIM.” We are not to love, worship, or serve, anyone or anything but HIM. How do you test yourself in this? Honestly examine yourself, to find out if there is anyone (including yourself) that means more to you than our GOD? Are you willing to disobey GOD to make that person happy? Is there anyone or anything you are spending more time with than our GOD?  

  • Seek GOD, through prayer, worship, and The BIBLE (Psa 9:10, Psa 32:6, Isa 55:6)

Our Beloved LORD GOD instructs us to seek HIM and HIS strength continually (Psa 105:4). This means to repeatedly seek HIS presence, by seeking HIS Face (Psa 27:8). Why this instruction? That we might not be shaken at any time, in any circumstance (Psa 16:8-9).

  • Obey, GOD’s WORD (Jer 7:23, Jhn 3:36, Heb 3:18-19, Heb 12:4)

Don’t just hear GOD’s WORD, or read GOD’s WORD and then not follow the instructions. Each one of us who belong to HIM have been called to do what HE tells us (Luk 6:46). Our obedience to HIM is what identifies us as HIS (Exd 19:5, Jhn 10:3-5).

  • Master Sin, do not let it reign in you (Rom 6:12-14)

Do not let sin have control over you. From the very beginning GOD spoke to Cain, as HE speaks to us today. Do not let sin take control. Sadly, Cain did not listen, and became the first human murderer (Gen 4:7); are you listening? Our Beloved LORD GOD has provided the way of escape from temptation (1 Cor 10:13), by instructing us to clothe ourselves from head to toe in JESUS CHRIST (Rom 13:14, Eph 6:10-18).

  • Repent, turn from sinful ways (2 Kin 17:13, Act 3:19, Act 17:30, Rev 2:5)

When one is careless of conduct it leads to death (Pro 19:16). But our Beloved LORD GOD whose mercies are new every single morning (Lam 3:22-23), speaks first to us through our conscience (1 Sam 24:5), and then through HIS servants to turn us away from sin and back to HIM, for healing and life (2 Chr 7:14, Eze 18:30-32).

  • Through Perseverance, endure to the end (Mat 24:13, Luk 21:19, Heb 12:1-2)

Our Precious LORD JESUS encourages us to persevere, by holding fast to The WORD of GOD, and keeping our faith in HIM (Luk 8:15, Rom 2:7, Rev 14:12). HE will provide the endurance we need (Jam 1:2-4), through our trusting in, and clinging to HIM (Deu 13:4).

Is it even possible to die spiritually, if you have been born again? Yes. If you are not growing, then you are dying. Let’s confirm this by HIS WORD:

To the angel of the church in Sardis write:
HE who has the seven Spirits of GOD
And the seven stars, says this:
I know your deeds
that you have a name that you are alive
but you are dead
Wake up and strengthen the things that remain
which were about to die
for I have not found your deeds
completed in the sight of MY GOD
So remember what you have received and heard
and keep it, and repent
Therefore if you do not wake up
I will come like a thief
And you will not know at what hour I will come to you
Revelation 3:1-3

Please take note of Revelation 3:1, our Precious LORD JESUS CHRIST identifies HIMSELF as The Head of HIS Church. HE is The ONE WHO has the seven Spirits of GOD (Isa 11:1-5, Rev 5:6), and holds the seven stars (angels or messengers) of HIS WORDS in HIS right hand (Rev 1:20). JESUS, The Head of the Church, is warning the church in Sardis of their spiritual death.

How do you know if you are dying spiritually? Consider the following nine symptoms:

  1. The suffering and sacrifice of JESUS, no longer moves you (Heb 10:29)
  2. You have left your first love (Rev 2:4)
  3. You are failing to do, what you know you should do (Jam 1:22)
  4. You fool yourself, about how you are living (Gal 6:7-8)
  5. Church services bore you (Heb 10:24-25)
  6. You are frequently late, or absent from worship services (Mal 3:13-15)
  7. You have no Interest in saving souls (1 Cor 9:16-17)
  8. You do not participate in the work of the Church (Luk 10:2)
  9. Your love for things of the world, is greater than your love for spiritual things (1 Jhn 2:15-17)

Can spiritual death be stopped? Yes, our Beloved LORD GOD will heal (Jer 17:14, Hos 14:1-4, ) and revive you (Psa 80:14-19, Psa 119:25, Isa 57:15), when you turn back to HIM, with all your heart (2 Chr 7:14). 

Then The LORD came and stood and called as at other times
“Samuel! Samuel!”
And Samuel said, “Speak, for YOUR servant is listening.”
1 Samuel 3:10


*to keep our Beloved GOD’s teaching as the “apple of our eye”, is to consider HIS teaching as precious as our eyesight.

What About Them

what about themSo Peter seeing him
Said to JESUS
LORD, and what about this man?“
JESUS said to him
If I want him to remain Until I come
What is that to you?
You follow ME!”
John 21:21-22

It seems that in the last two years, I have spent substantial more time encouraging fellow Christians to keep their eyes on JESUS (Heb 12:1-3). This encouragement has been for those who just began their faith walk with our Precious JESUS CHRIST; those who have walked inconsistently with HIM for some time; those who have been faithful to HIM in their walk; and those who are teaching others how to walk.

Why should we keep our eyes on JESUS? We must keep our eyes on HIM, so that we are not entangled by sin, nor distracted by peril, dread, uncertainty, or misperceptions. When we focus on our Beloved LORD JESUS and eternal things (Col 3:2-3), we are:

  • anchored to HIM, through HIS strength (Exd 15:2, Psa 18:1-2, Php 4:13), and support (2 Sam 22:19, 2 Chr 16:9, 2 Tim 4:17)
  • kept from growing weary and losing heart (Luk 18:1-8, Heb 12:1-3)
  • given understanding, (insight) into both the events taking place (Mat 24:3- 13:5-33), and the behavior of people in these last days (2 Tim 3:1-5)

What happens when we don’t keep our eyes on JESUS? Fear increases, faith decreases, and focus becomes wrong. Wrong focus leads to questioning GOD’s heart, which can lead to envy, bitterness, resentment, stumbling, discouragement, weariness, judging, speaking and thinking wickedly.

Are there examples of this in The BIBLE? Yes, we will look at three such examples, and discuss what happened when their focus turned back to our LORD:

  1. Asaph a prophet (2 Chr 29:30) and the chief Levite worship leader for King David (1 Chr 16:4-5), almost stumbled (Psa 73:1-2), when he questioned the heart of GOD concerning misperceptions about the wicked. Asaph:
    • became envious of their prosperity (Psa 73:3)
    • was deceived into thinking their lives had no problems (Psa 73:4-5)
    • saw how wicked they were – full of pride; violent; mockers of GOD; acted superior to other men – yet they appeared to have awesome lives (Psa 73:6-9, Psa 73:12)
    • became embittered, feeling resentful at perceived unfair treatment (Psa 73:13-22)

When Asaph turned his face from the wicked, and back to our LORD, he was given understanding of what the end would be, for both the wicked and the righteous. This point further demonstrated, with poor Lazarus and the rich man (Luk 16:19-31).

  1. JESUS was welcomed into the home of Martha, who lived in Bethany. Martha was focused on her preparations; her sister Mary was focused on our LORD. Martha’s misperceptions about the priorities of her sister, caused her to question the heart of our LORD (Luk 10:38-42), since Mary was:
    • seated at HIS feet, listening to HIS words (Luk 10:39)
    • not helping Martha prepare and serve their special guest (Luk 10:40)

When Martha stopped to question JESUS, HE called her name, twice; showed her the state of her mind; and instructed her in the way of wisdom (Luk 10:41-42). We do well to pay attention this lesson, daily seeking HIS Face (1 Chr 16:11), instead of setting and following our own priorities (Pro 3:5-6, Pro 16:25).

  1. When John Mark abandoned, Paul and Barnabas in Pamphylia, Paul was no longer willing to minister alongside him (Act 15:36-40). Barnabas however was an encourager (Act 4:36), he encouraged the disciples to accept Paul in the beginning of his ministry (Act 9:1-28), and would not abandon his cousin John Mark (Col 4:10-11). Later, our Beloved LORD JESUS brought reconciliation between Paul and John Mark, and he became an encouragement to Paul (Col 4:10-11), useful for service to him (2 Tim 4:11), and a fellow worker with him (Phi 1:24).

We must not let personal feelings or misperceptions cause us to judge (Mat 7:1-5, Rom 2:1-2, Rom 14:1-4, Rom 14:10-13), resent (Lev 19:17-18, 1 Jhn 4:19-21), or speak against (Psa 50:19-21, Eph 4:31-32, Jam 3:9-12, Jam 4:11-12, Jam 5:9) fallen ministers. Instead we must stay focused on what we have been called to do (Jhn 21:22), pray for fallen ministers (Eph 6:18, 1 Ths 5:17), and if possible, turn them back from the way of error (Jam 5:19-20). Like our brother Barnabas we must put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the LORD forgave you, so also should you. Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. (Col 3:12-14).

What has GOD called us to do in this time? Since our Precious LORD JESUS CHRIST has forewarned us of the very events happening all around us, in these last days (Mrk 13:23, 2 Pet 3:3-9). We should be living holy and godly lives (2 Pet 3:11); lights shining in a dark world (Pro 4:18, Mat 5:14); speaking to those who will listen, about salvation and repentance (Pro 13:14, Mal 2:7, Rom 10:14-15); and warning those who will not listen (Eze 33:8-9, Act 20:26-27).

But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith
praying in the Holy SPIRIT
Keep yourselves in the love of GOD
Waiting anxiously
For the mercy of our LORD JESUS CHRIST to eternal life
Jude 1:20-21

What in the World is Happening

Earth on fire with shadowFor thus says The LORD GOD,
How much more when I send My four severe judgments against Jerusalem
Sword, famine, wild beasts, and plague to cut off man and beast from it!
Ezekiel 14:21

Because so many things are simultaneously happening worldwide, many are asking “what in the world is happening?” Before we explain what is happening, let’s look at some of those global events occurring, even now:

  1. False Christs – those who deny JESUS, while claiming to be the one anointed by GOD and empowered by HIS SPIRIT (Mat 24:4-5, Mrk 13:6, Luk 21:8, Rev 6:1-2):
    • Founder or the one claiming to be the anointed one: Baha’i-Mirza Hoseyn ‘Ali Nuri; Buddhism-Gautama; Cao Dai-Ngo Van Chieu; Christian Science-Mary Baker; Confucianism-Confucius; Islam– Muhammad; Jainism-Mahavira; Jehovah’s Witness-Charles Taze Russell; Mormons-Joseph Smith; Prosperity Gospel-Essek William Kenyon; Scientology-Lafayette Ronald Hubbard; Sikhism-Guru Nanak; Taoism-Laozi; Unitarian-Faustus Socinus/John Biddle/William Ellery Channing; Word of Faith Movement-Kenneth Hagin Sr.
    • No Founder identified, but prevalent throughout the world: Hindu; Korean Shamanism; Japanese Shintoism; Yoga is a group of physical, mental, and spiritual practices or disciplines originating from Hindu
  2. Nation against Nation (Mat 24: 6-7, Rev 6:3-4):
    • Belarusian citizens protest against a corrupt election which put President Alexander Lukashenko back in office
    • Black lives matter protests around the globe against racism, social injustice, and police brutality
    • Bulgaria citizens protests to remove Chief Public Prosecutor, Ivan Geshev from office
    • Hong Kong youth protests against government’s plan to allow extradition to mainland China
    • Nigerian protests against government and police brutality
    • Thailand pro-democracy protestors demand reform of the Thai monarchy
  3. Wars (Mat 24:6-7, Rev 6: 3-4):
    • Currently there are ten official global wars being fought (Syrian civil war, Libya civil war, Yemini civil war, South Sudan civil war, Afghanistan war, Mexican drug war, Somali civil war, Darfur war, India-Pakistan war, Philippine drug war), and eight active military conflicts (Kurdish-Turkish conflict, Ukraine conflict, Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Taliban attacks, Iraq political instability, Nigerian conflict, Boko Haram insurgency, Sinai insurgency, South Kordofan conflict). These wars and conflicts involve sixty-nine countries, with 843 militia groups are involved in those wars and conflicts. The militia groups include terrorists, guerrillas, separatists, and anarchic groups.
  4. Famine (Mat 24:7, Rev 6:5-6):
    • 553 million people experiencing severe food shortages in Asian and Pacific regions
    • 227 million people experiencing severe food shortages in Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America
    • 47 million people experiencing severe food shortages in the Caribbean and Puerto Rico
    • 15 million people experiencing severe food shortages in the United States
  5. Pestilence and Plagues (Mat 24:4-5, Rev 6:7-8):
    • Covid-19 pandemic: Pestilence that led to global, social, and economic disruption; mass cancellations and postponements of events; globally closed borders, and locked down provinces, states, cities, villages, and national parks; Mt. Everest closed to climbers; the U.S. is in the largest economic recession since the Great Depression.
    • More than 1 million new sexually transmitted infections diagnosed every day worldwide. Combined cases of gonorrhea, syphilis, and chlamydia, have risen to unprecedented numbers. HIV, and genital herpes, have experienced a sharp increase in Pakistan, and the Philippines. Many once controlled sexually transmitted infections, have begun to rise around the world, due to the scientific impact response for covid-19.
    • Global resurgence of cholera, measles, typhoid fever, Ebola, and diphtheria, also due to the scientific impact response for covid-19.
    • Plague of locust: locust swarms (tens of billions of them reported to be 37 miles long and 25 miles wide in Africa (Kenya, Somalia, Sudan, Ethiopia), Middle East (Yemen, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Iran), India, Pakistan, China
    • Plague of mosquito clouds: massive mosquito swarms kill cows, horses, deer, and other livestock after Hurricane Laura made landfall in southeastern Louisiana.  
  6. Christians persecuted and killed (Mat 24:9, Rev 6:9-11):
    • As of January 2020, 310 million Christians globally are suffering high to severe levels of persecution
    • Every month, 309 Christians are imprisoned unjustly
    • Every week, 182 Churches or Christian buildings are attacked
    • Every day, 8 Christians worldwide are killed because of their faith
  7. Extreme weather events (Luk 21:25, Rev 6:7-6th seal great earthquake):
    • Epic flash flooding around the globe (the Yangtze River in China affected 13 million acres of cropland,
    • Cyclone Amphan (the most destructive cyclone in India’s history), ravages India and Bangladesh
    • “Once in a decade” storm batters 1900 miles of the Western Australian Coast
    • 45% of the United States currently in drought
    • back-to-back hurricanes on the US East Coast
  8. Unprecedented forest fires, raging around the world (Rev 8:7-1st trumpet 1/3 earth on fire):
    • Australia Bush fires, tens of millions of acres and 1 billion animals killed
    • US West Coast fires, more than five million acres had burned as of 9/10/20
    • Brazilian Amazon, Bolivia, Canada, Thailand, Ukraine, Russia, Indonesia, sub-Saharan Africa

Why are all these events happening? These events are happening because of the sin of man, and the response of our holy GOD to that sin. All these events, can be best described in a single word “Judgment.”

What is Judgment?  Judgment can be defined as:

  1. the ability or process of forming an opinion; coming to a conclusion; making a decision
  2. divine punishment inflicted through misfortune or calamity

In this study, we will be looking at the second definition of judgment, per Ezekiel 14:21. The English word “judgment” is transliterated from the Hebrew word “sh­ephet” (OT:8201), and means infliction (to inflict something unpleasant or painful on someone or something).

When does GOD inflict Judgment? Our Beloved LORD GOD inflicts judgment on the wicked (Psa 11:6, Mal 3:5, Jhn 5:29, Jhn 12:31, Heb 10:26-27), on a person, a people, a nation who mistreat or persecute HIS people (Exd 3:16-22, Exd 6:6, Act 11:28, Act 18:1-2), and on HIS people, who refuse to repent of, or turn from:

  • Idolatry: the setting up of idols in one’s heart; extreme admiration and love for anything or anyone, more than GOD (Eze 14:1-8, Eze 20:16, Eze 11:21)
  • The practice of abominations/detestable sins: a lifestyle of idol worship, immorality, perversity, lying, dishonesty, deceitfulness, arrogance, hating, killing, scheming, conniving, causing division, quick to do evil (Eze 14:6, Pro 3:32, Pro 6:16-19, 2 Tim 3:1-5)
  • Backsliding: continually returning to sin (Jer 8:5, Hos 11:7), going backward and not forward (Jer 7:23-24, Jer 15:6), habitually giving in to temptation (Ecc 2:10, Php 3:19), always going astray (Heb 3:10).
  • Apostasy: a willful decision to abandon the faith (Isa 1:4, 2 Ths 2:3, 1 Tim 4:1); reject The WORD as truth (Pro 4:2, Jer 6:19, Jhn 12:48, 2 Ths 2:10-11); defect or shrink back from GOD (Isa 31:6, Heb 10:38-39); forsake The LORD (1 Kin 9:6-9, Isa 1:28, Jer 17:13); revolt against GOD (Isa 1:2, Isa 30:9, Isa 65:2-4); withdraw from JESUS (Heb 6:4-6) and HIS teachings (Jhn 6:60-69); turn away from GOD and HIS WORD (1 Kin 14:7-9, 2 Tim 4:3-4).

What Judgments has GOD inflicted? Our Beloved LORD GOD visited HIS judgments on:

  • Egypt with ten dreadful plagues, when Pharaoh refused to let HIS people go (Exd 7:4)
  • Judah and Israel with war, because of constant Idolatry (Kings and Chronicles)
  • Israel and the house of Saul with physical famine, for Israel’s idolatry (1 Kin chptrs 17-18, 2 Kin 6:24-30, Hag 1:7-11), and king Saul trying to break the Gibeonite covenant (Jos 9:3-20, 2 Sam 21:1-2)
  • Israel with spiritual famine, for their idolatry (Amo 8:11-14, Mic 3:5-7)
  • The rebellious Israelites with pestilence, during their wilderness journey (Num 11:1-34, Num 14:36-38, Num 16:41-50, 1 Chr 21:1-27)

What Judgments will GOD inflict? Our Precious JESUS CHRIST spoke of  the opening of the seal Judgments, which are birth pangs or the beginning of GOD’s judgments against rampant sin (Mat 24:4-9, Rev 6:1-17, Rev 8:1). GOD’s judgments will get more severe with the trumpet Judgments (Rev 8:2-13, Rev 9:1-21, Rev 11:15-19), until HIS wrath is poured out in the bowl Judgments (Rev 15:1-8, Rev 16:1-21).

Is GOD inflicting Judgment now? Yes, HIS judgments are reflected in the eight different events listed in the opening of this study. And these judgments are will get more and more severe until the heavens, earth, and all its inhabitants are destroyed (2 Pet 3:10-13). The earth is currently experiencing four severe judgments, war; famine; wild beasts; pestilence (Eze14:21). These four judgments will climax with the complete opening of the Fourth seal, the judgment of Death. Today it is still a birth pang, but when Death, the rider on the sickly pale horse (Rev 6:8), is  released without restraint (Rev 1:18); He and Hades will travel together, and 25% of the world’s population will be killed. Death will claim the bodies, Hades will claim the souls.

The following is a chart of actual 2019 deaths globally:

2019 global deaths chart

If the Sixth seal of Judgment had been fully opened 25% of the 2019 Global population or 1.8 billion would have died (7.6 billion*25% = 1,894,282,600).

How should you be living in these times? As a faithful child of GOD. You have been warned that all these things are happening because of sin; and knowing from Scripture that the heavens and earth will be destroyed by fire (2 Peter 3:11); should you not be living a obedient life, faithful, holy in conduct, and godliness (2 Peter 3:11).

Is HE rebuking you because you fear him?
Is this why HE enters into judgment with you?
Isn’t it because your wickedness is great?
Aren’t your iniquities endless?
Job 22:4-5 (Complete Jewish BIBLE translation)

Before I was afflicted, I went astray
But now I keep YOUR WORD
Psalm 119:67

Looking for Help in The Wrong Places (2 Kings Chapter 16)

A Study in 2 KingsThe 2 Kings Chapter 16 BIBLE study, is the first study in this series, that we not only need to examine 2 Kings Chapter 16 and 2 Chronicles Chapter 28, but we will also need to examine one of the chapters of a major prophet (Isaiah 7:1-25) to get a better understanding of the events taking place in this Chapter 16. And how those events speak to every one of us in some way. Forewarning, this is not easy reading, so you will need to carefully consider what you are reading, pray constantly, and meditate earnestly. But it will be so worth, spending one-on-one time with our Beloved LORD GOD as HE demonstrates through Scriptures how destructive it is to seek anything or anyone for help, instead of seeking HIM.

In this study of king Ahaz our Beloved LORD GOD has provided several truths that each one of us should take to heart, or take seriously by carefully weighing what is being said:

  1. Our sins do not affect us alone:
    1. The sins of the fathers are visited upon the children (Exd 20:5). It is important to understand that the children are not responsible for the sins of their fathers (Eze 18:1-23), but the cumulative effect of generational sin, will affect the children unwilling to turn from sin (Mat 23:29-36). King Ahaz’s father and grandfather, “did right in the sight of The LORD, according to all that their fathers had done.” But they did not tear down the high places where the people of Judah, sacrificed and burned incense to false gods (2 Kin 15:3-4, 2 Kin 15:34-35). King Ahaz did not do what was right in the sight of The LORD; he personally offered sacrifices and burned incense at the high places (2 Kin 16:4). Sadly, king Ahaz’s father and grandfather were builders of seaports, cities, fortified towers, wells, walls, and gates. King Ahaz was a builder of high places (2 Chr 28:25). What sins remain in your life that will be visited upon your children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, great-great-grandchildren? Have you inherited anger, dishonesty, unforgiveness, fault-finding, selfishness, cruelty, rebellion, materialism, complacency, hypocrisy… that will be visited on the next four generations after you, because you refuse to turn to The LORD?
    2. As demonstrated by king Ahaz (2 Chr 28:19, 2 Chr 28:5-18), and king David (2 Sam 24:1-25, 1 Chr 21:1-30), the sins of a king bring guilt on the people they reign over. King Ahaz’s refusal to serve our Beloved LORD GOD, brought a lack of restraint in the nation of Judah, causing them all to suffer judgment for idol worship (2 Chr 28:19). Did not Aaron commit this very sin with the children of Israel, in the wilderness (Exd 32:1-8)? What has your behavior taught those who follow your example? Do you trust in self rather than GOD? Do you make things happen by self-effort rather than GOD’s provision? Do you easily give up rather than patiently wait on GOD?     
    3. The sins of the priests (spiritual leaders) bring guilt on the people they serve (Lev 4:3). Urijah the high priest, blindly followed the commands of king Ahaz (2 Kin 16:10-16), instead of resisting, as the high priest Azariah and eighty priests resisted his grandfather king Uzziah (2 Chr 26:16-20). A spiritual leader can bring guilt on the people, because these leaders are recognized by the people as those who stand before GOD. And when they are not standing before GOD, listening to HIS council (Jer 23:21-22), they lead GOD’s people astray (Mat 15:12-14). Are you leading GOD’s people astray by your words or your behavior? Are you tickling ears rather than speaking truth?
  2. When one sins against GOD (Psa 51:4, 2 Chr 28:2), they injure themselves (Pro 8:36, Job 35:6-8, Jer 7:16-19). Sadly, there are many who turn from GOD in times of loss, tribulation, or disappointment. Some turn out of fear (Luk 22:31-34, Luk 22:54-62), others turn out of grief (Job 2:9-10) and even others turn out of anger (2 Sam 6:1-15). I pray each one of us, would always cling to our GOD (Deu 10:20, Deu 11:22), not letting anything, even death, separate us from loving and trusting HIM (Rom 8:35-39, Rev 14:12).
  3. You cannot stand before your enemies, if GOD is not with you (Lev 26:17, Lev 26:36-37, Num 14:30-45, Jos 7:11-13). King Ahaz chose not to serve GOD nor seek HIS help, and ended up being surrounded by, and suffering loss from four different enemies ― Aram (2 Kin 16:6, 2 Chr 28:5), Israel (2 Chr 28:6-8), Edom (2 Chr 28:17), and the Philistines (2 Chr 28:18). What constantly attacks you because you do not seek, trust, or obey our Precious LORD JESUS? Is it fear, depression, anxiety, loneliness, helplessness…
  4. Cursed (harmed, injured, or troubled), is the man who trusts in mankind, and makes flesh his strength (Jer 17:5, 2 Kin 16:7-9, 2 Chr 28:20-21). King Ahaz turned to a man (king Tiglath-pileser of Assyria) to help him against two enemies who wanted to dethrone him (kings of Aram and Israel), instead of turning to GOD. Trusting man to help instead of GOD, is futile, just as it was for king Ahaz, when he turned to the king of Assyria (2 Chr 28:20-21). You are flesh, and if you trust in yourself instead of trusting in GOD, you are cursed (Jer 17:5), and will suffer for it (Pro 3:5-8, Jer 42:1-22).
  5. Our Beloved LORD GOD is The Self-Existent ONE (Exd 3:13-15, Jhn 8:56-58), the Alpha and Omega (Rev 1:8), the First and the Last (Isa 41:4, Rev 22:13), the Beginning and the End (Rev 21:6). Which means, man’s behavior does not affect WHO HE is. HE remains a holy, just, gracious, righteous, compassionate, and forgiving GOD (Psa 116:5, 2 Tim 2:13, Isa 7:1-9). HE is faithful, even when we are faithless, because HE cannot deny HIMSELF (2 Tim 2:13). And for this reason, even in HIS wrath, there is still mercy (Hab 3:2). Though King Ahaz was extremely wicked, serving multiple false gods, and even tried to eradicate worship of the true GOD (2 Chr 28:22-25). But at the time he and all of the people of Judah became absolutely terrified, when hearing two of their enemies had united against them; our Beloved LORD GOD had compassion on them and sent HIS prophet Isaiah with words of comfort, peace and assurance (Isa 7:1-9). We have been called to be like our Beloved ABBA FATHER (Lev 20:26, 1 Pet 1:15-16), and that is why we must obey, not returning evil for evil (1 Pet 3:8-9). We must love when hated, bless when cursed, pray when mistreated, and be kind to evil and ungrateful men (Mat 5:43-48, Luk 6:27-36).

King Ahaz looked for help from everywhere, except from our Beloved LORD GOD. He looked for help from Molech by sacrificing his son to it (2 Kin 16:3, 2 Chr 28:3, Lev 18:21); from Asherah by sacrificing and burning incense on the high places and under every green tree (2 kin 16:4, 2 Chr 28:4); from Baal by making molten images of it (2 Chr 28:2); from man by seeking help from the king of Assyria (2 Kin 16:7-8, 2 Chr 28:20-21); from the false gods of Damascus by copying an altar in Damascus, and offering sacrifices on it (2 Kin 16:10-18, 2 Chr 28:22-23). King Ahaz refused to seek help from The ONE WHO could truly provided help, instead he insisted on looking for help in all the aforementioned wrong places.

Why would one seek help from anyone or anything besides GOD? For at least six reasons, they do not:

  1. believe that HE is GOD (Heb 11:6)
  2. know GOD (Jer 9:3, Jhn 10:3-5, 1 Cor 15:34), nor HIS WAYS (Jer 5:4-5)
  3. trust GOD (Jam 1:6-8)
  4. know GOD is where help comes from (Psa 33:20, Psa 121:2, Psa 124:8)
  5. understand our victory comes from GOD alone (Lev 26:7-8, Deu 32:30, Pro 21:31, Zep 3:17, 1 Cor 15:57)
  6. know all good things comes from GOD (Psa 34:10, Psa 84:11, Jam 1:17)

For they hated knowledge, and chose not to fear The LORD
They rejected MY advice, and paid no attention, when I corrected them
Therefore, they must eat the bitter fruit of living their own way
Choking on their own schemes
For simpletons turn away from ME—to death
Fools are destroyed by their own complacency
But all who listen to ME, will live in peace, untroubled by fear of harm
Proverbs 1:29-33 (New Living Translation)