Naboth had a vineyard and he was offered a great price for it by King Ahab. However Naboth refused King Ahab's offer.
1 Kings 21:2 ESV And after this Ahab said to Naboth, "Give me your vineyard, that I may have it for a vegetable garden, because it is near my house, and I will give you a better vineyard for it; or, if it seems good to you, I will give you its value in money."
The reason Naboth refused was that it was more than just a vineyard, it was his family's heritage or testimony.
1 Kings 21:3 ESV But Naboth said to Ahab, "The LORD forbid that I should give you the inheritance of my fathers."
Ahab was seriously upset that Naboth would not give up his family inheritance. We will find that people want us to do what they do and be in partnership with their activities and sin causing us to sell out our testimony. When we don't they become angry.
1 Kings 21:4 ESV And Ahab went into his house vexed and sullen because of what Naboth the Jezreelite had said to him, for he had said, "I will not give you the inheritance of my fathers." And he lay down on his bed and turned away his face and would eat no food.
Naboth was eventually stoned to death because he would not part with his ancestral heritage. (1 Kings 21:13)
ESAU: SELLING OUT
In contrast to Naboth, Esau sold not only his ancestral heritage but his birthright for a bowl of red stew.
Genesis 25:31-34 ESV Jacob said, "Sell me your birthright now." (32) Esau said, "I am about to die; of what use is a birthright to me?" (33) Jacob said, "Swear to me now." So he swore to him and sold his birthright to Jacob. (34) Then Jacob gave Esau bread and lentil stew, and he ate and drank and rose and went his way. Thus Esau despised his birthright.
Our heritage and birthright as believers are much more than pieces of property or a bowl of soup. Our Christian heritage includes divine revelation through the anointing of the Person of the Holy Spirit. Our heritage is the truth of God's Word, His manifested power, eternal life, and His unconditional love. All that we have in our Christian heritage was purchased by the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ.
To preserve and deepen this heritage, we will certainly have to sacrifice things and pleasures of the flesh and not sell out. We may even have to give our lives. It may come to the choice of Naboth of die or be killed.
Unfortunely many have sold out the Lord's awesome presence and power, and enslaved themselves in the world's "culture of death." Many have sold their birthright and heritage for next to nothing. And for many it has been nothing more than a religious activity, or offering intellect, talents, resources, or callings on the temporal altar of lust, fame, and fortune. It could be the altar of man's acceptance, personal satisfaction, entertainment, competition, or pride.
Jesus has paid the price of our heritage with His blood, therefore we do not belong to the world or even to ourselves. We have been purchased by our Lord. The ultimate price has been paid. We don't have a legal right to sell out ourselves to the pleasures of the world.
Joshua 24:16 ESV Then the people answered, "Far be it from us that we should forsake the LORD to serve other gods,
There are Ahabs watching and waiting to bring an offer to us for our vineyards. Are we NOT FOR SALE?
There is a key strategy of the enemy attempting to deceive the church during this crucial and final preparation season of end times. The desire of the Holy Spirit is to create in us purity essential for entering the Secret Place of the Most High and union with Christ.
Ephesians 5:26-27 ESV that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, (27) so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.
As Pastors present their sermons they need to realize there are believers listening whose garments are stained and soiled needing to be washed. Unfortunately, in many fellowships the leadership has removed the "washing machines" from the church and the people are unable to be washed by the Word.
This is a crucial mistake that must be rectified. The "washing machines" represented the "Washing by the water of the Word" cleansing the garments of the believers making them presentable before the Lord. The emphasis of the Holy Spirit is now going to be on the cleansing and purifying work necessary for the believers to enter in to the next level of God's anointing, fellowship and relationship.
Let’s look at the different ways the Holy Spirit will guide us to all truth. The Person of the Holy Spirit receives and declares…
JN.16:13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.
The Holy Spirit guides by SPEAKING to us the Truth. Our Lord had many things to say but they were not able to “bear” them. However, our Lord would share these hidden truths later through the Person of the Holy Spirit. The Father tells the Son what He desires and what He wants to reveal, the Son tells the Spirit, and the Spirit tells us. This should cause our hearts to leap with joy and have incredible confidence knowing that the full Godhead is actively engaged in our lives daily. (See Jn.14:17; Rom.8:14; Ps.23:1-2; 48:14; 73:24; Is.30:21; 42:16; 48:17).
For more information on the work and ministry of the Holy Spirit, click on the link and get my book "THE FOUR POSITIONS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT"
1. There will be false prophets, apostles, pastors, and teachers. There will be false Christs.
We are in this stage NOW! It is not as bad as it is going to get. We will see it grow as more and more false religious leaders appear. There area two stages here. First the false leaders and false Christs will appear, then we will see that they gain a great following and lead many astray.
Matthew 24:5 ESV For many will come in my name, saying, 'I am the Christ,' and they will lead many astray.
Matthew 24:11 ESV And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray.
Matthew 24:23-24 ESV Then if anyone says to you, 'Look, here is the Christ!' or 'There he is!' do not believe it. (24) For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect.
Jeremiah 14:14 ESV And the LORD said to me: "The prophets are prophesying lies in my name. I did not send them, nor did I command them or speak to them. They are prophesying to you a lying vision, worthless divination, and the deceit of their own minds.
Jeremiah 23:25-27 ESV I have heard what the prophets have said who prophesy lies in my name, saying, 'I have dreamed, I have dreamed!' (26) How long shall there be lies in the heart of the prophets who prophesy lies, and who prophesy the deceit of their own heart, (27) who think to make my people forget my name by their dreams that they tell one another, even as their fathers forgot my name for Baal?
2. There will be wars, rumors of wars and nations will rise against nations.
Currently we have war ships posted in many places around the globe because of what we call "hot spots" where war can start in a moment. The worlds is walking on egg shells wondering not if, but when World War III will start.
Matthew 24:6-7 ESV And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet. (7) For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places.
Mark 13:7-8 ESV And when you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. This must take place, but the end is not yet. (8) For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places; there will be famines. These are but the beginning of the birth pains.
Luke 21:9-10 ESV And when you hear of wars and tumults, do not be terrified, for these things must first take place, but the end will not be at once." (10) Then he said to them, "Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.
3. There will be unbelievable earthquakes in strange places, famines, pestilences, and strange signs in the skies.
I want to properly identify the word pestilence. It is a contagious or infectious epidemic outbreak of a deadly disease that is devastating like the bubonic plague was. It is also a contagious epidemic outbreak of an evil influence or idea that is morally, emotionally, and spiritually devastating. We are currently seeing this being fulfilled. Many of the diseases that are across the globe are kept quiet in the media and need to be researched to find the name of the disease and the extent of the outbreak. Once these reaches full stage there will be no way the outbreaks can be hidden.
The epidemic evil influences and ideas are already at work. Sexual immorality, anti-Christian and anti-Bible influences are epidemic now.
Luke 21:11 ESV There will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and pestilences. And there will be terrors and great signs from heaven.
4. Christians being arrested, thrown in prison, or killed.
This is happening but not world-wide yet. However, this mindset is sweeping quickly across the globe. Europe and America will soon experience this.
Mark 13:9-10 ESV "But be on your guard. For they will deliver you over to councils, and you will be beaten in synagogues, and you will stand before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them. (10) And the gospel must first be proclaimed to all nations.
Matthew 24:9-10 ESV "Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name's sake. (10) And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another.
Luke 21:12-19 ESV But before all this they will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors for my name's sake. (13) This will be your opportunity to bear witness. (14) Settle it therefore in your minds not to meditate beforehand how to answer, (15) for I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which none of your adversaries will be able to withstand or contradict. (16) You will be delivered up even by parents and brothers and relatives and friends, and some of you they will put to death. (17) You will be hated by all for my name's sake. (18) But not a hair of your head will perish. (19) By your endurance you will gain your lives.
The main reason why our Lord must return to the Father was so that the Holy Spirit would come to be with us and within us. John spoke a lot about the Person of the Holy Spirit and His role in the world and in the life of the believer. There are many roles or works of the Person of the Holy Spirit within the Word of God, but I want to point out a few from the Book of John.
For more information on the work and ministry of the Holy Spirit, click on the link and get my book "THE FOUR POSITIONS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT"
Why do we have so much "accepted" false teachings among the body of Christ today? Why do we have groups such as the Mormons and Jehovah Witnesses, who were branded as cults now seen as just another branch of the Christian church? What can be done to combat spiritual misinformation and the corruptness of false teachings?
An “implied truth” taken out of context from God's Word should get tagged until considered validated and thus seen as accurate. Such warnings lead to a reduction in perceived accuracy of false teachings. However, it is much easier to produce misinformation than it is to debunk it once it has been read and processed mentally and emotionally.
We all have friends who might be a part of a "cultic" group. Let's face it. With the path of least resistance it is easier to compromise God's Word and emotionally embrace our friends as "good Christians" than to stand firm and uncompromisingly in God's Word.
It would be a point for us to remember that when our Lord Jesus Christ spent forty days and nights in the wilderness being tempted by the enemy that our Lord used the Word of God to overcome His tempter. He did not use opinion, a watered down version of God's Word, or philosophy to rebuke and defeat the enemy.
I have been in many doctrinal conversations with believers who responded to me with “I don’t believe what you are saying because my church doesn’t teach that.” What our church and denomination teaches will deem very insignificant when we are in the fire of trials and are being tempted by the enemy unless they are teaching the truth of God’s Word.
We no longer need to be satisfied with words that imply truth, philosophies that exalt man’s intellect, and convenient doctrine that allows us the freedom to be worldly and sinful. We need to be fed that which is truth and life from God’s Word and not given the powerless, fruitless, traditions and religious teachings of man.
John 6:32-35 KJV Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. (33) For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world. (34) Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread. (35) And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.
I want to point out a few things we should do to generate (release God's) joy in our Christian lives.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-19 ESV (16) Rejoice always, (17) pray without ceasing, (18) give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (19) Do not quench the Spirit.
Let us note the FOUR elements found in this passage:
The enemy of the demonic, the enemy of the world, and the enemy of our flesh will try to get us down. When our enemies try to discourage us and make us walk in sorrow, then REJOICE! To rejoice is not an act out of the emotion, otherwise we would only rejoice when things are going well. Rejoicing is an act of the will. We rejoice out of obedience, not out of emotion.
As we read and meditate on the Father's promises towards us we make the willful choice to be thankful and to rejoice. We should open our Bibles and read the passages of God's goodness and His promises. Choose to rejoice in God’s love and faithfulness. We should open our songbook or put on some spiritually up-lifting music and sing. Rejoice in God’s love and faithfulness and again I say rejoice. It is a choice and act of obedience.
PRAY WITHOUT CEASING:
Don’t forget to PRAY. Tell God what is going through your head and what you are feeling. He already knows anyway. Ask Him to bring you peace. Ask Him to put His arms of love around you. Ask Him to restore a spirit of joy in your life. Ask Him to restore the joy of HIS salvation.
Psalms 51:12 ESV Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.
IN EVERYTHING GIVE THANKS:
Count your blessings and THANK HIM for them. Remember how good He has been to you. When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost, count your many blessings. A grateful heart is a happy heart. Count your blessings and thank Him for them. Know that the trials we walk in are meant to complete our faith and build steadfastness in us, therefore thank God through them all. Remember that what the enemy has purposed for evil and for your destruction, God has purposed for your good and maturity.
DON'T QUENCH THE SPIRIT:
To quench the Holy Spirit means not doing what He wants us to do. It is not doing the right thing in daily disciplines of the faith. It is not being faithful in small things. To grieve the Holy Spirit is the doing of that which we are not to be doing. It would be acts of rebellion against the will of God. So, be open to the leadership of God's Holy Spirit and have a heart ready to obey.
To REJOICE, to PRAY, to GIVE THANKS and don't quench the Spirit, because this is the will of GOD for you.
THE TRUE PROPHET:
We have a lot of so-called prophets running amuck in these days which we live. They are quick to "give a word" from the Lord. But praise God there are also really true prophetic believers walking among us. Those who are more concerned with standing before God and pleasing HIM than bowing before man and pleasing them with a "word-for-today" message.
The significance of the true Biblical Prophet lies not only in what they say but also in what they did and who they are. They are men who stood “face to face with man” while being “faced by God.” The true Prophet affirms and reflects the mind, will, and ways of God to the people and faced the consequences of doing so. The true Prophet is a man who has an internal struggle with his mental knowledge and facts, versus the supernatural Words from God that has been imparted to him.
A true Prophet has the realization that the Words he speaks forth defies both the religious theology and intellectual psychology of man. A true Prophet has the realization that the Words he speaks forth defies the social and cultural climate of the day and stands against the immoral and amoral condition of mankind both individually and to a nation.
His words are revelation, response, and spontaneity. The true Prophet is a person who is a mouthpiece and voices the truth on the behalf of the King of Glory and not a microphone echoing people-pleasing messages as a hireling. He is a voice to the nations and not an echo of the world or the religious system.
He is endowed and empowered with a mission, and backed with the power of a Word which is not his own. The Word of God echoes in the voice of the true Prophet. The main task of the true Prophet is not the artificial fluff and duff that we see today in the so-called prophetic voice. The main task of the true Prophet is to convey a Divine Way. He does not offer “his opinion” or “his point of view” or a "self-help message." His call is not a call to compromise to the world or be tolerant to the ways of sin.
When the true Prophet speaks it is "God's point of view” and a spiritual rudder to an immoral ship. This is because he speaks from God’s perspective as he perceives it from his own situation. The true Prophet considers the times he lives in and considers the ways of the people. The true Prophet expounds not only the VIEW of God but the ATTITUDE of God. These are the things that we keep in mind when we ask, “What are the features that set the Prophets apart?” “What constitutes their uniqueness?” For we need the true Biblical Prophet to walk among us today and call the nation back to God through repentance.
Ephesians 4:11-14 ESV
(11) And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers,
(12) to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ,
THE HOW LONG:
(13) until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ,
(14) so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes.
The prophet Isaiah foresaw the ministry of our Redeemer. In Isaiah 61:1-3, that ministry is foretold as if through the mouth of our Lord Jesus Christ:
Isaiah 61:1-2 ESV The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; (2) to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn;
In the sermon on the Mount, our Lord Jesus proclaimed,
Matthew 5:4 ESV "Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
That is the essence of the Gospel - the good news - that if you mourn over your sins, Jesus will give you comfort and joy.
In Corinth, there was a brother who committed an act of immorality. The Church rightfully disciplined the erring brother and disfellowshipped him. That action of removing him from the church body caused the brother to realize how wicked his behavior was. He sorrowed over his sin. In 2 Corinthians 2:6-7,11, Paul instructs the congregation to accept back the repentant brother and comfort him before his sorrow became destructive:
2 Corinthians 2:6-7 ESV (6) For such a one, this punishment by the majority is enough, (7) so you should rather turn to forgive and comfort him, or he may be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow.
2 Corinthians 2:11 ESV so that we would not be outwitted by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his designs.
We are called to walk in the joy of the Lord. Sometimes when a Christian sins he/she needs to be removed from the fellowship for their good and for the good of the body. But the removal is not for condemnation but for restoration. Once they have repented then it is our job to seek to restore them back into fellowship and seek to help them to be restored in the JOY OF THE LORD. Those who mourn over their sin will be comforted.
Successful versus Fruitful.
I see a lot of Facebook comments about being successful. Then there is always a quote that on the surface looks and sounds good. However we have to ask the hard questions. Like, does this line up with the Word of God, the Character of God, and what the Word teaches about money. Money? Yes, it would seem that most quotes on Facebook ties success to money. In other words, you are not successful if you are not making money. I am having some serious Scripture issues with this mind set. So here is a little lesson on the difference between being successful (from a worldly mindset) versus being fruitful (from a Biblical point of view. They are not the same. Now I am not against making money, but the financial side of what I do does not dictate whether or not I'm successful.
The lesson of fruitfulness
God wants His children to be fruitful. I believe that as Christians, we wrongly encourage our kids to be successful, which is MAN-CENTERED, when we should be encouraging them to be fruitful, which is GOD-CENTERED. Life isn't to be lived for ourselves. Jesus called us to bear much fruit (John 15). Just as Joseph's fruitful vine ran over the wall, so that the Egyptians were blessed, so we need to teach our children our responsibility to be a blessing to people of other cultures who have not heard the good news of Christ. You can be successful by the standards of the world and not be fruitful. But you cannot be fruitful by the standards of the Word and not be successful. There is a lot to be said about only seeking to be successful from a selfish man-centered attitude.
Matthew 13:22 KJV He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.
Mark 4:19 KJV And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.
Luke 8:14 KJV And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection.
Joshua 7:21 KJV When I SAW among the spoils a goodly Babylonish garment, and two hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold of fifty shekels weight, then I COVETED them, and TOOK them; and, behold, they are hid in the earth in the midst of my tent, and the silver under it.
Genesis 3:6 KJV And when the woman SAW that the tree was good for food, and that it was PLEASANT to the eyes, and a tree to be DESIRED to make one wise, she TOOK of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.
1 John 2:16 KJV For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. (I saw, I coveted, I took).
Walk with God and enjoy the fruitfulness of His blessings...others may call you successful but you know the difference.
Charles Morris. Founder and Senior Pastor of RSIM USA.