Prophets, Preachers, and Politicians

Prophets, Preachers, and Politicians
Robert Wurtz II

For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: “YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.” But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another! (Galatians 5:14-15)

Our passage contains the dreadful consequence of a “party spirit” (politics) operating in the churches of God. Ignoring this passage has brought many Christians, relationships, ministries, and moves of God, to an abrupt and pitiful end over the last 2000 years. It is impossible to overstate how dangerous a “party spirit” or politics are to God’s people. This is why Jesus commanded the disciples not to organize their ministry into a Gentile power structure in Matthew 20:25-26, Mark 10:42-43, and Luke 22:25-26. Multitudes cry to Heaven “Lord, Lord” and then go right out and disobey these clear verses. Simply put, Jesus warned us not to set up a corporate type hierarchy (pecking order, ranking, chain of command) in the churches. 

Despite this clear command being repeated in all the synoptic Gospels, churches and organizations are typically set up like a corporation. In a corporate hierarchy, we might say that “Pete is about six levels below the CEO;” however, this is not the way churches and Christian organizations are to be established. It is nothing more than Israel crying for a king rather than allowing God to rule over them. As with Israel, so too with the churches, this Gentile, worldly, Egyptian, or whatever adjective we want to employ, “power structure” has grave consequences.  

Moving Up The Ranks?

Any place that you find a ranking system, you have sin being committed. Disobeying God in Matthew 20:25-26, Mark 10:42-43, and Luke 22:25-26 is no different than any place else. Moreover, ranking systems breed sin and offenses. They can do no other. Why? Because when there is a political element involved, people don’t feel obligated to treat their brother or sister in Christ as they would want to be treated. They generally lose their minds and forget they are supposed to be Christians. 

What happens? Older ministers fear that some young person is “gunning for their job” so they do everything in their power to suppress all potential “threats” to their position. They are not allowed to do anything that may get the people taking a liking to them. Some ministers are afraid to go out-of-town lest when they come back, someone is trying to take their job. Moreover, some younger ministers undermine the people in high position, so they can eventually be “voted in to their job.” They obstruct, refuse to support, point out their shortcomings, etc. ad nauseam. It becomes a very tense “us against them” abomination to God and man. This is worldliness at its finest. Naturally, if you ask them, they all do these things for “spiritual” reasons. The carnal Corinthians thought they were “spiritual” too, because they were moving in the gifts of the Spirit; however, some were fornicating, suing one another, and splitting the church into political parties backing “Paul, Appollos, Cephas and Jesus.”

In the Old Testament, when the people were really off track, God would use the prophets to bring a strong message of correction. Nobody “votes in” a prophet, so God has to raise one up to confront the people. They often employed radical language or tactics to accomplish the job. Similarly, Paul used a morbid statement to the Galatians, But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another! What happens? When someone bites, the natural response is to bite back. This process continues until all parties involved are consumed (destroyed). What begins as behavior becoming toddlers — erupts into a savage warfare between people acting like wild animals. The renowned Greek scholar A.T. Robertson, in commenting on these verses, tells the sobering story of two snakes who each swallowed the other by the tail. 

If there is one thing that most parents of toddlers detest — it is biting. The fastest way to receive a spanking when I was a  child was to bite somebody. Emotions would run so high that some parents would say to the victim, “Just bite him back! Show him how it feels.” It would not be unusual for parents to come to blows nearly when they looked at their child’s arm and there was a bite mark. “Why did he bite you?!” The parent asks. “Because I was playing with his toy.” Then the parents get into an argument. One backs their child’s right to territory, and the other wants an apology for biting. In modern times, I suspect parents are more civilized than this, but I’m not holding my breath. 

Toddlers are not the only people who “bite” when they don’t get their way. Adults do it too. This is what Paul said, But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another! (Galatians 5:15) This is much more serious and destructive than the behavior of toddlers. It is more serious because toddlers are supposed to be selfish; that is to say, they have to be taught to be friendly and loving. Christian adults should know better. It is more destructive because there is so much more at stake. When a toddler bites and is then bitten back, both have bite marks. Each tells how the other bit them. The same holds true with adults. Of course, we are not speaking of literal teeth marks; we are dealing with malicious actions against one another. 

Scorched Earth Tactics

When adults grow up in carnality they don’t fight over toys, they fight over territory. They fight over positions at work or at church. Most of the time the parties fight each other until neither of them have a reputation left. In fact, people will even sabotage one another in hopes they can “get their job.” This is part of what is often called, “office politics.” Whole books have been written about the subject. What happens? Life becomes a perpetual replay of age 2-20. Everything we had to endure from pre-school to High School becomes our daily lot. Boys fist-fighting in the halls; girls quarreling and fussing. I realize the fists are not usually literal in adulthood, but the attitude back of those behaviors is just as real. The stress on daily life for some becomes almost unbearable. 

These things ought not so to be in the churches of God; but unfortunately they are. There is nothing new under the sun. Nepotism is just as rife in many churches as it is in the world. Ministries become dynasties all the way from the corner church to the largest Christian TV Networks. Father and son feuds develop imitating the madness and hate of family based reality shows like Orange County Choppers. Moreover, politics are often exaggerated in churches. Factions develop that split churches and organizations into two or more opposing camps. Again, usually there is a real spiritual reason for doing it, just like there was a real good reason for the toddler to bite the other one. Really? 

The First Politician

Satan was the very first politician. He led a rebellion in Heaven and drew a third of the Stars with him. Then he shows up in the Garden of Eden spouting propaganda to win over the whole human race into his camp. First politician. First liar. Hmmm. See the connection? Satan misrepresented God because he wanted his place on the throne. Nearly all politicians misrepresent their opponent or withhold information about them that would sway the people into liking them. “Make the opponent look bad” is the modus operandi (m.o.). Imagine what happens when a Christian environment becomes “politicized.” Who do you think is behind it all? God wants the churches to be a place of heaven on earth. Satan does too. He comes in to use people to do on earth what he had done in Heaven. He divided it by campaigning for God’s throne. All the while blinding everyone to what he is doing. What happens? He causes so much strife that every action gets interpreted. Motivations get questioned. A spirit of suspicion prevails. 

Most of the time people are just trying to serve God, but sometimes they are not. People know when they are intentionally being divisive. Whereas love puts the best construction on events, politics puts the worst construction on them. Ministers have been known to hire private detectives to bring one another down. It happened in the 80’s and early 90’s in mainstream evangelicalism. The name of God was blasphemed among the Gentiles. There is no new thing under the sun. Pride has often destroyed the works of God’s hands. How is God going to handle those who do such things? It’s a sad thing to work in the kingdom for decades only to have those labors destroyed by a bunch of crooked politics. 

Pride and Politics

Pride has been known to completely destroy ministries. Men have turned and fought against the very thing they prayed into existence. In America we have what some have called a “peaceful transfer of power” when new presidents and governors are elected. Harry Truman had the right attitude when it came to leaders leaving their political office. For example, he was asked during the Cuban Missile crisis if he had called the sitting president to offer advice. His answer was compelling, “If the president wants my opinion he will ask for it. And when he does I won’t be telling you about it. If the president wants it known he can tell you.” This is humility talking. This is a man who was able to “let go” and go home. He wanted the nation to prosper, even though he handed the presidency over to a Republican rival. Understand that Truman is considered to be one of the greatest presidents in American history, and yet was not offended by the fact that he may not have been consulted by the sitting president, even in a crisis. Is this the attitude of politics in ministry? Not generally. If you don’t keep everyone feeling important, they are liable to start biting and devouring. Is there any wonder Jesus commanded the churches not to set up in a worldly construct? Politics has no place in the Kingdom of God; it is the outworking of democracy, not kingdom. 

Matthew Henry commented on these verses, “But, says he, if instead of serving one another in love, and therein fulfilling the law of God, you bite and devour one another, take heed that you be not consumed one of another. If, instead of acting like men and Christians, they would behave themselves more like brute beasts, in tearing and rending one another, they could expect nothing as the consequence of it, but that they would be consumed one of another; and therefore they had the greatest reason not to indulge themselves in such quarrels and animosities. Note, Mutual strifes among brethren, if persisted in, are likely to prove a common ruin; those that devour one another are in a fair way to be consumed one of another. Christian churches cannot be ruined but by their own hands; but if Christians, who should be helps to one another and a joy one to another, be as brute beasts, biting and devouring each other, what can be expected but that the God of love should deny his grace to them, and the Spirit of love should depart from them, and that the evil spirit, who seeks the destruction of them all, should prevail?”

What’s the use of so much prayer, when politics are destroying our prayers? Why fast? Everything in the kingdom of God is put at risk where politics are involved. How can we have a revival if people are jockeying for the credit and glory for what transpires? I have seen revivals destroyed because of rivalry. What happens? Christians are disillusioned and near to giving up because of the politics that go in behind the scenes. This is where repentance has to begin. Not in the pew; not with the drug addict; not with the sinners around the world. We cannot go forward until men and women lay down their ambitions and all that is involved in them. There must be a humble repentance of the secular approach to ministry that prevails in our times. There must be a wholesale repentance of lovelessness and hate wherever it exists among leaders in the churches of God. 

For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: “YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.” But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another! (Galatians 5:14-15)

The Sin of Self-Deception

The Sin of Self-Deception
Robert Wurtz II

And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. (Matthew 7:3-5)

C.S. Lewis in his classic book, The Screwtape Letters, explains a primary strategy of the enemy in destroying people. He suggests that Satan and his followers work on professing Christians to, “Aggravate the most useful human characteristics, the horror and neglect of the obvious.” Lewis believed that demons work to bring people to a condition in which he/she can practice self-examination for an hour without discovering any of those facts about himself/herself that are perfectly clear to anyone who has ever lived in the same house with the person or worked in the same office.

Lewis’ “neglect of the obvious” is very useful to Satan. Why? Because he uses it to keep the “neglector” blind to their own behavior — while aggravating others who have to tolerate them. For example, a person makes a post on Facebook about others who need to do something (usually in the area of forsaking some sin or stopping some behavior) and yet it’s obvious to everyone reading the post that the one posting the remark needs to heed their own advice. I have seen cases when the very person posting was the most flagrant violator of what they posted that I knew. Yet they simply don’t see it. They seem to be sensitive to others doing “something” and blind to themselves doing the “same thing.”

And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? (Matthew 7:3)

It is impossible to overstate how offensive such behavior is to God. Matthew 7:3 asks a riveting question. Why? Why do you look at the sins of others while ignoring your own sins that are worse than theirs? In fact, Jesus uses a word that is considered His strongest of all to denounce these actions; that word is “hypocrite.” You and I may be many things, but may we never be viewed by God as a hypocrite. Jesus tells us plainly that the final sentence (executed judgment) for being a hypocrite is to be cut in two and sent where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth (Matthew 24:51). We commonly know this place as hell. 

The English word hypocrite is translated from an old Greek noun that means actor, interpreter, and one who personates another. Jesus uses it of people who are forever doing something to look “pious” (godly), while they are inwardly full of dead men’s bones. They can’t give without “sounding the trumpet” or pray without making a show of it (just for starters). But their prime characteristic is that they look at the speck in their brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in their own eye. The late renowned Greek scholar A.T. Robertson stated that “‘hypocrite’ (hoi hupokritai) is the hardest word that Jesus has for any class of people and he employs it for these “pious pretenders who pose as perfect.” They have received their reward (apechousin ton misthon autoœn). This verb is common in the papyri for receiving a receipt, “they have their receipt in full,” all the reward that they will get, this public notoriety. They can sign the receipt of their reward (Deissmann, Bible Studies, p. 229. Also Light from the Ancient East, pp. 110f. Apocheœ means “receipt.” Quoted in Word Pictures on Matthew 6:2)

Understanding Hypocrisy

Our passage in Matthew 7:3-5 adds to our understanding of a hypocrite as a person who gazes upon the faults of others (sawdust), while overlooking greater faults of their own (planks or logs). They are forever meddling in other peoples’ business when they should be attending to their own first. They emphasize other peoples’ faults and sins and minimize the seriousness of their own sins. A hypocrite is the type of person who would cast the first stone—knowing they have done similar or worse things. 

It was said of the late president Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945) that he kept people around him, such as American reporter Louis Howe (1871-1936), who “knew where all the bodies were buried.” The Howes of the world are useful to the politician types who can use elicit information to their political advantage. I suggest that some hypocrites keep good records of other peoples’ sins  so they can use them later to their advantage. This is what the Pharisees did when they took the woman caught in adultery to Jesus. 

On the contrary, spiritual people remember that they were once purged from their own sins and as a result add to their faith virtue, godliness, brotherly kindness and charity (2 Peter 1:7-9). Not hypocrites. They have “publican love” — a love that loves who they want to love and shuns all the rest (Matthew 5:46). Hypocrites devise clever ways of making exceptions for their own sins. Generally, this is along the lines of “my sin was many years ago” or “God forgave me of my sins.” In other words, God forgives their sins, but not other peoples’ sins. They may not say this explicitly, but this is what their attitude and behavior amounts to. 

Blinded By Sin

Jesus spoke about hypocrites no less than twenty times in the Gospels. Why did He come down on them so hard? Why would He use the strongest of terms to denounce them? Clearly, it is because they are some of the most evil people around. What did Paul tell the Romans?

Therefore you are inexcusable, O man, whoever you are who judge, for in whatever you judge another you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things. (Romans 2:1 NKJV)

Everyone has had something in their eye and knows how painful it is. I suppose God designed us that way. We need to be able to see clearly, so we need our eyes in tip-top shape. This is why it hurts so bad when something is in there. Our natural response is to get that thing out of there! Now! Not later; right this second! Nevertheless, (in keeping with the hyperbole the Lord Jesus used) imagine the doctor entering the room with a small beam (pencil), medium beam (broom stick), or a large beam (floor joist) protruding from their eyes. If such were the case, it would undoubtedly blind their eyes. How are they going to help someone fix their eye when they are completely blind? This is common sense, but it often does not stop people from the behavior. 

Obviously, Matthew 7:3-5 is intended to be metaphorical, but we can easily see the difficulty here. A person with a speck in their eye may be rubbing it or flushing it with water, but a person with a beam ought to be screaming in pain. But they are not. How can this be? They apparently don’t see or feel it. In other words, everyone can see the hypocrites issues but the hypocrite. Remember what C.S. Lewis said, “
bring people to a condition in which he/she can practice self-examination for an hour without discovering any of those facts about himself/herself that are perfectly clear to anyone who has ever lived in the same house with the person or worked in the same office.” This is very sobering. Notice Jesus’ words, “First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly (…)” A hypocrite is in no shape to help anyone. They are in 100X worse condition than the people they are criticizing or “trying to help.”

Right Response to Hypocrisy

If we fit this picture, our first step is to take our focus off of others and get it on ourselves. Allow God’s Word and the Holy Spirit to do their work and acknowledge that we have a plank in our own eye (if so be that we have one). Acknowledge it in the plainest of terms. We can’t use strong terms for other peoples’ sins and use euphemisms for ours (and avoid the charge of hypocrisy). We have to call it what it is and repent. 

Got Saved or Got Started? (Running the Race)

Got Saved or Got Started? 
Robert Wurtz II

And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved. (Acts 2:46–47 ESV)

It has been around a hundred years since Billy Sunday broke with the Biblical tradition of describing the significance of a person making a step towards Christ in conversion. Whereas the language of “hopefully converted” or something similar had been used, within thirty-nine years of his ministry the churches went from “X number of people were hopefully converted” to “X number of people got saved.” The significance of that change cannot possibly be over stated. Instead of thinking of salvation as a crisis event leading to a process and a future consummation; salvation was thought of from the word go as a consummation. In other words, “I got saved” suggests that the race is completed; when in reality, it has just gotten started. 

I suggest we break with Billy Sundays language all together and begin referring to the experience of new converts as “got started” instead of “got saved.” But far be it from me to arrogate to myself the authority to make such a change; however, even great Biblical scholars such as the late John Lightfoot (1602–1675) would probably agree. In fact, in commenting on Acts 2:46-47 he wrote:

“Salvation is a thing of the present, as well as of the past and future. The verb is used in all these senses in the New Testament. Thus, we were saved (not are, as A.V.), Romans 8:24; shall or shalt be saved, Romans 10:9, 13; ye are being saved, 1 Corinthians 15:2. ‘Godliness, righteousness, is life, is salvation. And it is hardly necessary to say that the divorce of morality and religion must be fostered and encouraged by failing to note this, and so laying the whole stress either on the past or on the future — on the first call, or on the final change. It is, therefore, important that the idea of salvation as a rescue from sin, through the knowledge of God in Christ, and therefore a progressive condition, a present state, should not be obscured, and we can but regret such a translation as Acts 2:47, ‘The Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved,’ where the Greek implies a different idea” (Lightfoot, “on a Fresh Revision of the New Testament” quoted in Marvin Vincent, Word Studies in the New Testament).

The great Greek scholar A.T. Robinson comments on this verse two significant things. First, “if the Lord only always “added” those who join our churches.” He is suggesting here that there are people who are added to the churches that God did not add. Second, “those that were being saved (tous soœzomenous) is better translated as ‘those saved from time to time.’ It was a continuous revival, day by day. Soœzoœ like soœteœria is used for “save” in three senses (beginning, process, conclusion), but here repetition is clearly the point of the present tense.” The great Greek commentators John Lightfoot, Marvin Vincent, and A.T. Robertson all agree that both Greek words for salvation are used in the sense of:

1. Beginning of salvation (crisis event or “was saved”)
2. Process (are being saved in the present tense)
3. Conclusion (will be saved finally)

Since the days of Billy Sunday when the concept of salvation and the language of “got saved” began being used — people now think of salvation as something that happened in the past. To most people, it is a completed action. The best way I could illustrate this is by Paul’s use of the running motif. 

“Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.” (1 Corinthians 9:24 KJV)

“I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air.” (1 Corinthians 9:26 KJV)

“Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?” (Galatians 5:7 KJV)

“Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.” (Philippians 2:16 KJV)

The writer to the Hebrews adds this admonition:

“Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.” (Hebrews 12:1 KJV)

Every race has a beginning, process, and conclusion. If we lose sight of this or if we misrepresent what it means to be converted and regenerated then we falsely represent the nature of the race. To say, “X number of people got saved” is to imply that the race is completed. It sounds like something has been attained. When in fact, there has only been a beginning. In many cases, it is not even a Biblical beginning because Paul told the Galatians (who did run well), “Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh?” (Galatians 3:3 NKJV) Paul’s idea of a beginning is beginning in the Spirit to be followed by a process of being made perfect by the Spirit (as opposed to what the false teachers at Galatia had introduced — a process of being perfected by the flesh).

In modern times races often begin when the official fires a real or electronic starter pistol. Imagine how insane it would be for someone heard the shot and was then told that they “got raced.” In a figure that is what has been happening for multitudes. It’s like they heard the sot and went over and sat down on the bench as if the race is over. But it has just begun! You didn’t “get saved” you merely “got started.” Again, “wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us…” 

For the last one hundred years people have been being told they “got saved.” How much more right would it be to say that they “got started.” What if for the next hundred years ministers and evangelists reported “X number of people got started!” It would leave the convert with an impression that there is now a race to be completed. You’re not done! You just started. Therefore so run, not as uncertainly. So run, that ye may obtain.    

Work Out Your Own Salvation

Work Out Your Own Salvation

Robert Wurtz II
Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure. (Philippians 2:12, 13 NKJV)

Our passage is part of a letter written to the church at Philippi. Verse 12-13 follow a directive from Paul that each of the saints within the church should humble themselves unto the mind of Christ. This humility motif found in Philippians 2:1-11 provided the church with teachings essential to its survival. Paul was making sure they were prepared to function in his absence.

The churches are no place for men to walk in pride. Paul had warned the Ephesian elders about bad behavior when he was preparing to leave them for the last time. Understand that these churches were planted by Paul through the Divine direction of God. (Acts 16:6-40) Paul had been forbidden to preach the Gospel in Asia and then received a vision in the night that he was to come to Macedonia. Having then met the woman Lydia and securing her subsequent conversion we have perhaps the beginnings of the church at Philippi. Truly these churches were God’s handiwork.

Dependence on God 

Lest the people become dependent upon him, Paul tells the saints, Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. Paul reveals the fact that they who were of the church at Philippi were in the habit of obeying the Gospel (especially while he was present). He wants to know that they will obey in his absence. Otherwise, their whole Christian walk would be little more than eye-service. Even the world has the saying, “Out of sight — out of mind.” Paul wanted a genuine church. He was careful to make sure they didn’t merely obey when Paul or some other person that expected them to obey was around. 

Eye-service is nothing more than a performance. It’s like an actor acting on the stage only when the audience is present. Paul states, (…) not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence. This is the remedy for the kind of man-pleasing that the enemy works on us to so. As the saints, we should say and do the right things no matter where we are or who we are with. Paul uses a similar expression when he reminds the Ephesians that they are to work, not with eye-service as men pleasers but with singleness of heart as unto Christ. We are to do the will of God from the heart. (Ephesians 6:5-6) 

We read on in our passage, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. Paul is in prison and cannot possibly superintend the spiritual lives of these beloved people. Paul could not repent and believe for them and he could not receive for them. He reminds them here that he cannot keep on believing and obeying God for them either. Our salvation is our responsibility. Christ is our savior and He provides us with the grace we need to live for Him. In a figure, God may send rain upon the farmers field as an expression of His goodness — but the farmer still has to plow the field, sow the seed, and reap the harvest. God does His part of salvation and man must work his side of it out. 

Paul brings the seriousness of the topic to our minds when he adds the phrase — with fear and trembling. These words together arrest our attention to the seriousness at hand. Even though Philippians is much about rejoicing; Paul blends into that emphasis the reverential fear of God. To Paul the fear of God and the joy of the Lord coexist without contradiction. 

Our everlasting souls are our most precious thing. We ought to consider seriously Paul’s words. Even as Peter admonished us, that we ought to gird up the loins of our minds and be sober hoping unto the end for the grace that is in Christ. (I Peter 1:13) We should pass the time of our sojourn in fear. (I Peter 1:17) That is not to say that we should be in terror as if God would come down and crush us. God loves us and He is determined to have us. (GW North) Yet we must be diligent to make our calling and election sure.  

For it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure. It was never about Paul, it was never about any servant of God; it is God who is working in us. May we ever be careful and faithful to work out what He is ever faithful working in (Oswald Chambers). God moves upon us with His will to do things that are close to His heart. He works in us to will His will and then empowers us to perform that will. This means that our dependency is not on men or even mentors. God has enabled us and requires us to live for Him in faithful obedience even if all of our mentors were removed from our lives. 

If the church at Philippi would do what Paul was telling them in Philippians 2 they could expect to go on growing the knowledge of Christ. They could expect to accomplish His will in their city. When individuals work out their own salvation with fear and trembling they are not as the Corinthians who could not receive spiritual things because of their carnality; they live their lives in the Spirit and are prepared at all times to do God’s will. How wonderful the churches would be if everyone simply followed this directive; work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. 

The Final Opportunity

The Final Opportunity
Robert Wurtz II

And Ahab said to Elijah: ‘Hast thou found me, O mine enemy?’ And he answered: ‘I have found thee; because thou hast given thyself over to do that which is evil in the sight of the LORD. (1 Kings 21:20)

But there was none like unto Ahab, who did give himself over to do that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, whom Jezebel his wife stirred up. (1 Kings 21:25)

Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols. And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not. Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds. (Revelation 2:20–22 KJV)

When the events of 1 Kings 21 were happening the Assyrians, those diabolical agents of cruelty, were on Israel’s doorstep. The only thing standing between them and Israel was the mercy of God. Yet, here we have Ahab insulting Elijah, a man of whom he was not worthy to have ever met. This was Elijah — the great prophet of the Old Testament after whom signs and wonders followed in unparalleled ways. For example, he prayed and the heavens shut up for three and a half years. He called fire down from Heaven and raised the dead. (1 Kings 17:22) Yet Ahab and his wicked wife greatly withstood this man of God.

God Not Mocked

Some might wonder (in the words of the late Leonard Ravenhill) why God had not built a special compartment in hell for Ahab and Jezebel where He turned the temperature up. After all the men of God she killed one wonder how she was not judged swiftly. But there is no need to worry about it, because the judge of all the earth will do right. (Genesis 18:25) God wanted this man and his evil wife to repent. (2 Peter 3:9) This is one of the reasons why He bears with careless sinners. 

We read about Jesus in the Revelation dealing with what some have called a “Jezebel Spirit” in the church at Thyatira. Jesus gave “that woman” what He called “‘a space to repent,’ but she repented not.” (Revelation 2:21) The church refused to deal with her so God did. However, Ahab was blinded. His blindness was so complete that he viewed his true enemies as good and submitted to their influence — while viewing those that were God-sent and good as enemies and shunned their counsel. This is what happens when leaders are under the blinding influence of a demonic force that resides in a loved one. They are thoroughly blinded by them.

God explains this when he states, But there was none like unto Ahab, who did give himself over to do that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, whom Jezebel his wife stirred up. (1 Kings 21:25) The word here for “stirred up” (cuwth) comes from the idea of persuading, prodding or enticing a person to do something. Most women wield a tremendous influence over their husbands. Jezebel used her influence to exercise Ahab’s authority for her own will — thus she was known as a usurper. She prodded him to do evil like the thorns and briars in the book of Hebrews who are rejected and nigh unto cursing whose end is to be burned. (Hebrews 6:8) Or in the words of the Revelation, Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds. (Revelation 2:22) 

Imposing Appearances

Jezebel had a reputation for destroying the prophets of God. (1 Kings 18:4) When Elijah heard she had threatened his life he fled from her. (1 Kings 19:1-9) This is amazing given the fact that he had just experienced a great victory over the prophets of Baal. It would seem that Elijah had become confused on a point and I think this was brought about because he misinterpreted God’s allowing Jezebel to destroy many of the prophets. God was not under Jezebel’s spell. He does things for His own reasons and is not subject to men even though the enemy would like to spin events to look that way. God was not impressed by the way she doctored her eyes with makeup to both seduce and impose upon men in order to control them.

To give an idea as to how effective this strategy was she tried to use it as a last ditch effort to save her life when Jehu came to destroy her. When he came to Jezreel and Jezebel heard of it, “she put her eyes into lead polish (i.e., painted them with it), and beautified her head and placed herself at the window.” This make-up is a very favorite eye-paint with Oriental women even to the present day. It is prepared from antimony ore (Arab. khΩl, Cohol or Stibium of the Arabs), which when pounded yields a black powder with a metallic brilliancy, which was laid upon the eyebrows and eyelashes either in a dry state as a black powder, or moistened generally with oil and made into an ointment, which is applied with a fine smooth eye-pencil of the thickness of an ordinary goose-quill, made either of wood, metal, or ivory. The way to use it was to hold the central portion of the pencil horizontally between the eyelids, and then draw it out between them, twisting it round all the while, so that the edges of the eyelids were blackened all round; and the object was to heighten the splendour of the dark southern eye, and give it, so to speak, a more deeply glowing fire, and to impart a youthful appearance to the whole of the eyelashes even in extreme old age.

Rosellini found jars with eye-paint of this kind in the early Egyptian graves (vid., Hille, über den Gebrauch u. die Zusammensetzung der oriental. Augenschminke: Deutsch. morg. Ztsch. v. p. 236ff.).—Jezebel did this that she might present an imposing appearance to Jehu and die as a queen; not to allure him by her charms (Ewald, after Ephr. Syr.). (K&D) But it did not work. She had ran out of men she could intimidate and control. Jehu asked for some help and the men that were up with her cast her down so that her blood splattered on the wall and her body was mangled in the streets. All the while these events are going on the Assyrian Empire is gaining strength and preparing to exile the Northern Kingdom of Israel.

Elijah’s Discouragement

God had to get Elijah back on his feet after his bout with this woman. The demonic force that was back of her had nearly wore the life out of him. These events are instructive. First let us observe the big picture. Satan was leading Northern Israel farther and farther away from God until they will soon pass into legend. God was sending prophets to halt the destruction, but men like Ahab were under Jezebel’s spell — seeing good as evil and evil as good. Undoubtedly this delusion was a fearsome judgment in itself, but God also made an example out of Ahab. He allowed his wife to stir him up to do evil so he (Ahab) was accountable. We are accountable for how we allow people to influence us. No blaming her. He listened to her and rejected the voice of reason (Elijah). Elijah received strength from the Lord as He got him back to doing his calling (anointing kings, etc. 1 Kings 19:16). Jezebel’s threats had succeeded in side-lining Elijah for a time.
Understand that Jezebel is a discouraging spirit that seeks to sideline men of God. Yet God warns of her finality, Wherefore they came again, and told him. And he said, This is the word of the LORD, which he spake by his servant Elijah the Tishbite, saying, In the portion of Jezreel shall dogs eat the flesh of Jezebel: And the carcase of Jezebel shall be as dung upon the face of the field in the portion of Jezreel; so that they shall not say, This is Jezebel. (2 Kings 9:36, 37)

That Woman Jezebel?

One of the most sobering things a person can do is to look at an ancient timeline. Listed over the years are the names of men and kingdoms and religions that come and go as time marches on. Consider the snapshot of a timeline below.

You will notice that Ahab (in blue) ruled from roughly 874 BC to 853 BC (22 years). Notice the two thin black lines sweeping upward towards Assyrian rule. This is where the Northern Kingdom was headed since Jeroboam started the people on a path to total annihilation. The righteous that lived in the Northern Kingdom migrated to Judah and many of the evil in Judah migrated to the Northern Kingdom.

If you notice it was around 853 BC that Jonah was called to preach to Nineveh, capitol city of the Assyrian Empire. These things are going on along almost parallel lines. The people of Nineveh repented of their ways for a time, but eventually went back. During the “went back” phase God used them to judge the Northern Kingdom. Ahab was oblivious to what God was doing as he was focused on what was important to him. He lived in the moment and with the advice of his evil wife did whatever he had to do to get his way.

Examples Unto Us

Someone might read how the dogs licked the blood of Ahab (1 Kings 21:19, 1 Kings 22:38) or how Jezebel was thrown from a tall building to burst asunder on the ground, blood splattering the walls and horses as she was trod under foot (2 Kings 9:33, 34) and wonder why these wicked people would meet such an end. Yet Paul reminds us, Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come. (1 Corinthians 10:11) We are also told by Paul that Christians have the “earnest of their inheritance” whilst in this life as a foretaste of the greater life we can expect in the eternal future. Yet some evil people in this life, for the purposes of God (such as Pharaoh) are raised up as examples of God’s power for destruction of evil and wickedness. What did Ahab do to warrant such an end?

The Lesson of Naboth

And Ahab spake unto Naboth, saying, Give me thy vineyard, that I may have it for a garden of herbs, because it is near unto my house: and I will give thee for it a better vineyard than it; or, if it seem good to thee, I will give thee the worth of it in money. And Naboth said to Ahab, The LORD forbid it me, that I should give the inheritance of my fathers unto thee. (1 Kings 21:2, 3)
Naboth was a man of principals and conviction. His property had been handed down as an inheritance; but Ahab believed the man’s heritage could be monetized. The tangible link with his past and family was this property. Ahab wanted it to add to his host of possessions, as he admitted, he had better lands than this. What did Ahab do? He went home to pout and make a big show for his wife Jezebel. She asked him, “Are you not the king of Israel?” This attitude is pagan and not of the kingdom of God.

In the world kings get what they want, but it was not so to be in Israel. Nevertheless, she told him, “Arise, eat food, and let your heart be cheerful; I will give you the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite.” What did she do? She forged a document pretending to be the king and got Naboth set up to be lied against and stoned to death — him and his sons. (2 Kings 9:26) The result? And it came to pass, when Jezebel heard that Naboth was stoned, and was dead, that Jezebel said to Ahab, Arise, take possession of the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite, which he refused to give thee for money: for Naboth is not alive, but dead. (1 Kings 21:15) It was all a wonderful plan. It seemed to have worked! Jezebel conspired to kill a good man, but at least she got Ahab his vineyard. After all, how dare anyone resist the will of the king, right? Not so fast. And the word of the LORD came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying, Arise, go down to meet Ahab king of Israel, which is in Samaria: behold, he is in the vineyard of Naboth, whither he is gone down to possess it. (1 Kings 21:17, 18) Ahab had gone down to collect the spoils. But he was not banking on one important factor; God was watching this whole thing play out. You Found Me, Again!

Now we have come to our text, And Ahab said to Elijah: ‘Hast thou found me, O mine enemy?’ And he answered: ‘I have found thee; because thou hast given thyself over to do that which is evil in the sight of the LORD. (1 Kings 21:20) Notice that Ahab refers to Elijah, the man of God as his enemy. This admission tells us that he has postured himself as the enemy of God Himself. Nevertheless, God did two things. He allowed a lying spirit to enter Ahab’s prophets that thought they were speaking by the Spirit of God. They were not. So this lying spirit told Ahab to go up to the battle. But Ahab was suspicious, so he called Micaiah the Prophet and he told Ahab there was a lying spirit in their mouth. Ahab believed the lying spirit. Why? He was delusioned with sin and wanted to believe what he wanted to believe. When the Prophet Micaiah would not endorse his decision he had him imprisoned to be fed the bread of affliction. 

It is no different in modern times. Leaders, even within some churches, are under the delusion of demonic forces. Ahab’s prophets were energized by demons that could “simulate” the prophetic power of the Holy Spirit. The deceived prophets could no longer tell the difference between the Holy Spirit and an unclean spirit. 

Ahab disguised himself (for we know he was afraid that God would find him) and he went into the battle. What happened? 
But a certain man drew his bow at random and struck the king of Israel between the scale armor and the breastplate. (1 Kings 22:34a ESV) Notice the anonymity and the destiny contained in this one verse.

I recall a minister say many years ago that had this nameless man shot the arrow in the opposite direction of Ahab, it would have turned around like a patriot missile and hit him right where God had said. No need to sit around biting fingernails wondering when God will set things right. He already had an arrow with Ahab’s name on it. God gave him and his evil wife a space to repent. He gave them a final opportunity. Yet we read, But a certain man drew his bow at random and struck the king of Israel between the scale armor and the breastplate. Therefore he said to the driver of his chariot, “Turn around and carry me out of the battle, for I am wounded.” (1 Kings 22:34 ESV) , so he could dumb himself down into total deception and perdition.

The Danger of Backsliding

The Danger of Backsliding
Robert Wurtz II

Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. (1 Cor. 6:9, 10 NKJV)

Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:19-21 NKJV)

For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. (Ephesians 5:5 KJV)

Satan is a cunning master at inducing skepticism towards God and His word. His strategy is the same today as it has always been. In Eden he asked Eve, “Has God said you cannot eat of any tree in the Garden?” (Gen. 3:1 ESV emphasis added) Notice that he called God by the generic word for God, Elohim. He sought to reduce God Almighty in her eyes to a mere god figure (numen divinium). Second, he overstates the command in order to incite a rebellious feeling. Then, as the Father of Lies, he tells Eve she will not surely die and then says that man would become like God — knowing good and evil.

Today, there is a wholesale attack on God’s word — especially in the area of prohibitions. Satan has even managed to transform the practitioners of some sins into protected demographics. It is no longer politically correct (PC) to call sin –sin. However, just as in the Garden of Eden, God has already spoken and 10,000 lies from hell cannot undo what God has plainly said. For this reason it is important to revisit some clearly defined prohibitions from scripture. Paul told the saints repeatedly bout the dangers of these sins and we ought to imitate his approach. Otherwise the cunning craftiness of Satan will eventually lull multitudes into the same trap he took Eve in.

Understanding the Verbs

Jesus tells us in Matthew 5 and Mark 10 who will enter the Kingdom. Paul tells us in Galatians 5:19-21, Ephesians 5:5 and 1 Cor. 6:9, 10 who will not inherit the Kingdom. All of our passages above state or imply that the practitioners of these sins will not inherit the kingdom of God. Our Greek verbs for inherit are in the future active — meaning that there is an inheriting of the kingdom of God that has yet to take place. Our Greek verb for practice is prassonte (root is prassō) and is the verb for habitual practice, not poieō (poy-eh’-o) for occasional doing. Generally speaking, in Paul’s Epistles poieo denotes “an action complete in itself,” while prasso denotes “a habit.” (Vines) The habit of these sins is proof that one is not in the kingdom of God and will not inherit it. (A.T. Robertson) This is not to say that occasionally doing these sins is somehow OK, it is not. But we need to know exactly what we are being warned of. These sins can and must be repented of so as not to continue in the practice of them. 


Paul tells the Ephesians, “(…) for this you know.” The means he has warned them before. They are quite aware of these truths. He tells the Galatians, “(…) of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” He asks the Corinthians, “(…) do you not know?” These statements all imply that for Christians this should be common knowledge. 

In case some would seek to dismiss these truths, he adds the phrase “be not deceived” (1 Cor. 6:9). Paul is telling them not to deceive themselves or allow others to deceive them into living like Pagans and yet believing they are still in the kingdom. All such sinners are outside of the kingdom of God. This is an awful judgment. They will not be citizens of that kingdom and will not receive the benefits of being in the kingdom. The practice of these sins disqualifies a person from the future inheritance of the kingdom of God unless they are repented of. 

Understanding the Sins

Paul has two lists in 1 Cor. 6:9, 10, one with repetition of oute, neither (fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, effeminate, or malakoi, abusers of themselves with men or arsenokoitai or sodomites as in 1 Tim. 1:10 a late word for this horrid vice, thieves, covetous), the other with ou not (drunkards, revilers, extortioners). Paul’s adds to this list in Galatians 5 the works of the flesh.

1. Fornicators (porneia, prostitution, harlotry. Illicit sexual relations for money/lust)
2. Idolators (eidōlatreia, worship of idols, eating things as sacrificed to idols)
3. Witchcraft/Sorcery (pharmakeia, a drug, the ministering of mind altering drugs) 
4. Adulterers (moichos, marital infidelity. Illicit relations with a married person)
5. Effeminate (malakos, soft as in Matt. 11:8, yields their body to homosexual uses) 
6. Sodomites (arsenokoites, one who lies with a male as with a female vise versa)
7. Uncleanness (akatharsia, reckless lustfulness and pleasure seeking)
8. Lewdness (aselgeia, outrageous, unbridled, shameless, lust) 
9. Thieves (kleptai, a thief.) 
10. Covetous (pleonektēs, eager for more. Greedy of gain)
11. Drunkards (methai, drunken excesses, Luke 21:34; Rom. 13:13)
12. Extortioners (harpax, to take things by force. )
13. Revilers (loidoros, railing on people with rude talk. 1 Sam. 25:14 of Nabal)
14. Sinful personal relations expressed by eight words in Galatians 5, all old words, sins of the spirit, like enmities (exthrai, personal animosities), strife (eris, rivalry, discord), jealousies (zēlos or zēloi, MSS. vary, our very word), wraths (thumoi, stirring emotions, then explosions), factions (eritheiai, from erithos, day labourer for hire, worker in wool, party spirit), divisions (dichostasiai, splits in two, dicha and stasis), heresies (haireseis, the very word, but really choosings from haireomai, preferences), envyings (phthonoi, feelings of ill-will). And such like (kai ta homoia toutois). And the things like these (associative instrumental toutois after homoia, like). It is not meant to be exhaustive, but it is representative.

Some Final Warnings from the Revelation 

But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death. (Revelation 21:8)

Here we have six more things to add to the list not already covered:

15. Fearful (deilos, timid. Christians that fall back under persecution, etc.)
16. Unbelieving (apistos, disloyalty, unbelieving and without trust in God.)
17. Abominable (bdelysso, to pollute, to turn away because of a stench. (Rom. 2:22)
18. Murderers (phoneus, murder, homicide, man-slayer, assassin)
19.  Whoremonger (pornos, man who sells his body for lust or for hire)
 20.  All Liars (pseudes, seudos is a noun found in nine contexts, meaning “lie” or “lying.” Lying is a natural expression of Satan’s character (John 8:44), the embodiment of the evil one in 2 Thess. 2:9, 11. Rom. 1:25 refers to the fundamental attitude underlying the sin of idolatry — exchanging the truth of God for a lie. Rev. 21:27; 22:15 refer to those who utter lies as having no part whatever with the people living in the heavenly city. (Renn-Bible Words, Steven D. Renn)

Heaven Has The Rule

Heaven Has the Rule
Robert Wurtz II

And whereas they commanded to leave the stump of the tree roots; thy kingdom shall be sure unto thee, after that thou shalt have known that the heavens do rule. (Daniel 4:26)

Sometimes it takes a radical situation to remind us that God is still on the throne. He is in charge and He doesn’t get nervous. When men rear their heads to exalt themselves above what is reasonable He simply selects from a myriad of ways at His disposal to deal with the person.

Nebuchadnezzar II (ca 634-562 BC) was one of the greatest world leaders who ever lived. He certainly was the greatest ruler of Babylon. In fact, God’s estimate of him is revealed symbolically as the head of gold on the great statue (Daniel 2:6-8). Part of his reign encompassed the years when Zedekiah (Mattaniah) was the last king of Israel before the people were carried away, the Temple and cultus destroyed. (Jeremiah 4:7, 52:1ff)

Nebuchadnezzar moved in a barbarity characteristic of those cruel times. For example, he ordered the sons of Zedekiah executed in their father’s presence, and afterwards his eyes put out so that event he saw was his sons being murdered. Zedekiah was then loaded with brazen fetters, and at a later period taken to Babylon, where he died. This is just one example of what Nubuchadnezzar was capable of.

A Troubling Dream

Dreams can be meaningless phenomena (so-called “pizza dreams”); but occasionally, God sends a dream. Nebuchadnezzar described the phenomena saying, I saw a dream which made me afraid, and the thoughts upon my bed and the visions of my head troubled me. (Daniel 4:5) Dreams that come from God have a unique way of arresting our attention. The dream itself can be read in Daniel 4:10-17.
Nebuchadnezzar took it upon himself to record and proliferate this story related to his dream. The event consumes the entire 4th chapter of the book of Daniel. The fact that such a great man would publish a self-incriminating and self-deprecating story presses the stories’ authenticity beyond doubt. He writes, Nebuchadnezzar the king, unto all people, nations, and languages, that dwell in all the earth; Peace be multiplied unto you. I thought it good to shew the signs and wonders that the high God hath wrought toward me. (Daniel 4:1ff) He addresses this message to everyone on earth, present and future (4:4)

An Essential Lesson

God was teaching Nebuchadnezzar an important lesson. I have sometimes said that “there is a generation that doesn’t learn by lecture, illustration or revelation; but by destruction and devastation.” Destruction deals with loss; devastation deals with the emotional response to that loss.

Nebuchadnezzar was under the delusion that somehow he had made himself great. When he surveyed the great and magnificent city from the top of his palace, “pride overcame him,” so that he dedicated the building of this great city as the house of his kingdom to the might of his power and the honor of his majesty. A cursory study of the topic of pride in the Bible reveals God’s attitude towards it.

Daniel’s Interpretation

We read the troubling interpretation, This is the interpretation, O king, and this is the decree of the most High, which is come upon my lord the king: That they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field, and they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and they shall wet thee with the dew of heaven, and seven times shall pass over thee, till thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will. (Daniel 4:24-26)

God was about to make this man into a circus act. God was going to swap out his human heart and give him the heart of an animal. This means he will behave like an animal and will lose his ability to reason as a man reasons. He would be driven from his human habitat (estate) into a different habitation! He would live like an animal for seven years — going so far as to eat and sleep after the manner of oxen. This phenomena was known among the Greeks and in modern times as Zoanthropy, only for Nebuchadnezzar it would be “God induced.” He soon lived and looked like a wild beast. His hair grew out like feathers and his fingernails became like claws.

An Appointed Time
God knew how long it would take to thoroughly change Nebuchadnezzar’s mind. In other words, God changed his heart so he would change his mind. Who can fathom this? God took this man’s heart (reasoning faculties) so that he would learn who was really in control. Seven times shall pass over thee, till thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will. (Daniel 4:25)
How Soon We Forget

Daniel gave instruction to Nebuchadnezzar to be careful what he says so that God may give him a reprieve and not immediately enforce the dream. But a year went by and with it the disturbing feeling and fear that came with the dream itself and the interpretation that followed. At the end of twelve months he walked in the palace of the kingdom of Babylon. The king spake, and said, Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honour of my majesty? (Daniel 4:29, 30) If we jump ahead to Nebuchadnezzar’s commentary at the end of this publication we read, those that walk in pride he is able to abase. (Daniel 4:37b) He spread abroad the root cause of his suffering. He walked in pride. As if to say, I am Nebuchadnezzar and if he can humble me he can humble anyone. Matthew Henry once stated to the effect, God is never at a loss for a means of punishing a stiff-necked people, His quiver is always full.

God Keeps His Word

The same hour was the thing fulfilled upon Nebuchadnezzar: and he was driven from men, and did eat grass as oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, till his hairs were grown like eagles’ feathers, and his nails like birds’ claws. (Daniel 4:33)

Solomon made an observation once that speaks to the hearts of men; Because the sentence against an evil deed is not executed speedily, the heart of the children of man is fully set to do evil. (Eccl. 8:11 ERSV) God did not delay in carrying out what He said. The “same hour” that Nebuchadnezzar spoke pridefully he was driven into madness and then into the fields to graze in the pasture and chew the grass like a cow.

When the Time was Up

It took seven years, but this proud leader finally came to himself. Perhaps his forgetfulness led to the length of days needed to complete the work, but God took the time to deal with him. He knew what to do and He did it. Unlike Pharaoh that rebelled over and over until he was at last destroyed, Nebuchadnezzar serves as an example to all of how to rightly respond to God. He didn’t get angry, he worshipped. And at the end of the days I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the most High, and I praised and honoured him that liveth for ever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from generation to generation: (Daniel 4:34)

God is still on the throne and He is working out His purposes in the earth. Why did God choose Nebuchadnezzar to rule Babylon? I don’t know. My job is not to question God but to trust Him. He knows what He is doing. If I had all the facts and the mental ability to comprehend them — I feel confident that I would agree with God. He always does what is right. Seven times shall pass over thee, till thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will.

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