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The Floating Axe Head

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“The Floating Axe Head”

Key Verses: 2Ki 6:1 – 6:7

The focus of this new series entitled “For Our Admonition” is to draw out the spiritual significance of key events, conquests and parables from the OT books of the judges and kings of Israel; specifically, Judges, 1st and 2nd Samuel, 1st and 2nd Kings and 1st and 2nd Chronicles.  Why are these events so important to understand?

1Co 10:11  Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.

2Ti 3:16  All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 

This series plans to exemplify the Bible “meaning what it means” rather than meaning what it literally says.  All these words are in parables, and written in similitudes, the Old and the New Testaments (Hos 12:10) to keep the world blind and only enable those blessed few given ears to hear and eyes to see and understand the mysteries of the kingdom of God (1Co 2:7, Rom 11:7).

Mat 13:13  Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. 

It is not only the WORDS, but the very EVENTS themselves that are in parables and thus hidden from carnal eyes and ears to understand.

Mar 4:11  And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all things are done in parables:

We are reviewing history but not for the history lesson but instead for ministration of spiritual understanding which was the reason for these historical events.

1Pe 1:12  Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us (the Elect) they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you ……

We begin the series with a short story about a sunken and lost axe head.

2Ki 6:1  And the sons of the prophets said unto Elisha, Behold now, the place where we dwell with thee is too strait for us. 

2Ki 6:2  Let us go, we pray thee, unto Jordan, and take thence every man a beam, and let us make us a place there, where we may dwell. And he answered, Go ye. 

2Ki 6:3  And one said, Be content, I pray thee, and go with thy servants. And he answered, I will go. 

2Ki 6:4  So he went with them. And when they came to Jordan, they cut down wood. 

2Ki 6:5  But as one was felling a beam, the axe head fell into the water: and he cried, and said, Alas, master! for it was borrowed. 

2Ki 6:6  And the man of God said, Where fell it? And he shewed him the place. And he cut down a stick, and cast it in thither; and the iron did swim. 

2Ki 6:7  Therefore said he, Take it up to thee. And he put out his hand, and took it. 

Only the Lord can work miracles including causing an axe head, a piece of heavy iron, to rise to the surface of water and float.  This story is not about a physical miracle but instead is an admonition of how we, as the Lord’s Axe, will have us, the chief of sinners, to rise above fleshly lusts and overcome sin. These miracles are impossible with man but are nothing to the Lord who is working all things (Mat 19:26) as salvation is His work in all of us (Isa 64:8). Jesus Christ brings truth and grace which shall not fail to have us rise up in victory over sin.

Rom 6:14  For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.

1Jn 5:4  For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.

The first symbol we see are “the sons of the prophets” introduced in our first verse.  Sons are the offspring of their father and inwardly and outwardly represent the “kings and priests in training” (our fellow brothers and sisters).  Paul and his spiritual son Timothy are perhaps the best example of this (1Co 4:15-16).

Elisha and God’s elect are given to minister grace and bring onto maturity by feeding them the Word of the Lord (Joh 21:15, Eze 34:16).  All the Lord’s prophets in training complain that the way is too “strait” as we are first unable to bear the burden of carrying our cross, not yet understanding or counting the cost.

Hab 1:2  O LORD, how long shall I cry, and thou wilt not hear! even cry out unto thee of violence, and thou wilt not save!

Luk 14:27  And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.

Our complaints in our immaturity (weak in faith) speak to our inability to overcome our enemies who are the adversaries of our obedience (the flesh, the sea, the waters).  Seeing how the Hebrew word H6862 “tsar” is primarily used helps us to see this more clearly in these verses.

H6862, tsar

Total KJV Occurrences: 103

enemies, 26

adversaries, 21

trouble, 17

enemy, 9

adversary, 6

distress, 4

affliction, 3

strait, 3  – 2Ki_6:1

enemy’s, 2    foes, 2

We simply don’t have the faith at first to stand in the fire and take the heat of the Lord’s suffering (Phi, 1:29, Isa 48:10).  We are overcome by our flesh before we are being made into overcomers (Gen 49:19).  The promise made to a murderous Cain (all men) is that all mankind will rule over sin (Gen 4:7) in due time.  Overcoming is salvation and is accomplished by having our sins exposed and burned away in God’s consuming fire (Heb 12:29).

Rev 13:7  And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.

Rev 17:14  These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.

The sons of God, collectively are the church, the called-out ones (G1577 – Ekklesia) who are being led to separate themselves from their carnal enemies within and without.  Coming out of Babylon and separating ourselves from the world (abstaining from spiritual fornication) is a firm commandment of the Lord (Act 15:20, 2Co 6:16, Rev 18:4).  The people of the Lord are being of one mind and stay together in working out their salvation.

2Ki 6:2  Let us go, we pray thee, unto Jordan, and take thence every man a [one]  beam, and let us make us a place there, where we may dwell. And he answered, Go ye. 

2Ki 6:3  And one said, Be content, I pray thee, and go with thy servants. And he answered, I will go. 

2Ki 6:4  So he went with them. And when they came to Jordan, they cut down wood.

We see the symbols of the Jordan, a beam and wood in these verses, leading up to the axe head being lost.  Comparing spiritual with spiritual the meaning is dug out by the Lord’s kings in training (Pro 25:2) using the sum of the word (ASV – Psa 119:160).

The name Jordan, referring to the River, comes from the Hebrew word H3381 meaning to descend and go downward.  The Jordan River symbolizes our baptism into Christ being a key part of the one baptism of Eph 4:5 as we are being led out of the world and made into a mature man in Christ.  The Jordan River in its negative use, represents an obstacle we must get beyond to enter into the promised land and cleans the land of its defiling giants.  The giants are the besetting sins, idols and false doctrines that becomes spiritual nourishment to the new man when we are able to pass over Jordan by faith in the Word.

Num 14:8  If the LORD delight in us, then he will bring us into this land, and give it us; a land which floweth with milk and honey.

Num 14:9  Only rebel not ye against the LORD, neither fear ye the people of the land; for they are bread for us: their defence is departed from them, and the LORD is with us: fear them not.

Every man taking “a” beam is the Lord’s people having “one” [H259] Mind.  A beam is what holds up a roof and in fact the Hebrew word H6982 is translated either as beam or as roof, in its only use in the Scriptures.  As the temple of God, our roof or beam relates back to our mindset which must be transformed.

Rom 12:2  And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Php 2:2  Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. 

The carnal mind is what keeps us from believing and this must be chopped away by the battle axe of the Lord.  Only then will we be able to engage with the Lord and His Christ in overcoming the giants in the land.

Rom 8:6  For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.

Rom 8:7  Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.

Men are likened to trees in Scripture and the carnal mind is symbolized by the same wood that must be devoured by the Word of God we are so blessed to be able to hear now in this age.

Jer 5:14  Wherefore thus saith the LORD God of hosts, Because ye speak this word, behold, I will make my words in thy mouth fire, and this people wood, and it shall devour them.

Learning to walk by faith requires us to first walk by the works of the law and try to save ourselves by our own strength and initiative.  We cannot and will not get across the Jordan until we follow the priests of the Lord and stand still in the waters of Jordan.

Jos 3:3  And they commanded the people, saying, When ye see the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, and the priests the Levites bearing it, then ye shall remove from your place, and go after it.

Jos 3:8  And thou shalt command the priests that bear the ark of the covenant, saying, When ye are come to the brink of the water of Jordan, ye shall stand still in Jordan. 

Chopping our beam of wood with an axe head that comes loose and SINKS into the river is symbolism for us saving ourselves by our own works.  The true circumcision is without hands (no iron tool is used) as salvation is solely of the Lord.

Col 2:11  In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ:

Exo 20:25  And if thou wilt make me an altar of stone, thou shalt not build it of hewn stone: for if thou lift up thy tool upon it, thou hast polluted it.

Living by every word God speaks (Mat 4:4, 1Co 3:21), we, are being ensured that our experience at failure is how we learn righteousness in the end (Isa 26:9, Tit 2:11).

2Ki 6:5  But as one was felling a beam, the axe head fell into the water: and he cried, and said, Alas, master! for it was borrowed

To learn to swim we first must sink into the waters and fail.  It is the same with overcoming sin When we do not have faith, we sink in the waters and are unable to rise above the flesh and a saviour is truly needed.

Psa 18:16  He sent from above, he took me, he drew me out of many waters.

Psa 18:17  He delivered me from my strong enemy, and from them which hated me: for they were too strong for me.

Our faith is not our own, it is a gift (Eph 2:8, Jam 1:17) and is the faith OF Jesus Christ.

Eph 4:7 But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift

In that sense, the axe was borrowed, or as H7592 is more often translated, the axe was asked or requested of us to do the job.  Squandering our cherished gifts and being overcome and sinking into the waters brings torment (Rev 14:11) and suffering all in the presence of the Lamb and the saints of the Lord.  We are appointed to suffer (Phi 1:29) yet when we suffer for our lack of faith (i.e. unrighteousness) we are in in torment and are not happy.

1Pe 3:14  But and if ye suffer for righteousness’ sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled;

Our response to finding ourselves sunk into the waters of the Jordan, incapable of doing battle in the promised land is to seek help from Jesus Christ and specifically His Christ.

1Pe 5:5  Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble….

1Pe 5:7  Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

Jas 5:14  Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:

Jas 5:15  And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.

We, are individually as God’s elect, an axe head who is on a wooden handle (carnal fleshly body) but have and are growing into the mind of Christ as we travail together.  The word for axe head is actually the word for iron.

H1270, barzel

Total KJV Occurrences: 77

iron, 73

head, 2  Deu_19:5, 2Ki_6:5

ax, 1 2Ki_6:5

smith, 1

The Lord’s people are the iron or head of the axe.  This is the one mind of Christ that we sharpen each other with and exercise our spiritual senses to gain dominion over the Lord’s enemies.

Pro 27:17  Iron [H1270] sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.

Heb 5:14  But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

The negative side of iron is its representation of our carnality and immaturity before we are proven and remolded in the fire of judgment.  Iron in its unrefined state is rejected of the Lord and represents the works of the flesh.  But iron also has a positive side as it is used to squash all rebellion to the Lord’s ways and commandments.

The rod of iron is the mind of Jesus Christ, His Word, that is ruling in His elect.  As the Lord’s instruments of salvation, His prophets are the Lord’s battle Axe once being prepared for service. The carnal minds of all men and the heathen nations, within and without, are being smashed to pieces by the Lord’s battle exe.  Anything to do with our old man is destroyed by this axe.

Jer 51:20 Thou art my battle axe and weapons of war: for with thee will I break in pieces the nations, and with thee will I destroy kingdoms;

Jer 51:21 And with thee will I break in pieces the horse and his rider; and with thee will I break in pieces the chariot and his rider; ….

Jer 51:23  I will also break in pieces with thee the shepherd and his flock; and with thee will I break in pieces the husbandman and his yoke of oxen; and with thee will I break in pieces captains and rulers.

It those given to overcome that will be given to rule and tread on the rebellious world.

Rev 2:27  And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father.

Rev 19:15  And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.

Iron, in the positive, is also our trials and torment that come from the Word and our abiding in the heat and pressure of our day of the Lord.  The temple of the Lord is built with LOTS of iron which are the many tribulations by which we enter into Christ (Act 14:22).

1Ch 22:14  Now, behold, in my trouble I have prepared for the house of the LORD an hundred thousand talents of gold, and a thousand thousand talents of silver; and of brass and iron without weight; for it is in abundance  …

The axe head falling into the waters of the river Jordan is representative of us being overcome and snared in our initial service to the Lord.  We are learning the hard way to believe in the promises of Christ and there is always a way of escape for any temptation we are given (1Co 10:13). Those being justified by faith are building the Temple but without the use of any iron tool.  Jesus Christ is building His church (Mat 16:18) via His three-day process of judgment and He does not need any works of the flesh to help Him out (Act 17:25).

1Ki 6:7 And the house, when it was in building, was built of stone made ready before it was brought thither: so that there was neither hammer nor axe nor any tool of iron heard in the house, while it was in building.

Yet we learn to build the house by first building in error and having the fire of the Lord burn those works up (1Co 3:13-15).  Turning to our brethren, casting our cares upon Christ is how we are being lifted up in our time of trials and need.

2Ki 6:6  And the man of God said, Where fell it? And he shewed him the place. And he cut down a stick, and cast it in thither; and the iron did swim. 

The word for stick here is the same word for tree and wood [H6086] as it is far often translated.  Cutting down a tree and casting it into the waters was seen earlier in Israel’s history when they had no faith and could not drink the bitter waters.

Exo 15:23  And when they came to Marah, they could not drink of the waters of Marah, for they were bitter: therefore the name of it was called Marah….

Exo 15:25  And he cried unto the LORD; and the LORD shewed him a tree, which when he had cast into the waters, the waters were made sweet: there he made for them a statute and an ordinance, and there he proved them

Not being able to drink bitter waters is the same as sinking into the waters and being overcome.  In both cases it was due to our lack of faith or unbelief.  The solution the Lord’s prophet provided was the same then as it is today.  Christ is hung on a tree to die (Act 5:30) and so we are dying to self in order for the iron to rise in the living waters.  Cutting down our tree is dying daily with Christ.  It is the way we overcome the flesh and this world.

Rev 12:11  And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.

1Jn 5:5  Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?

Dying to the flesh makes the bitter waters sweet and in this parable, allows the axe head to rise and float on the surface of the river.  The axe head rising is Christ being resurrected within us, which happens when we count all things in the flesh as loss to win the higher prize.

Php 3:9  And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:

Php 3:10  That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;

The axe head floating to the top of the water is a parable on how it is possible for Jesus Christ (and us as His Christ – Joh 20:21) to walk on water which is symbolism for overcoming the flesh. We sink if we believe not in the Lord.  The elect of God is that axe head as part of the Body of Christ.  We are sinking at first until a prophet of the Lord, aka our fellow brethren, comes with rebuke/admonition/encouragement (fire, grace) that raises us up.

Mat 14:29  And he (Jesus) said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus.

Mat 14:30  But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. 

Mat 14:31  And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?

Our reasonable service is to lay down our lives for the brethren. This is another reason why it is better to give than to receive (Act 20:35) as giving our life is the greatest love (obedience) which yields the greatest blessings.  Our laying down our lives for the brethren as our Lord did for us, helps them to walk on water and be saved from their sins, a high calling indeed.

1Jn 3:16  Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.

Joh 15:13  Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

Elisha showed (taught) the less mature son the secret to overcoming and rising above the waters.  We must die to self and to our flesh to be of useful service in the kingdom of God now and in the ages to come.

2Ki 6:7  Therefore said he, Take it up to thee. And he put out his hand, and took it. 

Picking up our axe head is taking up our cross and following the Lord learning from our past shortcomings and the examples of our elders and mature brethren.

1Co 11:1  Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.

Rom 12:1  I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

Judgment by the Axe Head is already on the house of God (1Pe 4:17, Mat 3:10).   This is the fire that is correcting us and preparing us for our roles to come.

1Co 11:31  For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.

Being dead to sin and alive to Christ is what walking on water and standing upon the sea spiritually symbolizes.  Overcoming is accomplished with lots of heat and pressure hence the representation as a sea of glass!

Rev 15:2  And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God.

The axe head story is a parable that reveals the process of how we are being made into overcomers and rise above the flesh.  Judgment is how all men are redeemed (Exo 6:6, Isa 1:27) and the sooner we embrace that, knowing it is God’s will to destroy our flesh and carnal minds, the sooner we will see the coming of the Lord within us in fuller glory.

2Pe 3:12  Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?

2Pe 3:13  Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.

This series will continue, Lord willing, in the weeks ahead in looking at many more of the stories and events in the books of the kings that were written to help us endure to the end.

Sincere questions and comments are welcome.  You can also email me directly at   peterjwilson56@gmail.com

A Servant in Christ,  Pete

Sincere comments and questions are encouraged!