Studies

Restoration of the Land

Download mp3 study, right click “save as”    (Note:  There was no discussion for Part 9)

For Our Admonition Part 9

“Restoration of the Land”

Key Verses:  2Ki 8:1 – 8:6

We have one more “story” regarding the Shunammite woman who is instructive to our own growth and maturity in Christ.   Salvation and our sanctification, is a process, one that never ends while we occupy these clay vessels.  We should be striving continually as we endure the trials and temptations the Lord has defined for us all the way to the end.

Mat 24:13  But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.

Heb 3:14  For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end;

Here is our story involving Elisha, the woman, her household, Gehazi and the king.

2Ki 8:1  Then spake Elisha unto the woman, whose son he had restored to life, saying, Arise, and go thou and thine household, and sojourn wheresoever thou canst sojourn: for the LORD hath called for a famine; and it shall also come upon the land seven years. 

2Ki 8:2  And the woman arose, and did after the saying of the man of God: and she went with her household, and sojourned in the land of the Philistines seven years. 

2Ki 8:3  And it came to pass at the seven years’ end, that the woman returned out of the land of the Philistines: and she went forth to cry unto the king for her house and for her land. 

2Ki 8:4  And the king talked with Gehazi the servant of the man of God, saying, Tell me, I pray thee, all the great things that Elisha hath done. 

2Ki 8:5  And it came to pass, as he was telling the king how he had restored a dead body to life, that, behold, the woman, whose son he had restored to life, cried to the king for her house and for her land. And Gehazi said, My lord, O king, this is the woman, and this is her son, whom Elisha restored to life. 

2Ki 8:6  And when the king asked the woman, she told him. So the king appointed unto her a certain officer, saying, Restore all that was hers, and all the fruits of the field since the day that she left the land, even until now. 

Even after being raised from the dead (our last Study Part 8), we still have a walk to walk out. Our resurrection in down payment form is the beginning rather than the end of our trials and tribulations.

Rom 6:4  Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

Act 14:22  Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.

Why is it that the Lord gives us seven years of plenty and then tries us by putting us through seven years of famine and drought?  Here is why.

1Pe 1:3  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

1Pe 1:4  To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,

1Pe 1:5  Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

1Pe 1:6  Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: 

1Pe 1:7  That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:

Our calling and election is a LIVING HOPE.  It is not a done deal, we have to live it out and Lord willing we will be found faithful, IF we stay on the course through thick and thin.

Joh 8:31  Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;

Joh 8:32  And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

There is a time and season for everything under the sun (Ecc 3:1).  We are all under this sun which is really all under The Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ.  This is because all things that happen are being done IN CHRIST.

Joh 15:1  I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.

Joh 15:2  Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.

Act 17:28  For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.

The Lord uses these seasons of trial, temptation and famine to kill our old man and our carnal and fleshly desires.  These trials are most precious to the Lord because they are what is killing our old man and bringing forth the new man.

Psa 116:15  Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.

Before we move on, let’s remember where the land being spoken about is.

Luk 17:20  And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation:

Luk 17:21  Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you

It is all within God’s people.  Our possession of the land is our being given dominion over sin and abiding in life as we are given to overcome and obey the Lord.

Deu 8:1  All the commandments which I command thee this day shall ye observe to do, that ye may live, and multiply, and go in and possess the land which the LORD sware unto your fathers.

Elisha warns of the famine to come and the woman is led of the Lord to take her household (son and presumably her husband) into a carnal land for seven years.

2Ki 8:2  And the woman arose, and did after the saying of the man of God: and she went with her household, and sojourned in the land of the Philistines seven years. 

Even after coming to Christ, we are yet carnal as were the Corinthians (1Co 3:1-3).  We have to sojourn with the Philistines which is in the land of Israel yet are of the uncircumcision (1Sa 17:26) for our time and seasons appointed.  Yet that land is part of the promise given to Israel and we will be given dominion over this land.

Exo 23:31  And I will set thy bounds from the Red sea even unto the sea of the Philistines, and from the desert unto the river: for I will deliver the inhabitants of the land into your hand; and thou shalt drive them out before thee.

To understand this war raging within the land of Israel (inside your mind and walk), a lot can be learned looking out in the physical to see what the Lord is doing in the Kingdom of God within His elect in this age.  Israel is always at war with the Philistines even unto this very day (Rom 1:20).

 Wikipedia:  The Philistines were an ancient people known for their conflict with the Israelites described in the Bible. … In biblical Hebrew they become Pelishtim; in Greek, their land becomes Palestina, hence the terms Palestine and Philistine.

Spiritually speaking, the Philistines represent our flesh and its carnal lusts.  Even the root word of Philistines bears this out.

H6428, pâlash

paw-lash’

A primitive root; to roll (in dust): – roll (wallow) self.

Total KJV occurrences: 4

We have to wallow in the dust of our carnal mind for seven years before the land is restored unto Israel.  This is torment and herein lies the patience of the saints as we wait on this restoral or restitution of all things.

Act 3:20  And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you:

Act 3:21  Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.

This is the activity going on now within God’s elect in the Kingdom of God.  This will play out outwardly at the Great White Throne judgment (aka the lake of fire) when all men shall be saved from their sins and go through the same judgment and torment the saints are enduring now in this age (Rev 14:10-12).  It takes all seven years (the complete time the Lord has ordained) of us striving between the flesh and the Spirit to be growing into maturity so we can enter into the land to possess the land.

Gal 5:17  For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.

The old man is the one being starved and the one upon whom God’s wrath is fallen.  It is good we go thru a famine as otherwise the old man would not die (Rut 1:1-3).  This experience is preparing us for greater works in the Kingdom and Temple of the living God.  It is not us that drives out the heathen Philistines, it is Christ in us and the armies of Christ.

We are being saved from famine in the same way we are saved from death and judgment.  It is by our old man experiencing these things that the new man is saved from them.

Eze 36:27  And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.

Eze 36:28  And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God.

Eze 36:29  I will also save you from all your uncleannesses: and I will call for the corn, and will increase it, and lay no famine upon you.

Eze 36:30  And I will multiply the fruit of the tree, and the increase of the field, that ye shall receive no more reproach of famine among the heathen.

When we battle giants in our land and fall down our seven times, we are being chastened.  It’s so easy to revert to the righteousness of the law to justify ourselves but we do much better remembering who is being saved and who is being destroyed and this is all the Lord’s work.

1Th 5:9  For God hath not appointed us (the new man) to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,

1Th 5:10  Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him.

1Th 5:11  Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.

Isa 64:8  But now, O LORD, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand.

It is this experience of evil, the Lord uses to humble us (Ecc 1:13 CLV) so we will remember our evil ways and be given the presence of mind (Christ) to obey God.

Eze 36:31  Then shall ye remember your own evil ways, and your doings that were not good, and shall loathe yourselves in your own sight for your iniquities and for your abominations.

In the times appointed, the seven years are completed and we, as this Shunammite woman, are being led of the Lord back to our own land where it will be restored unto us.

2Ki 8:3  And it came to pass at the seven years’ end, that the woman returned out of the land of the Philistines: and she went forth to cry unto the king for her house and for her land. 

The famine works its work in us and we are being prepared for the spiritual journey back home to our own land and our own people.  Such is the inheritance of God’s people and this abode is only in The Christ.

Eph 1:18  The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,

Coming to know this is how we are being prepared and made zealous for good works, the reason we have been put into this Body of Christ (Tit 2:14) and that is to serve.

Col 3:23 And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;

Col 3:24  Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.

The trial of our faith is waiting on the Lord during these times of famine and struggle with the Philistines within.  This is how we are learning patience during this symbolic period of seven years (Luk 21:19, Rev 14:12).  We come to glory in our tribulations and all seasons the Lord is giving us as we are growing in faith and are given patience to wait upon the Lord to finish His work.  Only then do we learn to trust not in ourselves and what we see with our natural eyes, but instead stand on the Lord’s promises and the hope we receive from these promises when we believe.

Rom 5:3 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;

Rom 5:4  And patience, experience; and experience, hope:

When our appointed time of sojourning is up, the famine ends and all our possessions we lost are being restored back unto us.

Job 42:10  And the LORD turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends: also the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before.

This is the double blessing of our heavens and earth.  The Lord is in the business of calling light out of darkness that He creates in us that are comprised of a heaven and an earth.

Gen 1:1  In the (H7225 – firstfruits) beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

The heavens typify our mind which is becoming the mind of Christ through trials and suffering that decrease the old man and increase the new man.  The earth is our walk and outward actions which are also blessed as we are given dominion over sin.  John and all of God’s elect see this new heaven and new earth (in down payment form in this age) within them being formed as they are given to abide in the Holy City (Zion) which is also Christ’s bride.

Rev 21:1  And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.

Rev 21:2  And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

Col 1:19  For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell;

Col 1:20  And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.

Col 1:21  And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled

Psa 134:3  The LORD that made heaven and earth bless thee out of Zion.

All men reap this blessing after coming through the lake of fire (Zion) in their day of judgment.  We cry out for restoration of our land and the fruits thereof as the people of God.

2Ki 8:4  And the king talked with Gehazi the servant of the man of God, saying, Tell me, I pray thee, all the great things that Elisha hath done. 

2Ki 8:5  And it came to pass, as he was telling the king how he had restored a dead body to life, that, behold, the woman, whose son he had restored to life, cried to the king for her house and for her land. And Gehazi said, My lord, O king, this is the woman, and this is her son, whom Elisha restored to life. 

Our new man (the king of Israel in this case) asks the servant about all the wonderful works and great things that Elisha (Christ) has done.  The Lord told us that blessed are those who believe in the miracles of Christ without seeing (Joh 20:29).  Yet we, as kings in training, are given signs in our immaturity in seeing the return of the woman and her son resurrected from the dead. We see this miracle in ourselves and we see it in others in the Body of Christ.

It is the elect of God who are the kings and priests of the Lord.

Rev 5:10  And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.

Our new man is already sitting on the throne of Israel (Christ in us) judging righteous judgment (Joh 7:24) within the Kingdom and nations within us (Luk 17:21).  This is just an earnest of our role to come in the Millennium Reign and the Lake of Fire.

Mat 19:28  And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

1Co 6:2  Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?

The woman makes her plea directly to the king of Israel which leads to restoration of her land.

2Ki 8:6  And when the king asked the woman, she told him. So the king appointed unto her a certain officer, saying, Restore all that was hers, and all the fruits of the field since the day that she left the land, even until now. 

The woman that we are individually and as part of the church (the elect), give birth to the son.  As any good mother, we naturally seek the well-being of our offspring as is the duty of all in Christ.  By the words we speak, and deeds we do, we are always making petitions for restoration of the land as we seek salvation and overcoming of our sins.

Luk 18:7  And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them?

The certain officer that is appointed here is the Body of Christ and the multitude of counselors in whom all of God’s people will trust.

Pro 11:14  Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety.

Wise counsel is righteous judgment which is evaluating all things through the prism of the Scriptures.  It is the elect of God, the only ones given to understand the Scriptures (Mat 13:10), who are the judges.  It is by those works (judgment) by which the land within every one of us is restored and the fruits of increase returned unto us two-fold (Zec 9:4, Isa 61:7).  These blessing to the new man are found only in The Christ.

Act 7:49  Heaven is my throne, and earth is my footstool: what house will ye build me? saith the Lord: or what is the place of my rest?

We are being redeemed by the Lord through judgment.  This is how our land is restored.

Isa 1:26  And I will restore thy judges as at the first, and thy counsellors as at the beginning: afterward thou shalt be called, The city of righteousness, the faithful city.

Isa 1:27  Zion shall be redeemed with judgment, and her converts with righteousness.

The latter rain (Truth we receive) will come in abundance when we are being returned to the land of Israel.  The Lord promises to restore all that was eaten by our bondage to lies and carnal mindedness that had to be burned out of us in the land of the Philistines.

Joe 2:23  Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the LORD your God: for he hath given you the former rain moderately, and he will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month.

Joe 2:24  And the floors shall be full of wheat, and the fats shall overflow with wine and oil.

Joe 2:25  And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpiller, and the palmerworm, my great army which I sent among you.

The restoration of the land requires the prayers and actions of righteous men that avail themselves much.

Jas 5:19  If anyone among you goes astray from the truth, brothers, and anyone turns him back,

Jas 5:20  know that the one turning a sinner from the error of his way will save the soul from death, and will hide a multitude of sins.

This officer of the king is the trust we put into the Body of Christ as the watchmen and overseers of the flock of God.

Eph 3:7  Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power.

1Pe 4:10  As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.

The restoration of the land within ourselves comes when we are witnessing for Christ to the elect angels of Christ and throughout all the earth within and without.

Act 1:6  When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?

Act 1:7  And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.

Act 1:8  But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

I hope this study has reminded us that we struggle with many things and that we are clay in the Lord’s hands.  Everything is exactly on schedule for the Lord to finish His work and fully restore the land in the Kingdom of God within us.  It is our trusting in this Hope, despite all the signs contrary to that hope (our struggles with sin and the beast within) that will and IS saving us, if we endure to the end.

Rom 8:24  For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?

Rom 8:25  But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.

Rom 8:35  Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

Rom 8:36  As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.

Rom 8:37  Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.

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

Studies

The Widow of Zarephath

NOTE: Audio was again of very poor quality as where I am staying has no WIFI.  Recordings of the study will be done and posted soon Lord willing.  We may postpone the next study in hopes of getting to a better connected environment.

For Our Admonition Part 4

The Widow of Zarephath

Key Verses:  1Ki 17:8 – 17:16

We continue in the new series “For Our Admonition” that is focused on drawing out spiritual lessons and reminders of the Lord’s plan and process regarding His Elect.  The Lord moves Elijah onward from hiding out from King Ahab, the most wicked king Israel ever had (1Ki 16:30).  There are greater works to be done and Elijah is commanded to go to Zarephath and be nourished by a widow.

 1Ki 17:8  And the word of the LORD came unto him, saying, 

1Ki 17:9  Arise, get thee to Zarephath, which belongeth to Zidon, and dwell there: behold, I have commanded a widow woman there to sustain thee. 

1Ki 17:10  So he arose and went to Zarephath. And when he came to the gate of the city, behold, the widow woman was there gathering of sticks: and he called to her, and said, Fetch me, I pray thee, a little water in a vessel, that I may drink. 

1Ki 17:11  And as she was going to fetch it, he called to her, and said, Bring me, I pray thee, a morsel of bread in thine hand. 

1Ki 17:12  And she said, As the LORD thy God liveth, I have not a cake, but an handful of meal in a barrel, and a little oil in a cruse: and, behold, I am gathering two sticks, that I may go in and dress it for me and my son, that we may eat it, and die. 

1Ki 17:13  And Elijah said unto her, Fear not; go and do as thou hast said: but make me thereof a little cake first, and bring it unto me, and after make for thee and for thy son. 

1Ki 17:14  For thus saith the LORD God of Israel, The barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail, until the day that the LORD sendeth rain upon the earth. 

1Ki 17:15  And she went and did according to the saying of Elijah: and she, and he, and her house, did eat many days. 

1Ki 17:16  And the barrel of meal wasted not, neither did the cruse of oil fail, according to the word of the LORD, which he spake by Elijah. 

The Lord makes a way for His people. Only He can always provide and put His people together to do the greater works of Christ (Joh 14:12).  Elijah is sent to teach (feed the flock) and be taught (fed by the flock) and that is why the Lord makes us needy and incapable of surviving cutoff from the Living Christ.

1Co 12:12  For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.

1Co 12:13  For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.

When our Lord’s ministry began, His words were rejected by His own people as will our words.  He then cited this Elijah story (parable) to indicate that He and His elect are only to go to the true Jews (Rom 2:28-29), the few chosen (Mat 22:14) who are also the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

Luk 4:24  And he said, Verily I say unto you, No prophet is accepted in his own country.

Luk 4:25  But I tell you of a truth, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elias, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when great famine was throughout all the land;

Luk 4:26  But unto none of them was Elias sent, save unto Sarepta (Zarephath), a city of Sidon, unto a woman that was a widow.

This widow is a physical Gentile and is a type and shadow of the Lord’s prophets leaving their own who reject them and going to the Gentiles who are the true Jews prepared of the Lord.

Act 18:6  And when they opposed themselves, and blasphemed, he shook his raiment, and said unto them, Your blood be upon your own heads; I am clean: from henceforth I will go unto the Gentiles. 

Mat 10:6  But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

The lost sheep of the House of Israel are scattered all over this world and from all nations, tribes and tongues, even unto spiritual Zidon.  A second witness to this truth is the parable of the Canaanite woman whose daughter was vexed by a demon who showed great faith and by example that she was of the true house of Israel. The Lord and His Christ go into Zidon to find and feed the lost sheep.

Mat 15:21  Then Jesus went thence, and departed into the coasts of Tyre and Sidon.

Mat 15:22  And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou Son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil.

Our reasonable service (losing our life) to the Lord is practicing pure religion.  This has us ministering to the spiritual widows and orphans who do not yet know the Lord in Spirit and in truth to whom the Lord sends us.

Jas 1:27  Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.

A widow is someone whose husband has died.  When we come out of Orthodoxy (the other Jesus), our former husband that bound us to the self-righteous law for the lawless is dead.  Our old way of life is perishing, and we are no longer bound by the law (Moses and Gentiles) that kept us bound for our entire life.  The hearing of the Word releases us from the law as that husband is now (is, was and will be) dead.

Rom 7:1  Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth?

Rom 7:2  For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband.

Yet we still must come to know the true Jesus before we can be made ready and get married again.  The truth of the Word, we are now hearing, makes us into spiritual widows.  The fact is we need to be made ready and that only by enduring the wrath of God that clothes us in the proper garments.  We will remain a widow hearing only until we are made ready when grace appears.  The marriage to Christ comes after we have been made ready.

Rev 19:7  Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. 

Rev 19:8  And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.

There is great spiritual significance to the names and places in Scripture.

Zarephath Zarephath comes from the root word H6884 “tsaraph” which means refinement and is associated with metal works in a foundry’s furnace.

H6884, tsâraph – Total KJV Occurrences: 33

tried/try,  13

founder, 5

goldsmith, 5

pure, 2

melt, 2

Here are some uses of the root word for the name of Zarephath where we as a widow are approached by the prophets of the Lord.  It is in the Body where we are refined and purified in the Lord’s fiery furnace.

Psa 12:6  The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.

Isa 48:10  Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction.

Zarephath is where we are when faith first comes to us by way of a prophet sent by the Lord.  Zarephath is the wilderness, in the land of Canaan that is also Babylon.  The promised land given to Israel includes the land of Canaan which represents the gain seeking ways of flesh.

Oba 1:20  And the captivity of this host of the children of Israel shall possess that of the Canaanites, even unto Zarephath; and the captivity of Jerusalem, which is in Sepharad, shall possess the cities of the south.

Zarephath is a type of spiritual Babylon within us and represents the place or process of being refined through the interaction of the Word, the Lord’s prophets and our unbelieving widow mindset.

ZidonZarephath is also part of Zidon [H6721] which is known as Sidon and Tsidon in the NT and which traces back to the first born of Canaan (1Ch 1:13).  Sidon symbolizes fishing and where prey is hunted and caught in the nets of our carnal mindedness.  It represents a wealthy and merchandising city of the world (Rev 18:11) and a place of increased of goods as is Babylon (Rev 3:17).

Arguably the most famous Sidonian was Jezebel, the wife of King Ahab (1Ki 16:31), who seduced the king and brought fornication and Baal worship into Israel and who pursued the Lord’s prophets including Elijah.  Judgment comes in due time to the land of Zidon to burn out the Canaanite spirit in the temple and kingdom of God within us (Luk 17:21).  Spiritually speaking when we leave orthodoxy, we go into Canaan.  That is where the father of faith Abram (type of Christ) was sent and later received prophets and ate bread with them.

Gen 12:5  And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother’s son, and all their substance that they had gathered, and the souls that they had gotten in Haran; and they went forth to go into the land of Canaan; and into the land of Canaan they came. 

We find the widow and we ourselves are found by the prophet in our spiritual Zarephath.  It is here within the kingdom of God that the land begins to be refined by the fiery Word we are given to eat and drink.  Let’s reread the next verses as we look deeper into the story.

1Ki 17:10  So he arose and went to Zarephath. And when he came to the gate of the city, behold, the widow woman was there gathering of sticks: and he called to her, and said, Fetch me, I pray thee, a little water in a vessel, that I may drink. 

1Ki 17:11  And as she was going to fetch it, he called to her, and said, Bring me, I pray thee, a morsel of bread in thine hand. 

1Ki 17:12  And she said, As the LORD thy God liveth, I have not a cake, but an handful of meal in a barrel, and a little oil in a cruse: and, behold, I am gathering two sticks, that I may go in and dress it for me and my son, that we may eat it, and die. 

When the Word of God meets the widow, we as that widow, are busy doing carnally minded things (gathering sticks of wood) to feed ourselves and sustain ourselves in the Spirit.  The woman had no hope, which defines the status of those separated from the gift of faith.

Isa 38:18  For the grave cannot praise thee, death cannot celebrate thee: they that go down into the pit cannot hope for thy truth.

The widow needs to hear the Word from the sent preacher (Rom 10:17) to grow in faith.

Psa 130:5  I wait for the LORD, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope.

Gal 5:5  For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.

If one has faith and a lively hope, then provision is being made by the Lord’s precious promises.

Joh 6:35  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.

Mat 5:6  Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. 

We are this woman who has no husband, caught in between the works of the law which has died in us and waiting on the coming of Christ with truth and grace.  We are then asked of the Lord by the prophet to give to all who ask of us and especially water, food and clothing.

Mat 5:42  Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.

Luk 6:30  Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again.

Luk 6:31  And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.

Before the prophet comes with the word and boldness of a lion, we are this widow gathering sticks outside of faith.  This represents an immature mindset, when we are still under the influences and lies of the harlot being carnally minded and caught between the two mindsets of flesh and spirit.  Instead of sacrificing ourselves and losing our life, we are yet gathering wooden sticks, representing our outward self-righteous works of the law to sustain and save ourselves.  Fire must be spoken to ears that hear that will burn up this wood and bring forth a renewed mindset (Rom 12:2).

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.

Making these two sticks into one stick is the promise of the mind of Christ (1Co 2:16) that will come to us more and more as we abide in the fire when chastening grace (Heb 12:6) appears.

Eze 37:16  Moreover, thou son of man, take thee one stick, and write upon it, For Judah, and for the children of Israel his companions: then take another stick, and write upon it, For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and for all the house of Israel his companions:

Eze 37:17  And join them one to another into one stick; and they shall become one in thine hand.

Rom 7:24  O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?

Rom 7:25  I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.

Elijah brings comfort and trust through the Word to the widow that is acted upon in faith.

1Ki 17:13  And Elijah said unto her, Fear not; go and do as thou hast said: but make me thereof a little cake first, and bring it unto me, and after make for thee and for thy son. 

1Ki 17:14  For thus saith the LORD God of Israel, The barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail, until the day that the LORD sendeth rain upon the earth. 

1Ki 17:15  And she went and did according to the saying of Elijah: and she, and he, and her house, did eat many days. 

1Ki 17:16  And the barrel of meal wasted not, neither did the cruse of oil fail, according to the word of the LORD, which he spake by Elijah. 

The story of the widow acting in faith and giving ALL she had in giving her “two mites” is a similar parable to this widow’s story.  Both gave all they had in their poverty which is the epitome of faith in action and giving of their very life.

Luk 21:3  And he said, Of a truth I say unto you, that this poor widow hath cast in more than they all:

Luk 21:4  For all these have of their abundance cast in unto the offerings of God: but she of her penury hath cast in all the living that she had.

The widow of Zarephath comes to see that it is by giving all we have and trusting in the Lord by which we will be sustained.  She is taught this by the prophet and trusts that the meal will not waste and will indeed feed them for many days. A mature Solomon came to see this way of the Lord.

Ecc 11:1  Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days.

These stories teach us to give which requires trusting in the Lord and remembering we are just stewards of what the Lord has given to us.  It is the Lord through His prophets that the meal and oil is multiplied and the fire spreads.

Heb 6:13  For when God made promise to Abraham, because he could swear by no greater, he sware by himself,

Heb 6:14  Saying, Surely blessing I will bless thee, and multiplying I will multiply thee.

A dear brother added a great point I have now added into this study.  He pointed out that these  multiplied blessings from the Lord only come after we deny ourselves for His namesakes, as this widow has to make a cake for Elijah first and only after doing that she can make a meal for herself and her son.

1Ki 17:13  And Elijah said unto her, Fear not; go and do as thou hast said: but make me thereof a little cake first, and bring it unto me, and after make for thee and for thy son.

A NT witness to this same truth were these words of Jesus Christ.

Mat 19:29 And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.

I have seen firsthand how the Lord does this.  When we cast our bread onto the waters of mankind, to those few the Lord brings or sends to us; that bread is then found later multiplied and used to feed us back.  When we are being used to bring others into the true faith of Christ, we are casting our bread upon the waters and that work, and Word shall not return void (Isa 55:11) and will sustain us through the four seasons of life.

This story is mostly about the blessings of giving and trusting in the Lord to provide and not hoarding for ourselves the things the Lord has given to us.  This is true whether those things be physical or spiritual, the valuable things of life are to be poured out on the Body.  This is contrary to carnal thinking that does not know that Jesus Christ is come in His flesh (Eph 5:30).

Mat 26:7  There came unto him a woman having an alabaster box of very precious ointment, and poured it on his head, as he sat at meat.

Mat 26:8  But when his disciples saw it, they had indignation, saying, To what purpose is this waste?

Mat 26:9  For this ointment might have been sold for much, and given to the poor.

Mat 26:11  For ye have the poor always with you; but me ye have not always.

Mat 26:12  For in that she hath poured this ointment on my body, she did it for my burial (death to flesh)

Mat 26:13  Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached in the whole world, there shall also this, that this woman hath done, be told for a memorial of her.

The memory or memorial of this lesson is this:  It is better to give than to receive!

Act 20:35  I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive. 

 A key lesson to receiving the blessing of the Lord (understanding, healing of false doctrines, etc.) is to become a giver, which is the true fast the Lord desires from His people.

 Isa 58:7  Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?

Isa 58:8  Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the LORD shall be thy rereward. 

2Co 9:6  But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully

We cannot serve God and mammon and the Lord tries and rewards us when we act according to faith.  To those who is given much, even more shall be given when they honour God.

Luk 16:10  He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.

The Lord blesses us when we give in faith of His promises as this widow gave to Elijah.  The meal never ran out and the oil never failed just as Elijah had spoken.  We can only give what the Lord has given to us even if that is two mites or a thimble of meal.  None of us have anything to do with our possessions of anything be it physical or spiritual valuables.  It is all of the Lord!

1Co 4:7  For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?

The Word of the Lord will not fail. The Word is the meal and the oil is the anointing via God’s Spirit.  This is the sustenance we spiritually live on in every phase of our walk and maturity.  It comes through God’s prophets and angels (messengers), i.e. His elect and is also known as rivers of living waters.

Joh 4:14  But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.

There is always food found in the gathering of the saints.  This Holy City is where the rivers of life flow endlessly with food for all seasons.

Eze 47:12 And by the river upon the bank thereof, on this side and on that side, shall grow all trees for meat, whose leaf shall not fade, neither shall the fruit thereof be consumed: it shall bring forth new fruit according to his months, because their waters they issued out of the sanctuary: and the fruit thereof shall be for meat, and the leaf thereof for medicine.

Even a poor destitute widow is needed in the Body and by acting in faith is able to give back and fulfill the needs of Jesus Christ and feed the flock of God as a shepherd herself (Joh 10:2).

 1Co 12:23  And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant

1Co 12:24  For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked:

Elijah is a man of faith, one sent to preach the Word that feed and sustain us in the wilderness.  This is an example of how we are to help the spiritual widows we find on whom the grace of God has not yet fallen.  We are the instruments to prepare them for what lies ahead, impart faith and hope by feeding them the pure word of God.

Mat 14:15  And when it was evening, his disciples came to him, saying, This is a desert place, and the time is now past; send the multitude away, that they may go into the villages, and buy themselves victuals.

Mat 14:16  But Jesus said unto them, They need not depart; give ye them to eat.

 The Lord knows how to nourish His children throughout all the stages of their growing up.

Act 20:28  Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.

Psa 37:3  Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. 

The woman did not die as she thought in her initial unbelief.  Eating meal made with oil brings life through the death (Joh 12:24) that life being the new  man increasing as the old man dies.

Joh 6:58  This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever.

Job 5:20  In famine he shall redeem thee from death: and in war from the power of the sword.

This story of the widow and her son is two-part parable of how the Lord saves us.  Going to Zarephath coincides with our going into spiritual Babylon where we hear the truth and grow in faith.  Yet Christ must come the second time with fire (grace) to save us and deliver us from our sins.  That as we all know comes by going through judgment in this age.  First comes the faith by hearing and that is followed by the grace that saves us by killing the man of sin.  The Lord prepares us for the greater trials to come only giving us what we can bear.

1Co 10:13  There hath no temptation (trial) taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

Lord willing, we will cover the grace part of the story next time that will focus on the death and resurrection of the widow’s son.

1Ki 17:21  And he stretched himself upon the child three times, and cried unto the LORD, and said, O LORD my God, I pray thee, let this child’s soul come into him again.

1Ki 17:22  And the LORD heard the voice of Elijah; and the soul of the child came into him again, and he revived.

Part two of this parable and the raising of the widow’s son to life is covered in the next study (part 5 – Raising the Dead to New Life)  in the series.  Click Here to read that now.

 

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

Studies

Amos Part 23 – A Famine of Hearing the Words of the Lord

Download mp3 study, right click “save as”

Discussion – Protected

(View, print or download PDF, click below)

A Famine of Hearing the Words of the Lord

Key Verses:  Amos 8:8 – 8:12

We are still discussing the vision of the fruit basket that was the focus of last week’s study.

Amo 8:2 And he said, Amos, what seest thou? And I said, A basket of summer fruit. Then said the LORD unto me, The end is come upon my people of Israel; I will not again pass by them anymore.

After the study, there was a great discussion and email thread that demonstrated the power and wisdom of having a multitude of counselor’s weigh in on a matter (Pro 11:14, 1Th 5:11).  It was confirmed that God’s Elect, being a type of firstfruits are, a second Spring harvest (Pentecost) that follows the Barley harvest earlier in the Spring.

1Co 15:22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

1Co 15:23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.

Every man being saved is “yet by fire” (1Co 3:15) and that was the real meaning of summer as the product of our walk is being judged and measured against the Word (plumbline).  Larry said it best: “The concept of “summer” is connected to those (“summer fruit”) in the first resurrection, is a spiritual word for those who go through fiery (summer = heat) judgement first.”  Every nation, tribe and tongue within us that does not believe and trust in the Lord is having the wrath of God abiding on it.  This is the fire we endure now so we will not be condemned with the rest of mankind later in the lake of fire (1Co 11:31-32).

Joh 3:36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.

Attaining the reward of eternal life and being in the first resurrection only comes by bearing the heat of the summer seasons working in the Lord’s vineyard (Mat 20:12).  Our day of the Lord, is our day of judgment and the time is at hand when our works, the fruits of our walk with God are being judged.  Our faith is being tried in this fire (judgment) and whatever is not of faith is being burned up.

Joh 3:18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

We continue with our new verses for today and see the result of the Lord forsaking Israel for a season in bringing a famine of hearing the commands of Christ unto the land.

Amo 8:8 Shall not the land tremble for this, and every one mourn that dwelleth therein? and it shall rise up wholly as a flood; and it shall be cast out and drowned, as by the flood of Egypt. 

Amo 8:9 And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Lord GOD, that I will cause the sun to go down at noon, and I will darken the earth in the clear day: 

Amo 8:10 And I will turn your feasts into mourning, and all your songs into lamentation; and I will bring up sackcloth upon all loins, and baldness upon every head; and I will make it as the mourning of an only son, and the end thereof as a bitter day. 

Amo 8:11 Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD: 

Amo 8:12 And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, and shall not find it. 

Our season of famine is all ordained of the Lord to set us up for Him to come the second time to us without sin.

Joh 16:16 A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me, because I go to the Father.

Heb 9:28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.

The “for this” statement in our first verse links all these consequences described in these verses to the prior transgression of buying and selling from last week’s study.

Amo 8:6 That we may buy the poor for silver, and the needy for a pair of shoes; yea, and sell the refuse of the wheat?

Amo 8:7 The LORD hath sworn by the excellency (arrogance/pride/pomp) of Jacob, surely, I will never forget any of their works.

Our evil works of robbing the poor and shutting up the kingdom of God to the needy are converted into good works by the process of judgment.  The Lord uses evil within us and without us to accomplish good and save every man from his sins.  This is the only way we progress from hearers of the word to doers of the word.

Eph 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

We see in these verses of Amos, that is the Lord’s purpose to turn us over to the enemy and to devour our flesh and destroy all pride and arrogance.

1Co 5:5 To deliver such a one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.

Our living out these words and events in our appointed times is, was and will be, is not pleasant but we should remember as we are asked to endure this chastening and scourging from our loving Father that is actually the blessing because it is what is brings forth Christ in us.  This is the message of the Good News.

Rev 22:7 Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book.

Eze 36:27 And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.

The Lord turns the hearts of His people (brings repentance) by using evil to correct and humble us (Jer 2:19).  It is blasphemy to those in orthodoxy for us to speak truth that the Lord is working all things, even the evil, even our very sins in order (Isa 63:17, Isa 45:7, Joh 15:5) to bring about salvation.  To lose confidence in our flesh and to believe only in the Son and the righteousness that is found in Him [grace through faith Eph 2:8]; we have to learn the futility of saving ourselves and know what we are in the flesh.

Mat 9:13 But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

To know this in Spirit and in truth, our falling away must come first (2Th 2:3).  This must happen before the great and terrible day of the Lord arrives that is saving us and destroying the man of sin little by little.  As the prodigal and immature son who has left His father’s house, we will be brought back to our first love through enduring a spiritual famine.

Luk 15:14 And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want.

Luk 15:17 And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my fathers have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!

Luk 15:18 I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee,

Our words of Amos focus around this famine in our land.  There is certainly an outward famine coming more and more in this darkening world waxing worse and worse by the day.  Yet these words are first and foremost words that we, God’s Elect, live out now on whom the end of the ages is coming, and they apply inwardly to the kingdom of God (Luk 17:21).  Thus, begins our falling away from our first love as the Lord raises up the river of Egypt to drown us in the lusts of our flesh.

Amo 8:8 Shall not the land tremble for this, and every one mourn that dwelleth therein? and it shall rise up wholly as a flood; and it shall be cast out and drowned, as by the flood of Egypt. 

The Lord is turning us over to the idols of our heart and manifesting the man of sin within us.  Our taking in marriage with the Philistines (the lusts of the flesh) is what brings the occasion (Jdg 14:14) for the Lord to bring the fire of scourging and chastening grace (Heb 12:6).  The harlot that is riding our beast and leading us into spiritual adultery and fornication with false gods of the world and engaging in trade/merchandising of the Lord’s treasures (gold, silver, precious stones) for gain must be judged.

Rev 18:11 And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her; for no man buyeth their merchandise any more:

We come out of Spiritual Babylon as the seven plagues come that bring death, mourning and famine to the land.

Rev 18:8 Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her.

We see the phrase “the flood of Egypt” twice in Scripture and both in Amos.   The word translated “flood” is better denoted as a “river” or similar wording.

H2975, ye’ôr   –  Total KJV Occurrences: 65

river, 35

rivers or river’s, 18

flood, 6

brooks, 5

Here is how the ESV as most of the translations show it using the context of a river.

Amo 8:8 ESV Shall not the land tremble on this account, and everyone mourn who dwells in it, and all of it rise like the Nile, and be tossed about and sink again, like the Nile of Egypt?”

The rising up of the river of Egypt and being drowned by the waters is an example of the negative use of waters and rivers and pertains to our being overcome by our beast (Ecc 3:18).

Rev 11:7 And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them.

Rev 11:8 And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.

A proper foundation is not made for the house of God until the first foundation fails and a new foundation is constructed in the fire of our judgment to withstand the power of the flesh.

Luk 6:49  But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great.

It is only by our trials, the testing of our faith in which we fall down seven times (Pro 24:16) that the new foundation of tried stone is laid within us. Christ is being formed!

Isa 28:16 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.

Gal 4:19 My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you,

Gal 4:20 I desire to be present with you now, and to change my voice; for I stand in doubt of you.

Our baptism with water is followed by our baptism by fire that is testing all things and burning up the works of the flesh (Mat 3:11).

1Co 3:12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;

1Co 3:13 Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.

Reaping a just recompense for our deeds is teaching us righteousness and the lessons of reaping what we sow.

Isa 59:18 According to their deeds, accordingly he will repay, fury to his adversaries, recompence to his enemies; to the islands he will repay recompence.

Isa 59:19 So shall they fear the name of the LORD from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him.

Egypt’s river rising up and covering the earth is the same as the swelling up of our bellies.  We either serve God or not.  We cannot serve two masters; a jealous God will not let us serve Him and the mammon of this world.

Php 3:18 (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ:

Php 3:19 Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.)

The coming of spiritual famine follows this overrunning by the river of Egypt.

Amo 8:9 And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Lord GOD, that I will cause the sun to go down at noon, and I will darken the earth in the clear day: 

This verse is similar to the more well-known passages from Joel 2:30-31 that were also referenced in Peter’s sermon on the day of Pentecost.

Act 2:20 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come:

Act 2:21 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.

Spiritual nourishment or food is the light that is the Christ, so a famine is the same as a period of darkness where we cannot see the light.  Living by every word requires us to experience this darkening of the land.

Jer 4:28 For this shall the earth mourn, and the heavens above be black: because I have spoken it, I have purposed it, and will not repent, neither will I turn back from it.

When the Lord sends strong delusion, and deceives us we do not know we are in this darkened state.  This falling away is not something we are conscious of as we experience it, we only see it looking behind ourselves.

Mat 6:22 The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.

Mat 6:23 But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness! 

Only the Lord can turn noon day into midnight.  That is just how strong, our strong delusion is before we learn to obey the truth by going through the fire of judgment.

Without the Light of this world (Jesus Christ and His Christ) to guide us, the hearing of the Word, our deeds quickly turn to darkness and we will be overcome which gives the Lord an occasion to bring an end to our flesh.  The revelation of Jesus Christ comes to us inwardly first and will come outwardly to the world suddenly and in a time of great darkness (midnight).   The first-born man of sin shall not inherit the kingdom and must die for the new man to come forth and increase.

1Th 5:2 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.

1Th 5:3 For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.

Exo 11:4 And Moses said, Thus saith the LORD, About midnight will I go out into the midst of Egypt:

Exo 11:5 And all the firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sitteth upon his throne, even unto the firstborn of the maidservant that is behind the mill; and all the firstborn of beasts.

It is the children of the kingdom of God who must go into darkness and be judged before we can come to the Light.

Mat 8:12 But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

The “excellency” of Jacob for which the Lord will not forget our works (Amo 8:7) is our arrogance and pride that is being destroyed.

Isa 13:11 And I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible.

Going into spiritual darkness and enduring a famine of the hearing of the words of Christ and His Christ, bring us to our wits end until we cry unto the Lord for deliverance from bondage to the flesh and the Assyrian armies within us that are used as the sword of the Lord (Psa 17:13).

Amo 8:10 And I will turn your feasts into mourning, and all your songs into lamentation; and I will bring up sackcloth upon all loins, and baldness upon every head; and I will make it as the mourning of an only son, and the end thereof as a bitter day. 

The coming of the Lord is likened to the times of Noah and Lot (Mat 24:38, Luk 17:28) that was defined by eating, drinking, buying, selling and giving in marriage.  These speak to spiritual activity and specifically how we conduct ourselves in the house of God having His Truths.   Feasting speaks of eating and drinking and specifically doing it in an unworthy manner.

1Co 10:21 Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord’s table, and of the table of devils.

The feasting of our man of sin, who is sitting on God’s throne hearing but not doing the Word is coming to an end in this great and bitter (to the flesh) day of the Lord.  We are being humbled and shown we have no covering (the mind of Christ) and are in fact spiritually bald.

1Co 11:6 For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered.

The Book of Lamentations comes to mind as we look at the Lord destroying our life in the flesh and causing us to lose everything.  Seeing the shame of our nakedness and the wretchedness of our self-righteousness compared to the Words of Christ which are Spirit and Life.

Lam 2:5 The Lord was as an enemy: he hath swallowed up Israel, he hath swallowed up all her palaces: he hath destroyed his strong holds, and hath increased in the daughter of Judah mourning and lamentation.

The Lord has caused us to commit all these abominations.  He has caused us to err from His ways (Isa 63:17).  This is the way the Lord has devised to save all mankind (2Sa 14:14).

Lam 2:17  The LORD hath done that which he had devised; he hath fulfilled his word that he had commanded in the days of old: he hath thrown down, and hath not pitied: and he hath caused thine enemy to rejoice over thee, he hath set up the horn of thine adversaries.

The occasion has been set and the Lord is now coming with fire to purify our heavens as we progress.  Still, even knowing these truths, it takes a process for us to really believe that the Lord sent the enemy into the gates of Jerusalem.  But what sayeth the Scriptures?

Lam 4:11 The LORD hath accomplished his fury; he hath poured out his fierce anger, and hath kindled a fire in Zion, and it hath devoured the foundations thereof.

Lam 4:12 The kings of the earth, and all the inhabitants of the world, would not have believed that the adversary and the enemy should have entered into the gates of Jerusalem. 

When we see ourselves as the ones who have pierced and crucified our Lord (Rev 1:7), then we mourn and wail for our sins.  This is very necessary for us to give up the flesh and submit to the way of the Lord.  Coming to see ourselves as the chief of sinners and those who crucified our Lord within and in others.

Amo 8:11 Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD: 

Jesus Christ, the Word is the Bread of life.  His Bread is actually His Body, which is the meat we must eat to possess age abiding life.  John, chapter 6, has some pivotal verses on the Word being life and the only way to be satisfied.

Joh 6:63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

Joh 6:35 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.

Joh 6:53 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.

Without hearing His words, we are dead in our trespasses and sins.  But as we have seen, this too is the work of the Lord and part of ALL THINGS being worked for His counsel.  Without the words of life to guide us we are lost.  But fear not, as we have seen it is the Lord’s purpose to turn the hearts of the children back to the Father by going through their Prodigal Son experience.  No sheep elected from the foundation of the world is being lost.

Luk 15:4 What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it?

Luk 15:5 And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing.

Luk 15:6 And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost.

Luk 15:7 I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.

All men will be found and brought to repentance for this is the will of God.

2Pe 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

This period of darkness and falling away are being used for good as it will bring us to our wits end.

Amo 8:12 And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, and shall not find it. 

Our deliverance from the world and being separated requires going through hard times.  The times of plenty after we come into the truth and enjoy a season of peace are followed by the seasons of suffering which are the many tribulations we endure to enter into the kingdom of God (Act 14:22).  Those tribulations are living through all seven of the vials of wrath poured out against our old man and our carnal mindsets.

Rev 15:8 And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God, and from his power; and no man was able to enter into the temple, till the seven plagues of the seven angels were fulfilled.

Php 1:29 For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake;

Unable to hear the words of the Lord and being temporarily forsaken of the Lord to accomplish His purposes; we are being led by our natural carnal mind and fleshly instincts.  We follow the ways of the world within and without, and wander to find the living waters again but will not find them.  Going from sea to sea is going from one fleshly carnal thought to the next.  The world will have us run to the east when judgment breaks forth from the north. But to mature in the Lord in our day of the Lord we are learning to go west instead and follow the Son.

Mat 24:27  For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

We do not find rest when the Lord has purposed to destroy the old man off the face of our earth.

Psa 107:25 For he commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof.

Psa 107:26 They mount up to the heaven, they go down again to the depths: their soul is melted because of trouble.

Psa 107:27 They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wits’ end. 

Judgment is a winnowing process of division via a sword.  The Lord is causing all of it and working it for good.  It is by our enduring and overcoming these trials that we come to unity and stop running to and fro in the earth being deceived by men the Lord has put out to deceive the entire world.

Eph 4:13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:

Eph 4:14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;

Next week Lord willing, we will pick up the final two verses of Chapter 8 before moving on to the fifth vision the Lord gave Amos.  We are nearing the end of the book and the end of the man of sin.

Amo 8:13 In that day shall the fair virgins and young men faint for thirst.

Amo 8:14 They that swear by the sin of Samaria, and say, Thy god, O Dan, liveth; and, The manner of Beersheba liveth; even they shall fall, and never rise up again.

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

A Servant In Christ,  PETE

Studies

Amos Part 22 – The Vision of a Fruit Basket

Download mp3 Study, Right Click Save As

Discussion – Protected

(view, print or download PDF, click below)

“The Vision of a Fruit Basket”

Key Verses: Amos 8:1 – 8:7

Note:  Some content was added after the audio recording that enhanced the study.

Having to given an account to the Lord for our deeds is how we are learning through chastening grace of the Lord that we do indeed reap what we have sown (Gal 6:7).  This process of learning by chastening judgment is how we are saved (Isa 26:9, Eph 2:8) and afterwards bear the peaceable fruit of righteousness (our obedience).  The Elect are not being redeemed and saved in this age for ourselves but only for the Lord’s purposes.

Tit 2:14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

Eph 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

God’s plan in saving us, His people, is to manifest the spiritual fruit that comes forth to His glory.  This is why we have been chosen.  Fruit in Scripture represents our works and it is by these works, what type they are by which we will be known.

Mat 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven

Mat 7:20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

It takes time to manifest fruit, it’s a process of growing.  As we die daily to our flesh and the man of sin is destroyed, our fruit abounds more and more.  This is the purpose of the Lord in bringing us together in a Body and assembling us in New Jerusalem.  These works are the spiritual nourishment and healing of our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ (all men).

Rev 22:2 In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.

Rev 14:13 And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works (fruits) do follow them.

With this reminder on spiritual fruit being our works, here are the key verses for today.

Amo 8:1 Thus hath the Lord GOD shewed unto me: and behold a basket of summer fruit. 

Amo 8:2 And he said, Amos, what seest thou? And I said, A basket of summer fruit. Then said the LORD unto me, the end is come upon my people of Israel; I will not again pass by them any more. 

Amo 8:3 And the songs of the temple shall be howlings in that day, saith the Lord GOD: there shall be many dead bodies in every place; they shall cast them forth with silence. 

Amo 8:4 Hear this, O ye that swallow up the needy, even to make the poor of the land to fail, 

Amo 8:5 Saying, when will the new moon be gone, that we may sell corn? and the sabbath, that we may set forth wheat, making the ephah small, and the shekel great, and falsifying the balances by deceit? 

Amo 8:6 That we may buy the poor for silver, and the needy for a pair of shoes; yea, and sell the refuse of the wheat? 

Amo 8:7 The LORD hath sworn by the excellency of Jacob, Surely I will never forget any of their works. 

The Lord’s strange ways has us learning good and evil and being humbled (Ecc 1:13) by causing us to first do the opposite of what is His stated commandments and plan.  We gain our life by losing it, we avoid judgment by going through judgment now and similarly, we produce good works by first producing evil ones.  It is by the death of our rebellious and disobedient man of sin that good fruit comes forth from the fig tree that represents the Israel of God.

 Jer 8:13 I will surely consume them, saith the LORD: there shall be no grapes on the vine, nor figs on the fig tree, and the leaf shall fade; and the things that I have given them shall pass away from them.

Our flesh and carnal mind is the marred first vessel (Jer 18:4) that was made to be destroyed and is cursed when Christ appears because it is incapable of bringing forth good fruit.

Mat 21:19 And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. And presently the fig tree withered away.

Deu 28:18 Cursed shall be the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy land, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep.

This prophesy is being given to King Jeroboam and Israel through Amos.  But these are prophesies we are living out (Mat 4:4, 1Co 11:11) as judgment is now on the house of God.  The works of a proud, idol worshipping and worldly fornicating King of Israel does not measure up to the plumbline.  The hedged-out life of the old man is coming to an end as it is destruction from the Almighty designed to bring forth fruit for God.

Joe 1:15 Alas for the day! for the day of the LORD is at hand, and as a destruction from the Almighty shall it come.

Seeing a vision of summer fruit is an indication that the time of judgment is at hand and the angels of the Lord (the reapers, the Elect) are sent to bring about the destruction of the harlot and old man whose sins have reached into the heavens (Rev 18:5, Jon 1:2).

Joe 3:13 Put ye in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe: come, get you down; for the press is full, the fats overflow; for their wickedness is great.

Rev 14:18 And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire; and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe.

The word translated as “summer fruit” is actually the word for SUMMER as the KJC reflects and represents more broadly the season of harvest of any crop including fruit;

H7019, qayits

Total KJV Occurrences: 20

summer, 20

Gen_8:22, 2Sa_16:1-2 (2), Psa_32:4, Psa_74:17, Pro_6:8, Pro_10:5, Pro_26:1, Pro_30:25, Isa_16:9, Isa_28:4, Jer_8:20, Jer_40:10, Jer_40:12, Jer_48:32, Amo_3:15, Amo_8:1-2 (2), Mic_7:1, Zec_14:8

The warm time of the year beginning in late spring and continuing into the summer is when the leaves of a tree or its fruit become evident for all to see.  The harvest of souls like the harvest of physical crops begins at summer.  Several of the verses that incorporate summer are linked to judgement and the threshing of the wheat from the chaff. Another concept Amos’s words touched upon.

Dan 2:35  Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth.

Pro 10:5  He that gathereth in summer isa wise son: but he that sleepeth in harvest is a son that causeth shame.

We are all gathering our meat (enduring trials and afflictions of judgment) in the summer as we partake of the Body of Jesus Christ.

Christ tells us this judgment time is near when we learn the parable of the fig tree and see the coming forth of our service to the Lord (good works, fruit).  When we see this with spiritual eyes then we know the destruction of the old vessel is well underway and we should not be surprised of the fiery trials to come (1Pe 4:13).

Mat 24:32  Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh:

Mat 24:33  So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.

“All these things” being seen is the end of the age which has an outward application to come but an inward application that the Elect are living out now in our day of judgment.  We are witnessing these events today in the Body as Christ is appearing and our old way of life is passing away.

Mat 24:30  And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

Mat 24:31  And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

We see some hidden manna in this Amos vision by the Hebrew word used for basket.

Amo 8:1 Thus hath the Lord GOD shewed unto me: and behold a basket [H3619] of summer fruit. 

Amo 8:2 And he said, Amos, what seest thou? And I said, A basket [H3619] of summer fruit. Then said the LORD unto me, the end is come upon my people of Israel; I will not again pass by them anymore. 

This is not the common word for basket but instead is a word found only twice in Scripture and here is how H3619 “kelub” is used the only other time with some added context.

Jer 5:27  As a cage [H3619] is full of birds, so are their houses full of deceit: therefore they are become great, and waxen rich.

Jer 5:28  They are waxen fat, they shine: yea, they overpass the deeds of the wicked: they judge not the cause, the cause of the fatherless, yet they prosper; and the right of the needy do they not judge. 

Birds that fly in our heavens (mind) represent lies and false doctrines that keep us in spiritual darkness and in bondage to everything but faith in the Word of God.  A cage full of fruit is speaking of the fruit of self-righteousness we all first produce/endure before the Lord pours out His wrath to reveal our wretched state within (Rom 7:24).  The basket of fruit is in spiritual actuality two baskets as we are the Lord’s two witnesses who live both the good and the evil.

Jer 24:2  One basket had very good figs, even like the figs that are first ripe: and the other basket had very naughty figs, which could not be eaten, they were so bad.

Evil figs represent our tainted works of the world that are rejected works fit to be destroyed in our judgment.  First the natural and then the spiritual.  The first fruit (good works) brought forward from our earth is not an acceptable offering to the Lord.  It is the offering of Cain (Gen 4:3-5).  The flesh profits itself nothing and the immature and hasty summer fruit that comes when we are puffed up and drunk with knowledge (wine) will be taken away when we stumble in our judgment.

Isa 28:3 The crown of pride, the drunkards of Ephraim, shall be trodden under feet:

Isa 28:4 And the glorious beauty, which is on the head of the fat valley, shall be a fading flower, and as the hasty fruit before the summer; which when he that looketh upon it seeth, while it is yet in his hand he eateth it up.

The Israel of God is the fig tree made to cast forth her fruit in an untimely manner and is devoured by the adversary in order to bring us to Christ and lose our old life.

Rev 6:13 And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.

Nah 3:12 All thy strong holds shall be like fig trees with the firstripe figs: if they be shaken, they shall even fall into the mouth of the eater.

The Body of Christ is the basket in which the fruit of the Lord (the good works) appears after the evil fruit is tossed aside.

Deu 26:2  That thou shalt take of the first of all the fruit of the earth, which thou shalt bring of thy land that the LORD thy God giveth thee, and shalt put it in a basket, and shalt go unto the place which the LORD thy God shall choose to place his name there.

The Body is the place where the Lord our God has chosen to place His name.  We are the basket in which are found those summer fruits.

Exo 29:32  And Aaron and his sons shall eat the flesh of the ram, and the bread that is in the basket, by the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.

Abiding in the  Body/Basket is where we eat the flesh of Jesus Christ that is meat indeed for eternal life.  The bread of life is the very same that brings forth death in our old man and that is judgment.  That is what we are fed as we partake of this communion here with the saints of God.

 Eze 34:16  I will seek that which was lost, and bring again that which was driven away, and will bind up that which was broken, and will strengthen that which was sick: but I will destroy the fat and the strong; I will feed them with judgment.

A basket is woven together in the  same way the Body is knitted together in love.

Col 2:2  That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ;

Paul is our example of how we too escape the pulls and persecution of the world by being put into this basket (Body) through an opening the Lord provides in the wall that is keeping us in bondage.  The governor of Damascus represents those in this world who would have us hold to their customs and way of life that is contrary to the narrow way.

Act 9:25  Then the disciples took him by night, and let him down by the wall in a basket.

2Co 11:32  In Damascus the governor under Aretas the king kept the city of the Damascenes with a garrison, desirous to apprehend me:

2Co 11:33  And through a window in a basket was I let down by the wall, and escaped his hands.

Our flesh always resists the things of the Spirit.  Being saved requires warfare and the false peace in our temple of God (1Co 3:16) will turn into howling as we die daily and the lust of the flesh and pride of life is destroyed within us.

Amo 8:3 And the songs of the temple shall be howlings in that day, saith the Lord GOD: there shall be many dead bodies in every place; they shall cast them forth with silence. 

Ravening hungry wolves howl and that is what we do when our sins and rebellions are recompensed in the day of the Lord.

Joe 1:5 Awake, ye drunkards, and weep; and howl, all ye drinkers of wine, because of the new wine; for it is cut off from your mouth.

Isa 13:6 Howl ye; for the day of the LORD is at hand; it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty.

A good NT witness would be this verse.

Jas 4:9 NKJV Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom.

This verse seems to be a contradiction (howling to silence) in describing the transformation that occurs during the process of judgment.  We start out howling as we resist giving up our old life and dying to the world and pride of life.  Howling is likened to mourning and is what the flesh does over the loss of life as we are stripped of our self-righteousness and deceived sense of free will.

Jas 5:1 Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you.

Yet the Lord speaks of things that are not as if they were (Rom 4:17) and so it is with our casting forth dead bodies with silence.  As we mature in the chastening fire of the Lord in our day of the Lord, and as we begin to accept the Lord’s will in our life and the suffering to which all of Israel, the Elect of the Lord have been appointed to endure (Phi 1:29, Act 14;22); we will receive such affliction with joy.

1Pe 4:12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:

1Pe 4:13 But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.

The old man howls but the new man will cast forth our dead bodies with silence, knowing it is the Lord working righteousness within us.  We will give thanks in all things as we take the true communion in the Body of Christ.

1Co 11:24 And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.

1Th 5:18 In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

We learn to drink the cup of wrath and give thanks to the Lord in all things, knowing it is all for the greater good of our sanctification as Christ is raised from the dead within us.

Zec 2:13 Be silent, O all flesh, before the LORD: for he is raised up out of his holy habitation.

We learn righteousness by our judgment (Isa 26:9, Exo 6:6).  Yet to learn we must know the occasion for judgment and what we are doing wrong contrary to the narrow way.  The Lord is faithful to reveal to us those reasons for our judgment and chastening.

Amo 8:4 Hear this, O ye that swallow up the needy, even to make the poor of the land to fail, 

Amo 8:5 Saying, When will the new moon be gone, that we may sell corn? and the sabbath, that we may set forth wheat, making the ephah small, and the shekel great, and falsifying the balances by deceit? 

Amo 8:6 That we may buy the poor for silver, and the needy for a pair of shoes; yea, and sell the refuse of the wheat? 

Amo 8:7 The LORD hath sworn by the excellency of Jacob, Surely I will never forget any of their works. 

The excellency of Jacob is referring to our pride and self-righteousness.  These works (bad fruit) not being forgotten is simply another way of saying we are reaping what we have sown.  This is how we learn the fear of the Lord and tremble at every Word.

Rom 2:5 But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God;

Rom 2:6 Who will render to every man according to his deeds:

Rev 22:12  “And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work.

This wickedness for which we are being chastened pertains to our oppressing the new man within and without who is the poor and the needy who needs a Saviour who is also the spiritual physician (Mar 2:17).  The poor man fails and enters not in when the righteous judgment of God is wrested away.  This robs the Lord and thereby robs the poor.

Pro 31:9 Open thy mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy.

Isa 10:2 To turn aside the needy from judgment, and to take away the right from the poor of my people, that widows may be their prey, and that they may rob the fatherless!

The rich man who needs nothing is not being saved.  It is only the beggar (poor man) the Lazarus of the Luke 16 parable who is saved and even that so as by fire of judgment (1Co 3:15).  The rich man is the deceived old man in all of us who thinks he is something of his own works and stores up the Lord’s treasures (knowledge) in order to further his kingdom (building bigger barns).  The only riches that save us are the ones purchased in the fire of our trials and tribulation, aka our suffering.

Rev 3:17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:

Rev 3:18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.

We do not fool the Lord with our outward displays of righteousness and holiness.  He sees what is in our hearts.  Outward obedience is exemplified by our obeying the Sabbath yet that obedience is not inward as we are yet carnal and conniving to take the things of God and buying and selling (i.e. making merchandise with the kings of the earth –  Rev 18).  Falsifying scales and playing games with the measures (ephah) and the money (shekels) is speaking our judging/walking after the flesh and seeking gain for the man of sin and resisting the Lord’s work in our life.  We are still learning to be content as the heat in the furnace of affliction is turned up (Rom 5:20).

1Ti 6:6 But godliness with contentment is great gain.

1Ti 6:8 And having (spiritual) food and raiment let us be therewith content.

If we treasure up the things of this world we have our reward now.  If that is our attitude and it’s not changed by grace we have our reward and will not be in the first resurrection which is the prize and the higher calling we are to strive for attainment.

Pro 23:23 Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding.

Those humbled by the fires of judgment, don’t oppress the poor, they give to the poor who are all of God’s people being stripped of the love of this world.  The one thing we lack in moving on to perfection is being given the faith to obey this commandment in putting God first in all things and giving up our life.

Mat 19:21 Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.

But as our eyes our opened further to the things of the spirit and our faith in God’s plan grows in maturity, we will give it all up.

Mat 13:45 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls:

Mat 13:46 Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.

Giving to the poor is giving them godly love (1Jo 5:3) and this applies inwardly as well as outwardly as we are to judge righteous judgment.  The good news is that we will be saved but yet by fire that requires the old man and old way of life to be burned up (1Co 3:15).  Bringing this fire is the greater work of Christ’s Christ (Joh 14:12, Jer 5:14).  We all say we will go work in the Lord’s field before we actually do (Mat 21:29).  Going through judgment is what changes our mind and we go with great zeal to serve the Lord who has and is saving us as we follow in His footsteps and lay down our lives for the brethren.

The Lord hears the cries of the poor and needy in spirit.  Those petitions will bring about deliverance and the Lord will rescue His people from the oppressor within and without ourselves.

Psa 82:2 How long will ye judge unjustly, and accept the persons of the wicked? Selah.

Psa 82:3 Defend the poor and fatherless: do justice to the afflicted and needy.

Psa 82:4 Deliver the poor and needy: rid them out of the hand of the wicked.

The oppressor within is our man of sin, our beast who trades in silver in buying and selling righteousness.  But this silver is the silver that is dross (Isa 1:22), that is cankered with SELF RIGHTEOUSNESS as our focus is on the outside outside of the cup while we ignore the inside and the weightier matters of the law of faith.  Such silver merchandising and trading in the refuse of wheat (the chaff, leavened truth) will not save us in the day of wrath.  We are saved from the wrath to come by going through the wrath of the Lord in this age (1Th 5:9).

Isa 48:10 Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction.

Zep 1:18 Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of the LORD’S wrath; but the whole land shall be devoured by the fire of his jealousy: for he shall make even a speedy riddance of all them that dwell in the land.

We must be found having none of our own righteousness (Phi 3:9) which is all contrary to the law of faith   The adulterers and adulterers (Jam 4:4) in the Body of Christ, not separated from the world are enemies of the Lord because we oppress the poor and needy by shutting up the kingdom of heaven.  We read a partial extract to remind us of what oppressing our neighbor while looking righteous on the outside looks like. More judgment (woe) is sent in due time to bring correction.

Mat 23:13 But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.

Mat 23:25 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess.

Ezekiel 18 contrasts the good works and obedience of two men.  Those who feed the poor and give to the needy shall surely live.  But those that oppress the needy and rob them shall not live and the Lord’s purpose is to destroy that mindset in judgment.

Eze 18:12  If he has oppressed the poor and needy, Robbed by violence, Not restored the pledge, Lifted his eyes to the idols, Or committed abomination;

Eze 18:13  If he has exacted usury Or taken increase—Shall he then live? He shall not live! If he has done any of these abominations, He shall surely die; His blood shall be upon him.

Our calling is considered a HIGH CALLING for good reason.  The Lord will put within us in due time the zeal for His house and that zeal will consume our old way of life.  Thankfully the Lord is patient and longsuffering with us in correcting us.  He is teaching us how to give out mercy and save all mankind by His own acts in saving us now by judgment in this age.

Rom 11:30 For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief:

Rom 11:31 Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy. 

Few of us are rich by the world’s standards of money and physical possessions, yet all of God’s people are rich with the true treasures of eternal life and knowing the Lord and His Christ.  We are charged to not take this for granted but to keep our focus on the Lord’s purposes and produce fruit.  Examining ourselves should include looking at the fruit and our works.

1Ti 6:17 Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy;

1Ti 6:18 That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate;

In the next study Lord willing, we will complete the scourging process that converts our evil works into good works which brings forth the lasting fruit and proves our hearts and minds are submitted to the Lord.  Our feasting and the time of plenty will be changed to mourning and famine as we are forsaken (separated from the Word) for a “little while” to be returned to the Lord and our hearing in due time.  We will look into this more deeply next week.

Amo 8:11 Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD:

Sincere comments and questions are welcome.  You can also email me directly at peterjwilson56@gmail.com.  Would love to be a helper of your joy.

Pete