Studies

Restoration of the Land

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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

Intimacy with Christ Raises the Dead

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For Our Admonition Part 8

“Intimacy with Christ Raises the Dead”

Key Verses:  2Ki 4:29 – 4:37

All true men and women of God have to come to their wits ends (Psa 107) and cry out for deliverance before they are being raised up with Christ.  It is a long and arduous process  (Rom 8:22, Act 14:22) that we cannot endure on our own.  We will discover or rediscover in this study the immutable truth that intimacy with Christ is needed to know Him and that oneness of mind is the very thing that is saving and raising us up.

Joh 5:39  NKJV You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me.

Joh 5:40  But you are not willing to come to Me (My Body, The Christ) that you may have life.

1Jn 1:7  But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another (Christ), and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.

Here are the final verses of this story of death and resurrection of the young son.

2Ki 4:29  KJV Then he said to Gehazi, Gird up thy loins, and take my staff in thine hand, and go thy way: if thou meet any man, salute him not; and if any salute thee, answer him not again: and lay my staff upon the face of the child. 

2Ki 4:30  And the mother of the child said, As the LORD liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee. And he arose, and followed her. 

2Ki 4:31  And Gehazi passed on before them, and laid the staff upon the face of the child; but there was neither voice, nor hearing. Wherefore he went again to meet him, and told him, saying, The child is not awaked. 

2Ki 4:32  And when Elisha was come into the house, behold, the child was dead, and laid upon his bed. 

2Ki 4:33  He went in therefore, and shut the door upon them twain, and prayed unto the LORD. 

2Ki 4:34  And he went up, and lay upon the child, and put his mouth upon his mouth, and his eyes upon his eyes, and his hands upon his hands: and he stretched himself upon the child; and the flesh of the child waxed warm. 

2Ki 4:35  Then he returned, and walked in the house to and fro; and went up, and stretched himself upon him: and the child sneezed seven times, and the child opened his eyes. 

2Ki 4:36  And he called Gehazi, and said, Call this Shunammite. So he called her. And when she was come in unto him, he said, Take up thy son. 

2Ki 4:37  Then she went in, and fell at his feet, and bowed herself to the ground, and took up her son, and went out. 

This is a story about resurrection from the dead.  Yet it is also a marriage story because it is a story about oneness with the Body of Christ who is also the wife (Eph 5:32) and Bride of Christ (Rev 19:7, 2Co 11:2).  This intimacy is both: 1) how we ourselves are saved from our sins and 2) in turn help save one another by having the same mind.  Such is the importance of fellowship and being connected to the living Christ via true communion.

Luk 22:17  And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, Take this, and divide it among yourselves: 

Luk 22:18  For I say unto you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of God shall come.

His Kingdom has come within us, His elect in every age since Pentecost, and we are communing together eating the Bread of life and drinking His wine.  This intimacy is in matters of the Spirit and not physically whatsoever (Joh 6:63) as we all lie in the bed of Christ sharing one mind and resting in His truths.  Our spiritual body is the Body of Christ, of which we are just a part (1Co 12:12) if we are connected.

Eph 5:30  For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.

Eph 5:31  For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.

Eph 5:32  This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.

We continue to learn from this story both the do’s (Elisha) and the don’ts (Gehazi) of raising up the dead which is an integral part of our calling and election as the Lord’s disciples.

Mat 10:8  Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.

We saw last time that Gehazi represents a leprous “mixed multitude” spirit of faith and flesh (2Ki 5:27).  This is us trying to serve two masters and do right by God but keeping the old man alive.  Gehazi and we serve Christ with zeal yet before our hearts have been changed through heavy trials.  We have a lot of strong meat left to eat (Heb 5:13) before our obedience is being fulfilled and we are caused by scourging grace to obey the Lord (Rom 5:20, Eze 36:27).

Psa 37:28  For the LORD loveth judgment, and forsaketh not his saints; they are preserved for ever: but the seed of the wicked shall be cut off.

Elisha instructs Gehazi to prepare for the tough task and not to engage with the world on his way to raise the young son of faith back to life.  Walking the straight and narrow way is the walk of the people of God in following Christ’s commandments.

Pro 4:27  Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil.

Mat 7:14  Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

Eze 1:12  And they (The Cherubims, God’s Elect, Whirling Wheels) went every one straight forward: whither the spirit was to go, they went; and they turned not when they went.

It is when we turn (do not go straight) that we turn to the left or to the right that we go above what is written and engage with a carnal world.  This is how we add to or take away from the Word of God which are the Lord’s instructions.  Such disobedience brings spiritual sickness and delays our entering into age abiding “eternal” life (Rev 22:18-19).

2Ki 4:30  And the mother of the child said, As the LORD liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee. And he (Elisha) arose, and followed her. 

2Ki 4:31  And Gehazi passed on before them, and laid the staff upon the face of the child; but there was neither voice, nor hearing. Wherefore he went again to meet him, and told him, saying, The child is not awaked. 

Gehazi’s efforts of raising the boy via Elisha’s staff failed to raise up spiritual life.  Knowledge alone does not cut it, it takes abiding in the fire that is Christ, which is evidence of our believing, by which we are set free from sin and prove ourselves (Joh 8:32).  The child did not hear, nor did he speak and remained dead in his bed.  Several lessons and inferences can be drawn from Gehazi’s spiritual impotence and failure at performing the greater works of Christ (Joh 14:12) in raising the spiritually dead to new life.

Mat 13:58  And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.

Unable to hear and speak spiritually is all of us when we are bound by lies (demons) that vex us in our unbelief.  It reminds us of a story of some carnal disciples, not yet converted, who themselves doubted and served two masters like Gehazi and who could not cast out the demon spirits keeping a boy vexed of the devil.  But Christ (Elisha) can and will and teach us how we can do it through Him (prayer and fasting).  The parable in Mark 9 is a NT witness to the failure of Gehazi and the success of Elisha in casting out deaf and dumb spirits which allows the boy to be raised to new life.

Mar 9:24  And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.

Mar 9:25  When Jesus saw that the people came running together, he rebuked the foul spirit, saying unto him, Thou dumb and deaf spirit, I charge thee, come out of him, and enter no more into him.

Mar 9:26  And the spirit cried, and rent him sore, and came out of him: and he was as one dead; insomuch that many said, He is dead.

Mar 9:27  But Jesus took him by the hand, and lifted him up; and he arose.

Mar 9:28  And when he was come into the house, his disciples asked him privately, Why could not we cast him out?

Mar 9:29  And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting.

Another lesson is that those the Lord is working with in this age, His sheep, will not hear nor follow the voice of a stranger.  Gehazi, as a leprous gainsayer, is a stranger and a thief and a robber (Joh 10:1).  Those of God hear God’s Word when spoken by His sent preachers and angels (1Jo 4:6) and the voice of a stranger they will not follow.

Joh 10:4  And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice.

Joh 10:5  And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.

When we have exhausted our own efforts of raising the dead by the strength and power of the flesh then Christ (Elisha) comes.

2Ki 4:32  And when Elisha was come into the house, behold, the child was dead, and laid upon his bed. 

2Ki 4:33  He went in therefore, and shut the door upon them twain, and prayed unto the LORD. 

2Ki 4:34  And he went up, and lay upon the child, and put his mouth upon his mouth, and his eyes upon his eyes, and his hands upon his hands: and he stretched himself upon the child; and the flesh of the child waxed warm. 

The details of Elisha’s actions here are very instructive in how we, as God’s elect, are to raise up the dead (Christ in us doing the work).  We are His instruments of salvation (Oba 1:21, 1Co 6:2) doing the greater works (Joh 14:12) to one another now and all men in the Lake of Fire age to come.

Shutting the DoorShutting the door is symbolic of what Christ does for us in separating (dragging) us from the world and our former way of life (disobedience).

Rev 3:7  And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth;

Christ is the door and the only way to find truth and life (Joh 14:6).  It is the Lord’s prophets and ministers that as His Christ, are the door, that all men must one day enter into the Temple that is the Body of Christ and the Tree of life.

Rev 3:12  Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.

Gen 3:24  So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.

By virtue of our entering in this way, we also then become shepherds of the sheep and able ministers of the grace of God.

Joh 10:2  But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.

Praying to the Lord:  We are told that everything we ask, we shall have, if we ask in faith consistent with the Lord’s will.  That prayer is also to be done in secret and not to win the praise or esteem of men (Mat 6:6).

1Jn 5:15  And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.

Joh 15:7  If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.

Elisha gets to know the boy: Elisha then lays down upon the boy symbolizing laying down his life for the sheep after the example of our Lord (Joh 20:21).  Like our Lord, we know who the Lord’s and we are following Christ’s example in laying down our lives for His sheep.

Joh 10:14  I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.

Joh 10:15  As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.

A hireling like Gehazi is at this time, does not lay down his life (Joh 10:12-13) like the example of Elisha, a representation of Christ in type and shadow.  We see the spiritual example of breathing life into a person dying (Rom 1:20) by Elisha stretching and touching the boy.

Mouth to Mouth Resuscitation:  To be of one mind, we must kiss the Son that is the Body of Christ.  This is not a literal kiss, it is a commandment to not forsake the assembling of ourselves with one another (Heb 10:24-25).  This Body and our Lord is the only sacrifice for sins we have been given and we best take full advantage of our election.

Psa 2:11  Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling.

Psa 2:12  Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.

Rom 16:16  Salute one another with an holy kiss. The churches of Christ salute you.

Eye to Eye:  There is not division within the true Body.  We all see eye to eye and are being like minded, with the mind of Jesus Christ.  We see things the same way and stand on the Word to judge righteous judgment and guide us in every action and thought.

Isa 52:8  Thy watchmen shall lift up the voice; with the voice together shall they sing: for they shall see eye to eye, when the LORD shall bring again Zion.

Luk 11:34  The light of the body is the eye: therefore when thine eye is single, thy whole body also is full of light; but when thine eye is evil, thy body also is full of darkness.

Act 2:46  And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, 

Hand to Hand:  The work of God gets done by the hands of God which hands we are if we belong to Him.  God has brought us together in a Body for the express purpose of manifesting good works.  We saw the Mark 9 parable earlier where Christ takes the boy by the hand and lifts Him up.  That is an example of good works we The Christ do today.

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.

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.

We teach one another through the Word and by our examples of how we live our lives.  Laying hands on one another is how the Spirit of God is imparted and we grow in the faith and Lord willing move onto maturity by doing likewise as was done unto us.  Elisha putting his hands on the lad’s hands is illustration of the Body being joined together and learning and teaching one another through the Living Word.  The physical stories and events in the Bible are parables (Mar 4;11).  They show us that is it thru oneness with the Body of Christ that the Holy Spirit comes.

Act 19:6  And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.

This oneness brings warmth, there is heat that emanates from a physical body and there is also spiritual heat (via the Words of Fire) that emanates from the Body of Christ (Rom 1:20).  The Body is the fire (Isa 33:14-15) and we are each a flame of fire when we act according to faith and the commandments of the Lord.

Heb 1:7  And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire.

It is that fire that warms us to Christ and ultimately gives us a zeal for Christ and brings salvation and our ability to walk uprightly in obedience (Eze 36:27, Isa 48:10).

Rev 14:10  The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:

Being raised from the dead is a process as that is the same process of judgment that redeems us to the Lord (Exo 6:6, Isa 1:27, Rev 20:4).  Elisha’s patience and perseverance of stretching (bowing) himself over the dead child eventually pays off and the child sneezes seven times and opens his eyes awake and alive.

2Ki 4:35  Then he returned, and walked in the house to and fro; and went up, and stretched himself upon him: and the child sneezed seven times, and the child opened his eyes.

The word for sneezing or sneeze is found nowhere else in the KJV Bible and there is some dispute that this verse is mistranslated as sneezing is not found in the Septuagint.   Strong’s seems unsure of himself in guessing at an extended meaning.

H2237, zârar,zaw-rar’ – Total KJV occurrences: 1

A primitive root (compare H2114); perhaps to diffuse, that is, (specifically) to sneeze: – sneeze.

Breathing is a most important bodily function because without air, without sufficient oxygen, flesh dies very quickly.  We can survive days without food and water but only a couple of minutes without air.  The most vital sustenance of life is our process of breathing in and out.  Sneezing is an important part of this vital life function.  Here is Wikipedia’s explanation of what sneezing represents in the physical.

Wikipedia:  The function of sneezing is to expel mucus containing irritants from the nasal cavity. A sneeze is a semi-autonomous, convulsive expulsion of air from the lungs through the nose and mouth, usually caused by foreign particles irritating the nasal membranes

Spiritually speaking, applying Romans 1:20, sneezing is a very appropriate symbol of how we expel the toxins and poisons of our unbelief that keep us bound in sin and abiding in death.

Mar 7:20  And he said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man.

Mar 7:21  For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders,

Mar 7:22  Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness:

Mar 7:23  All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.

Abiding in truth will have us spontaneously expel (sneeze) out over times, the spiritual toxins (the sins, lies, unbelief) that are polluting our air and defiling our earth.  As we believe and receive Christ, we are given more power to stand and walk in righteousness.

Joh 1:12  But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

Joh 1:13  Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

The bowing and sneezing seven times is no random number.  We know the number 7 symbolizes COMPLETION. To be raised to new life and being matured in Christ, we, must be completed and live through the life and trials the Lord has written in our books before the world was even formed (Psa 139:16).  It is God’s elect, “The Christ” who are the priests (Rev 5:10) of God who carry the Word (Ark) and blow the seven trumpets of judgment in both the OT (Jos 6:4) and the NT (Rev 8:2).  As a type of Christ, Elisha, is showing us our role and duty as God’s angels to minister to one another.

Rev 15:7  And one of the four beasts gave unto the seven angels seven golden vials full of the wrath of God, who liveth for ever and ever.

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.

One mind, one baptism, in the bed of Jesus Christ is our entering into the rest that remains for the people of God, which people we are Lord willing (Heb 4:9-10).  It is abiding in the Body where we are being judged and saved and raised to newness of life.

Joh 5:25  Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live. 

Joh 5:26  For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself;

Joh 5:27  And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man.

Our story ends with the boy awakening and being given back to his mother.

2Ki 4:36  And he called Gehazi, and said, Call this Shunammite. So he called her. And when she was come in unto him, he said, Take up thy son. 

2Ki 4:37  Then she went in, and fell at his feet, and bowed herself to the ground, and took up her son, and went out.

It is our coming to Christ in the upper room where we will take up our new born son of faith.  We cannot just read our Bibles and warm ourselves by the fire.  We have to abide in the fire and become the fire to be saved and save others.

1Co 11:32  But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world (later in the lake of fire)

This baptism by fire (Mat 3;11) is the second coming of Christ (Elisha) and is our entering into His rest.  This is what kills the old man, purge sin from our midst and raise us up to the glory of our Lord.  This is the goal we all should have in mind daily.

Rom 6:3  Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?

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.

Rom 6:5  For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:

Rom 6:6  Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.

Rom 6:7  For he that is dead (to the flesh and the world) is freed from sin.

If one is struggling with sin and battling giants in the land, all of us in our times and seasons, these lessons are a great reminder of where we need to be focused to get deliverance.  The inclination of the carnal mind is to run and hide and cover ourselves.  Yet it is running towards Christ, towards the fire that will hasten (accelerate) the appearing of Jesus Christ within us (2Pe 3:12-13).  Hopefully that is the desire and goal of everyone reading this study.

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

 

Studies

Reaping Death, a Trial of Our Faith

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For Our Admonition Part 7

“Reaping Death, a Trial of Our Faith”

Key Verses:  2Ki 4:18 – 4:28

We now continue with the events regarding the Shunammite woman (Click Here for earlier study).  This is the second mention in the Bible of death that will be followed by a resurrection to life. We will cover the death portion of the story and the mother’s response in seeking out Elisha this week and the details of the boy’s resurrection in our next study. There are multiple facets to the story with multiple characters and many spiritual lessons that all have applications to our life and our walk with God (1Co 3:21).

2Ki 4:18  And when the child was grown, it fell on a day, that he went out to his father to the reapers. 

2Ki 4:19  And he said unto his father, My head, my head. And he said to a lad, Carry him to his mother. 

2Ki 4:20  And when he had taken him, and brought him to his mother, he sat on her knees till noon, and then died. 

2Ki 4:21  And she went up, and laid him on the bed of the man of God, and shut the door upon him, and went out. 

2Ki 4:22  And she called unto her husband, and said, Send me, I pray thee, one of the young men, and one of the asses, that I may run to the man of God, and come again. 

2Ki 4:23  And he said, Wherefore wilt thou go to him today? it is neither new moon, nor sabbath. And she said, It shall be well. 

2Ki 4:24  Then she saddled an ass, and said to her servant, Drive, and go forward; slack not thy riding for me, except I bid thee. 

2Ki 4:25  So she went and came unto the man of God to mount Carmel. And it came to pass, when the man of God saw her afar off, that he said to Gehazi his servant, Behold, yonder is that Shunammite: 

2Ki 4:26  Run now, I pray thee, to meet her, and say unto her, Is it well with thee? is it well with thy husband? is it well with the child? And she answered, It is well. 

2Ki 4:27  And when she came to the man of God to the hill, she caught him by the feet: but Gehazi came near to thrust her away. And the man of God said, Let her alone; for her soul is vexed within her: and the LORD hath hid it from me, and hath not told me. 

2Ki 4:28  Then she said, Did I desire a son of my lord? did I not say, Do not deceive me? 

This parable (Hos 12:10) is about a young one in the faith, one that has not yet been given dominion to die to this world and instead is overcome and dies spiritually.  This is all of us in our time.  Dominion over sin only comes by and follows our first being slain and overcome.  Thus, the first half of our witness for Christ ends in the wrong kind of death.

Rev 11:7  When they finish their testimony, the beast that ascends out of the bottomless pit will make war against them, overcome them, and kill them.

The glorification of Christ in us requires that we first die, yet there are two aspects, the positive and the negative side of spiritual death (Heb 4:11).  First, we die spiritually and our overcome by sin and secondly as we are judged we are given the ability to rise up, overcome and begin to die to the lusts of the flesh.  Before we can reap the spiritual blessing of death to the flesh, we reap the wages of our sin (anything not of faith).

Rom 6:23  For the wages of sin is death (spiritual death – negative type); but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

The bearing of fruit unto eternal life requires Christ to come again for judgment bringing the fire to chasten us and quicken us by grace poured out through our faith.

Tit 2:11  For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men,

Tit 2:12  teaching (chastening) us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age,

As the Israel of God, our reaping of death via our sins gives Christ the occasion to come cleanse His Temple (1Co 3:16) and glorify His Name within us (Eze 36:23).  Christ (Elisha) returns a second time after we spiritually die to bring salvation from our sins.

Heb 9:27  And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: 

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.

Only then can we begin to die in the Lord, losing our life to this world and bearing the peaceable fruit of righteousness (Heb 12:11, Rev 14:13).  The Lord wastes nothing even using our evil for good in bringing salvation and teaching us righteousness (Jer 2:19).

Luk 5:31  … They that are whole need not a physician; but they that are sick.

Luk 5:32  I came not to call the righteous, but (DEAD) sinners to repentance

Rom 7:5  For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death.

The son is the woman’s offspring of her faith or said another way the renewing mindset growing within us (aka the new man).  The son comes to us by the prophesy of the Lord’s priests and prophets, in this case Elisha, a type of Christ, and representation of the Body of Christ in every age.  Faith comes by hearing (Rom 10:17) the Word spoken by God’s Elect that imparts faith to those prepared to hear those words.

2Co 3:6  Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life. 

The child grew meaning the child matured spiritually and that led to an appointed day where the Lord begins seeking the occasion to come again to mature us even more.  He does this by causing us to err from His ways (Isa 63:17, Jdg 14:14) to reap the wages of  sin that lies hidden in our fleshly members.

Eph 2:2  Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:

Eph 2:3  Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.

The reaping of the Lord’s harvest comes at the end of the age (Greek word -AION) of us being carnally minded.  The angels of the Lord are the reapers meaning the Body of Christ which is the fire by which the man is harvested, and the old man is, was and will be destroyed.  Christ tells of this mystery in the explanation of the wheat and the tares.

Mat 13:40  As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world.

Mat 13:41  The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity;

Mat 13:42  And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.

We go out to this harvest with our “father” to the reapers.  The father in this parable and the woman’s husband is a representation of our old man (2Ki 4:14) that is tied to the law of the Gentiles (Rom 2:15).  This is whom we serve in our belief system that it is by our own works of the flesh by which we are saved.  Before we are given the mind of Christ (a spiritual mind) through the gift of God, we, are of the mindset of our father, the devil and naturally at enmity with the ways of the Lord (Gen 3:15, Joh 8:44).  This mindset has us eating and drinking unworthily reaping the resulting sickness and death.

1Co 11:29  For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.

1Co 11:30  For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep.

Spiritually speaking, sleeping is the same as death.  Christ must come wake us out of our sleep (Eph 5:14) and He does this by the brightness of His coming.  When Christ comes again, unlike the first time He comes (Rev 13:3), there will not be any healing of the head wound.  The old mindset and head of our father the devil will be no more when we rise.

Php 1:6  Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:

Nah 3:19  …. There is no healing of thy bruise; thy wound is grievous …

The Word we so eagerly embrace and begin eating turns bitter to our fleshly way of life (Rev 10:9), by shining light onto our sins.

Rom 7:22  For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:

Rom 7:23  But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.

The son of faith is placed upon the knees of his mother where he dies at noon which is the brightest part of the day.  There is great significance in these symbols.  Knees are the largest joint in the body and in the physical are essential in our movement and stability.   When we apply knees spiritually (Rom 1:20) we can see they represent sound doctrine.  The knees of the church, the mother of Christ, is pure doctrine that supports and guides our walk on the narrow way.

Luk 8:21  And he answered and said unto them, My mother and my brethren are these which hear the word of God, and do it.

We come to see our state of spiritual death only when we abide in the bright light (noon day) that is Jesus Christ through our fellowship and interaction with His Christ.

Rev 14:9  And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand,

Rev 14:10  The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: 

The hour is come for Christ to be glorified (in type and shadow) in this child of faith. 

2Ki 4:21  And she went up and laid him on the bed of the man of God, shut the door upon him, and went out. 

2Ki 4:22  Then she called to her husband, and said, “Please send me one of the young men and one of the donkeys, that I may run to the man of God and come back.” 

2Ki 4:23  So he said, “Why are you going to him today? It is neither the New Moon nor the Sabbath.” And she said, “It is well.” 

2Ki 4:24  Then she saddled a donkey, and said to her servant, “Drive, and go forward; do not slacken the pace for me unless I tell you.” 

2Ki 4:25  And so she departed, and went to the man of God at Mount Carmel. So it was, when the man of God saw her afar off, that he said to his servant Gehazi, “Look, the Shunammite woman! 

 

The mother’s response is our correct response when our spiritual son falls into great trial and is sick and overcome in trespasses.  When we see ourselves as chief of sinners in need of repentance, we are told to run to the mountains that are “The Christ” casting all our care upon Him (1Pe 5:6, Psa 11:1).

Mat 24:15  When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)

Mat 24:16  Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: 

Laying our son on the prophet’s bed in the upper room of the house is symbolism for us trusting in the Lord and His promises to raise up the dead.  This is resting from our own works and call upon the elders and those in the church for help.

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

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

It takes eating a lot of strong meat (bearing trials and chastening) to become mature (Heb 5:13) in the faith.  While we have faith, our faith is initially weak until it is tried in the fire where we buy the true spiritual gold (learn righteousness).

Rev 3:18  I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see.

Yet we fail first and call upon our “old” husband and lean back on our own carnal understanding.  The mindset of our old man will resist the mind of the Spirit (Rom 8:7) and questions why we would go to the Lord and expose our sins and faults.  Yet that is how we are healed and raised back to life.

Jas 5:16  Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much

The mindset of being under the carnal law (the husband) has us going to Christ only on prescribed days (Sunday, new moons and sabbath’s) when an offering to God was commanded (Num 28:11).  The Lord is not pleased with are rituals and Babylonian sacrifices, He wants our whole heart (Mat 22:37) and gets it by putting us through these trials of life and death.

1Pe 1:7  NLT These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.

Rev 13:10  He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints. 

Saddling [H2280] a donkey and riding to Elisha symbolizes us being bound [H2280] to our yet carnal and immature stage of our faith but where we are being humbled and coming to Christ lowly.

Zec 9:9  Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.

A donkey or an ass is the perfect symbolism for our spiritual condition when we first come to The Christ.  We, as Christ, come riding our beast albeit one that is being humbled by trials and seeing the wages of our sin.  The scepter of the Word is bringing judgment as Christ (Shiloh) is come to the woman and her son and they are being saved and redeemed by judgment.

Gen 49:10  NKJV The scepter shall not depart from Judah, Nor a lawgiver from between his feet, Until Shiloh comes; And to Him shall be the obedience of the people.

Gen 49:11  Binding his donkey to the vine, And his donkey’s colt to the choice vine, He washed his garments in wine, And his clothes in the blood of grapes.

The woman has many things right in coming to Elisha and laying her son on the prophet’s bed, yet she has to learn to glory in her tribulations.  Such is our learning process, as we doubt because the cost of our discipleship (everything) is coming due.

Luk 14:33  So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.

It takes much experience of evil (Ecc 1:13) and most importantly our failure to learn this.

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:

Elisha sees the woman coming and sends Gehazi his servant to aid and comfort her.

2Ki 4:26  (Gehazi) Run now, I pray thee, to meet her, and say unto her, Is it well with thee? is it well with thy husband? is it well with the child? And she answered, It is well. 

2Ki 4:27  And when she came to the man of God to the hill, she caught him by the feet: but Gehazi came near to thrust her away. And the man of God said, Let her alone; for her soul is vexed within her: and the LORD hath hid it from me, and hath not told me. 

2Ki 4:28  Then she said, Did I desire a son of my lord? did I not say, Do not deceive me? 

The word Shalom is the Hebrew word for peace and what is translated as “Well” in this story as the woman’s answers questions about her wellbeing.  This is the second time we see the woman claiming peace (it is well) in her life and life of her family when there is no such thing.

Jer 6:14  They have also healed the hurt of My people slightly, Saying, ‘Peace, peace!’ When there is no peace.

Our Babylonian pride, learned over 70 symbolic years, does not allow us to disclose our faults and expose our nakedness to others.  Like Adam and Eve, we will seek to cover ourselves with the works of our hands not truly believing the Lord sees all and works all things.  In the presence of Christ all are being revealed in due time.

1Co 4:5  Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God

We don’t easily admit that our faith has been overcome by sin and we are bearing the fruit of death.  We seek to hide this, but the Lord sees our heart, and nothing can be hid when we come into His presence.

Luk 8:17  For nothing is secret, that shall not be made manifest; neither any thing hid, that shall not be known and come abroad.

We have not yet reviewed the other main player in this story who is Gehazi.  Gehazi represents a spirit of disobedience and gainsaying that is the conflict between the ways of God and the flesh.  The name Gehazi comes from two words H1516 and H2372 and means “valley of perception/vision”.  But a low point of vision represents an obscured view of truth where we seek to serve two masters.

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!

Mat 6:24  No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. 

The lessons in this story are as much about Gehazi failures and his (our) ineptitude as it is about the actions of the woman whose faith is being severely tried.  Gehazi will soon be exposed for his spiritual impotence caught between the spirit and the flesh and faith vs. unbelief.  Gehazi is outwardly godly and religious, yet inwardly is a gainsayer and lover of pleasure (2T 3:1-3:5).  Gehazi cannot perform the greater works as he tries to serve two masters.  Gehazi is unable to raise the dead child later in this story (2Ki 4:31) and we learn from the story of the healing of Naaman, Gehazi’s true spiritual condition.

2Ki 5:20  But Gehazi, the servant of Elisha the man of God, said, Behold, my master hath spared Naaman this Syrian, in not receiving at his hands that which he brought: but, as the LORD liveth, I will run after him, and take somewhat of him.

Elisha confronts Gehazi on his sin and the problem is clearly identified.

2Ki 5:27  The leprosy therefore of Naaman shall cleave unto thee (Gehazi), and unto thy seed forever. And he went out from his presence a leper as white as snow.

Gehazi is our mixed multitude state of being lukewarm trying to save our old life as well as gain the new.  Here in this story we see Gehazi commit another error by hindering those weak and struggling in coming to Elisha (Christ).  When the young in the faith struggle, those that are stronger are to bear their weaknesses and infirmities but by no means hinder anyone or every dissuade anyone from coming to Christ and casting all our care upon Him.  The unconverted disciples make the same mistake and we make the same mistake inwardly hindering the weak and the immature (the young) from coming to Christ (Elisha).

Mat 19:13  Then were there brought unto him little children, that he should put his hands on them, and pray: and the disciples rebuked them.

Mat 19:14  But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.

Rom 15:1  We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves.

We are to be patient and gentle with the weak, inwardly and outwardly, knowing everyone is exactly where they are written in the Lord’s Book from the beginning (Psa 139:16, Isa 46:10, Act 17:26).

The strong are to minister to the weak and needy; but do it only in a gentle and peaceable way (Gal 6:1).  The fact Elisha puts up with a “weak in the faith” Gehazi (within ourselves and without) proves his obedience to these commands.

2Ti 2:24  And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient,

2Ti 2:25  In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;

Our preventing babes from coming to Christ and laying at His feet is much displeased by the Lord and a sign and a reason for us to examine ourselves.

Mar 10:14  But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.

We are guaranteed fiery trials to try our faith (1Pe 4:13).  None of disciples which are His Elect asked to be elected nor did we count the cost before accepting.  When the heavy trials come, we cry out to Christ not wanting to be deceived anymore and reminding the Lord what He already knows.

Joh 15:16  Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you….

Rom 10:20  But Esaias is very bold, and saith, I was found of them that sought me not; I was made manifest unto them that asked not after me

We are always reminded that the Lord works all things, even the failings and shortcoming in our walk and it is through failure we learn to do it the right way.  It reminds me of the old saying about Thomas Edison, the inventor of the lightbulb.  He did not first invent the lightbulb, he first discovered 10,000 ways not to make a lightbulb.

Pro 24:16  For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief.

Next study Lord willing, we will finish this parable and look at the intimate details of what Christ (Elisha) does to revive us and how we are being brought back to life and given back to our spiritual mother.  We will begin with the failed efforts of Gehazi to first revive the child and later see Elisha enter in and perform the miracle of raising one to newness of  life.

2Ki 4:33  He (Elisha) went in therefore, shut the door behind the two of them, and prayed to the LORD.

2Ki 4:34  And he went up and lay on the child, and put his mouth on his mouth, his eyes on his eyes, and his hands on his hands; and he stretched himself out on the child, and the flesh of the child became warm.

2Ki 4:35  He returned and walked back and forth in the house, and again went up and stretched himself out on him; then the child sneezed seven times, and the child opened his eyes.

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

A Servant of Jesus Christ,  Pete

Studies

The Shunammite Woman Gives Birth

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For Our Admonition Part 6

“The Shunammite Woman Gives Birth”

Key Verses:  2Ki 4:8 – 17

In this study, we cover a story that is a good example of how we are to rightfully divide the Word. All the Scriptures are Christ centric, meaning they are about our Lord and His Christ.  Coming to see this opens our understanding of the Scriptures and applying them to ourselves.

Luk 24:27 And beginning at Moses and all the prophets (Elijah and Elisha included), he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself

Luk 24:44  And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me. 

Luk 24:45  Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures,

Here is the first part of this story we will quickly cover before getting to the death and resurrection by Elisha of the woman’s son.

2Ki 4:8  And it fell on a day, that Elisha passed to Shunem, where was a great woman; and she constrained him to eat bread. And so it was, that as oft as he passed by, he turned in thither to eat bread. 

2Ki 4:9  And she said unto her husband, Behold now, I perceive that this is an holy man of God, which passeth by us continually. 

2Ki 4:10  Let us make a little chamber, I pray thee, on the wall; and let us set for him there a bed, and a table, and a stool, and a candlestick: and it shall be, when he cometh to us, that he shall turn in thither. 

2Ki 4:11  And it fell on a day, that he came thither, and he turned into the chamber, and lay there. 

2Ki 4:12  And he said to Gehazi his servant, Call this Shunammite. And when he had called her, she stood before him. 

2Ki 4:13  And he said unto him, Say now unto her, Behold, thou hast been careful for us with all this care; what is to be done for thee? wouldest thou be spoken for to the king, or to the captain of the host? And she answered, I dwell among mine own people. 

2Ki 4:14  And he said, What then is to be done for her? And Gehazi answered, Verily she hath no child, and her husband is old. 

2Ki 4:15  And he said, Call her. And when he had called her, she stood in the door. 

2Ki 4:16  And he said, About this season, according to the time of life, thou shalt embrace a son. And she said, Nay, my lord, thou man of God, do not lie unto thine handmaid. 

2Ki 4:17  And the woman conceived, and bare a son at that season that Elisha had said unto her, according to the time of life.

Before we cover the story, let’s lay a little background.  Elisha means by most scholarly accounts “God is Salvation”. Elisha is said to be the son of Shaphat, which comes from a root word of the same name [H8199 – shaphat] meaning to judge. Plowing the earth and breaking up the hard parts and preparing it for new seed is what the Word of God spiritually is doing by our judgment. That is how Elijah found his successor prophet.

1Ki 19:19  So he departed thence, and found Elisha the son of Shaphat, who was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen before him, and he with the twelfth: and Elijah passed by him, and cast his mantle upon him.

As we think of Elisha it will help us to understand that he is a type of the grace and judgment that would come through Jesus Christ much later. Elisha represents the one coming after Elijah which is the same in type as the one coming after John the Baptist.  This fire represents chastening grace and follow our initial baptism into repentance.

Luk 3:16  John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire:

Luk 3:17  Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and will gather the wheat into his garner; but the chaff he will burn with fire unquenchable.

Shunem comes from a root word [H7764 “shûnıy”, shoo-nee] that means a place of rest or quiet. As such Shunem, through this Shunammite woman, symbolizes the Body of Christ.  It is with this woman that Christ’s Christ, (the Body), finds the secret resting place for God’s people where food, drink and rest is provided.

Psa 132:13  For the LORD hath chosen Zion; he hath desired it for his habitation.

Psa 132:14  This is my rest for ever: here will I dwell; for I have desired it.

It is only in Christ where the Lord’s people and prophets are fed and find rest.

Son 1:7  Tell me, O thou whom my soul loveth, where thou feedest, where thou makest thy flock to rest at noon: for why should I be as one that turneth aside by the flocks of thy companions?

Heb 4:3  For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.

This woman is said to be great, which is what she will end up being as the whole story in the Scriptures (the sum) regarding her is told.  Yet this first part is another witness of the Lord calling things that are not as if they already are. She is destined to be great and will be found a strong woman of faith but that is not the case when she is first touched by the Lord. When she is first touched by the Lord, she represents the great harlot.

Rom 4:17  (As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were.

By virtue of her already receiving those that Christ  is sending, she is becoming great as the Word of faith works in her heavens.

Luk 9:48  And said unto them, Whosoever shall receive this child in my name receiveth me: and whosoever shall receive me receiveth him that sent me: for he that is least among you all, the same shall be great.

This woman and her house represent those the Lord has prepared to hear the Word and come to faith and know the rest  being found only in Christ.  We are to stay and dwell in such places doing the greater works.

Luk 10:5  And into whatsoever house ye enter, first say, Peace be to this house.

Luk 10:6  And if the son of peace be there, your peace shall rest upon it: if not, it shall turn to you again.

Luk 10:7  And in the same house remain, eating and drinking such things as they give: for the labourer is worthy of his hire. Go not from house to house.

Luk 10:8  And into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you:

Luk 10:9  And heal the sick that are therein, and say unto them, The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.

The woman and her old husband have been prepared to receive the Truth and embrace the messengers of the Lord sent to her household that bring it.

2Ki 4:10  Let us make a little chamber [H5944], I pray thee, on the wall; and let us set for him there a bed, and a table, and a stool, and a candlestick: and it shall be, when he cometh to us, that he shall turn in thither. 

The woman prays for the man of God to come make his abode in her household. The Lord knows what His saints need, and He makes provision in His chosen ones to take care of those needs (Php 4:19, Psa 23:1). The woman prepares an abode for Elisha (Christ to take root in their home).

Son 3:4  It was but a little that I passed from them, but I found him whom my soul loveth: I held him, and would not let him go, until I had brought him into my mother’s house, and into the chamber of her that conceived me. 

This word for chambers H5944 is the same one we saw in the last study that corresponds to the upper room of our heavens where the war is waged and salvation comes.  This is the place where the widow’s son was resurrected from his state of spiritual death.

1Ki 17:19  And he said unto her, Give me thy son. And he took him out of her bosom, and carried him up into a loft [H5944], where he abode, and laid him upon his own bed.

The woman’s work is all the Lord’s work because we of ourselves can do nothing (Joh 15:5) and we are His workmanship (Eph 2:10, Phi 2:13) being mere clay and the work of His hands (Isa 64:8). Christ is preparing a place for us in heaven to abide when we are being exalted with Him. This is the preparing and renewing of our minds to put on the mind of Christ by hearing and acting on the Word which is growing us in faith.

Joh 14:2  In my Father’s house are many abodes [mansions]: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 

 Jesus Christ is represented in all of these symbols regarding the chamber prepared for Elisha in the woman’s home. Christ is the wall that is built by the plumbline which represents the Word that is judging us now (1Pe 4:17) and all men in the lake of fire.

Amo 7:7  Thus he shewed me: and, behold, the Lord stood upon a wall made by a plumbline, with a plumbline in his hand.

Christ is also the bed, where we find rest and find peace from the trouble that is in this world.

Psa 23:2  He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

Christ is the table where we sit being supported by the saints and partake of the spiritual blessings including food, drink and anointing with oil (Joh 12:2-3) that is remaking all things new.

Luk 22:30  That ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

Psa 23:5  Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

As this woman, the Body is also the Church, which is the Light unto this world that comes from the Lord’s witnesses (Rev 11:3,  Isa 43:11)

Mat 5:14  Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.

Mat 5:15  Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.

Rev 1:12  And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks; 

Rev 1:13  And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle.

The oil and anointing of the Lord is poured out by the Church (Zec 4:11-14). It is through this woman and her fellowship with the people of God that the wisdom of the Lord is made known to those the Lord is preparing to hear.

Eph 3:9  NKJV and to make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the ages has been hidden in God who created all things through Jesus Christ;

Eph 3:10  to the intent that now the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places,

A day is written in our Book of Life when we come together in this mystery of fellowship with Christ and thus begins our judgment.

2Ki 4:11  And it fell on a day, that he came thither, and he turned into the chamber, and lay there. 

2Ki 4:12  And he said to Gehazi his servant, Call this Shunammite. And when he had called her, she stood before him. 

2Ki 4:13  And he said unto him, Say now unto her, Behold, thou hast been careful for us with all this care; what is to be done for thee? wouldest thou be spoken for to the king, or to the captain of the host? And she answered, I dwell among mine own people.

The story of the Shunammite woman is our story as we also come into the Truth, but dwell in unbelief despite receiving the Truth with joy. Like her, we, initially are still bound by the law that is not of faith (Rom 7:2) and remain married to our old husband.  Being without child is being without faith after we hear the Truth. The woman, like us, is not interested at first in the spiritual blessings of maturing in Christ but was in it for the physical blessings in this age.

Joh 6:26  Jesus answered them and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled.

Joh 6:27  Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed.

Wanting to dwell among her own people is wanting to hold onto life in this world being unable to pay the costs of being a disciple and to be separated as the true Church.  Contrast this unbelief with the faith of Ruth who was made willing to forsake all and follow Christ even to death.

Rth 1:16  And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God: 

Rth 1:17  Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the LORD do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me.

This story of the Shunammite is an Old Testament witness to Paul dealing with the yet carnal Corinthians, who had all the gifts but had to wait for the coming of the Lord with grace to turn them into true believers and mindful of the things of the Spirit.

 1Co 1:6  Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you:

1Co 1:7  So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ:

1Co 1:8  Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.

1Co 1:9  God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord. 

All we can do for carnal babes is speak the Truth and hope the Lord will quicken their spirits to trust in His precious promises if we believe. The man of God and his servant identify the problem as a lack of faith that can only come by hearing the Word.

2Ki 4:14  And he said, What then is to be done for her? And Gehazi answered, Verily she hath no child, and her husband is old. 

2Ki 4:15  And he said, Call her. And when he had called her, she stood in the door. 

2Ki 4:16  And he said, About this season, according to the time of life, thou shalt embrace a son. And she said, Nay, my lord, thou man of God, do not lie unto thine handmaid. 

The woman comes to the man of God standing in the very door that is Christ and His elect that are the pillars (Rev 3:12) and entryway (Gen 3:24) by which all men shall pass to enter into temple of God (Rev 15:8). Yet she is not ready to pass through, faith is needed to begin following Christ across the threshold of the door. The woman is told she will have a son and yet she does not believe in denying the words of Elisha.

When Christ tells us, we will bear a new son, symbolizing that we will be borne again, our unbelief is made manifest. This is a similar story to other famous promises of a son coming to an old woman and an old man.  At first Sarah did not believe, even laughing at the thought she could have a child in her old age. Yet the Lord is faithful to all of His promises (Psa 33:4) and all things are possible with God (Mat 19:26).

Gen 18:14  Is anything too hard for the LORD? At the time appointed I will return unto thee, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son.

Being yet carnal we do not understand the things of the Spirit and only learn when Christ preaches to us the truth.

Joh 3:4  Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?

Joh 3:5  Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

Joh 3:6  That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 

It was through faith that come from hearing the Word from her husband that Sara’s faith was born and grew from which she got the strength to deliver the son of the promise.

Heb 11:11  Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised.

Walking by sight and not by faith, we judge in the flesh and our faith fails. In our immaturity we do not believe and need to be reminded time and time again of the need for patience, endurance and faith (Heb 10:36, Luk 21:19, Rev 14:12). Paul had to tell the carnal churches many times of the need for patience and trust for them to see the coming of the Lord within themselves. The new man being birthed and growing up comes via the process that is simultaneously decreasing and destroying the old man.

2Th 2:1  Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, 

2Th 2:2  That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.

2Th 2:3  Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition ….

2Th 2:5  Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? 

We are not told the details here but can rely on the sum of the Word (Psa 119:160 ASV) to know how this woman was further prepared and cared for during her gestation period leading up to giving birth to a new son.  We know that all things are ours (1Co 3:21) as we live by every word God spoke in the appointed times (Mat 4:4).

2Ki 4:17  And the woman conceived, and bare a son at that season that Elisha had said unto her, according to the time of life.

 Our marriage to Christ is a mystery that is likened to a physical marriage of a husband and a wife (Eph 5:32). Being fruitful and multiplying (bearing sons and daughters) is only done spiritually when one is intimate within The Christ. Conceiving seed of Christ requires us to be intimate with and to know our husband. This can only happen in The Christ by abiding and fellowshipping.

Gen 4:1 And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD.

Joh 17:3  And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

Faith comes by hearing the Word and eating the Truth of God’s Word is hearing the truth.

Job 34:3 For the ear trieth words, as the mouth tasteth meat.

There is only one place to eat the Truth, at the Lord’s altar and table in The Christ.

Heb 13:9  Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines. For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with meats, which have not profited them that have been occupied therein.

Heb 13:10  We have an altar, whereof they have no right to eat which serve the tabernacle.

This woman had been prepared all along to be chosen to hear the Word and come to faith and have this child. Looking back we are able to see how the Lord has put his messengers and fellow servants in our path to plant the seed and water the seed that brings life.

Rom 10:14  How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?

Rom 10:15  And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

Breaking and eating bread as often as Elisha passed by this woman’s house was the ground work of hearing the Word that brings about faith and the conception of a new son or a daughter and the bringing of such a one onto maturity if God permits.

Mal 3:16  Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name.

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.

We will end the study here as the son is born to the woman. Thus, begins the journey of moving on to maturity and growing in Christ. Looking ahead to our next study we will continue Lord willing, with the story of Elisha and this Shunammite woman and cover the second instance in Scriptures of the resurrection from the dead.

2Ki 4:32  And when Elisha was come into the house, behold, the child was dead, and laid upon his bed.

2Ki 4:33  He went in therefore, and shut the door upon them twain, and prayed unto the LORD.

2Ki 4:34  And he went up, and lay upon the child, and put his mouth upon his mouth, and his eyes upon his eyes, and his hands upon his hands: and he stretched himself upon the child; and the flesh of the child waxed warm.

This will be our second example of how we bring life to others that the Lord has put into His Body when we lay down our life for the brethren. As our Lord is, so are we as His Christ in this world (Joh 20:21, 1Jo 4:17).

Joh 10:15  As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep.

For the second part of this story and the parable of the death of the woman’s son and resurrection CLICK HERE – For Our Admonition Part 7

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