Studies

Rehoboam’s Folly

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Discussion

Kings of Israel #2

“Rehoboam’s Folly”

Key Verses: 1Ki 12:1-15, 2Ch 10:1-15

 In this study, we want to review the Scriptures that speak to the events that precipitated the revolt of ten tribes of Israel and the resulting division that lasted until the divided nations were taken captive by the Assyrians and Babylonians, respectfully. It’s is needed to remind ourselves these events define our spiritual experiences as Israel within is being divided.

1Ki 12:1  And Rehoboam went to Shechem: for all Israel were come to Shechem to make him king. 

1Ki 12:2  And it came to pass, when Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who was yet in Egypt, heard of it, (for he was fled from the presence of king Solomon, and Jeroboam dwelt in Egypt;) 

1Ki 12:3  That they sent and called him. And Jeroboam and all the congregation of Israel came, and spake unto Rehoboam, saying, 

1Ki 12:4  Thy father made our yoke grievous: now therefore make thou the grievous service of thy father, and his heavy yoke which he put upon us, lighter, and we will serve thee. 

1Ki 12:5  And he said unto them, Depart yet for three days, then come again to me. And the people departed. 

1Ki 12:6  And king Rehoboam consulted with the old men, that stood before Solomon his father while he yet lived, and said, How do ye advise that I may answer this people

1Ki 12:7  And they spake unto him, saying, If thou wilt be a servant unto this people this day, and wilt serve them, and answer them, and speak good words to them, then they will be thy servants for ever

1Ki 12:8  But he forsook the counsel of the old men, which they had given him, and consulted with the young men that were grown up with him, and which stood before him: 

1Ki 12:9  And he said unto them, What counsel give ye that we may answer this people, who have spoken to me, saying, Make the yoke which thy father did put upon us lighter? 

1Ki 12:10  And the young men that were grown up with him spake unto him, saying, Thus shalt thou speak unto this people that spake unto thee, saying, Thy father made our yoke heavy, but make thou it lighter unto us; thus shalt thou say unto them, My little finger shall be thicker than my father’s loins. 

1Ki 12:11  And now whereas my father did lade you with a heavy yoke, I will add to your yoke: my father hath chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions. 

This coming divide of Israel is spiritually the divide between our doctrine (hearing) and our doing (walking it out).  To be made perfect by the Lord and establish a firm foundation (twelve); both our doctrine and our deeds (heaven and earth) need work in the fiery furnace. The two tribes of Judah represent our witness for Christ who is inseparable from His Word which is His Doctrine. The ten northern tribes of Israel represent our walk (obedience or disobedience) as we are first trying to perfect ourselves in our own strength (the number ten) before we come to know and rest by being One in Christ (Truth).  This division and inward conflict are for our good in bringing confidence in the flesh to an end (Phi 3:3)and dragging us into the true rest (Heb 4:10). Both those near (Judah) and those far off (Israel in the North) are brought together as one.

Eph 2:13  But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off (separated) are made nigh by the blood of Christ.

Eph 2:14  For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;

Eph 2:15  Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;

Eph 2:16  And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:

Eph 2:17  And came and preached peace to you which were afar off (Israel), and to them that were nigh (Judah).

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

Rehoboam’s Folly

The name Rehoboam [H7346] means “a people has enlarged” and appropriately speaks to how corrupted doctrine, leavened bread, leads us astray from the narrow way.

Mat 7:13  Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:

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

It is indeed a narrow way of faith and Rehoboam picked up where his apostate father (Solomon) left off in making the apostasy even wider. Kings of the Lord possess great knowledge and spiritual power that is first abused and misused in exalting ourselves.

Rom 1:21  Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

Rom 1:22  Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,

Rehoboam was born out of the misconduct of Solomon’s with his many wives and concubines. Woman represent churches and whom we engage with in seeking to bear fruit unto the Lord.  We learn later (1Ki 14:21) that Rehoboam’s mother’s name was Naamah which means pleasure, and who was also an Ammonite. The fact Solomon intermarried with Egyptians, Ammonites and many other heathens in disobedience to the law did not bode well for the blessings or curses that would soon fall upon his house. Ammonites, like Moabites, symbolize our own carnal thoughts that we exalt above the Lord and in so doing commit spiritual incest and fornication with our own flesh. That is the spiritual significance of Ammonites and Moabites birthed from physical incest (Gen 19:37-38) and why that mindset is forbidden in the congregation of the Lord.

Deu 23:3  An Ammonite or Moabite shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD; even to their tenth generation shall they not enter into the congregation of the LORD forever:

An Ammonite spirit has us leaning on our own understanding and exalting ourselves versus seeking wisdom from the Church (Eph 3:10) and its multitude of counselors.  Solomon, the author of Proverbs, truly fell away and took no heed the Scripture he was inspired to write many years prior.

Pro 3:5  Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.

Pro 3:6  In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

Pro 3:7  Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.

The Gathering at Shechem

The gathering of Israel to make Rehoboam king takes place at Shechem (Sichem) which is a place rich in many illustrious events in the history of Israel. Shechem is the first place Abram met the Lord and was given the promise (Gen 12:6-7). Shechem is where Jacob, a type of our old man is buried (Act 7:26) and where the bones of Joseph (a type of Christ) were laid many years after his death (Jos 24:32). Shechem is where all of Israel came together to renew the covenant with the Lord.

Jos 24:1  Then Joshua gathered all the tribes of Israel to Shechem and called for the elders of Israel, for their heads, for their judges, and for their officers; and they presented themselves before God.

Jos 24:25  So Joshua made a covenant with the people that day, and set them a statute and an ordinance in Shechem.

Shechem means “shoulder” and symbolizes where our spiritual head sits on our body attached via a neck which is our burden. That burden is supposed to be light and the yoke easy if we truly believe and walk by faith.

Gal 3:11  But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.

Mat 11:29  Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

Mat 11:30  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. 

The significance of this event being at Shechem relates to the yoke or burden that the heads (kings) of Israel place upon the people. The law of Moses/Gentiles is an oppressive yoke and heavy burden because anyone in the flesh outside the Law of faith cannot please God (Rom 8:8) no matter how hard they try. It is only under the law of Faith where we trust in Christ and nothing of ourselves that we are being saved. It takes us years of trials to get this straight in our heaven and our earth (Act 14:22). The earlier disciples, having the Spirit of God, struggled to get this right as we do (Mat 4:4).

Act 15:9  And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.

Act 15:10  Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?

When we come to our wit’s end of laboring in our own strength to save ourselves, then the Lord begins to raise us up in righteousness.

Mat 11:28  Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

A head full of carnal ordinances is a heavy burden that is taken away only in and by our day of the Lord by the working of the Word.

Isa 10:27  And it shall come to pass in that day, that his burden shall be taken away from off thy shoulder, and his yoke from off thy neck, and the yoke shall be destroyed because of the anointing.

Shechem spiritually represents the place where we, as Israel, come together to seek peace and a new mindset to guide our lives as God’s people. The burden and bondage Israel had been under during Solomon’s reign quickly become a key to the story of Rehoboam.   With Solomon dead, Jeroboam, the former servant and now adversary of Solomon’s house, returns from Egypt to counsel Rehoboam on how to unite Israel in peace.

1Ki 12:2  And it came to pass, when Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who was yet in Egypt, heard of it, (for he was fled from the presence of king Solomon, and Jeroboam dwelt in Egypt;) 

1Ki 12:3  That they sent and called him. And Jeroboam and all the congregation of Israel came, and spake unto Rehoboam, saying, 

1Ki 12:4  Thy father made our yoke grievous: now therefore make thou the grievous service of thy father, and his heavy yoke which he put upon us, lighter, and we will serve thee. 

Israel had been heavily taxed and oppressed during Solomon’s reign all the while he got the glory and admiration of the world. Solomon building a temple of the Lord using forced labor and the labor of Tyre (Babylon) is a shadow of us building a temple in vain (Psa 127:1) using our own hands (self-righteous works) in a covenant with the world.

1Ki 5:12  And the LORD gave Solomon wisdom, as he promised him: and there was peace between Hiram (Tyre’s king) and Solomon; and they two made a league together. 

1Ki 5:13  And king Solomon raised a levy out of all Israel; and the levy was thirty thousand men.

Solomon was a building machine and has Israel working hard constantly on many construction projects (1Ki Chapter 9) in the name of the Lord.  But as we see in Ecc 2, it was all really for Solomon’s benefit and his namesake of I, Me and My!

Ecc 2:4  I made me great works; I builded me houses; I planted me vineyards …

Ecc 2:9  So I was great, and increased more than all that were before me in Jerusalem: also my wisdom remained with me.

Rather than serving the people, Solomon has the people of Israel serving him.

1Ki 9:22  But of the children of Israel did Solomon make no bondmen: but they were men of war, and his servants, and his princes, and his captains, and rulers of his chariots, and his horsemen.

Israel wanted relief from this hard levy and taxing burden.  So Jeroboam requested that Rehoboam make lighter the burden Solomon initiated.  As God’s people walking by faith, we stubbornly learn the lesson that is not up to us but the Lord to give the increase and overcoming and it resting in those promises that victory will come if we wait for it.

Flesh naturally seeks dominion over others and corrupts the divine service that is the duty of Christ’s kings and priests (Rom 12:1). Samuel had warned of this apostasy and issues before the first king was raised up and which the history of these kings and our spiritual maturing is bearing out.

1Sa 8:10  And Samuel told all the words of the LORD unto the people that asked of him a king.

1Sa 8:11  And he said, This will be the manner of the king that shall reign over you: He will take your sons, and appoint them for himself, for his chariots, and to be his horsemen; and some shall run before his chariots.

1Sa 8:12  And he will appoint him captains over thousands, and captains over fifties; and will set them to ear his ground, and to reap his harvest, and to make his instruments of war, and instruments of his chariots…….

1Sa 8:17  He will take the tenth of your sheep: and ye shall be his servants. 

The greater we move away from faith and back into the wide way of the world, the more we are adding an increasingly oppressive yoke and heavier burden to our walk with Christ. Solomon was disobedient to all the laws of the kings (Deu 17:16-20) and exalted himself.

Mat 23:11  But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant.

Mat 23:12  And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.

A king who is not a servant to his people is an oppressor of the people. That is what the carnal mind and law of self-righteousness have us doing to the inhabitants of the Kingdom both and without ourselves. Christ is our example of what a king is to do for His people.

Mat 20:25  But Jesus called them to Himself and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them.

Mat 20:26  Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant.

Rehoboam sends the people away for three days, his process of spiritual maturity, so he can seek counsel and respond to Israel’s request.

1Ki 12:5  And he said unto them, Depart yet for three days, then come again to me. And the people departed. 

1Ki 12:6  And king Rehoboam consulted with the old men, that stood before Solomon his father while he yet lived, and said, How do ye advise that I may answer this people

1Ki 12:7  And they spake unto him, saying, If thou wilt be a servant unto this people this day, and wilt serve them, and answer them, and speak good words to them, then they will be thy servants forever.

Going to the old men is going to the elders and the mature in the ways of the Lord. Wise  counsel is given to Rehoboam that reinforces the example of faith and its law of reaping.

Luk 6:38  Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.

Joh 12:26  If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour.

Lest we forget what serving the living God looks like, we have the parable of Mat 25 teaching us what those being made righteous by faith are doing and to whom.

Mat 25:37  Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?

Mat 25:38  When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?

Mat 25:39  Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?

Mat 25:40  And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. 

It was not ordained for Rehoboam (us) at this time to learn the lesson that kings are to serve. Flesh does not naturally want to serve but to rather be served and enlarge its own borders.  Rehoboam rejects the elders’ counsel and instead seeks out the immature (young men) that will tell his fleshly ears what it wants to hear.

1Ki 12:8  But he forsook the counsel of the old men, which they had given him, and consulted with the young men that were grown up with him, and which stood before him: 

1Ki 12:9  And he said unto them, What counsel give ye that we may answer this people, who have spoken to me, saying, Make the yoke which thy father did put upon us lighter? 

1Ki 12:10  And the young men that were grown up with him spake unto him, saying, Thus shalt thou speak unto this people that spake unto thee, saying, Thy father made our yoke heavy, but make thou it lighter unto us; thus shalt thou say unto them, My little finger shall be thicker than my father’s loins. 

True Jews in the Spirit desire to walk by faith and carry the lighter burden versus the alternative way of salvation, the heavy yoke of self-righteousness, which is not a way at all (Joh 6:44, Joh 14:6). Seeking counsel from the youth that we grew up, the children of an apostate Solomon’s 700 spiritual concubines and 300 heathen wives, is seeking council from the world and the unbelieving.

Pro 13:20  He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.

Fearing the Lord begins true wisdom and that only begins once we are put into the fire of judgment where we are learning (Isa 26:9) and buying the true gold.

Pro 1:7  The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.

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.

Rehoboam typifies the Nicolaitan and Pharisaical spirit that seeks dominion over others and exalts itself for its own gain and glory. When we realize we of ourselves can do nothing (Joh 15:5) then the idea of an appointed king doing service begins to resonate. Knowledge and power puff us up and we get spiritually fat (Deu 32:15) and we grow thick (thinking more highly of ourselves).  Fiery grace will chasten us and get us past this stronghold.

Rom 12:3  For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.

Rom 12:4  For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office:

Rehoboam’s counsel from the young and immature (mixed multitude mindset) is to add sin to sin or as the modern adage says adding insult to injury.

1Ki 12:11  And now whereas my father did lade you with a heavy yoke, I will add to your yoke: my father hath chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions. 

Whips are used to teach and correct horses which are themselves a symbol of the world and the strength of the flesh. Such worldliness was Solomon’s downfall in acquiring thousands of horses from Egypt (1Ki 4:26) that was a consequence of failing to separate from the heathen nations. Adding to Solomon’s yoke is going even further away from faith. Scorpions are the lies and false doctrines of the world and of Babylon in which we are coming out of and which we have power over, if we act upon it.

Eze 2:6  And thou, son of man, be not afraid of them, neither be afraid of their words, though briers and thorns be with thee, and thou dost dwell among scorpions: be not afraid of their words, nor be dismayed at their looks, though they be a rebellious house.

Luk 10:19  Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.

Adding in more lies and carnal doctrines (scorpions) only further oppresses and enslaves the people of Israel, separating them from faith and the easier yoke of the Lord.  The locusts of Revelation 9 are the false doctrines that block out the sun (Truth) which are likened unto to scorpions that sting and torment us. There is no overcoming (dying) when these scorpions are oppressing Israel because we are not in faith.

Rev 9:3  Then out of the smoke locusts came upon the earth. And to them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power.

Rev 9:6  In those days men will seek death and will not find it; they will desire to die, and death will flee from them.

We have every reason and incentive as God’s people to actively seek to loosen these bands of wickedness and the yoke of our unbelief. Getting rid of this yoke opens us up to serve the living God and then the overcoming comes and the land within us is truly being healed.

Isa 58:6  Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?

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?

Yet before there can be healing there must be further wounding at the hand of the Lord in the Kingdom of God within us (Deu 32:39).  Rehoboam takes the advice of fools rather than the elders and goes deeper into his father’s apostasy.  We see another witness of the Lord causing us to err from His ways (Isa 63:17) and working all things (Eph 1:11); even Rehoboam’s self-exaltation and cruelty in seeking dominion over Israel.

1Ki 12:12  So Jeroboam and all the people came to Rehoboam the third day, as the king had appointed, saying, Come to me again the third day.

1Ki 12:13  And the king answered the people roughly, and forsook the old men’s counsel that they gave him;

1Ki 12:14  And spake to them after the counsel of the young men, saying, My father made your yoke heavy, and I will add to your yoke: my father also chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions.

1Ki 12:15  Wherefore the king hearkened not unto the people; for the cause was from the LORD, that he might perform his saying, which the LORD spake by Ahijah the Shilonite unto Jeroboam the son of Nebat.

All of these evil experiences are the Lord’s work in us (Isa 45:7, Ecc 1:13) to mature us and teach us when the chastening time has come.

Psa 34:19  YLT Many are the evils (“ra”) of the righteous, Out of them all doth Jehovah deliver him.

Php 2:13  For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

Next week Lord willing, we will look back to where the Lord gave the prophecy (1Ki 11:29-32) to Jeroboam and see how the harsh answer of Rehoboam quickly led to the division of Israel and the appointment of Jeroboam as king of the northern kingdom. The process of moving onward to maturity is indeed one of the great tribulations and inner torment.

salvation

Slaves versus Bondservants of God

All men are born into slavery.  We come into this world already bound by sin inheriting the curse of the first Adam.  We come with a sinful nature and do not even have to be taught how to sin.  It is our natural state.  It is only by the gift of God,  giving us faith and providing access into His grace that any person is saved and given their freedom.

The early church and all the disciples considered themselves slaves and bond servants of the Lord.  This can be seen in essentially ever single epistle and letter.  Go check it out yourself but I show you just a few below.

Jude 1:1  Jude, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, To those who are called, sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ:

James 1:1  James, a bondservant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad

2 Peter 1:1 Simon Peter, a bondservant and apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who have obtained like precious faith with us by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ:

Notice also who the Apostles were addressing in these epistles.  These letters were written to the saints called by God.   They are not writing to anyone and everyone in the world.  They are writing this letter to the brethren who are only the ELECT of God.  The Elect are those that GOD HIMSELF has called, chosen, sanctified and given true faith.  Go read it is all right there in the salutations of all these epistles.  Collectively as James says in his opening, these letters are written to Spiritual Israel and the 12 tribes scattered all throughout this world.

I too am a bondservant of Jesus Christ now,  having been enslaved to Him by the power of God’s election.   I now write to this post to those similarly called and chosen of the Lord.   I know there are many on the cusp of the door that is Christ.  God willing  by the foolishness of my preaching on this glorious gospel may God bring more into the sheep pen and give this precious gift of faith.

ALL MEN ARE SLAVES

Psalm 51:5  Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me.

All men are born into sin from birth.   None is good, no one not one.  As we can readily see in Jeremiah 18 and Romans 8, the Potter has chosen to make us twice and all creation is purposefully marred from the start.  This is all God’s design, done on purpose.   You must be Born Again to enter into His Kingdom.  Yet it all remains in the hands and timing of the Potter.  Man has no free will to choose God.  Faith is a gift.

Romans 6:17-18  But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered. 18 And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.

Jesus is the deliverer.  He delivers us from the kingdom of darkness and sets us free from the slavery we were all born into.  This is everywhere in the Bible for those given eyes to see it and ears to hear the words of God written in the Scriptures.  This indeed is the message in Ephesians 2.

Ephesians 2:1-2  And you hath HE quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; 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:

Who quickened us?  Who delivered us from this bondage?  It was all of God.  The carnal mind just refuses to accept the truth that it is enslaved and truly is a piece of clay in the hands of an Almighty God.  This has been a recurring theme in recent posts yet I feel more is needed and God will use these words to quicken life to some that will read and believe this good news gospel.    The ministry of Jesus Christ was to come set the captives, the slaves to sin free.  This is a glorious work of God and is all of grace and not the choice of any man.  It is all ordained of the Lord.

Romans 6:16  Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness?

These are the words the Lord spoke when commencing His ministry and quoting from the prophecy of Isaiah in Luke 4.

The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me,
Because He has anointed Me
To preach the gospel to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives (SLAVES TO SIN)
And recovery of sight to the blind, (SPIRITUALLY BLIND)

Romans 6 is a great chapter which speaks to this conversion from a slave to sin to a slave to righteousness.  All of this is a wonderful gift from a good God who in His mercy saves us all in the appointed time.  It is never our own strength, initiative or choice to stop being a slave to sin.  It is all the work of God.  It is a gift to a chosen few.

Romans 6:20-23  For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. 21 What fruit did you have then in the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. 22 But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

WE DO NOT CHOOSE TO BECOME SLAVES OF GOD.  A SLAVE HAS NO SUCH ABILITY TO MAKE THE CHANGE.

The Fallacy of Free Will

Those that teach man’s free will are not in the true faith.  They truly are unbelievers and antichrists.  Such also teach of an eternal torment in hell which is a damnable heresy that denies the sovereign Lord who has already purchased all men through the shed blood on the cross.  I have had to stop engaging in their frivolous arguments.  Such men cannot even hear the word of God because they are not of God and are of their father the devil.  Jesus had a conversation with those that believed on him but were not chosen of God.  These professing Christians would not admit they were slaves to sin.  They were very self righteous just like the modern day versions, many of which used to post on this blog.

John 8:33 They answered Him, “ We are Abraham’s descendants and have never yet been enslaved to anyone; how is it that You say, ‘You will become free’?”

But Jesus did not mince words with them.  They attacked the true gospel and could not hear the words Jesus spoke or have any understanding.  They were shut up into spiritual darkness as Jesus told them plainly.

John 8:47  He who is of God hears God’s words; therefore you do not hear, because you are not of God.

They scoffed and mocked Jesus and accused him of being evil and having a demon.  I have been accused of the very same things over the past month.  I rejoice to share in the suffering and persecutions of my Lord Jesus.  Mine accusers just like those of Jesus’s day know not what they are doing.

We are all born and conceived in sin, brought into this world in a weak body of sinful flesh.  This was God’s purpose all along to remake us and rebirth us into a child of the kingdom.  We have to learn righteousness and know good from evil.  This is why the Lord told Adam You Shall Surely Die.  But men do not understand what God was saying until their appointed time.  Only a very few, an escaped remnant, being called the chosen and Elect will find the truth in this life.  The rest in the ages to come.

ECC 7:20  For there is not a just man on earth who does good and does not sin

Romans 8:20  For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope

God set it up this way.  Everyone needs a Savior.  If the righteous requirement of the law can be fulfilled by us in our natural born state, then there was no reason to send Jesus to die for all of mankind.  NONE.  But a carnal man cannot accept this and his mind is hostile to the true gospel of Jesus Christ.  Christ did not die in vain and all men shall be saved in the end.  You still don’t believe what God has said in the Scriptures?  Consider some more of how we come into this world and God works it all out in His time.

1 COR 15:42-45  The body is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption. 43 It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power. 44 It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. 45 And so it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.

Do you have ears to hear and eyes to see the truth?  It is staring you right in the face in these Scriptures.  But make no mistake, before God comes and plucks you out of spiritual darkness, all men are slaves to sin.  They cannot help by practice sin, it is their very nature.  It is what slaves to sin do ,  they sin!  You can put on all kinds of forms of godliness and external religion but inside such an unconverted person will be full of dead men’s bones.  Death will still be working in them.

God has to deliver us from are slavery to sin.  We are helpless to do so on our own power and initiative.  It is only by His will that we can be set free of our slavery .

Oh praise God for His Mighty Deliverance granted unto those He chooses.  He alone can lead us out of this bondage and instantly set us free.  This is accomplished by the gift of faith which gives us access to this grace of God in which we the true saints now stand.

When one is truly Born Again by God’s choosing and the Spirit is poured out.  They are free.  A slave will know that he has been set free.  The burden will all of sudden be light and the yoke will be easy.  The shackles of sin will come off.  Hallelujah.  Let freedom ring.

John 8:35  a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever.  Therefore IF the Son MAKES you free, you shall be free indeed.

The religious carnal man will never see this glorious truth of freedom granted by the Lord’s election.  They will look hard and cling to a few passages of Scripture to nullify the thousand that speak to this glorious truth of God’s grace and election.  Here is one often used as the proof text for a slave deciding on their own to be free.

Joshua 24:14-16  Now therefore, fear the Lord, serve Him in sincerity and in truth, and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the River and in Egypt. Serve the Lord! 15 And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

What a great Scripture and yes my house will serve this Lord!  But what this refers  is after we are delivered out of the hands of the enemy,  not before,  then and only then do we have a choice as a free man.  We can be led astray back into bondage if we follow men or the gods of this world who will tempt us with its lusts.  So yes slaves once freed will continue to be tempted.  But we will choose to follow God and be led by His Spirit and will forsake the ways of the world and the religious traditions of men.

My Religious Escapades

I grew up believing in the free will of man to choose God.  It was all I was ever taught and this supposed truth was reinforced thousands of times in my life’s experiences.  You hear a lie often enough you will believe it when you take it to heart.  I had even made several altar calls over the years even going to down at a Billy Graham crusade once in the 1980s.

But I was never saved despite saying prayers and being told welcome to the Kingdom of God.  I was given assurance that I was a child of God and had received the Holy Spirit based on the actions I chose to take on those days.  Yet nothing ever changed.  I left the arena or the church the same person I was coming in, albeit with an emotional experience and a carnal understanding of a God who I was told loves me.  I took solace that because of my choice, I would now be spare an eternal punishment in hell.

But the emotional buzz always wore off.  I was not free.  I was still bound by sin.  I did not believe in the report of Isaiah that Jesus has already paid the price for all mean.  My sin always came back along with new ones.  Where was this voice of the Holy Spirit I was supposed to be hearing?  Where was this fruit I was supposed to be bearing in full measure?  I was not delivered as a slave,  I was merely deceived which is where the multitudes are camped out today.  Epecially the self righteous Pharisees that populate the Internet and make a ministry of accusing other people.

It was not delivered from my bondage.  The salvation so confidently promised to me by big men on the stage had not yet come.  I was the same person.  I came to realize in God’s appointed time for me, that I was not saved .  While God certainly had a heavy hand in those events and my actions,  directing all of my steps.  This was all just prep work for God to arrive at the point He decided long ago before the world began, when I would come to know of His true salvation.

Matthew 20:16   Many are called but few are chosen

Set Free From Sin & Fear

The same mistake a carnal man makes in believing in free will, also leads him to believe he can stop sinning on his own choosing by striving hard in his flesh.  This is such folly and is a virtual dead-end on a treadmill that will exhaust one and lead to frustration and ultimately failure.  There are many people who live their whole lives trying to be good, and out of fear avoid this eternal hell they have been taught,  yet they never ever find any lasting peace or joy.  Such have not the love of God in their heart and will bear a spirit of judgment and condemnation and be the antithesis of love your neighbor as yourselves.  They will have a form of godliness but deny the power of God to transform them into a new creation.  They will always think it is up to them and what they do and what they decide.  Such foolishness.  These do not believe the gospel.

Matthew 11:28-30  Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

Sadly the yoke of these people is anything but easy.  Life is a bitch it seems and then they die.  They never find it, they miss the prince of peace, many by 1,000 miles.  They run a treadmill looking for this promised peace and never finding it.  They are not the chosen of God.  Many religious people are like this having been indoctrinated into the traditions of men and the external acts of religion.  Yet the true holiness of love is never produced in their heart and in their lives.   Instead their tree bears the fruit of briars and thorns, things like hate, envy, pride, strife, contentions, disputing, self-righteousness, covetousness, bitterness and the like.

Paul spoke about being a slave to sin in Romans 7 speaking of his helplessness to do what he wanted to do.  I lived a very long time caught and snared in this Romans 7 trap and could never escape until the Lord rescued me in my appointed time in June 2012 at age 56.  If most people are honest, they will know this speaks to them today.

Romans 7:16-20For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. 16 If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good. 17 But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. 18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. 19 For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. 20 Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.

I was a wretched man and I still am in my carnal state.  This is why I must follow and be led of the Spirit of God.  This Spirit was given to me as a gift of love from the Father, who richly poured out His love into my heart.  If I follow my flesh, I will still sin and even since my conversion this has been proven to me.  But as a child of the Kingdom, my Father is quick to correct me and keep me on His narrow path.  Most professing to be of the faith are without this discipline and are not yet sons, they are illegitimate.

The entire story of Israel and their rescue from Egypt and the journey to the promise land is an example of the path of salvation for all men.  All must come to recognize they are slaves and cry out to the Lord asking for mercy.  He will hear the cries of those He has chosen and will come to the rescue.  This is my testimony and my healing speaks for itself.  The foolish Galatians quickly forget the lesson on slavery and sought to return to their former bondage under the law of sin and death.  Paul corrected them harshly.

Galatians 4:9  But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how is it that you turn back again to the weak and worthless elemental things, to which you desire to be enslaved all over again?

His burden truly is light.  Those in the faith are not under the law but grace.  We have truly been set free in more ways than a carnal minded Christian can grasp.  There is no way for them to see it as the power and greatness of our God will always be limited and denied by them.  All of us have been there and done that so to speak with our sinful pasts.  Most are still enslaved yet they will deny it in their pride and forms of godliness.  They foolishly believe that as a slave they can actually free themselves.  A slave has no such ability or power to free themselves, but that thought never resonates with their proud heart.

Titus 3:3  For we also once were foolish ourselves, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another.

All of salvation and freeing one from the power of sin is all the work and election of an Almighty God.  It will happen in the appointed time and all of us will one day be free from sin 100% and bowing and worshipping the Lamb together.  But sadly most of my former friends and associates are still ensnared into bondage and this glorious gospel is truly veiled from their eyes.  Slaves cannot see, they are blindfolded to the gospel.

2 COR 4:3-4  But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, 4 whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them. 

The many are perishing.  Those who have hears will hear these truths and receive this confirmation in their heart.  No more fear.  It is gone.  Instead we receive power and the boldness to cry out Abba to our Father in heaven.  We are not slaves any more.  We are sons and daughters of the kingdom.  Our inheritance is guaranteed!  It was all the work of God sending the Spirit into our bodies of flesh.

Galatians 4:6  And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” 7 Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.

Jesus Christ has come in the flesh, yes He has.  The flesh of those He has chosen.  AMEN.  We can now live with full assurance and confidence of our adoption in the wonderful Kingdom of God.  We can cry out Abba Father and know He desires to give good things to His children.  Man this gospel is good when you are so blessed to see it.

Romans 8:15  For we did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.”

This spirit of bondage is cast out.  The spirit of heaviness departs and we receive a spirit of praise instead.  These are the wedding garments of salvation.  There is much more I would like to share in due time about slavery and being set free.  Know that false teachers will keep men enslaved to sin.  They will teach unbelief and deny the power of God to set us free.  They will be jealous and envious of the freedom we have in Christ.  Such heretics use fear, especially of this demonic doctrine of an eternal hell to keep people from coming to the light that is Christ.

There are two covenants as Paul described in Galatians 4.  Those of the covenant with the bondwoman Hagar are far more numerous than those of the free woman Sarah.  Many are called but indeed only a few are chosen.  If you are free by the grace of God rejoice my friend, rejoice.

Do not be deceived any more by these false teachers who have secretly come into the professing body of believers to try to put you back into bondage to the law.  It is finished.  Live in your freedom without fear and put on the Lord Jesus Christ and make no provision for the flesh and its lusts thereof.   Put to work the gift that God has planted in you.  Stir up this gift and go preach this good news and glad tidings to all men.  Pay no attention to the heretics and religious Pharisees who will speak evil of you.  Live to please your Father in heaven and not men.

Thank you Lord Jesus for the gift of faith and the blessing of eternal life in you.  We give you thanks for freeing us from our slavery and making us free and giving us a heart for service in your kingdom.  May we serve you as a bondservant yet know we are a true son or daughter and have full access to your throne of mercy and grace.  Pour out your love Father and fill us anew daily so we can be a river of living waters to those you put into our paths.

Galatians 5:13 For you, brethren, have been called to freedom; only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.