Joshua 3:5 “And Joshua said unto the people, Sanctify yourselves: for to morrow the Lord will do wonders among you.”
“The reason some do not see the greatest of God’s wonders is because they have not yet sanctified themselves.” Holiness today and wonders tomorrow. Exodus 19:10,14,15; Leviticus 20:7; Numbers 11:18; Joshua 7:13; I Samuel 16:5; Joel 2:16. All of these scriptures put the initiative of sanctification or the act of sanctification directly upon the person.
Joshua 6:18 And ye, in any wise keep yourselves from the accursed thing, lest ye make yourselves accursed, when ye take of the accursed thing, and make the camp of Israel a curse, and trouble it.
(See also 7:1; Deuteronomy 13:17)
It is strange and interesting that the translators of the King James translated, “the devoted thing” (Hebrew, cherem) as the “accursed thing.” That which is accursed of God is the very thing man devotes himself to. Achan desired the thing God forbid. In the end the accursed thing becomes a devoted thing (lust). See Joshua 7:1,4,5,11, 12,13,15; Deuteronomy 13:17
Joshua 7:12 Therefore the children of Israel could not stand before their enemies, but turned their backs before their enemies, because they were accursed: neither will I be with you any more, except ye destroy the accursed from among you.
“The glory of the victorious church was that men proclaimed the Gospel with holy unction and certified it by holy lives.” Nothing but sanctification will cast every accursed thing out of the Church. Ministers will find it to their interest not to deviate, but to accept God’s way of dealing with such accursed things. We cannot purify ourselves, but we can make an entire consecration of ourselves to God. When we do our part, God does his. Morals affect our relationship with God and our power against the enemy.
Judges 2:10 “And also all that generation were gathered unto their fathers: and there arose another generation after them, which knew not the Lord, nor yet the works which he had done for Israel.”
Judges 21:25 (KJV)
25 In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes. Judges 5:23 Curse ye Meroz, said the angel of the Lord, curse ye bitterly the inhabitants thereof; because they came not to the help of the Lord, to the help of the Lord against the mighty.
Neutralism is amorality and amorality is a form of skepticism. What glorious privilege is this? That mere man was needed to “help the Lord”. What honor, what opportunity! When God has a plan for man, He needs the employ of men to “help” Him. Not because He cannot do it Himself, but because He wants to share the kingdom with men; to include men in all of His accomplishments. Numbers 25:6-8; Luke 11:23; Matthew 25:28; Exodus 2:11-17.
Judges 16:20 And she said, The Philistines be upon thee, Samson. And he awoke out of his sleep, and said, I will go out as at other times before, and shake myself. And he wist not that the Lord was departed from him.
There are several renditions of the meaning here in Samson’s statement. In researching the Hebrew the idea is that he would go out against the Philistines, shake and howl and shake off the chains as I have before again and again.
Samson kept wanting a “piece of the world”. The world ended up getting all of him. “Then she said, ‘The Philistines are on you Samson!’ He awoke from his sleep, and thought, ‘I shall get off as I have done over and over again, and shake myself free’ – not knowing that the Lord had left him.” (American Translation)
SAMSON AND THE CHARISMATICS
Suddenly prominent Evangelical preachers are beginning to preach righteousness. Some of us wonder where these men have been for the last twenty years. The truly great prophets are those who were sensitive to the Holy Spirit when such evils as television first appeared. The minister who takes up this theme should have evidence of his credentials;
1. He should have a sound doctrinal understanding of holiness, knowing that separation is an essential part of true holiness and possess the same. Preachers who are devoted to God but not separated from the world are not qualified to teach holiness. Search Qualifications
2. He should have a good theological understanding of the difference between holiness and righteousness and not confuse them in his preaching.
3. He should have an established testimony as a holy man. How can you teach a doctrine your reputation does not support. And then, any man who has a “holiness” image should be able to teach it and will teach it faithfully (without reservation, preference, or being personally slanted). When the manufacturers advertise TV as “bringing the world into your living room,” how can a man of God (professing) say he is practicing separation and have such an instrument in his home? Separation is exactly what actuality declares it to be. We talk “holiness,” but show little evidence of separation. That is hypocrisy, not holiness. See Separation; Holiness/Righteousness; Psalm 101:2,3. The modern Gospel proponents preach a holiness without separation. But the essence of holiness is separation from the world! I John 5:1-5; 2 Corinthians 6:17
MODERN SAMSONS AND SEPARATION
Modern conditions resemble Samson’s departure from the traditional (biblical concepts of his parents). Judges 14:1-3 The mark of the apostate church is that it rejects the very mention of holiness of life and separation in particular. It detests serious examination of biblical sanctification. Environment, not scriptures, dictates moral standards. The modern Gospel movement is characterized by its recognition of the holiness of God, but with no teaching on the holiness of man. Neither Samson nor the apostates regard the commandments. They attempt, consciously or unconsciously, to escape the doctrine, the importance, the supremacy of separation from the world by flattering God with praise and adoration. They produce emotionalism, act out a very humanistic charisma and call it “the joy of the Lord.” Those who experienced the pure Pentecostal power in previous generations know very well the difference between the glorious Pentecost then and the contemporary counterfeits prominent today. Amos 5:21 Separation from the world is a essential part of our faith. In Christian love. (I John 2:15) In Christian faith. (I John 5:4) In Christian power. (Judges 16:20) In Christian worship. Amos 5:18-24; Isaiah 1:18) In Christian doctrine. (I Timothy 3:16,17)
SAMSON AND EXTERNAL HOLINESS
Samson’s dedication included an external feature that spoke of his special relationship to God; his hair. When he lost his outside religion it did affect, it did indicate a spiritual condition had depreciated on the inside of him. His inside changed when he trifled with external disciplines. When he let Delilah mess with his hair he lost the presence of God. When he disobeyed God, he lost something! Too many men wear their hair the way they do because their wives or girlfriends like it that way. They will let a woman “mess with their hair,” but reject anything God mentions about it. God’s Word and not the silly fancy of feminine vanity dictates to man the proper lifestyle and hair style for his Christian life. The Bible does speak of spiritual externals … and on this very object. The Lord departed from Samson and he didn’t know it. Judges 16:20 It happened to Laodicea also. “Thou sayest I am rich and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; AND KNOWEST NOT.” Revelation 3:17 Samson went out and shook himself as at times before. We keep on shaking and going through the motions. We talk about Jesus, faith and miracles. We shake awhile and sing awhile. After Delilah gave him the haircut, then he went into defensive action, too late! Samson ran out from the tent full of emotion, but emptied of God. What’s on the inside is more important. When you have modesty of heart (inside), you’re going to be visibly modest in the external Adornment life also. The people who talk about religion being on the inside are the same ones that spend so much time and money adorning the outside. Holiness (or any spiritual virtue) is a spiritual desire that dwells inside of you, a purity of heart, and if you have the Spirit of holiness inside of you, your visible will reflect perfect morals, judgment, and taste. The Bible text is very clear in its treatment of being ostentatious; Expensive, fashionable clothing, glamorizing, and seeking beauty. The Painting of the face, jewelry. I Timothy 2:9 Cutting or adorning the hair in any vain manner. Men, styling the hair long. The hair is not to be thought of primarily as an object of self enhancement, but treated as scripture teaches, in a spiritual manner. I Corinthians 11:1-15 To the contrary, the Bible takes a position against these visible practices. How can any Christian who claims to be “filled with the Holy Spirit,” not even be able to keep these “least commandments?” Matthew 5:19
JUDGES 15 There are many interesting parallels between Samson and the Charismatic movement;
1. He had good origin.
2. He rejected the counsel of his peers, scripture, and parents.
3. He was strong. Samson was a man of physical strength and renown.
4. He was influential and admired, had a position of being “a judge” over the church. The Charismatic movement exerts tremendous religious influence over the fundamental churches in this era. Charismatic (Greek CHARISMA, meaning free gift) comes from the Greek root “CHARIS” meaning joy. It has emphasized personalities, while claiming great adherence to the doctrines and person of the Holy Spirit. It has been a flaring personality movement. There has been very little emphasis upon character. (It represents a new concept of prosperity that promotes a Gospel of the rich rather than a Gospel to the poor.) A noticeable likeness to the ministry of Samson.
5. Samson was next to the last judge. The Charismatic movement with emphasis on gifts and personality, representing a corrupted message, may very well be the movement that will precede the last great movement of the church which will surely be the message of purity and holy preparation, the bride. This final movement will restore proper emphasis of character (in place of the present emphasis on personality), and may well be ushered in by cataclysmic judgments that will bring a much needed God consciousness (though short lived, as the antichrist projects himself to the nations before the world sees its most terrible hour). The last two judges could correspond with a last two church movements, the latter being a movement with emphasis upon character and holiness of life as we would see in the character of Samuel
6. Samson was too good to condemn, and too bad to emulate or model after. The Charismatic movement has brought sub-grace living that is obnoxiously diametric to the teachings of Christ and the apostles. i.e., emphasis on charisma and none on character; emotionalism without systematic doctrine; open departure of traditional biblical values (holiness, separation, obedience); prosperity emphasis, the practicing of prominence and importance of man, extravagance; sophistication (eliteness or high-mindedness) that tends to ignore, despise the poor within its inner circles James 2:6; physical contact in worship, forms of praise and worship without biblical precedent; complete ignorance and rejection of teaching on church government principles; emphasis on the importance of the physical state.
7. Samson, though called of God and anointed of God, had certain ties and affinities with the world that he could not and would not terminate. Samson was not an over-comer. This lack of moral commitment and resolution in Samson finally destroyed him in the end. Worldliness will always destroy the movement that tolerates it. Modern neo-Christians embrace worldliness as an addict embraces drugs, he needs it to support him and keeps him hallucinated. He made alliances with and among his enemies. Amos 5:23; Romans 3:20
8. Samson had a marriage with the world and at the same time a call from God. They don’t go together! They are non-compatible and ultimately end with God withdrawing His Spirit and our entering a state of delusion and blindness.
9. Samson possessed spiritual gifts and power from God that continued to operate and coexist with his promiscuity. This led him to believe, deceived him into believing he had God’s approval in spite of his contempt for the moral precept.
10. Samson lost the real power and strength of the Holy Ghost, yet continued to go through the motions he had learned so well.
11. Samson became blinded by the very world system he was called to have dominion over. So, the world is pleasantly mesmerizing, but also promises destruction in the end.
12. Samson destroyed himself in the end. Liberalizing the moral precepts of God only ends up one way self destruction. Samson’s life relates to us clearly that power without character concepts will ultimately prove to be false and destructive. We destroy ourselves when we disobey the moral commandments.
Ruth 3:11 “And now, my daughter, fear not; I will do to thee all that thou requirest: for all the city of my people doth know that thou art a virtuous woman.”
I Samuel 15:22-23 “And Samuel said, Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, he hath also rejected thee from being king.”
I Samuel 15:21 But the people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the chief of the things which should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrifice unto the Lord thy God in Gilgal.
Natural ability can produce desired effect. The church in this technological age of competency has most definitely moved into the realm of natural methods to achieve results and then claim those natural effects as Divine. If Krogers or Panasonic achieves results using the same methods, we call it business psychology – if the super-evangelist does it, they say it’s God. Technology is a power, and power is always a good thing when held by a good man. But when men use the power of technology (or any power) to promote themselves, through highly trained men who surround them, Divine contact lessens and the biblical standards of qualification (character) and approval (consensus) no longer play a part in the vital area of church leadership. Denominational leaders and local church elders are no longer the authorities of the church as God originally ordained it to be. The modern church is governed and most highly influenced by those of celebrity status most of them self promoted. Spiritual results require the abasing of self, while natural methods demand the Mercenaries exalting of personality (self). 2 Corinthians 1:12 The first and most glaring of all commandments God has given is this; He does not approve of natural attempts (methods) to glorify Him – nor will He accept the fruit (results) of natural attempts to glorify Him that in any way conflict with the Word. All such “works” and ministries will be rejected in the judgment. See Matthew 7:21-23. God will not share His glory with another. Exodus 20:5; 34:14; Deuteronomy 4:24; 5:9; 6:15; Joshua 24:19
I Samuel 15:23 For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, he hath also rejected thee from being king.
The Divine concept of sin is more extreme than human reasoning will permit. The sparing of the sheep could correspond with the new concepts of worship based on reasoning rather than a loving adherence to the Word of God. Where God’s Word speaks, obedience supersedes our own super-spiritual ideas. Religion today advocates praise apart from precept. This was Saul’s mistake. Sparing the sheep speaks of having a mushy sentimental philosophy about what pleases the Lord. It’s all humanistic when obedience to the Word loses pre-eminence.
I Samuel 15:24 And Saul said unto Samuel, I have sinned: for I have transgressed the commandment of the Lord, and thy words: because I feared the people, and obeyed their voice.
What is commonly thought of as “the favor of man,” may better be identified as “the fear of man” as Saul honestly declared. Exodus 32:1,2; 32:22-23; Deuteronomy 25:17; Galatians 1:10 There is an emotional interplay between the fear of God and the favor of man. Too often ministers of the Gospel move from the former to the latter almost unconsciously. Saul was to rule the people in behalf of God, but became ineffective when he allowed the people to pressure him against the commandment. Saul was a big man physically, loaded with external pluses and possessed a lot of charisma, but was a coward when the crowd pressured him. I Samuel 10:23
I Samuel 16:7 But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.
IMPORTANCE OF APPEARANCE
It is as necessary to impress man with visible righteousness and purity as it is to impress God with the sincerity of the inner man. Somewhere, sometime, someone repeated the words spoken to Samuel when he was about to anoint Eliab and said, “It’s not what’s on the outside that counts, but what’s on the inside.” Remember what God told Samuel? He said man looks on the outside, but God looks on the inside. This is too often quoted to imply that there is no merit to the visible virtues of modesty and chastity as it may affect our appearance as Christian men and women. It is also said to imply that there is an “inside” and “outside” holiness, and that one is of no consequence or of lesser consequence than the other. Both of these implications are wrong in principle, in practice, and in doctrine.
1. All of the inner spiritual qualities of the fruit of the Spirit as described in Galatians chapter five can be imitated, as can any of the visible moral qualities of the Christian life!
2. It is impossible to say that a man is more holy in his spirit than in his flesh.
3. In this text there is nothing to support an “inner holiness” doctrine. When God mentioned the outside of Eliab, He definitely did not make any reference to how Eliab was dressed. He was probably dressed as any other man of that day.”Countenance” and “stature” are the words used as the visible marks of Eliab’s appearance that deceived the prophet. Literally, he was tall and handsome. As Eliab appeared before Samuel, he kept himself in line and probably tried to impress Samuel with his pleasant mannerisms. The inner graces can be imitated and are as liable to sham as any of the graces that regulate the visible appearance. Eliab later showed his true character when David visited the battlefield. He was nice enough when he tried to impress the prophet, but Eliab could be so nasty to the members of his own family. The test of true inner grace is not how one acts to celebrities and superiors, but the real test is how one reacts to subordinates and inferiors. Much error comes from overemphasizing a half-truth. Proponents of “inside” or “outside” holiness are both scripturally wrong! God’s holiness affects both parts of man equally.
2 Samuel 22:22,25 “For I have kept the ways of the Lord, and have not wickedly departed from my God. Therefore the Lord hath recompensed me according to my righteousness; according to my cleanness in his eye sight.”
1 Kings 15:11 “And Asa did that which was right in the eyes of the Lord, as did David his father.”
I Kings 10:27 And the king made silver to be in Jerusalem as stones, and cedars made he to be as the sycomore trees that are in the vale, for abundance. 28 And Solomon had horses brought out of Egypt, and linen yarn: the king’s merchants received the linen yarn at a price. 29 And a chariot came up and went out of Egypt for six hundred shekels of silver, and an horse for an hundred and fifty: and so for all the kings of the Hittites, and for the kings of Syria, did they bring them out by their means. 11:1But king Solomon loved many strange women, together with the daughter of Pharaoh, women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Zidonians, and Hittites;
I Kings 11:2 Of the nations concerning which the Lord said unto the children of Israel, Ye shall not go in to them, neither shall they come in unto you: for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods: Solomon clave unto these in love.
6 And Solomon did evil in the sight of the Lord, and went not fully after the Lord, as did David his father. 7 Then did Solomon build an high place for Chemosh, the abomination of Moab, in the hill that is before Jerusalem, and for Molech, the abomination of the children of Ammon. 8 And likewise did he for all his strange wives, which burnt incense and sacrificed unto their gods.
SOLOMON’S FASCINATION WITH GRANDEUR
Read I Kings 7; 10:14 through 11:8 You may have enough to finish building your tower, but not have enough sense to keep from falling off of it. A man can do a splendid work in the Lord, build churches, and like Solomon, even build a kingdom, but Solomon didn’t have the wisdom to preserve his own soul from gold, from women, and from power alliances with heathen nations. Like Job’s story, Solomon’s story reveals yet another reason why good men go wrong. He received great portions of God’s wisdom to establish a great kingdom, and still lacked the wisdom of moral character to save his own soul. It takes a different kind of virtue to build a social structure, an organization, than it does to cultivate personal spiritual character. In Deuteronomy 17:14-20, God told Israel the time would come when they would want a king and would have the desire to be like other nations. The Lord gave four commandments to the king that they would set over them.
1. Multiplying of horses was forbidden.
2. Multiplying of silver was forbidden.
3. Multiplying of wives was forbidden.
4. The king of Israel was to write and copy the law that was before the Levites. We do not find that Solomon regarded any one of these four commandments, but to the contrary, flagrantly violated them. He was so busy building a super-nation, he ignored the moral commandments and ended up destroying Israel (by corruption) and possibly losing his soul. There are several questions that come to mind here that bear upon holiness of the Christian life.
1. That Solomon had received a special wisdom from God to govern the nation of Israel.
2. That in spite of this anointing from God, he was guilty of disobedience to the Word of God, which finally resulted in causing his own moral corruption.
3. By the wisdom of God he built a kingdom and gilded it with gold; then by his disobedience to the Word, sowed the seeds of decay that destroyed the very kingdom he built with God given wisdom. Draw a parallel between this coexistence of good and evil with the Laodicean church recorded in Revelation 3, and with the life of Samson, who was a strange combination of good and evil coexisting. Balaam was another, David, Saul, Judas – these all experienced anointing and sin simultaneously.
While there is the truth that the gifts of God are without repentance, there is also such a thing as a point in the disobedient life when God departs. Judges 16:20.
Note the following:
1. All three of the forbidden things which God commanded of Israel’s kings were forms of political power.
2. Horses and chariots speak of power.
3. Silver and gold speak of monetary power.
4. The marrying of wives speak of political alliances. Ancient kings married into the families of other regal families to insure personal dialogue and thus create alliances between their nations. Solomon, in spite of the wisdom God gave him for Israel, displayed a horrendous arrogance toward the Word of God. Solomon reverted to the “might” and “power” (Zechariah 4:6) of worldly alliances and military strength utterly disregarding the principles of personal purity and righteousness to preserve Israel. We note worldly philosophy being embraced by a changing and pompous Solomon. He made the mistake of regarding God’s commandments as simplistic and not of too great importance as he became exalted and powerful. God did prosper Solomon – no doubt about it – but it is a stupid mistake to think of my prosperous state as God’s approval when I am quite cognizant that I am not really obeying the commandments He gave me.
5. Those who are Spirit anointed oftentimes disregard the Word. Solomon is certainly the classic example of this condition.
6. The key word to faith is, resources. Solomon prostituted his wisdom by seeking his resources in the world to establish the security of the nation of Israel. There is a strange spiritual chemistry fomenting in Solomon as it does in all Christians who claim faith in God but employ the world’s resources to accomplish kingdom goals.
To use the world’s resources to promote personality in the name of spiritual faith is classic folly! Success is no substitute for holiness. It’s possible to be;
1. Capable and not qualified.
2. To be competent, but not anointed.
3. Educated, but not dedicated.
True faith has all of its resources in God. It may not be big, it may not be prominent, but it has this confidence; all of its resources are in God. See Zechariah 4:6
I Kings 11:9 And the Lord was angry with Solomon, because his heart was turned from the Lord God of Israel, which had appeared unto him twice.
“God has favorites, but He does not favor His favorites.” Psalm 15; 24:3-6 He over-related to his material environment. I Kings 10:26-11:4 In 2 Chronicles 1:12, God promised Solomon wisdom, knowledge, riches, and wealth. Deuteronomy 17:14-20, God gave guidelines for all the kings of Israel to follow, including Solomon. He should have related more heavily to the commandments than to his material state. God didn’t cancel the kingly commandments when He promised him riches and wealth. That would still be required. No matter what material state we find ourselves in, we must still keep the Word of God in a proper perspective, even more so when we know full well that materialism is diametric to so many spiritual principles. Moderation is a different value than extravagance. Wealth genders pride in many – hardly ever humility. We are never warned against poverty, but “the love of money is the root of all evil.” Wealth heeds sophistication and high-mindedness, not spiritual virtue. Jesus said it’s very hard for the rich to enter the kingdom. If the rich are to avoid the error of Solomon they must stay in close proximity to the Word, letting everything revolve around it! Solomon failed to do this and lost holiness of life.
I Kings 15:5 Because David did that which was right in the eyes of the Lord, and turned not aside from any thing that he commanded him all the days of his life, save only in the matter of Uriah the Hittite.
Avoid mistakes in life that put something on the record that cannot be removed or forgotten. God commended David here for having a special love for His commandments.
I Kings 15:14 But the high places were not removed: nevertheless Asa’s heart was perfect with the Lord all his days.
Although there were some reforms that Asa might have inaugurated, but did not; and although there may have been some glaring faults in his management of his kingdom; yet the Bible asserts that his heart was perfect with the Lord all his days. So also, in spite of our ignorance and infirmities and other natural or circumstantial disabilities, it is possible for us to have a heart like Asa perfect with God all our days.
I Kings 21:20 And Ahab said to Elijah, Hast thou found me, O mine enemy? And he answered, I have found thee: because thou hast sold thyself to work evil in the sight of the Lord.
Jezebel was Ahab’s darling, but when he saw Elijah, he called him his “enemy.” Selfishness, pride, and sin twists our thinking and values until we don’t know our true friends from our real enemies. See Psalm 141:5.
I Kings 21:25 But there was none like unto Ahab, which did sell himself to work wickedness in the sight of the Lord, whom Jezebel his wife stirred up.
Desire for body pleasures will overrule conscience again and again until conscience loses its authority in governing the moral direction of the soul. A Christian given to (non-biblical) pleasure and who seeks pleasure (and sometimes innocent and legitimate forms of pleasure) can do so until the lust for pleasure begins to play a part in how we make our decisions. Conscience acts upon what is right and wrong, while the body appetites function on the basis of pain and pleasure. The Christian perfecting holiness in the sight of God must never allow his conduct to be dominated by decisions based upon pain and pleasure. We do err when we relate things of pain to evil. And things that are pleasant as good. See philosophy, Hedonism. Israel lusted for the “leeks and onions.” Humanistic religion is programmed for pleasure. Holiness makes its decisions on the basis of right and wrong and not on the biological preference for pleasure. James 4:3 The serpent beguiled Eve. Genesis 3:4 The influence of the mixed multitude on Israel. Numbers 11:4 Jaen influences the mighty warrior to his death. Judges 4:17 The influence of Solomon’s heathen wives. I Kings 11:3 Jorum, King of Israel, influenced by his wife, daughter of Jezebel. 2 Kings 8:17, 21:9; See 2 Chronicles 33:9; Hosea 4:9; Luke 12:1; Galatians 3:1.
2 Kings 23:3 “And the king stood by a pillar, and made a covenant before the Lord, to walk after the Lord, and to keep his commandments and his testimonies and his statutes with all their heart and all their soul, to perform the words of this covenant that were written in this book. And all the people stood to the covenant.”
2 Kings 3:1 Now Jehoram the son of Ahab began to reign over Israel in Samaria the eighteenth year of Jehoshaphat king of Judah, and reigned twelve years. 2 And he wrought evil in the sight of the Lord; but not like his father, and like his mother: for he put away the image of Baal that his father had made.
God judged all kings as good or evil. As each ascended the throne the chronicle usually monitored five facts about each king. 1) His name; 2) His age when he began to reign; 3) How long he reigned; 4) His mother’s name; and 5) Whether “he did right in the sight of the Lord,” or “did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord.”
I Kings 14:22 Rehoboam – Judah – Did Evil
I Kings 15:3 Abijam – Judah – Did Evil
I Kings 16:1-2 Baasha – Israel – Did Evil
I Kings 16:30 Ahab – Israel – Did Evil
2 Kings 3:1-2 Jehoram – Israel – Did Evil
2 Kings 10:31 Jehu – Israel – Did Evil
2 Kings 12:1-2 Jehoash – Judah – Did Right
2 Kings 13:1-2 Jehoahaz – Israel – Did Evil
2 Kings 14:1-3 Amaziah – Judah – Did Right
2 Kings 15:1-3 Azariah – Judah – Did Right
2 Kings 16:1-2 Ahaz – Judah – Did Right
2 Kings 17:1-2 Hoshea – Israel – Did Evil
2 Kings 18:1-3 Hezekiah – Judah – Did Right
2 Kings 21:1-2 Manasseh – Judah – Did Evil
2 Kings 22:1-2 Josiah – Judah – Did Right
2 Kings 23:31 Jehoahaz – Judah – Did Evil
2 Kings 23:36 Jehoiakim – Judah – Did Evil
2 Kings 24:8-9 Jehoiachin – Judah – Did Evil
2 Kings 24:18 Zedekiah – Judah – Did Evil
2 Kings 9:30 And when Jehu was come to Jezreel, Jezebel heard of it; and she painted her face, and tired her head, and looked out at a window.
The ostentatious Jezebel
Jezebel is still the Bible’s symbol of the physical beauty cult. Our Gospel Fathers
once preached fearlessly whole messages on Jezebel, the woman who painted herself, and in so teaching, warded off many worldly evils. But today, the neo-Christian is completely conditioned to worldliness and vanity of flesh. Little girls in their young teens dress and paint like little harlots, mincing in the church. Mothers and fathers not only tolerate it, but practice it themselves. What was once considered an evil form of worldliness is now being promoted as good from the pulpit!
K2 Kings 16:3 But he walked in the way of the kings of Israel, yea, and made his son to pass through the fire, according to the abominations of the heathen, whom the Lord cast out from before the children of Israel.
HEATHEN TRADITION: HALLOWEEN
Halloween was founded and given most of its characteristics by the druids. Druids: A priest or soothsayer of a Celtic religious order in ancient Gaul, Britain, and Ireland. The druids possessed some knowledge of geometry, natural philosophy, etc., superintended the affairs of religion and morality, and performed the office of judges: they were influential especially before the Celts were Christianized. A member of an order known as the United Ancient Order of Druids, founded 1781, in London.
The druids established the following things regarding the Halloween celebration.
1. They established October 31 as the day evil spirits return to the earth making contact with human beings.
2. They originated the idea of costumes.
3. They originated the idea of trick or treating.
4. On this day human sacrifices were made by the druids.
Christians should have no part with this “harmless” Satanic celebration that is of demonic origin! See 2 Kings 17:8-11; 2 Chronicles 33:2. This is one of the “harmless” practices Christians have become involved in. When the church sanctifies itself and separates itself unto the Lord, it will depart from all heathen practices and celebrations. God’s people will denounce and ignore any practice of heathen origin. God made parents intelligent for such good reasons as this. A Christian religion of our own liking means we can do as we like. Christians who seek to be holy, seek to be set apart as the Lord commands. See Holy; Sanctification; I Chronicles 15:12.
2 Kings 20:3 I beseech thee, O Lord, remember now how I have walked before thee in truth and with a perfect heart, and have done that which is good in thy sight. And Hezekiah wept sore.
How quickly God acknowledged the tears of this weeping King who cried out to Him. Why? Look at his character qualities! 1) I have walked before thee; 2) In truth; 3) With a perfect heart; 4) Good scriptural conduct; and 5) Brokenness, “and Hezekiah wept sore.”
I Chronicles 29:17 “I know also, my God, that thou triest the heart, and hast pleasure in uprightness. As for me, in the uprightness of mine heart I have willingly offered all these things: and now have I seen with joy thy people, which are present here, to offer willingly unto thee.”
I Chronicles 12:33 Of Zebulun, such as went forth to battle, expert in war, with all instruments of war, fifty thousand, which could keep rank: they were not of double heart.
The best warriors in our holy war are the single-hearted. Loyalty is essential. Treason cannot be tolerated. Divided hearts are the omen of defeat.
I Chronicles 15:12 And said unto them, Ye are the chief of the fathers of the Levites: sanctify yourselves, both ye and your brethren, that ye may bring up the ark of the Lord God of Israel unto the place that I have prepared for it.
“Sanctify yourselves.” The initiative of the believer to set himself apart, to be cleansed by his own choice.
I Chronicles 16:29 Give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name: bring an offering, and come before him: worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.
(See Psalms 29:2; 96:9)
BEAUTY AND CLEANLINESS
When God created the cosmic world, He gave it beauty in color, form, fragrance, sound, taste and order. Through the ages man has been devastating the original Edenic beauty! Where bottles, cans, graffiti, trash, junkyards, discarded paper and litter of all descriptions clutter the scene, ecology is threatened to the point that even unregenerate man is sounding the alarm of its dangers. Trash spoils natural beauty. Uncleanness is always the enemy of beauty! You can destroy the beauty of anything with filth. So it is with the BEAUTY OF HOLINESS! Worldliness is the pollution of the beauty of holiness. Cosmetology is man’s attempt to deify self. But when we pollute the natural beauty, we not only attempt the glorification of the flesh, we cheapen and pollute original beauty. “The natural look” is always in vogue, considered good taste and envied by the unchaste and impure.
I Chronicles 28:9 And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for the Lord searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off for ever.
Know thou the God of thy father. God didn’t indicate to Solomon that he needed a whole new revelation for “the special day he was living in.” God’s advice to Solomon was to adhere to the faith of his Father; to abide by David’s teachings and convictions. A willing mind. Willingness speaks of inner desire. A desire to serve God and keep His commandments. This inner desire is the God given key to obedience. It is what the Holy Spirit brings into the heart of the genuinely converted. If you have the Holy Spirit, you will love truth and the commandments above l things. John 14:15
2 Chronicles 20:21 “And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed singers unto the Lord, and that should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army, and to say, Praise the Lord; for his mercy endureth for ever.”
2 Chronicles 26:5 And he sought God in the days of Zechariah, who had understanding in the visions of God: and as long as he sought the Lord, God made him to prosper. 2 chronicles 26:5
2 Chronicles 20:21 7:14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
The word here is “turn from their wicked apathy.” Ezekiel 44:23
2 Chronicles 13:12 (KJV)
12 And, behold, God himself is with us for our captain, and his priests with sounding trumpets to cry alarm against you. O children of Israel, fight ye not against the Lord God of your fathers; for ye shall not prosper.
2 Chronicles 20:21 And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed singers unto the Lord, and that should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army, and to say, Praise the Lord; for his mercy endureth for ever.
This is immortalized in sacred Holiness, history by the wonderful victory God gave His faithful king Jehoshaphat when Moab, Ammon, and Edom had all united against Judea. Each nation was larger than the [smaller Hebrew nations], and God sent him a prophet to deliver His message not to go out against them belligerently, but to [go out singing] the beauty of His holiness. [As they sang of His holiness] He sent a confusion among them so they mistook their own allies for the Jews, and fought against them in the moonlight and so utterly exterminated each the other as to super-induce a general stampede, in their panic leaving the very earth groaning with the spoils of war, which the Jews captured. They who sing of it should possess it in spirit, soul and body. I Thessalonians 5:23. See Body; Trichotomy.
2 Chronicles 25:2 And he did that which was right in the sight of the Lord, but not with a perfect heart.
Some ways the heart can be off;
1. Obedience with reservation.
2. Obedience with divided affection.
3. Obedience lacking pure motive.
4. Obedience for others to see.
5. Obedience without compassion.
2 Chronicles 25:5 Moreover Amaziah gathered Judah together, and made them captains over thousands, and captains over hundreds, according to the houses of their fathers, throughout all Judah and Benjamin: and he numbered them from twenty years old and above, and found them three hundred thousand choice men, able to go forth to war, that could handle spear and shield. 6 He hired also an hundred thousand mighty men of valour out of Israel for an hundred talents of silver. 7 But there came a man of God to him, saying, O king, let not the army of Israel go with thee; for the Lord is not with Israel, to wit, with all the children of Ephraim.8 But if thou wilt go, do it, be strong for the battle: God shall make thee fall before the enemy: for God hath power to help, and to cast down. 9 And Amaziah said to the man of God, But what shall we do for the hundred talents which I have given to the army of Israel? And the man of God answered, The Lord is able to give thee much more than this. 10 Then Amaziah separated them, to wit, the army that was come to him out of Ephraim, to go home again:
Amaziah had tremendous organizational ability. These natural skills can get the man of God in trouble. He organized everything. He had put his confidence in his natural ability, in money, and force. Then the prophet came and spoiled his plans and showed him it was more glorious to put his faith (have his resources) in God. Amaziah is to be commended! He dumped his plan, put his fate and his faith in the power and resources of God. Result: He “slaughtered” the Edomites.
FAITH AND RESOURCES
Jesus’ life was the pure example of finding its resources in the power of God. The Pharisees used their alliances with the political forces of Rome. The philosophies of the Greeks was still prevalent along with the resources of a powerful Roman Empire. Jesus did not in any way avail Himself of any of these natural resources. He was a man who totally and completely relied upon His “connection” with the Father. He achieved all through His communion with God and depended entirely upon the anointing of the Holy Spirit. Moses did not use resources of the world to bring about the freedom of the slave nation Israel from Egypt. Gideon did not use the resources of the world when he destroyed the camp of the Midianites. In fact, the men and nations these men conquered were trusting in might and power, in alliances, in swords and chariots. It was men of the world who trusted in the resources of the world that were conquered by men of spiritual faith who used spiritual weapons. In Judges 4, it was God who gave Deborah the battle plan that would destroy Sisera and the 900 iron chariots. Iron at this time was considered the symbol of strength on the battlefield. Horses and iron chariots was an invincible military advantage. But Jabin’s kingdom fell when the resources of the world met in mortal combat with the faith of Deborah and Barak whose resources were in God!
2 Chronicles 26:15 And he made in Jerusalem engines, invented by cunning men, to be on the towers and upon the bulwarks, to shoot arrows and great stones withal. And his name spread far abroad; for he was marvellously helped, till he was strong. 16 But when he was strong, his heart was lifted up to his destruction: for he transgressed against the Lord his God, and went into the temple of the Lord to burn incense upon the altar of incense.
The ill effects of materialism on character. If we make the mistake of being absorbed in, distracted by the blessings of obedience, we can easily enter upon a self-destructive course. Solomon ruined his spiritual life, as well as his spiritual ministry, by indulging in the resources of materialism.
I Kings 10-11; 2 Chronicles 26:15,16; Deuteronomy 6:10-12; Jeremiah 22:21; Ezekiel 16:49; Haggai 1:4; Proverbs 14:12; 16:25
There is a post blessing wisdom we must observe that is as essential as pre-obedience wisdom. Men rise and fall with their morals.
2 Chronicles 26:16 But when he was strong, his heart was lifted up to his destruction: for he transgressed against the Lord his God, and went into the temple of the Lord to burn incense upon the altar of incense.
“When he was strong … he transgressed.” All the kings of Judah and Israel were rated as either good or evil. The message is clear; God seeks righteousness and holiness in all men, and especially His leaders. 2 Kings 3:1-2 In a concordance it can be seen, especially between the books of Judges and 2 Chronicles, that the moral condition of Israel and its kings was God’s chief concern.
Ezra 10:1 “Now when Ezra had prayed, and when he had confessed, weeping and casting himself down before the house of God, there assembled unto him out of Israel a very great congregation of men and women and children: for the people wept very sore.”
Nehemiah 8:8 “So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading.”
Nehemiah 8:3 And he read therein before the street that was before the water gate from the morning until midday, before the men and the women, and those that could understand; and the ears of all the people were attentive unto the book of the law. 8 So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading.
The Bible is a moral book revealing the divine nature of a loving heavenly Father. When the book is read distinctly and the sense is given and human minds perceive and understand the reading, result will be holiness of life. “I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy loving kindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.” Psalm 138:2 See I Timothy 3:16; 2 John 9
Nehemiah 13:26 Did not Solomon king of Israel sin by these things? yet among many nations was there no king like him, who was beloved of his God, and God made him king over all Israel: nevertheless even him did outlandish women cause to sin.
Esther 3:2 “And all the king’s servants, that were in the king’s gate, bowed, and reverenced Haman: for the king had so commanded concerning him. But Mordecai bowed not, nor did him reverence.”