David Spared Saul Again

21 Then Saul confessed, “I have sinned. Come back home, my son, and I will no longer try to harm you, for you valued my life today. I have been a fool and very, very wrong.”
1 Samuel 26:21 (NLT)

In the previous articles, we have seen how Saul tried to hunt David down. In his operation, Saul found himself trapped by David. David spared him. Saul repented and returned to his palace. In his mind, he knew David had no intention to take his throne. However, his heart was still very insecure. All it took was for someone to stir up his insecurity and he wanted to kill David again.

1 Now some men from Ziph came to Saul at Gibeah to tell him, “David is hiding on the hill of Hakilah, which overlooks Jeshimon.”
2 So Saul took 3,000 of Israel’s elite troops and went to hunt him down in the wilderness of Ziph.
1 Samuel 26:1-2 (NLT)

At that time, David’s 400 followers had grown into 600 courageous warriors. It was a great improvement in terms of quality and quantity. This tells us that David had never stop improving even though he was no longer a high ranking officer of the king’s army. However, he was still outnumbered by Saul’s 3,000 elite troops. The only way for David was to opt for guerrilla warfare, which relies on ambushes and avoid direct confrontation.

David had another advantage. He had the Lord’s blessing on him. He could never lose. The only way for him to lose was for he to give up himself. Yesterday, I received a comment from a lady who said she had been happily tithing but ended up being unemployed for a long time and her mother had cancer. She had since given up tithing and sowing. She considered God’s words on tithing and sowing to be fairy tales. I replied by telling her that there are setbacks in the real world. If she is to give up because of the setbacks she faced, her life will never change. The Bible has many stories on godly people who faced various setbacks. Despite that, they refused to give up and succeeded in overcoming them.

The same will happen to every Christian. The world that we are living in is full of setbacks. If you have been following the news, the once seemingly infallible mighty banks and insurance companies are facing bankruptcy. They need their governments to use tax payers’ money to bail them out. This incident tells us that if we are to rely on the world’s system for our prosperity, we are standing on shaky ground. We need to rely on God and not the world for our prosperity. The world’s economy can go up or down but if you are living in faith, your prosperity can only go up.

In David’s case, he was up against Saul’s best troops. They were the elite. Today’s term is “commandos”. How was David’s 600 men going to fight Saul’s 3,000 commandos? God helped him by putting Saul and his commandos into deep sleep. David and one man could just walked into Saul’s camp unopposed. He was in position to kill Saul and end his misery.

8 “God has surely handed your enemy over to you this time!” Abishai whispered to David. “Let me pin him to the ground with one thrust of the spear; I won’t need to strike twice!”
9 “No!” David said. “Don’t kill him. For who can remain innocent after attacking the Lord’s anointed one? 10 Surely the Lord will strike Saul down someday, or he will die of old age or in battle.
11 The Lord forbid that I should kill the one he has anointed! But take his spear and that jug of water beside his head, and then let’s get out of here!”
12 So David took the spear and jug of water that were near Saul’s head. Then he and Abishai got away without anyone seeing them or even waking up, because the Lord had put Saul’s men into a deep sleep.
1 Samuel 26:8-12 (NLT)

David still considered Saul to be God’s anointed. Killing Saul was the equivalent of dishonoring God. All he did was taking away Saul’s spear and jug. Despite the troubles he went through and all the unfairness life threw at him, David had not given up on God. Why was that so? He was already convinced beyond doubt that his God will deliver him. The last thing he wanted to do was to kill God’s anointed and dishonor God. This is the mark of true faith.

After he reached at a safe distance from the camp, David called out to Saul’s camp.

13 David climbed the hill opposite the camp until he was at a safe distance.
14 Then he shouted down to the soldiers and to Abner son of Ner, “Wake up, Abner!”
“Who is it?” Abner demanded.
15 “Well, Abner, you’re a great man, aren’t you?” David taunted. “Where in all Israel is there anyone as mighty? So why haven’t you guarded your master the king when someone came to kill him?
16 This isn’t good at all! I swear by the Lord that you and your men deserve to die, because you failed to protect your master, the Lord’s anointed! Look around! Where are the king’s spear and the jug of water that were beside his head?”
1 Samuel 26:13-16 (NLT)

Saul woke up.

17 Saul recognized David’s voice and called out, “Is that you, my son David?” And David replied, “Yes, my lord the king.
18 Why are you chasing me? What have I done? What is my crime?
19 But now let my lord the king listen to his servant. If the Lord has stirred you up against me, then let him accept my offering. But if this is simply a human scheme, then may those involved be cursed by the Lord. For they have driven me from my home, so I can no longer live among the Lord’s people, and they have said, ‘Go, worship pagan gods.’
20 Must I die on foreign soil, far from the presence of the Lord? Why has the king of Israel come out to search for a single flea? Why does he hunt me down like a partridge on the mountains?”
1 Samuel 26:17-20 (NLT)

Saul was again confronted with the truth. It was the truth he could not deny. His actions were irrational and based on the insecurity inside him. So, Saul repented again and tried to make up with David.

21 Then Saul confessed, “I have sinned. Come back home, my son, and I will no longer try to harm you, for you valued my life today. I have been a fool and very, very wrong.”
1 Samuel 26:21 (NLT)

By then, David must have realized that Saul was not the man of his words. Saul’s promises could be broken any time. Staying with Saul was the most dangerous thing to do. David returned the items he took, gave a goodbye message and left.

22 “Here is your spear, O king,” David replied. “Let one of your young men come over and get it.
23 The Lord gives his own reward for doing good and for being loyal, and I refused to kill you even when the Lord placed you in my power, for you are the Lord’s anointed one.
24 Now may the Lord value my life, even as I have valued yours today. May he rescue me from all my troubles.”
1 Samuel 26:22-24 (NLT)

The above words show us that David had been living by faith. He looked to the Lord for his reward and deliverance. No wonder he was so successful in his life. As mentioned earlier, if you choose to rely on the physical world for your success, you are on shaky ground. Nothing in this world is reliable. Once upon a time, multinational banks were considered the anchors of the world’s financial system. They were the biggest and the strongest companies around. Investing in them was the wisest thing to do. After all, how can you lose money in owning banks?

We see the truth today. Those banks have been falling like dominos. They resorted to begging their respective governments for funds. Those who had believed in those great and mighty banks, and invested heavily in them are now in a rude shock. If you happen to be one of them, it is not too late. Turn to God. He will deliver you and bring you prosperity. God will never go bankrupt. Living in faith is the best investment you can ever have.

The Seed Of Hannah

20 and in due time she gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel, for she said, “I asked the Lord for him.”
1 Samuel 1:20 (NLT)

This is another story on how God answers prayers and fulfill our desires. This was the time after the Israelites settled in their Promised Land and before the establishment of monarchy in Israel. There was a man named Elkanah. He had two wives. They were Peninnah and Hannah. Elkanah loved Hannah more but she had a problem. She had a great desire for a child but she could not have any. She was taunted by Peninnah and she was very sad. She had even been through periods of crying and refusing to eat. Hannah had a great desire to give birth. Her husband tried to comfort her by using theology.

8 “Why are you crying, Hannah?” Elkanah would ask. “Why aren’t you eating? Why be downhearted just because you have no children? You have me—isn’t that better than having ten sons?”
1 Samuel 1:8 (NLT)

Does the above sound familiar to you? This is a typical religious tactic. Elkanah was saying that it is alright not to have any children of your own because you have me. Am I not better than ten sons? Here is today’s equivalent. You may want to have a lot of money because you want to do that thing that God had placed in your heart to do. Religious people will tell you that God can still use the poor. That is theology, not engineering. What is the difference between theology and engineering?

Engineering is a process of constant improvements. If you are sick, find ways to get well. If you are poor, find ways to get rich. If you failed, find ways toward success. God himself is an engineer and the Bible is a book on engineering. God expects us to use the truths in the Bible to improve ourselves. In other words, God expects us to behave like engineers.

In contrast, theology is nothing more than finding excuse for failures. If you are sick, it may be God’s will for you to be sick. God is glorified in your sickness. God enjoys seeing you suffer. If you are poor, then God’s will for you is to be poor. Don’t ever try to get rich. God can still use the poor. God will be very angry if you try to improve yourself. Theology is a blasphemy. This is why those who are under the bondage of theology can never please God. If God is an engineer, then Satan must be a theologian.

How did Hannah respond to her husband’s theology? She ignored it. She was not an engineer by profession but she was an engineer in her mind. Since she wanted to have a child, she would do whatever she could to have one. The only option available to her was to go to the Temple to pray. When she was there, she prayed so intensely that the priest, Eli thought she was drunk. After Hannah had explained her desires to him, Eli began to understand.

17 “In that case,” Eli said, “go in peace! May the God of Israel grant the request you have asked of him.”
1 Samuel 1:17 (NLT)

Eli asked Hannah to go in peace and may the God of Israel grant the request she had asked of him. That sounds quite positive but I don’t think it was a confession. It sounds more like comforting words. Eli used the words “may the God of Israel”, which implies uncertainty. However, Hannah seemed to take it as a certainty.

18 “Oh, thank you, sir!” she exclaimed. Then she went back and began to eat again, and she was no longer sad.
1 Samuel 1:18 (NLT)

She began to rejoice. What had happened? She must have mistaken Eli’s words of comfort as a guarantee that God was going to give her a child. It was a mistake but this mistake had a positive side effect. It caused Hannah’s faith to grow. She believed she was going to have a child. As she had believed, she received one.

20 and in due time she gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel, for she said, “I asked the Lord for him.”
1 Samuel 1:20 (NLT)

There are 2 lessons here:
1. Believe and you shall receive.
2. God is capable of creating positive results from a mistake.

However, there was a problem. Earlier, when she was still barren, Hannah had promised to dedicate her child (if she had one) to the Lord. This means the child will be living permanently in the Temple and away from her. She was facing the prospect of losing the son she had longed for but she thought like an engineer, a promise is a promise. She intended to fulfill her promise and gave her son to God.

Here is another truth. Whatever we give to God, God regards it as sowing seeds. God’s law dictates that we will reap what we sow. When Hannah sowed her son to God, guess what she will reap?

21 And the Lord gave Hannah three sons and two daughters. Meanwhile, Samuel grew up in the presence of the Lord.
1 Samuel 2:21 (NLT)

She reaped another three sons and two daughters. The Law of Sowing and Reaping was workin20 and in due time she gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel, for she said, “I asked the Lord for him.”
1 Samuel 1:20 (NLT)

This is another story on how God answers prayers and fulfill our desires. This was the time after the Israelites settled in their Promised Land and before the establishment of monarchy in Israel. There was a man named Elkanah. He had two wives. They were Peninnah and Hannah. Elkanah loved Hannah more but she had a problem. She had a great desire for a child but she could not have any. She was taunted by Peninnah and she was very sad. She had even been through periods of crying and refusing to eat. Hannah had a great desire to give birth. Her husband tried to comfort her by using theology.

8 “Why are you crying, Hannah?” Elkanah would ask. “Why aren’t you eating? Why be downhearted just because you have no children? You have me—isn’t that better than having ten sons?”
1 Samuel 1:8 (NLT)

Does the above sound familiar to you? This is a typical religious tactic. Elkanah was saying that it is alright not to have any children of your own because you have me. Am I not better than ten sons? Here is today’s equivalent. You may want to have a lot of money because you want to do that thing that God had placed in your heart to do. Religious people will tell you that God can still use the poor. That is theology, not engineering. What is the difference between theology and engineering?

Engineering is a process of constant improvements. If you are sick, find ways to get well. If you are poor, find ways to get rich. If you failed, find ways toward success. God himself is an engineer and the Bible is a book on engineering. God expects us to use the truths in the Bible to improve ourselves. In other words, God expects us to behave like engineers.

In contrast, theology is nothing more than finding excuse for failures. If you are sick, it may be God’s will for you to be sick. God is glorified in your sickness. God enjoys seeing you suffer. If you are poor, then God’s will for you is to be poor. Don’t ever try to get rich. God can still use the poor. God will be very angry if you try to improve yourself. Theology is a blasphemy. This is why those who are under the bondage of theology can never please God. If God is an engineer, then Satan must be a theologian.

How did Hannah respond to her husband’s theology? She ignored it. She was not an engineer by profession but she was an engineer in her mind. Since she wanted to have a child, she would do whatever she could to have one. The only option available to her was to go to the Temple to pray. When she was there, she prayed so intensely that the priest, Eli thought she was drunk. After Hannah had explained her desires to him, Eli began to understand.

17 “In that case,” Eli said, “go in peace! May the God of Israel grant the request you have asked of him.”
1 Samuel 1:17 (NLT)

Eli asked Hannah to go in peace and may the God of Israel grant the request she had asked of him. That sounds quite positive but I don’t think it was a confession. It sounds more like comforting words. Eli used the words “may the God of Israel”, which implies uncertainty. However, Hannah seemed to take it as a certainty.

18 “Oh, thank you, sir!” she exclaimed. Then she went back and began to eat again, and she was no longer sad.
1 Samuel 1:18 (NLT)

She began to rejoice. What had happened? She must have mistaken Eli’s words of comfort as a guarantee that God was going to give her a child. It was a mistake but this mistake had a positive side effect. It caused Hannah’s faith to grow. She believed she was going to have a child. As she had believed, she received one.

20 and in due time she gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel, for she said, “I asked the Lord for him.”
1 Samuel 1:20 (NLT)

There are 2 lessons here:
1. Believe and you shall receive.
2. God is capable of creating positive results from a mistake.

However, there was a problem. Earlier, when she was still barren, Hannah had promised to dedicate her child (if she had one) to the Lord. This means the child will be living permanently in the Temple and away from her. She was facing the prospect of losing the son she had longed for but she thought like an engineer, a promise is a promise. She intended to fulfill her promise and gave her son to God.

Here is another truth. Whatever we give to God, God regards it as sowing seeds. God’s law dictates that we will reap what we sow. When Hannah sowed her son to God, guess what she will reap?

21 And the Lord gave Hannah three sons and two daughters. Meanwhile, Samuel grew up in the presence of the Lord.
1 Samuel 2:21 (NLT)

She reaped another three sons and two daughters. The Law of Sowing and Reaping was working in her life. She reaped her harvest of sons and daughters. Here is the lesson for us today. No matter what your desires are, you need to do the following:
1. Don’t give up.
2. Believe you receive.
3. Sow seeds.

Stop Sinning Or Something Even Worse May Happen To You

14 But afterward Jesus found him in the Temple and told him, “Now you are well; so stop sinning, or something even worse may happen to you.”
John 5:14 (NLT)

Does the title look scary? Does it sound like the sermons from the doom and gloom preachers? If you have been reading my writings for some time, I am sure you realize that I am not the doom and gloom type. I do not resort to threats and blackmails in the name of God’s will. I believe in a God who is loving and caring.

Why do you think I put this up? I am been reading the book of John for the past few weeks and I have been writing articles on it. You can see for yourself that I have been quoting from John and the verses are in sequence. Now that I reach John 5:14, I might as well write something on it for 2 reasons:

1. The religious people might accuse me of hiding something.
2. I want to reveal the true meaning of this verse to counter the abuse by the religious people.

Please don’t get me wrong. I am not really that concern of what the religious people are thinking about me. In their mind, anyone who does not agree with them or dance to their tune is a heretic. I have already accepted the fact that their impression of me is nothing more than a heretic. However, I do enjoy exposing the lies of their religion with the truth from the Bible and this is what I going to do now.

Let us get back to the topic. This is a sequence from yesterday’s story. Jesus healed a sick man at the Sheep Gate. The man got healed, picked up his mat and walked away. While he was walking, he was caught by the Pharisee for working on Sabbath. The Pharisee asked him why he broke the law. The man said he was instructed by another man who healed him. However, Jesus was blocked by the crowds and they cannot see him. Later, the man met Jesus at the Temple and Jesus told him, “Now you are well; so stop sinning, or something even worse may happen to you.”

Opps. Does that mean God will do perverted things to me if I sin? I am sure many religious preachers will capitalize on this to threaten their members to obey their instructions. Unfortunately for them, I am going to explain the truth in this article. If you have been living under such threats, this article will set you free.

Let us start with sin. Jesus told the man to stop sinning. So, the meaning of sin must be crucial in this study. Here we go, an act of sin is an act that is against the will of God in our lives. Next, what is the will of God? Let me give you God’s master plan for our lives.

2Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.
3 John 1:2 (KJV)

The greatest wish of God for our lives is for us to prosper and be in health as our souls prosper. This is the master plan of God for you and me. Therefore, every instruction and direction from God must lead to his master plan which is recorded in 3 John 1:2. An act of sin is an act against God’s instructions and directions. Since the direction from God leads to health, wealth and soul prosperity, an act against this direction must lead to sickness, lack and soul poverty.

When Jesus said those words in John 5:14, he was basically saying do not go against God’s direction on health, wealth and soul prosperity in your life. If you do, you will experience the opposite of God’s will for you. God will never make us poor and sick. If you happen to be poor and sick, you must realize that God wants you rich and healthy. If you want to be rich and healthy you need to follow God’s direction for your life. It begins with faith. You need to build up your faith. You can do that by reading the Bible, listening to faith messages and meditate on his words. I suggest you start reading the articles in this blog because they were all written based on the Word of God to set us free and to prosper us.

As you do, please ignore the negative comments from the religious people. The reason I keep their blasphemies is to serve as my trophies. Each time I see their blasphemies, I am reminded of the fact that Satan is getting desperate. This encourages me to continue writing the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

I would like to stress that John 5:14 is not a threat. Threats have often been used by religious leaders. They will tell you, “You better do what I told you or you are going to answer to God.” So the basic idea is if you don’t follow their instructions, God will do perverted things in your life. This is religion, not Jesus.

Jesus’ words in John 5:14 are the equivalent of, “Don’t smoke or you might get lung cancer.” God will never give lung cancer to smokers. It is the nicotine in their smoke that gives them lung cancer. Likewise, Jesus will never cause bad things to happen to that man. It was his sin that will act as the equivalent of nicotine that causes bad things to happen to his life. Jesus was only reminding him not to do anything that will adversely affect his health and wealth.

In conclusion, Jesus does not threaten nor blackmail people into obedience. Religious people threaten and blackmail but not Jesus. I hope this article can help you to be aware of the true nature of God.

Your Son Will Live

49 The official pleaded, “Lord, please come now before my little boy dies.”
50 Then Jesus told him, “Go back home. Your son will live!” And the man believed what Jesus said and started home.
John 4:49-50 (NLT)

Let us begin with the background story. Jesus was on his way from Judea to Galilee. He was stopped by a civil servant. This civil servant has a son and this son was seriously ill. So he begged Jesus to heal his son. Jesus told his to go back home and his son will live. This man believed in what Jesus said and went home. On his journey back, he met his servants and they reported that the son had recovered. When he checked on the exact time of the recovery, it was the exact time when Jesus said, “Go back home. Your son will live!”.

What can we learn from this? This story tells us very clearly the character of Jesus. If you are under the bondage of religion, you will have a very perverted impression of Jesus. When I was under the bondage of religion, I thought of Jesus as a pervert who is capable of every evil. One can never know how perverted can he be. After all, he is God. He can do anything he likes. He can kill you, give you cancer, caused you to be knocked down by a car or any other evil he pleased. That is what I got from my previous religious church.

This is why I never dared to pray when I was in that religious church. Just imagine what will happen if I had fever and prayed for healing? This perverted Jesus might end up giving me cancer because it is his will and his pleasure to see me suffer with cancer! This was the Jesus I used to know.

Yet, the above verses tell us an exact opposite character of Jesus.

Jesus saves. He is not a murderer, nor is he a pervert. This means if you are sick, he wants you well. He will never make you sick. He had taken all our sickness and diseases at the Cross. Why would he want to make you sick when he willingly suffered at the Cross to take away all your sicknesses? Unless you are deeply under the bondage of religion, you should have no problem in the above logic. So, if you are sick right now, this is the time to receive your rights for healing. Healing from every sickness is the right bought by Jesus at the Cross.

No matter what troubles you are facing right now, Jesus is telling you to trust in him. If you have a sick son, his words to you are, “Go back home. Your son will live!”. However, that is not the end of the story. In the subsequent part of John 4:50, we were told that the man believed. As a result this, his son was healed. Some may ask, “Is it necessary for us to believe?”

Why do you think there is a second part at John 4:50 telling us that the man believed? Obviously, Jesus wants us to believe in his words if we want our prayers to be answered. In other words, our faith is necessary for our prayers to be answered.

Incidentally, this is also the area that Satan and his army of religious people are attacking right now. The moment you are in faith and attend faith churches, you are a target of Satan persecution. Right now, I even have a well-intentioned religious guy writing about me in his blog and asked his religious friends to pray for me to be delivered from the “Prosperity Gospel”. This tells us that some religious people are even capable of soft skills. However, some of his visitors had resorted to slanders and lies in defense of their religion. No matter what tactic they used, their objective is to get us to stop believing in the truth and to be oppressed under the bondage of religion.

What do all these tell us? Satan is desperate. He is afraid of our faith. So the key to our victory over the Kingdom Of Darkness is our faith. As long as we continue to believe that what Jesus said is true, we are going to win. We are going to triumph over the evil forces of darkness. No matter how bad your situation is right now, it is going to turn around in your favor. Your sickness will turn into health. Your poverty will turn into prosperity. Your failures will turn into success. God is working behind the scenes to make sure of that. All you need to do is to believe. Cling on to your faith and don’t let go. Turn to Jesus. Confess and meditate on his Words. Go to churches that preach faith and listen to their messages. The more you expose yourself to the Word Of God, the more your faith will grow. One day, as long as you don’t give up, you will see the manifestation of your victory.

This is the Gospel Of Jesus Christ. Your son will live.

The Wicked Will Be Destroyed

7 Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for him to act. Don’t worry about evil people who prosper or fret about their wicked schemes.
8 Stop being angry! Turn from your rage! Do not lose your temper— it only leads to harm.
9 For the wicked will be destroyed, but those who trust in the Lord will possess the land.
Psalm 37:7-9 (NLT)

Welcome to the fifth installment on my study of Psalm 37. Psalm 37:7-9 elaborates on the issue raised in Psalm 37:1, which is the prosperity of the wicked. Don’t you think there will be less confusion if all the godly people are rich and the wicked are all poor? However, things on earth are not that simple. We can see in today’s world that many wicked people are richer than the godly despite God’s promises of prosperity to the latter. Some of us could have gotten angry over this. In the above passage, the Lord tells us not to be angry and be patient.

Psalm 37:7 tells us to be still in the presence of the Lord and wait patiently for him to act. This means he will act even if you cannot see the results right now. We are to get into the presence of the Lord and be still. Why? Only when we are in the presence of God, we are able to see things in perspective. We will not just focus on the temporary obstacles we are facing right now but we will be able to see what God has planned for us.

Let me give you an analogy. You may see dark clouds covering the sky. The climate is dark and cold. This is all you can see. If you are to allow your feelings to be dictated by the things you can see, you will get depressed because you can only see dark clouds. However, should you choose to “see” beyond the dark clouds, the sun is still shining up there. The dark clouds are here for a season. Soon, they will have to disperse and you will see the sun shining again.

When we are in the presence of the Lord, we will be able to see beyond the dark clouds. All the solutions we need are with God and the only way we can have access over them is to be in his presence.

God is not surprised when we get angry over the injustice we see around us especially when wicked people getting rich and powerful. However, He wants us to stop being angry and lose our temper because it will only harm us. Think about it. What will happen to the people you get angry over? The answer is nothing. They are not harmed nor will they suffer any loss. When we get angry and in bitterness, we are only harming ourselves. We are denying ourselves our joy. Our faith will be blocked when we don’t have joy in our hearts. You can try this experiment. Pray for something and believe you receive. At the same time, think of thoughts that make you angry and bitter. Are you still in faith?

Psalm 37:9 tells us why we should not be angry at all. No matter how rich and powerful the wicked people appear to be right now, they will not last for long. They will be destroyed by their own wickedness. What will happen after that? Those who trust in the Lord will possess the land. We, who trust in the Lord will possess the land. This is Wealth Transfer. Let me support this with another verse.

22 Good people leave an inheritance to their grandchildren, but the sinner’s wealth passes to the godly.
Proverbs 13:22 (NLT)

The bottom line is, don’t waste time being angry over the issue of wicked people getting rich. Be still in the presence of the Lord and trust in him. Soon the wicked will be destroyed and all their riches will be yours.

The Power Of Faith

32 How much more do I need to say? It would take too long to recount the stories of the faith of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel, and all the prophets.
33 By faith these people overthrew kingdoms, ruled with justice, and received what God had promised them. They shut the mouths of lions,
34 quenched the flames of fire, and escaped death by the edge of the sword. Their weakness was turned to strength. They became strong in battle and put whole armies to flight.
Hebrews 11:32-34 (NLT)

Welcome to the 23rd installment on my study of faith from Hebrews 11. This time, the writer grouped many people together under the banner of faith. Through faith, they achieved the impossible. Here is a list of their achievements through faith:
1. overthrew kingdoms
2. ruled with justice
3. received what God had promised them
4. shut the mouths of lions,
5. quenched the flames of fire
6. escaped death by the edge of the sword.
7. weakness was turned to strength.
8. became strong in battle and put whole armies to flight.

In this article, we are going to look into each of them in details because I believe they are for us, believers and the only way we can have these achievements is through faith.

Overthrew Kingdoms
The term “kingdoms” here refers to the dominion of the enemy. In today’s context, it refers to the Kingdom Of Darkness. Satan had dominated the world since the fall of Man. After Jesus died and rose again, Satan’s right over this world had been legally terminated. However, he is not leaving. He is still exercising control in killing, stealing and destroying. Why didn’t God stop him? The answer is this is not his job. He had returned the authority of this world back to us.

18 Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth.
19 Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.
20 Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
Matthew 28:18-20 (NLT)

Jesus got all the authority back. If you are in him, the authority is yours as well. This means, as believers we too have the access on all the authority in heaven and on earth. However, having all this authority is useless unless we put them to use.

Most people in this world are still living the limiting lifestyle at the mercy of the devil because they do not know Jesus had taken back the authority of heaven and earth for them. Many are poor, sick, depressed and suffering because they did not know that they are supposed to live in the blessing of God. This is why we need to tell them the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Only they will they be set free. Free to live their lives in prosperity, health, long life, joy, peace and with every blessings from God. When we give them the Gospel, we overthrow the Kingdom of Darkness in their lives.

Please note that when Jesus said “go and make disciples of all the nations”, he did not mean every Christian must become missionaries or go for mission trips. This is the lie I got from my previous church. The Bible tells us that every member of the church is like a member of the same body. Therefore, not every Christian is to follow the exact footsteps of Kenneth Copeland in bringing the Gospel to the world. You may be called to be a mission financier. Your role is to make lots of money and channel a portion of it into ministries that are involved in bringing the Gospel to the world. Or you may be called as a doctor, help people to live long enough for the Gospel to reach them. No matter what role you are in, play it well and in faith because you are overthrowing the Kingdom of Darkness in people’s lives. Your reward will be great.

If you can’t think of any specific role you can play, just aim to be a financier. Allow me to convince you why you should be one. Financiers are rich. As a mission financier, you will have riches on earth and in heaven. If you already have a role, just take on another one as a mission financier. There is not limit on the amount of roles you can play. What you need most is faith.

Ruled With Justice
People who live by faith are the best people to be in authority because they can rule with justice. I have written another article entitled, “When The Godly Are In Authority The People Rejoice” posted on January 29, 2008 that gives further explanations on this issue. I suggest you to read it.

Received What God Had Promised Them
If you have been reading my articles, this part should not be a problem to you.

24 I tell you, you can pray for anything, and if you believe that you’ve received it, it will be yours.
Mark 11: 24 (NLT)

Shut The Mouths Of Lions, Quenched The Flames Of Fire & Escaped Death By The Edge Of The Sword.
These situations are found in the book of Daniel. Daniel and friends were working for a foreign government where they very faced with jealous civil servants who wanted to kill them. There could be times where you realize that people are plotting against you even though you have not offended them. People just hate you. Even right now as you read this article, there could be people out there talking bad about you and plotting to remove you from your job. Welcome to the world of politics.

If you are in this position, God has a word for you: “Fear not for I am with you.” Your God is always with you. He who is in you is greater than he who is in this world. So what if your enemies have succeeded in throwing you to the lions, flames or used a sword against you? Your God is greater than all of them. If he can deliver Daniel and his friends, he can deliver you. All you need to do is to trust in him and live in faith.

Weakness Was Turned To Strength
I like this part. Who does not have weakness? The question we should ask ourselves is not whether we have any weakness. The real question we should ask ourselves is whether we can trust our God to fulfill the desires of our hearts regardless of our weakness.

Most people in the world are negative because they focus on their weakness. When asked on why they are not as successful as they wished to be, they will give you all types of answers like, not enough education, cannot speak well, no connection, IQ too low, too young, too old, born in the wrong race, born in the wrong country, born with the wrong color of skin, born in the wrong family and all types of excuses. The irony is, whatever weakness you think is hindering you, there are people with the same weakness become rich.

Focusing on our weakness will take you nowhere. Instead we should build our faith because through faith God can turn our weakness into strength.

Became Strong In Battle And Put Whole Armies To Flight
The moment you have decided to live by faith, you are sending shockwaves to the pit of hell. They have an earthquake (or should I call it hellquake?) there. The Kingdom Of Darkness will list you as an enemy and you will be attacked. Satan will send his armies of devils and religious people to attack you. Their only objective is to get you off faith.

Kenneth Copeland is the best example of modern day Christian being persecuted by lies and slanders of the religious people. The enemies have been doing all they can to get him off faith. However, just because they are doing all they can, it does not mean they must succeed. Hebrews 11:32-34 tells us that through faith we will become strong in battle and put whole armies to flight. In other words, we are destined to win. Our victory is guaranteed by God himself. The only way we can lose is when give up before our victory. So, don’t give up. Victory is yours.

Kenneth Copeland did not give up. As a result he got richer and his ministries grow larger while his enemies are still drowning in their bitterness and hate.

In conclusion, faith I what you need to overcome every obstacle that stands in you way. Through faith, you can achieve anything you desire.

The Faith Of Rahab

31 It was by faith that Rahab the prostitute was not destroyed with the people in her city who refused to obey God. For she had given a friendly welcome to the spies.
Hebrews 11:31 (NLT)

Welcome to the 22nd installment on my study of faith from Hebrews 11. This time, we look at Rahab. According to the above verse, Rahab was a prostitute. Since when do prostitutes get to be honored by God? Isn’t prostitution a sin? Yet Rahab was honored by God for her faith. This is a repetition of what God has stressed in the earlier few verses that he loves faith so much that he is willing to give us new beginnings no matter how bad our past were.

You may not have a good past. Who does anyway? You may have made many mistakes. Some may even became prostitute. I believe God is telling us that no matter how bad our histories are, he is not bothered by them. He still wants us to have faith. He will honor us for our faith in him.

Let us go through the story of Rahab.

Joshua sent 2 spies to scout out the land around Jericho. They went over and stayed in the house of a prostitute name Rahab. The king of Jericho knew about them and sent his soldiers to arrest them. They went to Rahab’s house to catch the spy but Rahab hid the spies and gave false information to lead the soldiers away. Why did she do that? Why would she betray her own country to help 2 strangers who were from the enemy’s camp?

The answer is in the verses below:

8 Before the spies went to sleep that night, Rahab went up on the roof to talk with them.
9 “I know the Lord has given you this land,” she told them. “We are all afraid of you. Everyone in the land is living in terror.
10 For we have heard how the Lord made a dry path for you through the Red Sea when you left Egypt. And we know what you did to Sihon and Og, the two Amorite kings east of the Jordan River, whose people you completely destroyed.
11 No wonder our hearts have melted in fear! No one has the courage to fight after hearing such things. For the Lord your God is the supreme God of the heavens above and the earth below.
Joshua 2:8-11 (NLT)

It seems that she and her countrymen knew of the crossing of the Red Sea and the victories of Israel. The news of the Israelites’ achievements was spread far and wide up to the ears of those in Jericho. Did they believe? Obviously they did. Joshua 2:11 tell us their hearts melted with fear. They knew that the God of Israel God is the supreme God of the heavens above and the earth below.

It was ironical that the first generation of Israelites was so afraid of them that they did not dare to take the land. The truth is the inhabitants of the land were afraid of them too. If the Israelites obeyed God to march into the land, they would have easy victory because their enemies were paralyzed with fear. They missed a great opportunity for their prosperity.

This should be a lesson for us all to learn the importance of trusting and obeying God. When God tells us to do something, the best response is to obey by faith because if we don’t we might have missed a great opportunity like the first generation of Israelites. So, if you are really interested in great prosperity, be prepared to obey God to march into the Promised Land even if your enemies look big. Your victory is from God. Your enemies may look big but they could be paralyzed with fear. Victory is yours for the taking.

Please note that according to Rahab, everyone in the town believed what God had done. Yet God only honored her and not the rest. Why? She knew how to act on her beliefs.

12 “Now swear to me by the Lord that you will be kind to me and my family since I have helped you. Give me some guarantee that
13 when Jericho is conquered, you will let me live, along with my father and mother, my brothers and sisters, and all their families.”
Joshua 2:12-13 (NLT)

She helped the spies and got them to guarantee the lives of her and her family. As a result she and her family lived when the rest of the people in the town died. This reminds me of a verse.

7A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.
Psalm 91:7 (KJV)

Everyone in the town “believed” but only Rahab and her family got to live because Rahab acted on her beliefs. This means belief requires action to produce results. Here are some examples:

Anyone can say he believes Jesus died for his sins. That does not mean he is saved. He has to personally accept Jesus as his Saviour. Only then, will he have eternal life.

A Christian who believes Jesus died poor for him to live rich will not get rich automatically. He has to act on the principles of prosperity like tithing and sowing to be rich.

This is what James meant when he wrote faith without works is dead. The term “works” here does not refer to the dos and don’ts that are invented by religion. It refers to taking action to secure the promises of God like salvation, prosperity, health and every blessing that God wants to bless us with. Rahab did that and saved her family from destruction.

The whole town of Jericho had “faith” but only Rahab’s faith worked because she acted on it. She had not only saved herself and her family, she is honored by God for her faith.