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“Oh, the unspeakable greatness of that exchange,—the Sinless One is condemned, and he who is guilty goes free; the Blessing bears the curse, and the cursed is brought into blessing; the Life dies, and the dead live; the Glory is whelmed in darkness, and he who knew nothing but confusion of face is clothed with glory.” Trailady

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A person God turned around many times.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

A kite with no tail

“And Elisha the prophet called one of the children of the prophets, and said unto him, Gird up thy loins, and take this box of oil in thine hand, and go to Ramothgilead: and when thou comest thither, look out there Jehu the son of Jehoshaphat the son of Nimshi, and go in, and make him arise up from among his brethren, and carry him to an inner chamber; then take the box of oil, and pour it on his head, and say, Thus saith the LORD, I have anointed thee king over Israel. Then open the door, and flee….” (2Ki. 9:1-3).

Jehu’s anointing as king began a non-stop rampage against everything royal in the Israelite house of Ahab and for anyone associated with him, including Ahaziah, king of Judah. With an arrow, Jehu shot king Joram, son of Ahab straight through his chest. Then his men caught up to king Ahaziah and shot him also.

Jehu was accomplishing the task of cleaning up Israel’s pervasive idolatry. But, he did it with no mercy. Maybe he was the only person who could accomplish this most needed removal of spiritualism from the Old Testament church. But, his downfall was his merciless methods of doing the work of the Lord.

“If we would enter into the joy of our Lord, we must be co-laborers with him. With the love of Jesus warm in our hearts, we shall always see some way to reach the minds and hearts of others. It will make us unselfish, thoughtful, and kind; and kindness opens the door of hearts; gentleness is mightier far than a Jehu spirit.” Review and Herald, February 10, 1885, par. 13.

“He said, Come with me, and see my zeal for the LORD.” (2Ki. 10:16). But, his zeal included deception.

“Jehu said, Proclaim a solemn assembly for Baal. And they proclaimed it. And Jehu sent through all Israel: and all the worshippers of Baal came, so that there was not a man left that came not. And they came into the house of Baal; and the house of Baal was full from one end to another.” (2Ki. 10:20,21). For Jehu, the end justified the means. He holed up the whole group of Baal worshipers who lived in the northern kingdom of Israel and had his soldiers slay everyone in the house of Baal.

 “Thus Jehu destroyed Baal out of Israel…. And the LORD said unto Jehu, Because thou hast done well in executing that which is right in mine eyes, and hast done unto the house of Ahab according to all that was in mine heart, thy children of the fourth generation shall sit on the throne of Israel.” (2Ki. 10:28,30). But, it must always be assumed with a holy God, that His servant keep His laws, especially after knowing His will to clean up His people. This Jehu would not do, and he had trouble for the rest of his life. “For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment.” (Jas. 2:13). The Lord and His Law are no respecter of persons.

King Nebuchadnezzar was like a King Jehu on steroids. He took on a area of spiritualized nations a thousand times the size of the northern kingdom of Israel.

 “Thou, O king [Nebuchadnezzar], art a king of kings: for the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory. And wheresoever the children of men dwell, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the heaven hath he given into thine hand, and hath made thee ruler over them all.” (Dan. 2:37,38).

“O thou king [Belshazzar], the most high God gave Nebuchadnezzar thy father a kingdom, and majesty, and glory, and honour: and for the majesty that he gave him, all people, nations, and languages, trembled and feared before him: whom he would he slew; and whom he would he kept alive; and whom he would he set up; and whom he would he put down.” (Dan. 5:18,19).

“For this cause [the Chaldean priests and advisors couldn’t tell or interpret for Nebuchadnezzar his dream] the king was angry and very furious, and commanded to destroy all the wise men of Babylon.” (Dan. 2:12).
“Then Nebuchadnezzar in his rage and fury commanded to bring Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Then they brought these men before the king.” (Dan. 3:13).
“Then was Nebuchadnezzar full of fury, and the form of his visage was changed against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego: therefore he spake, and commanded that they should heat the furnace one seven times more than it was wont to be heated. And he commanded the most mighty men that were in his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and to cast them into the burning fiery furnace.” (Dan. 3:19,20).

“But the Chaldeans’ army pursued after them, and overtook Zedekiah in the plains of Jericho: and when they had taken him, they brought him up to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon to Riblah in the land of Hamath, where he gave judgment upon him. Then the king of Babylon slew the sons of Zedekiah in Riblah before his eyes: also the king of Babylon slew all the nobles of Judah. Moreover he put out Zedekiah’s eyes, and bound him with chains, to carry him to Babylon.” (Jer. 39:5-7).

Jehu and Nebuchanezzar were both appointed by the Lord to bring to an end the chaotic nations which had adopted occultic Baal worship and its penchant for lawlessness.

“Behold, I will send and take all the families of the north, saith the LORD, and Nebuchadrezzar the king of Babylon, my servant, and will bring them against this land, and against the inhabitants thereof, and against all these nations round about, and will utterly destroy them, and make them an astonishment, and an hissing, and perpetual desolations.” (Jer. 25:9).

Both had been anointed of the Lord to do their work of discipline. But neither had been trained in the knowledge of the Lord. Neither was sanctified. Neither had learned to love the Law of God. And the occultic Israelite people got a taste of where their spiritualizing would eventually take them, for the wages of sin is death. Nevertheless, each of the disciplinarians, Jehu and Nebuchadnezzar, paid the price for justice without mercy.

“Howbeit from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin, Jehu departed not from after them, to wit, the golden calves that were in Bethel, and that were in Dan…. But Jehu took no heed to walk in the law of the LORD God of Israel with all his heart: for he departed not from the sins of Jeroboam, which made Israel to sin. In those days the LORD began to cut Israel short: and Hazael smote them in all the coasts of Israel.” (2Ki. 10:29,31,32).

“All this came upon the king Nebuchadnezzar. At the end of twelve months he walked in the palace of the kingdom of Babylon. The king spake, and said, Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honour of my majesty? While the word was in the king’s mouth, there fell a voice from heaven, saying, O king Nebuchadnezzar, to thee it is spoken; the kingdom is departed from thee. And they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field: they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and seven times shall pass over thee, until thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will. The same hour was the thing fulfilled upon Nebuchadnezzar: and he was driven from men, and did eat grass as oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, till his hairs were grown like eagles’ feathers, and his nails like birds’ claws.” (Dan. 4:28-33).

Both of these kings are object lessons to show what happens when the Lord justifies someone, forgives them of their trespasses, giving them a new lease on life by the anointing of Holy Ghost. They receive strength, a confidence, an assurance that God is with them.

But, if justification is not a result of struggling to know the Lord, studying His Law, striving to become a son of God, if they do reconcile with God and receive His Holy Spirit, then the power that attends the Spirit and forgiveness and acceptance with God, causes them to quickly get out of control. They needed the Law of God to continue balancing the joy that comes with the Spirit of God.

The Son of God had the Spirit without measure. He had joy from His anointing of the Spirit of His father and grace of God was upon Him. “Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness: therefore God, Thy God, hath anointed Thee with the oil of gladness above Thy fellows.” (Ps. 45:7).

But, He also had the Law of God without measure. “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” (Matt. 4:4).
“Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of Me, I delight to do Thy will, O My God: yea, Thy law is within My heart.” (Ps. 40:7,8).
“Mine eyes prevent the night watches, that I might meditate in Thy word.” (Ps. 119:148).
“I have not departed from Thy judgments: for Thou hast taught Me.” (Ps. 119:102).

It was the perfectly equal combination of Law and grace that kept Jesus perfectly and endlessly stable and balanced. “And the Child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon Him.” (Luke 2:40).

By the time a new Christian is born, he will have struggled to be forgiven of sin. It will have cost him. “Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.” (Isa. 55:1).

Freedom isn’t free. This labor may take years of wrestling with God. Then, when the blessing from heaven arrives, he is so well-rounded between Law and grace, between accountability and remission of sins that are past, that he can keep his salvation, without ever forgetting the Law that had convicted him of truth.

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

But, to all who lose their salvation, the Law departs from their conscience. However, the driving freedom can remain; and then they become wild and destructive. This is what happened to Lucifer when he turned away from God. His powerful intellect and talents, gifted from God, remained; but he had become conscience-less and in every work unconscionable. Nebuchadnezzar was saved from his own lawlessness, by the constant ministry of Daniel. Jehu? The Bible doesn’t say.

Every kite needs a tail or it will crash and shatter. Every tail needs a kite, or it will never leave the ground. Obedience to the gospel needs obedience to the Law, and obedience to the Law needs obedience to the gospel.

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