Archive for July, 2014

WHO’S ON THE LORD’S SIDE (Pt. 3)

“The king loved Esther more than all the other women, and she obtained grace and favor in his sight more than all the virgins; so he set the royal crown upon her head and made her queen instead of Vashti” (Esther 2:17 NKJV).

 BEAUTY AND BRAVERY

 Esther’s beauty won king Ahashuerus heart, gaining the queenly crown. But it would take more than beauty to save her Jewish people from the king’s newly promoted official, Haman the Agagite. It would require of Esther a heart of self-sacrificing bravery to come into the king’s presence—Uninvited!

 A DIFFERENT PEOPLE

Wherever the kingdom of heaven is expressed in the earth, the kingdom of Satan will oppose it. Esther and her people were in captivity under Persian and Media Empire. Her uncle, Mordecai held an important cabinet post in Ahashuerus’ kingdom. Then we read of an adversary named Haman. “When Haman saw that Mordecai did not bow or pay him homage, Haman was filled with wrath. But he disdained to lay hands on Mordecai alone, for they had told him of the people of Mordecai. Instead, Haman sought to destroy all the Jews who were throughout the whole kingdom of Ahashuerus—the people of Mordecai” (Esther 3:5-6 NKJV).

 Haman did not want to merely destroy the Jews (To spite Mordecai). Nor was his desire to destroy the Jewish people because they had a poor “work ethic” or because they were a “backward and illiterate people”. Rather it was because they dared to live a separate lifestyle. They were a people of one Book (Esther 3:8), meaning that their conscience was captive to the Word of God.

IDENTITY AND MANDATE

Their identity and mandate as “The children of Israel” was to obey and spread the knowledge of the one true God and His ways among the nations.

“It shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be [firmly] established as the highest of the mountains and shall be exalted above the hills, and all nations shall flow to it. And many people shall come and say, Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob, that He may teach us His ways and that we may walk in His paths. For out of Zion shall go forth the law and instruction, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem” (Isaiah 2:2, 3 AMP).”

GOD IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD

Although the seeds of God’s kingdom have been sown in the earth…there is yet an ultimate manifestation of the kingdom soon to be come (See Hebrews 12:25-29). This was the meaning of our Lord’s first coming.

When Yeshua/Jesus came into the world, he came to the Jewish people as one of them. He lived among them as a Jew, laboring as a Jewish Carpenter, sharing their humiliations from the ruling Gentile nations. He was willing to take all the risks and challenges as an observant Jew. Although He was the Son of God, he did not exalt himself above his Israelite brethren. Rather He announced his mission. “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many” (‭Mark‬ ‭10‬:‭45‬ NASB).

Therefore, he was arrested and handed over to the Rome by the jealous Jewish religious leaders.

ALL IN GOD’S PLAN

Ultimately, God had ordained that Yeshua/Jesus would become the scapegoat and ransom to redeem his people from their sin (See John 1:29; Philippians 2:5-11).

His sacrifice was not for the Jews alone but the sins of the whole world. What was done, seemingly at the hands of man, was a voluntary act of the Son of God. Again, although Jesus did this as a man, his actions were to declare himself on the LORD’S side. God accepted him both as Sin and the Sacrifice. “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭5‬:‭21‬ NASB). As the song puts it, “When He was on the cross…I was on His mind”.

 

(c) Copyright 2014, Walter Fletcher Jr. All rights reserved. This article may be copied and shared free of charge provided that it is not sold or altered in any way from its original content. Please address all correspondence to: Walterfletcherjr@gmail.com

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WHO’S ON THE LORD’S SIDE (Pt. 2)

“As he was talking with them, Goliath, the Philistine champion from Gath, stepped out from his lines and shouted his usual defiance, and David heard it….David asked the men standing near him, “What will be done for the man who kills this Philistine and removes this disgrace from Israel? Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?”   (1 Samuel‬ ‭17‬:‭23, 26‬ NIV).

PERILOUS TIMES

We are in times like the time of David. The battle lines have been drawn and there is no place to turn and hide. Our world has chosen to oppose God’s laws and ignore His moral codes of conduct. Like the giant Goliath of the Philistines they have said, mockingly, “I defy the armies of Israel this day; give me a man that we might fight together”(See 1 Samuel 17:10). “Winner takes all!” was the terms of the battle.

The question comes from King Saul, “Who will fight this man?” In essence, “Who is on the Lord’s side?”

GOLIATH OF GATH

Goliath was indeed a menacing foe. There is a mystery hidden in his description. He is named “Goliath of Gath”…”a champion”. He’s six cubit in height, clothed in brass armor, welding an iron spear weighing 600 shekels (See 1 Samuel 17:4-7). His height and weight seem to hint prophetically at Mr.”666″ in John’s Revelation; one who is “seemingly” invincible(See Rev.13).

Goliath is from “Gath” which in the original means “wine press”. He is the embodiment of all that is Anti-God/Anti-Christ; all that is destined to be judged, “tread upon in the wine press of the wrath of God”(Revelation 19:15).   Many will compromise with the Anti-Christ figure, jeopardizing their own soul’s eternal destiny. “A third angel followed them and said in a loud voice: “If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives its mark on their forehead or on their hand, they, too, will drink the wine of God’s fury, which has been poured full strength into the cup of his wrath. They will be tormented with burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment will rise forever and ever. There will be no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and its image, or for anyone who receives the mark of its name”(‭Revelation‬ ‭14‬:‭9-11‬ NIV).

NO COMPROMISE

David did not consider the size or reputation of Goliath. Nor did he go to meet his foe in his own armor or strength. He went in the armor of the LORD. “David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied”(1 Samuel‬ ‭17‬:‭45‬ NIV).

David sized up his opponent and realized that as big as Goliath was…And although armed only with his sling shot…”I can’t miss!” Someone said, “It’s not the size of the dog in the fight. But the size of the fight in the dog!”

DESTINED TO REIGN

David was very courageous. He did not considering his odds in the fight. Rather he considered the size of his God in the fight. By faith, he knew he was born for battle! He was not called merely to conquer. He was “more than a conqueror through Him who loved him” (Romans 8:37). His destiny was to reign over ALL God’s enemies.

We too are destined to reign through Jesus our Messiah. “Blessed and holy are those who share in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years”(‭Revelation‬ ‭20‬:‭6‬ NIV).

It’s time to choose sides and decide what armor you will choose for the battle. Paul exhorts us, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes”(‭Ephesians‬ ‭6‬:‭10-11‬ NIV).

David’s example of faith and courage can help us decide, “Whose on the Lord’s side?”

 

(c) Copyright 2014, Walter Fletcher Jr. All rights reserved. This article may be copied and shared free of charge provided that it is not sold or altered in any way from its original content. Please address all correspondence to: Walterfletcherjr@gmail.com

WHO’S ON THE LORD’S SIDE (Pt.1)

There is an interesting Scripture portion (Parashat) from the Old Testament reading this week (See Numbers 25). It is regarding a man God chose to honor named Pinchas (or Phinehas). He rose up to “Stop the plague” of death that began to spread through the Camp of Israel. Recall that children of Israel had fallen prey to the idolatrous practices of the Nations around them while on their way through the wilderness to the “Promise Land”.
Because of Phinehas’ love and zeal for the LORD, God gave him a special blessing; a “Covenant of peace” upon he and his family line. As a result of God’s blessing, his sons would be included as priests, ministering perpetually in God’s presence.
CHOICES HAVE CONSEQUENCES
Phinehas’ decision to stand with the Lord God teaches a basic law or principle. Choices in life have consequences. Paul states it thus, “Whatever a man sows that shall he reap”(Galatians 6:7). What we choose today will determine outcomes for tomorrow. God says, “I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants, by loving the Lord your God, by obeying His voice, and by holding fast to Him; for this is your life and the length of your days, that you may live in the land which the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them” (Deuteronomy 30:19, 20 NASB).
PATRIARCHAL VISION
Do we realize that the dignity of being human is choice and that it can alter the course of our life, that of our children and the course of a nation? I remember a dream I had some time ago. In it I saw the Revolutionary Army come out of the forest with General George Washington at the front on his beautiful white horse. His men came out of the forest behind him, in perfect military fashion with the rifles and so forth. “What an awesome scene!” I thought as I witnessed his Army step onto the battlefield. Suddenly! The scene changes…I am now placed with another Army. King David and his men are leading it. They have the Ark of God on the battlefield. Although I did not see the enemy (In either vision), I could feel the atmosphere charged with anticipation of a great battle about to unfold. As I watched this scene, the day was moving toward evening. David and his mighty men lay down in the open field with no sense of fear or dread of the fight that was ahead. The Ark of God’s presence was in their midst. I was invited to join them as they lay down to rest for the night, which I did. When I awoke early that morning. David and his men and the Ark had already gone! It was at that moment I knew I was faced with a dilemma. I could join General Washington’s Army, which had come onto the field of battle. Or I could catch up with King David, his men and the Ark of God. What should I do? I knew that the first represented a natural battle that had brought great blessings bringing to birth a new nation. The other represented a spiritual battle that could results in great blessings for many Nations. I chose the latter, knowing that the only hope for our Nation is a true invasion of the kingdom of God in our Land.
We as a nation are faced with great and difficult challenges. The choices we must make in this hour will determine the course of the destiny this Nation and no doubt others. To borrow the words of Winston Churchill, “This could be our finest hour!” as a nation or our worst! Like Phinehas, you get to choose…”Who’s on the Lord’s side?”

(c) Copyright 2014, Walter Fletcher Jr. All rights reserved. This article may be copied free of charge provided that it is not sold or altered in any way from its original content. Please address all correspondence to: Walterfletcherjr@gmail.com Read the rest of this entry »