THE FEAR OF GOD (Part 4)
"Suffer not thy mouth to cause thy flesh to sin; neither say thou before the angel, that it was an error. Wherefore should God be angry at thy voice, and destroy the work of thine hands?" (Eccl.5:6)
"But I say unto, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgement. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned." (Mat.12:36-37).
There is a reward for faith. But doubt also sometimes is punishable. May you be wise and watch how you utter forth your doubt in the things of God.
Gospel Distribution Ministry
Box 30387, Phoenix AZ 85046 USA
Don't voice out your doubt
(From a sermon of Bro. Julius Adewumi 9/1/95)
"Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering
into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it." (Heb.4:1).
What I want to talk about today is very important for the days ahead. It is what I will call: "Danger: Don't voice out your doubt!" Keep your doubts to yourself. There was a prophecy from somebody which I read recently. The Lord talked in that prophecy that God is coming to do something new in the next step of the renewal or revival which is taking place in many churches. The prophecy said what God is coming to do, even churches will think it is occultic. When I read the prophecy, I know that if the Lord begins to use even we that have been waiting for the manifestation of the sons of God, in the anointing already resident in us, many believers will think it is occultic. I was speaking in tongues in the congregation many years ago while we were praying, and the tongue-language took a turn into some rythms that even sound to me like "incantations": the type we have heard from certain idol worshippers. Just the rythm, not knowing what the spirit was saying, yet some brethren were amazed. God indeed will do strange things in this last revival which many theologians will classify as "from the other side".
The prophecy said that even churches will say it's occultic; but it will still be the Lord doing it. The prophecy is in line with what I want to talk about today. That is, Keep any doubt you may have to yourself in the days ahead. Any negative opinion from you about what God will do in revivals from many ministries in the days and years ahead, keep those opinions to yourselves. Why? Because of the examples we are going to discuss here in second Kings chapter 6.
These two cases should caution us that if you have any doubt concerning any topic, any doctrine, any instruction or any movement of the spirit in the days ahead, if you doubt it, keep that doubt to yourself. The book of proverbs spoke a lot about keeping our mouth, keeping our peace, keeping our tongue and not uttering all that is in our heart. There could be serious judgement to follow any bad mouthing from anyone. Even churches will come forward to boldly declare that some things are occultic which God will be doing soon; yet it takes some anointing that look like occultic to take us away from here in the rapture. It will look like occultic because people have already attributed such powers to men who had been digging deep into the realms of charms and spiritism. Whereas all powers in heaven and on earth is in the hand of Jesus. Men have attributed some supernatural manifestations to only men in the occultic realms. That is why churches will have problem with what God will do in this last revival. Simply because it is not in the traditional "A-m-a-z-i-n-g g-r-a-c-e .." type of tempo, many believers will take offence in it. The time for those simplistic rythm is changing. God is coming with a wave of spirituality to usher us into the realm of the spirits; for, in the rapture, we are going to live among the spirits.
When we read this chapter, you will see why I said keep any doubt about anything you don't understand to yourself. Don't voice it out! If you think one manifestation is from the devil, you will still be safe if you don't utter it out. Let's read the story of this man who uttered his doubt before Elisha the prophet.
I want you to feel the weight of what we are saying here, as you consider that God did not respect this highly placed man in the kingdom of Israel. The judgement utterance came against him. Elishah did not respect him either. He was second-in-command to the king of Samaria.
"And it came to pass after this, that Benhadad king of Syria gathered all his host, and went up, and besieged Samaria. And there was a great famine in Samaria: and behold, they besieged it until an ass's head was sold for four score pieces of silver, and the fourth part of a cab of dove's dung for five pieces of silver." (2Kgs.6:24-25).
It was so bad. The army surrounded the city for so long: nobody went in, nobody went out. Till no more food in the city. The women had begun to eat their children for meat! That was how bad it was.
"And as the king of Israel was passing by upon the wall, there cried a woman unto him, saying, Help, my lord, O king. And he said, If the Lord do not help thee, whence shall I help thee? out of the barnfloor, or out of the winepress? (sarcastically, meaning, she ought to know there wasn't any barnfloor left). "And the king said unto her, What aileth thee? And she answered, This woman said unto me, Give thy son, that we may eat him today, and we will eat my son tomorrow. So we boiled my son, and did eat him: and I said unto her on the next day Give thy son, that we may eat him: and she hath hid her son." (2Kgs.6:26-29). What in the world is going on here? The king would have liked to scream. "It came to pass, when the king heard the words of the woman, that he rent his clothes; and he passed by upon the wall, and the people looked, and behold, he had sackcloth within upon his flesh." (v.30). That is, he himself had been fasting and mourning. "Then the king said, God do so and more also to me, if the head of Elisha the son of Shaphat shall stand on him this day."(v.31). In effect he was saying Elishah the prophet was not praying enough for us, let's go get rid of this prophet. It must be God himself that is doing this to us. "But Elishah sat in his house, and the elders sat with him; and the king sent a man from before him: but ere the messenger came to him, he said to the elders, See ye how this son of a murderer hath sent to take away mine head? look, when the messenger cometh, shut the door, and hold him fast at the door: is not the sound of his master's feet behind him? And while he yet talked with them, behold the messenger came down unto him. And he said, Behold, this evil is of the Lord; what should I wait for the Lord any longer?" (v.32-33).
I read all of these to set the stage as a background of what really happened. There was famine due to war, and they were praying for a miracle.
"Then Elishah said, Hear ye the word of the Lord. Thus saith the Lord, Tomorrow about this time shall a measure of fine flour be sold for a shekel, and two measures of barley for a shekel, in the gate of Samaria." (2Kgs.7:1). Now that was the beginning of the miracle. God was about to turn things around, but somebody was not going to believe. "Then a lord on whose hand the king leaned answered the man of God, and said, Behold, if the Lord would make windows in heaven, might this thing be? And Elishah said, Behold thou shalt see it with thine eyes, but shall not eat thereof." (2Kgs.7:2). That was a very highly placed man in their kingdom. But he doubted what God said openly. He said in effect "unless God opened windows in heaven and rained down food it could not be possible- a measure of fine flour for a shekel?" Elishah put a curse on him immediately that he would see it with his eyes but would not eat thereof. You know the whole story and what happened. When the Syrians fled and their food was gathered for the people, (in verses 17-20), the king told the doubting officer, his second-in-command, to take charge. "And the king appointed the lord on whose hand he leaned to have the charge of the gate: and the people trode upon him in the gate, and he died, as the man of God had said, who spake when the king came down to him." (v.17). When the crowd heard there was food at the gate, in the pandemonium which followed, that officer was trampled upon while he was trying to keep the peace. But it was the curse upon him. He saw it with his eyes but ate not thereof. God allowed that story to be told to give us a warning: DON'T VOICE OUT YOUR DOUBT! I will not say Don't doubt, because many times thoughts of doubt come to the mind of men from the devils. It is natural for men to doubt. But don't voice out your doubt. Amen? It's very dangerous, because that was what that man did and he was cursed. If he had doubted and laughed inside himself, he would have been forgiven, and he would see it and would have eaten of it. But being so bold, too forward, perhaps his position as the king's counsellor put him at a position to reply to the prophet, he voiced out his unbelief, and died for it. He destroyed himself, and God didn't even respect him that he was second-in-command or the king's counsellor. God allowed Elishah to utter the curse which brought destruction on the man. "Life and death are in the power of the tongue; and he that loveth it shall eat the fruit thereof."
In the days ahead, when God shall begin to do what he has planned to do to usher the believers into the translative faith, there is danger: don't voice out your doubt.
Let's look at another example of somebody who voiced out his doubt. In the gospel of Luke chapter one verse eighteen, (Lk.1:18) let's remind ourself of the fate of Zacharias the father of John the Baptist. It is good to remind ourselves of the fear of the Lord, because sometimes we become so bold in our knowledge of things of the Spirit, and then we begin to place judgement on what we see or hear that is going on in the churches or in some ministries. For instance, I remember when we were in Nigeria in the 70's, an evangelist rose up and was performing miracles and he drew a crowd. But because he was affiliated to a denominational church which many born-again believers knew so well as lukewarm and "not-born-again", many born-again believers were antagonistic of the evangelist. Some brethren were even voicing it out. A Christian lady was commenting on the evangelist before me that the man couldn't be right, etc. I told her: sister, leave him alone! If you doubt what he is doing, keep it to yourself; don't share it with others, because the real motive behind sharing your negative opinion about another minister is so that people may separate themselves from such minister. If you are wrong, then you have directly fought the work of the living God. It is a dangerous thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
But someone may say "we ought to expose the false ministers!" Remember, God said He will do things in the next revival with so much supernaturalism and spiritualism even some churches will say it is occultic. Be careful! Another man may say "but God told me the minister is false!" Well then, that declaration is gone beyond apology. Just be very sure it is "the Lord" who told you the minister is false! This sermon is simply saying, if God had not told you that the minister is false, then just keep your peace. There are scriptural verses which teaches us how to order our conversations, how to hold our peace, and how to keep our tongue from trouble. Those verses will be assets to many believers in the days ahead if they will put them to use. (Prov.10:31-32; Psa.50:23).
Prov.17:28 - "Even a fool when he holdeth his peace is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding."
Think about that!
In Luke chapter 1:18-20, Angel Gabriel came to Zacharias when God was about to send forth John the Baptist. "And Zacharias said unto the angel, Whereby shall I know this? for I am an old man, and my wife well stricken in years." You may say what Zacharias said here was not really great unbelief. What is the doubt here? Was he simply enquiring further? When God is dealing with a man, someone like this priest is expected to know better perhaps. The angel told Zacharias that he was going to have a baby and his name would be called John. "Fear not Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John."(v.13) "For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother's womb. And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God. And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord." (Lk.1:13-17).
The angel narrated all the above. Yet Zacharias, even a priest, doubted this thing. "And Zacharias said unto the angel, Whereby shall I know this? for I am an old man, and my wife well stricken in years." We may say what he said was not much to be called doubt. But who are we to judge God? "And the angel answering said unto him, I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and am sent to speak unto thee, and to shew thee these glad tidings. And behold thou shalt be dumb, and not able to speak, until the day that these things shall be performed, because thou believest not my words, which shall be fulfilled in their season." (v.19-20).
Now that was really serious. Zacharias was dumb for almost nine months, until the baby was born. And on the day of the naming ceremony, Zacharias was restored. So, let's be careful in the days ahead. That is what I am saying. The scripture said "Suffer not thy mouth to cause thy flesh to sin; neither say thou before the angel, that it was an error: wherefore should God be angry at thy voice, and destroy the work of thine hands? For in the multitude of dreams and many words there are also divers vanities: but fear thou God." (Eccl.5:6-7).
Don't voice out your doubt. Keep it to yourself. You may say you doubt whether that minister is of God. Just keep that opinion to yourself. Leave it alone, and let God be the judge.
Prov.18:6-7 - "A fool's lips enter into contention, and his mouth calleth for strokes. A fool's mouth is his destruction, and his lips are the snare of his soul."
From all these bible verses, God is telling us to be careful of what we say. Let's not put ourselves as the judge of what God will be doing in the next few years. Another reason why I am saying this is that, when I first began to receive the internet news about the revival meetings and the renewal meetings, of believers falling down or shaking or laughing, I first commented and said, "well, the shaking is not the Holy Ghost ...". Some brethren lashed out at me on the computer forum. But the Lord just told me that "leave that alone!" Don't even comment; just leave it alone. That is why I say it is wise for us to leave many things alone. Those things that we know it's not the Holy Ghost doing: people falling down and screaming or barking! God says "leave it alone!" Why? Because sometimes God needs those crowds also to gather. For if there are no crowds to gather how will he demonstrate his power? (By your foolish words, if you run them off, who will carry the news to the world when God performs wonders?) Not uttering forth your doubt is the most important thing. It is only when you utter forth your doubt that it becomes an offence. If thoughts are generating in your mind about the move of the Spirit, and you doubt it, leave it alone. The prophecy I mentioned above said even some churches will take offence in what God will do in the days ahead. We also have to be careful how we react to things we hear or see in the work of the Lord.
The Lord has revealed some things to me which makes me to know that as the end of the world comes, and the final revival we are all awaiting arrives, there will be a lot of "forsaking". People will say some manifestations, from these "sons of God", are not of God. Because of what God will be doing through some ministers, or through some individuals, many theologians will blaspheme. We who are called into this wisdom of God ought to pray and ask the Lord to help our mouth and our lips, to be able to keep our cool. The psalmist said "keep a watch over my lips" so that I do not sin against God.
(A brother wrote to me few years ago. I thought I have made myself clear enough when I preached in their fellowship and also when I wrote my testimony about the rod the Lord gave to me. Yet this brother, who was dear to me, wrote and said I ought to repent and that the rod is unbiblical. I have prayed for the brother that he be pardoned. That is the kind of things I am saying: we better be careful how we voiced out our doubt about things of the Spirit in the years ahead.)
Hitherto God has restricted the angels from manifesting too often to the saints, because the angels don't turn the other cheek as we christians are expected to. Remember the few words of doubt from Zacharias to angel Gabriel which caused Zacharias to be dumb for almost ten months. No wonder they don't manifest to us too often for our own good. But as we move closer to the rapture, the angels are heavily involved in getting the saints ready and for the transportation. The angels are expected to minister to the saints for the home-going translation. They have got to move closer to us and manifest more often. Beware that you utter not opposing words to the angels; neither voice ye your doubt against a ministry of the Sons of God: because angels are involved in every ministry. When you go against such ministry, you have gone against the angel who was given charge for that ministry. As I said, the angels don't turn the other cheek like us. Yet they have got to move closer to us and manifest more often because, the time is up! It is harvest time! Amen!
When the Lord Jesus himself was preaching, the pharisees came against him heavily for their own reasons and said it was Belzebub doing those miracles and not God. Christ said every blasphemy against the son of man will be forgiven men; but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven: not in this life neither in the world to come. He was putting all the punishment to the future. We are in that future when the Holy Ghost is the One behind all the work of God. Any foolish utterance is dangerous to the speaker.
I pray that the Lord will help us to order our conversation aright and not offend by our tongue. There had been ministers judging and preaching against other ministers for years. Many of those may receive instant punishment in the days ahead if they continue to tear down what God is building. We don't want to be in such punishment. We don't want to be in offence.
Lord, I pray that you put a bridle over our tongues, in the body of Christ, that we may not sin against thee. You know your sheep and your sheep hear your voice. May we as sheep take heed to this warning from the Lord, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen!
(From a sermon of Bro. Julius Adewumi, Night Vigil, 2/17/95)
The scripture says "exhort one another daily, while it is called Today; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin." (Heb.3:13). While we see the day approaching, it is vey important for us to exhort one another.
I will like to exhort today on humility. This is in response to the vision the Lord gave to me some days ago, which I will narrate in a moment. I have watched over the years that my people suffer from the spirit of pride. Pride spirits can attack both the rich and the poor folks. Do you know it is pride if you are poor and you refuse to accept an offer of help from somebody? Pride is not just in men who are highly placed. I was in a shopping center one afternoon. I saw a homeless man pushing a shopping cart which contained all his possessions. You can recognize the homeless anytime, by their dress and the luggage they are carrying. I felt pity for the man. I moved closer to him to talk to him and to give him hope if only I can tell him about the gospel. At least the scripture said "to the poor the gospel is preached". When I mentioned God, the man churned me and told me he did not want to listen to anything I wanted to say. It was pride! The man was angry at God - the only One who can solve his problem. I shook my head and walked away from the man. "Pride goeth before destruction; and an haughty spirit before a fall."
When I said I have watched over the years that my people suffer from the spirit of Pride, I mean the people from my country.
I was watching a satellite broadcast of one United Nations Conference in 1979 or 1980, when the Civilian government was in power in Nigeria, and Mr. Shehu Shagari was then the President. Mr. Shagari was in the conference and it was his turn to address the conference. I was working in the satellite earth station in Nigeria at the time. When Mr. Shagari rose up to speak, he stood and looked around (I might say in pride). The Lord spoke to my heart immediately: "Do you see the way he was so pompous? that was the problem of Nigeria." From the Holy Spirit in me, if I could read "pride" written all over him in the way he rose up and looked around, what then do you think the Almighty God saw? Sometimes we may say "a man should be proud of himself", yet at times it is an evil pride riding over the man's shoulder. There is always a prevailing spirit in every society. Nigeria has problem with the spirit of pride! That is why it is hard to get a good leader to head the government of the country: Everybody wanted to rule! They forgot the proverb which says, "uneasy lies the head that wears the crown".
We can see traces of the same problem even among us who are believers. How many times have we, Nigerian brethren, gathered to conduct prayer meetings only to be terminated due to the same proud grumbling and no leadership? because every man thinks he ought to be the leader. Yet we, Christians, who had been redeemed, ought not to fall for the same spirit. The bible warns against pride. The bible also warns that "My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation." (James 3:1).
The vision which the Lord showed to me some days ago is in line with what I am saying here. The body of Christ worldwide needs "humility" which is also necesary to go in the rapture. (Read Rapturing Faith part 7 ). Meekness is the fruit of the Spirit. If we have the Holy Spirit, let's allow the Holy Spirit to bear the fruit in us! The Lord is coming for a church which is perfect, without spot or wrinkle, and blameless. It means the body of Christ has got to be perfectly humble.
In Isaiah 57, God said he dwelleth in the high and holy place but also with him that is of a humble and contrite spirit.
"For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones." (Isa.57:15).
Nobody goes away from here in the rapture unless the Lord carries him away! God himself who will carry us away said "he dwells with the contrite and humble spirit". We better be humble therefore if we intend to go away with him. Therefore we've got to be humble in the body of Christ, not just talking about the problem of any country now. We are not of this world and so we should not even allow traces of the world sickness into our life.
The aspect of humility we should also consider is the following: in the move of the Lord which is coming soon, be humble and "don't take glory for what the Lord will do through you!" We should pray and say to the Lord, whatever you are doing now or will do through me in the ministry, I want to make sure that I do not take any glory which belongs to the Lord.
A minister said, the Lord told him that he cannot work out the anointing to make people be slain in the spirit when he prays for them. If he has a formula to work it out, it will not be the Lord doing it. It will be the man doing it. The Lord has to do it by himself and any time He wants. How true! We've got to be humble therefore for the Lord to use us anyhow he wants to use us. It is pride which makes some brethren prefer to be used in one dimension and not in the other. For example, everyone wants to be used to touch or pray for folks so that they'd fall down slain in the spirit; or everyone wants to be the one who will prophezy and let it come to pass the second day. We must be humble in this area of what we will want to do for God also.
The vision I saw is as follows. I usually try to relate my visions, because somebody somewhere may say "maybe it doesn't mean that". It may not mean what I interprete it to mean, but look at the vision and take it as you please. In this vision, believers were gathered in a place waiting for perhaps the beginning of a fellowship. Then somebody came and pointed to a spot and said: "that is the place for the teachers". Immediately everybody rushed to that spot. Which means we are all teachers. No one is left to be taught. Then I woke up.
That's all the vision. Nobody was left on the pew. So nobody to be taught. When I woke up I simply agreed: that is our problem. We need humility in the household of God. Remember, it is the state of the heart of the saints which the Lord is showing here. You may not be striving with anyman physically to take the podium or pulpit, yet your heart may have already taken over the pulpit when you do not have a "teachable spirit" anymore.
Another wisdom that comes to me is the following: we have to accept the fact that God is raising up all of us as potentially great people. Remember what I will say here because it ministers to me personally when I think of it this way: God wants to bring forth a people which will be so powerful that they will cast down the Devil. A prophet somewhere has been putting the devil to ransome? but at the end of the world, which is now, God wants to use maybe 144000 of them (the number of the first fruits - Rev.14:1). One hundred and forty four thousand prophets of the calibre of Elijah, scattered all over the world. The Devil will really be in trouble, won't he? The Devil will be really in trouble if God can get 144000 prophets of the calibre of Elijah, at the same time on this planet, and God using all of them. Let's say they are all going to manifest at this end of the world. You should say "I ought to be one of them; if we are counting 144000 potentially powerful ministers of the full gospel in the world, should not the five or ten of us ministers here be included?"
We should relax then and say we are potential candidates for the number. There is room for many of us in the number of the Elijah company of believers at this endtime. There is no doubt about that, yet God still wants us to be humble. Let's say from this country of USA alone, God will choose about 30000 out of the 144000, because there is a large number of ministers and believers here: Go, count 30000 powerful ministries in the USA and you may realize that yours have a chance to be a candidate. Then there is no need for ministers and potential ministers bashing one another. There is room for many of us in the number of the firstfruits. But God is still saying we need humility! Let our heart be humble.
The Lord is raising 144000 prophets of the calibre of Elijah at the same time in this end of the world, and the Devil is really in trouble. Yet God still wants these prophets to be humble in order for him to dwell with them because God dwells with the contrite and humble spirit.
In many words, Christ preached this humility when he spoke to the apostles. In Mark 9:33-37 the Lord emphasized that "anyone that desires to be first among you, let him be the servant of all". The Devil knows how to rouse up pride to cause trouble in the household of God. The apostles of the Lord had a similar problem when they were following the Lord. The question arose among them "which of them should be the chiefest?" When Peter, James and John had gone with the Lord Jesus to the mountain, the rest of the apostles didn't know which of them should take charge.
The Devil have some demons whose special job is to make people think big, or want to be big so as to cause conflict and confrontation. But the Lord has put enough verses in the bible which if we remember them and if we abide in the word, we will be able to perform our duties and beat the Devil.
"Everyone that humbleth himself, shall be exalted".
The scripture says, why do we glory in anything we do not produce by ourselves? "For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?" (1Cor.4:7). If every gift and faith and power is given to us by Him, then we have nothing to glory about.
Now to the young people among us: Pride also has to be resisted among the youth. If there is a new style in your school, a new shoe, and you long to get that new shoe, it may show that there is no humility in you. If there is a new fad, the lattest shoe in town, and you have been pressuring your parents to buy it for you, it's a form of pride which you must resist as a Christian. Because in the dictionary meaning of humility, it describes modesty, being conscious of ones defects: i.e not wanting to show off. Now the boy or girl that craves for the lattest shoe in town definitely wants to show off. It's another form of pride. Therefore if you are like that, humility is missing somewhere. As a Christian youth, God wants you to display sobriety and humility in such things. Also among adults, we ought to show modesty in things we try to acquire, not trying to be like everbody else, not racing with the Jonesses. Remember the vision above: everybody wants to be a teacher. Let's be humble!
"Let nothing be done through strife or vain glory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.
Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men." (Phil.2:3-7).
We need to meditate on these verses. The Lord Jesus summarized it in his words when he said, "Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls." (Mat.11:29).
I pray that the Lord will burn these words into our hearts and help us to bear the fruit of meekness, in the name of Lord Jesus Christ. Amen!
DON'T BLAME GOD
(From a sermon of Bro. Julius Adewumi, Night Vigil 6/4/95)
I was meditating on the word of God and the Lord led me to the book of Daniel. There is something we can always learn from Daniel. I heard one day from a minister on the gospel radio station when he mentioned that prophet Daniel was an eunuch. It never occurred to me that he was, until that day. Yes, Daniel was an eunuch! He was made an eunuch for men, just like the Lord Jesus said "some were made eunuchs by men, some were born eunuchs, others made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake."
Daniel was one of those who were made eunuchs by men, when they were taken as slaves and brought to the palace of Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon. Since they were kept by the master of the eunuchs (Dan.1:3) then those hebrew children were made eunuchs. But that is not the point I want to make. The point I really want to make is, "don't blame God for any thing that happens to you in life". That is a good way to be humble before God. Let's not blame God for anything that ever happens to us. We should always look back at ourselves and say "maybe it was my mistake somewhere that caused this or that." Daniel gave us that example also when he was praying for his people (the Israelites) in chapter 9. People could blame God for any mischief. Remember when disasters happen in the nation, tornadoes or earth quakes, people can foolishly be blaming God that it is God's fault that such a thing happen to them.
Let's look at what happened to Daniel. Remember, to be made an eunuch is an evil thing, especially for those who do not volunteer for it. Because we know that some people can volunteer in those nations; to serve their king, they will submit to be made eunuchs. But what happened to Daniel was evil. It was because they were already slaves: they were captured by the Babylonians, after Jerusalem was conquered, and they were led away as slaves to Babylon. It was prophecy fulfilled on them for forsaking their God. Prophecy was fulfilled and Daniel had to be one of the victims. Isaiah prophezied about what will happen to the seed of Hezekiah, king of Judah. (2Kgs. 20:14-19) Hezekiah had been sick and was healed. The King of Babylon, Merodach Baladan, who was very friendly in those days, sent messengers to greeet Hezekiah for they heard he had been sick. While the messengers were visiting, Hezekiah gave them a tour of his treasury and all he had stored up.
"Then came Isaiah the prophet unto king Hezekiah and said unto him: What said these men? and from whence came they unto thee?"
And Hezekiah said, "They are come from a far country, even from Babylon."
He said, "What have they seen in thine house?"
And Hezekiah answered, "All the things that are in my house have they seen: there is nothing among my treasures that I have not shewed them."
And Isaiah said unto Hezekiah, "Hear the word of the Lord. Behold, the days come, that all that is in thine house, and that which thy fathers have laid up in store unto this day, shall be carried into Babylon: nothing shall be left, saith the Lord. And of thy sons that shall issue from thee, which thou shalt beget, shall they take away; and they shall be eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon."
Then said Hezekiah unto Isaiah, "Good is the word of the Lord which thou hast spoken." And he said, "Is it not good, if peace and truth be in my days?"
You see? Hezekiah did not care about it, as long as it did not occur in his days. Now this was the prophecy which was fulfilled upon Daniel and his colleagues as we read in Daniel 1:3: "And the king spake unto Ashpenaz the master of his eunuchs, that he should bring certain of the children of Israel, and of the king's seed, and of the princes." They were made eunuchs.
That was what happened to Daniel. I usually try to picture the drama of the situation. I can feel the impact of it. Imagine, Daniel was either in his teenage years or in his twenties. They knew they were all slaves in Babylon anyway. The King suddenly said "gather some of these young hebrews who are related to the hebrew king and princes which had been killed, and bring them to live and serve in the palace. Make them eunuchs". What kind of panic and bitterness do you think would come over those young people? They might first be happy when they heard they would be living in the palace of the king of Babylon, but when they knew they were to be cut open and made eunuchs, what a resistance some of them would put up! Some of them would resist, violently! I can hear some screaming, "O God of Israel, don't let them do this to us!" Some would be blaming God and even cursing God, "Why will God allow this to happen to us?" Bad things had already happened: Jerusalem had been destroyed; these people had been led away captives, as slaves. Now the young princes were being rounded up to be made eunuchs, which is bodily harm! Some of them would like to run away if possible, if they knew what would be done to their testis. I just picture these things in my heart: suppose I was one of them? There would be a lot of physical resistance. They might have to tie some down to cut off their testis, while they were screaming and cursing. I have witnessed the process being performed upon he-goats when my mom was raising livestock. My parents had the idea that the he-goats would grow big and fat if their testis were cut out while young. To be precise, the he-goats were made eunuchs. But they would have to tie the goats down. It was never with pleasure.
Imagine men who were not little children and were compelled to go through such surgery, they would have to tie them down. What then do you think those hebrews would do? Some of them would scream and curse: "O God of Israel, why will you let this happen?" They might even be blaming God for the miseries that befell them. The others might be blaming God: he let their city be destroyed, he allowed them to be taken captives; now they were even making them eunuchs? They might be saying they would have nothing to do anymore with this God of their fathers. With the exception of Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednigo, perhaps. These four young men accepted whatever happened to them as their fate and did not charge God foolishly.
Now, Go and compare that to the Jews of the same generation who fled to Egypt and Jeremiah the prophet followed them, Jeremiah continued to rebuke them for the evils they and their wives did in Jerusalem which brought God's wrath upon their land. Yet those men and women answered Jeremiah that they would continue to worship those idols, in flagrant rebellion. (Jer.44:14-19). "Then all the men which knew that their wives had burned incense unto other gods, and all the women that stood by, a great multitude, even all the people (Jews) that dwelt in the land of Egypt, in Pathros, answered Jeremiah, saying, As for the word that thou hast spoken unto us in the name of the Lord, we will not hearken unto thee. But we will certainly do whatsoever thing goeth forth out of our own mouth, to burn incense unto the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto her, as we have done, we, and our fathers, our kings, and our princes, in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem: for then had we plenty of victuals, and were well, and saw no evil." Yea, sin is deceitful! They became hardened sinners.
We must learn to be humble before God; because it takes another type of humility to not blame God. That is what I'm pointing out here. It takes humility to not blame God for anything that happen to us which we know is not good. Someone may say "But God caused it to happen!"
Did God actually cause the Israelites to be taken away captives, or they caused it upon themselves? All the curses which Moses wrote against them if they ever turned away from the true God came upon them. (Deut.28:45). Then they brought it upon themselves! That is why I say don't blame God! Did God cause them to be taken captives, or did they cause it upon themselves? If they could look back at their life in Jerusalem: Daniel looked back and prayed and said "Lord, we have sinned!" (Dan.9:5). When he was praying the prayer which brought an Angel to him, because God loved that kind of heart. "A broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise." (Psa. 51:17). Daniel prayed and said in effect, "Lord I know you are just; we deserve more than this that happened to us. It was our own lukewarmness, our own forsaking of our God that brought this evil upon us." That makes a difference! That is what God wants us to gain from this sermon. Because it is very easy for someone to blame God when terrible things are happening to them. Whereas some of the other boys could have been cursing and saying "If God was the one who let those evils happen to them, they don't want to worship this type of God." And many people are saying similar things in this generation asking "where is God", when bad things happen. But don't blame God. If we look back, we might realize that we actually have ourselves to blame for most of those things.
It reminds me of the character in the movie, "A thief in the night", which was about a lady who was left behind in the rapture, when her husband and her grandma had been raptured. The lady was screaming "I curse you, I curse you!" She was cursing God. She was blaming God for all that happened to her. Whereas, when the preacher came to her house and spoke to them, she was justifying herself that she was as good as the next person, maybe even better. She refused to accept Jesus as her Lord and savior, saying these preachers were fanatics scaring people with the coming of the Lord, while her husband accepted Jesus. But when she was left behind she was cursing God.
Do you realize that if the rapture takes place now and some Christians are left behind, many who claim to be following Christ will fall back to that type of attitude? I mean, they will be angry at God, saying: "How can you leave me behind, with all that I have done for you?" A lot of people will be so angry they will go and take the mark of the beast, saying it is God's fault, for leaving them behind. But don't blame God! Humility will make another person put the blame upon himself. Some folks will not remember all the words of exhortation, and reproof, and correction which they just could not swallow: about their attitudes; women's makeup and dress codes, or men's temperament which they couldn't put under: Some Christian ladies are on TV with make-believe eye-lashes, painted up like Jezebel, and no one can correct them anymore! Some saw Deut.22:6 point-blank in the Bible, (about women should not wear that which pertaineth unto a man), but they said God is civilized now! If they are left behind in the rapture, they ought to look back at those corrections which they just couldn't take, from hard-preaching preachers whom they just didn't like, and say, "maybe that was what do them in", instead of blaming God!
No matter how we think we have tried our best, if something happens we should look back and say, "Lord, you are righteous; I must have made a mistake somewhere." This is the mindset the Lord is imparting into us and I am sharing this with you.
We should remember to always say peradventure there was something I have struggled with which was really the problem. In Hebrew chapter 3:13, the Bible said, "exhort one another daily, while it is called today; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin."
Sin is very deceitful. If one welcomes one particular offense, and has been justifying oneself in the habit, no more exhortation will help the fellow. It reminds me of a brother whom I confronted many years ago concerning pornographic books I found in his room, while I was a visitor: we were both singles at the time. I came to town and put up with the brother for some days. He was then a student at the college. While he was out, I chanced to open one textbook on his desk, and found the book was easily classifiable as "pornographic material". It was a textbook on a subject he was taking at the University (called Human sexuality). It had colored pictures of male and female organs in action. I put the books away hoping to talk to him about it when he returned. In the resulting confrontation the brother used "bold-face" to tell me to get lost. He kicked me out of his apartment the same day. That was over fourteen years ago. But the result of meddling with such materials has already occurred to this brother: He had been in fornication, he had been in polygamy, fathering illegitimate children. Nobody could exhort him anymore. I knew it that it is a danger when anyone exposes oneself to those evil spirits of pornography, how much more when one sits through a class where one is filled with a semester of sexual talks, yet claiming to be a Christian. It is dangerous to expose oneself to those devils of pornography. Because they will do more damage than just leading men into fornication or adultery. The man will begin to justify himself until no one can correct him any longer. I knew that the brother's offenses will be centered around "sexual immorality", because those demons don't leave once you welcome them, unless you repent and reject what you first welcome.
The same goes for correcting ladies about their dress code or any other habit. If they keep on giving excuses and will not change, soon, no exhortation can reach them anymore. It takes humility to accept exhortation and correction. If somebody points out an error in your way, it takes humility to say "Lord, help my heart!" Instead of justifying oneself, that the Bible didn't say this and that, in self-defense. Rather say "Lord, help my heart to be able to recognize the error , if any, that has been pointed out to me". It is that kind of humility which will not blame God because you can look back and say "Lord, maybe that thing, that offense, which I constantly wrestle with, maybe it was what finally do me in? Lord, you are righteous." That is the humble and contrite spirit which the Lord loves.
If the rapture takes place, and someone is left behind, don't blame God. Let's look at ourselves and search and see where we may not be doing something right and let's repent and ask the Lord to help us to take correction. Someone that is proud will be the one to say "I know I'm doing it right already!" Then when something is pointed out to him as an offense, he will say "No, you are mis-interpreting that statement", to justify himself. Let's be humble before God. "Humble thyself therefore under the mighty hands of God and he shall lift you up." "God resists the proud, but gives grace to the lowly."
Some folks will argue the point when their offenses are pointed out, out of pride. Even when they are convicted, they have gone too far; they will find it hard to turn around. They are too proud to turn back. Arguing the point will not do it because we are dealing with the Almighty God. If negative things happen in our path, we should not blame God, but look at ourselves and say "perhaps our prayerlessness caused it", "perhaps when the Lord sent cautions to us we used gain-saying and argued our point."
For example, often the Lord will wake me up suddenly at 2.00 AM to pray if some devils are about to attack or if something is about to happen . No matter when I went to bed that night, if few hours later I was awakened from sleep by the Lord like that, I know there is urgent need for prayer; otherwise I most likely will be allowed to sleep for about four hours before I am awakened to pray and worship the Lord. At such a time that my sleep is interrupted, if for some reason I could not pray through, or I was drowsy and couldn't concentrate, I usually will blame myself if later I found out that I could have stopped an enemy attack. That is what I meant when I said 'Don't blame God' for whatever happened in your way on this journey. If you consider it carefully, you may realize that God has sent to you cautions upon cautions which you failed to see. Think about it! Let this type of attitude be part of our lifestyle.
Like Daniel, he was made eunuch in Babylon, yet instead of blaming the God of Israel for their miseries, Daniel prayed and confessed to God that "we have sinned for not hearkening to the voice of God's prophets when they warned our fathers to turn away from idolatry in Israel". We likewise should check our lifestyle now before the rapture takes place, and make necessary correction.
Let's pray that the Lord will shine his search light into our hearts and for the whole body of Christ, so that we can search our hearts and be humble before him. It is better to take corrective measures now for any offenses we may have, than to be left behind in the rapture. God bless you.
Bro. Julius Adewumi. Gospel Distribution Ministry,
Box 30387, Phoenix, AZ 85046,USA
Words of the Wise:
"Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days.
Give a portion to seven, and also to eight; for thou knowest not what evil shall be upon the earth. If the clouds be full of rain, they empty themselves upon the earth: and if the tree fall toward the south, or toward the north, in the place where the tree falleth, there it shall be.
He that observeth the wind shall not sow; and he that regardeth the clouds shall not reap. As thou knowest not what is the way of the spirit, nor how the bones do grow in the womb of her that is with child: even so thou knoweth not the works of God who maketh all.
In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not thine hand: for thou knowest not whether shall prosper, either this or that, or whether they both shall be alike good." (Eccl.11:1-6).
Yea, I invite you to sow good seed, by your offering, into this ministry, and the Lord shall meet your need. God bless you.
Gospel Distribution Ministry,