Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Midnight Cry - Continued


Revelation 12:11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.

We overcome our enemies by the blood of Jesus and our testimony. Never underestimate the power of a testimony!

Sunday morning, when we ran out of time, I was in the middle of a testimony about a 25 year old man I met in 1980 named Nick, who was temporarily living on a park bench. (By the way: Everything is temporary in this life – but everything becomes permanent after the final judgment day – that’s what “final” means!) I shan’t go back over the whole story but will trust that you will visit our website and either listen to the archived sermon or download the notes and read the story.

Tonight I want to pick up where we left off in Acts 16. Turn with me please.

This account takes place after Paul and Silas had cast an evil spirit out of a woman who had been telling fortunes. Perhaps she was happy, we know God was happy, but the men who owned the fortune telling business were not happy. They were so angry that they dragged Paul and Silas into the market place where the city officials had them stripped naked, beaten and thrown into prison.

The jailer was charged with threats to keep these men under guard. He went a step farther and put them into the dungeon and clamped their feet irons. It was a terrible injustice to be suffered: humiliated in public; unjustly punished; wrongfully imprisoned; unduly burdened. In pain, no doubt hungry and hurting, Paul and Silas did not allow their situation to dominate their spirits. In their midnight hour … well, let’s read it again:

Acts 16
25 ¶ And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them.
26 And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one’s bands were loosed.

God heard their midnight cry, as He will hear ours!

Remember Nick? The young man on that park bench whom I was sent to by the Lord. He was in a terrible situation of life, yet the Lord heard his midnight cry. When I awakened him from his sleep that day, he first thought I was a policeman and then he thought I was an angel.

As I listened to the prophecy I was giving him from the Lord, I learned that Nick had been in a fight with his father who ultimately kicked him out of his house. The Lord said to Nick that He was going to begin helping him and giving him the desires of his heart. As well, the Lord told Nick that He was going to restore the relationship with his father.

After taking Nick to church that next morning and the miracles God gave to get Nick on that bus to Dallas, Brenda and I knew that God had used us to help answer the midnight cry of this young man. When Nick left on the bus we prayed that just as God had sent us to that park bench, that He would also send someone to meet Nick at the bus station in Dallas and help him with a place to live, a job and the beginnings of the new life God had spoken about. We had given our mailing address, we didn’t have a home phone and cell phones were not invented yet, so there was no phone number we could give him, as well personal computers did not exist so email was not yet even thought about.

It was about two weeks when we received our first letter from Nick. We opened the letter to read that our prayers had been specifically answered by God. Nick wrote that when he stepped off the bus he bumped into a man and they struck up a conversation. The man was a Christian and upon hearing Nick’s most recent encounter with the Lord, the man offered Nick a place to stay and helped him get a job at an automotive glass shop. Nick was at home, going to church, learning the word, working a job and on his way to building his new life.

Our prayer had been dynamically answered but God was not finished yet. About 3 months later, just before we moved from those apartments, I received a letter from the Pastor of a Baptist Church in the Dallas area. He wrote to inform me, thank me and encourage me concerning Nick.

This pastor informed me that the week before he was driving from Dallas to Austin and had occasion to pick up a young man who was hitchhiking, on his way to a new job in Austin. You guessed it … it was Nick. This pastor said that Nick was a bright eyed, cheerful young man, filled with the joy of the Lord and full of the witness of Christ. The pastor told me that he did not even let Nick know he was a pastor or even a Christian, but rather wanted to see where this young man would take the conversation.

He said that Nick shared his testimony of what had happened to him on a park bench in Texarkana and how that a man named Ron Hammonds had awakened him, prophesied to him, fed him his last hamburger, took him to church and put him on a bus to Dallas. He gave all the glory to God but wanted the man to know that Jesus was real.

He said that Nick had gotten a job at another glass place in Austin which was connected with the one in Dallas. When it came time to transfer Nick decided to hitchhike in hopes that he would get to witness to someone about Jesus. Before this pastor let Nick out in Austin, he allowed Nick to pray with him and Nick also gave him my name and address just in case he wanted to know more about Jesus.

The Pastor said that he never told Nick he was a Pastor but that Nick had changed his life. He wanted me thank me for my witness to him and for the example I was. The Pastor was convicted about his personal witness and had rededicated his life to Christ. He also encouraged me to not stop believing in people, lifting them up and giving them a chance to succeed. Needless to say, I was encouraged.

Shortly thereafter we moved from the College Drive Apartments without leaving a forwarding address since our next residence was a 23 foot camper trailer which I borrowed from a friend and moved my family into. I parked this trailer beside my parent’s house in rural Simms, Texas, on the site where we would later move a building onto and remodel as our new church. With the move and having no mailing address, as it were, we lost contact with Nick.

During the next couple of years we worked hard birthing and building a church. We started it in a home with 7 people, all but one was family. In only one year we had grown to 16 people and met in a different house each week. Our first missionary support in 1981 was sending a box of clothes to a man named Musa Njuguna of Kenya, East Africa.

The second year my dad bought an old church building which we moved onto his property in that community of 200 people and remodeled it for our church … the church grew exponentially. Soon we were running 50 people, then 75, then 100 … at our heyday we had 180 members on our roles and a packed out church building every service. I did a daily live radio program, operated a Christian school from grades K5 through 12th grade, and busied the church with evangelistic outreaches and community service. We were having fun!

One Sunday morning during our third year, I was in my little corner office before service, watching out the window and praying for families as they got out of their cars and walked into church. I saw a man get out of the backseat of a car a long ways down the driveway. He opened the front door for a woman I knew while her husband got out of the driver’s side. This was a family I had encountered by chance, one day when I was in Texarkana, and won the whole family to the Lord. They faithfully drove 30 miles to come to church each service and their lives had gone from a horrible pit to lives filled with joy and Jesus.

I knew a little about them and had been praying with them about some family problems from the past. I looked closer and then called out to Brenda to come into my little, 6’ by 6’ office and look out this window with me. “Who is that?”, I asked her. It looked like the young man we had helped over 3 years earlier in that park.

Brenda and I ran out of the office and out onto the front porch of the church … he looked at us and we looked at him and we both recognized each other about the same time. It was Nick! He was all dressed up, clean shaven and smiling.

Turns out that without knowing it, while Nick was off building a new life in Christ, the Lord had directed me meet his father and lead the whole family to the Lord. Nick had felt the leadership of the Lord that it was time to come home and reestablish relationship with his family. When he got home, instead of being rejected, he was welcomed by a family who had found Jesus just like he had and were praying for him all the while he was praying for them. When he heard that they were going to church 30 miles out of Texarkana in a little rural community, he never imagined that it might be me who was pastor of the church. Nick’s dad was going to surprise me by introducing me to his son who we had believed God to save and restore relationship.

2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering towards us, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

You can imagine the lessons God taught me through all of this … God hears the midnight cry! And, when “Thus saith the Lord”, is the Lord, the Lord will perform what the Lord has promised.

God not only hears your midnight cry, but also the cries of souls who do not even know they are crying. People who sit in darkness shall yet see a great light.

Acts 16
27 And the keeper of the prison awaking out of his sleep, and seeing the prison doors open, he drew out his sword, and would have killed himself, supposing that the prisoners had been fled.
28 But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm: for we are all here.
29 Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas,
30 And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?
31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.
32 And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house.
33 And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway.
34 And when he had brought them into his house, he set meat before them, and rejoiced, believing in God with all his house.

God wants to save you and save your whole house … and He will, if you will only pray and praise Him, even in your midnight hour!

Be a part of God’s plan. Reach out to others, build your testimony and give others a chance to build theirs. We overcome by the blood of the Lamb, and the word of our testimony. Cry out to God!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Heaven, Hell & Eternity Part 3 – Eternity


Please open your Bibles to the book of Malachi, the last book in the Old Testament.

So far in this series we have learned that:
1. Heaven is the temporary residence for those who are justified by grace. 2. Hell is the temporary holding place for the souls of the unjust until the final judgment day.

Malachi 3 NKJV
13 ¶ "Your words have been harsh against Me," Says the LORD, "Yet you say, ‘What have we spoken against You?’
14 You have said, ‘It is useless to serve God; What profit is it that we have kept His ordinance, And that we have walked as mourners Before the LORD of hosts?
15 So now we call the proud blessed, For those who do wickedness are raised up; They even tempt God and go free.’"
16 Then those who feared the LORD spoke to one another, And the LORD listened and heard them; So a book of remembrance was written before Him For those who fear the LORD And who meditate on His name.
17 "They shall be Mine," says the LORD of hosts, "On the day that I make them My jewels. And I will spare them As a man spares his own son who serves him."
18 Then you shall again discern Between the righteous and the wicked, Between one who serves God And one who does not serve Him.

Basically God says: “It’s not over yet!” God is keeping records and in a day to come you will clearly discern between the righteous and the wicked, between the ones who served God and the one who did not.

What is God talking about? Eternity!

As I said a moment ago, so far in this series we have learned that:
1. Heaven is the temporary residence for those who are justified by grace.
2. Hell is the temporary holding place for the souls of the unjust until the final judgment day.

Today we also learn that:

3. Earth is also a temporary dwelling place, the only place which affords you an opportunity to choose where you will spend eternity.

Let me make this personal: You will spend eternity either in the New City of Jerusalem with the one and only God and His Son, Jesus, and all that is heaven, or else you will spend eternity in the lake of fire along with the devil and his angels and all that is hell.

Three essential truths about where you will spend eternity:
1. The choice is yours.
2. You have to make it now.
3. Eternity is forever!

However, it is also necessary to understand that Jesus came not only to save us from an eternity in hell but also from the hell of this life.

Why? Because on earth, bad things still happen to good people, even God’s people, and God wants to help you overcome in this life.

Go with me to the book of Acts, Chapter 16.

In about AD 51 or AD 52, the Apostle Paul decided to go and visit the churches which he and Barnabas had established on their first missionary journey together. Barnabas wanted to take Mark along with them but Paul did not. So, in the end Barnabas took Mark and went on his way while Paul chose Silas to accompany him, and they set out on what is commonly known as Paul’s Second Missionary Journey.

Paul and Silas visited several of the Churches and confirmed the believers in each one. When they were finished, Paul wanted to continue to preach further into Asia but was forbidden to do so by the Holy Spirit at that time. While he was seeking God as to what direction he should take, he received a vision in the night of a man in Macedonia asking for help.

Knowing this to be direction from heaven, Paul and Silas arose and went to Macedonia, which is now known as Greece. Landing in the port city of Neapolis, Paul and Silas traveled the 10 miles northeast to Philippi, the capital city of Macedonia. There they began ministering to those whom they found willing to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Many were saved.

One day when they were on their way to prayer they encountered a woman who was possessed with a spirit of divination. She continued to follow them saying that they were sent from God to declare the way to salvation. Even though what the woman was saying was the truth, it grieved Paul to know the source of this woman’s knowledge. Finally having enough, Paul commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the woman. She was delivered but her owners, who were making their living from her fortune telling, were not happy with having lost their meal ticket.

So, they dragged Paul and Silas to the town square and incited a crowd against them and demanded that these Jews who were troubling the city be judged by the city’s officials and severely punished.

Have you found Acts 16? Let’s read:

Acts 16 KJV
22 And the multitude rose up together against them: and the magistrates rent off their clothes, and commanded to beat them.
23 And when they had laid many stripes upon them, they cast them into prison, charging the jailor to keep them safely:
24 Who, having received such a charge, thrust them into the inner prison, and made their feet fast in the stocks.

25 And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed …

God will hear your midnight cry. “At midnight Paul and Silas prayed”. They had been dragged to the market place, ordered to be stripped naked in front of an angry mob, beaten with many stripes and then cast into prison. I can imagine they were hurting, hungry, and tired. But instead of screaming the injustice of it all or allowing their worries, fear, and pain sink them in despair and trap them in depression … they prayed!

In the summer of 1980 God was teaching me and Brenda how to hear His voice and live by faith. In order to do a quick, but a deep, work in us, God clearly spoke to us and told us to sell or give away all we owned, give all our money to His Kingdom work, and begin believing Him for everything.

Note: Now this is my journey, not yours! This is our testimony and not meant to be a roadmap to your success. My story is a description of what God did in my situation and not a prescription for what He may choose to do in your situation. You cannot afford to take someone else’s prescription … it might help you or it might hurt you … you need your own prescription from God. So … don’t sell everything and attempt to live by faith just because you hear that God told me to do it. If you lived your life based on what God told me to do, you’d want to marry my wife and pastor this church and that would just be silly … and silly won’t count for faith!

30 years later, I am still 100% sure God told me to get rid of all our possessions, give all our money to His Kingdom work, and begin believing Him for everything … so we did!

Brenda and I, with our two small children, moved into the College Drive apartments in Texarkana, Texas, without any money, any furniture, any extra clothes, and without a car or a job. Our families did not understand and we could not satisfy their concerns. However, we were excited.

Since we didn’t have any furniture and I was busy studying the Bible all day long each day, Brenda took it upon herself to make a home for us in that bare apartment. She went down to the Piggly Wiggly grocery store and climbed into the dumpster to get some boxes. She turned some on their sides to make shelves for our children’s clothes which we were believing God for, and she also found this big box, which she carried home and made into our kitchen table with little boxes around it so April and Ashley would have a place to sit. We all slept on the floor and acted just as if we had good sense.

Looking back on it now I can imagine how awkward it was for the few visitors we had to come by and sit on the living room floor with us … perhaps this is why we had so few visitors.

Brenda and I began attending a small church which had grown out of a Bible study and met at the Sheraton Hotel on Sundays. My dad let us borrow a car sometimes and at other times we got rides from new friends at the church.

One Saturday afternoon I clearly heard the Holy Spirit tell me to go to Spring Lake Park. My dad had left his car with us for that weekend so I told Brenda to get the children and let’s all go. Since we were learning to hear from God and walk by faith, I questioned why God might want me to go to the park. On our short drive Brenda and I considered that it might just be that God wanted our children and us to have some family fun. We decided and agreed in prayer to keep our eyes and ears open and see if we could discern why the Holy Spirit had spoken so directly to me.

I remember it like it was yesterday. We were swinging April and Ashley in some tall silver painted swings with dug out places under each swing where children had dragged their feet, brushing the sand away making pits which would catch water when it rained. I was standing in front of the swing ready to catch it and push it again when I heard the Lord say, “see that man on that park bench … he is my child and I want to talk to him.”

I told Brenda what I heard and left her with the children while I walked across the park towards a man laying on a park bench. When I approached him he looked like a 25 year old homeless bum. His clothes were all wrinkled, his shirt unbuttoned, his shoes were a mess, his hair was sticking out, he was asleep on his back with his left arm across his eyes and his right arm dangling from the bench to a plastic milk jug half filled with water sitting on the ground beside him. His left leg was cocked up and his right leg was stretched out straight, with his foot on the ground. He was not much more than skin and bones and certainly didn’t look like a child of God with any future.

I positioned myself between him and the sun, positioning was a habit I learned from a former job, and I spoke to him to wake him up. He opened his eyes and squinted into the sun trying to see who it was that was bothering him. Later he told me he first thought I was the police so he thought he better sit up and listen.

I told him that I knew that this was going to sound a bit strange since I did not know how he believed about some things, but I was a servant of the Lord Jesus Christ and that God had something He wanted to say to him and the Holy Spirit wanted to use me to say it.

The young man was in kind of a daze with a just woke up sort of confused look on his face, still squinting but trying to give me his attention as best he could. I had seen that look a hundred times before mostly while arresting people who were either drunk or on drugs.

I asked him if he minded me just going ahead and letting the Lord speak through me. He told me to go ahead. So I just started prophesying. I didn’t know what I was going to say next but it kept coming up out of my spirit as both he and I were listening to what the Lord was telling him.

Through me the Holy Spirit told him that he was a child of God and that God loved him and had heard his cry. The Lord told him that He knew that he felt abandoned by his father and that the breech between him and his father would be healed and that God would restore his relationship. The Lord also told him to not be selling his blood any more for God was going to change his life, meet his needs, direct his path and give him the desires of his heart and that He was going to begin today.

When I got finished with all I told him he was alert, sitting up straight, eyes fully focused, jaw dropped in amazement and both hands on the bench beside his knees. He couldn’t say a word but just sat there. Later he told me that during the time I was prophesying his thoughts changed from thinking I was a policeman to thinking I was an angel. It scared him so bad he was shaking.

He was just sitting there not saying anything, but after hearing what the Lord said I felt like I knew him and so I told him to get up and come on with me. While we were walking back to where Brenda and the children were, he asked me where we were going. I told him that the Lord said that He was going to start taking care of him and begin a life change today and so we needed to begin it now.

When we got back to Brenda I went to introduce him and realized I didn’t know his name so I asked him and he said his name was Nick. I told Brenda that Nick was going home with us to begin his life change. Nick said that he and his father had a big falling out and he had been kicked out of his house and was selling his blood every two weeks, eating a little until the money ran out, and then sleeping in the park drinking water he collected in a milk jug from the spring. Nick still looked a little shocked as Brenda got into the back seat with the kids and he sat up front with me on our way back to our apartment.

I told Nick that the Lord meant what He said and that He could stop worrying and start believing and thanking God that God had heard his prayers. He told me that the night before he was in the darkest time of his life and he had cried out to God and prayed and asked God that if He was real would He please help him. He said that when he was a little boy he had gone to church and gotten saved, but that he had not been living the way he should for years. He had gotten into drugs and drinking and fighting and forgotten about God. I told him that God never had forgotten about him and that God heard his cry and had sent me to help.

I still remember the look on Nick’s face when we first walked into our apartment. There was no furniture and we had boxes in the kitchen instead of a table and chairs. He was confused. Although he didn’t say it right then later he asked me how in the world was I going to help him when I didn’t even have anything. I told him that I didn’t make the promise, God did and it was God who was going to help. I challenged him to just watch and see!

Brenda asked Nick if he was hungry and he said a big yes! She fixed him a hamburger, bread and meat and mustard only. After he ate it he asked if we were going to eat and we told him no, not right now. He was a bit inquisitive and asked if we had anything to eat. I was honest and told him that we did not and yes, Brenda had offered and prepared our only hamburger for him and that we did not have any more food in the house except some cereal that the kids would eat, but that we were living by faith and God would provide. He was more confused now than ever.

Nick slept on the living room floor and the next morning we got up and got ready for church and told Nick that the Lord was going to continue to do what He said He would do so let’s watch God work today. I told him to expect a miracle and we shared what an adventure it was to serve the Lord. He listened, still a bit in unbelief, but happy to not be on the park bench and willing to watch and see.

Church worship was good in that crowd of about 30 to 35 people. After the word that morning a man came up to me and handed me $20.00. The Lord told me it was for Nick. Nick had gone up to the altar for prayer. As we were leaving church I asked Nick how he liked it. He said that it was wonderful and that he had recommitted his life to the Lord. I told Nick that the Lord said He was going to give him the desires of his heart. I asked Nick what he desired to do.

Nick told me that he had a strong desire to go to Dallas and get a job and begin a new life. He couldn’t explain it but that’s all he knew, he had a strong desire to go to Dallas. So, we drove straight to the bus station in downtown Texarkana which was only about 15 minutes away. On the drive there Nick told me that some weeks earlier he had hocked an old suitcase with some clothes and personal items at the bus station for $10 and that he would like to have it but didn’t know what it would take to get it back or even if they still had it. I told him once again, God said that He would begin taking care of you, just watch and see what the Lord does.

Nine years earlier I had worked for Texarkana Mack Truck Sales & Service running parts. One of my stops to ship and receive parts was the bus station, so I knew my way around the place pretty well. When I walked into the station and went over to the storage cage I asked for the suitcase right in front of me with Nick written on the claim tag. The man handed it to me and I said thank you and walked right out the door and handed it to Nick. Once again he was amazed and I was having fun.

I asked the station attendant for a one way ticket to Dallas and he charged me something like $11.40 and told me that the bus would depart in 5 minutes. I went back to the car where Brenda and the children were sitting with Nick and handed him the ticket and the change from the $20. He couldn’t imagine how all this was happening. In less than 24 hours he was off the park bench, recommitted to Christ, headed to Dallas with money in his pocket and clothes in his suitcase.

We prayed with him and watched him get onto the bus and drive away with tears in our eyes and joy in our heart. He waved and we wondered if we would ever see Nick again.

As the bus pulled out of sight Brenda and I sat and offered up a special prayer for Nick. We said, “Lord Jesus, we asked that just as you sent us to deliver Nick from the park bench, that you would send someone there to the bus to meet him when he arrives in Dallas. Help him find a place to stay, give him a job and continue Your good work in him. Amen.”

Well, did we ever see Nick again? To find out you’ll have to hear the second part of this story which I’ll tell this coming Wednesday night. But for now, let’s focus on the fact that God will hear your midnight cry – just like He heard Nick’s – Just like He heard Paul and Silas …

Acts 16 KJV
25 ¶ And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them.
26 And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one’s bands were loosed.

Remember I said earlier: Jesus died not only to save you from an eternity in hell, but also from the hell of this life.

You can be saved today:
1. The choice is yours.
2. You have to choose now.
3. The choice you make today could be forever!

What will you do in your midnight hour?

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Heaven, Hell & Eternity Part Two – Hell


Last week in part one of this series we took a look at what the Bible has to say about Heaven. We found three important truths about Heaven:

1. There are many things in Heaven today including an eternal city which is being prepared for God and His Children.
* This city surface covers 2 million, 250 thousand square miles.

2. Heaven is a temporary residence for those who are justified by grace. (Just-If-I’d Never Sinned)

3. Heaven is for the saved who no longer are on earth but await the final judgment day.

You can order your copy of the message at the information desk in the foyer or go online at to view the archived sermon.

I told you last week that if Jesus did not come before today, the Lord willing, I would teach part two of this series – Hell. Now some of you may think, like Jewish tradition teaches, that since Messiah did not come on Rosh Hashanah this year, you have another year in which to be safe … I wouldn’t bank on it for two very big and very reasonable considerations:

1. The Samaritan Levites, including the current High Priest who claims to be the direct descendant of Aaron and therefore heir to the priesthood, have a different calendar than do the Jews. The Samaritans who still live and worship on Mount Gerizim in the land of Moriah, 30 miles north of Jerusalem, the place where Abraham built the first altar to God in the land God promised to give him and his descendants … the same place upon which Joshua and the Children of Israel pronounced the blessings of God, the very same place where Joseph had his bones buried by the well of Jacob his father … these Samaritans today hold that the Jewish calendar is off by one month.

So, for these descendants of the tribe of Levi and the tribes of Joseph, Rosh Hashanah will not be for another 25 to 27 days. I love these continual, scriptural windows of opportunity to believe for the return of Messiah to catch away His bride!!!

2. The second reason why I would not feel so secure about having another year is because, whether Messiah comes back for everyone or not, He is coming for you in your lifetime … and we cannot know that day nor that hour when the Son of Man will come personally for us.

Now … let’s talk about Hell!

While you turn to the book of The Gospel of Matthew, Chapter 16, allow me to ask you a question.

What do you think it would feel like to know that you have put off the decision to accept Jesus as Lord and Savior until it was one second past the point where it was forever too late?

One second beyond forever too late …

Matthew 16
13 ¶ When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?
14 And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets.
15 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?
16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.
17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.
18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

Jesus told Peter that He was going to build His Church upon a solid rock. What rock was Jesus referring to? The Rock of Revelation as to Who He was – Jesus the Christ, the Son of God. And, the gates of Hell cannot prevail against the Church which is built upon the solid foundation of God’s revelation concerning His Son.

Now only God can reveal to a person concerning who Jesus really is. Man cannot know it for himself but only by revelation from the Holy Spirit.

V19: “And I will give you the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven …”

There are gates in heaven and gates in hell. The gates of heaven are to keep sinners out while the gates of hell are to keep sinners in. Both the gates of heaven and the gates of hell have keys.

Revelation 1:18 I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.

Jesus has the keys to death and hell but has given us the keys to heaven’s gates. But that’s another subject … let’s get back to hell …

Here are some facts about hell:

1. Hell was created as a prison for the devil and his angels.

Matthew 25:41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:

2 Peter 2:4 For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;

2. Hell was renovated to accommodate the souls of mankind.

Isaiah 5:14 Therefore hell has enlarged herself, and opened her mouth without measure …

Luke 16: 23 And in hell he lifted up his eyes, being in torments, and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.

Luke 12:5 Fear Him who, after He has killed, has power to cast into hell …

3. Hell is a temporary holding place for the souls of the unjust until the final judgment day.

Revelation 20:13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.

2 Peter 2:9 The Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:

Revelation 20:14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.

At the final judgment day, hell will be commanded to release the souls of the unjust who have been imprisoned since time began so that they can be brought before the great white throne and sentenced to separation, isolation and eternal torment in the lake of fire where there will be great weeping and gnashing of teeth forever and ever without reprieve.

This future scene weighs so heavily upon the heart of God that He was provoked to offer His Only Son on the cruel cross of Calvary to provide an opportunity for you to be pardoned.

Luke 16 tells of a wealthy man who died and went to this torturous prison. He described it as being tormented in flames, worried and anxious, without hope, surprised to find himself in such despair. There he waited for the judgment day with a fearful concern of what was to come not only upon him but also upon his family whom he knew would follow in his footsteps.

Psalms 9:17 The wicked shall be turned into hell, And all the nations that forget God.

This is the future that awaits all who do not know Christ. Today you are either a citizen of heaven or a citizen of hell. Today your name appears on some eternal manifest, on some roster, and when the role is called, unless your name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, you will spend eternity in the lake of fire with the devil and his angels, where darkness consumes the soul, where the worm does not die and the fire is never quenched.

If you are not born again, if you have never been saved by grace through faith in the blood of Jesus, today you can be. By a simple act of your faith you can have your name added to the Lamb’s Book of Life today. You can receive your very own set of keys to the Kingdom of Heaven if you only believe and are willing to receive.

First: Realize that you need a savior.
Next: Repent of your sin and turn your life over to God.
Then: Receive forgiveness of sins and the salvation of your soul by the grace of God which comes by faith in Jesus, Master, Savior and King.

Proverbs 15:11 Hell and destruction are before the LORD: how much more then the hearts of the children of men?

God is looking at you and He is hoping you will accept the free gift of His Son’s life which was sacrificed for your sins. Take this opportunity to pray and ask Jesus to come into your heart. Let God know you believe the Bible and that Jesus is His Only Begotten Son. Receive God’s love poured out for you on Calvary. Become born again today and begin a new life in Christ.

Salvation is just a beginning. You might say, how does one know they are saved? First by faith, and then by action. If a person has truly been converted there is an evident change that takes place in the attitude and actions of life.

Matthew 25:41ff says that the reason Jesus knew that some had not ever experienced a true conversion is because He knew them by the fruit of their life. Those who continued to be the same selfish, self absorbed, unkind and uncaring people they always were, had evidently not been born again.

Now I didn’t say that, Jesus did …

This is not salvation by works but works definitely follow salvation. We don’t do good deeds so that we can be saved – rather, we do good deeds and care for others because we have been saved and have received a new nature, the nature of Christ.

Salvation is the first step – now that we are born again, what should we do?

1. Get to know God’s Word
2. Talk to God everyday about everything
3. Get involved in a good Bible Believing, soul winning, Kingdom advancing, world impacting Church

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Evil Mother Daughter Duos - Jezebel and her daughter Athaliah


We ended last week with my promise that, should the Lord tarry, I would pick up right where I left off and reveal how to break generational curses.

Remember we talked about Jezebel and how she was a wicked and evil woman. You can catch up on her personal history, her reign as Queen of the northern ten tribes called the Kingdom of Israel, her children and her death. We saw how that Jezebel’s husband, King Ahab, was controlled by her witchcraft and her charm. If you were not here please get a copy of the message or log onto or and watch the archived message.

Time ran out on us before we got to Jezebel’s evil daughter, Athaliah. So, allow me to set the stage for tonight’s story.

In those days, around 860BC, give or take a few years, Ahab was king of the northern ten tribes called Israel and Jehoshaphat was king of the southern kingdom called Judah. Ahab ruled from Samaria while Jehoshaphat’s palace was in Jerusalem. The distance between these two cities is only 30 miles as the crow flies, not more than 40 miles along the ancient valley roads called the way of the Patriarchs.

Jezebel was not content with being Queen of the North and ruling only half of the country, she wanted to control it all. Her father had been King of the Sidonians to the North of Israel in what is now Lebanon, and since her father’s death, her brother had taken his place. She had influence there but none to speak of yet in Judah. How could she get her hands on that Kingdom too?

Jezebel had a daughter named Athaliah whom she raised in idolatry. While Athaliah was growing up she was continually surrounded by almost 1000 false prophets, 450 prophets of Baal and 400 prophets of Ashera. These lewd, crude and rude demon inspired men ate at the table of King Ahab. In this mix, Athaliah was indoctrinated in the evil which her mother was sworn to uphold.

In accordance with her selfish ambitions, Jezebel concocted a plan to get her hands on the Kingdom of Judah by using her daughter as both bait and trap. Jezebel convinced her husband, King Ahab, to make an alliance with King Jehoshaphat. While on one of his visits to Samaria, Jezebel had Ahab arrange a marriage between King Jehoshaphat’s son, Jehoram, and her daughter, Athaliah.

So, when King Jehoshaphat died, guess who became queen? Right … Athaliah. Sure, her husband was King, but that paled in comparison to her being Queen of Judah.

At this point in history, Jezebel was the older sister of the King of the Sidonians and acted as such; Jezebel was also the mother of the King of Israel, and the mother of the Queen of Judah. She was at the top of her game; she had strategized and had won! Her wickedness was felt all throughout the Middle East and none would dare challenge her.

King Jehoram ruled eight years, 4 years during his father’s life, and 4 years afterwards. During his reign he killed his 5 brothers and seized the property his father had given them. He was so evilly influenced by his wife that he participated in idol worship and was a miserable man. He ended up dying from a dysentery type of disease, his body was so ravaged that he was denied burial in the royal sepulcher among the Kings of Judah.

At King Jehoram’s death his youngest son Ahaziah, the son of Athaliah who had been brought up in her house, became king. King Ahaziah did evil in the sight of the Lord as did his grandparents, Ahab and Jezebel. He reigned only one year.

When God raised up Jehu to rid the land of the house of Ahab, he killed King Joram of Israel, Ahab’s son and King Ahaziah, King of Judah, before going on to kill Jezebel that same day.

When Athaliah heard that her son, King Ahaziah of Judah was killed, she declared herself Queen of Israel took over the Kingdom. In order to solidify her claim to the throne, she immediately put all of her grandchildren to death along with anyone who carried the bloodline of David. This was a wicked and evil woman who evidently grew tired of manipulating and controlling husbands, sons and kings, so she decided to do away with them all together and just rule the Kingdom on her own.

But, what could one expect? She was only following a family tradition. She was no doubt cursed with a generational curse! Captured by and commanded to repeat the same mistakes and practice the same evils as her mother before her, and her grandfather before her, as did her siblings and the children who were raised in that evil house of idolatry.

Brought up at her wicked mother’s feet in the palace of Jezebel, taught by the prophets of Baal and the groves, Athaliah turned out to be a wicked and evil woman herself – as did her children … all that is but one!

After Ahaziah’s death, now Queen Athaliah took the throne for herself and began her reign of terror for 7 years.

2 Chronicles 22:10 But when Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah saw that her son was dead, she arose and destroyed all the seed royal of the house of Judah.

2 Chronicles 22:11 But Jehoshabeath, the daughter of the king, took Joash the son of Ahaziah, and stole him from among the king’s sons that were slain, and put him and his nurse in a bedchamber. So Jehoshabeath, the daughter of king Jehoram, the wife of Jehoiada the priest, (for she was the sister of Ahaziah,) hid him from Athaliah, so that she slew him not.

Jehoshabeath was the daughter of the King of Judah, Jehoram, and sister to Ahaziah, who was son of Athaliah. This perhaps makes Jehoshabeath the daughter of Athaliah, certainly she was the aunt of Joash, the young boy heir to the throne of Judah.

What made this woman stand against her evil mother? No doubt it was because she had been affected and influenced by living with Jehoida, the High Priest, who was her husband. Athaliah probably thought it good to have a son who was King and a daughter who was first lady of the church. She had both church and state sewed up … or though she thought! However, Athaliah underestimated the power of God’s Word and His Church to change a life from the inside out.

Living in the House of God and being married to a godly spouse makes a difference and changes a life. This marriage, the man, the ministry, living in the House of God, broke the generational curse and demonic influence of Jezebel and Athaliah off of Jehoshabeath. And, just like Jehoshabeath, the curse can stop at the house of God for you as well!

2 Chronicles 22:12 And he was with them hid in the house of God six years: and Athaliah reigned over the land.

When Joash was 7 years old Jehoiada the Priest brought him forth from hiding and showed him to some of the elders of the city who swore to protect him as the only rightful heir to the throne of David. They set a day and arranged guards who stood watch over the coronation of King Joash.

Athaliah heard the noise …

2 Chronicles 23:12 Now when Athaliah heard the noise of the people running and praising the king, she came to the people into the house of the LORD:

The temple guards kept Athaliah’s army outside and captured her while she cried treason. When all had been discovered Athaliah was taken out of the temple and killed.

2 Chronicles 23:21 And all the people of the land rejoiced: and the city was quiet, after that they had slain Athaliah with the sword.

2 Chronicles 24
1 ¶ Joash was seven years old when he began to reign, and he reigned forty years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name also was Zibiah of Beersheba.
2 And Joash did that which was right in the sight of the LORD all the days of Jehoiada the priest.

He was of the same blood but not of the same house. Joash was born again, you might say, in the House of God. Joash was raised in the House of God instead of the house of Baal or the evil house of Jezebel. Believe me, how and where you are raised makes a difference.

In order to break generational curses we must move ourselves and our children under the umbrella of God’s Word which is found in the House of God. Continual attendance to the things of God breaks all curses.

This story reveals the direct results of raising your children in Church. The absolute result of raising children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord is that they are good.

Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

The Joash Box (Where the children bring their offerings at the front)
2 Chronicles 24
7 For the sons of Athaliah, that wicked woman, had broken up the house of God; and also all the dedicated things of the house of the LORD did they bestow upon Baalim.
8 And at the king’s commandment they made a chest, and set it without at the gate of the house of the LORD.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Heaven, Hell & Eternity

Heaven, Hell & Eternity
Part One – Heaven

Have you ever wondered what Heaven, Hell & Eternity will look like? Each one of us is destined to live much longer than the time we spend on this late, great planet earth. In fact, we are designed to live forever, not in this body, but we will each be eternally existent, either comforted or tormented, forever and ever – time without end.

For that reason it behooves us to learn a little more about our options for eternity and what we can expect between now and the final judgment day. So, without further ado let’s get started by turning to:

Revelation 21
1 ¶ Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea.
2 Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
3 And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God.
4 "And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away."
5 Then He who sat on the throne said, "Behold, I make all things new." And He said to me, "Write, for these words are true and faithful."
6 And He said to me, "It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts.
7 "He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son.
8 "But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death."

This morning we are going to begin looking at what the Bible has to say about heaven, hell and eternity. The passage we just read from Revelation 21 is a good starting place from which we can match other scriptural references to draw a more complete picture of the future of all mankind.

Today we are going limit our study to heaven; next Sunday, September 12th, we’ll look at hell; followed by September 19th’s revelation on, “From Here to Eternity”, how we get there and what we can expect.

The word Heaven is mentioned 691 times in the King James translation of the Bible. Many times it is used to refer to the expanse of space on earth or in the universe above the earth sometimes referred to as the heavenlies. At other times this term is used to describe an umbrella of authority called the Kingdom of Heaven which has no certain physical boundaries.

However for our study this morning we are going to look at the instances when Heaven is spoken of in the Bible as a place to which the souls of the just are welcomed between the time they are taken from the earth and God’s final judgment day. This is the place we often think of when we hear the word Heaven.

We catch a glimpse of the dimensional reality of Heaven from the after death account of a man spoken of by Jesus in Luke 16.

Luke 16:22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;

Jesus gave us knowledge that after death, the souls of the just are attended by angels and brought to an identifiable place of comfort and relief from their earthly struggles.

Heaven is a literal place, the destination for the souls of all who are just in the eyes of God. Who are the just you might ask?

Galatians 2:16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.

Those who have been justified, not by works but by the blood of The Lamb; Those who have their names written in the Lamb’s Book of Life; Those who have trusted in God and have by faith accepted Messiah.

Romans 5:1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:

What does the word justified mean in real terms? I can remember it best when I break it down phonetically: Just If I’d Just if I’d what? Just if I’d never sinned! When I am justified, it is just if I’d never sinned at all.

We are justified by faith – by our trust in and reliance upon God. This faith grants us peace with God, and it only comes through Jesus Christ our Lord.
If this peace only comes through Jesus and He lived and died 2000 years ago, what about Moses and David and Abraham and those families who lived thousands of years before Jesus? How can they be in heaven if heaven is for the just and we are only justified through Christ? You see …

We in faith look back to Christ, the Anointed, while they in faith looked forward to Messiah. However, whether looking forward to the day when Messiah would come and offer Himself as a ransom Lamb, or looking back to the day on which He paid for our sins with His own blood, we all look unto Jesus, Son of God, Messiah and Savior of the World. Only by faith in Messiah can we be justified and only by a Savior can we be saved. Heaven is for the saved.

From study of the scriptures we know that heaven is only a temporary dwelling place for the souls of the just. Our eternal existence will be lived out and enjoyed on a new earth which will come after the millennial reign of Messiah and the final destruction of this world.

Nonetheless, Heaven is real right now and there are several things in heaven today. In Heaven at present you will find:
• God
• Jesus
• Holy Angels
• Patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, David, Elijah)
• Faithful women from Miriam to Mary to Mother Theresa
• The Apostles, minus Judas, plus Paul
• Saints from all nations, kindred, tribes, and tongues of all ages
• No doubt there are some animals, seeing Jesus will return on a white horse leading tens of thousands of His saints turned soldiers
• A City, New Jerusalem, which is being prepared for the saints and angels to live in for eternity (talk about a planned community)

I’d like to say a word right here about that holy city, New Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven. Remember we read about it in:

Revelation 21
2 Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
3 And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God.

This is a city that God is building, a city which He will choose to live in. Can you imagine a city that is good enough for God to call home?

Not only is God going to live there but He is building mansions, rooms in His tabernacle, for each one of His children, everyone who has been or ever will be justified by faith in Messiah and acceptance of His sacrificial blood, each one of us!

Jesus describes this city to John in Revelation 21.

• The city is 1500 miles wide, 1500 miles deep, & buildings which reach 1500 miles high. If you can imagine a single city whose footprint is large enough to cover all of England, France, Germany, Italy, The East European countries and half of the Soviet Union. New Jerusalem has a surface space of 2 million 250 thousand square miles and every detail is planned out by God.
• The city walls around New Jerusalem are a staggering ½ mile high and are made of Jasper.
• There are 12 gates, which are never closed, because there are no enemies and no night - each gate is made of one solid pearl.
• If streets were laid out on a one mile grid, there would be 4 million, 500 thousand miles of streets, each one 1500 miles long, all paved with gold so pure that it is transparent to the eye.
• The thrones of Almighty God and His Son, Jesus, are in the city along with a river which flows out from those thrones.
• By the river is the tree of life from which everyone may freely eat. (there are no forbidden fruits in this garden)

Revelation 21:27 But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.

This concept of new heavens and new earth are not just New Testament visions.

Isaiah 65:17 ¶ "For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; And the former shall not be remembered or come to mind.

Isaiah 66:22 "For as the new heavens and the new earth Which I will make shall remain before Me," says the LORD, "So shall your descendants and your name remain.

Isaiah spoke about a day when God would create new heavens and a new earth. Some scholars say Isaiah was speaking of the era of the Church, however that could not explain why Peter, during the Church age, was still looking for the appearance of these new heavens and new earth.

2 Peter 3:13 Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.

I want to leave you this morning with an acute awareness that Jesus is coming, and that He may come this week. However, even if He waits another thousand years, you will spend some time in heaven, no doubt getting it ready for its descent to come and set upon a new earth and provide comfort and security for saints from all ages throughout eternity.

Don’t miss the one opportunity you have been given to go to heaven. This opportunity has a name … His name is Jesus … know Him, know peace – without Him, there will be no peace, in this life and especially throughout eternity.

Next Sunday, providing I am still here - Hell! If I am not … it will be heaven!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Evil Mother Daughter Duos-Jezebel and her daughter Athaliah


Last week we took a critical look at the lives of two of the lesser known women in the New Testament, evil Herodias and her seductress daughter Salome. This evening we are going to continue our discussion of Evil mother-daughter duos by looking into the Old Testament, back to the 9th century BC, to a pair of really evil women, the witch Jezebel and her murderous daughter Athaliah.

Why do I call Jezebel a witch? Because of the scripture:

2 Kings 9:22 And it came to pass, when Joram saw Jehu, that he said, Is it peace, Jehu? And he answered, What peace, so long as the whoredoms of thy mother Jezebel and her witchcrafts are so many?

But, I get ahead of myself … allow me to set the stage by way of a brief biography on the life of Jezebel, while you turn to the book of 2 Kings 9.

Jezebel was born around 900 to 910 BC in what is now Lebanon, daughter to the King of Tyre and Sidon. Her people were deeply steeped in idolatry and wholly committed to the worship of Baal. Jezebel’s later marriage to Ahab marked the very first time a King of Israel had married a heathen princess.

From the very beginning of her reign as Queen of Israel it was evident that she was a representative of all that was evil and disastrous. She was designing, crafty, malicious, revengeful, cruel, unprincipled, and seductive. Jezebel was the first instigator of persecution against the saints of God.

She immediately began ruling her husband and his kingdom to further her own desires by instigating Baal worship and importing 450 prophets of Baal and 400 prophets of asherah from her own country. These false prophets ate at the king’s table and lived in the king’s palace while the prophets of Jehovah were being slaughtered by Jezebel to make way for the new god of Israel.

Jezebel insisted her husband, King Ahab, join in Baal worship, which he did, and thus idol worship was established as the nation’s religion. Ahab even built special places for Baal worship and supported it wholeheartedly.
This eventually angered God to the place where He acted to get King Ahab’s attention. God had the prophet Elijah call for a drought, the shutting up of heaven, over the land of Israel for the space of 3 ½ years. At the end of this time Elijah had the big showdown with Jezebel’s prophets on Mount Carmel overlooking the Jezreel Valley. In the end Elijah called fire down from heaven, proved that Jehovah was the one and only true God and then he slew 450 prophets of Baal and 400 prophets of the groves which ate at Jezebel’s table.

1 Kings 18:19 Now therefore send, and gather to me all Israel unto mount Carmel, and the prophets of Baal four hundred and fifty, and the prophets of the groves four hundred, which eat at Jezebel’s table.

1 Kings 19:1 And Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, and withal how he had slain all the prophets with the sword.

1 Kings 19:2 Then Jezebel sent a messenger unto Elijah, saying, So let the gods do to me, and more also, if I make not thy life as the life of one of them by tomorrow about this time.

Elijah then sent Ahab back to Jezreel to get ready for the rain. Upon arriving Ahab told Jezebel what Elijah had done in killing her prophets. She was infuriated and sent a messenger to threaten the life of Elijah.

This woman was not afraid of either Elijah or God. Nothing was going to make here change who or what she was. After all, didn’t God know who she thought she was? At any rate, Elijah believed her threats and ran for his life to the desert.

Sometime after she had successfully ran Elijah off and into hiding in a desert cave, Jezebel found that her meal ticket, husband Ahab, was depressed. She was a bit angry to hear that he had stopped eating because he was denied a vineyard he fancied by the property owner, one Naboth the Jezreelite.

1 Kings 21:5 But Jezebel his wife came to him, and said unto him, Why is thy spirit so sad, that thou eatest no bread?

1 Kings 21:7 And Jezebel his wife said unto him, Dost thou now govern the kingdom of Israel? arise, and eat bread, and let thine heart be merry: I will give thee the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite.

Jezebel made a critical and cutting remark to Ahab about his lack of leadership ability and told him to get over it, she would get the vineyard for him. And that she did … she convinced others to set a trap for Naboth, hired unscrupulous men to tell lies about him, and had him stoned to death along with his sons. Then, with Naboth dead and no heirs to the vineyard, she told King Ahab to seize it for his own, which he immediately did.

1 Kings 21:15 And it came to pass, when Jezebel heard that Naboth was stoned, and was dead, that Jezebel said to Ahab, Arise, take possession of the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite, which he refused to give thee for money: for Naboth is not alive, but dead.

Immediately after this God spoke to Elijah to carry the Word of the Lord to Ahab. Elijah met Ahab in the vineyard which Jezebel had taken for him from Naboth. Elijah told Ahab what was to come to pass upon him, his sons, and his wife Jezebel.

1 Kings 21
19 … Thus saith the LORD, In the place where dogs licked the blood of Naboth shall dogs lick thy blood, even thine.

23 And of Jezebel also spake the LORD, saying, The dogs shall eat Jezebel by the wall of Jezreel.

24 Him that dieth of Ahab in the city the dogs shall eat; and him that dieth in the field shall the fowls of the air eat.

Even though Ahab counted Elijah as an enemy, he nonetheless recognized him as a man of God, and when he heard this he humbled himself and repented in sackcloth with fastings.

This moved God, as humility and repentance always does, and he put off the judgment until after Ahab’s days upon the earth. Man, God is such a good God – even to those who have done evil in His sight – and God will hear the prayers of the repentant heart. However, Jezebel was not repentant!

Why do you think Ahab got onto God’s bad side in the first place?

1 Kings 21:25 But there was none like unto Ahab, which did sell himself to work wickedness in the sight of the LORD, whom Jezebel his wife stirred up.

It was that woman Jezebel – she kept Ahab her husband stirred up all the time. She was a master of seduction and getting men to do whatever she wanted. It was nothing less than witchcraft … mesmerizing powers of charm and beauty – enticements to which she was wholly given which she used to bring men to their knees as puppets under her control.

Later on in her life’s story, her husband, King Ahab, was killed by an arrow…

1 Kings 22
37 So the king died, and was brought to Samaria; and they buried the king in Samaria.
38 And one washed the chariot in the pool of Samaria; and the dogs licked up his blood; and they washed his armour; according unto the word of the LORD which he spake.

… which was shot into the air by a Syrian soldier. Interesting enough, just as dogs had licked the blood of Naboth who had been stoned, dogs also licked the blood of King Ahab according to the words of the prophet Elijah.

After Ahab’s death, Jezebel’s son, Ahaziah reigned in his father’s place for 2 years following the ways of Baal and his mother. Then Ahaziah died according to the word of Elijah and Jezebel’s next son, Jehoram, also known as Joram, began his evil reign about the time Elijah was taken up into heaven by a whirlwind marking the beginning of the prophetic ministry of Elisha.

Twelve years later, in about 841BC, God raised up a man named Jehu to bring about the fulfillment of the prophecy which had been spoken over Jezebel and the house of Ahab.

2 Kings 9:7 And thou shalt smite the house of Ahab thy master, that I may avenge the blood of my servants the prophets, and the blood of all the servants of the LORD, at the hand of Jezebel.

Jehu first went to find King Joram, son of Ahab and Jezebel. He met him in the vineyard of Naboth and there Joram was slain. Jehu threw the dead king’s body into the bushes in the vineyard to be eaten by the wild dogs and fowls of the air.

Jehu then turned his attention towards the city of Jezreel where Jezebel lived. She was now most likely in her mid 60’s or so and still a seductress who worked her witchcraft on all who came within her luring reach. However, Jehu was anointed by the Lord and on a mission from God. Her charms would have no affect on him.

As Jehu entered the gates of the city Jezebel painted her eyes and fixed her hair … well, let’s read it --- turn with me to 2 Kings 9. I have filmed two or three television programs from the ruins of the city of Jezreel overlooking the Jezreel Valley. It is such a beautiful place situated in front of Mount Gilboa and across the valley from the cities of Shunem and Endor, not too far from Naboth’s vineyard.

2 Kings 9
30 ¶ And when Jehu was come to Jezreel, Jezebel heard of it; and she painted her face, and tired her head, and looked out at a window.
31 And as Jehu entered in at the gate, she said, Had Zimri peace, who slew his master?
32 And he lifted up his face to the window, and said, Who is on my side? who? And there looked out to him two or three eunuchs.
33 And he said, Throw her down. So they threw her down: and some of her blood was sprinkled on the wall, and on the horses: and he trode her under foot.
34 And when he was come in, he did eat and drink, and said, Go, see now this cursed woman, and bury her: for she is a king’s daughter.
35 And they went to bury her: but they found no more of her than the skull, and the feet, and the palms of her hands.
36 Wherefore they came again, and told him. And he said, This is the word of the LORD, which he spake by his servant Elijah the Tishbite, saying, In the portion of Jezreel shall dogs eat the flesh of Jezebel:
37 And the carcase of Jezebel shall be as dung upon the face of the field in the portion of Jezreel; so that they shall not say, This is Jezebel.

Did I tell you … or have you figured it out yet? Jezebel was an evil and a wicked woman. So evil and wicked that her name has continued to be associated with all the ungodly characteristics which may be found in a woman who is controlling, demanding, revengeful, designing, crafty, malicious, cruel, unprincipled, and seductive, bent only on fulfilling her own selfish lusts and insatiable ambitions without care for the costs.

Before we leave Jezebel, let’s hear the last word from the bible. It comes from the letter Jesus gave through John to the church in Thyatira.

Revelation 2:20 Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.

“which calls herself a prophetess” – self ordination; personal claim to the office and the influence of one who stands in the place of God. But, she is prophetess only to Baal, a false god, one fashioned into man’s idea of god.

“to teach and seduce” – to teach by seduction;
• to seduce Christians to stray from the Lordship of Christ.
• To mingle with, interact with and take on practices of worshippers of false gods

Once again … the element of control. Women who have to be right, have to rule the men in their lives and always stir up the men in their lives without respect for their God given leadership roles may be influenced by what the bible calls, “that woman Jezebel”.


Ahab had 70 sons and an untold number of daughters. However, with Jezebel we know of two sons and one daughter. The first son, Ahaziah took the throne of Ahab and reigned two years in Samaria over the northern ten tribes called Israel. After those 2 years Ahaziah died and Joram, the second son of Ahab and Jezebel reigned for 12 years until he was killed by Jehu.

Ahab and Jezebel also had a daughter named Athaliah. In the scriptures Athaliah is sometimes referred to as the daughter of Omri, Ahab’s father, to which she was granddaughter but common to that day’s writings, could also be called daughter of Omri since the bloodline was established. However, there is no doubt Athaliah was the daughter of Ahab and Jezebel.

Raised at her evil mother’s feet in the palace of Jezebel, taught by the prophets of Baal and the groves, Athaliah turned out to be a wicked and evil woman.

The children of God were at that time divided into two kingdoms, the northern ten tribes called Israel and the southern tribe of Judah which had its capital in Jerusalem. Jezebel was Queen over the northern kingdom of Israel but it was seemingly not big enough for her. She wanted more …

So, at some point she managed to have her husband befriend King Jehoshaphat who came to Ahab’s palace in Samaria. During the friendship Jezebel arrange a marriage between King Jehoshaphat’s son, Jehoram, and her daughter, Athaliah. When Jehoshaphat died, Athaliah became Queen of Judah. At that time her brother, Joram, was King of Israel.

Jezebel no doubt thought she had arrived with one son King of the northern 10 tribes of Israel and her daughter Queen of the southern kingdom of Judah … this went on for 9 years. However, Queen Athaliah was out, not for what mama wanted, but for her own exaltation.

Jehoram and Athaliah reigned in Judah for 8 years before his death at which time their son, Ahaziah, the only one not taken away captive by invaders, became King of Israel. Misguided by his evil mother, Ahaziah reigned only one year before being mortally wounded in battle while allied with his uncle, King Joram of Israel. Before leaving Jerusalem King Ahaziah put his mother Athaliah in charge.

After Ahaziah’s death, now Queen Athaliah took the throne for herself and began her reign of terror for 7 years.

2 Chronicles 22:10 But when Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah saw that her son was dead, she arose and destroyed all the seed royal of the house of Judah.

2 Chronicles 22:11 But Jehoshabeath, the daughter of the king, took Joash the son of Ahaziah, and stole him from among the king’s sons that were slain, and put him and his nurse in a bedchamber. So Jehoshabeath, the daughter of king Jehoram, the wife of Jehoiada the priest, (for she was the sister of Ahaziah,) hid him from Athaliah, so that she slew him not.

Did you follow that? Jehoshabeath was the daughter of the King of Judah, Jehoram, and sister to Ahaziah, who was son of Athaliah. This perhaps makes Jehoshabeath the daughter of Athaliah, certainly aunt of Joash, the young boy heir to the throne of Judah.

What made this woman go against her evil mother or at least her father’s number one wife and only wife left in the kingdom? No doubt it was how she had been affected and influenced by living with the High Priest, who was her husband, Jehoiada. Living in the House of God and being married to a godly man makes a difference and changes a life. This marriage to a man of God broke the generational curse and household influence of Jezebel. And, your wickedness can stop at the house of God as well!

2 Chronicles 22:12 And he was with them hid in the house of God six years: and Athaliah reigned over the land.

When Joash was 7 years old Jehoiada the Priest brought him forth from hiding and showed him to some of the elders of the city who swore to protect him as the only rightful heir to the throne of David. They set a day and arranged guards who stood watch over the coronation of King Joash.

Athaliah heard the noise …

2 Chronicles 23:12 Now when Athaliah heard the noise of the people running and praising the king, she came to the people into the house of the LORD:

The temple guards kept Athaliah’s army outside and captured her while she cried treason. When all had been discovered Athaliah was taken out of the temple and killed.

2 Chronicles 23:21 And all the people of the land rejoiced: and the city was quiet, after that they had slain Athaliah with the sword.

2 Chronicles 24
1 ¶ Joash was seven years old when he began to reign, and he reigned forty years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name also was Zibiah of Beersheba.
2 And Joash did that which was right in the sight of the LORD all the days of Jehoiada the priest.

He was of the same blood but not of the same house. Joash was raised in the House of God instead of the house of Baal or Jezebel. Believe me, it makes a difference.

The Joash Box
2 Chronicles 24
7 For the sons of Athaliah, that wicked woman, had broken up the house of God; and also all the dedicated things of the house of the LORD did they bestow upon Baalim.
8 And at the king’s commandment they made a chest, and set it without at the gate of the house of the LORD.