Saturday, March 31, 2018

The Last Enemy


Happy Resurrection Day! He is risen! Jesus is alive!

Today coincides with the day in history when Jesus was raised from the dead. I’ve visited the empty tomb where Jesus was buried just outside the walls of the old city of Jerusalem. On the third day Jesus was raised victorious over sin, death, hell and the grave. Death has no more victory and sin has no more sting. All praise to the living God … He is risen indeed!

For the past several weeks we have been learning how to identify and how to defeat the enemies of the soul. This morning we will discover The Last Enemy. How can we defeat this last enemy? Today I have some Good News!

1 Corinthians 15  NKJV
1  Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand,
2  by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you — unless you believed in vain.
3  For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,
4  and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures,
5  and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve.
6  After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep.
7  After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles.

This is the Gospel: Jesus died for our sins, was buried, rose to life again the third day and showed Himself alive by many infallible proofs.

8  Then last of all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time.
9  For I am the least of the apostles, who am not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.
10  But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.
11  Therefore, whether it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.

12 ¶  Now if Christ is preached that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?
13  But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen.
14  And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty.

17  And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins!
18  Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished.
19  If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable.

What a shame it would be to have believed and taught and lived a lie …

20  But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.
21  For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead.
22  For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.
23  But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming.
24  Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power.
25  For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet.
26  The last enemy that will be destroyed is death.

The Last Enemy - Death – Greek: Thanatos = The separation of the body and the soul of man when life on earth has ended, when darkness and misery claims the soul because of sin. This is death!

Hebrews 2 NKJV
9  But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone.

14  Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil,
15  and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.

There will come a separation of your soul and your body when your life on earth has ended. And, were it not for the resurrection, death, darkness and misery would claim and hold your soul forever. The Good News is that if you will put your trust in Jesus and make Him the Lord and Savior of your life, you will enter into His victory and you will never taste death ….

1 Corinthians 15:54 Death is swallowed up in victory.

1 Corinthians 15:57 Thanks be unto God who gives us the victory through Jesus Christ our Lord.

The resurrection is your only hope. In order to escape eternal death, we must be born again and receive eternal life through Christ by faith. This is the Good News and it is the only story worth telling. We must go and tell!

I know it can be hard to witness to friends and family and tell them that you have seen, heard, felt and believed in Jesus. No one knew the disappointments that can come with being a witness for Christ better than Mary Magdalene did on that first resurrection morning in Jerusalem. She saw Jesus, He called her by name and sent her to tell others that He was alive. Mary obeyed the Lord with joy and excitement only to find that her friends didn’t want to hear the Good News. They did not believe it …

Luke 24:11  And her words seemed to them like idle tales, and they did not believe them.

Mary shared the Gospel because Jesus asked her to. When she obeyed Jesus, He became responsible for the outcome. Jesus did not leave Mary without backing up her story and neither will He abandon you. His promise is to work with you everywhere confirming the Gospel in the hearts and minds of those you tell. He watches over every seed that is sown.

Man’s only hope is Christ, crucified, buried and raised from the dead.

Jesus is alive! Death has been defeated! Now, go and tell everyone the Good News! The Last and Worst Enemy is dead to those who are in Christ.

Jesus will work with you confirming the truth and …

All who call upon the name of the Lord Jesus shall be saved.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018



Romans 1:16  For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.

The Old Testament contains both a historical record of the natural journeys of the Children of Israel and a spiritual roadmap for the Believer in Christ today. We have been reading through the Book of Exodus together over the past few weeks drawing spiritual parallels between the Children of Israel and ourselves. I hope you have enjoyed finding yourselves within the pages of the Bible and I know the Light of God has given each one of you revelations of Truth.

Among the greatest revelations God gives in the Old Testament accounts of the Exodus is that of the great feasts which He ordained for His children to observe. Each one of the seven major feasts God commanded the Jews to observe each year is a picture of a great spiritual event that was yet to come. The Children of Israel kept the feasts each year as a dress rehearsal pointing to a future spiritual event. The first feast, Passover, is the model we use to see all the things God ordained to paint a perfect picture of the coming Messiah. The Bible tells only one story, it’s the story of Jesus.

Genesis 22:8  And Abraham said, “My son, God will provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering.” …

Exodus 12
1 ¶  Now the LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying,
2  “This month shall be your beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year to you.
3  “Speak to all the congregation of Israel, saying: ‘On the tenth day of this month every man shall take for himself a lamb, according to the house of his father, a lamb for a household.
4  ‘And if the household is too small for the lamb, let him and his neighbor next to his house take it according to the number of the persons; according to each man’s need you shall make your count for the lamb.
5  ‘Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year. You may take it from the sheep or from the goats.
6  ‘Now you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month. Then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it at twilight.
7  ‘And they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel of the houses where they eat it.
8  ‘Then they shall eat the flesh on that night; roasted in fire, with unleavened bread and with bitter herbs they shall eat it.
9  ‘Do not eat it raw, nor boiled at all with water, but roasted in fire — its head with its legs and its entrails.
10  ‘You shall let none of it remain until morning, and what remains of it until morning you shall burn with fire.
11  ‘And thus you shall eat it: with a belt on your waist, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand. So you shall eat it in haste. It is the LORD’S Passover.
12  ‘For I will pass through the land of Egypt on that night, and will strike all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the LORD.
13  ‘Now the blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you; and the plague shall not be on you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.
14  ‘So this day shall be to you a memorial; and you shall keep it as a feast to the LORD throughout your generations. You shall keep it as a feast by an everlasting ordinance.

John 1:29  The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”

Revelation 22:3  And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him.

Jesus is that Passover Lamb all throughout the entire Bible …

This next week is Passover Week. I want to encourage you to find spiritual parallels from the Passover accounts in the Bible upon which you can meditate this week. God will give you greater understanding and spiritual insight when you meditate on (deeply consider) His Word.

Tonight I would like to share another parallel from an Old Testament story. This story comes from the records of Moses going up on the Mountain of the Lord to meet with God after Moses had led the Israelites out of Egypt.

Listen as we read and see if you can discover any spiritual parallels from this account and how they apply to us, the Church, the world today, and for the future. Ask yourself these questions and consider:
·        Who are these people in today’s world?
·        Who does Moses represent in this story?
·        What about Aaron?
·        What was happening in their day to them naturally that you can see happening to some Christians in the world today?
·        Where are you in this story? Where should you be?
·        What were they tempted to do; believe; spread?
·        What can we learn about the temptations we will face and how can we avoid them?
·        What New Testament scriptures or sayings of Jesus can you think of that support the redemptive quality of God’s Word and support the truths and principles of this story?
·        Remember, God left us this roadmap as an instruction manual for our lives. It always contains a redemptive quality and it never leaves us out on the road stranded or without help.

Exodus 32  NKJV
1 ¶  Now when the people saw that Moses delayed coming down from the mountain, the people gathered together to Aaron, and said to him, “Come, make us gods that shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.”
2  And Aaron said to them, “Break off the golden earrings which are in the ears of your wives, your sons, and your daughters, and bring them to me.”
3  “So all the people broke off the golden earrings which were in their ears, and brought them to Aaron.
4  And he received the gold from their hand, and he fashioned it with an engraving tool, and made a molded calf. Then they said, “This is your god, O Israel, that brought you out of the land of Egypt!”
5  So when Aaron saw it, he built an altar before it. And Aaron made a proclamation and said, “Tomorrow is a feast to the LORD.”
6  Then they rose early on the next day, offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings; and the people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.
7 ¶  And the LORD said to Moses, “Go, get down! For your people whom you brought out of the land of Egypt have corrupted themselves.
8  “They have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them. They have made themselves a molded calf, and worshiped it and sacrificed to it, and said, ‘This is your god, O Israel, that brought you out of the land of Egypt!’ ”
9  And the LORD said to Moses, “I have seen this people, and indeed it is a stiff-necked people!
10  “Now therefore, let Me alone, that My wrath may burn hot against them and I may consume them. And I will make of you a great nation.”
11  Then Moses pleaded with the LORD his God, and said: “LORD, why does Your wrath burn hot against Your people whom You have brought out of the land of Egypt with great power and with a mighty hand?
12  “Why should the Egyptians speak, and say, ‘He brought them out to harm them, to kill them in the mountains, and to consume them from the face of the earth’? Turn from Your fierce wrath, and relent from this harm to Your people.
13  “Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, Your servants, to whom You swore by Your own self, and said to them, ‘I will multiply your descendants as the stars of heaven; and all this land that I have spoken of I give to your descendants, and they shall inherit it forever.’ ”
14  So the LORD relented from the harm which He said He would do to His people.

So, did you see yourself? What did you learn? What will you do to avoid temptations and to help others, the Church and the lost of the world to see these principles and live a life more pleasing to God.

I love finding myself and the times we live in within the pages and stories of the Bible. That’s why we have it! The Word of God is awesome!

Do not be ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, it is the power of God unto salvation for everyone who will believe it, to the Jew first and then to the Gentile.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Defeating the Enemies of the Soul Series – Part 7 The Jebusite

Defeating the Enemies of the Soul
        Series – Part 7
The Jebusite

Production Note: (Show the threshing video in a loop until I asked for it to be stopped.
Today we will conclude our series on Defeating the Enemies of the Soul. The video you just watched will figure into the last enemy in this series. For now, let’s read from:

2 Samuel 5:6  And the king and his men went to Jerusalem against the Jebusites, the inhabitants of the land, who spoke to David, saying, “You shall not come in here; but the blind and the lame will repel you,” thinking, “David cannot come in here.”

Who would send anyone to war without first defining the enemy? God has not left us without knowledge as to the enemies we will face in this life. He has shown us their nature and called them by name. During the past 7 weeks we have established that the Old Testament was not written as merely a historical record of the exploits of the Children of Israel. Rather, these accounts provide us with a prophetic roadmap for our lives. The enemies faced by the Children of Israel in the Promise Land are the same spiritual enemies we face today in our walk with Christ.

Here is a recap of these Six Enemies of the Soul – Each enemy provides a formidable temptation. The goal of the enemy is to keep us out of the Promise Land. You can find these enemies listed in Exodus 3:8.
1.  The Canaanite – Compromise
a.   We cannot live a victorious life with one foot in the kingdom and one foot in the world
b.   The Church should not mimic the world but the Kingdom.
2.  The Hittite – Dismayed
a.   To be terrorized and paralyzed
b.   Unsettled, confused
c.   To lose it and go to pieces
3.  The Amorite – Opinion Driven
a.   Stubbornly Opinionated
b.   Be unwilling to go to war with family and friends
4.  The Perizzite – Anything Goes 
a.   Without walls; no standards; no boundaries
b.   There is a point, beyond which, tolerance ceases to be a virtue.
c.   You must be born again!
5.  The Hivite – Selfishness
a.   Blaming others for the pressure or problem
b.   It doesn’t have to be a bad heart to be a bad habit.
6.  The Jebusite – Threshing Place
a.   To be beat down
b.   Rejected
c.   Lowly Esteemed
d.   Trampled under foot
e.   Tempted to feel worthless, discarded and of no value.

The devil wants you to believe you are worthless chaff when really, you are the precious seed of God. The Jebusite spirit comes to us at the worst moments of life; times when we are struggling or going through pressured circumstances, feeling alone, disappointed or afraid. This devil attempts to validate his lies using common circumstances to make us feel rejected. Rejected by God, rejected by family and friends; rejected by life. Have you ever felt beat up or beat down? The Jebusite will use anything he can to try and make you feel worthless and helpless. Things like:

Production Note: (Show another threshing video
·        Sickness
·        Sin
·        The loss of a loved one
·        Unemployment
·        Retirement
·        Failure
·        Disappointment
·        Mental pressures
·        PTSD
·        Economic downturns

His attacks seem constant, aggressive, relentless and unfair.

Production Note: (Stop Video Here)

2 Corinthians 4
17  For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory,
18  while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

The threshing floor is a place of no peace. The hammer just keeps coming down, blow after blow. It seems as if everything is lost. The Jebusite whispers, “You’re worthless, without help, without hope, despised and rejected. Everyone has felt rejection at some point, even Jesus.

Isaiah 53:3  He is despised and rejected by men, A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.

Jesus was despised and rejected. He was beaten for us and His accusers saw no value in either Him or His sacrifice. But, the Apostle Peter said:

1 Peter 2:7  Therefore, to you who believe, He is precious; but to those who do not believe, “The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief cornerstone,”

Remember the verse we read at the beginning of today’s lesson?

2 Samuel 5:6  And the king and his men went to Jerusalem against the Jebusites, the inhabitants of the land, who spoke to David, saying, “You shall not come in here; but the blind and the lame will repel you,” thinking, “David cannot come in here.”

Well, here is the rest of the story …

7  Nevertheless David took the stronghold of Zion (that is, the City of David).

The Jebusite may say you are weak and worthless, a man of sorrows and used to being disappointed … But … that’s not the end of the story! He may say you shall not possess the Promises of God … Nevertheless

Romans 8 NKJV
31  What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?

What is your true value? God gave His only begotten Son in exchange for you. God has valued you above the blood of Christ. He gave everything to purchase your soul.

The Jebusite is a liar. Life may have some disappointments, troubles and afflictions might come and it could feel like a thrashing … but … the Lord will deliver His Children from them all! No weapon formed against a Child of God shall prosper and every enemy that rises against a Born-Again Believer shall fall at their side.

What truth has this series confirmed? Over and Over we have found that:
·        No angel, no demon, nor any other created thing has any power over the Born-Again Believer.
·        Neither satan nor the circumstances of life can conquer a Believer in Jesus by conquest. For a child of God to be defeated, the enemy must have the Believer’s consent.  Don’t give it!
·        Trust in God and His Word above every problem and through each temptation. The Word will see you through.
·        Jesus is the answer to every need, both now, and forever!

If the Jebusite tries to beat you down and destroy your self-worth or tells you God has no great plan for your life, that is the voice of the devil. Rise up and go forward in the Name of the Lord and watch God drive your enemies out of your life. You are more than a conqueror …

No enemy of the soul has any power over a Born-Again Believer in Jesus Christ who is living a life pleasing to God.

Have you been Born-Again?

Are you living a life that is pleasing to God?

Wednesday night, April 11, we will begin a new series entitled: Home Improvement – Building Better Lives in Christ. This seven-week series will teach you how to build your marriage, finances, families, and a future you are proud of. We begin on the 11th with Building Better Habits. You want to get right and stay right with God? I’ll see you Wednesday nights …

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Home Improvement Series Building Better … Introduction

Home Improvement Series 
        Building Better …

Spring has officially begun, and we are now in one of the most exciting times of the year for the Child of God. The most important spring feast of the Jews is almost at hand. This year the Feast of Passover will coincide with the western calendar and the celebration of Easter.

Passover begins this year on Friday evening, March 30th, at sundown. Without regard as to your particular beliefs about Jesus being crucified on a Thursday or a Friday, everyone agrees that He was raised from the dead on Sunday. Sunday, April 1st, is Resurrection Day!

Almost 2000 years ago this week, Jesus took His disciples and they went to Jerusalem to attend Passover. It was during the first year of Jesus’ earthly ministry and still 2 more years until He would be crucified. Jesus had a short time to teach the people and to proclaim His Kingdom. Let’s read:

John 2 NKJV
13  Now the Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
14  And He found in the temple those who sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the moneychangers doing business.
15  When He had made a whip of cords, He drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen, and poured out the changers’ money and overturned the tables.
16  And He said to those who sold doves, “Take these things away! Do not make My Father’s house a house of merchandise!”
17  Then His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for Your house has eaten Me up.”
18  So the Jews answered and said to Him, “What sign do You show to us, since You do these things?”
19  Jesus answered and said to them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.”
20  Then the Jews said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?”
21  But He was speaking of the temple of His body.
22  Therefore, when He had risen from the dead, His disciples remembered that He had said this to them; and they believed the Scripture and the word which Jesus had said.

There is no denying Jesus was consumed with zeal for the House of God. In fact, Jesus clearly pointed to the fact that His very own body was the true House of God. Even if men tear it down, Jesus will restore it and raise it up.

The Apostle Paul confirms that the physical body of every Believer in Jesus is the temple of the Holy Spirit.
·        1 Corinthians 6:19  Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?

Jesus continued to reveal this truth through His earthly ministry and just days before His crucifixion:
·        John 14:23  Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.”

Jesus is compelled and consumed with zeal to see God’s house, your life, clean and in order so that God can live in you in the most dynamic way. And, it is evident from scripture that Jesus is willing to die for it.

Perhaps then, we should pay more attention to improving God’s home in our heart, mind, and body. To help provide motivation, supply materials, and learn to use the right tools so that we can do some Home Improvement, we are going to be studying the scriptures on building and maintaining our hearts, minds and bodies over the next few weeks. This 7-week Home Improvement series will begin on Wednesday, April the 11th.

Let’s read our key scripture to set the tone for this upcoming series.

Proverbs 9:1  Wisdom has built her house, She has hewn out her seven pillars.

Each week this series will provide 7 foundation stones from God’s Word which He intended we use to build and maintain His House in a clean, orderly, and productive manner. You will learn and be refreshed in the knowledge, wisdom and power to Build Better Lives and Homes for Christ. Here are the topics we will cover in this series:

Home Improvement Series
1.   Building Better Habits
2.   Building Better Marriages
3.   Building Better Finances
4.   Building Better Health
5.   Building Better Leaders
6.   Building Better Dreams
7.   Building Better Families

Why wait until April 11th?
·        Next Wednesday is March 28th and we considered beginning then but
·        On the following week, Wednesday, April 4th, we are having our first quarterly Youth Led Mid-Week Service. The youth will be taking charge of that service with everything from greeting to ushering to singing to preaching. It’s going to be an exciting and encouraging service.
·       Not wishing to interrupt the series in the third week, our staff worked hard to choose meaningful topics, get the information ready and find the times to best serve our congregation. So, April 11th is the day!

Ephesians 2:22  In Christ you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.

Let’s all get ready for some Home Improvement this spring. You have a few days to invite people who might benefit from some improvement. This is going to help all of us build better lives in Christ.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Defeating the Enemies of the Soul Series - Part 6 The Hivite


Genesis 2 NKJV
21  And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place.
22  Then the rib which the LORD God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man.
23  And Adam said: “This is now bone of my bones And flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, Because she was taken out of Man.”

God created the man and woman and set them in the Garden of Eden and gave them His guidelines by which to live. Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth, subdue your enemies and have dominion over all creation. And God said to them, “do not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” However, the subtle serpent, that master evil spirit behind all our enemies, tempted the woman with something she wanted … a better life! She got too focused on what she wanted and failed to consider the impact it might have on others. The serpent never asked her to eat, he just showed her something she wanted. That same devil is still on the loose today …

Genesis 3
6  So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.

13  And the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”

20  And Adam called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all living.

Before we go further into the study of our next enemy, I feel it prudent to affirm that we are not focusing on women either having a problem or being a problem. We are reading about Eve this morning, not because she is a woman, but because she was the first person in the Bible to fall prey to the next enemy on the list in Exodus 3:8.

Satan was on the earth when Adam and Eve lived in the Garden of Eden. He embodied every evil trait and tempted Eve to sin. When she doubted God and they disobeyed Him, Adam and Eve were born-again, from life to death, into sin, and became natural and worldly. Through Jesus we have been restored to faith and are now born-again by Christ into righteousness and have become spiritual beings. Those nation enemies faced by the children of Israel in the Promise Land were empowered and controlled by satan and each one represents a spiritual enemy we still face in life today.

God’s hope is that we will not allow the temptations of the devil to influence, dominate, control or destroy our lives. Today however, like in the Garden of Eden, we do not wrestle against flesh and blood but against the evil spiritual forces of this world. (Ephesians 6:12)

We are in a spiritual war. And, the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but are mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds; casting down imaginations and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God and bringing into captivity every thought to obedience to Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:4-5)

Once again it is important to note that the Old Testament accounts of the Children of God conquering the Promise Land were not written for their sakes but for ours. The Bible was written to be used as a roadmap for the Born-Again child of God. It shows us the way of life, the temptations along the way, how to defeat every enemy and how to recover if we fall.

This morning, enemy number 5: The Hivite

Joshua 9
1 ¶  And it came to pass when all the kings who were on this side of the Jordan, in the hills and in the lowland and in all the coasts of the Great Sea toward Lebanon — the Hittite, the Amorite, the Canaanite, the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite — heard about it,
2  that they gathered together to fight with Joshua and Israel with one accord.
3 ¶  But when the inhabitants of Gibeon heard what Joshua had done to Jericho and Ai,
4  they worked craftily, and went and pretended to be ambassadors. And they took old sacks on their donkeys, old wineskins torn and mended,
5  old and patched sandals on their feet, and old garments on themselves; and all the bread of their provision was dry and moldy.
6  And they went to Joshua, to the camp at Gilgal, and said to him and to the men of Israel, “We have come from a far country; now therefore, make a covenant with us.”
7  Then the men of Israel said to the Hivites, “Perhaps you dwell among us; so how can we make a covenant with you?”
8  But they said to Joshua, “We are your servants.” And Joshua said to them, “Who are you, and where do you come from?”
9  So they said to him: “From a very far country your servants have come, because of the name of the LORD your God; for we have heard of His fame, and all that He did in Egypt,
10  “and all that He did to the two kings of the Amorites who were beyond the Jordan — to Sihon king of Heshbon, and Og king of Bashan, who was at Ashtaroth.
11  “Therefore our elders and all the inhabitants of our country spoke to us, saying, ‘Take provisions with you for the journey, and go to meet them, and say to them, “We are your servants; now therefore, make a covenant with us.”’
12  “This bread of ours we took hot for our provision from our houses on the day we departed to come to you. But now look, it is dry and moldy.
13  “And these wineskins which we filled were new, and see, they are torn; and these our garments and our sandals have become old because of the very long journey.”
14  Then the men of Israel took some of their provisions; but they did not ask counsel of the LORD.
15 ¶  So Joshua made peace with them, and made a covenant with them to let them live; and the rulers of the congregation swore to them.
16  And it happened at the end of three days, after they had made a covenant with them, that they heard that they were their neighbors who dwelt near them.
17  Then the children of Israel journeyed and came to their cities on the third day. Now their cities were Gibeon, Chephirah, Beeroth, and Kirjath Jearim.
18  But the children of Israel did not attack them, because the rulers of the congregation had sworn to them by the LORD God of Israel. And all the congregation complained against the rulers.
19  Then all the rulers said to all the congregation, “We have sworn to them by the LORD God of Israel; now therefore, we may not touch them.
20  “This we will do to them: We will let them live, lest wrath be upon us because of the oath which we swore to them.”
21  And the rulers said to them, “Let them live, but let them be woodcutters and water carriers for all the congregation, as the rulers had promised them.”
22 ¶  Then Joshua called for them, and he spoke to them, saying, “Why have you deceived us, saying, ‘We are very far from you,’ when you dwell near us?
23  “Now therefore, you are cursed, and none of you shall be freed from being slaves — woodcutters and water carriers for the house of my God.”
24  So they answered Joshua and said, “Because your servants were clearly told that the LORD your God commanded His servant Moses to give you all the land, and to destroy all the inhabitants of the land from before you; therefore we were very much afraid for our lives because of you, and have done this thing.
25  “And now, here we are, in your hands; do with us as it seems good and right to do to us.”
26  So he did to them, and delivered them out of the hand of the children of Israel, so that they did not kill them.
27  And that day Joshua made them woodcutters and water carriers for the congregation and for the altar of the LORD, in the place which He would choose, even to this day.

Joshua and the Children of Israel may have fooled themselves into thinking that the Hivites would become their slaves but the rest of the Bible tells a different story. Israel became the slaves of the Hivites. Every time the Hivites got into trouble or had a need all they had to do was to call Joshua or any of the future Judges or Kings and say, “Remember, you promised to take care of us … someone is bothering us or we need something … would you come and take care of it … after all, you gave us your word …”

It’s amazing what that spirit of the Hivite can get others to do for them. The Hivite is a selfish, deceptive liar whose major concern is what they can get to make their life better. No wonder God wants us to make no covenant with a selfish person. Selfish people will consume your life and imagine what’s best for them is best for everyone. After all, they imagine, “if it wasn’t for you I wouldn’t be in this situation.”

That’s exactly what Adam said when questioned about his sin in Genesis 3: “It was the woman You gave me God!” The Hivite spirit sees everything from their single selfish perspective.

There is a spiritual force in this world that wants to make you selfish or bring you into bondage and under the thumb of someone who is selfish.

The nature of the Hivite is to tempt us to make life all about me. It’s either a blindness or a self-deceiving spirit that keeps a person from seeing the impact and affect of their actions on others. They are very in tune with what they want and feel they need. The nature of the Hivite is to mother and nurture the self-centered life and to blame others for the problems they cause. It doesn’t have to be a bad heart to be a bad habit.

Seeing we are talking about the Hivite, why did we read from Genesis 3? You may have noted that when God introduced the female to the man, Adam called her woman. But, after she was tempted to doubt and fell into the sin of disregarding and disobeying God’s Word and decided she was going to do what she felt was best for herself, in other words, after she made life all about what she wanted and made Adam eat of the forbidden fruit as well, then Adam called her name Eve.

Interesting to note: In the Hebrew language, the word “Hivite” comes from the word Eve. Eve was tempted and deceived, and she embraced that spirit of doing what she wanted and trying to get something for herself and then she blamed it all on the devil. That’s the spirit of the Hivite and we have all been tempted to be selfish and to have our reasons why.

How can I identify the Hivite when he speaks to me?

Here are some of the voices of the Hivite …
·        It’s not really my fault. (When it really is …)
·        It would be better for me. (Without considering the other person)
·        The Hivite spirit can lie or deceive if it benefits them but they expect others to tell the truth and to keep their word.
·        They are masters at turning the tables and shifting the blame even when they caused the problem.
·        They feel, “As long as I’m ok, it’s ok.”
·        They tell others, “How can you charge me or be mad at me? I was just doing what I thought was best.” (Best for who?)
·        The Hivite spirit wants you to focus on what others are doing to you instead of what you did to them.
·        “Can’t you see … this is about me!”
·        “Yes I did do that, but I had a reason.”
·        “Surely you’re not going to use that against me.”
·        “I can’t believe you would do this to me.”

What can I do to defeat this enemy?
·        Don’t make covenant with a selfish person. (Joshua 9:14; 2 Cor 6:14)
o   Since some people can be deceptive, how do you know?
o   Give it a year … you’ll know! (Joshua 9:16 – Not just 3 days …)
·        Defeat every temptation with the Word of God. (Luk 4:4; Eph 6:11ff)
o   God puts people together in relationship first for what they can give and not for what they can get. Don’t make it all about you.
o   Listen to yourself …
§  Check yourself
§  Challenge yourself
§  Change yourself through prayer and God’s help
o   If the loving, caring, giving people who have made a long-term investment in your life tell you that you are self-centered … you may be self-centered. (Joshua 9:22)
·        Accept responsibility for the problems you cause. (Psalms 51:4)

he Will of God for Man