Prayer zone for a better, empowering, inspiring, promoting, prospering, progressing and more successful life through Christ Jesus

Posts tagged ‘Samuel’

NOPRIN Calls For Investigation of Another Police Execution Of Five Men In Benin City.


Samuel Imaikop
By SaharaReporters, New York

The Network on Police Reform In Nigeria (NOPRIN) has called for a thorough investigation to ascertain the actual circumstances and truth surrounding the killing of Samuel Imaikop and four others by policemen of the Edo State Police Command on November 24.

In a preliminary report today on the incident, the group stressed that the investigation must include an autopsy and a Coroner’s inquiry to ascertain how and why the five men were killed, and that there must be legal consequences, including redress and accountability for the murder.

The NOPRIN report said that Samuel Imaikop, a farmer from Nsital LGA of Akwa Ibom State, was shot dead at a police checkpoint on the Benin Bye-Pass at about 9am on that day along with four men he had hired to work on his farm.

“The dead bodies of the five men were dumped at the back of a white police Hillux van and driven to the Edo Sate Police Headquarters on Sapele Road, Benin City,” the report said. “The late Samuel’s Nissan bus was driven by a policeman following behind the police van to the Edo State Police Headquarters.”

The report further said that at Police Headquarters, the bodies were dumped on the ground and displayed publicly as “armed robbers” with a gun placed on them as an exhibit.

“It is not clear how the police arrived at the judgement or conclusion that the killed men were armed robbers,” NOPRIN said. “There was no evidence that they were shot during a robbery operation or that they had a tip off or prior information about them and then laid in wait for them.”

Mr. Imaikop, 42, was married with two wives and 7 children, and his second wife is pregnant.

Full text of the NOPRIN report

Preliminary Report on THE EXTRAJUDICIAL KILING OF MR. SAMUEL IMAIKOP AND FOUR OTHERS

NOPRIN CALLS ON EDO POLICE COMMAND TO ACCCOUNT FOR THE KILLING OF THE ‘EDO 5’ KILLED UNDER SUSPICIOUS CIRCUMSTANCES.

Saturday, December 7, 2013.

Introduction

NOPRIN has received disturbing information concerning yet another extrajudicial killing in Edo State on November 24, 2013. Those killed this time are one Mr. Samuel Imaikop (42), a farmer and four labourers he hired to work in his farm. NOPRIN is investigating this recent killing and previous similar cases of reckless police killings in Edo State. This is with a view to unravelling and publicising the truths about these killings and following up to ensure that police authorities carry out thorough investigations that will lead to redress for the victims’ families and accountability for the police officers responsible.

THE NOVEMBER 24 KILLING IN BENIN, EDO STATE.

Mr Samuel Imaikop (42) a farmer from Nsital LGA of Akwa Ibom State and resident in Benin City was married with two wives and 7 children. His second wife is pregnant.

According to information from the late Samuel Imaikop’s family members which were corroborated by witnesses, on Sunday November 24, 2013 at about 9 am, Samuel, along with four casual labourers he hired to work for him in his farm, were shot dead by police officers at a check point along Benin Bye-Pass.

The dead bodies of the five men were dumped at the back of a white police Hillux van and driven to the Edo Sate Police Headquarters on Sapele Road, Benin City. The late Samuel’s Nissan bus was driven by a policeman following behind the police van to the Edo State Police Headquarters.

Prior to the incident, the late Samuel had left his house that morning to deliver bundles of firewood loaded in his bus to his customer at Cemetery road. After this, he drove to ‘2 plus 2’ (a location where casual labourers stand and wait to be hired for daily labour) and picked up four labourers to work for him in his farm at Ute community.

The Family’s Account

The late Samuel Imaikop’s relatives informed NOPRIN that their late brother was a farmer. The day before the incident- Saturday 23 November, he went to his farm at Ute community in Edo State with one of his younger brothers and the four labourers whom he picked up at ‘2 plus 2’ and engaged for a pay to clear some portions of his farm. He had bargained with the four laboureres and they agreed on the price of 25 thousand naira for the clearing of the farm. Later in the evening, the deceased Mr. Samuel drove the labourers back with an understanding to pick them up again the next day to go and complete the job.

The deceased was also a supplier of fire woods to some restaurants in town. On that evening at the farm, he loaded some firewood in his bus to be supplied the next day to one of his customers. He dropped off the four hired labourers and drove home with the firewood.

On Sunday morning, the day of the tragic incident, he first went and supplied the firewood at ‘Madam Spot’ a restaurant somewhere along Cemetery road, Benin. He was supplying the woman firewood two times in a week.  Having dropped the firewood, he stopped over again at ‘2 plus 2’ and picked up the same four labourers to go and complete their job in the farm. On their way to the farm, somewhere at Akpakpava junction, some police officers at a checkpoint opened fire at them, killing all the five men in Mr, Samuel’s bus. The police officers loaded the dead bodies of the five men into the van and drove to the office of the SARS at the State Police Headquarters. At the Police Headquarters, their bodies were dumped on the ground and displayed publicly as armed robbers with a gun placed on them as exhibit.

POLICE CLAIMS- UNCLEAR AND DOUBTFUL

It is not clear how the police arrived at the judgement or conclusion that the killed men were armed robbers. There was no evidence that they were shot during a robbery operation or that they had a tip off or prior information about them and then laid in wait for them.

The police have not convinced the family of Samuel Imaikop and members of the public about their claim that those men were armed robbers. Instead, they resorted to intimidation by subjecting the late Samuel’s immediate younger brother- Pastor Ime Imaikop Brownson to brutality, detention and cruel and dehumanising treatment for daring to come to the station to inquire about his dead brother.

Considering the hazy circumstances surrounding this particular incident, and recalling previous similar cases, there is serious doubt in the minds of the public about the claim by the police that these men were armed robbers. The family members of late Samuel Imaikop insist that their brother and husband was not an armed robber.

POLICE BRUTALIZE VICTIM’S BROTHER- PASTOR IME IMAIKOP BROWNSON

Pastor Ime Imaikop Brownson, the immediate younger brother to the deceased Samuel Imaikop, upon hearing about the incident of police carrying dead bodies in their van and his brother’s bus being driven by a policeman and following the police truck behind, he traced the police and the dead bodies to the State Police Headquarters where he identified his brother among the dead. He was shocked and immediately fell down crying.

Some policemen pounced on him and began to beat him accusing him of being one of the armed robbers. They dragged him inside the police station and one of the policemen emptied a bag of salt on his head while others were matching on him as he lay flat on the ground at the police station crying in grief. He was pleading with the police to ‘forgive’ him, telling them that he was not a robber and that his brother was a farmer and not a robber. They kept beating him as he knelt down and continued to plead, saying he thought that his brother was involved in an accident.  After a while, an Inspector came and asked that his statement be obtained and thereafter, he should be put in the cell. Later again, the Inspector came back and asked the officer taking his statement to stop taking his statement. He was later put in the cell with a threat that any other person who comes to see him or to inquire about any of the dead ones will also be detained. He remained in detention from that Sunday November 24 to Thursday November 28 and  neither ate food nor drank water. His detention was not recorded in the crime register.

The next day, when his wife came with a lawyer, he was brought out and asked to complete making his statement, after which he was sent back to the cell. His wife was not allowed to see him or give him food.

The next day again, his wife came back with another lawyer who was not allowed to see him. Then his wife later came back with another lawyer- Barrister Afolabi who eventually secured his release on the fifth day. He has since then been sick.

The late Samuel Imaikop’s bus is still parked at the police station. There is need to examine the bus to see if there’s evidence of gunshots (bullet holes) on the bus.

WRONGFUL POLICE INVESTIGATION PROCEDURE

There is every reason to doubt the claim by the police that these men were armed robbers. Similar claims in the recent past about similar killings by the police have turned out to be false. The police always circumvent the due process of investigation into such incidents. In this case, as in previous cases of extrajudicial killing, a Coroner’s inquiry into the cause of death has not been initiated as required under the law.  It is also suspected that the police have hurriedy buried the dead bodies without allowing for proper investigation, including an autopsy.

The motive for this unlawful police killing is not firmly established. But there is suspicion that the police may have carried out a reprisal for the killing of their colleagues along the Benin bypass about two weeks ago by suspected armed robbers.

INVOKING SAD MEMORIES FROM THE PAST

We recall the unresolved case of the Benin student whom the police killed and branded an armed robber. It took pressure from Civil Society groups in Edo before the police exhumed the body for examination. The examination proved the police wrong.

On May 27, 2013 a final year University of Benin Student, Ibrahim Momodu was shot dead by the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of Ogida Police Station, Edo State, Mrs. Carol Afegbai, leading other members of her patrol team.

Although the police in Edo command claimed that late Ibrahim Momodu was killed while attempting to fire at the police, reports by the pathologists, who examined the remains of the late Ibrahim Momodu showed that he was shot from the back with three bullets, which torn his heart, before exiting through the upper part of his chest.

Ideally, the DPO and other suspected accomplices should have been subjected to orderly room trial, dismissed- if indicted, and arraigned in court for murder. However, the Edo State Police Commissioner, Mr. Folunsho Adebanjo redeployed the DPO and her orderly, according to him, ‘to have a smooth investigation’.

And, understandably, family members of the victim were suspicious of the motive of the police and insisted, through their lawyers that “the proper procedure for murder case is for the police after investigation to charge the suspects to court and thereafter, the court would order the duplication of the file to be sent to the office of DPP and not the other way round.’

We also recall the case of the Benin 5 who were arrested and branded kidnapers. The five young men: Mr. Chukwudi Eke, Mr. Chinedu, Mr. Ndubuisi Christian Nnalue, Mr. Godswill Chigbo and Isidielu Uche Onwuesi were summarily executed on October 16, 2010

The chronicle of events that led to the extrajudicial killing of the five victims started with a minor traffic accident involving the Audi car of one of the victims, late Mr. Chukwudi Eke and a Golf 3 with registration number AG 785 SLK car belonging to one Victor Okakah who was in the company of his wife. Chukwudi was carrying his friend and another victim late Mr. Chinedu in his car when the accident occurred at the popular Ramat Park, Benin, Edo State at about 6: 30 p.m. on Thursday, October 14, 2010. Others were arrested when they came to inquire about Chukwudi- their friend and brother, detained and executed along with him.

The Edo police authorities claimed that all the five victims ‘died when they and the police officers that went to effect arrest of their kingpin and a leader of the gang and to further recover their sophisticated weapons were ambushed by their gang members with heavy sporadic shooting which led to injury of the deceased….’ ‘That due to serious injuries of the deceased and on the way to the hospital for treatment gave up the ghost…’

Not a single one among the police officers in the team had even a scratch from the ‘heavy sporadic shooting which led to injury’ only of the suspects. The police killed them within two days of their arrest and detention. This was not enough time to conclude a thorough and exhaustive investigate of an alleged case of kidnapping. There was no effort on the part of the police to investigate the alleged kidnapping or to charge the suspects to court in accordance with due process.  They were denied fair trial and fair hearing.

All the foregoing take our minds back to outrageous ‘Apo 6’ killing of 2006. The Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial executions, in his report, said: ‘if the Apo 6 were an isolated incident it would be a tragedy and a case of a few bad apples within the police force. Unfortunately, many of the ingredients – the false labelling of people as armed robbers, the shooting, the fraudulent placement of weapons, the attempted extortion of the victims’ families, the contempt for post mortem procedures, the falsified death certificates, and the flight of an accused senior police officer – are all too familiar occurrences.’

He further said in his report:

‘While armed robbery does plague much of Nigeria, the label of “armed robber” is very often used to justify the jailing and/or extrajudicial execution of innocent individuals who have come to the attention of the police for reasons ranging from a refusal to pay a bribe to insulting or inconveniencing the police’.

Even the federal government of Nigeria admits that the police do indeed improperly identify some—possibly many—of their victims as “armed robbers.” On December 17, 2005, in the wake of the Apo Six murders, then Minister for Police Affairs Alaowei Broderick Bozimo placed paid announcements in major Nigerian newspapers which read, in part:

‘It will be recalled that between the 7th and the 8th of June, 2005, we recorded a most bizarre encounter between some officers of the Nigeria Police Force and six youths at Gimbiya Street, Abuja. The incident culminated in the brutal killing of six civilians by the Police. On behalf of the Nigeria Police, Ministry of Police Affairs, and Federal Government, I offer my sincere condolences to the families of the deceased for the unfortunate Apo Six incident. . . .

Government has resolved, inter alia, as follows:

(i) that contrary to the earlier misinformation that the Apo Six victims were armed robbers, incontrovertible evidence shows that they were NOT ARMED ROBBERS. Government, therefore, exonerates the victims and apologizes to their families and in fact all Nigerians through this medium.

The statement came more than six months after the incident in question and only after the Justice Goodluck Commission recommended the prosecution of all the officers involved

The prosecution of the police officers responsible for the ‘Apo 6’ killing has since been stalled by deliberate acts of the police.

CALLS:

NOPRIN calls for a thorough investigation to ascertain the actual circumstances and truth surrounding the killing of Samuel Imaikop and four others.

This thorough investigation must include an autopsy and a Coroner’s inquiry to ascertain how and why they were killed. There must be legal consequences for this murder, including redress and accountability

Okechukwu Nwanguma

Program and Advocacy Coordinator

NOPRIN Foundation

Phone:234 08064974531

Email: okechukwu”

Even ‘God’s Anointed’ Leaders Can Abuse the Flock.


Ron Cantor
Ron Cantor

“It doesn’t really matter what you say I have done. God has called me here, and you can’t stand in His way.”

According to a friend of mine, these were the words a leader of a congregation used as he responded to a congregant, who sought to challenge him on issues of deep concern—issues of sin.

It reminded me of something that happened while I was in Bible school. I had been attending a church on Long Island led by a dynamic preacher. Everyone loved his fiery teachings. He was truly anointed. However, I became concerned when, during a service, he physically attacked an usher. The usher had laid his hand on someone, and the wife of the pastorremoved his hand, as he was there to usher, not to pray. The usher reacted angrily to the pastor’s wife, and both he and the pastor had to be physically restrained.

I stopped going to this congregation. A few weeks later, some of my college buddies came back to the campus with glowing reports of Pastor Phil’s (not his real name) latest message. “You’ve got to hear it, Ron!” they crowed.

I popped the cassette into my Walkman (it was 1986!) and listened as Pastor Phil screamed at the people and blamed them for this and that. I did not sense anointing but human anger.

A few weeks later, I was told that Pastor Phil prophesied over a young lady in the church, just after he returned from a four-day prayer retreat, in which it was discovered he brought the very same young lady with him. Someone saw them return together, and Pastor Phil was confronted regarding his adulterous affair.

When the elders sat down with Phil and his wife for this confrontation, the very first words out of his wife’s mouth were, “He is still anointed.”

Most women would have hit him, yelled at him and called him a cheating #$%^—yes, even believing women. But this wife’s greater concern was for her husband’s authority in the congregation—that it would not be forfeited. While this was an elder-led team, she had much freedom as the senior pastor’s wife and loved being in that position.

In her mind, Phil was God’s anointed, even if that anointing did not help him with his zipper! It was like she was saying, “David committed adultery, and he was still king. Who are these elders to remove us from power? We are God’s anointed!”

The theory that leaders can only be removed by God comes from 1 Samuel 26:9-11, where David warns his trusted friend Abishai not to kill King Saul:

“‘Don’t destroy him! Who can lay a hand on the Lord‘s anointed and be guiltless? As surely as the Lord lives,’ he said, ‘the Lord himself will strike him, or his time will come and he will die, or he will go into battle and perish. But the Lord forbid that I should lay a hand on the Lord’s anointed’” (NIV).

A Dangerous Doctrine

From this text, some leaders have derived a very dangerous doctrine regarding a senior leader andaccountability. According to this doctrine, the senior leader is understood as having a position like the ancient kings of Israel. He is “God’s anointed”; therefore, he is not to be removed by any process of men—no matter what he does. He is beyond congregational discipline. While he may have elders or a board, they are advisers only, and all decisions are his to make. Within his sphere, he is the final authority (or, as I call it, dictator).

If he abuses people or they do not like his decisions, they have two choices. They can either submit to his leadership and entrust the situation to God, or they can quietly leave the community. In any case, they are to make no waves or protest in their leaving. Those who do are labeled rebellious troublemakers and often become the target of malicious rumors and gossip.

In these circles, the authority of the senior leader is taught in very absolute terms. We are told, “Touch not God’s anointed.” I believe it is a destructive and devilish doctrine, and people should separate from those who teach it.

To be clear, we should honor and respect those who have embraced the yoke of leadership, but leaders should be held to an even higher standard than those in their congregations:

“Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly” (James 3:1).

The Leader Is Not a King

In the New Testament, congregations are not led by kings. Yes, I know in many circles the pastor and his wife are treated like royalty. Some even refer to the pastor’s wife as first lady. 

Just this morning, a pastor friend was telling me of a young elder who said, “Now that I am an elder, people will respect me.”

My friend told him that it was quite the opposite: “Now that you are an elder, you give up your rights in order to serve.”

In Hebrew, the word for minister (mesharet) is the same word for servant. A leader is called to serve, not to be crowned. Yeshua said, “Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all” (Mark 9:35).

New Testament congregations should be governed by teams of elders under the direction of a senior leader who is accountable to the team. Both Titus and Timothy, who were senior leaders, were encouraged to appoint elders (Titus 1:5; 1 Tim. 3:1-13). And elders govern the congregation:

The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honor, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching” (1 Tim. 5:17, emphasis added).

David Had a Conflict of Interest

One of the reasons why David did not take Saul’s life is because he knew with Saul out of the way, he would be the new king. Therefore, in killing Saul, he would have been taking his destiny into his own hands. He wanted God to make him king—not to take the kingdom by the strength of his sword.

Saul did not declare himself God’s anointed.

It most cases today, it is the senior leader who declares himself to be God’s anointed and therefore untouchable by man. In the case of David and Saul, it is Saul’s enemy, David, who calls Saul God’s anointed. It is a dangerous thing for a man to declare himself God’s anointed.

In Bible school, I had the opportunity to meet the great English Bible teacher David Pawson. After one of his messages (he was teaching all week), I was deeply moved. I felt like I had heard from a prophet. I walked up to Mr. Pawson and asked, “Are you a prophet?”

He wisely said with his beautiful British accent, “That is not for me to say, but you.” And he walked away.

I was blown away. He was right. You don’t become a prophet or God’s anointed because you post it on your Facebook page or business card. You can’t declare yourself an apostle, as did the drunk and abusive character that Robert Duvall played in The Apostle. No, others affirm the gift of God in your life.

So let us be done with this wicked doctrine. It is inspired from below. May God raise up strong leaders who are secure enough to be accountable to their elders. If you find yourself in a situation where a senior leader refuses to be accountable because he is “God’s anointed,” my advice is to run! Find a congregation that has clear standards of morality for its leaders.

Source: CHARISMA NEWS.

RON CANTOR

Ron Cantor is the director of Messiah’s Mandate International in Israel, a Messianic ministry dedicated to taking the message of Jesus from Israel to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8). Cantor also travels internationally teaching on the Jewish roots of the New Testament. He serves on the pastoral team of Tiferet Yeshua, a Hebrew-speaking congregation in Tel Aviv. His newest book, Identity Theft, was released April 16. Follow him at @RonSCantor on Twitter.

When God Overlooks You for a Spiritual Promotion.


pouting
Jealousy doesn’t win promotions. (Stock.xchng)

Whether in the world of work or the work of the ministry, everybody likes to feel appreciated for a job well done. But some strive, scratch and claw for promotion.

There’s nothing fundamentally wrong about hoping God notices your faithfulness, increases your territory, and gives you greater works to steward. But striving for promotion can breed all manner of discord in a church—or in our own hearts.

Nowhere does this manifest more than when someone is overlooked for a promotion they feel they deserve. Maybe it’s a management position in the marketplace or a preaching opportunity in the pulpit—or some other public recognition they’ve been working for. Regardless of the circumstance, our true character is on display when we feel like God has overlooked us for a promotion.

Jealousy Doesn’t Win Promotions
When God told Samuel to anoint a new king, he went to visit Jesse the Bethlehemite and his sons. Israel’s next king was among them. Samuel thought Eliab was the chosen vessel, but God told him, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart” (1 Sam. 16:7).

Each of Jesse’s seven elder sons passed before Samuel but the Lord didn’t choose any of them. Finally, the prophet asked Jesse if he had another son. When David emerged from tending the sheep the Lord said, “Arise, anoint him; for this is the one!” So Samuel anointed him in the midst of his brothers (see 1 Sam. 16:12-13).

Why was Eliab overlooked for the promotion? You would think the firstborn would be the most deserving, naturally speaking. But God looked at the heart and there was something there he didn’t like. I believe in Eliab’s case it was jealousy, and we actually see its ugly head rearing on the battle line. When David heard about Saul’s magnanimous promise to the Israelite who defeated Goliath, his ears perked up and he asked some of the soldiers to confirm the reward.

“Now Eliab his oldest brother heard when he spoke to the men; and Eliab’s anger was aroused against David, and he said, ‘Why did you come down here? And with whom have you left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know your pride and the insolence of your heart, for you have come down to see the battle’” (1 Sam. 17:28). Could it be possible that Eliab was angry that David was anointed king because he felt like he was more deserving? Was Eliab jealous?

Let’s not forget Joseph. Already his father’s favorite and donning a coat of many colors, this young one had dreams that symbolically revealed his brothers bowing down to him (Gen. 37:1-10). That didn’t go over too well among his brethren, who were already jealous about his special coat and favorite status with dad. Joseph’s brothers sold him into slavery and told his father Jacob that he wild beasts devoured him. Joseph suffered much but God promoted him time and time again. His jealous brothers did indeed bow down to him, just as he dreamt it. But Joseph and the entire family suffered plenty before peace was restored.

Staying in One Accord
By contrast, even before the Holy Spirit fell on the Day of Pentecost, believers in the early church refused to allow jealousy to distract them from their mission. Since Judas betrayed the Lord and committed suicide, Peter pointed out Scripture that a new witness to Jesus’ resurrection must be appointed. Two men were proposed: Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias (Acts 1:1:23).

“And they prayed and said, ‘You, O Lord, who know the hearts of all, show which of these two You have chosen to take part in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place.’ And they cast their lots, and the lot fell on Matthias. And he was numbered with the eleven apostles” (Acts 1:24-26).

We don’t see Justus getting jealous, making false accusations against Matthias or throwing him in a deep well to die. Justus didn’t pitch a hissy fit to the other disciples or seek to prove why he was better suited for the promotion. He didn’t breed strife in the early church. In fact, the Bible says when the Day of Pentecost came they were all with one accord in one place (Acts 2:1).

Justus didn’t storm of out the Upper Room and spread rumors about the apostles. No, he went on to receive the Holy Spirit in the Pentecostal outpouring and it appears he may have gone on to work with the apostle Paul and Mark, the cousin of Barnabas (Col. 4:10-11). Whether that’s the same Justus or not, only the Lord knows. But somehow I believe Justus, of whom the disciples thought to select him as one of the two candidates to become an apostle, went on to do great things for the Kingdom of God in his humility. And if you respond in humility when someone else gets the promotion you want, so can you. Amen.

Source: CHARISMA NEWS.

Jennifer LeClaire is news editor at Charisma. She is also the author of several books, including The Spiritual Warrior’s Guide to Defeating Jezebel. You can email Jennifer at jennifer.leclaire@charismamedia.com or visit her website here. You can also join Jennifer on Facebook or follow her on Twitter.

How to Move in God’s Anointing.


(© boogy_man/rgbstock.com)

I know a man in ministry who used to be a missionary to the Pygmy tribes in Dutch New Guinea. After preaching one night through his interpreter, he decided to conduct a healing line. When he noticed the first man in line had a fungus from head to toe, he changed his mind. In that part of the jungle that particular fungus was highly contagious. So the missionary went back to his tent.

After two hours, he looked out. No one had moved. They were all still waiting in the healing line. Feeling chastened by the Lord (a divine unction), he decided to go and minister to the people and just believe God. As he approached the “fungus” man, he used his two pointing fingers only to barely touch the sides of the man’s head where there was the least fungus. Then the anointing kicked in. When he touched him, the fungus man leaped onto him and held him: His legs wrapped around his waist and his arms wrapped around his neck.

The missionary described the man as having fungus in his eyes, in his mouth and all over his body. However, when the power of God touched him through that missionary, praise God, the man was instantly healed.

Obedience is the key for functioning in the anointing. It was the final factor that led through the final downfall of King Saul. In 1 Samuel 13:8-15 Saul became impatient and took it upon himself to make a sacrifice rather than wait for Samuel to arrive. Some of Saul’s men had already begun to defect. When Samuel arrived, Saul said, in his own defense, that he “felt compelled” to do what he did (v. 12, emphasis added). That is the negative side of an “unction to function”—doing what seems right to you without the anointing. Samuel rebuked Saul, telling him that he had acted foolishly and had not kept the commandment of the Lord.

Listen: The main rule for having authority is also to be under authority yourself, and that starts with being obedient to the Lord.

Even Jesus remarked that He had not found such great faith in Israel when he encountered the centurion in Matthew 8. When Jesus told him that He would come and heal his servant, the centurion humbly said, “Lord, I am not worthy that You should come under my roof. But only speak a word, and my servant will be healed.”

He continued, “For I also am a man under authority, having soldiers under me. And I say to this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it” (vv. 8-9). Now that is true picture of meekness, a gentle humility that demonstrates power under control.

Going back to Saul, the final blow came when he disobeyed the word of the Lord spoken through Samuel to utterly destroy the Amalekites (1 Sam. 15:1-3). Saul was instructed to attack King Agag and the Amalekites and not spare anything alive: “Kill both man and woman, infant and nursing child, ox and sheep, camel and donkey” (v. 3). But Saul spared the best the Amalekites had, including the king himself. He then told Samuel “the people” had saved the animals to sacrifice (vv. 9, 13-15). In rebuke, Samuel said, “Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft” (vv. 22-23). That very day the Lord tore the kingdom of Israel away from Sauk (v. 28).

Friend, the unction to function in the anointing of God works within the framework of obedience.God is more interested in our character than our comfort. He is raising up a generation that will do what He says in the correct way, which will achieve His objective and bring glory to Him—not build up our own egos.

In these last days we must be people and ministers of integrity, honesty and humility. We must go beyond just knowing the principles of the kingdom; we must also know the King—His will, His ways, His very heartbeat.  And again, this is possible because we have “an unction from the Holy One, as ye know all things” (1 John 2:20, KJV, emphasis added). The Lord Himself enables us to possess knowledge of the truth, because He is the living Word.

Daniel 11:32 declares, “The people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits” (NKJV). So let’s function in the anointing with the right spirit and with power from on high: “God’s X Factor,” the unction to function that moves us to obey Him and release a might anointing in the earth.

Never forget: You are anointed to flow in special abilities that have been tailor-made for you by the same God who does the work in all of us. You can obey God and move in the anointing, whether you are laboring alone or working together with your brothers and sisters in Christ. You can hear, obey, and flow in the anointing of God—fearlessly, favorably and fiercely. You are anointed for this!

Adapted from You Are Anointed for This! By Judy Jacobs, copyright 2013, published by Charisma House. God wants to do extraordinary things through you. Whatever gift you have, and wherever God has called you, you need to know that you are anointed for it!  This book will help you recognize and declare it.

To order your copy click here.

PRAYER POWER FOR THE WEEK OF 10/14/2013  

This week thank God for His anointing. Ask Him for increase and for more opportunities to flow in His anointing in your daily life. Allow your love for Him to prompt you to total obedience so that you can flow in your “unction to function” without hindrance, Continue to pray for Israel, and for revival to ignite our nation, produce a harvest of souls and bring us back to God’s righteous ways. Pray for unity in prayer and purpose in the Body of Christ. Ask God to send a spirit of repentance to His church that will spread across the land and birth revival. 2 Chron 7:14; 1 John2:20; 1 Thes. 5:17.

{ Day 276 }.


David was greatly distressed because the men were talking of stoning him. … But David found strength in the Lord his God. Then David … inquired of the Lord, “Shall I pursue this raiding party? Will I overtake them?” “Pursue them,” he answered. “You will certainly overtake them and succeed in the rescue.” 1 Samuel 30:6-8

Ziklag‘s destruction was an agonizing tragedy for David and his men. But David did the right thing. As a result, we know what to do when our Ziklag is burned and compromise is no longer an option. When everything was falling apart, David returned to his root system and “found strength in the Lord his God.” He went to the Lord and said, “Lord, I am Yours. I love You, and I know You love me. Help me, Lord.” One of the greatest miracles that can happen in the life of a discouraged believer is knowing the Lord’s mercy and delight so deeply that we run toward Him in our time of greatest sin. Have you awakened one morning and realized you were living in a place of compromise? David knew what God was like, so he confidently approached the Lord instead of slinking away in shame. This led to his complete recovery. If you run away from God instead of to Him in time of crisis, you can’t be restored, but the complete solution will be found when you run to Him.

{ PRAYER STARTER }

Father, when everything around me is falling apart, cause me to do as David did and “strengthen myself in the Lord.” Give me Your miraculous grace and mercy, and help me to run to You instead of away from You.

Have you watched God burn your Ziklag—
your place of disobedience?

By MIKE BICKLE.

{ Day 275 }.


David and his men reached Ziklag on the third day. Now the Amalekites … attacked Ziklag and burned it, and had taken captive the women and all who were in it, both young and old. … When David and his men came to Ziklag, they found it destroyed by fire and their wives and sons and daughters taken captive. So David and his men wept aloud until they had no strength left to weep. 1 Samuel 30:1-4

For sixteen months, David’s Ziklag strategy seemed to be working, but God was about to kick the props out from under him. One day, David and his men came home and saw their city burned to the ground. God allowed Ziklag to burn so David would come face-to-face with Him. It was this very trauma that caused David to return to God and depart this period of disobedience. Each of us, I daresay, has a city of compromise, a Ziklag to which we retreat at some point in our lives. Our Ziklag is a place of supposed refuge that empowers us to continue in disobedience. It’s the place where we devise little systems that give us sinful pleasure and false comfort when God’s will becomes too intense for us. The Lord does not reject us during these times, but He doesn’t approve of our sin, either. He looks for ways to restore us, not destroy us. He devises means so that His banished ones are not expelled from Him (2 Sam. 14:14). But He almost always allows our city of compromise to be burned.

{ PRAYER STARTER }

Teach me, Father, to turn to You before my disobedience destroys my hopes and dreams. When I fall to compromise and apathy, find me and restore me to Your presence. Bring me face-to-face again with You.

Our Ziklag is like a cubbyhole where we escape
from the realm of God’s promises and retreat
into the enemy’s territory where we feel safer.

By MIKE BICKLE.

The Forever King: Seeing Jesus in 2 Samuel.


I thought about buying up a bunch of stamps a while ago before the postal rates were set to increase, and I should have done it. The beauty of Forever stamps is that you buy them at the current rate for mailing a first-class letter and they are supposed to be good for mailing a first-class letter forever, no matter how much the price of a first-class stamp increases. But the truth is, I hardly ever mail first-class letters anymore. Most of my communication with people is via e-mail or telephone or cell phone, and I pay most of my bills online. And evidently I’m not alone. Reports are that the US Postal Service is on the brink of bankruptcy. And if that’s the case, maybe their promise of “forever” is really not all that reliable.

Speaking of forever, we’ve all heard the famous line “A diamond is forever.” But is it true? Evidently, for the last twenty-five years a team of scientists have been trying to find out. At a site in central Japan, scientists have been monitoring a huge underground water-filled tank, waiting patiently for signs that all matter eventually decays into sub-atomic dust. Evidently, most theorists believe it will show that protons—the building blocks of every atom—do not last forever but decay into other particles. That would mean nothing made from atoms—not even diamonds—lasts forever.1

The Bible, however, talks about some things that do last forever.

“The steadfast love of the Lord endures forever” (Psalm 136). Forever the Lord will love his own.

“His righteousness endures forever” (Ps. 111:3). Forever God will be doing what is right.

“The faithfulness of the Lord endures forever” (Ps. 117:2). Forever God will do what he has promised to do and be who has promised to be.

“The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever” (Isa. 40:8). Forever God’s Word will have the power to accomplish what it intends. Forever it will prove true.

The apostle John wrote: “The world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever” (1 John 2:17). Evidently God intends to share his “foreverness” with those who find their life under his loving rule now. Does this kind of forever sound good to you? Let’s face it; most of us have had experiences that felt like forever that we don’t particularly want to experience again. So before we buy into this forever being offered to us, we want to know what we can expect.

Over three thousand years ago, God put a king on the throne in his city to rule over his people as his representative. The king who sat on this throne was never supposed to be a king like other kings in this world who rule independently and often tyrannically. Unlike any other kingdom and any other throne, this kingdom and this throne were established to last forever. But what does that mean and why does it matter? Here in 2 Samuel, as we look at the king God put on the earthly throne over his people—the throne that was to be an earthy extension of his heavenly throne—we get a glimpse of the forever God intends to give to us. David was the king who was according to God’s own heart, the kind of king God wanted to rule over his people. As we listen in on the promises God made to his king, we’ll discover that these promises shape the forever that God is inviting us into.

The King’s City

David was a teenager when the prophet Samuel anointed him to be king over Israel. Twenty-five years later David was still not ruling on the throne. Instead he had spent those years leading armies into battle and ducking from Saul’s spears and living out in the wilderness and even in foreign countries. Second Samuel picks up the history of Israel immediately after Saul’s death. Inchapter 2 we read that David was finally made king of Judah in the south while Ish-bosheth the son of Saul was made king of Israel in the north, a hint of the division in the kingdom that will come later. Second Samuel 3:1 tells us, “There was a long war between the house of Saul and the house of David. And David grew stronger and stronger, while the house of Saul became weaker and weaker.” All of the people who had followed Ish-bosheth had to decide if they would accept the king that God had chosen and anointed and submit to his rule for their lives (which is really the same decision we have to make). When we come to 2 Samuel 5, we read:

Then all the tribes of Israel came to David at Hebron and said, “Behold, we are your bone and flesh. In times past, when Saul was king over us, it was you who led out and brought in Israel. And the Lord said to you, ‘You shall be shepherd of my people Israel, and you shall be prince over Israel.’” So all the elders of Israel came to the king at Hebron, and King David made a covenant with them at Hebron before the Lord, and they anointed David king over Israel. (vv. 5:1–3)

So then David became king over all twelve tribes. But to effectively rule over all the tribes of Israel, David needed a capital city that would be centrally located amongst the tribes, a city that could become a fortress to withstand attack. And there was such a city. In fact, it had a royal history. A thousand years before the time of David, there was a city called Salem, in which a good king named Melchizedek ruled, who was also a priest of Yahweh (Gen. 14:18). Eventually Salem was taken over by the Jebusites who built a wall around the city and called it Jebus (1 Chron. 11:4). In David’s day, it was a fortress city set on a hill on the border between Judah and Benjamin, just the right location for ruling over all Israel. But there was a problem. Although it had been three hundred years since the Israelites crossed over the Jordan and began possessing the land God had promised to give to them, they still had not taken permanent possession of this great city. But this is now God’s king leading God’s people, and Jerusalem is about to become God’s place, a city that already had been and was going to become even more central to the purposes of God, not only for Israel but for the world, and not just in David’s day but forever.

And the king and his men went to Jerusalem against the Jebusites, the inhabitants of the land, who said to David, “You will not come in here, but the blind and the lame will ward you off”—thinking, “David cannot come in here.” Nevertheless, David took the stronghold of Zion, that is, the city of David. (2 Sam. 5:6–7)

The stronghold on Mount Zion, one of several mountains in Jerusalem, became the center of David’s kingdom. David established his palace and his center of government there. God established his great king in his great city.

And David became greater and greater, for the Lord, the God of hosts, was with him. And Hiram king of Tyre sent messengers to David, and cedar trees, also carpenters and masons who built David a house. And David knew that the Lord had established him king over Israel, and that he had exalted his kingdom for the sake of his people Israel. (2 Sam. 5:10–12)

David was the king, but he clearly didn’t rule like other kings of his day. Rather than ruling as a proud head of state exercising absolute control, David ruled humbly as vice-regent to Israel’s true King, God himself. He used his throne as a pulpit from which to preach God’s rule and reign. “The Lord reigns,” David wrote. “He is robed in majesty; the Lord is robed; he has put on strength as his belt. Yes, the world is established; it shall never be moved. Your throne is established from of old; you are from everlasting” (Ps. 93:1–2).

The King’s Joy

So David was established in Jerusalem. But there was something very important that was not in Jerusalem. It was hidden far away. Decades before, the ark of the covenant had been taken into battle but had been left in the possession of the Philistines. It had been passed around from city to city because every place the Philistines took it got struck with plagues. So finally they took it across the border and left it in someone’s home in Israel. And there it sat for decades. This meant that for decades there was no ark of the covenant in the Most Holy Place of the tabernacle for the priests to approach once a year and sprinkle with blood for the forgiveness of the people’s sins. And evidently nobody seemed to care. But David cared.

In their desire for a king, the people of Israel had wanted someone to lead them into battle, and David had proved many times, over his years as a commander under Saul, that he was a great warrior. But David was not only lead warrior for Israel; he was also lead worshiper. This meant that he could not stand for the symbol of God’s active presence with his people to remain far away from Jerusalem, the heart and headquarters of the people of God. David wanted to put God at the center of the city. He wanted God to be at the center of their lives.

The ark represented the throne of God, or more precisely his footstool. When David brought the ark to Jerusalem, it was his way of joining his throne to the throne of God or, more specifically, submitting his throne to the throne of God. The ark of God in the city served as a sign that David, as the king of Israel, was under the authority of the great King, that the Lord was the true king of Israel, not David. Evidently nothing could have made David happier than for his reign to derive its splendor from the presence of the ark of God.

So David had a city and a beautiful house in that city and was enjoying the presence of God with him in that city. The Philistines had been defeated, and peace had broken out all through the kingdom. After all those years of sleeping in caves and hiding from Saul and all the years of sleeping in tents on various battlefields, it must have felt good to wake up every morning in his own bed in his cedar-paneled bedroom. But one day, as David sat on the roof of his luxurious palace overlooking the city, he saw something terribly amiss. He caught a glimpse of the shabby four-hundred-year-old tent that housed the ark of God, the tabernacle. And the stark contrast between his royal dwelling and the rumpled dwelling place of the ark of God was simply embarrassing. David became determined to make things right. He wanted to do something for the God who had done so much for him.

The king said to Nathan the prophet, “See now, I dwell in a house of cedar, but the ark of God dwells in a tent.” And Nathan said to the king, “Go, do all that is in your heart, for the Lord is with you.” (2 Sam. 7:1–3)

There’s no indication that Nathan consulted or inquired of the Lord in this matter, as prophets were always to do before speaking with the authority of God. Evidently Nathan’s first response was not formed by revelation from God but was a common-sense reaction to a good idea presented by someone whom he knew wanted to honor God.

But that same night the word of the Lord came to Nathan, “Go and tell my servant David, ‘Thus says the Lord: Would you build me a house to dwell in? I have not lived in a house since the day I brought up the people of Israel from Egypt to this day, but I have been moving about in a tent for my dwelling. In all places where I have moved with all the people of Israel, did I speak a word with any of the judges of Israel, whom I commanded to shepherd my people Israel, saying, “Why have you not built me a house of cedar?”’” (2 Sam. 7:4–7)

This was the God who comes down to dwell with his people speaking. And as long as his people were wandering, which they had done for many years in the wilderness and throughout the years of taking possession of the land in Israel, he intended to wander with them. As long as they didn’t have fixed security, he was not interested in having a fixed place to dwell. Moses had told the people that when God gave them rest from all their enemies so that they were able to live in safety, then, in the place God chose, God would make his name dwell there (Deut. 12:10–11). And while there was much peace at this point under David’s rule, there were still enemies to be defeated. Only when his people were settled and secure would God be ready to move out of the traveling tent and into a permanent home.

David was about to learn that “sometimes the purposes of God cut right across the desires of our hearts.”2 We have desires for things, and they are good things, even righteous things, and we are so sure that the Lord must have placed those desires in us. But we have to be careful that we are not confusing our desires with God’s direction or intention. Sometimes God says no, not because he wants to deprive us or disappoint us or because what we want is sinful or bad, but because he is working out his plans for the world and for us that we cannot see from our perspective. When God’s purposes cut across our desires, we can be sure that his purposes are better than ours and that his plans for our lives are better than our plans.

The King’s House

Clearly God had a plan for David that exponentially surpassed any plan David could ever have conceived.

Now, therefore, thus you shall say to my servant David, “Thus says the Lord of hosts, I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep, that you should be prince over my people Israel. And I have been with you wherever you went and have cut off all your enemies from before you. And I will make for you a great name, like the name of the great ones of the earth.” (2 Sam. 7:8–9)

God honored the intention of David’s heart with an intention of his own heart, saying in essence to David, “You don’t provide for me; I provide for you.” God doesn’t operate on a quid pro quo basis but only on the basis of grace. If we think God is drumming his fingers, wishing we would come up with something creative to do for him, something impressive or costly, we have not yet understood grace. God was saying, “David, this life with me is not about doing for me; it is about receiving fromme.” God reminded David who is taking care of whom. God is going to make David’s name great. And he’s going to do more than that.

Moreover, the Lord declares to you that the Lord will make you a house. When your days are fulfilled and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son. When he commits iniquity, I will discipline him with the rod of men, with the stripes of the sons of men, but my steadfast love will not depart from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away from before you. (2 Sam. 7:11–15)

When David told God that he wanted to build God a house, he was talking about a temple to house the ark where the priests would offer sacrifices and mediate between God and his people. But God told David he wanted to build David a house. God wasn’t talking about a family dwelling or a temple but about a royal dynasty. The British royal family, for example, is “the house of Windsor.” God was promising David that his descendants would become an enduring dynasty of kings. His descendants would take his place on his throne over Israel.

The King’s Throne

But this wouldn’t be like any other dynasty the world had ever known.

And your house and your kingdom shall be made sure forever before me. Your throne shall be established forever. (2 Sam. 7:16)

If we were identifying on a timeline of history the handful of high points, we would put our pencil point on creation and then go to the promise God made, after Adam and Eve sinned in the garden, of an offspring of the woman who would crush the Serpent’s head; and then we would skip to the promise made to Abraham that all nations would be blessed through him; and then to the time when God brought Israel out of Egypt and through the Red Sea; and then our line would ark toward this day, to these promises made to David. And we would be tracing not only the significant history of the world; we would be discovering what we need most to know about the future of the world. Tracing these significant events marked by promises of blessing would help us to see that the blessing God promised to pour out on the world through Abraham is going to come in the form of a kingdom. A descendant of David is going to be the King of this kingdom. The royal Son of David is going to bless the world by ruling over it for all eternity. That is the future of the world that has been fixed by the one who created and governs this world.

To understand all that God promised here to David, we have to understand that this prophecy did what a lot of prophetic messages in the Old Testament do. It takes an extended series of events and collapses it so that the near and distant events can appear from this vantage point to be only one event. Some aspects of promises and prophecies were fulfilled in Israel’s near future, and other aspects were to be fulfilled over the long-term future.

God promised that he would make David’s name great and give him a place of security for his people, and he did that in David’s day. God promised that he would establish a dynasty from David, that David’s son would sit on his throne and would build a house for God. God did that in Solomon’s day, when Solomon sat on David’s throne and built a temple in Jerusalem. God promised that when David’s son sinned, he would discipline him, which he did with Solomon and the other Davidic kings who followed him. But while the Davidic dynasty lasted longer than any other ancient dynasty—four hundred years—there came a day when there was no son of David sitting on the throne over God’s people in Israel. In fact, there was no throne in Jerusalem and hardly a people—just a small remnant of people worshiping in a tattered temple under the rule of a foreign king. They must have wondered, and we too might wonder, what happened to God’s promise that David’s house, kingdom, and throne would last forever? Was the promise of forever a mirage? A failure?

In Psalm 89, a psalm written long after the days of David when it seemed as if God’s commitment to the reign of his anointed king was in jeopardy, the psalmist asked the wrenching question that was likely on everyone’s mind and in everyone’s heart: “Lord, where is your steadfast love of old, which by your faithfulness you swore to David?” (Ps. 89:49). The psalmist was not just lamenting that there was no king and no throne; he was questioning whether God was proving faithful to his promise to David.

But while the psalmists wondered aloud about God’s fulfillment of his promise, they also celebrated their certainty that their true king, God himself, was on his throne. And the prophets continually encouraged the people that God was going to do something in the future to fulfill his promise to David. Isaiah wrote: “There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit” (Isa. 11:10). Isaiah was saying that though the seed of David might have gone underground, it had not been cut off for good. Amos spoke for God, saying: “In that day I will raise up the booth of David that is fallen and repair its breaches, and raise up its ruins and rebuild it as in the days of old” (Amos 9:11). Jeremiah prophesied: “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land (Jer. 23:5). The prophet Ezekiel wrote of a day when the exiled people of Israel would be gathered to their own land. “They and their children and their children’s children shall dwell there forever, and David my servant shall be their prince forever” (Ezek. 37:25). And Zechariah seemed to see into the future by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, saying:

Behold, your king is coming to you;
righteous and having salvation is he,
humble and mounted on a donkey,
on a colt, the foal of a donkey…
and he shall speak peace to the nations;
his rule shall be from sea to sea,
and from the River to the ends of the earth. (Zech. 9:9–10)

Yes, the Old Testament prophets continually called the people of God to hold on to their confidence in the promises God made to David. But then the prophets stopped prophesying. There was only silence—hundreds of years of silence. But just as the death of David and all of his descendants who sat on his throne could not kill the promise, and just as the sin of David and Solomon and all of the other kings could not annul the promise, so time could not exhaust God’s promise. The day came when God sent his angel Gabriel to a young girl living in Israel at a time when a cruel puppet king sat on the throne over Israel. The angel told Mary that she was going to have a son. But this wasn’t going to be just any baby. This was going to be the Son, the King that generations had been longing for and waiting for ever since God made his covenant with David. The angel said:

He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end. (Luke 1:32–33)

When Jesus was born in a stable in Bethlehem, the promise God made to David was fulfilled. Finally, David’s son had come to take David’s throne. When Jesus began his ministry and people saw his miracles, they were so astonished that they said, “Could this be the Son of David?” (Matt. 12:23). And as his ministry continued, more and more people hoped that he really would be a great warrior king like his ancestor David, one who would defeat all of their enemies. Crowds lined the street when Jesus entered into David’s great city, Jerusalem, riding on a donkey, just as Zechariah had prophesied.

So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, crying out, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!” (John 12:13)

But Jerusalem did not ultimately receive her King. It became clear that this King did not intend to establish a political kingdom. So instead of receiving him, they rejected him and conspired against him and handed him over to their foreign ruler, the Roman governor Pilate, to be crucified like a criminal. Rather than bowing to their King, they mocked him and spat on him. Instead of putting a crown of honor on his head, they pressed a crown of thorns into his head.

And the soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head and arrayed him in a purple robe. They came up to him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” and struck him with their hands… Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your King?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar.” So he delivered him over to them to be crucified…. Pilate also wrote an inscription and put it on the cross. It read, “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.” (John 19:2–3, 15–16, 19)

All those years of longing and waiting, and when the Son of David came, they didn’t want him. Like the people of Saul’s day who had wanted a warrior king who would lead them into battle, the people of Jesus’s day wanted a warrior king who would free them from the rule of Rome. But Jesus came the first time not as a warrior king but as a shepherd king—a good shepherd who laid down his life for his sheep that he might take it up again (John 10:17). Just as God had lifted David from tending sheep in Bethlehem to sit on the throne, so God raised Jesus from the grave to sit on the throne. That’s where he sits now, which is what God had always intended when he put David on the throne. And evidently David knew this. The Holy Spirit revealed to David that the very purpose of David’s ascension to the throne was to establish it for the Christ who would come to reign on it forever. That’s what Peter said in his first sermon at Pentecost:

Being therefore a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that he would set one of his descendants on his throne, [David] foresaw and spoke about the resurrection of the Christ…. This Jesus God raised up, and of that we all are witnesses. Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God…. Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified. (Acts 2:29–36)

Peter made clear that not only had the Son of David come to David’s city, but also, by his resurrection from the dead and his ascension to the right hand of God, he is now seated on David’s throne. And because Jesus lives forever, his throne will last forever.

It wasn’t long after Peter preached at Pentecost that the emperor Domitian sat on the Roman throne and demanded to be addressed as “lord” and “god.” Those, like Peter, who called Jesus “Lord” and “God” were being severely persecuted and put to death. The Roman throne was a source of fear and anxiety as well as of unparalleled suffering. But the apostle John was one of many who just couldn’t keep from talking about his true King, Jesus, and so he was arrested and imprisoned on Patmos. And while he was there, he was invited to see who is truly on the throne of this world, a vision he recorded in Revelation.

I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven…. At once I was in the Spirit, and behold, a throne stood in heaven, with one seated on the throne. (Rev. 4:1–2)

As John peered into the heart of ultimate reality beyond the time and space of this world we live in now, what did he see? Amidst everything else that John saw, what stood out the most, at the center of everything, was a throne. And not just a throne, but an occupied throne, occupied by one who calls himself “the root and the descendant of David” (Rev. 22:16). There on the throne is the one who both preceded David in his deity and descended from David in his humanity.

John wrote about what he saw, pulling back the curtain for us so that we can see what is most important, what really matters. My friends, the centerpiece of heaven is not mansions with many rooms or streets of gold, though the city will be magnificent. The wonder of heaven is not choruses of angels, though they will sound glorious. And I say this gently to those of you, who, like me, look forward with longing to seeing those you love one day in heaven: the most compelling part of heaven will not be seeing those who have gone before us. The centerpiece of heaven, the focal point of this universe, the reality that all of history has been driving toward, is the Son of David on the throne of the universe—ruling and reigning, providing a safe place for his people to rest, giving to them all the benefits of his kingdom, refusing to let anything ever harm them again.

And since Jesus is on the throne, you can stop trying to rule the world. You can stop all of your worrying and your vain attempts to control everything about your life and your family. The one who is seated on the throne is not only able to supply your needs and provide your protection; he has at his disposal everything needed to fulfill all of his promises to you. Because he is on the throne, your joy doesn’t have to be so tied to your circumstances, and your sense of security doesn’t have to be so easily shaken. The Lord reigns.

The latest report on cable news about the state of the world does not define the future. That’s why we probably shouldn’t begin our days with the morning news on the television or radio or Internet. Instead, we should begin in the Word of God. Every day should begin and end by being reminded from the Scriptures: The Lord God Omnipotent reigns. He reigns over my difficult circumstances. He reigns over my ongoing conflict. He reigns over my carefully crafted plans. And he can be trusted. He is a good King.

The Lord who reigns is so good that he actually invites us to approach his throne with the confidence that, when we do, we will not be shamed or condemned or turned away. Instead, we will find grace and mercy. We can pour out all of our concerns to him who sits on the throne, saying, “Jesus, you are king over all of this. Forgive me for feeling so free to question you, blame you, even disregard you. Give me eyes to see you on your throne. Give me a heart willing to trust that you will do what is best. Give me the spiritual strength to bend to your righteous rule in my life. Help me to live out this day in peace, confident that you are on your throne.”

We can live this way today because we know there is a day coming, a day when our ears will hear what John’s ears heard. On that day, we will enter the New Jerusalem. The presence of God will be there radiating the glory that will penetrate into the deepest part of us. There in the center will be the throne occupied by the Son of David. We’ll hear loud voices saying, “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever” (Rev. 11:15). And it will be the best news we’ve ever heard.

This world—your world—is not ruled by the forces of random chance. King Jesus is on his throne. And he will reign forever and ever.

Crown Him with many crowns, The Lamb upon His throne.
Hark! How the heav’nly anthem drowns all music but its own!
Awake, my soul, and sing of Him who died for thee,
And hail Him as thy matchless King through all eternity.3

Notes

1. Robert Matthews, “Diamonds Aren’t Forever,” Focus, January 17, 2008.

2. Iain Campbell, “Who Am I?,” sermon (Point Free Church, Isle of Lewis, Scotland, October 4, 2009).

3. Matthew Bridges, “Crown Him with Many Crowns,” 1852.

Nancy Guthrie


Son of David BookTaken from The Son of David: Seeing Jesus in the Historical Books, by Nancy Guthrie. Used by permission of Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, Il 60187, www.crossway.org.

What kind of king and what kind of kingdom are we asking for when we pray this prayer Jesus taught us to pray? A study of the Old Testament Historical Books—Joshua through Esther—enables us to see the kingdom of God not only as it once was, but also as it is now, and as it will be one day. Over ten weeks of guided study, relevant teaching, and group discussion, seasoned Bible teacher Nancy Guthrie traces the history of the people of God from the time they entered the Promised Land through a series of failed kings, exile, and finally their return to await the true King.

Tag Cloud