“He was tall and that was about all…”

“And it came to pass, when Samuel was old, that he made his sons judges over Israel.

Now the name of his firstborn was Joel (meaning: Jehovah is God) and the name of his second son was Abiah (meaning: The Lord is my Father): they were judges in Beersheba. 

And his sons walked NOT in his ways, but turned aside after lucre (dishonest gains), and took brides, and PERVERTED JUDGMENT (justice). 

Then all the elders of Israel gathered themselves together, and came to Samuel unto Ramah, And said unto him,Behold, thou art old, and thy sons walk NOT in thy ways; and now MAKE US A KING TO JUDGE US LIKE ALL THE OTHER NATIONS. 1 Samuel 8:1-5 

HI! I do hope that you have had a good week. Most pretty much know this story, but what a better time to ponder than now, and this is not attempt in anyway to sway political thoughts one way or another, because all that has been,and all that is, and all that will ever be was decided long ago…before this world was formed.  That is the first thought that I would like to establish for us today.

Ponder with me, if you will,  this passage for a bit, John 18:7-12: “The Jews answered him, We have a law, and by our law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God.

When Pilate heard that saying,he was the more afraid. And went again into the judgment hall, and saith unto Jesus, Whence art thou (where are you from)? But Jesus gave no answer.

Then saith Pilate unto him, Speaketh thou not unto me (are you not going to answer me)? knowest thou not that I have power (authority)to crucify thee, and have power to release thee? 

Jesus answered, Thou couldest have NO power (authority) AT ALL against me, except it were GIVEN THEE FROM ABOVE: therefore he that delivered me unto you hath the greater sin. 

And from henceforth Pilate sought the release him; but the Jews cried out, saying, If thou let this man go, thou art NOT Caesar’s friend; whosoever maketh himself a king speaketh against Caesar.”

Pilate in all his brutality did not want to tangle with the crucification of Jesus, and we have all ministered much on that and the same old political games that were used in that day have never changed, first they were telling Pilate, “Well, you know he broke our laws” and then it quickly changed “If you really are Caesar’s friend you put him to death…”

Much like so many have stayed in destruction relationships, all for the sake of avoiding the age old mental manipulation of if you REALLY love me you would do all that I ask, whether it is right, whether it is is wrong, or even if it destroys you or even if goes against everything you believe in. So they were trying to sway his thinking any way possible to get him to do exactly what they wanted which was to kill Jesus.

And as Jesus told him, there is no authority that ever sits that God is not aware of and God creates it all.

And so in our opening verses we see them same tragic events that have been all through the kingdoms and are even more apparent today, those who should be leading God’s people and helping then stay the course, instead are corrupt, either having hearts that were NEVER right to begin with or through the seduction by spirits caved in to the money and  false sense of prestige that came with their popularity.

Either way they as that scripture says, prevert judgment and as deem evil as good and good as evil, and we are giving many warning of this in the Bible, and today you can see this so clearly, we are often ostracized and condemned if we share a view that is not the popular view, but as the children of God our choices MUST be made based on the inflaafiable, eternal Word of Almighty God.

So there the elders were, faced with Samuel’s corrupted sons, that they became so fed up and so desperate for change that they felt their plan for ridding themselves of these two and being in “better hands” would be much greater than waiting for God’s plan to come to fruition.

So they requested to become as the “other” nations, and have a king sat over them, couple of problems with that… God’s people were NEVER intended to be like any other nation, or people on this earth, even though we are made up of ALL people, ALL nations, ALL tribes and languages, we are still meant to be set apart, Holy, consecrated to God and HIS Kingdom and His purposes while on this earth.   

Let’s continue, shall we?

Back to 1 Samuel 8:6-20: “But this thing displeased Samuel, when they said, Give us  aking to judge us, And Samuel prayed unto God. 

And the Lord said unto Samuel, Hearken (heed) unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: FOR THEY HAVE NOT REJECTED THEE (you), BUT THEY HAVE REJECTED ME, that I should reign over them. 

According to all the works which they have done since the day that brought them up out of Egypt even unto this day, wherewith they have forsaken me, and served other gods, so do they also unto thee. 

Now, therefore hearken unto their voice: howbeit, yet PROTEST SOLEMNLY UNTO THEM (forewarn them) AND SHEW UNTO THEM THE MANNER OF THE KING THAT SHALL RULE OVER THEM. 

And Samuel told all the words of the Lord unto all the people that asked him for a king.  

And he said, THIS will be the manner of the king that shall REIGN OVER YOU: He WILL TAKE your sons, and appoint them for himself, for his chariots, and to be his horsemen; and some shall run before (in front of) his chariots.

And he WILL appoint him captains over thousands, and captains over fifties; and WILL set them to ear (plow) his ground, and to reap his harvest, and to make his instruments of war, and to make his instruments of his chariots. 

And he WILL take your daughters to be confectionaries, and to be cooks, and to be bakers. And he WILL take your fields, and your vineyards, and your oliveyards, EVEN the BEST of them, and GIVE THEM TO HIS SERVANTS.And he WILL take a tenth of your seed, and of your vineyards, and GIVE THEM TO HIS OFFICERS, AND TO HIS SERVANTS.

 And he WILL take you menservants, and your maidservants, and your goodliest young men, and your asses, and put them to his work.

And he WILL take a tenth if your sheep, and YE SHALL BE HIS SERVANTS. AND YE SHALL CRY OUT IN THAT DAY BECAUSE OF YOUR KING WHICH YE SHALL HAVE CHOSEN OVER YOU; AND THE LORD WILL NOT HEAR YOU IN THAT DAY.

NEVERTHELESS the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel; and said, NAY (No);BUT WE WILL HAVE  KING OVER US;

That we may also BE LIKE all the nations; and that our king may judge us, and go out before us, and fight our battles.”

So Samuel tells the Lord what they have said and then the Lord tells Samuel, to give them what they want, they have been warned, specifically warned, that EVERYTHING would be taken and given unto their chosen king and all his companions, but still they were thought they knew better than God, who was already their true King, but in their stubborness, they rejected him and  DEMANDED a human king.

Now just “listen” to the description of their “guy” that would seem quite “kingly” and “fit the bill” for what they themselves would desire the image of their “perfect” king to be. 

1 Samuel 9:1,2: “Now there was a man of Benjamin, whose name was Kish, the son of Abiel, the son of Zeror, the son of Bechorathm the son of Aphiah, a Benjaminite, a mighty man of POWER (strenght or wealth). 

And he had a son, whose name was Saul,  achoice young man, and a goodly (HANDSOME): and there was NOT among the children of Israel a goodlier person than he (there was no one more handsome): from his shoulders and upward he was higher (taller) than any of his people.

So there he was, tall, gorgeous, quite similar sounded to the future son of David, but just what people seem to go for, unlike God, humans are always looking o the outside, believing that somehow, despite, logic, wisdom, and in the case, ABSOLUTE  WARNINGS FROM GOD HIMSELF that this person WILL destroy you, the still can have what they want without paying having to pay the price of that desire.

And again this is NOT a sway toward the elections, God knew we He created this earth, who would been winning that one, but this is a thought, a reminder for all the days to come, as I have said before, it is ALL already written and those things that are will be and those things that are to come, will surely come, but timing is everything, what if the people who had asked for this king had instead WAITED upon their true King, who had already been fighting their battles BEFORE He had even delivered them for Pharaoh, what if instead of demanding a king, they had instead demanded accountability from the sons of Samuel?

We often forget that we have simpler options and go into overkill when desiring change, even when those changes are needed, and admirable, and just. 

So don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater, as the saying goes, TRUST King Jesus, and make choices based on him and his word, and if you feel you have no real choice, TRUST him and delay that choice until you do feel confident that it would align with his word and his desire for you. WE can apply this account to almost every decision we make in in life, because things are often presented a good, and beneficial but if that still small voices whispers warning of all the trade offs you will have to make in order to take that deal, that is telling you, don’t take the deal because you may well be making a deal with the devil himself. 

As you may know, once you go to read the rest of that story, this was just as the Lord said a very very BAD ideal for Israel and when all is said and done, Saul and his sons are dead because of his disobedience to God. 

If you notice, this also point out that Samuel had spoken with “those” who asked for a king, so NOT everyone had asked for the changes, but those changes, and the decisions of those in control brought that oppression down on ALL of them. And when you finalize the thought of King saul you can come up with this, He came from a well known family, strong, probably very wealthy, he was obviously seriously handsome and, yea, well, he was tall… but as to do good for is people… tall was about all!

Φλογιζω NBJ 2020/ Rev. Nina Brown Johnson

Ninth Hour

“And straightway in the morning the chief priests held a consultation with the elders and the scribes and the whole council and bound Jesus and carried him away and delivered him to Pilate.

And Pilate asked him, Art thou the King of the Jews? And he answering said unto him, Thou sayest it. 

And the chief priests accused him of many things: but he answered nothing. And Pilate asked him again, saying, Answerest  thou nothing? behold how many things they witness against thee.

But Jesus yet answered him nothing; so that Pilate marvelled. 

Now at that feast he released unto them one prisoner, whomsoever they desired. And there was one named Barabbas, which lay bound (was also chained with) them that had made insurrection with him, who had committed murder in the insurrection.

And the multitude crying aloud began to desire (ask) him to do as ever he had done (do as always) unto them,

But Pilate answered them, saying, Will ye that I release unto you the King of the Jews? For he knew that the chief priest had delivered him for envy (Pilate KNEW that the priests were just trying to get Jesus killed).

But the chief priest moved (stirred up) the people, that they should rather release Barabbas unto them.

And Pilate answered and said again unto them, What will ye then that I shall do unto him whom ye call the King of the Jews?

And they cried out again, Crucify him. Then Pilate said unto them Why, what evil hath he done? And they cried out the more exceedingly, Crucify him.

And so Pilate, willing to content the people (wanting to gratify the crowd) released Barabbas unto them, and delivered Jesus, when he had scourged him, (flogged with a roman scourge) to be crucified.” Mark 15:1-15

A portion of the immense prophecies concerning the suffering of the Messiah, which was and is Jesus Christ of Nazareth, The spotless Holy Lamb of God can be found in the Book of Isaiah..

“WHO hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm (the power) of the Lord revealed?

For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant (He was very gentle and kind),and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form or comeliness; and when ye shall see, there is no beauty that we should desire him (He came to earth quite ordinary in appearance). 

He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised and we redeemed him not.  

SURELY he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows; yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten (struck down) of God, and afflicted.” Isaiah 53:1-4 

Now lets talk about the scourge, the Jews had a “law” that prisoners would receive forty stripes save one, which means instead of receiving forty lashes it would be thirty-nine (which really is not mercy) but it was not the Jews beating Jesus.

It was the Romans that were beating Jesus, the Romans did not do this to their own citizens, and he was in no way covered under any supposed “mercy” clause and this was all the forces of hell unleashed upon Him.

Remember He told the Disciples before His arrest this from John 14:30: “Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince (ruler) of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me.” 

He said this in reference to what was going to happen, which can be backed up with His statement when they came to arrest Him. Luke 22:53: “When I was daily with you in the temple, ye stretched forth no hands against me; but this is your hour, and the power of darkness.”

Again, God has ALL power, power over the enemy BUT Jesus willingly laid down his life for us which is WHY darkness was ALLOWED this power so that He could take OUR place and suffer the punishment that belonged to us and through His death reconcile us back to Him.

Back to the beating, He was viciously beaten, striped by a whip that has multiple strings of leather often with bone or metal knotted at the ends, which cuts on contact and then pulls skin and flesh with it at its release and there was NO mercy shown in this beating.

Isaiah 53:5: “But he was wounded (pierced through) for OUR transgressions, he was bruised (crushed) for OUR iniquities; the chastisement of OUR peace was upon him; and with his stripes (blows that cut into flesh) we are healed.”

On to Calvary, Mark 15:16-18: “And the soldiers led him away into the hall, called Praetorium (a separate tent); and they call together the WHOLE band (cohort). 

And they clothed him with purple, and platted (twisted)  a crown of thorns, and put it about his head. And began to salute him, Hail, King of the Jews.”

These thorns were no tiny little briers which would still have been very painful, these were sharp, piercing barbs that torn intro his skin and sank into his flesh around his temples, and we all know how delicate and tender the brow area is and when they shoved this thing onto His head it  and caused excruciating pain and blood dripped from every pierce.

Here is His own description as He pleaded with the sleeping Church, His Bride to awake and open that door for Him. Song of Solomon 5:2: “I sleep, but my heart waketh:  it IS the VOICE of my Beloved that knocketh, saying

Open to me, my sister, my love, my dove, my undefiled (perfect one)FOR MY HEAD IS FILLED WITH DEW, AND MY LOCKS WITH THE DROPS OF THE NIGHT.”

He suffered that crown of thorns so that we could have His peace for our troubled minds and if you want a little more about that wake up.

Onward- Mark 15-32: “And they smote (struck) him on the head with a reed, and did spit on him, and bowing their knees worshipped him  (in MOCK worship). 

And when they had mocked him, they took off the purple from him, and out his OWN clothes on him, and LED HIM OUT to crucify him. 

And they compel one Simon a Cyrenian, who passed by, coming out of the country, (he was just passing through) the father of Alexander and Rufus, to bear (carry) his cross. { by this point they had beaten Jesus SO severely that He was physically unable to carry it any farther} 

And they bring him unto the place Golgotha, which is, being interpreted, The place of the skull. And they gave him to drink wine mingled with myrrh: but he received it not.

And when they had crucified him, they parted  his garments (divided his clothes), casting lots upon them, what every man should take (gambled for them)

And it was the third hour, and they crucified him. And the superscription of his accusation was written over, THE KING OF THE JEWS.

And with him they crucify two thieves; the one on his right hand, and the other on his left.

And the scripture WAS fulfilled, which saith, AND HE WAS NUMBERED WITH THE TRANSGRESSORS. 

And they that passed by railed on him, wagging their heads, and saying, Ah, thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days,

Save thyself, and come down from the cross.

Likewise, also the chief priests mocking said among themselves with the scribes, He saved others: himself he cannot save.

Let the King of Israel now descend from the cross, that we may see and believe. And they that were crucified with him reviled him.”

Here Jesus was, beaten to the point of being almost unrecognizable, privately humiliated and tortured by the soldiers, spit on, his beard ripped out, those who passed by making fun of him, pointing at Him, the priests STILL attempting to demand proof of who He IS, chiding Him to “come down”, and even those with him mocking Him, (which one did repent me and was saved) 

It all just as written in Isaiah 52:14:  “As MANY were astonised at thee:(could not believe His condition) HIS VISAGE (appearance) WAS SO MARRED (disfigured) MORE THAN ANY OTHER MAN, AND HIS FORM MORE THAN THE SONS OF MEN; (beaten far worse than any other); 

His beaten, tortured, bloody body taken and His hands stretched out and driven through by spikes, His feet placed one atop the other again driven completely through, telling you there is to tell about the size of these spikes. How bad does it hurt to just “stump” our toe, or “crack” our ankle or hand pain from just overdoing chores, imagine what He suffered, we can’t imagine it.

Mark 15:33: “And when the sixth hour was come, there was darkness over the WHOLE land until the ninth hour.” 

The entire land overshadowed in complete blackness because the very one who created light, the one who IS light, who created the Sun, the moon, and all the stars, the one who spoke all of earth and existence into creation was now crucified by the very ones that he had created. 

The sins of ALL mankind on Him and the hour of darkness He had spoken of  thought they had won.

And He hung there, He could have destroyed every single thing on this earth, with one WORD, as He IS also THE WORD, He could have started over with a new creation rather than to save those whom had already been created, even those whose time had not yet come to dwell on earth, those who were souls, still with Him as we were created BEFORE the foundations of the earth.

Ecclesiastes 12:11: “The words of the wise are as goads, and as NAILS fastened by the masters of assemblies, WHICH ARE GIVEN FROM ONE SHEPHERD.” 

That ONE Shepherd, The Word and The WORD of the WORD concerning all these things.

John 12:31-33: “NOW is the judgment of this world: NOW shall the prince (ruler) of this world be cast out.  And I, if I be lifted up from the earth (crucified) WILL DRAW ALL MEN UNTO ME.” This he said, signifying what death he should (would) die.” 

We’ll make our way through those three hours with Matthew 27:45-54: “Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour.

And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, MY GOD, MY GOD, WHY HAST THOU FORSAKEN ME?

Some of them that stood by there, when they heard that, said, This man calleth for Elias.

And straightway one of them ran, and took a spunge, and filled it with vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink.

The REST said, Let be, let us see whether Elias will come save him. Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.

And behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain (split in two) from the top to the bottom: and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent (split); 

And the graves were opened: and many of the bodies of the saints that slept (were dead) arose.

And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went out into the holy city, and appeared unto many.

Now when the centurion and they that were with him, watching (guarding) Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things which were done, they FEARED greatly, saying, TRULY, THIS WAS THE SON OF GOD.”

Thankfully we know this was NOT the ending of the story of Christ. We know that on that third day He rose!

He rose in victory everlasting and He rose to give us victory and life eternal and life everlasting in the everlasting arms.

And we also know the darkness that covers this earth now, and great is that darkness and it will only get darker.

Don’t be as those who mocked, waiting for a “sign” and when the earth quaked and rocks shook, they feared, we know that an earthquake is one day coming, a quake so great that earth itself will rock in space and we know that in that great and faithful day Christ will return to this earth and we know that those who are dead will resurrect and those who are alive and REMAIN in HIS WORD will take our heavenly flight. 

And don’t let this Holy Season pass without stopping for a moment and thanking Him and rejoicing in Him for the gift He gave us when He gave Himself!

God Bless you! Blessed Good Friday and I hope that you have a joyous Easter and the renewing grace that Christ gave.

Φλογιζω NBJ 2019