Lessons from God's way of Judges vs man's way of Kings

(Day 4—FOT)

Fred R. Coulter—October 13, 2022

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Greetings, brethren! Welcome to Day 4 of the Feast of Tabernacles!

What and where is the shortest most succinct statement of God and Christ about His plan? The Millennium, as we know is a big part of it!

It's good that we're going through the history and seeing how the people of Israel did not really submit to God. This is why Christ came, and we'll get to that a little later.

Let's read the first person words of Jesus about the whole purpose of God's plan, because it's summarized right here in John 17. This is quite a prayer! This is the Lord's Prayer. The prayer in Matt. 6 is not the Lord's Prayer, that's an outline of how we are to pray to God.

John 17 is the Lord's Prayer, His prayer just before He was arrested, and taken off at midnight to begin the ordeal leading to the crucifixion. When you read these words, it is amazing how John wrote these down. Christ had to give them to him at a later time. John was with Christ along with Peter and James, as well, when Christ prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane. This is His prayer, but I don't think that John was close enough to really hear the whole prayer.

So, God gave it to him so it would be in John's Gospel so we would have it and to give us inspiration and hope. Let's understand why our calling is so good, so great, so marvelous! Yet, living in this world that is so perverted and upside down is a challenge to really maintain our perspective, commitment and everything that is necessary for us to enter into the Kingdom of God. So we can be in the first resurrection and come back with Christ to the earth and reign on the earth and help bring in the great harvest of God!

If there's any one thing that Jesus Christ had, it was that His mind was always on the plan of God and how God was going to bring it about!

John 17:13: "But now I am coming to You; and these things I am speaking while yet in the world, that they may have My joy fulfilled in them."

When is the joy going to come? At the resurrection! Remember Matt. 25 that those who used the talents and gained. What did Jesus say? Well done good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of the Lord! Jesus also told us that He has overcome the world! Yet, we're in the world! He said that in the world that we will have Tribulation! That is, it's going to be difficult!

He also said through Peter that it's difficult to bring the just into the Kingdom of God! Why? Because of all the things going on in the world and in our lives!

Verse 14: "I have given them Your words…"

It's amazing thing, we have all the words of God, the whole Bible! Think down through the history of time from Abraham.

Even though Abraham submitted to God, and obeyed His voice and kept His laws, statutes and commandments, therefore the covenant was passed onto Isaac and He was obedient to God, that was just the very start of the nation of Israel. Now then, God is building His spiritual nation through Jesus Christ! So, this is what Jesus is focused on!

"…and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not pray that You would take them out of the world, but that You would keep them from the evil one" (vs 14-15).

That's why prayer and study is necessary every single day!

Sidebar on study: You read of the seven churches in Rev. 2 & 3 and Satan is there after all seven of them. That's why we need Christ and keep our guard up!

Verse 16: "They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in Your Truth…" (vs 16-17). To make them Holy! That's the whole purpose of:

  • the experiences that we go through
  • the trials that we go through
  • the successes that we enjoy

So that we are sanctified in the Truth of God!

"…Your Word… [Jesus said of the Father] …is the Truth" (v 17).

Always remember that every word that Jesus spoke was what the Father wanted Him to speak!

Verse 18: "Even as You did send Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world…. [here we are over 1900 years later] …And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, so that they also may be sanctified in Your Truth" (vs 18-19).

Every single one of us from the time of Christ down to His return and the time of the resurrection. You can't be made Holy if you don't study the Word of God. You can't be spiritual unless you have the Spirit of God.

This also has to do with a dwelling place for God! God wants to live with His people!

Verse 20: "I do not pray for these only, but also for those who shall believe in Me through their word."

This is why all elders, teachers, ministers, whatever are to teach the Truth of God! That all the brethren—through the Spirit of God, through the Word of God—can be sanctified and be make ready for the resurrection!

Here's what Jesus prayed, and this will happen, but we have to yield to God:

Verse 21: "That they all may be one, even as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us…"

Remember where we started? The Family in heaven and in earth!

"…in order that the world may believe that You did send Me" (v 21).

The only voice that's going to be out there really preaching the way that it should be, and it should be from the Churches of God. We ought to have the Spirit of God and Truth to explain to the world what is happening!

Right now the world is in the grips of Satan the devil and it's much harder for everything, for us to do what we need to do. But we need to remain faithful!

Verse 22: "And I have given them the glory that You gave to Me… [that is receiving the Holy Spirit; that's what's important:

  • having the Spirit of God
  • sanctified by the Word of God
  • made Holy through the Truth
  • prepared for the resurrection

So that we can rule and reign with Christ! That's what the whole Feast of Tabernacles is about! How is God going to do this?

"…in order that they may be one, in the same way that We are one" (v 22).

  • in love
  • in Truth
  • in joy
  • in happiness
  • in understanding
  • in every great and good desire in life

In this life will be magnified when we're resurrectedto such a degree that it will be as Jesus said, 'Enter into the joy of the Lord!

Notice that everything circles around this, everything in the Bible right here:

Verse 23: "I in them…"

Paul wrote that if you do not have the Spirit of Christ you are none of His!

"…and You in Me… [we have to have the Spirit of the Father] …that they may be perfected… [perfection is a process] …into one; and that the world may know that You did send Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me" (v 23).

That's quite a statement! How has God loved us? Christ volunteered to come and lay down His life in the sacrifice that He gave so that we might live! Think about that!

Now let's look at a warning for us in 1-Cor. 10. then we will go back and survey some more of the Old Testament and see that with them it was always when there was never a judge that is righteous, or a king that was righteous, all the children of Israel would go astray. Paul knew that we would go through all of these things, so he says:

1-Corinthians 10:1: "Now, I do not wish you to be ignorant of this, brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea. And all were baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea. And they all ate the same spiritual meat. And they all drank of the same spiritual drink… [the Word of God and the Truth of God] …for they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them. And that Rock was Christ. But with many of them God was not pleased… [we've seen that] …for their dead bodies were strewn in the wilderness. Now these things became examples for us… [that's why we need to study them and learn the examples and see] …so that we might not lust after evil things, as they also lusted" (vs 1-6).

Verse 7: "Neither be idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, 'The people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play.'"

As soon as it looked like God wasn't around, in kicked Satan the devil and carnality, and look what happened.

Verse 8: "Neither should we commit sexual immorality, as some of them committed, and twenty-three thousand were destroyed in one day."

You would think they would have learned the lesson from that!

Verse 9: "Neither should we tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted Him, and were killed by serpents."

  • How do you tempt Christ? By doing pagan, satanic things in the name of God!
  • Where does that leave the world?

You figure it out!

Verse 10: "Neither should we complain against God, as some of them also complained, and were killed by the destroyer. Now all these things happened to them as examples… [that's why we have the Old Testament, so we can

  • learn from it
  • see the examples
  • know what the commandments of God are

Then in the New Testament we can apply them spiritually!

"…and were written for our admonition, on whom the ends of the ages are coming" (v 11).

This is why we're going through during the Feast of Tabernacles!

Verse 12: "Therefore, let the one who thinks he stands take heed, lest he fall. No temptation has come upon you except what is common to mankind. For God, Who is faithful, will not permit you to be tempted beyond what you are able to bear; but with the temptation, He will make a way of escape, so that you may be able to bear it" (vs 12-13). That's why prayer and study is important!

Let's come back and see some things concerning what we just read. God wanted a dwelling place!

God brought the Israelites to Mt. Sinai and He knew what He was going to do at Mt. Sinai, giving His Law. He spoke the Ten Commandments and then He began to give all of the instructions to Moses on how to make the tabernacle and everything in it. What He did, like He always does, He tells the purpose as to why He wanted it done. We will see what God Himself said.

Exo. 25:8 is the one verse tells everything we need to know as to why God did what He did.

  • Did the people really believe Him?
  • Did they trust in Him? No!

Even after God took them out of Egypt; took them away from everything that we would call the known world to them, and He brought them to Him at Mt. Sinai. He spoke the Ten Commandments to them, and gave His laws, statutes (Exo. 21-24) and sanctified them and sealed the covenant with them for what purpose?

Exodus 25:8: "And let them make Me a sanctuary so that I may dwell among them."

Today, we have it: dwell in us! So, the dwelling place was where the tabernacle was. So, the tabernacle was finished and everything completed. Then we come to Exo. 40.

Moses got everything ready, he had it all set up and everything all ready to go. God showed all of Israel, because they were all gathered around to see what the tabernacle was going to be like.

Exodus 40:33: "And he set up the court all around the tabernacle and the altar, and set up the screen of the court gate. And Moses finished the work."

Now notice what happened, and we will see this happen again when the temple was made:

Verse 34: "And the cloud covered the tabernacle of the congregation, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle."

God put His presence called the 'shekinah' in the Holy of Holies, right there in the tabernacle that they had just made and just dedicated!

All of Israel saw it! What a wonderful thing! For a while they followed God, but they started moving away from there, when things had all been taken care of in bringing all the offerings and everything (Num. 1-8). Leviticus describes making it. Then in the book of Numbers is the dedication of it. Every tribe had their leader of the tribe come with a special offering and that was given to the Levites, who would use those things for the offerings, incense, and everything for the operation of the tabernacle.

This is an important thing concerning the Passover, because we know that the Passover is the important thing that we do in our relationship with God year-by-year. Also, it's the first thing to start off the sequence of the Holy Days. So it was with the children of Israel. They had the tabernacle set up, the Levites were all ready to go, everything was there.

Numbers 9:1: "And the LORD spoke to Moses in the wilderness of Sinai, in the first month of the second year after they had come out of the land of Egypt, saying, 'Let the children of Israel also keep the Passover at its appointed time'" (vs 1-2).

That's the same phrase that is used in Lev. 23 concerning the Sabbath, the Passover and all the Holy Days. Appointed by God on His calendar!

Verse 3: "'In the fourteenth day of this month, between the two evenings, you shall keep it in its appointed time. You shall keep it according to all its statutes, and according to all the ceremonies of it.' And Moses spoke to the children of Israel to keep the Passover" (vs 3-4). So they did!

Then as you read in the book of Numbers, in traveling they rebelled against God ten times!When it came time for them to go into the 'promised land' God was going to bring them in during the Feast of Tabernacles!

Num. 14—God told Moses to send scouts into the 'promised land' to check it out. They brought back evidence of how fantastic it was! The grapes were so large that they had one bundle of grapes hanging down on a pole carried by two men on their shoulders.

Ten of the spies said that 'the people were tall and the cities are fenced, we just don't know how we're going to do it.' Joshua and Caleb said, 'No! God will fight for us!'

But they refused to listen! So, God said to them, 'You're not going to go in! You're going to be 40 years wandering in the wilderness until everyone over 20 is dead! A lesson for all of us from this:

  • you must do what God says
  • you must believe what God says

They came into the land and conquered it beginning with Jericho! They finally had it all conquered and Joshua setup the tabernacle at Shiloh. After everything was settled and they were in their land, the people followed Joshua and the elders.

This is why we have to understand that the generation that follows must be taught what they need to do so they won't fall into the same trap! They weren't satisfied with it. The Israelites didn't put out all of the people of the lands that they should have. Let's also understand the importance of the one who is teaching them. Joshua was the first judge.

Judges 2:7: "And the people served the LORD all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders that outlived Joshua, who had seen all the great works of the LORD that He did for Israel. And Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the LORD, died, being a hundred and ten years old. And they buried him on the border of his inheritance… [and so forth] …And also all that generation was gathered to their fathers…." (vs 7-10).

Right now here in the Churches of God we are in a generational change. You have on the one hand a lot of us who have been in the Church for decades!

  • we know the things of God
  • we know the Laws of God
  • we've kept the Sabbath
  • we've kept the Passover
  • we've kept the Holy Days

Along comes a new generation! Look what happened when Herbert Armstrong died! Same thing that happened here; the leaders and the people went after Baal, the sun-god! Same thing!

That's why it's important for us to go through this and understand. For the new generation that is coming, we have got to leave them all the Truth, everything written down and published and ready to go!

We need the elders that transist over to the new generation to have the knowledge, understanding and Truth so they can teach them, so that they don't fall into the trap that the children of Israel fell into!

Verse 10: "And also all that generation was gathered to their fathers. And there arose another generation after them who did not know the LORD, nor even the works which He had done for Israel. And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD, and served Baalim. And they forsook the LORD God of their fathers, Who brought them out of the land of Egypt. And they followed other gods, even the gods of the people who were around them, and bowed themselves to them, and provoked the LORD to anger" (vs 10-12).

Did that happen with the Church of God? Yes, it did! So, it's important that we know! That's why we have to:

  • know the Word of God
  • believe the Word of God
  • live by the Word of God
  • teach the Word of God
  • be faithful and remain yielded to God

We pray that the generation that follows us will be strong enough for the task!

Verse 13: "And they forsook the LORD and served Baal and Ashtaroth. And the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel, and He delivered them into the hand of spoilers who spoiled them. And He sold them into the hand of their enemies all around, so that they could not any longer stand before their enemies. Wherever they went out, the hand of the LORD was against them for evil, as the LORD had said, and as the LORD had sworn to them. And they were greatly distressed. Nevertheless… [because God wants to continue on with His plan] …the LORD raised up judges…" (vs 13-16).

  • the judges that followed God, the people again followed God
  • the judges that did not follow God, then the people were evil

This came all the way down to the time of Samuel!

Samuel was much like Moses, because he was the son of priest, dedicated to God when he was a young child, and he served Eli the priest.

But Eli—the old priest—did not keep his sons from corrupting things right at the tabernacle in Shiloh. God raised up Samuel and then at the proper time told Samuel what He was going to do, because of the sins of Eli's sons. Eli the priest knew it was from God.

Eli's two sons—Hophni and Phinehas—were desecrating the sacrifices to God. It came time to fight against the Philistines! They went out to fight and they were defeated. So, they said, 'Let's go back and get the Ark of God and God will fight for us.'

We learn a lesson from this, because what happened? Remember the prophecy was against Eli, that he and his two sons would all die on the same day. That was fulfilled when the sons of Eli took the Ark of the Covenant and went out to fight a battle to win for them when they had not repented! When they had not stopped doing their evil!

What did God do, and this is a lesson for all of us! We've seen it in our age, as well. What happened? God caused the Philistines to win and to take the Ark captive and they killed the two sons of Eli—Hophni and Phinehas—when the message came back and it was told to Eli that they died and the Philistines took the Ark of the Covenant, he fell backward and died, fulfilling the prophecy that they would die in one day.

God then let the Philistines virtually destroy the tabernacle and, of course, Samuel escaped and continued to lead the people of God the best that he could. We're going to learn some lessons here, because this is good.

Finally, after what happened with the Ark of the Covenant, it's very interesting. Samson[transcriber's correction] was there and he was held as prisoner because he told the woman that the strength was in his hair so it was cutoff and was held captive in the temple. All the people gathered there because the Ark was there. Then Samson prayed to God for the strength to cause him to be able to move the two large pillars of the temple of Dagon and destroy everyone in there.

Then the Ark was taken after that and ended up in Kirjath Jearim where there was a Levite who took care of it until later when David brought the Ark back to his own house.

How did Israel get a king instead of a Judge? This is important. Israel never, never, never learned the lesson! It's hard for people to learn the lesson: the people who follow the leader instead of God never succeeds! That's what happened.

1-Samuel 8:1: "And it came to pass when Samuel was old, he made his sons judges over Israel. And the name of his firstborn was Joel, and the name of his second was Abiah, judges in Beersheba. Yet, his sons…" (vs 1-3).

How often has this happened? The next generation! That's why all of us in the eldership are trepidatious about what's going to happen. When there is a change of generation, and where there is a time that I will no longer be here, then:

  • What is going to happen?
  • Will the brethren and the people continue to follow God?
  • Will the next generation degenerate?

We don't know, because it hasn't happened, yet! But here's an example:

Verse 3: "Yet, his sons did not walk in his ways, but turned aside after dishonest gain and took bribes and perverted judgment."

They didn't learn the lessons of the sons of Eli—Hophni and Phinehas—that they were killed because of what they did in taking the Ark out expecting to God to win the battle for them, even though they never repented.

Verse 4: "And all the elders of Israel gathered themselves and came to Samuel to Ramah. And they said to him, 'Behold, you are old, and your sons do not walk in your ways. Now make us a king to judge us like all the nations'" (vs 4-5).

What happens when you get the wrong leadership? Or a different kind of leadership? The same thing, as long as the king followed God the people would follow God for the most part!

Verse 6: "But the thing was evil in the eyes of Samuel when they said, 'Give us a king to judge us.' And Samuel prayed to the LORD."

Here's another lesson that we can learn: be careful what you ask for, because if it's not right, you're going to be in trouble, because the Lord will give it to you!

Verse 7: "And the LORD said to Samuel, 'Hearken to the voice of the people in all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me, that I should not reign over them."

Think about that for a minute, it's a good lesson! All the elders, all the brethren, all of us together needed to stay close to God and do what is right, not be looking for something different in the hopes that God will make it right. We will see that God did not make it right for very long.

What happens when the leader sins? Look what happened in our day! Quite a thing to understand.

  • Do we want God to reign over us?
  • Do we want to submit to God ourselves?

So during this time of the Feast of Tabernacles we're going to see that we will also have, to a small degree, some of the same problem with the people that we are going to serve and rule over from the point of view that free moral agency everyone is going to have. That doesn't mean that they're going to use it in the right way, as we will see later.

  • Then what do we do?
  • How do we handle it?
  • How do the people learn?

Let's see what else God told Samuel:

Verse 8: "According to all the works which they have done since the day that I brought them up out of Egypt even until this day—works with which they have forsaken Me and served other gods—so they do also to you…. [quite a lesson] …And now hearken to their voice. Only, you shall surely protest solemnly to them, and show them the kind of king who shall reign over them" (vs 9-10).

So, Samuel did, and now God chose Saul who was tall, head and shoulders above all, and he was made king. Notice what God said in 1-Sam. 10. Let's see about Saul and then we will learn of the fall of Saul and then we'll take a quick look at David and Solomon. What we see is the pattern of obedience and love, then apostasy; obedience and love, then sin and apostasy!

Even David himself—a man after God's own heart—sinned grievously with Bathsheba! Here's another lesson for all of us to learn today. You can never bring righteousness with sin. Or look at it the other way around: you can never make sin righteous! You must have to repent of sin and get rid of it.

(break@47:15)

KING SAUL:

Let's look at Saul the first king of Israel! Wouldn't it be nice if he would have succeeded? Here is another lesson: because God has chosen us, which He has; He's chosen us out of this world and has given us His Holy Spirit. That's true and right, and uses us to do whatever He wants us to do. But we can never get complacent and start going against God thinking we're doing the will of God. We see that repeated over and over.

Let's see what Samuel probably added to the Word of God concerning a king. God wanted it to be a system of judges. But this had to be put in there because there would be a succession of kings. We know that Samuel had to have put this in there, even though it sounds like it was in there prior to that, because those elders who came to Samuel to ask for a king did not say that this Scriptures show what we were to do when we got a king. So, it's very evident that Samuel wrote it.

Deuteronomy 17:14: "When you come to the land, which the LORD your God gives you, and shall possess it and shall live in it and shall say, 'I will set a king over me, like all the nations that are around me.'"

God wanted His nation to be different! To be righteous, so that the rest of the world could see that, and would want to emulate it. Remember, the whole purpose of Israel (Exo. 19) was that all of Israel to the world would be like a kingdom of priests to show them God's way.

See how much God gives into our hands that we make the choices of whether it's going to be according to the will of God and His blessing. Or that we not do it the way that God says, thinking we're doing good! That's precisely what happened with the king.

Verse 15: "You shall surely set a king over you whom the LORD your God shall choose. You shall set a king over you from among your brethren. You may not set a stranger over you who is not your brother. Only he shall not multiply horses… [we're going to see a little later what happened with that] … to himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt…" (vs 15-16).

That doesn't mean go live in Egypt, that means to return to the practices of Egyptian religion.

"…so as to multiply horses because the LORD has said to you, 'You shall not return that way again.' Nor shall he multiply wives to himself… [remember that] …so that his heart does not turn away. Nor shall he greatly multiply silver and gold to himself. And it shall be, when he sits on the throne of his kingdom, he shall write for himself a copy of this law in a book from that which is in the custody of the priests the Levites. And it shall be…" (vs 16-18)

Here is a lesson for us as to why we need to study the Word of God. God did not want some great royal family that's untouchable! Here is direct instruction to the future king:

Verse 18: "And it shall be, when he sits on the throne of his kingdom, he shall write for himself a copy of this Law in a book from that which is in the custody of the priests the Levites"—write down the Word of God!

How many hundreds and maybe even thousands of times have you heard prayer and study! Prayer and study! Why do we need that? Because we're going to be kings and priests (Rev. 20).

How are we going to enter into the Kingdom and start ruling if we haven't shown to God that we love Him, keep His commandments and do everything according to His Word. Same thing here with the king!

Verse 19: "And it shall be with him, and he shall read it all the days of his life…"

  • For what reason?
  • Why do we study and restudy? Study and restudy? Study and restudy?
  • Why are we at this Feast of Tabernacles going through the sequence of everything that happened with Israel and their judges and kings?

Because we're going to be kings and priests, as we just noted, ruling under Christ! So, we need to learn! Here's why:

"…so that he may learn…" (v 19). Remember where we started?

John 6:45: "It is written in the prophets, 'And they shall all be taught by God.'…." 

How are we taught by God? Though His Word! As it was back then and as it is today!

Deuteronomy 17:19: "…so that he may learn to fear the LORD his God, to keep all the words of this Law and these statutes, to do them."

That's why it's important! Here's another lesson, indeed, that follows in the next verse, which is what we need to keep in mind.

Note our booklet: Is the Ministry the Government of God? Here's what happened in the Church of God at Pasadena and every place else. They didn't do what the instructions were here and they didn't follow it, so they ended up with a hierarchy where that if anyone spoke against the ministers that was evil.

Well, what if you were seeing something that the minister was doing that wasn't right, and it needed to be corrected?

Verse 20: "So that his heart may not be lifted up above his brethren… [What happens then?] …and that he does not turn aside from the commandment, to the right or the left, to the end that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he and his children, in the midst of Israel."

Quite a lesson, isn't it? Yes! Here we have the dedication of Saul by Samuel. Let's look at this.

1-Samuel 10:18: "And he said… [to all the people gathered for the coronation] …to the children of Israel, 'Thus says the LORD God of Israel, "I brought up Israel out of Egypt, and delivered you out of the hand of the Egyptians, and out of the hand of all kingdoms of those who oppressed you. And you have this day rejected your God Who Himself saved you out of all your calamities and your tribulations…."'" (vs 18-19).

There's another lesson for us, too. What happens when we don't have faith for God? Remember what we have said in our prayer outline: Your will be done! What if it's God's will that we have a trial and then we get angry because we think we ought to have a blessing. Maybe God wants you to have a trial before He will bless you! He wants to see what you're going to do in the trial!

Verse 19: "And you have this day rejected your God Who Himself saved you out of all your calamities and your tribulations. And you have said to Him, 'But set a king over us.' And now present yourselves before the LORD by your tribes and by your thousands.'"

Verse 20: "And when Samuel had caused all the tribes of Israel to come near, the tribe of Benjamin was taken. When he had caused the tribe of Benjamin to come near by their families, the family of Matri was taken, and Saul the son of Kish was taken. And they looked for him, but he could not be found" (vs 20-21). They finally found him because he was hiding someplace.

Verse 24: "And Samuel said to all the people…"

Here he is in front of all the people, tallest man around, probably very good looking. We will see that Saul really had an opportunity to do well, but we'll see what happened.

"…'Do you see him whom the LORD has chosen, that there is none like him among all the people?' And all the people shouted, and said, 'Long live the king!' Then Samuel told the people the manner of the kingdom, and wrote it in a book and laid it up before the LORD. And Samuel sent all the people away, each to his house" (vs 24-25).

Let's see the fall of Saul, and another good lesson for us! We also get a good lesson from God concerning how He's going to solve a problem that maybe we have lived through, or maybe we have experienced. Sometimes God waits a long time before He brings it about. He also gives the enemy a chance to change their ways, and not have God's judgment come upon them. You find in Jer. 18 how God judges all nations, which means the king. You can see what happened in the book of Daniel with King Nebuchadnezzar.

1-Samuel 15:1: "And Samuel said to Saul, 'The LORD sent me to anoint you to be king over His people, over Israel. And now listen to the voice of the words of the LORD.'" Listen to them carefully and rightly!

Verse 2: "Thus says the LORD of hosts, 'I will punish Amalek for that which he did to Israel, how he set against him in the way when he came up from Egypt.'" About 400 years!

Verse 3: "Now, go and strike Amalek, and completely destroy all that they have, and do not spare them. But kill both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and donkey." Everything!

Verse 4: "And Saul gathered the people together and numbered them in Telaim, two hundred thousand footmen and ten thousand men of Judah. And Saul came to a city of Amalek and lay in wait in the valley. And Saul said to the Kenites, 'Go! Depart!'…." (vs 4-6). This is not your battle, get away!

Let's see what Saul did, thinking he was doing the will of God, but he modified it with his own thoughts. That's an interesting thing, too.

Verse 7: "And Saul struck the Amalekites from Havilah, as you come to Shur, which is over across from Egypt. And he took Agag the king of the Amalekites alive. And he completely destroyed all the people with the edge of the sword. But Saul and the people spared Agag and the best of the sheep and of the oxen and of the fatlings and the lambs, and all that was good, and would not completely destroy them. But everything that was vile and feeble they completely destroyed" (vs 7-8).

Verse 10: "And the Word of the LORD came to Samuel saying, 'It repents Me that I have set up Saul to be king, for he has turned back from following Me and has not performed My commandments.'…." (vs 10-11).

Think about that, brethren, think of that in relationship to where we are today, and how the Church can go forward serving God in a way that it ought to, by yielding to God and being faithful in every Word of God!

"…And it grieved Samuel, and he cried out to the LORD all night" (v 11).

Verse 13: "And Samuel came to Saul. And Saul said to him, 'You are blessed of the LORD. I have performed the commandment of the LORD.' And Samuel said, 'What then is this bleating of the flock in my ears? And what is the sound of the herd which I hear?' And Saul said, 'They….'" (vs 13-15)

  • Who was responsible?
  • Saul as king and the word of Samuel to Saul to do what he should do? Yes!

"…'They…'"—always blame someone else!

Sounds like what we see politically today, everything around us. All the evil people being in charge when they're caught doing things then they point to those who are innocent and accuse them!

The people did do it, but the blame laid with Saul, not with the people, because if he would have told them to destroy all the animals, and he would destroy Agag the king himself. But he didn't do it!

Verse 15: "And Saul said, 'They have brought them from the Amalekites, for the people spared the best of the sheep and of the oxen to sacrifice to the LORD your God….'"

Notice that he didn't say the Lord our God! Can you do something evil and bring it to God and expect it to be accepted in righteousness by God? Never happen!

"'…And the rest we have completely destroyed.' And Samuel said to Saul, 'Stay and I will tell you what the LORD has said to me tonight.' And he said to him, 'Speak on'" (vs 15-16).

See why, brethren, that we have the Old Testament and why Paul wrote in 1-Cor 10 that these are examples for us.

Saul was well-intended, but he knew the commandment of God. You can't go against the commandment of God because you're well-intentioned; it's still sin! You can't make God accept that. That's why we are to do the Word of the Lord!

Verse 17: "And Samuel said, 'When you were little in your own sight, did you not become the head of the tribes of Israel? And the LORD anointed you king over Israel. And the LORD sent you on the way and said, "Go and completely destroy the sinners, the Amalekites, and fight against them until you destroy them." Why then did you not obey the voice of the LORD?…. [here we are to those three words: obey My voice!] …Why did you fly upon the spoil and do evil in the sight of the LORD?'" (vs 17-19).

Verse 20: "And Saul said to Samuel, 'Yes, I have obeyed the voice of the LORD, and have gone the way which the LORD sent me, and have brought Agag the king of Amalek, and have completely destroyed the Amalekites. But the people took from the spoil, of the flock and herd, the best of the things devoted to destruction, to sacrifice to the LORD your God in Gilgal.'" (vs 20-21). Well-intentioned!

Just think how the people felt when Saul said not to kill them, 'let's take them for a sacrifice to God.' They're taking all these nice things to God for a sacrifice. They think they're doing right and good, but they weren't!

Verse 22: "And Samuel said, 'Does the LORD have as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obeying the voice of the LORD?….'"

Where did we begin this message today? John 17 the words of Christ!

"'…Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice! To hearken… [listen and do] …is better than the fat of rams, for rebellion…'" (vs 22-23).

We need to understand that, because rebellion can come along with something that looks oh so good! But it's rebellion! That's why it has to be the words of God!

  • not our thoughts, but God's thoughts
  • not our way, but God's way

Verse 23:"For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry…. [notice what Samuel said to Saul]: …Because you have rejected the Word of the LORD, He has also rejected you from being king!"

It did not happen instantly! So, another lesson to learn: if the correction of God does not come instantly, don't think everything is well, because it's coming later in God's time! Probably in a way that we wouldn't expect! "…Because you have rejected the Word of the LORD, He has also rejected you from being king!"

Apply that to us entering into the Kingdom of God! Great lessons!

Verse 24: "And Saul said to Samuel, 'I have sinned, for I have disobeyed the commandment of the LORD and your word because I feared the people and obeyed their voice. And now please pardon my sin and turn again with me so that I may worship the LORD.' And Samuel said to Saul, 'I will not return with you, for you have rejected the Word of the LORD, and the LORD has rejected you from being king over Israel.' And as Samuel turned around to go, Saul laid hold upon the skirt of his robe, and it tore. And Samuel said to him, 'The LORD has torn the kingdom of Israel from you this day, and has given it to a neighbor of yours who is better than you'" (vs 24-28). Amazing! Isn't that something?

KING DAVID

What happened? God chose David! (1-Sam. 16). Then David became an assistant to Saul. There was hatred of Saul toward David, because he could see that David was the one who was going to take his throne. So, there was battle between Saul and David over a prolonged period of time.

Saul dies in battle and his son dies in battle, and David becomes king. Didn't happen all at once. It was over Jerusalem first, and then the leaders of the ten tribes came to Jerusalem and talked to David.

2-Samuel 5:1: "And all the tribes of Israel came to David, to Hebron, and spoke, saying, 'Behold, we are your bone and your flesh. Also in time past, when Saul was king over us, you were he who led Israel out and brought them in. And the LORD said to you, "You shall feed My people Israel, and you shall be a shepherd over Israel."' And all the elders of Israel came to the king at Hebron. And King David made a covenant with them in Hebron before the LORD. And they anointed David king over Israel" (vs 1-3)—all 12 tribes!

David fought good wars, a lot of good battles; he was faithful, served God and then we find the account where David was thinking about building a house or temple for God.

2-Samuel 7:1: "And it came to pass when the king dwelt in his house, and when the LORD had given him rest round about from all his enemies, the king said to Nathan the prophet, 'See now, I dwell in a house of cedar, but the Ark of God dwells within curtains'" (vs 1-2).

He had the Ark of God in a special place in his house that was in a tent like curtains. Asaph was the high priest and the other Levites with him.

Verse 3: "Then Nathan said to the king, 'Go, do all that is in your heart, for the LORD is with you.'" That's quite a statement, isn't it?

Think about that for a minute and think about what David did. After getting this tremendous blessing to go ahead and build a house for God, but not him personally, but a son that would come out of his own loins.

Verse 4: "And it came to pass that night the Word of the LORD came to Nathan saying, 'Go and tell My servant David, "Thus says the LORD, 'Shall you build Me a house for My dwelling? For I have not dwelt in a house since the day that I brought up the children out of Egypt until this day, but have walked in a tent, and in a tabernacle. In all places in which I have walked with all the children of Israel…'"'" (vs 4-7).

God dwelling with them! What he did was put the 'Shekinah' in the Holy of Holies!

"…did I speak a word with any of the tribes of Israel, those whom I commanded to feed My people Israel, saying, 'Why do you not build Me a house of cedars?'" (v 7). No He didn't!

Here God blessed David and said, 'I'm going to do it, even though I haven't done it before up to this point.' What a thing that is!

Verse 8: "Now, therefore, thus shall you say to My servant David, 'Thus says the LORD of hosts: "I took you from the sheepcote, from following the sheep, to be prince over My people, over Israel. And I was with you wherever you went and have cut off all your enemies out of your sight, and have made you a great name like the name of the great ones in the earth. Moreover, I will appoint a place for My people Israel, and will plant them so that they may dwell in a place of their own, and move no more…."'" (vs 8-10).

That's a prophecy of sending him to what we now know as Europe and the UK. Long way down the road!

"…Neither shall the sons of wickedness afflict them any more, as before" (v 10). That blends into the Millennium!

Verse 11: "And even from the time that I commanded judges to be over My people of Israel, so will I cause you to rest from all your enemies. Also, the LORD tells you that He will make you a house. And when your days are fulfilled, and you shall sleep with your fathers, I will set up your seed after you who shall come forth from your loins. And I will make his kingdom sure. He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be to him for a father, and he shall be to Me for a son. If he commits iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the sons of men. But My mercy shall not leave him, as I took it from Saul whom I put away before you. And your house and your kingdom shall be made sure forever before you. Your throne shall be established forever" (vs 11-16).

That's another whole story, but it is true, it did happen!

Verse 17: "According to all these words, and according to all this vision, so Nathan spoke to David. Then King David went in and sat before the LORD. And he said, 'Who am I, O Lord GOD? And what is my house, that You have brought me here? And this was yet a small thing in Your sight, O Lord GOD. But You have spoken also of Your servant's house for a great while to come. And is this the manner of men, O Lord GOD? And what can David say more to You? For You, O Lord GOD, know Your servant. For Your word's sake, and according to Your own heart, You have done all these great things to make Your servant know'" (vs 17-21). Then David blessed God!

You would think with that, and that great promise that was given to David, that he would make sure that he followed God, that he was righteous, that, as God said, he would get rid of all the enemies and so forth.

But what did he do after this? The affair with Bathsheba and the killing of her husband Uriah the Hittite in the battle against the enemy!

The punishment of that was, that his own household would be against him the rest of his life. So, there was rebellion among his own sons as to who would take over the throne. That was a terrible time for David. He was castigated by everybody in the kingdom, because they knew that he had sinned against God in his adulterous affair with Bathsheba!

They knew, and Joab the general, he knew all the problems within the royal family. But even in spite of this, God kept His word! He did let David's son Solomon become king and build the temple.

We will end here, and pick it up tomorrow! There are more lessons for us to learn! What's going to happen in the Millennium when everything is peaceful and fine, and everything is grand and glorious for 500 years?

  • What are the people going to do?
  • How are we going to respond?
  • How are we going to rule and judge?

All of those are questions that we need to answer and look for in the Word of God. But the whole sum of all of this is in order for us to be in the Kingdom of God, and in order for us to build the Kingdom during the Millennium, the Kingdom of God under Christ!

We have got to learn the lessons of love, truth and humility, and serving God and living by every Word of God. Just look at how much the Protestants miss by saying you don't have to follow anything in the Old Testament!

Look at how this helps us in preparing for the coming Kingdom of God. That we are going to overcome human nature the way that God wants us to, so when we are resurrected and changed from flesh to spirit, that will be a grand and glorious, glorious thing!

Scriptural References:

  • John 17:13-23
  • 1 Corinthians 12:1-13
  • Exodus 25:8
  • Exodus 40:33-34
  • Numbers 9:1-4
  • Judges 2:7-16
  • 1 Samuel 8:1-10
  • Deuteronomy 17:14-19
  • John 6:45
  • Deuteronomy 17:19-20
  • 1 Samuel 10:18-21, 24-25
  • 1 Samuel 15:1-11, 13, 15-28
  • 2 Samuel 5:1-3
  • 2 Samuel 7:1-21

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  •  Matthew 6; 25
  • Revelation 2; 3
  • Exodus 21-24
  • Numbers 1-8
  • Leviticus 23
  • Numbers 14
  • 1 Samuel 10
  • Exodus 19
  • Revelation 20
  • Jeremiah 18
  • 1 Corinthians 10
  • 1 Samuel 16

Also referenced: Booklet:
Is the Ministry the Government of God? by Fred R. Coulter

FRC:bo
Transcribed: 8/5/22

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