Ben-hadad’s escape-An encouragement for sinners

So they came to the king of Israel, and said, thy servant Ben-hadad saith, I pray thee, let me live. And he said, is he yet alive? he is my brother ¦ Then he said, go ye, bring him.  1 Kings 20:32-33

Suggested Further Reading: Luke 18:9-17

How does your child come to you when he wants anything? Does he open a big book, and begin reading, “My dear, esteemed, and venerated parent, in the effulgence of thy parental beneficence? Nothing of the kind. He says,˜Father, my clothes are worn out, please buy me a new coat; or else he says, ˜I am hungry, let me have something to eat. That is the way to pray, and there is no prayer which God accepts but that kind of prayer right straight from the heart, and right straight to God’s heart. We miss the mark when we go about to gather gaudy words. What! gaudy words on the lips of a poor sinner? Fine phrases from a rebel? There is more true eloquence in God be merciful to me a sinner, than in all the books of devotion which bishops, and archbishops, and divines ever compiled. ˜Thy servant Ben-hadad saith, I pray thee, let me live. I feel inclined to stop and ask you to bow your heads, and pray that prayer ” ˜O God, thy servant saith, I pray thee, let me live. O cut me not down as a cumberer of the ground, but let me live; I am dead in trespasses and sins; quicken me, O Lord, and let me live; and when thou comest to slay the wicked on the earth, I pray thee, let me live; and when thou shalt destroy the ungodly, and sweep them with the broom of destruction into the pit that is bottomless, I pray thee, let me live.  You see there is not a word of merit; there is nothing about what man has done; Ben-hadad only calls himself a servant. ˜Make me as one of thy hired servants.˜Thy servant Ben-hadad saith, I pray thee, let me live.

For meditation: There are three kinds of prayers which cut no ice with God  publicity-seeking prayers (Matthew 6:5), padded-out prayers (Matthew 6:7) and pretended prayers (Mark 12:40). Jesus taught His followers to pray privately and pointedly (Matthew 6:6,9-13). Have you truly prayed for your sins to be forgiven (Luke 11:4)?

Sermon no. 535 11 October (1863)

All rights belont to the collections of Charles Spurgeon(C)





Yes, and I ask you, my true companion, help these women since they have contended at my side in the cause of the gospel, along with Clement and the rest of my co-workers, whose names are in the book of life.

We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.   2 Corinthians 4: 8-11

“If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you…. If they persecuted Me they will persecute you… for they do not know the One who sent Me.”   John 15:19-21

For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
—2 Corinthians 12:10

 “Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11″Blessed are you when men cast insults at you, and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely, on account of Me. 12″Rejoice, and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.   Matthew 5:10-12

 “But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you.  Matthew 5:44

Dear Lord:  Grant us your strength and boldness to live according to Ephesians 6:

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise— “so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.”

Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.

Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ.Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart. Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people, because you know that the Lord will reward each one for whatever good they do, whether they are slave or free.

And masters, treat your slaves in the same way. Do not threaten them, since you know that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no favoritism with him.

The Armor of God

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. 19 Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.  AMEN





We see the Scripture that even Jesus himself did not rebuke satan  (Mt.4:1-11)a. It may be fashionable to learn all the ways one can rebuke him through spiritual warfare seminars but the Bible says nothing about this. Jesus answered the devil‘s temptations by quoting Scripture correctly against the devil’s out of context quotations to him.

It is not necessary for us to rebuke satan for a number of reasons. First satan is a specific fallen angel he cannot be in all places at once , not even two places at once.  He is not the one who personally causes every person’s temptations or trouble or sicknesses, many times it is our own flesh. Satan does have a kingdom and many other fallen spirits serve alongside him to deceive and tempt man, they are called demons. They harass believers, yet we are told greater is he who is in us than he who in the world.

We cannot rebuke satan anymore than we can bind satan. If satan is being “bound” by people saying words out loud, their “binding” certainly does not last very long. God has given us His way to withstand the evil from His Word, it is called the Armor of God (Eph.6) .  It is by resisting the devil we do this by having the full armor of God, which is knowing the Scripture (Eph.6) it is all about Christ.  James 4:7 tells us to submit to God, resist in the  Holy Spirit and the devil will flee. Whatever we might be disobedient in, we are to correct ourselves, this is submitting to God, resist any temptations, and the enemy will no longer have a foothold in our lives, no chink in our armor.

 2 Cor.10:3-5 tells us that we do not fight with human weapons, plans or methods: 3 For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. 4 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. Prayer and the Word is our weapon when used correctly to what opposes the truth of Christ and the Word. False ideologies and philosophies take people captive and do the same to us. In other words untruth, false patterns of  thinking, vain imaginations that capture people.

We resist and the Lord promises us that the devil will flee. Why? Because he sees he cannot penetrate our protection, even our greatest weakness cannot be used against us if we submit to God.  The shed blood of Christ Jesus is our covering: pure, perfect sacrifice, sinless, love to the point of  death on a cross.  Amen


I will never forget your precepts, for by them you have preserved my life.

 Psalm 119:93 

 But the word of the Lord was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken.

ISAIAH 28:13

JOHN 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

JOHN 1:1
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

James 4:7

7 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.




  1. Matthew 4:1 The Greek for tempted can also mean tested.
  2. Matthew 4:4 Deut. 8:3
  3. Matthew 4:6 Psalm 91:11,12
  4. Matthew 4:7 Deut. 6:16
  5. Matthew 4:10 Deut. 6:13


Acts 17:11

New International Version (NIV)

11 Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.




University Church of the Blessed Name of Jesus

University Church of the Blessed Name of Jesus (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”

 Matthew 4:4 NIV


Revelation 1:3 Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of 

Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those
who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is 
// – 19k

Revelation 22:14 “Blessed are those who wash their robes, that 

Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to
the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city. 
// – 19k

Matthew 5:6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for 

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. 
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for God’s approval. 
// – 17k

Matthew 5:10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of 

Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 
// – 18k

Psalm 119:1 Blessed are those whose ways are blameless, who walk 

Blessed are those whose ways are blameless, who
walk according to the law of the LORD. 
// – 17k

Revelation 19:9 Then the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed 

Then the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the
wedding supper of the Lamb!” And he added, “These are the true words of God.” 
// – 19k

John 20:29 Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you 

Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed
are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” 
// – 18k

Romans 4:7 “Blessed are those whose transgressions are forgiven 

Blessed are those whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered.  “How
blessed are those whose iniquities are forgiven and whose sins are covered! 
// – 17k

Psalm 119:2 Blessed are those who keep his statutes and seek him 

Blessed are those who keep his statutes and seek him with all their heart– … 
// – 17k

Matthew 5:4 Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be 

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.  “Blessed
are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. 
// – 17k

Luke 11:28 He replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word 

 But He said, “On the contrary, blessed are those who
hear the word of God and observe it.” 
// – 17k

Psalm 84:4 Blessed are those who dwell in your house; they are 

Blessed are those who dwell in your house; they are ever praising you.  Blessed
are those who dwell in your house, ever singing your praise! 
// – 17k

Psalm 106:3 Blessed are those who act justly, who always do what 

Blessed are those who act justly, who always do what is right.  How blessed are
those who keep justice, Who practice righteousness at all times! 
// – 17k

Proverbs 8:32 “Now then, my children, listen to me; blessed are 

“Now then, my children, listen to me; blessed are those who keep my ways.  “And
now, O sons, listen to me: blessed are those who keep my ways. 
// – 17k

Psalm 84:5 Blessed are those whose strength is in you, whose 

Blessed are those whose strength is in you, whose hearts are set on pilgrimage. 
Blessed are those who find strength in you. Their 
// – 17k
1 Peter 5:8-9

1 Peter 5:8-9




The Full Armor of God
14Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; 15And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16Above all, taking the shield of faith, with which you shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

Isaiah 52:7 How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, “Your God reigns!”

Romans 10:15 And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”





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God’s Holy Spirit Gives Us Understanding

Interpreting The Bible

1.) All Scripture is necessary, and may be understood by diligent application and study.             2 Timothy 3:15-17.

  2.) Every word must have it’s proper bearing on the subject presented in the Bible.             Matthew 5:17-18.

  3.) Scripture must be it’s own expositor (explainer), since it is a rule of itself.  If I depend on a minister or teacher to explain it to me, and they should guess at it’s meaning, or desire to have it so on account of their creed, or thought to be wise… then their guessing, desire, creed, or wisdom is my rule and not the Bible! Psalms 19:7-11; 119:97-105; Matthew 23:8-10;  1 Corinthians 2:12-16;  Ezekiel 34:18-19;  Luke 11:52;  Malachi 2:7-8.

 4.)  To understand doctrine, bring all the Scriptures together on the subject  you wish to know; then let every word have it’s proper influence, and if you can form your theory without contradiction, you CANNOT be in error. Isaiah 28:7-29; 35:8;  Proverbs 19:27;  Luke 24:27, 44-45;  James 5:19;  2 Peter 1:19-20

  5.) Nothing revealed in Scripture can or will be hid from those who ask in faith, nothing wavering. Deuteronomy 29:29;  Matthew 10:26-27;  1 Corinthians 2:10;  Philippians 3:15;  Isaiah 45:11; Matthew 21:22;  John 14:13-14; 15:7;  James 1:5-6;  1 John 5:13-15.

  6.) God has revealed things to come, by visions, in figures and parables; and in this way the same   things are often-times revealed again and again, by different visions, or in different figures and parables.  If you wish to understand them, you must combine all in one. Psalms 89:19; Hosea 12:10; Habakkuk 2:2; Acts 2:17;  1 Corinthians 10:6;  Hebrews 9:9, 24; Psalms 78:2;  Matthew 13:13, 34;  Genesis 41:1-32;  Daniel 2:7-8;  Acts 10:9-16.

 7.) Visions are always mentioned as such. 1 Corinthians 12:1

 8.) How to know when a word is used figuratively.  If it makes good sense as it stands, and does no violence to the simple laws of nature, then it must be understood literally; if not (then it must be understood) figuratively. Revelation 12:1,2; 17:3-7

 9.) Figures always have a figurative meaning, and are used much in prophecy to represent future times, and events; such as mountains… meaning governments; beasts… meaning kingdoms; waters… meaning people;  lamp… meaning Word of God; day… meaning year. Daniel 2:35, 44; 7:8, 17; Revelation 17:1, 15; Psalm 119:105; Ezekiel 4:6.

 10.) To learn the true meaning of figures, trace you figurative word through the Bible, and, where you find it explained, put it on your figure, and if it makes good sense, you need look no further; if not, look again. 

 11.) Figures sometimes have two or more different significations; as day is used in a figurative sense to represent three different periods of time.  1. indefinite.  2. definite, a day for a year.  3. day for a thousand years.     Ecclesiastes 7:14; Ezekiel 4:6; 2 Peter 3:8.

 12.)  Parables are used as comparisons to illustrate subjects, and must be explained in the same way as  figures, by the subject and Bible. Mark 4:13

 13.) To know whether we have the true historical event for the fulfillment of a prophecy…  if you find   every word of the prophecy [after the figures are understood] is literally fulfilled, then you may know that your history is the true event.  But, if one word lacks a fulfillment, then you must look for another event, or wait its future development.  For God takes care that history and prophecy agrees, so that the true, believing children of God may never be ashamed. Psalm 21:5; Isaiah 14:17-19; 1 Peter 2:6; Revelation 17:17; Acts 3:18.

 14.)  The most important rule of all is, that you must have faith.  It must be a faith that requires a sacrifice, and, if tried, would give up the dearest object on earth, the world and all its desires, character, living, occupation, friends, home, comforts, and worldly honors.  If any of these should hinder our believing any part of God’s word, it would show our faith to be vain. Nor can we believe, so long as one of these motives lies lurking in our hearts. We must believe that God will never forfeit His word.  And we can have confidence that He takes notice of the sparrow, and numbers the hairs of our head, will guard the translation of His own word, and throw a barrier around it, and prevent those who sincerely trust in God, and put implicit confidence in His word, from erring far from the truth, though they may not understand the Hebrew or Greek.


Store Not Up Earthly Treasures-But Heavenly Ones

Rewards by Grace

Mark 10:28-31

Jesus, says stewardship theologian T. A. Kantonen (1900-1993), is pointing out in this passage and in the parallel passage in Matthew 19:28-30 that the disciples will have a reward in heaven. He tells the disciples that they will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel (Mt 19:28).

The Lord first directs the attention of the disciples away from the expectation of an immediate earthly recompense and places the thought of reward in the context of the final consummation of the kingdom.  steward of the kingdom, a partner of the Messiah, is not [like a hired laborer waiting to be paid]  (Job 7:2). His eye is upon the glorious fulfillment of the divine purpose in which he is privileged to share. The point of this phrase of the reply may be illustrated by the replies of three men engaged in a building project to the question of what they were doing. One said, I am laying bricks.  Another said, I am making twenty dollars a day.  But the third replied, I am building a church.

While the ultimate goal is the heavenly kingdom, Mark’s version indicates that there is also to be recompense in this present age (Mk 10:30) ”but with persecutions”.  Kantonen remarks:

The joys of the kingdom are experienced here and now, not merely in some distant future. But they do not provide a carefree utopia, but strength with which to face the hardships of a hostile world. To emphasize the unique character of the reward as a sovereign gift of God, which does not depend on mens own efforts, both Matthew and Mark conclude with the Lord’s words, But many [who] are first will be last, and the last first.  Matthew then proceeds to record the parable of the laborers in the vineyard, in which every trace of merit disappears altogether, and everything, the reward as well as the opportunity to work, is a matter of divine grace. In the light of this teaching it is obvious that the gospel gives the concept of reward a new meaning quite different from its ordinary connotation of compensation or remuneration for services rendered.

Author and personal wealth adviser Alan Gotthardt maintains that this is a vital issue for the Christian steward of material resources: Without question, the rewards for Christians who are faithful in this life will be great. This includes faithfulness with their material possessions.  But Gotthardt also asks another question worthy of reflection: Is it selfish for a Christian to seek eternal rewards?  It is certainly possible to have wrong motives related to giving or anything else we do as Christians, for that matter.   [However Paul] was clear in his writings that salvation is by faith alone. Crowns and other rewards result from our actions here on earth.

Think About It

  • Do you think it is selfish for a Christian to seek eternal reward?
  • How does knowing you have a reward in heaven affect your actions here and now?
  • How easy is it for you to keep your divine purpose in mind?

Pray About It

Thanks for mercies past receive,

Pardon of our sins renew;

Teach us, henceforth, how to live

With eternity in view.