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Who's Chuckin' and Who's Duckin'?
This is a continuation of the previous FMS where we left off with our discussion of King Saul “prophesying in the midst of the house.” (1 Samuel 18:10a). We took note how this has been fulfilled by false prophets in the nominal Christian church for the past two millennia. A key point to understand is that the false teachings often become “set in concrete” and form foundational teachings of nominally Christian denominations. With 20-20 hindsight we can now see by the Old Testament types and shadows in the life of Saul, that this result in church history was to be expected.
Meanwhile, David, noticing that Saul is once again possessed by the evil spirit, attempts to pacify and please him with music. This had been effective in soothing and calming Saul many times before. But now Saul crosses another threshold. Now he even turns on the musician, his friend, his servant, a person who only wanted to continue to do just that, to be his friend and to serve him. But Saul’s own character has now turned so far to the negative side that he attempts to destroy the musician.
1 Samuel 18:10b ….and David played with his hand, as at other times: and there was a javelin in Saul’s hand.
11 And Saul cast the javelin; for he said, I will smite David even to the wall with it. And David avoided out of his presence twice.
Saul’s jealousy has led to envy and he has now crossed a threshold where his character has degenerated to the point of vile hatred and attempted murder. These stories as types can be applied not only on a corporate basis, meaning, to the church as a whole, but it is clear from church history that there have been uncounted applications among individuals throughout history.
Reading some of the writings of church history, particularly at the time of the Reformers, shows that while they saw the papacy as fulfilling the antichrist and the church of Rome as the Beast system (which we certainly agree has much truth to it); nonetheless, among the Protestants themselves, they could and sometimes did identify their personal opponents as a Saul and themselves as David.
We can make equally valid applications today. We all want to see ourselves as David and our opponents as Saul. I see it in my own life. I see those who have acted like Saul toward me. It is clear as a bell to me.
But I also recognize that I am still working on the Saul in me. So I encourage you all to personalize these Scriptures for your own life and circumstances. But as we do, we must remember that our purpose is not so that we can take delight in another’s shortcomings, as if to say within ourselves: “Ha Ha, ha—he is definitely a Saul because he is acting just like Saul did. He is jealous of me, or he is so proud, or he is so clearly disobedient or he is chucking spears at me just like Saul did to David.”
These spears are figurative, of course. They can manifest in numerous ways. The spears could be barbed words which attempt to destroy your reputation. They are spears of spite spewing from the mouth of your Saul whereby he attempts to ruin your good name or to destroy your business or whatever.
Our purpose in applying these types to ourselves individually is so that we can recognize that these things are happening to us for our training and for our benefit. One of the ways that David learned how to rule wisely and justly was by observing Saul in all his mistakes. But it was a sometimes painful experience. The one you once admired and respected and desired to serve with all your heart now turns on you and seeks to destroy you. That is painful.
I know a businesswoman who told me recently that the landlord of her little storefront has just given her 30 days notice that he is raising the rent by 106%! Prior to this, she always had an amiable relationship with the landlord, but now this comes out of the blue. Paying such an increase will put her out of business and to find a new place and move in 30 days is virtually impossible for her. Her Saul is now throwing a very sharp spear her way and he means to pin her to the wall with it financially.
As we recognize our personal Sauls, as we experience Saul speaking ill of us, when our Saul tries to destroy our reputation, or when he or she tries to pin us to the wall with their spears of hatred, let us praise God and thank Him for allowing us to see the true picture… that that person is your Saul, that the Father has put him/her in your life, and that Father is preparing you by means of your Sauls to be one of the Davidic Company, one of the overcomers.
See and understand those painful spears as pruning hooks in the hand of Father. He is pruning away our dead branches so that we can bring forth better fruit and bring it forth more abundantly—to the praise of His glory.
Returning to the corporate type, we see that the Saul church has often resorted to the attempted murder of its opponents. Church history records that they have often succeeded. When they have the political power, the Saul church’s attitude is: “If you don’t believe the way we believe, then we will kill you.” Many opponents of the dominant church system were burned at the stake or otherwise murdered by agents of the church. Read Foxe’s Book of Martyrs for a plethora of case histories. Caveat lector (reader beware:) It is not bedtime reading!
I have remarked to a number of people over the years how grateful I am to be alive in America at this time in history. Yes, I know how evil the world is in general, but I am grateful because at least in America and Europe today, one single Christian denomination does not have the political power over the nation so that they can execute their opponents. There is a lot about John Calvin and his theology that I admire and agree with, but I detest the fact that when he obtained political power in the city-state of Geneva, Switzerland, he used it to put some of his religious opponents to death.
I believe I can tell you with virtual certainty, that if some of the groups in Christendom today had the political power, I would be on their hit list for execution. I know that because I have already been publicly and personally identified as one of their targets. And I am not speaking of the Leftists, I am speaking of socalled identity believers. Why have they targeted me (and others)? It is because in their eyes I am a heretic. Even though I believe and teach the Christian Israel identity message as they do (that much we agree on), I do not believe in the strident racist garbage they promote. (See my book, The Importance of Our Israelite Identity for more on this. $3 plus s + h.)
1 Samuel 18:12 And Saul was afraid of David, because the YHWH was with him, and was departed from Saul.
Is that not a good reason to be afraid? I think so. Anyone who has experienced the spirit of the Lord in great measure and then loses that intimacy with the Lord can easily become fearful. This again can be applied on both the corporate and the personal level. The (Saul) church always persecutes the overcomers. Take any period in the past 2,000 years. The Saul church sees how God is blessing some little group over here or over there with new or great and marvelous revelation and the established church becomes jealous.
Their church or denomination might have originally have been founded when the Holy Spirit gave them great revelation, but then when the Spirit moved on to give further revelation to another group—in other words, when the Spirit departed from Saul—it was because the leaders closed the door to new revelation. They decided to stop and camp where they were.
The pentecost age is likened to the 40-year journey of the children of Israel in the wilderness. The Israelites were not supposed to build permanent buildings. They were to go wherever the Spirit of God led them. But in the church age, men decided to build permanent structures during the wilderness journey. These structures are called denominations. The Saul leaders built four walls and boxed people in with traditions and dogmas.
Being Saul types, you could say they corralled the cattle and drove them with whips and prods instead of gently leading them as shepherds. Those aspiring overcomers among them who believed they were getting some word from God which did not fit with the established doctrine of the denomination were denounced as heretics or witches or false prophets or whatever smear word worked best at the time. They were executed if possible, exiled if execution were not an option.
This same pattern has repeated over and over from the time of the apostles until now. The Roman church again was the preeminent player, but by the 1500’s, the Protestant churches had sprung up in opposition to Rome. Unfortunately, they soon got into the Saul business as well. Luther had some great revelations, but the Lutheran churches became Sauls. Luther would loathe the modern Lutheran denomination. Calvin also had some magnificent revelations, but the Reformed and Presbyterian churches became Sauls, also. (I am speaking in general here. There are always many good, godly people aspiring to be Davids within all denominations.) John Wesley was given many marvelous truths of Scriptural understanding, but the Methodist churches became Sauls.
We will not neglect so-called “movements” and so-called independent churches. Take the Church of Christ denomination as one example. If I recall correctly, they claim not to be a denomination at all, and yet the way they seem to claim they have a lock on the truth, and the way they box their people in with doctrines and fear puts them right up there with the worst of the Saul denominations. And we could say the same about the Seventh Day Adventists, and the Baptists and on and on. With hundreds of denominations now extant, the same could be said to some degree about each and every one of them.
Then there is the charismatic movement. Movements usually draw their adherents from those who have left various denominations. Movements are less structured than denominations, and therefore there is more freedom for independent thinking. Nevertheless, movements over the course of time eventually evolve into one or more denominations. They have their individual Saul-type leaders, just as the denominations do.
In the late 20th century and presently, there is the so-called identity movement, which sprang out of the “British-Israel” movement of the 18th and 19th centuries. Of course, this truth has been known for centuries, at least by a tiny remnant here and there, but I want to focus on the present so-called identity movement. Like other movements and denominations, there is a great truth which is the spark that initiates the movement. I, personally, am a 100% believer in the basic truth of the Christian Israel identity movement, which is that the Anglo-Saxon, Keltic, Scandinavian, Germanic and related peoples are the true and literal descendants of the tribes of Israel. (The term “related peoples” is to indicate that there are many more “tribal” or “ethnic” groups than just the several listed.) The fact that we are literally the biblical Israelites does not make us “saved” as individuals, but this knowledge of our identity is one of the most important keys to understanding the entire Bible.
And yet, as I have been one among the teachers in this movement for the past 15 years or so, I have found myself wanting to move on to more truth and not get stuck in the identity mausoleum in the wilderness. I use the word “mausoleum” intentionally. Any denomination, by definition, is spiritually dead or in the process of dying because they have erected walls of dogma and closed the doors to new revelation. Furthermore, any movement that is not continually growing beyond the basic truth it began with is in the mausoleum as well. I have heard Stephen Jones describe very insightfully that “a denomination is a monument to a move of the Holy Spirit.” But the Holy Spirit left the denomination long ago.
So it is with the identity movement. Now concerning the identity movement, hear me well: along with the basic truth that we are Israel, there is a lot of rotten fruit which has come forth from those who understand that basic truth. I know the news “Medianites” paint all Christian Israel believers with the same broad brush as though we are all a bunch of racist, white supremacist, neo-Nazi buffoons. Unfortunately, there are a handful of individuals who publish and promote such drivel and hatred. I have met some of them. And I want nothing to do with their unedifying nonsense.
The fact is that almost all of the identity believers I know—and certainly the ones I choose to have fellowship with—try to remain as far removed from that stinking, rotten fruit as I do. So in recent years, I have been trying to lead the flock who hear and read my messages into some new revelations. By the way, when I say “new revelations,” it must be understood that by new I simply mean it is a new discovery to us.
The identity camp in the wilderness was a wonderful pit-stop where a marvelous new layer of understanding was given to us. But I am not—and I trust the same applies to you—we are not about to be boxed in by those who seek to set themselves up as authorities over the so-called identity movement. If they want to be king of the mausoleum, let them. I want to keep the truth I have learned but then move on to grow in new truths.
In my own life, the early 90’s were a time when I searched out and became convinced of some truths which I had initially been exposed to in 1978. By the mid– to late 90’s, when I began teaching universal reconciliation and the absolute sovereignty of God, it seems that all hell broke loose. It was not unexpected. I was not so naïve as to think that the whole identity movement would come en masse into this superlative “new” truth. (But I am truly grateful that Father has opened the eyes of such a large portion of these fellow Christian Israel believers and they are moving beyond identity with me.)
Because of these teachings, some former associates will no longer have anything to do with me— again, because in their view, I am a heretic and leading people astray. From my view, I say “Father, thank you for these pruning hooks.” They are Sauls to me. But from their viewpoint, I am the Saul who has been possessed by an evil spirit and they see it as their duty to guard the flock from wolves like me.
Well, obviously, it is all a matter of perspective. In the final analysis, each believer must judge the fruit that each of these competing doctrines engenders in its adherents. Does the fruit of the teaching of universal reconciliation engender love? Joy? Peace? Longsuffering, gentleness, goodness? Faith, meekness, and temperance? In my view, there is no question that it does. We will leave the fruit of the opposing teaching for you to ponder on your own. All of this justconcluded discussion I see clearly within the types and shadows of that one verse:
1 Samuel 18:12 12 And Saul was afraid of David, because the YHWH was with him, and was departed from Saul.
It is amazing to witness the depths of bitterness to which Sauls descend and the drastic outcomes which result from the jealousy and envy of Saul types. So “who’s chuckin’ and who’s duckin’? (Our thanks to Doug Evers for the catchy title.) The Sauls are chuckin’ spears at the aspiring Davids. The aspiring overcomer is trying to duck the spears, but sometimes he takes a hit right in the character flaw. He recognizes this is Father pruning off a dead branch, and so he submits to this painful process. He never picks up the spear and hurls it back at his Saul. All Christians are potential overcomers, but it seems Peter here speaks specially to them:
2 Peter 1: 4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
5 And beside this, [Here Peter lists the character qualities which describe growing Christians, i. e., overcomer candidates.]
giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;
6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience [lit., endurance]; and to patience godliness;
7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.
8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
9 But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off,…
My desire is for all Christians in all branches, denominations, movements, etc. to grow in understanding and to manifest that growth in the character traits listed above.