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Can the Church Judge Better Than the Father?
Our last issue was entitled Absalom the Pentecostal and we noted therein the similarities between Absalom and King Saul. We showed how these “Saulians” apply to us on the personal level. On a corporate level, we also began to show how—like King Saul—Absalom is a type of the modern pentecostal and charismatic movements. I repeat my plea to readers not to conclude that I am condemning the whole Pentecost realm. Why would I do that since I am now part of that realm. I am not looking to stay there, however. I want to move forward into the Tabernacles realm as an overcomer. But we need to discern the “mixed bag” of the pentecost realm: clinging to the good and eschewing the evil.
There is a principle which Stephen Jones discusses in his amazing and illuminating book, Secrets of Time ($24 ppd.). It is drawn from the story of Isaiah and King Hezekiah when the king was terminally ill. Isaiah told him to take a look at his sundial which went backwards by ten degrees. This was a sign which meant that Hezekiah had 15 more years added to his life. Therefore, in studies of biblical timing there are both 10-year and 15-year delay factors. In 1987, huge scandals began to erupt in the Saul church. Remember the PTL sex and money scandals with Jim & Tammy Faye Bakker at the center of the storm? Followed almost immediately by a similar scandal involving Jimmy Swaggart and prostitutes?
Those scandals erupted in 1987 and then it was seemingly all over. We then heard almost nothing scandalous in the “church world” until the fall of 2001 when the pedophile scandals in the Catholic church began to hit the headlines. The pedophile priest stories continued unabated throughout most of 2002. Many of us saw this as God’s judgment beginning to be poured out on the church. This time, the judgment seemed to be falling on the Catholic system. But then the non-Catholic branch came in for more chastisement, because in December 2002 (a 15-year delay from 1987), I happened to see just the last few minutes of an exposé by one of the 20/20 or Prime Time-type TV shows. I don’t recall which of those it was, or if it was one of the similar programs.
On the program, Benny Hinn’s brother, Charles, was talking to the reporter and lamenting how Benny was “just in it for the money.” He and another man had just left Benny’s organization and were accusing those in Benny’s inner circle of huge financial misconduct. The reporter said: But doesn’t he heal people? Charles Hinn responded: No, God heals people and sometimes He works through Benny. And I thought, there it is. The judgment on the non-Catholic churches was delayed for 15 more years, but now it’s back.
Since 2002, the pedophile priest scandals continue in the news intermittently. Church officials have made attempts to study and deal with the problem, but victim advocacy groups keeping charging “cover-up.” In March of 2006, an Associated Press dispatch reported there were “783 new credible claims last year, most which date back decades, and costs of nearly $467 million.” Back to the David and Absalom story now.
2 Samuel 14: 27 And unto Absalom there were born three sons, and one daughter, whose name was Tamar: she was a woman of a fair countenance.
Nothing further is said about this Tamar, who is no doubt mentioned to illustrate how dearly Absalom loved his sister, so much so that he named his daughter for her. Absalom’s three sons are not named and evidently died in their youth because Absalom is later heard to say that he has no sons.
28 So Absalom dwelt two full years in Jerusalem, and saw not the king’s face.
This was indeed hard on Absalom. While his brother had lusted after his sister Tamar, Absalom lusted after power. Both are of the fleshly Pentecost realm. This is not to say that these traits are not found in the Passover realm, i.e., primarily the mainline churches; they certainly are, but that even in the Pentecost realm they are still as vicious as ever.
Note also that just as David lusted after Bathsheba, so Amnon lusted after Tamar; and just as David conspired to murder someone, this defect of character appeared in Absalom also. God’s judgments come from within David’s own family, just as He had foretold they would. But now, after two years, Absalom is getting impatient. We can imagine the resentment and bitterness building against his father.
29 Therefore Absalom sent for Joab, to have sent him to the king; but he would not come to him: and when he sent again the second time, he would not come.
Joab refused Absalom because he had already found himself in hot water with the king by sending the woman to David in order to connive to get Absalom back in Jerusalem. Joab was not wanting to put himself at any further risk of offending the king.
30 Therefore he said unto his servants, See, Joab’s field is near mine, and he hath barley there; go and set it on fire. And Absalom’s servants set the field on fire.
Aha! Barley! Okay, class, what or whom does barley represent? The overcomers! It was Joab’s field, but Joab certainly does not represent an overcomer. What I think it means in the types and shadows is that he had a group of overcomers under his authority, just as overcomers might be present in a church congregation which has a Saul-type authority over them. Here Absalom demonstrates his vicious character by this deed. He did it simply to get Joab’s attention. It would be like a Mafia thug breaking somebody’s kneecaps because the person refused to come see “Don Corleone.” Absalom is ruthless in his quest for power. He’s tired of waiting, and he is not intimidated by men of considerable power and influence like General Joab. He burns his field just to get his attention.
31 Then Joab arose, and came to Absalom unto his house, and said unto him, Wherefore have thy servants set my field on fire?
32 And Absalom answered Joab, Behold, I sent unto thee, saying, Come hither, that I may send thee to the king, to say, Wherefore am I come from Geshur? it had been good for me to have been there still: now therefore let me see the king's face; and if there be any iniquity in me, let him kill me.
33 So Joab came to the king, and told him: and when he had called for Absalom, he came to the king, and bowed himself on his face to the ground before the king: and the king kissed Absalom.
End of chapter, but not a full stop. If the story had ended there, it could be interpreted as a happy ending. The worst is yet to come. Just because Absalom bowed himself to the ground and David kissed him does not mean that Ab-saul-om repented or that he was reconciling with his father. Remember, he had suppressed his rage against Amnon for two years. He’s now showing a poker face to his father. He has been in exile for three years and now he has been in close proximity to his father for two years and yet he has not seen his father’s face. He is getting more angry and more bitter and resentful against his father by the day. He vents it partially by burning a barley field.
Let me share some further thoughts now on the types and shadows and I want to credit our dear friend, Ron Oja, for some of the basic insights here which I have attempted to build upon. We remember how Saul grew so very proud. Absalom has the same fatal flaw. Pride—proud about his beauty, about his strength, about his—dare we say it?—proud because of his charismatic personality. It is also a mark of the church in general, but of the pentecostal-charismatic movements in particular. How so? Well, AbsalomSaul is the epitome of pride because the pentecostal movement is the most beautiful. Why is the pentecostal movement the most beautiful? Now here is where our lengthy study of the tabernacle in the wilderness is helpful [30 tapes or CDs in four albums; discounted package price: $95 ppd]. Remember the floor plan of the Tabernacle? The outer court, then the Holy Place, then the ultimate is in the Holy of Holies. The nonpentecostal churches are in the outer court: they don’t even recognize that there is a pentecostal anointing. The outer court: that’s the Lutherans, Methodists, Episcopalians, Presbyterians, Baptists and probably hundreds of other sects and denominations. (This is not to say that there are not overcomer candidates in all of them; but we speak in general here, not of individuals.)
But the pentecostal-charismatics know there is more. They are the most beautiful because they are closest to the Holy of Holies, where the Father is. They’re in the Holy Place because among them they have all the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Many of their leaders are worshiped because of their gifts. Oh, look at brother so-and-so. He’s a healer! Or, look at sister so-and-so. She’s a prophetess! And so forth. What a pity! Their pride is their downfall. They think they can judge better than the Father. Isn’t that what Absalom thought? When Amnon raped Tamar, David, the father didn’t do anything about it. Absalom knew better, so he took matters into his own hands. As he concealed his plan for two years, it was a work of total deceit, even towards poor Tamar.
Look at the pride: The wicked side of the Pentecost realm says: “We know what’s best. We’re so far above the Lutherans, Baptists, Methodists, etc. We’ve got the gifts. They’re so stupid; they’re so far beneath us spiritually.” It’s deceit and conceit, pride. They are arrogant and they think they deserve to rule and control people. As a Christian and an overcomer candidate, do you claim to be a son of the king? The spiritual son of King Jesus? Then realize that be aware that your greatest enemies might just be your own brethren in the churches. Look at how they treat the overcomers. Absalom burned the barley field. The church consigns the overcomers, those heretics who won’t submit to our authority in everything, they are consigned to burn in hell for all eternity. We can judge them better than the Father!
And incidentally, while we are speaking about hell fire, they have a real problem with the sovereignty of God because in their view, it isn’t the Father; it’s the devil that’s causing all the problems. They’re fighting those demons right and left, casting them out here, there and everywhere. They get so worked about fighting the devil that they forget who writes the devil’s paycheck.
In the last issue of FMS, I had asked you to remember something and I said we would come back to it later: It was when David—the father—brings Absalom back from exile and lets him go to his own home, undoubtedly within spitting distance of the palace. But he was banned from the father’s court and banned from his father’s presence! Remember, the phrase was “let him not see my face.”
That lasted two years. It corresponds to the 2,000-year pentecostal church age, when the frauds and fakers, from Simon Magus, to… well… you fill in the blank from the current crop…the 2,000 years during which they abuse the gifts of the Holy Spirit for money, fame and control over other people.
Just as Absalom lived for two years very close to his father and yet did not see his face, so these charlatans have been in the Holy Place for 2,000 years and have never seen the Father’s face. And yet they claim: Didn’t we cast out demons in your name??
Moreover, what was the occasion when Absalom killed Amnon? What kind of party was it? It was a sheep shearing party! Have you ever seen the religious networks and programs on television? Of course, you have. Follow-up question: have you ever seen those programs where they didn’t have a phone number at the bottom of the screen for you to call and make a donation? It’s a sheep shearing and you’re invited!
Speaking of sheep shearing, let’s flash back to another sheep shearing. This incident is in Genesis 38 and it tells how the patriarch Judah, son of JacobIsrael) was on his way to shear his sheep when he saw what he took to be a harlot and he had sex with her.
Because she was veiled, Judah didn’t really know who it was. It turned out to be his daughter-inlaw. Her name was...Tamar! So why is the woman who played the harlot named Tamar and in our present study the daughter of David who is raped is also named Tamar? What is God trying to tell us and teach us? Hmm, let’s see:
When Tamar conceived from her intercourse with Judah, there were twins born, named Pharez and Zerah. Oh, and which tribe was David from? Judah! Through Pharez. So David’s grandfather to about the tenth generation was Judah. Hmmm. What do you make of that?
It looks to me like certain sins and tendencies are passed down from our ancestors? And just as David’s passion for Bathsheba overwhelmed him against his reason and common sense, so did the same tendency and proclivity appear in his son, Amnon, except that he had an unwilling woman and so he raped her.
Incest. It’s all in the family. Do you realize that the pentecost church of the past two millennia and the pentecostal movement commit spiritual incest? Their doctrines are inbred and no outsiders, no alleged heretics, can bring in any new spiritual lifeblood. What kind of offspring are often produced when incest leads to inbreeding? Idiots and other mental defectives are the result.
Now there are many other reasons for mental deficiency, such as nutritional deficiencies, so do not go pointing fingers and assume that someone is the product of incest. How dare we judge! But from the types and shadows perspective we can safely affirm that there are a lot of spiritual idiots in the church at large today because of spiritual incest.
But there is a good side to all this, because on this side of the cross, because of what Jesus did on Calvary, we know that eventually the church’s flesh gets cut off and they will all be brought into the Father’s house. However, remember, those who think they are first shall be last, and the last shall be first. That is a very important lesson to remember.
Let us never think that because we think we understand about overcomership that we are going to be the first. You and I do not know. That is why we should never claim to be an overcomer, only overcomer candidates. We should be humble and admit that we are among the worst of sinners and that it would be an absolute miracle if you and I were chosen to be overcomers. And yet, let us always strive for that goal.
I want to close this chapter with a Bible puzzle for you. In the last several issues, the laws of incest have been front and center. It seems clear, according to Leviticus 20:17 that when Amnon raped Tamar, he committed incest as well as rape. Yet, we find that the father of us all, our ancestor Abraham, apparently did the very same thing in marrying Sarai, later named Sarah.
Remember in Genesis 12 when Abraham, then still known as Abram, went down to Egypt and was fearful that Pharaoh would kill him and take the gorgeous Sarai for his harem. So he told Pharaoh she was his sister so he himself would not be killed. Later, Abram pulled the same stunt with Abimelech, king of Gerar. When God warned Abimelech in a dream not to touch Sarai, he was furious with Abram and demanded an explanation. Abram complied:
Genesis 20:12 And yet indeed she is my sister; she is the daughter of my father, but not the daughter of my mother; and she became my wife.
Is this not incest according to Leviticus 20:17? How is it that this is never mentioned by God in any of His word as being a place where Abraham transgressed the law? Of course, most churches would say that “well, the law was not in effect yet, because it didn’t come into effect until God gave it to Moses on Mt. Sinai about 500 years later. To which we would respond that such is not the case. Moses was merely codifying what was already in existence since Adam. In fact, God specifically tells us this in …
Genesis 26:5 Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.
So there you have it, my friends. I think I have an answer to this puzzle but I want to see if any of you can provide a better explanation to reconcile this. Was Abram committing incest? If not, why not? Mail your responses to our new address below. Since by the time you receive this issue, we will already have the next one almost done, we will provide the best answers in the January 2007 issue. Until next month, may our Father bless you all with abundance spiritually and materially.