Sluice Box Adventures
Believing Bible Study in the 21st century
THE HAND OF MAN
Now mind you, this human being [as originally created in the image of God] is comprised of three parts: soul, body, and spirit - three in one:
1 Thessalonians 2:13 "For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe."
THE HAND OF MAN
Old Paths Baptist Mission © 2016 Richard St.James
The Hand of Man
1. The Essence of Man
2. The Oppression of the Poor
3. The Prince
4. The Honored Possession of the People
5. The People’s Inheritance
6. The Reproach of God
7. The Refuge in the Time of Trouble
1. The Essence of Man
This message herein proclaims “light” in a concerted effort to honor and exalt the Bible. Light is what we need today here in the 21st century. “The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.” [Psalms 119:130]
The BIBLE gives LIGHT!
Now the Bible I am referring to … is available to anyone … everywhere … in America to read, to believe, to hearken and to obey.
This BOOK I am talking about … is the Authorized Version of the Bible of 1611 (or any of its editions) and is commonly known as the King James Bible.
Now, this BOOK is a perfect book: “The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.” [Psalm 12:6-7]
In this BIBLE is found a person … a being … called MAN.
MAN is a being … a human being!
Now mind you, this human being [as originally created in the image of God] is comprised of three parts: soul, body, and spirit - three in one: “And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” [1 Thessalonians 5:23]
HUMAN BEING = [BODY + SOUL + SPIRIT]
Now this three-part being came under subversive attack very early in history, very soon after God’s creation week. Now, read this with me in the book of beginnings: “Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?” [Genesis 3:1]
When Adam [man] believed and obeyed Satan, rather than God, he died. “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:” [Romans 5:12]. Adam fell from his perfect state. He became subject to death. Man fell! Man was now a fallen being.
Thus, ever since [for the last six thousand years of human history] man has been under the dominion of the “power of darkness” [Colossians 1:15].
What is more, the Devil and his cohorts [which include all fallen men, the philosophers, the educators, and the agents of change] have conspired to further debauch the human being [as he is defined in the Bible].
The agenda for these agents of change is this: The human being must have every last vestige of his former IMAGE erased, nullified, and removed. The GOAL, therefore, is to REDEFINE the human being in the cast of a Darwinian image. This Darwinian image was to replace man’s original image with that of an image concocted from fallen man’s own “vain … imaginations” [Romans 1].
2. The Oppression of the Poor
“He that oppresseth the poor reproacheth his Maker: but he that honoureth him hath mercy on the poor.”
Here is the scene, given to us by the Spirit of God, contained in the record of the book of First Kings, chapter twenty-one:
“And it came to pass after these things, that Naboth the Jezreelite had a vineyard, which was in Jezreel, hard by the palace of Ahab king of Samaria.” [1 Kings 21:1]
First, we see a man.
This man’s name is Naboth.
Now, Naboth has a possession.
The possession is a vineyard.
Naboth has a vineyard.
He has a vineyard in Jezreel, “hard by the palace” of the king.
Now, we need to notice something here before we pass on, and it is this: God intends by design for every man to have a name, and not to be known by a number. [Hold this thought for later.]
Let’s move on now.
Everything thus far seems to be going as it should for Naboth. I mean, he seems to be free to pursue his happiness in life, living in his possession, the vineyard. It could be said that Naboth was enjoying “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”
“Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”, now mind you, is a forgotten phrase from a document called the Declaration of Independence. The phrase itself clearly shows forth that men believed there were certain “unalienable rights”, to which the Declaration gave witness, that all human beings have been given by their Creator, and which governments were created to protect.
Now, back to Naboth. Naboth is happily pursuing the cultivation of his vineyard. You might say Naboth had within himself a reasonable expectation that fruit would come from all his labor.
But hold on for just a moment. Something is about to go very bad here. For, unknown to Naboth, there was somebody nearby eyeing his possession. Read verse two: “And Ahab spake unto Naboth, saying, Give me thy vineyard, that I may have it for a garden of herbs, because it is near unto my house: and I will give thee for it a better vineyard than it; or, if it seem good to thee, I will give thee the worth of it in money.” [1 Kings 21:2]
Ahab wanted to have Naboth’s vineyard for his own possession.
Wanting something may lead to coveting that something. Maxim: A covetous man comes to a very bad end: “For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.” [Ephesians 5:5]
Now, there is nothing wrong with Ahab wanting the vineyard. If indeed Naboth was willing to sell the vineyard of his own free will, and if Ahab was willing to buy of his own free will, then a transfer, or a transaction of money, or a barter, might have occurred.
But Naboth’s response was … as follows.
Verse three: “And Naboth said to Ahab, The LORD forbid it me, that I should give the inheritance of my fathers unto thee.” [1 Kings 21:3]
Naboth wanted something greater! Naboth desired to maintain the inheritance of his fathers … in obedience to God. This desire to obey God was based upon the great foundation formed by the Scripture concerning the importance of the inheritance of the fathers.
What happened in the book of The Acts of The Apostles, chapter four [concerning the inheritance of the fathers] is the exception to the rule, not the rule: “And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common.” [Acts 4:32]
Take note: The concept of private [or personal] property is the general rule found throughout the Bible. Having all possessions in common [or communism] is the exception to the rule.
Stay with the general rule unless God shows otherwise!
Next, when we come upon the account of the daughters of Zelophehad in the BIBLE, we see this. Even the daughters of Zelophehad were required to marry within the same family of their tribe because of the importance of this matter of the inheritance.
See for this in the book of Numbers, chapter thirty-six, and specifically read verses six and seven: “This is the thing which the LORD doth command concerning the daughters of Zelophehad, saying, Let them marry to whom they think best; only to the family of the tribe of their father shall they marry. So shall not the inheritance of the children of Israel remove from tribe to tribe: for every one of the children of Israel shall keep himself to the inheritance of the tribe of his fathers.” [Numbers 36:6-7]
Now, Naboth was himself a Bible-believing man of God, who took God’s precepts, and God’s commands, very seriously. Little did Naboth know what it would ultimately cost him to believe, and obey, the word of God.
Verse four: “And Ahab came into his house heavy and displeased because of the word which Naboth the Jezreelite had spoken to him: for he had said, I will not give thee the inheritance of my fathers. And he laid him down upon his bed, and turned away his face, and would eat no bread.” [1 Kings 21:4]
We begin to see here the transition that occurs in any man when he moves from wanting something that another man has ... to coveting something that another man has in his possession.
It is here we see Ahab crossing over the divide to the abyss of the sin of idolatry. For this connection of the sin of covetousness to the sin of idolatry we will need to see what the BOOK says in the epistle to the Colossians: “Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:” [Colossians 3:5]
Covetousness [which is idolatry] will take you downward to a place where you never intended to go! You will find this pall of covetousness envelope you … so as to enable someone else to take advantage of you … as we shall see here in verses five and six: “But Jezebel his wife came to him, and said unto him, Why is thy spirit so sad, that thou eatest no bread? And he said unto her, Because I spake unto Naboth the Jezreelite, and said unto him, Give me thy vineyard for money; or else, if it please thee, I will give thee another vineyard for it: and he answered, I will not give thee my vineyard.” [1 Kings 21:5-6]
You can count on it! There will always be someone around you watching and observing you, looking for any and all opportunities to patronize you, in a contrived plan to take away [or redistribute] your [or someone else’s] inheritance.
Verses seven and eight: “And Jezebel his wife said unto him, Dost thou now govern the kingdom of Israel? arise, and eat bread, and let thine heart be merry: I will give thee the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite. So she wrote letters in Ahab's name, and sealed them with his seal, and sent the letters unto the elders and to the nobles that were in his city, dwelling with Naboth. And she wrote in the letters, saying, Proclaim a fast, and set Naboth on high among the people:”
[1 Kings 21:7-9]
Now Jezebel seizes the opportunity!
WARNING! There will always be those who will desire to patronize you for a reason. The reason is this: to be enabled [through evil legislation] to take away your inheritance [your very personal possessions].
Jezebel is just one of those people! Jezebel patiently sought, and watched for her opportunity to write an executive order [to legislate law] so as to legally take from others their property, or their inheritance, and redistribute their possessions as she thought fit, to others. She thus appropriated the property [Naboth’s vineyard here] for her husband.
Next, we will see this play out. Are you ready for this?
1 Kings 21:10-19:
“And set two men, sons of Belial, before him, to bear witness against him, saying,
Thou didst blaspheme God and the king. And then carry him out, and stone him, that he may die.
And the men of his city, even the elders and the nobles who were the inhabitants in his city, did as Jezebel had sent unto them, and as it was written in the letters which she had sent unto them.
They proclaimed a fast, and set Naboth on high among the people. And there came in two men, children of Belial, and sat before him: and the men of Belial witnessed against him, even against Naboth, in the presence of the people, saying, Naboth did blaspheme God and the king.
Then they carried him forth out of the city, and stoned him with stones, that he died.
Then they sent to Jezebel, saying, Naboth is stoned, and is dead. And it came to pass, when Jezebel heard that Naboth was stoned, and was dead, that Jezebel said to Ahab, Arise, take possession of the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite, which he refused to give thee for money: for Naboth is not alive, but dead.
And it came to pass, when Ahab heard that Naboth was dead, that Ahab rose up to go down to the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite, to take possession of it. And the word of the LORD came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying, Arise, go down to meet Ahab king of Israel, which is in Samaria: behold, he is in the vineyard of Naboth, whither he is gone down to possess it. And thou shalt speak unto him, saying,
Thus saith the LORD, Hast thou killed, and also taken possession? And thou shalt speak unto him, saying, Thus saith the LORD, In the place where dogs licked the blood of Naboth shall dogs lick thy blood, even thine.” [1 Kings 21:10-19]
Jezebel solicits the services of the “sons of Belial” to perform the dirty hit job on Naboth … to prove him guilty of breaking their law [not God’s], and thus stage his unlawful execution [or murder]. In the end, Ahab takes possession of the vineyard, and God saw the whole thing!
God’s indictment [through the prophet Elijah] was this: Ahab and Jezebel were both troublers. They were both guilty of troubling the people of their own nation.
“And it came to pass, when Ahab saw Elijah, that Ahab said unto him, Art thou he that troubleth Israel? And he answered, I have not troubled Israel; but thou, and thy father's house, in that ye have forsaken the commandments of the LORD, and thou hast followed Baalim.” [1Kings 18:17-18]
A. Naboth had a vineyard.
B. Ahab wanted to have Naboth’s vineyard.
C. Naboth desired to maintain the inheritance of his fathers … in obedience to God.
D. The government failed to protect Naboth, but instead intervened to redistribute the vineyard to Ahab.
E. Naboth loses his inheritance, and he also loses his life.
Here is God’s thought [or opinion] on the matter: “The diseased have ye not strengthened, neither have ye healed that which was sick, neither have ye bound up that which was broken, neither have ye brought again that which was driven away, neither have ye sought that which was lost; but with force and with cruelty have ye ruled them.” [Ezekiel 34:4]
When governments go bad, the people will suffer.
“When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn.” [Proverbs 29:2]
This is oppression by the hand of men!
In the 20th century three of the most heinous oppressors of mankind that ever lived came upon the scene. The first was Vladimir Lenin [1870-1924]. After him was Joseph Stalin [1878-1953], and lastly was Adolf Hitler [1889-1945]. Millions of men, women and children suffered imprisonment, torture, hunger and death. The hand of man was indeed very cruel.
In the 21st century, when the Beast shows up [in the book of Revelation, chapter eleven], the hand of man will reach the highest level of oppression that the world will ever see.
Note the number of the beast in chapter thirteen: “Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.” [Revelation 13:18]
Men, by then, will have lost their names, and will have been marked with a number. “And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:” [Revelation 13:16].
Thus, the hand of man can be seen as a progression downward by steps … and this thing is chronicled in history:
• The first progressive step [always downward] was achieved by Charles Darwin’s 1859 book On the Origin of Species, which turned mankind into animal kind. [In the eyes of the troublers, man is just an animal without a soul!]
• The second progressive step [always downward] gives rise to trouble, which in this step begins the gradualist process to de-personalize the human individual by separating him or her from God.
• There are two methods to the implementation of trouble: gradualist trouble and revolutionary trouble.
• The gradualist approach to troubling a people is called Fabianism. The adherents to this school of troublemaking in the United States began with Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, and Franklin Roosevelt. This gradualist approach will ultimately take us to the very same place as the revolutionary approach. The end point is the same: the enslavement of mankind within a Darwinian Marxist state. [The hand of man is found to be indeed very cruel.]
• The revolutionary approach to troubling a people, whether it be the national trouble of the Third Reich of Germany, or the international trouble of the Marxist-Leninist Union of Soviet Socialist Republics [USSR], completes the process of the enslavement of mankind within an elitist state. [The hand of man was indeed very cruel.]
• The world today is now ready for the last step, which is the worship of the BEAST. His hand will be found the cruelest of all who have ever lived on this planet.
• The progression to the PIT [always downward] is now almost complete. “And he opened the bottomless pit; and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit.” [Revelation 9:2]
The Darwinian image of man takes us to trouble, and trouble takes us to the Beast, and the Beast takes us down to the PIT.
The oppression of the poor will happen in any nation … whenever that nation rejects the word of God [the Bible], which thing [when it transpires] enables the Darwinian troubling state to enslave the people. “When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn.” [Proverbs 29:2]