God Knows Where the Wicked Hide

II Chronicles 18

  • Ahab is the king of Israel.  Israel as referred to here is the ten tribes of the Northern Kingdom.  The Northern  Kingdom is religious but disobedient.  Their kings habitually practiced that which was not pleasing to God.  They were more influenced by the heathen cultures around them than they were by God’s Law.  They engaged in religious ceremony but they did things their way.  King Ahab did not practice that which was right in the eyes of the Lord.  
  • Jehoshaphat is the king of Judah.  Judah is the Southern Kingdom consisting of the tribes of Benjamin and Judah.  Often the Kings of Judah did that which was right in the sight of God, but not always.  Jehoshaphat had been blessed of God for his obedience, but making a league with King Ahab was foolish.  It was dishonoring to God and it nearly cost him his life.
  • Micaiah the son of Imla, was God’s prophet.  He was hated, pressured, outnumbered, mocked and punished for his faithfulness to God’s message, but he never wavered.
  • Ahab’s four hundred prophets were “yes” men who told the king whatever he wanted to hear.
  • God is always in control.

Now Jehoshaphat had riches and honour in abundance, and joined affinity with Ahab.

 And after certain years he went down to Ahab to Samaria.  And Ahab killed sheep and oxen for him in abundance, and for the people that he had with him, and persuaded him (Jehoshaphat) to go up with him to Ramothgilead.

And Ahab king of Israel said unto Jehoshaphat king of Judah, Wilt thou go with me to Ramothgilead?  And he answered him, I am as thou art, and my people as thy people; and we will be with thee in the war.

 And Jehoshaphat said unto the king of Israel, Enquire, I pray thee, at the word of the LORD to day.

Therefore the king of Israel gathered together of prophets four hundred men, and said unto them, Shall we go to Ramothgilead to battle, or shall I forbear?  And they said, Go up; for God will deliver it into the king’s hand.

 But Jehoshaphat said, Is there not here a prophet of the LORD besides, that we might enquire of him?

 And the king of Israel said unto Jehoshaphat, There is yet one man, by whom we may enquire of the LORD: but I hate him; for he never prophesied good unto me, but always evil: the same is Micaiah the son of Imla.  And Jehoshaphat said, Let not the king say so.

 And the king of Israel called for one of his officers, and said, Fetch quickly Micaiah the son of Imla.

And the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat king of Judah sat either of them on his throne, clothed in their robes, and they sat in a void place at the entering in of the gate of Samaria; and all the prophets prophesied before them.

 And Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah had made him horns of iron, and said, Thus saith the LORD, With these thou shalt push Syria until they be consumed.

 And all the prophets prophesied so, saying, Go up to Ramothgilead, and prosper: for the LORD shall deliver it into the hand of the king.

 And the messenger that went to call Micaiah spake to him, saying, Behold, the words of the prophets declare good to the king with one assent; let thy word therefore, I pray thee, be like one of theirs, and speak thou good.

 And Micaiah said, As the LORD liveth, even what my God saith, that will I speak.

 And when he was come to the king, the king said unto him, Micaiah, shall we go to Ramothgilead to battle, or shall I forbear?  And he said, Go ye up, and prosper, and they shall be delivered into your hand.

 And the king said to him, How many times shall I adjure thee that thou say nothing but the truth to me in the name of the LORD?

 Then he said, I did see all Israel scattered upon the mountains, as sheep that have no shepherd: and the LORD said, These have no master; let them return therefore every man to his house in peace.

And the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, Did I not tell thee that he would not prophesy good unto me, but evil?

Again he said, Therefore hear the word of the LORD; I saw the LORD sitting upon his throne, and all the host of heaven standing on his right hand and on his left.

And the LORD said, Who shall entice Ahab king of Israel, that he may go up and fall at Ramothgilead?  And one spake saying after this manner, and another saying after that manner.

 Then there came out a spirit, and stood before the LORD, and said, I will entice him.  And the LORD said unto him, Wherewith?

 And he said, I will go out, and be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets.  And the LORD said, Thou shalt entice him, and thou shalt also prevail: go out, and do even so.

 Now therefore, behold, the LORD hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of these thy prophets, and the LORD hath spoken evil against thee.

 Then Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah came near, and smote Micaiah upon the cheek, and said, Which way went the Spirit of the LORD from me to speak unto thee?

 And Micaiah said, Behold, thou shalt see on that day when thou shalt go into an inner chamber to hide thyself.

 Then the king of Israel said, Take ye Micaiah, and carry him back to Amon the governor of the city, and to Joash the king’s son;

 And say, Thus saith the king, Put this fellow in the prison, and feed him with bread of affliction and with water of affliction, until I return in peace.

 And Micaiah said, If thou certainly return in peace, then hath not the LORD spoken by me.  And he said, Hearken, all ye people.

 So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat the king of Judah went up to Ramothgilead.

 And the king of Israel said unto Jehoshaphat, I will disguise myself, and will go to the battle; but put thou on thy robes.  So the king of Israel disguised himself; and they went to the battle.

 Now the king of Syria had commanded the captains of the chariots that were with him, saying, Fight ye not with small or great, save only with the king of Israel.

And it came to pass, when the captains of the chariots saw Jehoshaphat, that they said, It is the king of Israel. Therefore they compassed about him to fight: but Jehoshaphat cried out, and the LORD helped him; and God moved them to depart from him.

For it came to pass, that, when the captains of the chariots perceived that it was not the king of Israel, they turned back again from pursuing him.

 And a certain man drew a bow at a venture, and smote the king of Israel between the joints of the harness: therefore he said to his chariot man, Turn thine hand, that thou mayest carry me out of the host; for I am wounded.

 And the battle increased that day: howbeit the king of Israel stayed himself up in his chariot against the Syrians until the even: and about the time of the sun going down he died.

God is Sovereign

This matter is by the decree of the watchers, and the demand by the word of the holy ones: to the intent that the living may know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the basest of men. 

Daniel 4:17

Silent Weeping














Monty McCoy

Note: This writing was originally posted in 2015 as Field of Honor.

One Seed

Many years ago I watched a film about a British missionary who carried the gospel to the mountain people of a certain country.  After laboring among these people for a period of time, the British missionary could only account for one conversion among them.  He eventually grew discouraged and left the mission field.

In the meantime this one convert sent his young son off on foot to travel some distance to a school where the boy could learn to read and write.  Eventually the boy turned into a young man and his skills at reading and writing enabled him to develop an alphabet and written vocabulary for his people.  The father then had the son travel to America where he learned the original languages of the Bible.  The goal was for the son to be able to translate the Scriptures into his native language of the mountain people, which he did.

There is a scene, which is burned into my memory, where the father takes the the Bible in his own language up to the mountain top where he spent time alone with the Lord.  In that scene the father holds the Bible up to God in heaven with great rejoicing!

The film did not end there.  On one of his trips to America the son searched for the whereabouts of the British missionary.  He found him in a small apartment in Canada.  The son visited the old missionary unannounced and in his native dress.

Imagine the astonishment of the old missionary who became discouraged and who may have thought his work was in vain!  The one seed that had fallen on good* ground had brought forth fruit many times over!

For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater:

So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.  Isaiah 55:10& 11

*good ground – Ground that God prepared before the sower came.

*good – that which accomplishes God’s purpose.

The sower’s prayer: “Lord, lead me to good ground……”

Note:  It has been over thirty five years since I saw this film.  Some parts of it I remember vividly, other parts are not so vivid.  If you are familiar with the film you may find a discrepancy in the details. Details which I tried to limit due to memory or lack of it.

Glory in This

Thus saith the LORD, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches:

But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the LORD.

 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will punish all them which are circumcised with the uncircumcised;

Egypt, and Judah, and Edom, and the children of Ammon, and Moab, and all that are in the utmost corners, that dwell in the wilderness: for all these nations are uncircumcised, and all the house of Israel are uncircumcised in the heart.  Jeremiah 9:23-26

What is Ruckmanism?

What Is Ruckmanism?  By John P. McGraw, M.A.

Ruckmanism:  An obscure heresy mainly contained to southeastern United States and several midwestern states.  This heresy gets its name from Dr. Peter Sturges Ruckman (Ph.D., religious history) who has founded his theology on extreme antinomianism (the possibility of inner salvation without outward, visible holiness), a dedication to Bibliolotry, and many radical interpretations of the Bible.  Devotees of this heresy will stand for the most extreme interpretations of controversial subjects if they come from their leader, but under no circumstances will they stand for a critique of the underlying foundations of the heresy itself.  Among other heresies Ruckman teaches divorce and remarriage of Christians as Christian institutions.  Ruckman contends that all those partaking in physical union (“flesh joined to flesh” as he calls it) have been married, though maybe their marriage is not recognized in the eyes of man.  This of course is polygamy in a twisted form.  The clear teaching of the New Testament is that marriage is (1) a ceremony, John 2:1-10, (2) a spiritual union, Ephesians 5, and (3) a physical union, Hebrews 13:4.  Also the New Testament speaks of the marriage of Jesus to the church, certainly something other than “flesh joined to flesh”.  This aspect of ruckmanism is similar to early Mormonism which contended that indeed marriage is polygamous, and was even partaken in by Jesus Christ.

Though maintaining an orthodox pretense in the Baptist tradition, ruckmanism is clearly outside the tradition of both historic and Biblical Christianity.  Another aspect of ruckmanism is the concept that restricts the deity of Christ to Jesus being the manifestation of God in the flesh and not actually God, in that Christ the man was capable of sin and could have fallen.  Should Christ have sinned the universe it is surmised, might have exploded.  It is felt that were Jesus above the capacity to sin, His testing on the earth would have been a hoax.  This of course is a denial of the Godness of Christ just as so called Apostolic (Jesus Only) doctrine is a denial of His humanity.  The fact is that there was no possibility of Jesus falling for He was truly God.  His testing is a willing one to reconcile man to Himself, not of any necessity whatsoever to the blessed Trinity.  Other aspects of ruckmanism are: the English King James Version of the Bible is superior to the original Greek manuscripts, the antichrist may land in a spaceship in the Vatican, there are no women in heaven (all resurrected saints will receive bodies identical to the resurrected body of Jesus), and a vicious badgering and name calling of those who do not submit to Ruckman’s authority.  Another interesting innovation is that Judas Iscariot was not human, even though the New Testament shows Judas betraying human emotions, repentance and suicide.  Ruckman takes Christ’s statement, “one of you is a devil” to mean that Judas was not human.  Of course Jesus no more meant that Judas was not human than He meant that the Pharisees were not human when He called them serpents and children of vipers.  Interestingly enough Ruckman’s teachings on the non-humaness of Judas is a denial of the traditional and Biblical teaching of the antichrist, whom Ruckman thinks Judas was and is and will be.  For the Pauline teaching on the antichrist is that indeed the antichrist is human, specifically the “man of sin.” (2 Thessalonians 2:2)  In that the distinct element of this teaching revolves around a man, ruckmanism can be accurately described as a cult.

Hidden Treasures

When I study Scripture, I am constantly asking what does this word or phrase mean?  For example, Ephesians 5 talks about being filled with the Spirit, but instead of defining what it means to be filled with the Spirit in Ephesians 5, Paul gives characteristics of one who is being filled with the Spirit. 

In the book of Proverbs, much is written about wisdom and understanding, but wisdom and understanding are not clearly defined in Proverbs.  We are just told to get wisdom and to get understanding.  

Psalm 37:4 says; Delight thyself also in the Lord and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart.  What does it mean to delight oneself in the Lord?  How do I do that?

In John 6 Jesus is the bread of life He says to the Pharisees; Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.  Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. (John 6:53&54)   What does this mean?  How can we eat His flesh and drink His blood!?  

At times the Scripture appears to be speaking in riddles by saying; this is what you need to have and this is what it looks like.  The Scripture also teaches that if you search for it, you will find it!  The wonderful thing about studying and searching the Scriptures is that somewhere in Scripture, the riddles are defined. 

My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee; So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding; Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding; If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God.  For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.  Prov. 2:1-6

Being filled or controlled by the Spirit is defined in the parallel passage of Colossians chapter 3 as letting the word of Christ dwell in you richly

Wisdom and understanding are clearly defined in Job 28:28.  And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.

Isaiah explains what it means to delight in the Lord; …….honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words: Then shalt thou delight thyself in the LORD;  Isaiah 58:13b&14a

Jesus explains His statement concerning eating His flesh and drinking His blood a few verses later in John 6; Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it?  When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples murmured at it, he said unto them, Doth this offend you?

The Lord continues; What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before?  It is the spirit that quickeneth (makes alive); the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.  John 6:60-63

…….let the word of Christ dwell in you richly……. 

King James Only?

KJV or King James Authorized Version of the Bible refers to the 1611 English translation of the Bible. This translation was commissioned by King James of England, head of the Church of England.

There are a couple of legitimate reasons that a Christian may claim to be King James only, in reference to good Bible translations:

There are pastors that prefer that their congregation all use the same translation.  A pastor may preach only from the KJV.  In order to avoid confusion, particularly for new believers, that pastor may encourage his congregation to use the same KJV translation that he does.  He may be referred to as KJV only and this is well and good.

There may be pastors who believe, out of personal conviction, the KJV is the best translation available.  These pastors would encourage their congregation to use what they consider the best translation. They could therefore be referred to as KJV only.   This is also well and good.

There are also some that believe that the KJV translation itself is inspired or God breathed per II Timothy 3:16.  This would mean that the KJV is a perfect translation with no mistakes and no inadequacies of any kind.  The logic of this thinking leads to the faulty conclusion that the original languages can be corrected by the KJV and that all other translations of the Bible should be checked by the KJV translation.  The individuals that hold to this teaching are also known as KJV only, but this is not well and good.  As good as the KJV translation is, it is not a perfect translation.

The KJV translators were Anglicans.  The Anglican Church or the Church of England was a state church closely akin to the Roman Catholic Church.  King Henry the VIII of England requested that the Roman Catholic church annul his marriage to Catherine of Aragon who was unable to give him a male heir.  The Pope declined.  The breach with Rome came to a conclusion when King Henry replaced the Archbishop of Canterbury in order to have his marriage annulled.  As a result of the breach King Henry became head of the church in England.  

King Henry VIII, as head of the Church of England and head of state subsequently used his power to dispose of other wives, either through annulment of their marriage or by execution.  If a wife of Henry’s was dead or their marriage was annulled, the King would be free to remarry.

What does this have to do with the KJV?  Barely 70 years after Henry VIII died, King James used his authority, as head of the church and head of state, to commission the 1611 translation of the Bible.  The translators were conscientious and scholarly men, but they were also under the influence of a monarch with absolute power.  Would the king’s absolute power influence the way the KJV was translated?

I believe the king’s absolute power influenced the translators in a subtle way.  Keep in mind that if the KJV translation was inspired of God as per II Timothy 3:16, the KJV translation would be perfect and unblemished, without even a scribal error.  I believe there is adequate evidence in the KJV text to show the influence of the King’s absolute power.  The following is one example of a weak translation.

Christ speaking to Peter – King James Translation:

And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.  Matthew 16:19 KJV

The “future perfect periphrastic” structure in the Greek shows us that instead of giving Peter unlimited authority in the church, the Lord Jesus has limited his authority to what has already been decided in heaven.

The most understandable translation of this passage would be as follows:  And I will give unto you the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatever you forbid on earth must be what is already forbidden in heaven: and whatever you permit on earth must be what is already permitted in heaven. (Williams)*

Rather than a blank check to the church over which the King has become head, the Matthew 16:19 passage correctly translated is actually a warning and a restraint upon the church and it’s power.  

The blank check translation of this passage in the KJV reveals, in my opinion, the political influence of the state church upon the translators.  If the KJV translation is inspired (God breathed) this passage would have been accurately translated.  

If the KJV English translation is not inspired, what does II Timothy 3:16 mean when it says; All scripture is given by inspiration of God,…?  It means  that when the Scripture was given, the Scriptures were God breathed as to source.  As such the initial  writings were a perfect rendering of God’s word to mankind when uttered and recorded in the prophet’s and apostle’s manuscripts.

 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost (II Peter 1:21).  The verses above were written by Paul and Peter in the first century during the time the NT Scriptures were being given to the church.  The biblical doctrine of inspiration applies to the original manuscripts as the perfect revelation of God.  Their being God breathed refers to how they were given, when they were given and what we were given in the first place (originally).

If we no longer have the original manuscripts of the prophets and apostles, how do we know that we have the infallible Word of God?  Do not those things that are handed down from generation to generation get distorted and muddled by oral tradition?  The answer is yes, things are muddled by oral tradition, but the Bible is an exception to that and here are reasons why:

  • Scripture has not been handed down by oral tradition.  The Scriptures have been written and copied by those who believed that the Bible was exactly what it claimed to be……..the Word of God.  They treated it as such.  God worked through these people to preserve His Word.  Many paid with their lives.
  • The volume of manuscripts for the New Testament; some full, some partial, some in bits and pieces have enabled Bible scholars to verify, through constructive criticism, the contents of each NT book.  In many cases there is more historical evidence to support Bible content, than there is for much of the secular history predating Christ.
  • In addition, before the discovery of Dead Sea Scrolls, the oldest manuscripts of the OT were dated from about 1000 AD.  After the discovery of the Dead Sea scrolls, we suddenly had OT manuscripts that predated Christ.  Careful study of these manuscripts by Bible scholars indicate that the oldest manuscripts we had prior to the Dead Sea scrolls were 95% plus accurate.  The 5% or less discrepancy has nothing to do with Bible doctrine and can be attributed to scribal error and changed spellings.

 God has preserved His Word.  It is not necessary to make up a  doctrine to support the Scripture as the infallible Word of God.  Bible believers have always accepted the infallibility of Scripture by faith and that was long before the 1611 KJV translation.

 Inventing doctrine to support or defend legitimate Bible doctrine does not serve God’s purpose.   

Note:  Whether or not you may agree concerning the King of England’s power to influence the KJV translators, an honest evaluation of the KJV will reveal weak translations of certain passages which deal with state church doctrine that is not biblical. Weak translations are not perfect translations.

It is not my intent in this article to disparage the KJV  translation.  If you check my blog articles, you will find that when I quote  the Bible, the majority of the time I quote from the KJV.   When I refer to a weak translation, I am referring to passages that could have been translated more clearly, but they were not more precise, in my opinion, because of the established practices of the state church at that time.

The point of this article is simply this; if the 1611 KJV is God breathed in the sense of II Timothy 3:16, then it must be perfect in every way.  The KJV is not perfect in every way. 

Those who hold that the 1611 KJV is perfect find themselves in the irrational position of believing the KJV can be used to correct the original languages and all other translations of various languages.  This kind of thinking does not edify believers, defend the faith or advance the cause of Christ.  

Inventing doctrine to support or defend legitimate Bible doctrine does not serve God’s purpose.   

*See blog article entitled Settled in Heaven.

 …….let the word of Christ dwell in you richly……

What Do You Mean By That?

Have you ever said Good Morning to someone, only to have them reply suspiciously; what do you mean by that?  Whenever it happens, it is always a good laugh.

On the other hand, when engaging someone in a conversation about spiritual things, people often respond; I am a Christian.  This would be a good time to ask seriously; what do you mean by that, what do you mean when you say; I am a Christian?

Regardless their response to the question, a follow up for the believer can be; This is what I mean when I say, I claim to be a Christian:

  I am a poor lost sinner who deserves hell.  There is nothing I can do to make my heart clean.  I am trusting Jesus Christ as my only hope of salvation and you can hold me accountable to anything the Bible says.  Is this what you mean when you say; I am a Christian?

Anyone can say; I believe (the demons believe and tremble).  Few are willing to be held accountable.

Note: The evidence of salvation, not the cause of it, is obedience to the Word of God.  What is lacking today in those who profess to be Christians is confidence in and obedience to the Bible. 

……let the word of Christ dwell in you richly…….