God telegraphs His punches. The scripture says that He does nothing without first telling His servants the prophets and just like in the world of Boxing or MMA, those who are familiar and knowledgeable enough can learn to read and react to a punch that is coming. God telegraphs His punches so we can avoid them.Anyone can learn to read what God intends to do by the signs and signals that precede the punch.
The kings of Israel and Judah sent messages and chose the messenger to suit the message. To have the message warmly received and welcomed, you chose a good man from an appropriate place. To telegraph bad news, you sent a stranger or foreigner—someone disposable in the event that the person who received the message reacted in rage and killed the messenger.
God does this. You can tell God’s intention by whom He sends and where they are from.
John the Baptist was a priest but camped beyond the Jordan, dressed in all black, ate off the land and was unknown to the influential priests in Jerusalem. It was God’s intention that the message be rejected by the influential and received by the lowly.
Jesus came from Nazareth. God was telegraphing His intention that Jesus would be Messiah Ben Joseph, the suffering servant, instead of the king the Jews prayed for; How? It has recently been discovered the Nazareth was the home of a large Roman Garrison. It was all that Nazareth was known for and the reason they asked “Can anything good come from Nazareth?” If he had been raised in Bethlehem, they would have paid much closer attention to Jesus. Instead, God sent wise men from the east and the young family was driven out of Bethlehem to Egypt and then upon returning to Israel, they settled far to the north in Nazareth. Jesus was rejected in part because of where He was from.
When the Lord began to speak through Hosea, he was commanded to marry a promiscuous woman. His wife was a worshiper of the baals and participated in the sacred orgies associated with this worship. His wife attempted to cuckold him and he divorced her after she had two children that were not his own. Half the men in his own hometown and slept with his wife! Who would listen to him? Yet, He was clearly a prophet. He obeyed God and was one of the earliest writing prophets. His warnings to Israel went unheeded and came to pass just as he prophesied. He greatly influenced all the prophets who followed; especially Jeremiah and Ezekiel. His life and prophecy are pointed to by Jesus to explain God’s view of marriage and divorce. It was such a hard saying that the disciples asked “What man would ever get married if this is what is expected of him? It would be better not to marry!”
Early in Isaiah’s ministry he was highly respected and sought after. He had free access to the palace of the king and walked in and out at will. He prophesied to Hezekiah concerning the Assyrians that camped around Jerusalem and not a word fell to the ground. The sun turned backwards in its course, 185,000 Syrian soldiers died in a single night from plague and the king of Assyria was called back to his land where his own sons killed him.
Yet two years later, God commanded Isaiah to walk about naked and barefoot for three years. What would you think of a man who suddenly started walking around buck naked? When Manasseh, the son of Hezekiah, became king he ruled for fifty-five years in Jerusalem and was very wicked. He killed Isaiah by having him placed inside a hollowed out log and sawn in half.
Why did God allow a wicked king to live and reign fifty-five years and then allow Josiah to die young even though he was a just king who sought to return Judah to the path of God?
God was telegraphing his intention for Judah but the signs were only obvious to those who knew God.
When God allows the wicked to be exalted and the just to be punished, it is always in preparation for judgment. When good is punished and evil is rewarded those who do good only for the reward turn to evil; and those who continue to do good become destitute and oppressed; evil multiplies and flourishes before judgment and wrath comes. We see this pattern in the Coming Day of the Lord as well.
The last example I will give is Jonah. Jonah was prominent and influential in Israel. He prophesied early enough in Israel’s history that he proclaimed good things were coming to the Northern Kingdom (and they did). But then God tapped him to go to Nineveh—to the Assyrians who were going to rise to destroy the Northern Kingdom—and command them to repent.
Jonah knew instantly that God intended good for the Assyrians and fled. God simply turned the man around and telegraphed His intention even more clearly by having Jonah swallowed by a great fish and them vomited on to dry land. The Assyrians worshiped the fish god Dagan and Jonah had just been spewed out of a fish’s mouth so when he commanded repentance, the city of Nineveh responded overwhelmingly.
Jonah was a true prophet yet Nineveh was not destroyed. So when judgment and wrath is prophesied we should always listen and repent—no matter who it comes from or what we think of the one proclaiming this message.
I recently heard a “so-called” apostle proclaim in a conference that no one had better come to him with a “word of the Lord” who hadn’t first come and put a hundred dollars in his hand, because, he said, “There were no broke prophets of God.” He has forgotten Who has called him and lost himself in the error of Balaam the son of Beor.
Why didn’t Elijah just buy food then instead of waiting for ravens to feed him or moving in with a widow? Did the greatest of the prophets, a man named John the Baptist, have gold rattling around in an over-sized purse? If so, why did he forage off the land for sustenance? Could he have had money? Certainly—he refused it. Jesus did have a money bag; Judas Iscariot stole from it.
For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine, and you say, ‘He has a demon.’ The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Look, a glutton and a winebibber, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ But wisdom is justified by all her children.” NKJV
Elisha said to Gehazi, “Is it time to receive money and to receive clothing, olive groves and vineyards, sheep and oxen, male and female servants?” There is a time to sow and a time to reap. There is a time for everything. Stop looking at the outward or at reputation.
The prophet who brings the word of the Lord may come like John or like Jesus. Do not despise prophecy.
It is when the prophet prophesies good things that we should be wary and make sure that what the man says comes to pass. The reason for the distinction should be obvious. God is good and when people repent, the evil thing predicted will not happen or will be significantly delayed. Remember Jonah.
Who did God choose to represent Him when the Supreme Court of the United States overturned millennia of tradition and practice and turned Holy Matrimony into something unholy and utterly corrupt? Kim Davis, a relatively new believer, part of the Jesus Only Pentecostals who had previously been married four times to three different men prior to her conversion. She was a clerk; the daughter of the previous long-time clerk who had retired. She was elected by the local people. She was not a judge; she wasn’t trained in the law; she had not spent years in the practice of law or been appointed due to her political connections by the governor.
God chose Kim Davis to be His messenger, a no one from nowhere—unimpressive in any way—and easily despised and wrongfully accused of hypocrisy because of her prior lifestyle.
God telegraphs His punches and the signs and signals are not good for America. America is on the wrong path and God is sending messengers who will be despised and rejected.
God have mercy! Ever since the Desecration, in my heart I have felt that the handwriting is on the wall: “Mene, Mene, Tekel, Parsin.”
Mene means ‘numbered’—God has numbered the days of the American hegemony and has brought it to an end.
Tekel means ‘weighed’—America has been weighed on the balances and has not measured up.
Parsin means ‘divided’—America will be divided and fall.
When a Word from the Lord is bad, always listen and heed. Will your humility and repentance bring you harm? Never. Yet it may produce in you much good and delay or dismiss the trouble God has prepared.
When a Word from the Lord is good, be wary and watch to see if the Word of the Lord comes to pass and remain humble. God may repent of the good He had planned if our hearts are lifted up, because God always resists the proud.
A word to the wise is sufficient, but a hundred blows will not persuade a fool. Will you have eyes to see and ears to hear what the Spirit is saying to the Church?
About the Author
Ken Van Horn has been a pastor for over 25 years–only two years of which was full-time ministry. He has worked as an electrical contractor, editor, probate judge, web developer, consultant and recently completed “A Greater Reward” based upon what the Holy Spirit revealed to him while serving as a judge concerning the work of justice and the imminent Judgment Seat of Christ.
He is currently developing a start up church in Cusseta, Georgia and does itinerant ministry when available.
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