Speaker: Pastor Ronald Welcome
Series: October 2014
Scripture: Esther 2:9
Pastor Ronald began by introducing his wife and son who were now with him in Johannesburg having come all the way from Port Alfred. Though the family was down with sinus problem because of the quality of the air in Johannesburg, the minister was happy to be with family. He recounted how he had met the host Pastor, Brother Brian Naidoo, and how, immediately, their spirits had just blended together from the start. He expressed gratitude at the host Pastor’s confidence in him to let him minister behind the sacred desk in his absence. Because of that trust and confidence bestowed upon him, he had to make sure he does a good job of preaching nothing else but the Word of God so that when the shepherd comes he would be able to give an honourable account of his stewardship. The minister went on to appreciate Brother Charles, a minister in the local assembly who was standing in the gap for the Pastor who is away on God’s programme in the United States of America. He remarked at the depth and benefits of Brother Charles’ ministry of imparting spiritual knowledge, of which knowledge itself is a virtue within the body of Christ. He further pointed out that he wished to have been seated in the pew and just enjoy the teaching nuggets from Brother Charles’ ministry. As the lot fell upon him according to God’s plan for the day, he had to take his stand at the post of duty and preach anyhow. Furthermore, as each one is called differently, Pastor Ronald had to minister according to how God has ordained him in the body. On that note, he would proceed to impart a word of correction to the bride.
Having read the second chapter of Esther starting from the ninth verse, minister noted that there has always been plots to overthrow God’s kingdom. Beginning from Genesis, the devil has attempted to destroy God’s plan. The book of Esther, from which the context for the message was taken, in only a continuation of the same unfolding drama.
The minister read quotations from the Prophet where he mentions that God cannot lose you after he has saved you. The case of Brother Ramsey who took to the beer bottle on backsliding illustrates the point. The Prophet said that by living a life which is a reproach to the blood by which he was sanctified, Brother Ramsey actually cut his life short. God called him home. Therefore the Prophet says that God cannot lose you after saving you but if you decide to live a sinful life, He will cut your life short. Therefore if one desires long life with their family and loved ones, they should simply obey God.
The minister laid a background to his subject saying that for one to overthrow a kingdom which is standing, they first must breach the security systems in place. Often-time this is achieved by recruiting people from within the kingdom itself, officials in the system. The devil has always desired to overthrow God’s kingdom. In order to execute this plot he needs vessels. Therefore Satan looks for candidates that are weak in the kingdom. Those who are feeble and vulnerable to the three weaknesses of Money, Women and Popularity are the usual targets.
King Ahasuerus was in charge of an empire that stretched from the Middle East down to the Sudan in Africa. Then a plot was devised to assassinate him. The primary cause could be jealousy which is the same motive which made Joseph’s brothers betray him. Jealous is a powerful weapon in the hands of the devil and we should never underestimate it. It causes nations to rise up one against another.
At his banquet, king Ahasuerus calls for his wife so he can share his glory with her but the woman refuses. This is what Pentecost did, when God sent the Message of the Hour to display His Glory. Pentecost rejected the call. Pentecost was busy with her own banquet. Why would one refuse God’s call? The reason is money, women and popularity.
In the kingdom, disobedience is a punishable offence. It created a dilemma in Ahasuerus’ empire. It creates problems in the church. And problems need to be dealt with right away. God will never compromise – whether it be family members involved, office bearers or elders of the church. Sometimes problems arise in such a way that those involved in the machinations thereof effectively manipulate the church leadership by threatened and actual withdrawal of membership and tithes.
The Medo-Persian empire had a big problem that caused the king himself to be embarrassed. His face was red with shame. Wife’s public refusal to obey the husband was a big thorn in the flesh. Sisters, if you want to embarrass your husbands before the public, that is ungodly. Watch your behaviour in public with your husband. Watch your body language.
Queen Vashti was watched by the public in the kingdom. How will the king correct the error. Since it was the king himself involved in the matter, he called the wise men for counsel. And Memucan, on behalf of the wisemen, advised that the law of the kingdom should be applied. And the law of the kingdom for the believer is the Bible. It is the one by which all situations that arise in the church should be judged. And no one is above the Word of God.
We should be careful how we conduct ourselves. Vashti’s misconduct affected not only herself personally but other people also in the kingdom. We should consider our ways so that we are not a disgrace to God’s kingdom. The queen’s behaviour was a bad example to all women in the kingdom. From this precedent, all women in the empire would not respect their husbands. At any time in our life, our behaviour affects someone, whether good or bad. We influence someone by our conduct. That is why the Prophet says that JF Kennedy’s wife, Jacqueline, influenced American women by her taste in worldly fashions.
Memucan advises that the king should send a strong message in the kingdom. He has to deal with the case at hand to set a precedent. People in the kingdom should know that there is no tolerance for disobedience. The Constitution of the land was consulted. Memucan stood in the shoes of Public Protector, much like our own South African Public Protector Thuli Madonsela, who is trying to uphold the principles enshrined in the SA constitution. Although she meets with resistance from those who violate the South African Constitution, she still has a constitutional duty to perform. It is the Constitution itself which calls for the establishment of such an office.
As Christians we also have a Constitution from Heaven to uphold. There is no tolerance for sin and unrighteousness. And the Word of God, which is our Constitution, is infallible. Memucan pronounces that the queen should be divorced, according to the law of the land. Let another woman be sought to replace her. That is what God did with Pentecost when she refused God’s move. Pentecost was divorced, there is no Holy Ghost in her movement. God moved on with the Bride which is the real Esther. And now God is investing a lot in the Bride. He is pouring scriptural values. He is giving spiritual values. He is imparting divine principles to the Bride. Therefore her conduct reflects Him. She talks about Him. She is the Stature Of A Perfect Man, which is the culmination of all the investment God has made on her. Like Esther who had to undergo massages and other sensual treatments with expensive lotions, we are the Bride that God is investing in. And, while Esther underwent the beauty treatment, Modecai was there, overseeing how the process unfolded. Modecai is like the Holy Ghost to the believer today, who watches over us as we prepare for the encounter with our own king. Through the preaching of the Word, we, as the Bride of Christ, are made ready for Him.
We need to note that before the rapture takes place, another spirit comes in the bride. This was prefigured in the kingdom of Ahasuerus when, just before the crown was bestowed upon Esther, an evil spirit rose up in the form of an assassination attempt upon the king. But there was Modecai who got wind of it. This always happens in many situations, organisations, societies and gatherings etc. Even the biggest political party of the ANC in South Africa has been broken down such spirits. And these move from political realm to the domain of the church world.
Promotion comes from God. When Modecai knew of the plot, he informed Esther but nothing happened. The king did nothing in return. But only God, in his own time, is a rewarder.
Modecai had told Esther to keep a secret. The secret was about her genealogy. It was about her descendance as a Jew. So there was a mystery around Esther, even as we have a mystery about the 7 Seals.
What could have been the motive for the assassination plot by Bigtha and Theresh? In the search for motive in criminal law, there is little evidence we can gather from the Bible because the scriptures do not explicitly state for what reason the two palace officials sought to slay the king. However, a clue can be obtained from Vashti, who stands as a prime suspect behind these plots. She obviously had a grievance against the kingdom because she had been kicked out of it. Could it be that she recruited those two officials who were so close to the king to rise up against Ahasuerus? We do not know, but this is just an opinion that Vashti could have been behind the assassination plot.
Therefore we need to watch out for those who are close to us. Any husband should be wary of a friend who comes everyday to his home when he is not there. The enemy uses those close people around us. These are the people that hate and overthrow us. Imagine how much security checks had been done on the two palace officials who sought to kill the king. These were people of reputable credentials. And the devil targeted them.
God has a system for his own kingdom whereby he uses preachers to warn people of oncoming events. All plots are revealed, because there is the Holy Ghost, of which Modecai was a type. Modecai told Esther much as the Holy Ghost warns the Bride. The assassination plotters were investigated and found guilty, whereupon they were hanged. Therefore we need to take note that there are investigating angels around us. They record all that we do in this mortal life. The records are kept for judgement one day before the white throne. Although Modecai was not immediately rewarded for exposing the plotters, yet the record of the event was kept. The chronicles recorded the case. Therefore although the Pastor may not know of our behind-the-scenes misbehaviour, there are investigating angels keeping records and files of such conduct. The fact that there are investigating angels does not warrant that we open our own investigating units in the church to spy on people. God is the one who does it through the Holy Ghost ministry.
Now God’s time and season begin for him to move arrive. Ahasuerus gets sleepless at night. He calls for the chronicles of the land to be read out to him. This is a lesson to us when we get restless at night. We need to read the Word of God at such times. The king read the acts of Modecai much as a modern boss would read an employee’s CV with respect to a given job or profession. So even at work we have to do good, for one day the boss or manager will read out the chronicles or will be impressed by the record of work. Another thing is that if we become aware of any wrong-doing in the church, we need to report to the church leadership. If we do not do that, we become accomplices with the wrong-doer. If we save a brother from sin, they may hate us today but later on they will appreciate. On the day of judgement, they will be rejoicing.
At the same time that the king was sleepless, Haman also was restless in bed. Because of his hatred for Modecai, he could not sleep. No wonder they say he who angers you actual has control over you. If it is short-temper, then it is your master.
Modecai discerned the spirit of boasting in Haman and refused to bow down to it, although Haman was prime minister in the land. Modecai refused to bow down to an unbeliever. Haman was the kind of man who loved the sound of his own voice. He loved to tell of his exploits at work. Here was a man who would gather all friends and neighbours and tell them how the king has honoured him, and how the queen had invited him to the banquet. He was a man obsessed with his own self; a self-lover. As an addict to human praise and acknowldgement, Modecai’s refusal makes him to bow down makes him unhappy. And here comes Haman at night to the king to obtain permission to eliminate the Jews. He had already plotted their slaughter. He had already spoken against them, about their foreign customs and noisy worship and non-conformance with the world. What was Haman doing? He was introducing the tribulation. Now that Esther was in the kingdom as Queen, here comes the tribulation plot by Haman.
We do not need to miss the rapture. The Haman plot of tribulation is real. Because of this plot, which was made into law, the whole land was filled with fear. But it was at this point that Esther’s mystery would save her race.
When we are in power, we should not forget who we are. And we need to remember other below our ranks too. That is why when Esther was told that Modecai is fasting and wearing sackcloth at the gate, she got concerned. We need to worry when we hear of others in need. We need to act. When the story is told to Esther of the planned genocide by Haman, she realises only the Golden Sceptre route is the way out. She has to plead with the king. The 7 Seals of her descendance must be opened. Already, the king was in love with her, a positive reality which lent weight to her petition.
Promotion comes in the evening time. As the scriptures say, in the evening time it shall be light. God is never too late. When Haman arrives to get the Jews killed he is, surprisingly, told of the impending promotion of someone in the kingdom. As a lover of self, Haman naturally supposes that the candidate of this favour from the king is none but himself and himself alone. Therefore he advises that the man whom the king should honour should be paraded throughout the city on the king’s horse while arrayed in royal apparel. To his shock, he is told that the man to honoured is Modecai the Jew and the one to walk him through the city is none other than the Prime Minister of the land, Haman himself.
What an embarrassment it was to Haman so walk before Modecai while he rode the king’s horse. Modecai was actually driving his problem before him. How God does promote his children! High Blood Pressure is under our feet. Sickness and disease are under our feet. We need to lead them with power and authority from God.
We should never boast of our big houses, which the banks can later repossess or our jobs which can come to an end. Haman now faced the shame of leading his enemy throughout all the city.
Now that Modecai was promoted, the law to eliminate the Jews remained in place. The law cannot be changed. However, Modecai was given the power to enact a statute to allow the Jews to defend themselves. And today we have a defence with us. The 7 Seals give us the authority for self-defence. We need the baptism of the Holy Ghost to escape the tribulation.
The minister mentioned that when he has no tolerance for hearsay. He prefers to know and learn from direct encounters with people instead of relying on what others say. As the Prophet says, as one communicates with someone, they are able, if they are spiritual, to contact their spirit.
As he continued the minister, the Holy Ghost anointing came down heavily upon the congregation and prayer line spontaneously formed as the congregation went forward to be prayed for.