Esther 1:13-14 (RSV)
V13- Then the king said to the wise men who knew the times – for that was the king’s procedure towards all who were versed in law and judgment,
V14- the men next to him being Carshena, Shethar, Admatha, Tarshish, Meres, Marsena, and Memucan, the seven princes of Persia and Media, who saw the king’s face and sat first in the kingdom.
God has saved us and adopted us through His Son, Jesus Christ into His Kingdom of marvelous light to be His princes and princesses and not paupers.
Sadly, many of us as children of God are not living as Princes and Princesses of God. Instead we are living like paupers, below the title, blessings and honor that God has bestowed upon us.
Our Key Text introduces to us seven Princes who surrounded King Ahasuerus. They were the people King Ahasuerus would ask for counsel as was the custom or the procedure of the ancient days. These seven princes were not just ordinary princes. Our Key text tells us that they were:
• Wise men who knew the times
• Well versed with laws and judgment
• Men next to the king
• Men who saw the king’s face
• Men who sat first in the kingdom
The description that strikes me most about these seven Princes is that they “saw the king’s face.”
Various translations render this phrase, “saw the king’s face” as:
• “saw the king on a regular basis” (NET);
• “met the king regularly (NLT)”
• “the inner circle with access to the king’s ear (Message)
• “had access to the king” (Amp)
These seven princes had access to the king.
I believe that all of us want to have access to our king.
Zechariah 3:6-7 (NASB) – ‘And the angel of the LORD admonished Joshua, saying, “Thus says the LORD of hosts, ‘If you will walk in My ways and if you will perform My service, then you will also govern My house and have charge of My courts, and I will grant you FREE ACCESS among those who are standing here.
Living Bible defines “free access” as “I will let you walk in and out of my presence with these angels.”
This morning, I would like to share a message entitled, ‘ACCESS TO THE KING”.
There are spiritual qualities that give us access to the King.
The names of the 7 Princes of Persia will reveal to us the 7 spiritual qualities needed for us to have access to the King. Let’s study the names of these 7 Princes.
The name “Cashena” means “illustrious.”
The word “illustrious” in the English Dictionary means “celebrated, fame, famous, notable or renowned.”
Cashena was an ILLUSTRIOUS prince. He was a notable, famous and renowned prince.
To use a biblical term, it means Cashena is a MAN WITH A DIFFERENT SPIRIT and that is the first spiritual quality we need in order to access to the king.
Indeed, Cashena stood out among the crowd. He was notable. He was DIFFERENT from the crowd.
Another man from the Bible who God describes as a man with a DIFFERENT SPIRT is Caleb.
Numbers 14:24 (RSV) – But my servant Caleb, because he has DIFFERENT SPIRIT and has followed me fully, I will bring into the land into which he went, and his descendants shall possess it.
What does it mean that Caleb had a different spirit? Caleb possesses 7 qualities that makes him different from the other 10 spies:
• He was a man of vision
He saw the land as the possession of God’s people. He saw Hebron as his INHERITANCE. The other ten saw in the natural but Caleb saw in the spirit. He had a vision of God.
• He was a man of faith
When you fix your attention on the obstacles rather than the objectives, FEAR WILL ECLIPSE YOUR FAITH. When you stop using your spiritual sight which is fixed on God’s Word and begin using natural sight which only sees what is in front of you, it is easy just to focus on the difficulties and dangers and never reach the top levels of your faith walk. Caleb walked by faith. Faith sees victory; faith brings a good report; faith sees with the eyes of God; faith brings the vision into being.
• He was a man of perseverance
Caleb had been many years in slavery in Egypt and 40 years walking in the wilderness. There were ten instances of murmuring by the children of Israel during the wilderness journey. Yet Caleb persevered and wasn’t swayed by the wrong spirit of the camp.
• He was a man of encouragement
He spread the good news to the others. Numbers 13:30 says, “Then Caleb quieted the people before Moses and said, “Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it.”
• He was a man of loyalty
He supported Moses and he supported Joshua.
• He was a man of blessings
In Joshua 15:13-19 we see He gave away the springs of water – springs were more important than lands. He knew he was blessed to be a blessing. He came into his inheritance and then gave it away to bless others.
• He was a man of altitudes
He was not content with the average. He never thought in terms of COMFORT but while the rest were plagued with fear, He focused on God and His promises. He knew that God and His promises were much higher and bigger than any giant or walled city.
CASHENA was an illustrious prince who has a different spirit than the rest. He has the same spirit as that of Caleb.
Do you have a different spirit from the rest? Are you illustrious? Do you tend to be swayed by the negative crowd or are you like Cashena and Caleb – having a different spirit that distinguishes you from the rest?
CASHENA = “illustrious”-A SPIRIT THAT IS DIFFERENT
The name “SHETHAR” means “a star”.
Simply put, it means ‘OUR LIGHT MUST SHINE’. That is the second spiritual quality we need in order to access to the king.
It is the innate nature of a star to shine. If it doesn’t, it is not a star.
OUR LIGHT MUST SHINE.
Matthew 5:16- Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.
The German atheist philosopher Nietzsche once said that if he saw more redeemed people, he might be more inclined to believe in their Redeemer. Christians who do not have a CHANGED LIVES have a CREDIBILITY GAP. If I am trying to tell you how great my doctor is but I am dying under his care, you might question his skill. If I try to tell you how great my auto mechanic is but my car is belching black smoke out of the exhaust, you will probably be reluctant to entrust your own car to him. What good does it do to tell people how great our Savior is if they cannot see that we ourselves have been saved from sin? LET YOUR LIGHT SHINE!
What does Jesus mean by light? The light in us is HIS LIGHT, the indwelling Christ, the Holy Spirit within us. Paul calls it “the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ” (2 Cor 4:4). We have that light shining through our lives if our actions reflect the nature of Christ – His love, compassion and forgiveness. His light shines through our ATTITUDES, WORDS AND DEEDS. When people see that our lives have been CHANGED so that we have JESUS’ VALUES and see the POWER OF GOD at work in us, they will agree that we do have a great Savior. When they see redeemed people, they are more inclined to believe that we have a Redeemer. The CHRISTLIKE LIFE is the platform on which individual testimony becomes convincing.
Quotes. Evangelism is not what we tell people, unless what we tell is totally consistent with who we are. It is who we are that is going to make the difference. If we do not truly enjoy our faith, nobody is going to catch the fire of enjoyment from us. If our lives are not totally centered on Christ, we will not be Christ-bearers for others, no matter how pious our words.”
SHETHAR was a star. His light shone for His King.
How can you call yourself a Christian, the son of God and still go around cheating people money? How can you call yourself the son of the light and still live in darkness, in sin, in sexual immorality?
Is your light shining for Christ? Are you a star that shines brightly for Christ in this dark world or are you like angel Lucifer who used to be the bright morning star but then began to sin against God so that God had to banish him from his kingdom of light and today Lucifer is known as Satan – the prince of darkness?
SHETHAR = “a star” – “OUR LIGHT MUST SHINE”
The name “Admatha” in Persian means “testimony to them.”
It simply means that the third spiritual quality that we need is ‘WE ARE WALKING EPISTLES’.
2 Corinthians 3:2-3- “You are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read by all men; clearly you are AN EPISTLE OF CHRIST, ministered by us, written not with ink but by the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablet of flesh, that is, of the heart.
When we say we are “walking epistles”, it means we are the written letter of God to others. People can know and read our lives. Our lives are transparent before others. Our lives testify of Christ.
Admatha lived his life as a good testimony to his king. There was no hidden agenda written in his life.
Paul’s life was a LIVING EPISTLE – wherever he went, people could see the glory of God in his life.
How do we become a WALKING EPISTLE?
There is no other better person to study on a life of faith than that of Abraham- a man known to be FATHER OF FAITH.
Two words always leap up whenever we study the life of Abraham – ‘FULLY PERSUADED.”
Roman 4:18-22 (KJV)- ‘Who against hope believed in hope that he might become the father of many nations, according to be that which was spoken, so shall thy seed be. And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sarah’s womb: He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God. And being FULLY PERSUADED that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform. And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness.
If you want to see the fulfillment of God’s promises for your life, you are going to have to receive them just as Abraham did – BY BEING FULLY PERSUADED.
To be PARTIALLY PERSUADED won’t do.
To ALMOST BE PERSUADED won’t do either.
TO BE FULLY PERSUADED is the only way to see all the marvelous promises of God become ours.
The Bible tells us that Abraham STAGGERED NOT AT THE PROMISES OF GOD. The word “stagger” means “waver”. Abraham did not waver at the promises of God.
The only things and promises of God that you are going to receive from God by faith are those things and promises about which you are FULLY PERSUADED.
I remember the tussle with unbelief in 2012. After I returned from Lyon to Singapore, I stayed in Singapore for two weeks before deciding to return to Iloilo. During my one month stay in Lyon, God had given me many marvelous promises about Etab, about my future and about my destiny. Those promises were given in the height of my “ministerial bankruptcy”. I was stripped of every thing by my sending church and I was filled with fear and uncertainty. The next two weeks in Singapore were a big tussle for me. I couldn’t sleep every night and I would be up in my mum’s room praying and reading and reading all over again the rhemas that God had given me in Lyon. I was fighting with God because I was too afraid to make that leap of faith into a salary-less ministry in Iloilo City. I looked around my country and I saw ample job opportunities. I knew if I were to humble myself and not be choosy, I could land a job easily. I WASN’T FULLY PERSUADED YET BY GOD that He would not drop me if I returned to Iloilo without any first world backing. I didn’t trust the third world’s capacity and ability to take care of my future. I was looking at the circumstances more than God until one night, God gave me a stern rebuke in Jeremiah 31:32- How long will you waver, O faithless daughter? For the LORD has created a new thing on the earth: a woman protects a man [Msg – A transformed woman will embrace the transforming GOD]. That jerked me up and I obeyed and returned to Iloilo City. Of course, the journey of faith is such that the promises of God needed time to incubate before it could be birthed. Like Abraham, after the promise was given, he was plunged into a period of waiting for 25 years [the incubation and waiting period]. I went through financial barrenness for the next 4 years. Through that 4 years, God was drilling me to be fully persuaded about His care and provision and not to stagger. I faltered many times but the faith training lesson went on till I was fully persuaded. And the financial breakthrough came in 2016. Hallelujah!!!!
Are you fully persuaded about the promises that God has given you? Or are you still staggering and wavering?
Admatha lived a life of good testimony to the king. His life was like a walking epistle of faith for everyone to read and know.
Musicians, worship leaders and back-up singers must remember that your lives are like walking epistles. Once you are up on the stage, we as pastors and even congregation can read your life like an open epistles (letter). We know if you are walking well in faith with God or you are walking in flesh. Even leaders of this church – your title cannot mask this walking epistle in you. If you have not been walking closely with God, many people around you can know and read your spirituality and faith level.
ADMATHA = “testimony to them” – ‘WE ARE WALKING EPISTLES’
The name “Tarshish” in Hebrew means “to beat down; to shatter.” Tarshish is also the name of the wealthy city which means “refinery.”
Simply put, the name Tarshish means WE ARE POLISHED AND TRIED.
Tarshish represents a life that was polished and tried.
Many times, we want God’s blessing but not God’s polishing.
Psalms 12:6- The words of the LORD are pure words, like silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.
The man who was polished and tried in the Bible is Peter. He was the most colorful character among the 12 disciples. He was self-confident, aggressive, impulsive, outspoken, temperamental, presumptuous and argumentative. God had to beat him down, shatter him, polish him so that he would become a true Apostle of the Lord.
The greatest blow that shattered the arrogance and self-confidence of this disciple was his denial of His Christ three times. Peter had imagined himself boldly standing before the Sanhedrin side by side with Jesus, come what may. But that night, as Jesus was doing that very thing, Peter couldn’t even stand before a servant girl. He denied Christ three times. That denial kept Peter up at night. He was supposed to be a rock. That night he had crumbled into pieces. He was not who he thought he was. Peter had never been less confident in himself.
Jesus then came to the beach to restore Peter who was overwhelmed with guilt and condemnation over HIS FAILURES.
Jesus asked Simon Peter 3 times – “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love me?” (John 21:15-17). When Jesus questioned Peter’s love for a third time that morning, Peter grieved that he might have lost the Savior’s trust. HE HAD FAILED. But he did love Jesus. All he could do was appeal to Jesus’ omniscience: “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.”
And Jesus did. In fact, later Peter realized what Jesus had done in that painful conversation. He had not doubted Peter’s love at all. Rather, he had allowed Peter to confess his love for every wretched denial he had made on that dreadful night. Amazing grace!
And the Lord had a word for Peter. In the future, there would be another opportunity to confess his love publicly in the face of great cost.
Shame over past failures and sins can haunt and inhibit us in many ways. And Satan seeks to steal and destroy our faith by shoving our failures in our face. But Jesus intends to redeems us completely.
Jesus is the great Restorer of failures who repent. Jesus had said to Peter, “when you have turned again [repented], strengthen your brothers.” And there on the beach, he gave Peter the greatest invitation any of us can receive on earth: “follow me.” The failure was to be left behind. There was kingdom work to do, and eternal life to enjoy.
Peter’s failure did not DEFINE him. Rather it REFINED him. Peter was refined of his self-confidence and self-exaltation. His failure gave a death blow to these ugly sins.
Our failures will not define us. They are horrible, humbling stumbles along the path of following Jesus, who paid for them all on the cross. And Jesus specializes in transforming failures into rocks of strength for his church.
God will allow failure to come into our lives to refine and polish us. For a while we may seem beaten down and shattered but after the refining has done its work, we will become like Tarshish – polished and tried. The only thing God requires is our humility and repentance.
Some people will change when they see the light.
Others change only when they feel the heat.
Some others change only when they are in the fire.
Are you beaten down and shattered by your failures today? God is refining you through your failures. Your failures are not final until you give up.
TARSHISH = “to beat down; to shatter; refinery” – ‘WE ARE POLISHED AND TRIED’
The name means “lofty.” When we talk about “lofty” we think of pride. I am not using the negative connotation for this name. Rather it means Meres was seated in the high places. The Bible calls it positively as “seated in the heavenly places.”
This name Meres introduces to us the fifth spiritual quality – WE ARE SEATED IN THE HEAVENLY PLACES.
Ephesians 1:3- Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places…
What are the 8 spiritual blessings in the heavenly places listed in Ephesians 1?
• Elections As Saints (v 4)
Ephesians 1:4 says that God has “chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love.” God chose to extend His grace to us and offer us salvation. He made that decision before sin even entered the world.
• Adoption as His Children (v 5)
Not only has God chosen but He has granted us FULL STATUS AS HIS CHILDREN, with all the benefits thereof.
• Accepted In The Beloved (v 6)
The word is related to grace and gives the idea of making us graceful or favorable through Christ the beloved of God. When we put on Christ, the Father sees His loveliness when He looks at us. The blood of Christ has taken away the guilt of our sins and we stand before the Father as perfectly accepted.
• Redemption Through His Blood (v7)
Redemption speaks of buying one’s freedom, paying a ransom. The price for our sins, the payment to buy us out of eternal condemnation, was fully paid by the blood of Christ. In Christ, we are no longer slaves to sin but we become slaves to God.
• Forgiveness of sins (v7)
This is closely related to redemption but looks at the other side of the coin. In paying the ransom for our sins, the debt of sin was cancelled and we were forgiven.
• Knowing the mystery of His will (v8-10)
God has given us wisdom and insight through His Word and has shown us His desire to bring all things together to glorify Christ. Since all of creation was made by Him and is for His good pleasure, the consummation of His plan is when everything and everyone is brought in line to glorify Him. By aligning ourselves with Him by faith, we become part of His perfect plan and purpose.
• Inheritance of God (v11)
There is the inheritance that is given to us through Christ. What is included in that inheritance? The riches of his glory, the presence of God, the eternal home (1 Cor 2:9).
• Sealing of the Holy Spirit (v13)
When we become God’s children, He places His mark of ownership on us, guaranteeing our eternal security. This is spoken of as the DOWN-PAYMENT of our full redemption, to hold us until the day Christ brings us to Him.
How do we access all of these blessings? They are readily accessible to everyone who is in Christ Jesus. The way to be in Christ is to repent, or turn away from our sins, confessing to God that we are sinners. When we believe that Christ died to take our punishment and now lives to give us new life, He grants us forgiveness of sins and all the blessings that accompany that salvation.
Awaken to your full potential in Christ Jesus. Maximize your potential as a prince and not a pauper.
MERES = “lofty” – WE ARE SEATED IN THE HEAVENLY PLACES
The name means “worthy”.
The sixth spiritual quality from the name of Marsena is ‘WE ARE WORTHY TO ENTER BY THE BLOOD OF JESUS.’
We can enter the presence of the King through the blood of Jesus Christ. The blood of Jesus makes us worthy.
Hebrew 10:19- Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest BY THE BLOOD OF JESUS……
The blood of Jesus is the most powerful weapon in our lives. It grants us bold [confident] access to the throne of the King, the holy of holies.
MARSENA = “worthy” – WE ARE WORTHY TO ENTER BY THE BLOOD OF JESUS
The name means “dignified or honorable.”
The seventh spiritual quality introduced by this name is – WE HAVE A GOOD REPUTATION.
Memucan was one of the royal counsellors at the court of Ahasuerus, by whose suggestion Queen Vashti was divorced. Why did he do that? Because he was very concerned for the reputation of His King. Being a reputable man himself, he could not tolerate disrespect by Queen Vashti to King Ahasuerus that smeared the reputation of his king.
Quote: “The reputation of a thousand years may be determined by the conduct of one hour.”- Japanese Proverb
E.g. “I Almost Missed The Sunset” By Bill Gaither
Bill Gaither is an American singer and songwriter of Southern gospel and contemporary Christian music. He was the one who wrote the song, “He Touched Me.” In his book, he wrote, “Gloria and I had been married a couple of years. We were teaching in a school in Alexandria, Indiana, where I had grown up. We wanted a piece of land where we could build a house. I noticed the parcel south of town where cattle grazed. I learned that it belonged to a 92-year-old retired banker by the name of Mr. Yule. He owned a lot of land in that area and word was he would sell none of it. He gave the same speech to anyone who inquired, “I promised the farmers they could use it for their cattle.”
Gloria and I visited him. Although he was retired, he spent a couple of hours each morning in his office. He looked at us over the top of his bifocals.
I introduced myself and told him we were interested in a piece of his land. “Not selling,” he said pleasantly. “Promised it to the farmers for grazing.”
“I know but we teach school here and thought maybe you’d be interested in selling it to someone planning to settle in the area.”
He pursed his lips and stared at me. “What’d you say your name was?”
“Gaither. Bill Gaither.”
“Hmmm….Any relation to Grover Gaither?”
“Yes, sir! He was my granddad.”
Mr. Yule put down his paper and removed his glasses. “Interesting! Grover Gaither was the best worker I ever had on my farm. Full day’s work for a day’s pay. So honest. What’d you say you wanted?”
I told him again.
“Let me do some thinking on it, then come back and see me.”
I came back within the week and Mr. Yule told me he had had the property appraised. I held my breath. “How does $3,800 sound?” Would that be okay?”
If that was per acre, I would have to come up with nearly $60,000!
“$3800?” I repeated.
“Yup. Fifteen acres for $3,800.”
I knew it had to be worth at least three times that. I readily accepted.
Nearly three decades later, my son and I strolled that beautiful lush property that had once been pasture land. “Son,” I said, “You’ve had this wonderful place to grow up through nothing that you have done, but because of the good name of a great – granddad you never met.”
Proverbs 22:1- A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, and favor is better than silver or gold.
Today we have a good reputation as sons and daughters of a great God through nothing that we have done but because of the good name of Jesus Christ who died for you and me 2000 years ago. How is your reputation with God? How is your reputation with men?
MEMUCAN = ‘dignified or honorable – We have a good reputation.
These 7 princes of King Ahasuerus were wise men who knew the times. They were well versed in law and judgment. They have the 7 spiritual qualities that grant them access to their king. They saw the king’s face and they sat first in the kingdom.
Today I want to direct your attention to a PRINCE who is greater than these 7 princes put together. He is Jesus – THE PRINCE OF GOD; THE PRINCE OF PEACE, THE SON OF GOD, THE WONDERFUL COUNSELOR, THE ONLY TRUE SON IN THE HOUSE OF GOD.
Isaiah 9:6- For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government will be upon his shoulder, and his name will be called “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
Colossians 1:18- He is the head of the body, the church, he is the beginning, the first-born from the dead, that in everything he might be pre-eminent.
After Jesus died, resurrected and ascended, He was the first to see the King’s face. He was the first to sit down in the kingdom of God at the right hand of God the Father (the King). He became the preeminent one. As He was walking on this earth as the Son of God [Prince], he lived an illustrious life, notable for his love, compassion and good deeds and amazing teaching; He never failed to shine the light of His king to the fallen human; He was a walking epistle, a testimony to all for His unwavering faith in the promises and plans of God for His destiny, He was polished and tried not only at the Garden of Gethsemane but at Calvary; He was willing to die and to shed his blood for us so that we all can be made worthy to access the throne of God with boldness; He was dignified and honorable because of his life and sacrifices and He left behind that legacy of a good name for us so that at the mention of His name, prayers can be answered; demons can be defeated; spiritual blessings in the heavenly places can be released to us. Our Perfect Prince has fulfilled these 7 spiritual qualities as a Prince to see the face of God.
Today- Jesus invites us to be with the King so that we can see the King’s face on a regular basis. He wants us not only to serve the King but to be that inner circle with access to the King’s ear. And that access was already made possible by the blood He shed for us and He has left behind a good name for us. At the mention of His good and honorable name and by his shed blood, we can see the King’s face.
Our job is to know who we are in Christ – We are princes; we are princesses. Jesus has already lived out these 7 spiritual qualities and His Holy Spirit in you can empower you to do the same.
The seven princes saw the king’s face and sat first in the kingdom.
Do you want to see the king’s face? Do you want bold access to your king in Heaven? Then, ask Jesus to help you develop these 7 spiritual qualities:
Carshena (illustrious) – A Spirit that is different
Shethar (a star) – Our Light must shine
Admatha(Testimony to them) – We are walking Epistles
Tarshish (to beat down; to shatter; refinery)- We are polished and tried
Meres (lofty) – We are seated in the Heavenly Places
Marsena (Worthy) – We are worthy to enter by blood of the Lamb
Memucan (dignified/honorable)- We have a good reputation
PREACHED AT ETAB 1ST ENG SV ON 14 OCT 2018