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Evangel Tabernacle | October 23, 2018

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The Seven Eunuchs- The Mutilated Ones

The Seven Eunuchs- The Mutilated Ones

| On 09, Oct 2018

KEY TEXT

Esther 1:10 (RSV)- On the seventh day, when the heart of the king was merry with wine, he commanded Mehuman, Biztha, Harbona, Bigtha, and Abagtha, Zethar and Carkas, the seven eunuchs who served King Ahasuerus as chamberlains,

V11 — to bring Queen Vashti before the king with her royal crown, in order to show the people and the princes her beauty; for she was fair to behold.

V12 — But Queen Vashti refused to come at the king’s command conveyed by the eunuchs. At this the king was enraged, and his anger burned within him.

We are all called to serve Christ after we are born-again.

Deuteronomy 11:13-14- And if you obey my commandments which I command you this day, to love the LORD your God, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul, he will give the rain for your land in its season, the early rain and the later rain, that you may gather in your grain, and your wine and your oil.

But in our service to the King of Kings, something needs to be “cut off” from our lives in order for us to remain in the highest service to the King.
Our key text introduces to us a group of people whose lives are dedicated to the service to the King. But before we study about them today, let’s be acquainted with the background of our Key text first.

Our Key text is taken from the Book of Esther. The Book of Esther opens with King Ahasuerus — a ruthless, commanding and authoritative King of Persia.

King Ahasuerus surrounded himself with seven eunuchs who were his chamberlains (officials charged with the management of the living quarters of the kings or members of the nobility). Before the eunuchs were chosen to serve and be close to the king, they had to undergo a tough selection.

The event of our Key text took place in Shushan. The Book of Esther narrates that Esther became the Queen in replacement of Queen Vashti and she was used by God to protect the Jews, her people, from extinction. Esther symbolizes the BRIDE OF CHRIST while King Ahasuerus symbolizes our GREAT KING JESUS CHRIST.

I am very intrigued by the seven eunuchs selected to serve the King.

This morning, I would like to share a message, entitled, “THE SEVEN EUNUCHS – THE MUTILATED ONES”.

In this message, I would like to bring to your attention 4 things:
• The Eunuchs in the Bible
• The Seven Eunuchs – The Mutilated Ones
• The Eunuchs and Their Blessings from God
• Jesus – The Mutilated One

(I) THE EUNUCHS IN THE BIBLE

The eunuchs of the Bible were usually castrated males or those incapable of reproduction due to a birth defect. A eunuch could also be someone who performed work typical of eunuchs, although he remained perfectly capable of having sex – that is, “eunuch” in some cases was simply a TITLE.

The purpose of intentional castration was to induce impotence and remove sexuality. It was a common practice in ancient times for rulers to castrate some of their servants and/or advisers in order to subdue them. It was especially common to castrate men who tended the royal harem. Queen Esther’s eunuchs are mentioned in Esther 4:4.

In Matthew 19:12, Jesus mentions eunuchs in the context of whether it is good to marry. He says, “There are eunuchs who were born that way, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by others – and there are those who choose to live like eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it.”

Jesus identifies 3 types of “eunuchs” here:
• Natural Eunuch (“born that way”)
• Forced Eunuch (“made eunuchs by others”)
• Voluntary Eunuch (“those who choose”)

NATURAL EUNUCHS include those who are born with a physical defect, but they also comprise those who are born with no real desire for marriage or sex.

FORCED EUNUCHS are those who have been castrated for whatever reason.

VOLUNTARY EUNUCHS are those who, in order to better serve the Lord in some capacity, choose to forego marriage. God calls some people to remain single and therefore celibate.

(II) THE SEVEN EUNUCHS – THE MUTILATED ONES

This morning, I would like to do a detailed study on the seven eunuchs of King Xerxes. By studying their lives and their names, we will get to know the necessary heart’s attitudes that a servant of the King must develop in order to be in the service to the King.

The very first thing about the eunuchs is that they had to be castrated. They had to have something precious and private in their life to be “cut- off” or to be “castrated.” I am not saying that if you want to serve God, you have to be sexually castrated. Rather, we should be prepared that if we want to serve King Jesus, He will “cut-off” something in our lives. The Book of John calls it PRUNING. Isaiah in the OT message version calls it “MUTILATION”.

John 15:2- Every branch of mine that bears no fruit, he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that he may bear more fruit.

Isaiah 56:4-5 (RSV)- For thus says the LORD: “To the eunuchs who keep my sabbaths, who choose the things that please me and hold fast my covenant, I will give you in my house and within my walls a monument and a name better than sons and daughters; I will give them an everlasting name which shall not be cut off.

Message: — “For GOD says: “To the mutilated who keep my Sabbaths and choose what delights me and keep a firm grip of my covenant, I’ll provide them an honored place in my family and within my city, even more honored than that of sons and daughters. I’ll confer permanent honors on them that will never be revoked.”

To “mutilate” according to the dictionary is “to injure, disfigure or make imperfectly by removing or irreparably damaging parts.”

The eunuchs in a sense are considered to be the MUTILATED ONES – THOSE WHO ARE DISFIGURED, INJURED OR MADE IMPERFECT.

In order to serve the Lord, there will come a time not only God will have to “cut off” something precious to us, He has to also “mutilate” or “disfigure” us so that we will depend totally upon Him for our identity and honor.

Isaiah 56:4 tells us that the eunuchs choose the things that please God.

What are the things the eunuchs choose that please God?
From the names of the 7 eunuchs, we will learn that they possess 7 beautiful heart attitudes that please their king.

By reading the 7 names of the eunuch in Esther 1:10, we can bypass them and go directly to the apex of the story of Esther. But these 7 names of the eunuchs were written not just to fill the pages of the Bible but I believe through the Holy Spirit, we can be enlightened concerning the traits necessary to be a servant to the King, just by studying about their names.

1. MEHUMAN

The root — verb “aman” from the name is used to convey or describe “TRUSTWORTHINESS OR FAITHFULNESS OF A PERSON”.

The name of MEHUMAN denotes that he is a skilled or “true worker” – someone who either is well-established; has a lot of experience or can be trusted to do an excellent job.

So, we see here that the name of Mehuman means “TRUSTWORTHINESS OR FAITHFULNESS.” It tells us that the first heart attitude we should possess as a servant of the King is a HEART OF FAITHFULNESS.

It is very clear from the Scriptures that God is looking for FAITHFUL MEN. A faithful person is trustworthy and reliable. We find strength to be faithful because God is faithful in dealing with us. We show God our faithfulness by obeying Him. His heart becomes our heart; His mind our mind; His will our will. One cannot be faithful to God if they do what they please.

God actively looks for faithfulness in His servants. It is one of the qualities on which He judges His people.

God told Noah to build an ark and it took Noah more than 100 years to build that ark on completely dry land. Noah had never seen rain and there were no signs of it coming for a long time. People mocked him but Noah remained faithful to the things that God called him to do.

Paul tells Timothy, “What you have heard from me…entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also” (2 Tim 2:2).

God wants our faithfulness, not our success. We are not called to be successful but to be faithful. Can God depend on you? To be faithful to God is to do the things that God wants you to do and does it well. To be unfaithful to God is to do your own thing and keep doing your own things. You need to discover what God wants you to do because God has a calling on your life.

Ephesians 4:1- I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.

To be faithful, we need to invest what God has entrusted to us. It is a journey of discovering God’s design for your life, the passions, the interests, the gifts, the opportunities that He has given you. We are not called to do everything. You need to seek God. Listen to His voice concerning His calling and will for your life. Start serving. Be involved in the ministry.

Jesus Christ is the supreme example of faithfulness. He always did God’s will and spoke God’s words. His only one desire is, “not my will, but thine be done” (Luke 22:42). Jesus’ obedience did not come naturally. He learned it “by the things he suffered” (Hebrews 5:8).

We too, can learn faithfulness. ‘He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much’ (Luke 16:10). As we grow more faithful in one area of our life, that faithfulness can carry over into other areas. Faithfulness toward God begins with faithfulness toward family, faithfulness on our job and faithfulness in financial dealings.

We should develop this godly trait by starting to obey God promptly. Ready obedience to God’s Word will set us apart as one whom God can trust to carry out His will. “I will look with favor on the FAITHFUL IN THE LAND, that they may dwell with me; he who walks in the way that is blameless shall minister to me” (Psalm 101:6).

Strive to become a man or woman whom God can trust to carry out His instructions. Serve God now with all your heart in single-minded obedience. Don’t wait for life’s big challenges before learning faithfulness. Start now, with life’s little details and learn faithfulness so that you will be ready for greater tests to come.

Mehuman = “trustworthiness and faithfulness” – HEART OF FAITHFULNESS.

2. BIZTHA

The meaning of BIZTHA means “plunder”.

This eunuch living in the time of the King, could have plundered all the wealth and privileges of the King but Biztha served the king faithfully and loyally. It goes to show that Biztha had a HEART OF LOYALTY.

Loyalty is one heart attitude that is rare in the house of God. Betrayal, subversion and rebellion seem to be the norm of the day for many churches.

Proverbs 19:22 – What is desired in a man is loyalty.

Without loyalty, other qualities in life becomes useless.

What is loyalty?
The dictionary defines it as “faithful adherence to a sovereign government, leader, cause, etc.” With this definition, comes the idea of wholehearted fidelity coupled with unswerving devotion and duty.

In the Bible, the concept of LOYALTY is purely RELATIONAL. This means our whole being is thoroughly committed to SOMEONE (Joshua 24:15). Such loyalty is expressed to us in both the DIVINE and HUMAN realms as given to us in the first 2 commandments: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength,” and “love your neighbor as yourself” (Mark 12:29-31).

God established the very essence of loyalty through His covenant relationship with His people: “Know therefore that the LORD your God is God, the faithful God who maintains COVENANT LOYALTY with those who love Him and keep His commandments, to a thousand generations” (Deuteronomy 7:9). Through his covenant, God’s people are assured of His never-ending love from which no believer can ever be separated (Romans 8:35-39). God is promising His loyalty and commitment to us.

Although God’s covenants with man are unilateral – He promises to fulfill them by Himself- there is still an admonition to loyalty on man’s part. For God has made it clear that “if you ever forget the LORD your God and follow other gods and worship and bow down to them, I testify against you today that you will surely be destroyed” (Deuteronomy 8:19). Those who prove to be disloyal are those who prove they do not belong to him.

The number one loyalty we should have in our lives is our loyalty to JESUS CHRIST.

Matthew 10:37 — He that loveth father or mother more than me, is not worthy of me and he that loveth son or daughter more than me, is not worthy of me.

In this scripture we see that some of our dearest relationships – our parents, and our children – should not be closer to us than our relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. We can’t love them more than we love Jesus Christ.

Mark 10:29- And Jesus answered and said, “verily I say unto you, there is no man that had left house or brethren or sisters or father or mother, or wife or children or lands, for my sake and the gospel’s but he shall receive a hundredfold now in this time houses and brethren and children and lands with persecutions and in the world to come, eternal life.”

Again, God is telling us that there is a time when you have to choose God over family, over your friends, over your houses or even country, like what Juvy Cordova is doing now. You have to choose God over your spouse, parents and over children. In all things He must have the preeminence and we should never be more loyal to anyone or anything than we are loyal to the Lord Jesus Christ.

For 14 years, we have been separated from our two children. Jan was sent back to Singapore to study at the age of 13 due to our missionary calling here in Iloilo City. She is 27 this year and all this while, she has always been pining for a normal family where we are not separated. Emotionally she feels lonely and she is even thinking of returning to Iloilo to be with us after her five-year bond with Ministry of Education, Spore, is up. She knows she can never persuade us to give up our calling to be missionary to Iloilo City. In this recent trip, I “Sozo-ed” her and I asked her what was the truth that God wanted to tell her. She showed me Psalms 45:10- “Listen to me, O royal daughter; take to heart what I say. Forget your people and your family far away.”

In our relationship with one another, we are called to STEADFAST LOYALTY. Paul speaks of his “loyal companions” in Philippians 4:3. This unknown person is possibly Titus or Silas, but whoever it was, he was one who labored faithfully with Paul.

Illustration: Jim and Phillip did everything together when they were kids. They even went to high school and college together. After college they joined the marines together. They were both sent to Germany, where they fought side by side in one of history’s ugliest wars. During a fierce battle, they were given the command to retreat. As the men were running back, Jim noticed that Phillip hadn’t returned with the others. Jim begged his commanding officer to let him go and look for his friend. But the officer forbade, saying it would be suicide. Jim disobeyed and went after Philip. His heart pounding, he ran into the gunfire, calling out for Phillip. A short time later, his platoon saw him hobbling across the field carrying a limp body on his arms. The commanding officer shouted at Him for his outrageous risk, “Your friend is dead,” he said, “there is nothing you could do.” “No sir!” Jim replied. “I got there just in time. Before Phillip died, he said, “I know you would come.””

The Bible also teaches us to be loyal to our parents by honoring and obeying them provided their values do not clash with our calling and core values of God.

Biztha had a heart of loyalty to his king.

The root verb of his name also means “to plunder or take as spoil.” Taking spoil occurred as a result of military victory, but in the Bible, victory and the taking of spoils are considered effects of obedience to God.

I was in this church and I saw the slogan on the stage which caught my attention: PLUNDER HELL, POPULATE HEAVEN.

That should be our loyal commitment to the kingdom cause of our King – plundering hell and populating heaven with the people heading to hell.

Rick Joyner in his book, “The final Quest’ writes that there is a demonic army against the Church of God with a very clear job of causing divisions in every part of the body of Christ. Satan is willing to cause division between shepherd and congregation; among congregation and among leaders of the church.”

The weapon Satan uses is disloyalty through betrayal, backbiting, gossiping, whispering, sowing of discord, subversion, insubmission and rebellion.

What are we to do about it? Succumb to this spirit of disloyalty? Or are we going to rise up in loyalty to God, to His kingdom cause, to His leaders whom he has put over us, to His calling and plunder the kingdom of Satan so that we can take back what rightfully belongs to the kingdom of God – which are souls and the unity in the body of Christ?

BIZTHA = “plunder” – HEART OF LOYALTY.

3. HARBONA

His name means “donkey driver”. That is a negative connotation. Donkey conjures to us “the spirit of stubbornness.” In the positive sense, it means THE HEART OF STEADFASTNESS.

To be steadfast is to be “fixed in direction, firm in direction, and not to be moved.

2 Timothy 4:5- Endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist.

The man with the heart of steadfastness is Nehemiah. In the midst of planning and rebuilding the broken walls of Jerusalem, opposition came against him. It was not a “one-time” opposition. It was an ongoing opposition. Yet Nehemiah stood steadfast. He was consistently under pressure, yet he fulfilled his task.

Harbona stood steadfast serving an ungodly king.

I remember many years ago at Quezon Building, we held a Talentime Competition during our Christmas Party. Pastor Anelene was one of the contestants and she sang a song called, STUBBORN LOVE. The title of that song caught my attention and as you read the lyrics, you will find that it is about God’s stubborn love for us that never lets go of us despite the many times we fail Him. I call that God’s steadfast love for us.

For the last one week, God has been leading me to meditate on His steadfast love. He showed me that “his delight is not in the strength of the horse, nor his pleasure in the legs of a man; but the Lord takes pleasure in those who fear him, in those who HOPE IN HIS STEADFAST LOVE (Psalms 147:10-11). God even told me a day later, following up on the theme of his steadfast love (Psalm 36:7-9), that if I can recognize the PRECIOUSNESS OF HIS STEADFAST LOVE TO ME, then:

i) I will take refuge in the shadow of His wings
ii) My people shall feast on the abundance of His house
iii) He will give my people drink from the river of His delights
iv) My people shall be enlightened by his light to see light – “In thy light do we see light”

God is loving us steadfastly. Are we steadfast in our love for Him? Are we steadfast in our trust in Him? Or are we faithless and wavering now concerning His promises?

HARBONA = “donkey-driver” = HEART OF STEADFASTNESS

4. BIGTHA

The name means “the fortunate one.” It also means “garden.” It speaks about a HEART OF BLESSEDNESS.

When your life is like a garden, it means you are a “gift of God” for people around you.

The kingdom of God is a garden that God wants to plant and create in us. It is a life God wants us to experience but it is also a way of life that God wants us to work for in this world. In Matthew 20 and 21, Jesus tells two parables about the kingdom of God that use the image of a vineyard or a garden. In each of them, God is seen as the owner of the land who creates a garden and then calls people to work in it.

We are servants being called into the garden to work. We are the tenants God has given his garden to us and so we are not only to lie in the garden to experience the blessing of it – we are to work in it and through that work be A BLESSING TO OTHERS.

As the garden of the Lord, we are to offer grace and forgiveness. We are to work for justice and make sure those who are in need are cared for. We are to clothe the naked, feed the hungry and give water to the thirsty. We are to share the love and grace and power of God with others. We don’t work to receive the gift of eternal life – we are called to work to bring this gift of life to others.

LIFE IN THE GARDEN OF GOD IS A FREE GIFT. While life in the garden is a gift given by God, we are all here because someone else gave themselves to work for God’s kingdom. It is now our time to show our HEART OF BLESSEDNESS by blessing others with our lives and all the giftings that God has endowed us. We are to take the seeds from the garden that God has planted us in and plant them in the place where you can see them grow.

I wrote in my devo on 11 Jan 2018 – I AM THE GARDEN OF THE LORD. After reading Genesis 2:10-14 about the garden of Eden and the four rivers that flowed out of it, I began to study the meaning of the 4 rivers:
Pishon means INCREASE
Gihon means BURSTING FORTH
Tigris means RAPID OR SWIFT LIKE AN ARROW WITH AIM
Euphrates means FRUITFULNESS.

After doing this study, I prayed to the Lord in devo- “Lord, my life is your Garden where you are planting me, pruning me and even letting others enjoy my fragrance, beauty and fruits. A garden can’t flourish without water. So, Father, water me with increase (Pishon) so that I can burst forth (Gihon) and overflow to other. Water me so that I can be like a swift arrow (Tigris), having a goal and aim in my ministry and calling. Let fruitfulness (Euphrates) be my middle name.”

A heart of blessedness is like a fortunate one in the garden of God -always a blessing to others so that people look at you as a GIFT OF GOD.

BIGTHA = “fortunate one” – HEART OF BLESSEDNESS

5. ABAGTHA

The name means “father of the wine press” and it implies a HEART OF SACRIFICE.

A wine press is a place in which the juice from the grapes is pressed for wine.

There will be times in our lives when we will feel like we are a grape from which God is squeezing out every ounce of us for His kingdom service, just like how I felt being pressed out of everything I had to give to the building of this sanctuary. I felt the pain of SACRIFICE. But I still gave anyway and today I thank God that the “wine” that came forth from that “pressing” is this present Evangel Tabernacle building and the continuity of Evangel Tabernacle Church ministries which the devil tried to kill and snuff out.

What is a sacrifice?
It is giving up of something valuable for the sake of something considered as having a higher or more pressing claim.

Paul’s life was one of sacrifice. Paul’s life was sacrificed for the kingdom of God. His sacrifice caused him to be shipwrecked, beaten, whipped and jailed. He was pressed on all sides. But what came out of this sacrifice? The writing of the 13 epistles.

Etab is built upon the sacrifices of the missionaries from Singapore. It is not easy giving up such a comfortable life from a first world country. It is not easy to give up our culture, our country, our children and our loved ones just so to be serving God in Iloilo City. Sacrifice! Today, we see the second-generation missionaries, like Mike, Edgar, Rowena and Juvy raised up from Etab Iloilo to sacrifice in the same manner as us in Cambodia. Ministry that costs us nothing accomplishes nothing.

ABAGTHA = “father of the wine press’- HEART OF SACRIFICE

6. ZETHAR

The name means “he who examines or searches” and it refers to a HEART OF OPENNESS.

As a eunuch, Zethar’s life was examined by the king. To remain in the service of the king, the king must have examined him repeatedly as one of the eunuchs might try to poison him.

Psalms 26:2- “Examine me, O Lord, and prove me; try my reins and my heart.”

Psalms 139:23- Search me, O God and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts!
David continually asked God to examine his heart.

He who wants to remain in the service to the King must have a heart of openness, always allowing King Jesus to search his heart, his motives and his innermost being. Do you have a heart of openness to the Lord? Or are you hideous?

Zethar – that name also suggests a person who constantly searches the Word of God like “silver and search for it as for hidden treasure” (Prov 2:4) and when he receives a rhema or an enlightenment from the Holy Spirt, he “rejoices at God’s word like one who FINDS great spoil” (Psalms 119:162).

Are you one who searches for the Word of God? Are you one who is opened enough for God to search and examine your heart?

ZETHAR = “he who searches”- HEART OF OPENNESS

7. CARKAS

The name means “covering of the lamb” and it refers to a HEART OF LOVE.

It takes the whole soul to love. William Barclay rightly points out, “It takes all of man to achieve Christian love; it takes not only his heart; it takes his mind and his will as well.”

1 Corinthians 16:22- If a man has no love for the Lord, let him be accursed.
This letter of Paul was written to the Corinthians Church who prided themselves in their human wisdom and charismatic giftings but lacking of love and still living in carnality.

True service to God is birthed in love for Him. We serve God because we simply love Him.

Illustration: Bishop Ryle tells a story about an Englishman travelling in America. He meets a Red Indian who talks with great enthusiasm about Jesus Christ……

The Englishmen are rather reserved, as they tend to be, and this Englishman says to his new friend, “You are always talking about Jesus Christ. Why do you make such a big deal of Him?”

The Indian knelt down and gathered some leaves, some twigs and some moss and placed them in a circle on the ground. He picked up a live worm and put it in the middle of the circle. Then he lit the leaves.

As the flames rose, the worm began to move, but every way it moved, it got nearer to the flame, and so after a few moments, the worm curled up in the middle and prepared to die.

The Indian reached his hand into the flame, picked up the worm, and held it next to his heart. Then he said, “I was the worm – helpless, hopeless and on the brink of an eternal fire. Jesus Christ stretched out His hand. He saved me from the fire, and took me into the heart of his love. That is why I make much of Him.”

LOVING GOD IS LEARNED AT THE CROSS.

Do you love your King?

CARKAS – “covering of the lamb” – HEART OF LOVE

In summary,
To serve the King of Kings, a believer has to be prepared to have something precious “cut off” from his life, like the eunuch.

A believer must possess seven heart attitudes like the 7 eunuchs of King Xerxes:

• Heart of Faithfulness
• Heart of Loyalty
• Heart of Steadfastness
• Heart of Sacrifice
• Heart of Blessedness
• Heart of Openness
• Heart of Love

(III) THE EUNUCHS AND THEIR BLESSINGS FROM GOD

Isaiah 56:3-4 (LB)- And my blessings are for Gentiles (foreigners) too, when they accept the Lord; don’t let them think I will make them SECOND-CLASS CITIZENS. And this is for the eunuchs too. They can be as much mine as anyone. For I say this to the eunuch who keep my Sabbath holy and choose the things that please me, and obey my laws. I will give them – in my house, within my walls- a name far greater than the honor they would receive from having sons and daughters. For the name that I will give them is an everlasting one; it will never disappear.

V 3-5 (Message) –Make sure no outsider [foreigner] who now follows God ever has the occasion to say, ‘God put me in second-class, I don’t really belong.” And make sure no physically mutilated person [eunuch] is ever made to think, “I’m damaged goods. I don’t really belong.” “For GOD says: “To the mutilated who keep my Sabbaths and choose what delights me and keep a firm grip of my covenant, I’ll provide them an honored place in my family and within my city, even more honored than that of sons and daughters. I’ll confer permanent honors on them that will never be revoked.”

In the book of Isaiah 56, the eunuchs and the foreigners are categorized together. The foreigners during the OT were not considered as the elite group like how we are regarding the foreigners in the Philippines. The foreigners and the eunuchs were the outcasts of Israel (verse 8). They were the marginalized people and their common mindsets were:
1. I am a second-class citizen
2. I don’t really belong
3. I am a damaged goods – “I am a dry tree” (verse 3)

Yet God promised the eunuchs that if they kept his covenant like the Sabbath, chose what pleases God and had a firm grip on God’s covenant, then God would bless them with:
• A honored place in the Church (verse 5- “in my house and within my walls”)
• An honor more than the honor of having sons and daughters
• An everlasting name

(IV) JESUS – THE MUTILATED ONE

Isaiah 52:13-15 (NET)- Look, my servant will succeed! He will be elevated, lifted high and greatly exalted – (just as many were horrified by the sight of you) he was so DISFIGURED HE NO LONGER LOOKED LIKE MAN; HIS FORM WAS SO MARRED HE NO LONGER LOOKED HUMAN- so now he will startle many nations. Kings will be shocked by his exaltation, for they will witness something unannounced to them, and they will understand something they had not heard about.

This morning, do not focus on how many precious things from your life have been cut off by the Lord. Look at Jesus – THE MUTILATED ONE. Isaiah says that Jesus was so disfigured at the cross that he no longer looked like man and his form was so marred that many were horrified by the sight of Him. Jesus went through the mutilation. Jesus was also a voluntary eunuch. Throughout his 33 years as a Son of Man, he wasn’t married and I believe he did so just to focus on the Kingdom calling. All of us can agree that while Jesus was on earth, serving the calling and the purpose of the King (Father God), He upheld a heart of faithfulness, loyalty, steadfastness, blessedness, sacrifice, openness and love. After he willingly allowed even His King to cut off his life at the cross, he was elevated, lifted high and greatly exalted by the King when he ascended to Heaven, many days after his resurrection. Today, our servant-Messiah has shocked many kings by his exaltation. Until today, there is no name as high as that of Jesus Christ that at the name of Jesus, every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord.

As His fellow-servants, let’s know that there is no automatic promotion and honor in the kingdom of God. Message version of Isaiah 52:13 says that God’s servant, Jesus, blossomed. He was exalted, tall, head and shoulders above the crowd! But HE DIDN’T BEGIN THAT WAY. He had to be disfigured first before he could be exalted. “In so far as you share Christ’s suffering, you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed” (1 Peter 4:13).

The seven eunuchs had one desire and that was to serve the king. This king was a heathen and he was not an easy king to serve. Still, the seven eunuchs served him. How much more must we to our omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent King!!!

My Testimony: I wrote in my devo on March 8, 2018 – THE MUTILATED ONE AFTER 6 YEARS. “I remember vividly God gave Isaiah 56:4-5 (message) as rhema to me in the height of my pain and humiliation in 2012. At that time, I felt like the MUTILATED ONE – very cut off like a eunuch from things very precious to me like my ministry, my employment, my salary, my reputation, my security. Just by one letter, all were being cut off from me. I felt very “castrated” at that time by the very people I respected and feared. At that time, God exhorted me:

1. To keep covenant like the Sabbath
2. To choose what delights him
3. To have a FIRM GRIP on God’s covenant (which to me was my covenant of mission calling).

In 2012, when God quickened this rhema to me, He promised me then that if I obeyed him:
1. He would provide me a honored place in Etab
2. He would honor me more than the honor of having sons and daughters
3. He would confer permanent honors to me that would never be revoked.

6 years have passed and as I review the promises of God made to me in 2012, I can only say that God has kept to His promises. Hallelujah! Glory be to God!

Today I am very honored in Etab (in God’s house and within the walls of God’s house -verse 5). Though in 2012, I cried bitterly over some of my spiritual children who left me, yet the honor the Lord gives me today is more than the honor those spiritual children could give me. A certain group of people left Etab in 2012 thinking they would decimate and bankrupt our Church. God spoke to me in 2012: “You just concentrate on having a firm grip on My covenant, I will be the one to raise up more new ones to take their place.”

For 15 years, it was one lady who topped the pie by giving us a big sum of first fruit annually. But after she left in 2013, God raised up more than 4 members to honor us this year with more than the amount that lady had been giving.

Though there were some during the past 6 years in this church who tried to upstage and dishonor us, God stepped in and vindicated both of us. God even raised up today a big group of new lay leaders to support both of us.

Thank God for this irrevocable honor that God has given to both of us. These names as the minister of God, as Reverend, as the Senior Pastor, as the priest, as heroes (which many LSBC members in Singapore love to call us) – cannot be revoked by anyone because it is God who has conferred to us.

After I read this rhema, I wrote down my prayers to God – “Father as I EMBRACE YOUR WAYS AND COVENANT, please make sure that no one will ever call me or insult me as a “second class citizen” or “I don’t really belong” or “I have been mutilated by my sending church” or “Etab will dry up like a dry tree” or “I am a damaged goods” or “I am an orphan – no church wants me.”

No! I declare…
• I am not a second-class missionary
• I am not a misfit or outcast
• I am not an orphan. I belong to my Father God
• I am not a cut off person. I am still abiding in the vine of Jesus
• I am not a damaged goods

Who am I?
I am a honored daughter of God – that’s who God says I am.

I declare to the devil and anyone who dare to denounce me – Henceforth, let no man trouble me; for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus [– the disfigurement of Jesus, the mutilation of Jesus; the marks of serving Christ] – Gal 6:17.

End
PREACHED AT ETAB 1ST ENG SERVICE ON 7 OCT 2018

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