Now we are very
interested in the work of Elijah because the work of Elijah is to
have a counterpart in the last days. Elijah was a reformation prophet,
and Malachi 4 says that the Lord is going to send Elijah the prophet
again before the great and terrible day of the Lord. So if you have
your Bible, open to 1 Kings 19. I want to read verses 15-18. It
says, "Then the Lord said to him [that is Elijah]: 'Go, return
on your way to the Wilderness of Damascus; and when you arrive,
anoint Hazael as king over Syria. Also you shall anoint Jehu the
son of Nimshi as king over Israel. And Elisha the son of Shaphat
of Abel Meholah you shall anoint as prophet in your place. It shall
be that whoever escapes the sword of Hazael, Jehu will kill; and
whoever escapes the sword of Jehu, Elisha will kill. Yet I have
reserved seven thousand in Israel, all whose knees have not bowed
down to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him.' " We
see here a very strange prophecy that, from a human point of view,
may be difficult to understand. God told Elijah, "First of
all, you are to anoint Hazael." And what was the purpose of
Hazael being anointed king over Syria? It was to be a scourge to
Israel, to God's own people. Hazael was going to be a scourge to
God's own people.
Let's read about
the time when Hazael was anointed. That is found in 2 Kings 8:7-15.
It says, "Then Elisha went to Damascus, and Ben-Hadad king
of Syria was sick; and it was told him, saying, 'The man of God
has come here.' And the king said to Hazael, 'Take a present in
your hand and go to meet the man of God, and inquire of the Lord
by him, saying, 'Shall I recover from this disease?' "
went to meet him and took a present with him, of every good thing
of Damascus, forty camel-loads; and he came and stood before him,
and said, 'Your son Ben-Hadad king of Syria has sent me to you,
saying, 'Shall I recover from this disease?' And Elisha said to
him, 'Go say to him, "You shall certainly recover." However
the Lord has shown me that he will really die.' Then he set his
countenance in a stare until he was ashamed; and the man of God
wept. And Hazael said, 'Why is my lord weeping?' He answered, 'Because
I know the evil that you will do to the children of Israel: Their
strongholds you will set on fire, and their young men you will kill
with the sword; and you will dash their children, and rip open their
women with child.' So Hazael said, 'But what is your servant--a
dog, that he should do this gross thing?' And Elisha answered, 'The
Lord has shown me that you will become king over Syria.' Then he
departed from Elisha, and came to his master, who said to him, 'What
did Elisha say to you?' And he answered, 'He told me that you would
surely recover.' But it happened on the next day that he took a
thick cloth and dipped it in water, and spread it over his face
so that he died; and Hazael reigned in his place."
told Hazael what he was going to do, Hazael said, "You think
I'm a dog that I would do something like that?" He did not
believe that he could do it. Anything that wicked, he did not believe
he could do it; but you know, the Bible says in Jeremiah 17:9, "The
heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked."
And you know, I have had people say to me, even preachers have said
this, "Oh, I couldn't do such a thing." How do you know
you could not do such a thing? You know what? We do not know what
evil we are capable of doing if the Lord is not in control of our
hearts and minds through the Holy Spirit. Ellen White wrote to our
young people, more than once, young Seventh-day Adventist Christians,
and warned them that you can do things that you do not think that
you can do, evil things. People say, "Well, I could never do
that. I wouldn't do it." But when you start down a path and
you are not being controlled by the Spirit of God, you do not know
where you are going to end up. Hazael didn't. He did not think that
he could do it. When Elisha told him what he was going to do he
said, "Am I a dog that I would do that?" But I want to
tell you something; he did do what Elisha told him he was going
to do. He did. You can read later on in the Bible what he did. He
wrote to Seventh-day Adventist young people in 1893, in the Youth's
Instructor. (See Youth's Instructor, November 16,
1993.) She said, "I would ask, 'Shall the magical books be
burned up?' In the synagogue of Satan there are places of attraction
where licentiousness is fostered and indulged, but there are witnesses
there, and an unseen visitant testifies to the deeds done in darkness.
In the associations of the vain, the proud, the mirthful. . ."
Where are the mirthful? That is in the parties. "Satan presides
and is the chief mover in the scenes of gaiety." You know,
there are some people who do not think they can have a good time
unless they are at some kind of a party. Have you ever met someone
like that? And what happens at these parties where people get together
for pleasure? Look. "Satan presides and is the chief mover
in the scenes of gaiety. He is there in disguise. Witchcraft is
going on around us on every hand and the world and the church are
under the influence of one who will lead them to do things they
never dreamed of doing." Ibid.
You know, friends,
if you had said to the leaders of the church at Jerusalem just a
few years before that they would kill and crucify the Messiah, they
would have said, "That's impossible. We would never dream of
doing anything like that." But they did it. Hazael said, "Am
I a dog? I wouldn't do anything like that." But he did it.
Later on he did exactly what the prophet told him he would do. You
see, God knows the human heart better than we know our own hearts.
And some people say, "Why, in inspired writings like the Bible,
do you find so many rebukes?" Because God is trying to get
people corrected so that they will not end up where He knows they
will end up if they do not get corrected. She continues writing
to young people.
She says, ".
. .the world and the church are under the influence of one who will
lead them to do things they never dreamed of doing. Should they
be informed of the deeds they will perform they would be as much
astonished as was Hazael when the prophet told him of his future
course." Ibid. They would be astonished, and they would say,
"Well, I could never do that." How do you know what you
will do? Do you know who Hazael represents? Hazael represents people
who are smarter than what the prophets wrote. Have you ever met
somebody like that? They know better than what the prophet says.
And when you know more than what the prophet says, you are in trouble.
You do not know where you are going to end up.
Let me give
you an example. Does the Bible have anything to say about our clothing
and our adornment? Does the Bible have anything to say about that?
Oh, yes it does. And why does it tell us those things? Because the
heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked; and
the Lord knows that if there is any pride in our heart, we are going
to lose our soul. The day is coming that all the proud, all that
do wickedly, are going to burn up. That is what it says in Malachi
4:1. And the Lord says, "So, lay aside those things. Don't
get involved in those things. It'll cause your heart to be lifted
up like Lucifer's was and you will lose your soul." Have you
ever met somebody who says, "Oh, no. I can wear that. I can
do that. I'm not proud." Have you ever met somebody like that?
They know more than the Bible. It is dangerous to know more than
There are lots
of things like that. Through inspired writings, the Lord has given
counsels to His people about the type of amusement we should participate
in--some very straight-forward counsel in Phillipians 4:8. Things
that are pure, things that are true, things that are honest, things
that are of good report, that is what we are supposed to be looking
at and watching. We are not supposed to be watching sinful things.
The one who is saved at the end, it says in Isaiah 33, will shut
his eyes and his ears from hearing evil or seeing it. But somebody
will say, "Oh, no, that's just entertainment." Well let
me tell you, it has always in the past proved a dangerous thing
when men think they know more than the prophets. That has always
proved a dangerous thing. And Hazael said, "Am I a dog that
I would do that?" But he did it.
to the Church, vol. 5, 79, Ellen White wrote, "God has
shown me that these men are Hazaels to prove a scourge to our people.
They are wise above what is written. This unbelief of the very truths
of God's Word because human judgment cannot comprehend the mysteries
of His work is found in every district, in all ranks of society.
It is taught in most of our schools [that is Seventh-day Adventist
schools] and comes into the lessons of the nurseries. [that is in
the Cradle Roll and the Kindergarten] Thousands who profess to be
Christians give heed to lying spirits. Everywhere the spirit of
darkness in the garb of religion will confront you."
if you know more than God knows and if you know more than the prophets
know, you do not know where you are headed. Hazael did not know
where he was headed. He said, "Am I a dog that I would do that?"
But he did it. He did exactly what the prophet said he was going
to do. He destroyed God's people. Now, somebody says, "Didn't
God tell Elijah to anoint Hazael?" Yes He did; we just read
it. That does not mean that Hazael was going to have his soul saved
just because God used him to do a work that had to be done. It says,
"The patience of God has an object, but you are defeating it.
He is allowing a state of things to come that you would fain see
counteracted by and by, but it will be too late." Ibid, 77.
What is this state of things that people will wish that it could
be counteracted after a time, but it will be too late? Do you want
me to read to you what is going to happen? Only I am not going to
say it is going to happen. It was going to happen when it was written,
but listen to this. "God commanded Elijah to anoint the cruel
and deceitful Hazael king over Syria, that he might be a scourge
to idolatrous Israel. Who knows whether God will not give you up
to the deceptions you love?"
What was the
matter with Israel? They were worshipping idols. "Who knows
but that the preachers who are faithful, firm, and true may be the
last who shall offer the gospel of peace to our unthankful churches?
It may be that the destroyers are already training under the hand
of Satan and only wait the departure of a few more standard-bearers
to take their places, and with the voice of the false prophet cry,
'Peace, peace,' when the Lord hath not spoken peace. I seldom weep,
but now I find my eyes blinded with tears; they are falling upon
my paper as I write. It may be that ere-long all prophesyings among
us will be at an end, and the voice which has stirred the people
may no longer disturb their carnal slumbers." Ibid.
The hand of
destroyers trained under the hand of Satan and crying peace, peace
when God has not spoken peace. What does it mean when it says, "Cry,
'Peace, peace' "when God has not spoken peace? Do you want
me to explain exactly what that is talking about? When you tell
a person who is living in sin that he is going to have peace, that
is the voice of a false prophet. A true prophet never speaks the
word of peace to a person who is living in sin, never ever, because
they are not going to have peace. The Bible says that the person
who is living in sin is not going to have peace. The Bible says
" 'There is no peace', says the Lord, 'for the wicked.' "
Isaiah 48:22. If I am living in sin, if there is sin in my life,
if there is sin in your life, it has to come out or you are going
to have trouble. That is what the Bible says. And when you start
to speak peace to people when God has not spoken peace, you are
a destroyer. You are going to destroy God's people. Has it happened?
Oh, friends, it is amazing when you travel around and see what is
happening in some places. Churches where there used to be several
hundred people in attendance every Sabbath and now there is maybe
100 or 200. What has happened? A destroyer has come in or more than
one maybe. Hazaels, Ellen White said, speak peace when God has not
among God's people in Elijah's time was so bad that even Hazael
was not enough. Remember what we read in 1 Kings when God spoke
to Elijah? He said, "Now you are going to anoint Hazael."
By the way, Hazael went in; and I want to tell you, he waged war
against the children of Israel, and we do not know how many thousands
he killed. That was the first part of God's judgment; but the Lord
told Elijah, "Now in addition to anointing Hazael, I want you
to do something else." What else was he supposed to do? He
was to anoint Hazael king of Syria. That was the enemies of Israel.
But then the Lord told Elijah to do what else? Anoint Jehu. Now
Jehu was not anointed to be the enemy of Israel; he was to be anointed
to be the king of Israel. And the Lord said, "Whoever Hazael
doesn't kill, Jehu is going to kill by the sword."
Now let's read
of the anointing of Jehu in 2 Kings 9. We read about Hazael in 2
Kings 8; now look over to chapter 9, and it says in verses 1-3,
"And Elisha the prophet called one of the sons of the prophets,
and said to him, 'Get yourself ready, take this flask of oil in
your hand, and go to Ramoth Gilead. Now when you arrive at that
place, look there for Jehu the son of Jehoshaphat, the son of Nimshi,
and go in and make him rise up from among his associates, and take
him to an inner room. Then take the flask of oil, and pour it on
his head, and say, "Thus says the Lord, 'I have anointed you
king over Israel.' " Then open the door and flee, and do not
delay." Now look at verses 5-10. "And when he arrived,
there were the captains of the army sitting." Jehu was the
head over all the armies of Israel at this time. "And he said,
'I have a message for you, O commander.' Jehu said, 'For which one
of us?' and he said, 'For you, commander.' Then he arose and went
into the house. And he poured the oil on his head, and said to him,
'Thus says the Lord God of Israel: "I have anointed you king
over the people of the Lord, over Israel. You shall strike down
the house of Ahab your master, that I may avenge the blood of My
servants the prophets, and the blood of all the servants of the
Lord, at the hand of Jezebel. For the whole house of Ahab shall
perish; and I will cut off from Ahab all the males in Israel, both
bond and free. So I will make the house of Ahab like the house of
Jeroboam the son of Nebat, and like the house of Baasha the son
of Ahijah. The dogs shall eat Jezebel in the vicinity of Jezreel,
and there shall be none to bury her. " ' And he opened the
door and fled." Well, he got out of there, and then things
started to happen really fast. Anytime Jehu was involved, things
happened really fast. And it says in verse 11, "Then Jehu came
out to the servants of his master, and one said to him, 'Is all
well? Why did this madman come to you?' And he said to them, 'You
know the man and his babble.' And they said, 'A lie! Tell us now.'
So he said, 'Thus and thus he spoke to me, saying, "Thus says
the Lord: I have anointed you king over Israel." ' " Verse
13, "Then each man hastened to take his garment and put it
under him on the top of the steps; and they blew trumpets, saying,
'Jehu is king!' "
And then you
read there starting in verse 14 of the death of Jehoram the king
of Israel. It says in verse 24, "Now Jehu drew his bow with
full strength and shot Jehoram between his arms; and the arrow came
out at his heart, and he sank down in his chariot." And so
Jehu was out to fulfill the commission that the Lord had given him.
He killed the king of Israel, and then Ahaziah of Judah was killed.
That is found in verses 27-29. Jehu then went on to Jezreel, and
he had Jezebel put to death. You can see that there in verses 30-37.
And then in chapter 10, you can see Jehu goes and kills the 70 sons
of Ahab. Remember, the Lord told him that he was to kill all of
the house of Ahab because of their wickedness. And then it says
in verse 11, "So Jehu killed all who remained of the house
of Ahab in Jezreel, and all his great men and his close acquaintances
and his priests until he left him none remaining." So Jehu
had a special commission from heaven. He was to smite the house
of Ahab his master. And he immediately began his work of execution
just as soon as the Lord gave him the commission, and he killed
all these people.
Now some people,
when they read a story like this, they say, "How could God
have such a thing done?" Let me read to you a little insight
from the pen of Ellen White that will explain why all this happened
that we have just read about; all of what Hazael did that sounds
so cruel and what Jehu did, killing all these people. Why did God
have that done? Remember, God anointed Hazael; and He anointed Jehu.
Here is what Ellen White writes about it. This is in Prophets
and Kings, 254, 255. It says, "It was because of His love
for erring Israel that God permitted the Syrians to scourge them.
It was because of His compassion for those whose moral power was
weak that He raised up Jehu to slay wicked Jezebel and all the house
of Ahab." God. . . because of His compassion for who? The weak.
Ever been weak? Because God had compassion on the weak--and these
people were subject to fierce temptations of idolatry and sensuality
all around them--and God knew there were people in Israel, as weak
as they were, that if the house of Ahab was removed, they would
turn back to Him and they would be saved. And you are going to meet
them, if you are saved, in the kingdom of heaven. And it was to
save some that God allowed all these people to be killed.
says more. She says, "God in His wisdom foresaw that if temptations
were removed, some would forsake heathenism and turn their faces
heavenward, and this is why He permitted calamity after calamity
to befall them." Ibid. So the Lord anointed Hazael through
the prophet, and then he anointed Jehu king of Israel. And look
what it says here about Jehu in 2 Kings 10:15-17. It says, "Now
when he departed from there [this is Jehu], he met Jehonadab the
son of Rechab, coming to meet him; and he greeted him and said to
him, 'Is your heart right, as my heart is toward your heart?' And
Jehonadab answered, 'It is.' Jehu said, 'If it is, give me your
hand.' So he gave him his hand, and he took him up to him into the
chariot. Then he said, 'Come with me and see my zeal for the Lord.'
So they had him ride in his chariot. And when he came to Samaria,
he killed all who remained to Ahab in Samaria, till he had destroyed
them, according to the word of the Lord which He spoke to Elijah."
So, Jehu went and did a work that God commissioned him to do. The
Lord commissioned him to kill all these people, the enemies of the
Lord; and he did it. And because of what he did, look at what the
Lord promised him. It says, this is the latter part of 2 Kings 10:30,
it says, "And the Lord said to Jehu, 'Because you have done
well in doing what is right in My sight, and have done to the house
of Ahab all that was in My heart, your sons shall sit on the throne
of Israel to the fourth generation.' "
So the Lord
rewarded him because he did what he was asked to do. But as I study
about the life of Jehu in the inspired writings, I have to tell
you that I find no confidence, I find nothing to be confident about
that you will be able to meet Jehu someday in the kingdom of heaven.
I hope that some time in his life that he was converted; I do not
know. But the Bible is very clear in verse 31 that "Jehu took
no heed to walk in the law of the Lord," and there is no promise
of salvation to people who do not walk in the law of the Lord. Jehu
is a very interesting, biographical story in the Bible. Ellen White
says that of all the parts of the Bible, these biographies are the
most instructive. All these stories in the Bible are for us to learn
lessons. How is it that a man could be anointed by Elisha--in fact
he was given the commission to do this from the prophet Elijah who
was translated to heaven--and he (Jehu) did what he was supposed
to do; and the Lord said, "I'm going to reward you because
you did what you were supposed to do." And yet the man is lost.
Ever tried to figure that out?
were a lot of things that went wrong for Jehu. And I want to look
at several of them. And the first thing that was wrong, you see
it right here in 2 Kings 10:16 where Jehu said, "Come with
me, and see my zeal for the Lord." You see, one of the problems
that Jehu had, one of his biggest problems is that he was self-confident.
Now in this world, people think that if you are self-confident,
you are going to accomplish a lot and you are going to have a lot
of success. But in the Christian life, self-confidence is one of
your most dangerous elements because a Christian is not to be confident
in himself but to be confident in the Lord. And because he was so
self-confident and had so much assurance, instead of presenting
his case to the Lord with a spirit of humbleness and distrustfulness
of self, he manifested what you would call the "Jehu spirit."
He had a lot of self-confidence. But that was just the first thing
that was wrong.
Jehu had a great
desire. . . remember, even before he was king, he was a general
of an army. . . and he had a great desire to distinguish himself
and do something really big for God. "Oh," somebody says,
"Isn't that all right?" Well, we need to be zealous to
do a work for God, but we need to know what kind of a spirit we
have when we are doing that work. Ellen White wrote one time to
Seventh-day Adventist ministers in Testimonies to Ministers,
333. She says, "I inquired why those who could read their Bibles
and see the perils of these last days were so ready to snatch up
matters they had best let alone. . . . Why do they not see that
this is no work the Lord has set them to do? The answer came, Because
their hearts are lifted up unto vanity. They are beguiled. They
do not know how weak they are. There are many who will be deluded,
and who, by pen and voice, will cast their whole influence to create
an evil condition of things." They will cast their whole influence
to do what? "To create an evil condition of things [a condition
that will exist just the same whatever they may do]; but they should
not be bound up with the evil workers. All who are longing for some
engagement that will represent Jehu riding furiously will have opportunity
enough to distinguish themselves. Their arm will be linked with
his who was once an exalted angel, and who has not forgotten his
manners in the heavenly courts. These manners he will assume; and
in representing persons, he will lure many whose life is not hid
with Christ in God."
what was Jehu's second problem? His first problem was he was self-confident.
His second problem was he said, "I'm gonna do something really
big." He was determined that he was going to do something to
really distinguish himself above other people.
But that is
not all. You remember Jehu said to this other man, he said, "Why
don't you come up with me. I'm zealous for the Lord. You come and
see it. Come up with me." Jehu tried to get other people involved
in his same type of mistaken zeal without knowledge. Ellen White
wrote about this. She wrote about people who "cast aside all
that has been said in regard to unity of sentiment and feeling and
trample upon the prayer of Christ as though the unity for which
He prayed was unessential, and there were no necessity for His followers
to be one, even as He is one with the Father. They go off on a tangent,
and, Jehu like call to their brethren to follow their zeal for the
Lord." Testimonies to Ministers, 55. They go off on
a tangent. What is this tangent? Well, she goes on to say how they
are mingling error with truth. And there she makes one of the strongest
reproofs concerning men in the Spirit of Prophecy. Here is what
she says. Ellen White does not say and the Bible does not say very
often that you should condemn people, but these are a class of people
that Ellen White says are to be condemned. She says, "Men are
to be condemned who start out with a proclamation of wonderful light,
[especially new light] and yet draw away from the agents whom God
is leading." Ibid. And she talks about accusing and condemning
So a person
says, "Oh, I have this wonderful new truth." They tell
you the wonderful new truth; and then they start condemning all
the other people whom God has been using and say, "They don't
know about this yet. They're not up to this yet." Ellen White
says that people who do that are to be condemned. She says that
is the way Jehu was. He wanted to lead others to follow his own
example of haste and zeal which was not according to knowledge.
That was number three.
Here is number
four. Jehu had quite a few problems. A fourth problem that Jehu
had was his religion was all activity. Remember the Bible talked
about driving furiously like Jehu? His religion was all activity.
Ellen White writes about this also. She says, "There are many
whose religion consists in activities. They want to be engaged in
and have the credit of doing some great work while the little graces
that go to make up a lovely Christian character are entirely overlooked.
The busy, bustling service which gives the impression that one is
doing some wonderful work, is not acceptable to God." The
Signs of the Times, November 20, 1884. Did you get that? "The
busy, bustling service which gives the impression that one is doing
some wonderful work, is not acceptable to God." Ibid. Why?
Here is why. "It is a Jehu spirit which says, 'Come, see my
zeal for the Lord.' It is gratifying to self; it feeds a self-complacent
feeling, but all the while the soul may be defiled with a plague
spot of unsubdued, uncontrolled selfishness." Ibid. What was
wrong? Oh, his religion consisted in all activity, but his heart
was not changed. He was not developing the graces of a Christian
character, a Christ-like spirit.
Remember I told you that Jehu had a lot of problems. He had a lot
of spiritual problems. Here is the fifth one. Jehu had a problem;
you just read down through the story of his life; you will see it.
Jehu had a problem dissecting other people's characters. Ellen White
wrote to some people one time that had this very same problem. It
was in the Battle Creek church. And here is what she said to them.
"You are not a converted people. The love of Jesus does not
dwell in your hearts,, and you are just as ready to fasten upon
some other one to dissect his character to become like Jehu in zeal
to ferret out everything you can of a nature to condemn him, as
you have been in the case of Brother Bell. The spirit is there.
The root of bitterness has not been dug out, but will spring into
life and will flourish wonderfully if it has a chance. The same
suspicion, the same jealousies, the same spirit of insubordination,
the same disrespect for men whom God has acknowledged as His servants,
the same riding over authority that caused your present trouble,
is not dead." Special Testimony to the Battle Creek Church,
18. And she talks about suspicions and dark hints and bitterness.
Oh, what was the problem? He had a problem dissecting other people's
characters. And when you start trying to figure out everything that
is wrong in other people's characters; it has a reaction on yourself.
That was not
the only problem Jehu had. Here is a sixth one. And you can see
this right away when you read the story of his life and when you
read how he conducted himself and how he spoke to people and even
how he drove his chariot. He had a problem being rash. Do you know
what it means to be rash? To be rash means that you make big, important
decisions without carefully thinking them through. You are quick.
And of course, people who have that problem think that everybody
else is slow. And Jehu had that problem. He was rash. He made important
decisions without taking time to think it through. And we have the
same problem today. Ellen White wrote about it. She said, "Many
indulge a zeal like that of Jehu and rashly venture to make decisions
in matters of grave importance while they themselves have no connection
with God. They should humbly and earnestly seek wisdom from the
One who has placed them in their position and should be very modest
in assuming responsibilities. They should also lay the matter before
the president of their conference and counsel with him. At some
appointed time the subject should be patiently considered in the
fear of God with much humility and sorrow for the erring who are
the purchase of the blood of Christ with earnest, humble prayer.
The proper officer should deal with the offenders."
has been the course when, with self-assumed authority and a hard,
unfeeling spirit, accusations have been made, and souls have been
thrust out of the church of Christ." Manuscript Releases,
vol. 15, 135. Have you ever met people and if somebody commits a
grievous error, their immediate response is, "Well, let's just
get them out. Let's just disfellowship them." That is the way
Jehu was. That is rash.
Jehu had another
problem. Here is number seven. He went about to establish his own
authority. Has that been a problem among the people of God? Friends,
that has been one of the biggest problems among the people of God
for thousands of years, both in the Old Testament and the New Testament.
This has happened so many times.
Let me read
to you a statement from Manuscript Releases, vol. 17, 209,
"During the night season has been presented before me the unfaithfulness
of men who have occupied positions of responsibility at the great
heart of the work. The counsels of this great center, if kept pure
and uncorrupted, would have been as the voice of God. But men have
worked upon principles that are condemned by the Word of God, and
they have not heard nor obeyed the voice of God. Like Jehu, they
have driven furiously in a course to uproot the confidence of God's
people in men who are true to the Master's cause. They have sought
to establish their own authority, while betraying the cause of God.
While making decisions, and devising and planning, they have tried
to make their oppressive human orders as the voice of God to the
people." What were they doing? They were saying, "God
is with us. And what we're telling you are directions from the Lord.
The Lord is with us." Jehu said that. He said, "Come,
see my zeal for the Lord. I'm on the Lord's side. And those people
over there, they are not on the Lord's side, but I am." That
was the way Jehu was. He cast discredit on people whom God had been
And so, Jehu
assumed burdens that he was not able to carry. This is what went
wrong. Number eight. In 1888 Materials, vol. 4, 1630, Ellen
White is talking about this same problem. She says, "Like Jehu
[she is talking about the leaders of our work], they have been driving
furiously forward, to assume burdens which they cannot carry. It
is because men know so little of true godliness, because they have
so little genuine experience in the building up, little by little,
of the work and cause of God, that they make long strides without
God to lead the way." I thought about this quite a bit. We
do not want to go too slow, but is there such a thing as going too
fast? That is what Jehu did. He went too fast; he did things that
were rash and not well thought through and assumed burdens he was
not competent to carry; and took long strides. He wanted to get
the work done quick. Ever met somebody like that? I want to see
God's work finished this year. I want the latter rain and the loud
cry to be over now. I want it right now.
I was interested
in what Ellen White told our workers. She says, do not try to make
everything go as fast as Jehu's chariot wheels. Do not try to do
that. Do not be discouraged if they do not go that fast. What went
wrong? Oh, friend, what went wrong was Jehu's approach could never
bind the hearts of men and women together. It could never happen.
Jesus wants unity and harmony in His workers, and that could never
happen with Jehu around because he was determined to do things his
way and just get everybody else he could to go with him. And whoever
did not, well then, get them out of the way. Ellen White wrote in
the Review and Herald, April 10, 1900. She said, "Men
are slow to learn the lesson that the spirit manifested by Jehu
will never bind hearts together. It is not safe for us to bind our
interests with a Jehu religion; for this will result in bringing
sadness of heart upon God's true workers. God has not given to any
of His servants the work of punishing those who will not heed His
warnings and reproofs."
was, whoever will not listen, we will kill them. Ellen White says
further on this, "When the Holy Spirit is abiding in the heart,
it will lead the human agent to see his own defects of character,
to pity the weakness of others, and to forgive as he wishes to be
forgiven. He will be pitiful, courteous, Christlike." Ibid.
And, oh, friend, that is what Jehu did not have.
What went wrong with Jehu was he had a spirit that if you did not
go along with his way of doing it, he would punish you. Wrong spirit.
What went wrong with Jehu. Jehu was not gentle. Do you remember,
Jesus said, "Come unto Me all you who labor and are heavy laden
and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me
for I am gentle and lowly of heart." Matthew 11:29-29. Jehu
was not that way. That is what went wrong in his character. Ellen
White wrote about this to our writers and editors; and she said,
"The truth should be presented with divine tact, gentleness,
and tenderness." Testimonies to the Church, vol. 6,
400. That is the way you present it to your children. That is the
way to present it to anybody you are presenting it to: "with
divine tact, gentleness, and tenderness. It should come from a heart
that has been softened and made sympathetic." Ibid. Oh, friend,
has your heart been made soft and sympathetic by the love of Jesus.
Let me tell you, when that happens, your religion is going to have
a lot more effect on your children and other people. She says, "We
need to have close communion with God, lest self rise up, as it
did in Jehu, and we pour forth a torrent of words that are unbefitting
that are not as dew or as the still showers that revive the withering
plants. Let our words be gentle as we seek to win souls." Ibid.
What was Jehu's problem? Problem number ten with Jehu was he was
not gentle. "Oh," you can say, "didn't he do what
God wanted to have done?" Yes, he did; but he did not have
the right spirit.
We looked at
ten different problems in his character development. Oh, friend,
are we going to learn what Jehu never learned, or apparently never
learned? There is no record that he learned it. If we have Jesus
inside our hearts, we will always see some way to reach the minds
and hearts of others because we will be unselfish and thoughtful.
Thoughtful, by the way, is just the opposite of rash. Kind, and,
friend, kindness opens the door to people's hearts. Ellen White
wrote in the Review and Herald, February 10, 1885, "Gentleness
is mightier far than a Jehu spirit." I am so glad that is there.
I would never have guessed that. In this world, we think that the
Jehu spirit is the way you get things done; that is the way the
world thinks. But God has a superior wisdom that is far above all
that. And Ellen White writes, "Gentleness is mightier far than
a Jehu spirit." Ibid.
Would you like
to have something that is more powerful than the Jehu spirit? and
all the activity? and anything you may do for the Lord? Would you
like to have power in your life? power to influence your children?
power to influence other people? When you have the gentleness of
Jesus and you speak to other people with tenderness and courtesy,
that has greater power than all the force that Jehu was able to
muster. Now Jehu killed a lot of people, but there is something
that is way more powerful than what Jehu could do. And one of the
reasons his story is in the Bible is to help us so we will not develop
the same kind of character he developed.
We want Christ-like
gentleness and kindness and tenderness. Do you want it? I want it.
It will give you access to the hearts of people. Do you really want
to have the gentleness of Jesus in your heart so that it will be
manifested to whoever you have to deal with? even when the other
person is like Jehu? Now that is when the trial comes. When the
other person is like Jehu, then you want to be like Jehu, too. But
when you have two people like Jehu, the only thing that can happen
is maybe one of them gets killed or maybe both. That is the only
thing that can happen. God wants to give you a superior wisdom,
a superior power that will be able to get beyond the Jehu spirit
and reach people's hearts. Do you want it? Do you want the spirit
that Jesus had? If you do, let's pray about it. Let's ask the Lord
to give it to us. Ask the Lord to give you a Christ-like, gentle
spirit. Remember, it is far more powerful than Jehu. It will give
you access to people's hearts. And if you want to ask the Lord for
it, God will give it to you.