WATCHNIGHT SERVICE DECEMBER 31,2013
TEXT: ESTHER 2: 19-23: Mordecai Uncovers a Conspiracy
19 When the virgins were assembled a second time, Mordecai was sitting at the king’s gate. 20 But Esther had kept secret her family background and nationality just as Mordecai had told her to do, for she continued to follow Mordecai’s instructions as she had done when he was bringing her up.
21 During the time Mordecai was sitting at the king’s gate, Bigthana and Teresh, two of the king’s officers who guarded the doorway, became angry and conspired to assassinate King Xerxes. 22 But Mordecai found out about the plot and told Queen Esther, who in turn reported it to the king, giving credit to Mordecai. 23 And when the report was investigated and found to be true, the two officials were hanged on a gallows. All this was recorded in the book of the annals in the presence of the king.
In Bible numerology, 20 is the number of redemption.
14 is the number of SALVATION or DELIVERANCE.
Israel was saved or delivered from Egyptian bondage on the 14th day of the month.
25 When you enter the land that the LORD will give you as he promised, observe this ceremony. 26 And when your children ask you, ‘What does this ceremony mean to you?’ 27 then tell them, ‘It is the Passover sacrifice to the LORD, who passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt and spared our homes when he struck down the Egyptians.’ ” Then the people bowed down and worshipped.
5 The LORD’s Passover begins at twilight on the fourteenth day of the first month.
THE PENITENT THIEF ON THE CROSS WAS SAVED ON THE 14th DAY OF THE MONTH, THE DAY THE PASSOVER WAS CELEBRATED AND THE SAME 24 HOUR PERIOD IN WHICH JESUS DIED! (See Luke 22:7-8; Luke 23:46; & 1Corinthians 11:23)
7 Then came the day of Unleavened Bread on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed. 8 Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, “Go and make preparations for us to eat the Passover.”
46 Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last.
23 For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread,
Bear in mind that in the Bible, a day is from one evening to the next. “And the evening and the morning were the first day”.
THE PASSOVER WAS IN THE EVENING OF THE 14th DAY. CHRIST KEPT THE PASSOVER IN THE EVENING OF THE 14th DAY AND WAS CRUCIFIED THE MORNING OF THE SAME DAY, AND BEFORE THE DAY ENDED, HE HAD DIED. The penitent thief said to Him,
“Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy Kingdom”.(Luke 23:42)
Romans 10:13 states, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of The Lord shall be saved.”
### SO IN 2014, WHOSOEVER IS BOLD OR CONFIDENT ENOUGH TO CALL UPON THE NAME AND PROMISES OF THE LORD, WILL BE SAVED OR DELIVERED, NO MATTER THE EXTENT OR GRAVITY OF THE PROBLEM.
###GOD WILL DEMOLISH SOMETHING HUGE MAN IS TRYING TO REBUILD WHICH HE AT FIRST PULLED DOWN
4 Edom may say, “Though we have been crushed, we will rebuild the ruins.”
But this is what the LORD Almighty says: “They may build, but I will demolish. They will be called the Wicked Land, a people always under the wrath of the LORD.
THE CHILDREN OF SOME THIEVING LEADERS IN NIGERIA AND TWO OR THREE OTHER DEVELOPING NATIONS WILL BE TOUCHED TO RETURN VAST STOLEN WEALTH;
WHILE SOME OTHER THIEVING LEADERS WILL BE FORCED TO “VOMIT” WEALTH THEY HAVE STOLEN.
10 His children must make amends to the poor; his own hands must give back his wealth.
15 He will spit out the riches he swallowed; God will make his stomach vomit them up.
27 The heavens will expose his guilt; the earth will rise up against him.
ALSO SOME PECULIAR DISASTERS WILL FOLLOW SUCH LEADERS ALONE – a flood in one particular case. (See Job 20:28)
28 A flood will carry off his house, rushing waters on the day of God’s wrath.
16 They were carried off before their time, their foundations washed away by a flood.
Zechariah 5:1-4: The Flying Scroll
1 I looked again-and there before me was a flying scroll!
2 He asked me, “What do you see?”
I answered, “I see a flying scroll, thirty feet long and fifteen feet wide.”
3 And he said to me, “This is the curse that is going out over the whole land; for according to what it says on one side, every thief will be banished, and according to what it says on the other, everyone who swears falsely will be banished. 4 The LORD Almighty declares, ‘I will send it out, and it will enter the house of the thief and the house of him who swears falsely by my name. It will remain in his house and destroy it, both its timbers and its stones.’ “
###THOSE WHO KILL OR SHED BLOOD SECRETLY TO REMAIN IN POWER WILL BE EXPOSED AND DISGRACED AND PUNISHED IN 2014.
6 “Will not all of them taunt him with ridicule and scorn, saying, ” ‘Woe to him who piles up stolen goods and makes himself wealthy by extortion! How long must this go on?’
8 Because you have plundered many nations, the peoples who are left will plunder you. For you have shed man’s blood; you have destroyed lands and cities and everyone in them.
9 “Woe to him who builds his realm by unjust gain to set his nest on high, to escape the clutches of ruin!
10 You have plotted the ruin of many peoples, shaming your own house and forfeiting your life.
11 The stones of the wall will cry out, and the beams of the woodwork will echo it.
12 “Woe to him who builds a city with bloodshed and establishes a town by crime!
###ONE PARTICULAR DESPOT (“of the land of wickedness”) WILL BE DISGRACED AS SADDAM HUSSEIN AND GHADAFFI WERE AND WILL BE KILLED WITH HIS OWN WEAPON.
13 You came out to deliver your people, to save your anointed one. You crushed the leader of the land of wickedness, you stripped him from head to foot. Selah
14 With his own spear you pierced his head when his warriors stormed out to scatter us, gloating as though about to devour the wretched who were in hiding.
###PEOPLE ARE EXPECTING THINGS TO JUST GET BETTER IN 2014.
CERTAIN SECTORS OF THE ECONOMY WILL IMPROVE BUT NOT ALL OF THE ECONOMY WILL.
###MESAGE TO NIGERIANS IN THE DIASPORA
A LOT OF YOU WILL WANT TO RETURN TO NIGERIA AND A LOT MORE WILL INDEED GO.
THE DIFFERENCE IS DID GOD ASK YOU TO GO OR NOT?
THOSE TYING THEIR LIVES TO POLITICS ARE IN FOR A RUDE SHOCK FOR THERE WILL BE CHANGING FORTUNES FOR THOSE RIDING THE POLITICAL BANDWAGON.
***BE CAREFUL BECOS APPOINTMENTS CAN CHANGE SUDDENLY AND EVEN SUPPOSED UNTOUCHABLES COULD BE REMOVED OVERNIGHT.
Christians going into politics must not compromise because in 2014 there will be probes and repercussions especially for those who are called by the name of The Lord.
THE CHURCH/BODY OF CHRIST
###GOD WILL HONOUR THOSE IN THE BODY OF CHRIST WHO TAKE A STAND FOR HIM AT THE RISK OF BEING UNPOPULAR AS THE CHURCH DRIFTS TOWARDS POPULISM.
- TO GO HIGHER WITH GOD, WE MUST NOT BE AFRAID TO BE ALONE FOR A SEASON AND SEASONS.(Job 19:13-19)
###GOD IS CALLING THE CHURCH EVERYWHERE TO BE MORE MINDFUL OF THE POOR.
MAKE THE POOR AND UNDERPRIVILEGED A VITAL PART OF THE CHURCH AND SOCIAL AGENDA.
###GOD’S POWER WILL SHOW UP MIGHTILY IN A GATHERING OF HIS PEOPLE IN SPIRIT AND IN TRUTH.
IT WILL BE A DIVINE INTERNATIONAL SPECTACLE AND SHOWCASE OF GOD’S GLORY AS PEOPLE WORSHIP IN SINCERITY AND POUR OUT THEIR HEARTS BEFORE GOD.
11 My name will be great among the nations, from the rising to the setting of the sun. In every place incense and pure offerings will be brought to my name, because my name will be great among the nations,” says the LORD Almighty.
###AT THE SAME TIME GOD WILL EXPOSE AND SHAME HYPOCRISY IN THE CHURCH.
FALSE TEACHERS AND HYPOCRITICAL MINISTERS WILL BE EXPOSED, DESPISED AND HUMILIATED.
14 “Cursed is the cheat who has an acceptable male in his flock and vows to give it, but then sacrifices a blemished animal to the Lord. For I am a great king,” says the LORD Almighty, “and my name is to be feared among the nations.
7 “For the lips of a priest ought to preserve knowledge, and from his mouth men should seek instruction-because he is the messenger of the LORD Almighty. 8 But you have turned from the way and by your teaching have caused many to stumble; you have violated the covenant with Levi,” says the LORD Almighty. 9 “So I have caused you to be despised and humiliated before all the people, because you have not followed my ways but have shown partiality in matters of the law.”
###INSTANT JUDGMENT AGAINST SORCERERS,ADULTERERS,PERJURERS AND OPPRESSORS
5 “So I will come near to you for judgment. I will be quick to testify against sorcerers, adulterers and perjurers, against those who defraud labourers of their wages, who oppress the widows and the fatherless, and deprive aliens of justice, but do not fear me,” says the LORD Almighty.
###GOD WILL FIGHT PRIDE IN THE BODY OF CHRIST IN 2014.
THE MEEK AND THE HUMBLE WILL EXCEL
11 On that day you will not be put to shame for all the wrongs you have done to me, because I will remove from this city those who rejoice in their pride. Never again will you be haughty on my holy hill.
12 But I will leave within you the meek and humble, who trust in the name of the LORD.
#### MOST IMPORTANTLY, WHOEVER PURPOSES TO BUILD GOD’S KINGDOM AND PROMOTE HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS IN 2014 WILL BE EMPOWERED SUPERNATURALLY AND WILL GET THE HELP OF PEOPLE ALL AROUND WHETHER BELIEVERS OR NOT.
3 Anyone of his people among you-may his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem in Judah and build the temple of the LORD, the God of Israel, the God who is in Jerusalem. 4 And the people of any place where survivors may now be living are to provide him with silver and gold, with goods and livestock, and with freewill offerings for the temple of God in Jerusalem.’ “
5 Then the family heads of Judah and Benjamin, and the priests and Levites- everyone whose heart God had moved-prepared to go up and build the house of the LORD in Jerusalem. 6 All their neighbours assisted them with articles of silver and gold, with goods and livestock, and with valuable gifts, in addition to all the freewill offerings.
68 When they arrived at the house of the LORD in Jerusalem, some of the heads of the families gave freewill offerings towards the rebuilding of the house of God on its site. 69 According to their ability they gave to the treasury for this work 61,000 drachmas of gold, 5,000 minas of silver and 100 priestly garments.
###AND WHAT WILL THEIR REWARD BE?
REMEMBRANCE AND RESTORATION-THINGS STOLEN FROM YOU WILL BE RESTORED WITH INTEREST! (See Ezra 1:7-11)
7 Moreover, King Cyrus brought out the articles belonging to the temple of the LORD, which Nebuchadnezzar had carried away from Jerusalem and had placed in the temple of his god. 8 Cyrus king of Persia had them brought by Mithredath the treasurer, who counted them out to Sheshbazzar the prince of Judah.
9 This was the inventory:
gold dishes 30
silver dishes 1,000
silver pans 29
10 gold bowls 30
matching silver bowls 410
other articles 1,000
11 In all, there were 5,400 articles of gold and of silver. Sheshbazzar brought all these along when the exiles came up from Babylon to Jerusalem.
A WORD TO FAITHFUL MINISTERS
###BY REVELATION,FIGHT AND WIN EACH BATTLE,ENGAGE IN EACH PROJECT.
###PREACH, TEACH, PLANT CHURCHES,EVANGELISE BECAUSE
11 “Many nations will be joined with the LORD in that day and will become my people. I will live among you and you will know that the LORD Almighty has sent me to you.
7 “This is what the LORD Almighty says: ‘If you will walk in my ways and keep my requirements, then you will govern my house and have charge of my courts, and I will give you a place among these standing here.
2 He asked me, “What do you see?”
I answered, “I see a solid gold lampstand with a bowl at the top and seven lights on it, with seven channels to the lights.
5 He answered, “Do you not know what these are?”
“No, my lord,” I replied.
6 So he said to me, “This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty.
7 “What are you, O mighty mountain? Before Zerubbabel you will become level ground. Then he will bring out the capstone to shouts of ‘God bless it! God bless it!’ “
###. FAITHFUL SERVANTS OF GOD PARTICULARLY THOSE THAT HAVE WORKED LONG,WILL BE REWARDED.
###. GOD IS ALSO CALLING MINISTERS TO BOLDNESS
DO NOT DO GUESSWORK AND DONT BE TIMID.
TAKE DECISIVE AND NOT IMPETUOUS ACTIONS
###. IN AUGUST AND SEPTEMBER THERE WILL BE A SEASON OF RESTORATION FOR TRUE WORSHIPPERS
###. ALSO THE 24th OF SEPTEMBER WILL BE A SIGNIFICANT DATE TO START A PROJECT FOR GOD WHICH WILL BE A MEMORIAL
18 ‘From this day on, from this twenty-fourth day of the ninth month, give careful thought to the day when the foundation of the LORD’s temple was laid. Give careful thought: 19 Is there yet any seed left in the barn? Until now, the vine and the fig- tree, the pomegranate and the olive tree have not borne fruit.
” ‘From this day on I will bless you
FINALLY, GOD’S WORD TO THE INDIVIDUAL BELIEVER IN 2014
###RETURN TO GOD AND HE WILL RETURN TO YOU
REMEMBER GOD AND HE WILL REMEMBER YOU
7 …… Return to me, and I will return to you,” says the LORD Almighty.
###2014 IS A YEAR OF REWARDS.
BUT THIS PROMISE IS NOT GENERAL BUT AIMED AT THOSE WHO HAVE AND ARE WILLING TO CONTINUE TO SOW GOOD SEEDS.
###### THOSE WHO FEAR GOD SHOULD TESTIFY TO ONE ANOTHER IN 2014 AND BE VERY CAREFUL TO AVOID COMPLAINING, MURMURING AND BACKBITING.
THIS IS BECAUSE GOD IS LISTENING TO HEAR WHAT YOU ARE SAYING SO THAT HE CAN RESPOND APPROPRIATELY.
16 Then those who feared the LORD talked with each other, and the LORD listened and heard. A scroll of remembrance was written in his presence concerning those who feared the LORD and honoured his name.
###WE MUST THEREFORE MAKE A VOLITIONAL DECISION TO BLESS GOD AT ALL TIMES, COME WHAT MAY.
33 I will sing to the LORD all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.
34 May my meditation be pleasing to him, as I rejoice in the LORD.
###IN 2014, LAY ALL YOUR FOUNDATIONS WITH THANKSGIVING AND EMBARK ON YOUR PROJECTS WITH PRAISE.
SOME MAY WEEP AND MOURN AND YEARN FOR THE FORMER GLORY OF LOST THINGS BUT YOU MUST REJOICE AND SAY:
11 With praise and thanksgiving they sang to the LORD:”He is good; his love to (Pastor O & his family) Israel endures for ever.”
###THERE MAY HAVE BEEN CONCERTED OPPOSITION, ACCUSATIONS AND SOMETIMES DELAYS AND STANDSTILLS ON YOUR GOD-ORDAINED PROJECTS.
IN EZRA 1:1-4 GOD INSPIRED KING CYRUS TO AUTHORISE THE REBUILDING PROJECT.BY EZRA 4 & 5, GOD PERMITTED OPPOSITION UNDER KINGS ARTAXERXES AND DARIUS.
IN THE END GOD FORCED EVEN THEIR ENEMIES TO PROVIDE RESOURCES FOR THE WORK GOD HAD CALLED HIS CHILDREN TO EMBARK UPON. EVEN THE KING BOUGHT INTO THE PROJECT AND MADE RESOURCES FROM THE NATIONAL TREASURY AVAILABLE FOR THE REBUILDING OF THE JERUSALEM, ITS WALLS AND MORE SIGNIFICANTLY, THE TEMPLE.
####IN 2014, GOD WILL NOT FORGET YOUR WORK OR YOUR LABOUR OF LOVE.
1 But God remembered Noah and all the wild animals and the livestock that were with him in the ark, and he sent a wind over the earth, and the waters receded.
NB Not only was Noah remembered and blessed, but all that attached itself or was connected with him was also blessed!
###GOD WILL ALSO REMEMBER YOUR TEARS AND THE TORMENT OF THE PENINNAHs AROUND YOU.
19 Early the next morning they arose and worshipped before the LORD and then went back to their home at Ramah. Elkanah lay with Hannah his wife, and the LORD remembered her.
IN OUR EARLIER FOUNDATIONAL SCRIPTURE, MORDECAI HAD DONE A GOOD DEED, HAD ADEQUATELY DESPATCHED HIS CIVIC RESPONSIBILITY TO KING AND STATE. YET, NO REWARD, ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OR COMMENDATION HAD COME HIS WAY.
HE MUST HAVE FELT BETRAYED, UNAPPRECIATED AND SIDELINED. THE TEMPTATION TO DESIST FROM FURTHER GOOD WORKS MUST HAVE BEEN QUITE STRONG.
YET GOD SAYS IN HIS WORD, And let us not be weary in well doing:for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. (Galatians 6:9)
###LET US CONSIDER THE END OF MORDECAI’S STORY
Esther 6:1-14: Mordecai Honoured
1 That night the king could not sleep; so he ordered the book of the chronicles, the record of his reign, to be brought in and read to him. 2 It was found recorded there that Mordecai had exposed Bigthana and Teresh, two of the king’s officers who guarded the doorway, who had conspired to assassinate King Xerxes.
3 “What honour and recognition has Mordecai received for this?” the king asked.
“Nothing has been done for him,” his attendants answered.
4 The king said, “Who is in the court?” Now Haman had just entered the outer court of the palace to speak to the king about hanging Mordecai on the gallows he had erected for him.
5 His attendants answered, “Haman is standing in the court.”
“Bring him in,” the king ordered.
6 When Haman entered, the king asked him, “What should be done for the man the king delights to honour?”
Now Haman thought to himself, “Who is there that the king would rather honour than me?” 7 So he answered the king, “For the man the king delights to honour, 8 have them bring a royal robe the king has worn and a horse the king has ridden, one with a royal crest placed on its head. 9 Then let the robe and horse be entrusted to one of the king’s most noble princes. Let them robe the man the king delights to honour, and lead him on the horse through the city streets, proclaiming before him, ‘This is what is done for the man the king delights to honour!’ “
10 “Go at once,” the king commanded Haman. “Get the robe and the horse and do just as you have suggested for Mordecai the Jew, who sits at the king’s gate. Do not neglect anything you have recommended.”
11 So Haman got the robe and the horse. He robed Mordecai, and led him on horseback through the city streets, proclaiming before him, “This is what is done for the man the king delights to honour!”
12 Afterwards Mordecai returned to the king’s gate. But Haman rushed home, with his head covered, in grief, 13 and told Zeresh his wife and all his friends everything that had happened to him.
His advisers and his wife Zeresh said to him, “Since Mordecai, before whom your downfall has started, is of Jewish origin, you cannot stand against him- you will surely come to ruin!” 14 While they were still talking with him, the king’s eunuchs arrived and hurried Haman away to the banquet Esther had prepared.
###AT THE APPOINTED TIME, GOD NOT ONLY REMEMBERED AND RECOMPENCED MORDECAI APPROPRIATELY BUT USED THE OPPORTUNITY TO DESTROY THOSE THAT HAD INTENDED TO OBLITERATE HE AND HIS HOUSEHOLD!
LIKEWISE IN 2014, GOD WILL NOT ONLY REMEMBER YOU BUT DEAL DECISIVELY WITH THE PEOPLE AND THINGS THAT PLAN YOUR HURT.
GOD SAYS “I have remembered you and I am visiting you with favour”.
19 At that time I will deal with all who oppressed you; I will rescue the lame and gather those who have been scattered. I will give them praise and honour in every land where they were put to shame.
20 At that time I will gather you; at that time I will bring you home. I will give you honour and praise among all the peoples of the earth when I restore your fortunes before your very eyes,” says the LORD.
FINALLY, GOD IS REMINDING US OF THE STORY OF
The Great Woman of Shunem
1 Now Elisha had said to the woman whose son he had restored to life, “Go away with your family and stay for a while wherever you can, because the LORD has decreed a famine in the land that will last seven years.” 2 The woman proceeded to do as the man of God said. She and her family went away and stayed in the land of the Philistines for seven years.
3 At the end of the seven years she came back from the land of the Philistines and went to the king to beg for her house and land. 4 The king was talking to Gehazi, the servant of the man of God, and had said, “Tell me about all the great things Elisha has done.” 5 Just as Gehazi was telling the king how Elisha had restored the dead to life, the woman whose son Elisha had brought back to life came to beg the king for her house and land.
Gehazi said, “This is the woman, my lord the king, and this is her son whom Elisha restored to life.” 6 The king asked the woman about it, and she told him.
Then he assigned an official to her case and said to him, “Give back everything that belonged to her, including all the income from her land from the day she left the country until now.”
FOR HER THERE WAS A REMEMBRANCE, REWARD AND RESTORATION.
###A PERSONAL WORD FOR THE FATHER’S HOUSE AND ANY OTHER PASTOR OF A CHURCH OR A PARISH HERE PRESENT:
Haggai 2:7c … I will fill this house with glory, says The Lord Almighty.
8 ‘The silver is mine and the gold is mine,’ declares the LORD Almighty. 9 ‘The glory of this present house will be greater than the glory of the former house,’ says the LORD Almighty. ‘And in this place I will grant peace,’ declares the LORD Almighty.”
MAY GOD REMEMBER, AND REWARD YOU THIS YEAR; MAY HE RESTORE THE LOST GLORY OF FORMER YEARS. ON YOUR PART, YOU MUST RECALL TO MIND AND PUT ON YOUR LIPS CONTINUALLY THE PRAISE OF GOD AND THE WORDS OF THESE AND OTHER PROMISES AND PROPHECIES FROM GOD.
SHALOM DEARLY BELOVED. REMEMBER AS ALWAYS THAT YOU ARE LOVED, PRECIOUS AND APPRECIATED.