A Call To The Remnant

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The Man after God’s own Heart- Allan Halton

Posted by appolus on November 8, 2013

The Man After God’s Own Heart (Part One)

Something like a hundred pages of my Bible are devoted to the account of Israel’s first two kings, Saul and David. It’s an engaging story but God has more in mind than entertaining us with history; we need to learn what the Holy Spirit would teach us from the lives of these two kings. For, in our day the same drama is being played out again in the church of Jesus Christ.

Let us plunge right into the story. Israel had asked God for a king so they could be like the nations around them. This displeased the Lord, for His intention with Israel was to make them very different from the nations. But when Samuel protested that their desire was not of God, and that the king they wanted would use them to advance his own kingdom and interests, they refused to listen. “Nay, but we will have a king over us; that we also may be like the nations…” (1 Sam. 8.19). So God gave them their hearts’ desire—something that you and I should remember when we persist in asking God for something that He has indicated is not His will. We might just get what we ask for… to our sorrow.

That’s what happened to Israel. God gave them the king they wanted—Saul the son of Kish—with disastrous results. However, at God’s instruction Samuel anointed Saul king, at the same time giving him a lengthy prophecy, part of which was that when Saul left him he would meet a company of prophets, “And the Spirit of the LORD will come upon thee, and thou shalt prophesy with them, and shalt be turned into another man” (1 Sam. 10.6). Not that this could have meant the new birth back then, but a God of integrity was willing to give this man the change of heart he needed to rule with integrity before Him. However, as things turned out the change didn’t last very long.

For, in the same prophecy God gave this man a test—without actually telling him it was a test. At some point Saul was to go to Gilgal and wait there seven days for Samuel, who as the anointed priest would come and offer the necessary burnt offering and give Saul further counsel from God (1 Sam. 10.8). Meanwhile Samuel introduced Saul to the people, who were delighted with their new king who stood head and shoulders above them all (1 Sam. 10.23). He immediately proved they were right after all in asking for this king, for he gave them a mighty victory over Nahash the Ammonite. There was great rejoicing, and Samuel called them all to Gilgal where they renewed the kingdom and confirmed their new king with great celebration.

The Trial At Gilgal

But it was not long before Saul found himself in the circumstances of which Samuel had prophesied. Jonathan his son smote a garrison of the Philistines with the result that the Philistines gathered together against Israel at Gilgal with a host “as the sand which is on the seashore for multitude.” This caused great fear, and many Israelites went into hiding, while the small army that continued with Saul at Gilgal “followed him trembling” (1 Sam. 13.7).

Here is the picture, then. The people are fearful and distressed and are hiding out in caves and thickets. Saul’s army is melting away from him. He waits the seven days that Samuel had told him to wait… yet still no Samuel. He is beside himself; the Philistines are about to descend on him; he desperately needs to hear from God; yet where is Samuel the anointed priest to offer the burnt offering? He is wringing his hands; what is he going to do? What he did do became the hallmark of his kingdom. He took it into his own hands to offer the burnt offering—which in God’s economy no king was sanctioned to do at the time. “And it came to pass that as soon as he had made an end of offering the burnt offering, behold, Samuel came…” (1 Sam. 13.10).

“And Samuel said to Saul, thou hast done foolishly: thou hast not kept the commandment of the LORD thy God, which He commanded thee; for now would the LORD have established thy kingdom upon Israel forever.
But now thy kingdom shall not continue; the LORD hath sought him a man after His own heart, and the LORD hath commanded him to be captain over His people, because thou hast not kept that which the LORD commanded thee” (1 Sam. 13.13,14). Put simply, instead of obeying the Lord, instead of waiting upon the Lord, Saul suppressed what he knew was the right thing to do and took matters into his own hands.

To Obey Is Better Than Sacrifice

Some time later God commanded Saul to annihilate the Amalekites because they had been so merciless to Israel when they came out of Egypt (Dt. 25.17-19). The God of recompense intended to deal with a merciless people by repaying them in their own coin—Saul was to show them no mercy, but was to utterly destroy them and all they had. But Saul thought better of God, and spared Agag (who, after all, was a king like himself), and “the best of the sheep, and of the oxen, and of the fatlings, and the lambs, and all that was good, and would not utterly destroy them, but everything that was vile and refuse, that he destroyed utterly” (1 Sam. 15.9).

This was absolute disobedience to the will of God, but when Samuel came to Saul next morning, before he could open his mouth Saul told him proudly he had performed what the Lord commanded. Samuel called him on it, asking the meaning of all the bleating of sheep and lowing of oxen he was hearing. Saul tries to argue with him. “Yes, I have obeyed the voice of the LORD…” he insists, explaining that he and the people saved these fine specimens to offer to the Lord—surely a very reasonable thing to do. You can see Samuel shaking his head, and with heavy heart he relays to Saul what God has told him the previous night.

“Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.
For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, He hath rejected thee from being king” (1 Sam. 15.22,23).
Saul’s reaction? He may have lost the kingdom, but his main concern is… what will the people think? He wants Samuel honour him before the people.

It is not too difficult to discern in certain church leaders of our day the same fear of man, the same self will, the same presumption to do what is right in their own eyes—the same disobedience to the voice of the Lord—that characterized Saul. And because of it I believe we are going to see in a whole genre of churches the same great collapse that came upon Saul and his kingdom. It is inevitable.
To Be Continued.

13 Responses to “The Man after God’s own Heart- Allan Halton”

  1. W.E. Smith said

    Thank you Allan my dear brother. Saul, Ishmael, the present-day western church – these are all man’s best.

    The Father’s Best is His Son, the Lord and King Jesus the Christ!

    I am so tired of my best, the most I can do, from out of myself – whether it is religious, spiritual, call it what you will. We must all be brought to the end of this, however long it takes, however much violence or loss is necessary. It is a bloody business here in the caves and wilderness of testing and preparation.

    Man’s best is to slay Saul while He slept. And yes he deserved to die. But David was not ready yet to assume the throne. And I suppose neither are we as the King’s Bride. The Father will take this present day Saul in His own time, in His own way. It will fall, and we need not be concerned about this. But let us look to Zion, to the King, to His return, and let us be made ready.

    Lord please breathe on this brother’s word, make it so very real in our hearts and lives. Amen

  2. Allan Halton said

    Thank you, brother. I like very much what you said– “I am so tired of my best, the most I can do, from out of myself – whether it is religious, spiritual, call it what you will.” How I wish that more in our churches were saying the same thing! That’s the difference between Saul and David, I would say. “Saul” is doing things out from himself, and calling it God. “David” is weary of himself, and is crying out, “As the hart panteth after the waterbrooks, so panteth my soul after Thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?” O to see this same cry on more hearts!

    …One thing I might add is that I hesitate to generalize by using words like, “the present-day western church,” although I have used that same kind of terminology myself in the past, and certainly know what you mean. The state of our churches here is heart breaking, it’s a reproach we feel very deeply. It’s just that the righteous end up getting numbered with the transgressors; there are brothers and sisters, and yes, even whole churches here in the west, who are deeply grieved for the state of things, and are crying out to God about it. Would that more were doing so!

    • W.E. Smith said

      Allan, I hear what you are saying, but my sense, for what it is worth, is that as the times advance towards the end, the Lord will bring His own out of these man-made, man-sustained, man-pleasing, man-inspired entities, unto Himself. Our Lord never once slept inside the walls of the city when He walked on this earth. This was a statement.

  3. appolus said

    Hey brothers, I love the conversation, it speaks to many things. I too am loathe to throw out the statements about the church in the west although I have probably done it more than once. The main reason for that is my love for Christendom, my desire to see it truly be a witness, to come to The Lord not with a partial heart but with their whole hearts. There is yet time for the whosoever. I also agree with bro Wayne in that I believe that in this day, in this hous and because of the prophetic calendar, God is calling out His children from everything that is compromised, and I believe that He is calling them in preparation for persecution and martyrdom, perhaps even in my own generation. There came a time when the sect ” on the way,” was no longer welcome in the synagogues and temple…….bro Frank

  4. Allan Halton said

    “Our Lord never once slept inside the walls of the city when He walked on this earth.” Very insightful observation, Wayne. Thanks for that.

    What I meant by using terminology such as “the western church” is that, for example, the Lord sent messages to the “seven churches of Asia.” He never referred to them as “the church of Asia.” He sent each of these churches in Asia a different message. Some of those messages were very hard. But in Asia, there were some very commendable churches– the church in Philadelphia and the church in Smyrna. So I find it difficult to talk of “the western church” as though all churches in the west are the same. There are some very good churches. At the same time, there are many churches that cannot even be called a “lampstand” any more. There’s no Light shining. There’s no green pasture there for His sheep any more, and so, as you said, the Lord may well call His own out of such churches. In fact I think we are in a time when a great exodus is even now taking place. People are not finding God in these churches. And so if God isn’t going to church, why should they?

    • appolus said

      I tend to agree with your thoughts bro Allan. I would say however that there are undoubtedly regions of the world and they have different kinds of influences exerted upon them and this manifests itself in different ways. If for instance, North America was a region or a province ruled by something like the prince of Persia, then it seems that the hostilities aimed against the churches in these regions seem to have similar characteristics. Take North America with divorce, abortion and materialism which has so infiltrated and damaged the churches across the board in these areas. And then they begin to export these influences to other regions adding to the other regions already existing unique set of problems. These problems have certainly got worse as travel and knowledge increases and we can export bad ideas worldwide now, only making the over-all battle more difficult and complex, a kind of merging and coming together of principalities and powers…………….bro Frank

      • Allan Halton said

        Good thoughts, Frank. I believe you are right regarding the “regions” of the world and the different characteristics and influences they have. At the same time (and I know you agree with me on this one) God always has His “remnant” in such places. So I guess it’s okay to generalize as long as we bear this in mind.

        For example, of late I’ve become aware that Nigeria has become home to a very strong prosperity gospel (which they imported from you-know-where). “They” actually teach a doctrine that the poor should give to the rich (meaning, of course, these rich preachers) so that the poor become “connected” to riches, and open the channel for riches to come into their own lives. If they give to the poor they do the opposite: they invite poverty into their lives. Utterly sick teaching. But now “the Nigerian church” has gained this reputatation. It’s easy to overlook that their are genuine saints over there, and whole churches, who are very much against this false gospel.

  5. KMH said

    I am so sad. It seems so hard to find a good church. All the churches around here are more about pastor salaries. Many have schools taking money from non-believers via tuition and then they do not need to do much because tuition is so much more than most tithes.
    God did not want the church to hoard. We are the 1 % in God’s resources, yet we hoard. Blessed to be a blessing ??? nope. Blessed to hoard. Very sad. Faithless baals. I am very sad about this. I don’t know how to find a remnant church. I think God will use persecution to shake and wake up the hoarding church!!!!

    • appolus said

      Indeed KMH. I feel your distress and want you to know that there are saints scattered all over that have not bowed the knee to Baal. God has drawn them out into a desert of sorts to prepare and know and learn to find life in a place of apparent death. Only the Lord would call His people to a place of certain death, where nothing can live and yet in that place they find life and growth by the precious hand of God and by His hand alone. Yet after the desert He is calling His people to gather together. We have started to network the remnant saints. If you go to gospelfellowships.net and click on the find fellowship you will see a map with icons on them. Click on the icon for an e-mail address of a remnant saint who is willing and desirous to meet with even just two or three other saints. If there is none near you, perhaps you could consider being a contact point. God bless you………………bro Frank

      • KMH said

        Thanks Brother Frank,
        I appreciate the fellowship site address and will read the free ebook it offers. There does not appear to be a group in my area, Los Angeles, but I will read the book and pray about being a contact. I have plenty of women to fellowship with. It is the men that are zombies. Several of us women who served in ministry at our church have seen the dark side of the pastors (greed over the “ministry” coffers). Our husbands do not think there is anything wrong! They admit they are at work all week and are not involved like we are. I have these women to fellowship with as well as women’s Bible study where I am a small group leader…. so I have plenty of women groups and even ministry work, but our men will not seem to wake up. I am praying for men to WAKE UP! I love your testimony! What happened to your Dad? You say he got saved, but in your testimony section, I could not find more about your Dad. Our men are saved, but quite content putting in two hours on Sunday and dropping in a check. I love how your Mom was radically changed!
        My 83 year old Dad got saved last year, but has not gotten radically changed… still goes to Catholic church because he feels “comfortable.” There are NO men to mentor him.
        Please pray for God to step up MEN in the United States! The pastors are all business men and the elders are all yes men. Not God’s idea of men!

        • appolus said

          HI sister. Yes, woman have carried the burden disproportionately in much of the Church all over the world. I agree that men need to step up to the plate across the board but especially in matters of prayer and moving in the power of the Spirit, and in good fellowship with other Godly men. My dad was 49 when he got saved. He quit drinking right away and has never drank again, he is now 73. When he got saved he and my mother re-took their marriage vows and have now been married for over 50 years. I have written about a few encounters he and I have had in the process of our sanctification over the years. My mum is still radical in her relationship with Jesus even after all these years. He is the center of her life and everything revolves around her relationship with Him.

          In the circles that I travel in sister, it is mostly men who are doing the praying and taking the lead…………bro Frank

          • KMH said

            Good to hear that men are taking the lead somewhere! In LA we are all Asian women… born in Asia (I was born in Qatar). These are all non-Christian nations… but He brought us here to save us and use us! In one of your posts I was reading today you say God with holds Himself…. that is what I believe He is doing from our men in our churches and our sons! Are your sons saved? So many here are not… mine is not (he says it is phony). My daughters are on fire for the Lord! Yike!
            Thanks for the update on your Dad and Mom. Great to hear God’s faithfulness!

  6. I think of how deeply grieved the heart of God must have been that they demanded and sought a king. I like the writing that gives us Gods eye view on matters. Or rather Gods heart-view. From a strategic vantage point. From the mountain top looking out on His people. Constantly viewing from generation to generation the masses and their fallen behaviour patterns. How so deeply grieved He must be that we fail to learn the lessons. Over and over the same patterns emerge. Isn’t in Proverbs that it says that a dog returns to its vomit like a fool repeats his folly.The children of Israel turning to God when they needed Him. Pushing Him away and forsaking Him when convenient. Creating false idols. Wilderness wanderings of their own devices.

    Looking to the nations around them was a fatal flaw and folly indeed. What can the vomit of the world offer Gods chosen people? Instead of making the one true God their all in all they were infiltrated in their ways. It makes me realise what the Lord is seeking from us as His Body in these days. Intimacy and abiding in Him alone. I pray that in the Body of Christ we will truly realise our need to make Him our all sufficient. We are made sufficient in His sufficiency.

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