Aggrandizing The Enemy
By Johnny Tatum
The purpose of studying Esther 3 is to understand that our will is being persuaded by our flesh, by our spirit and [indirectly] by Holy Spirit; and that in our lives, when Holy Spirit is resisted, [by default] our flesh is in charge.
PART 1: DESIGNED FOR GOOD NEWS
THIS IS YOUR LIFE
The focus of the book of Esther is on King Ahasuerus, who is commonly known as Artaxerxes (oftentimes shortened to Xerxes). He is the same king who subsequently — after the events in the book of Esther occurred — issued a decree allowing the rebuilding of Jerusalem that began the prophesied 483-year countdown until Messiah Jesus appeared as King of the Jews in Jerusalem.
It is easy to get the picture that King Ahasuerus is older than he is; actually, he is about 18 years old when these events happened. The movement of the story begins after a six-month party and after the king banished his wife, Queen Vashti. So here is a king who is 18 years old, who is just starting to become a man, who does not have a queen, and who is lonely and restless.
Picture:This king is a picture of individuals who are not saved (people who have a soul and a body, but do not have a spirit), which includes the elect [before they are redeemed] and all unbelievers.
HUMAN BEINGS' ORIGINAL HIERARCHY
Adam had a body (includes the brain), a soul (mind - will - emotions; the will is most important), and a spirit. Holy Spirit totally controlled Adam's spirit, which totally controlled his soul. The hierarchy was as follows — in descending order:
God designed Adam's soul to be under the headship of his [human] spirit.
Let us consider the following Scripture that has always puzzled people:
The Lord God commanded…In the day that you eat from it (in the day you sin) you will die. (Genesis 2:16, 17)
We know that Adam did not die physically when he sinned, because he lived at least another 900 years. However, Romans 6 tells us—
The wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23)
and Adam's sin did bring death.
Question:When Adam sinned, what died?
When Adam sinned, his spirit died.The very day he sinned, Adam still had his soul and body/brain, but he no longer had his spirit who had been created the boss (located at the top of the hierarchy).
An interesting thing happened when Adam's spirit died: the order of the hierarchy was reversed, as follows — in descending order:
Question:When Adam's spirit died, what became boss?
Adam's body (specifically, his brain) became the boss.Why? Without a spirit, Adam's soul became lonely and restless so his soul plugged into his brain, because — as designed by God — his soul had to plug into something. The new boss was in a fallen state and the things Adam desired (some good and some not good) controlled his mind, will and emotions.
Unfortunately, Adam's descendants are born after his fallen state. Every descendant of Adam's — including everybody who has ever lived except one Person, Messiah Jesus — was/is born without a spirit, but is born with a body and a soul. The soul cannot plug into a non-existent spirit, so it plugs into the brain; therefore, desires are the boss.
Application:Some people go after what we call bad things, while others go after what we call good things. God does not see a difference between bad things and good things, because bad things and good things are all flesh — explaining the restlessness experienced by King Ahasuerus.
To know that the human race is sick, one just has to scan the titles in bookstores — the psychology and self-help departments are bulging with insights — including topical studies such as:
And these books pertain to one of two aspects of the flesh:
Obviously, the human race is restless.
Picture For Unbelievers:That is where the king is — restless and lonely. Again, the king represents our will (King Will I), and there is always an inner restlessness when the soul is not plugged into a spirit.
Notice:Are you experiencing an inner restlessness or an overwhelming sense of loneliness? Do you recognize that your boss is your own body — specifically, your brain — where nothing good dwells and is hostile toward God (the bad news)? Do you want to have your soul unplugged from your fallen brain and plugged into a brand new nature so God's Holy Spirit can guide you by communicating to a spirit, which He will give you?
Simply acknowledge in prayer to the Lord God:
I confess I am a sinner and I deserve to go to hell because of my sins. But I believe that when Messiah Jesus died on the Cross, He was paying the penalty for my sin. And when Messiah Jesus arose from the dead again, He rose to give me eternal life.
Picture For Believers [the better picture]:Queen Esther represents our new nature, which is synonymous with a spirit that an individual gets from God when he believes Messiah Jesus is his Savior. Your soul is plugged into your spirit, which is plugged into the power supply — Holy Spirit.
Thanks be to God through Messiah Jesus our Lord for your good news!
For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. (Romans 8:14)
Knowing The Difference
DISTINGUISHING BETWEEN OUR SPIRIT AND HOLY SPIRIT
Let us look at the difference between our spirit and Holy Spirit according to the Scriptures, because sometimes we mistakenly mingle the two, when in actuality, they are two separate entities.
Consider the following verses—
Referring to our spirit, Romans 8 says:
If Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness. (Romans 8:10)
The best one that shows a distinction is as follows:
The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God. (Romans 8:16)
There is communication between Holy Spirit and our spirit.
Which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining things of the Spirit with things of the spirit. (1 Corinthians 2:13)
The word combining is a fascinating word. This was the only time it is used in the New Testament, because in the original Greek, it is a scientific word; here the word combining is [something like] absorbing through osmosis.
As we will see in this study, there are many times when Holy Spirit is experiencing emotions within us. Sometimes the emotions we feel are completely inexplicable to us; it could very well be that those emotions are Holy Spirit's emotions being absorbed into our spirit.
Since believers have a spirit (new nature), let us compare what we have now with what Adam had. [What is alarming to me is that there should not be any difference.] The relationship that God and Adam had was rich and real. We now have the very same thing because we got back part of what Adam lost — we got back the spirit that Adam had.
Note:We did not get back dominion over the world that Adam had.
Another way for us to distinguish between our spirit and Holy Spirit is to recognize that Holy Spirit is not just an emanation or an outflowing; Holy Spirit is a Person. I think that we also have to recognize that our spirit is also a person.
Question:What is a person?
Many of us tend to think of a person as a human being; however—
A person is a center of consciousness with a mind, with a will, and with emotions.
In the Godhead (three Persons in one God), those are the three different centers of consciousness: mind – will – emotions. And our spirit has a mind; Paul says—
The eyes of your spirit. (Ephesians 1:18)
So our spirit has a mind of its own, a will of its own, and emotions of its own; therefore, it is a person.
To enlarge our understanding of our spirit and Holy Spirit, in this study we are going to look at the following:
The king is looking for a queen and there is a contest. In God's providence, Mordecai brings Esther to the contest.
Picture:Mordecai represents Holy Spirit, and Esther represents our new nature.
A Closer Look:
Holy Spirit is the Father of the human being Jesus—
[The angel said to Mary] And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son…The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. (Luke 1:31, 34, 35)
Note:Holy Spirit conceived Jesus in the womb of Mary, a virgin. [Please read the genealogy of Jesus, tracing back up through Mary, Nathan, David and Adam in Luke 3:23-34.]
"Joseph, son of David…the Child who has been conceived in her [Mary] is of Holy Spirit." (Matthew 1:20)
Note:Jesus was not the biological son of Joseph; Jesus was the adopted son of Joseph. Legally, Jesus was in the line that goes up through Jeconiah, Solomon and David. [Please read the genealogy of Jesus, beginning with Abraham and tracing down to Joseph (legal father of Jesus) in Matthew 1:1-16.]
Messiah Jesus is our brother—
"For whoever does the will of My Father who is in heaven, he is My brother…" (Matthew 12:50)
So who is Holy Spirit to us? Holy Spirit is the Father of our spirit:
"Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water, that is the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit." (John 3:5-6)
which was dead and now is alive:
The spirit is alive because of righteousness. (Romans 8:10)
Holy Spirit is that Father of the human being Jesus, and in the same sense, He is our Father too.
OUR NEW NATURE
What do we know about our new nature from the following verse? —
That you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth. (Ephesians 4:23, 24)
We know that our new nature is:
Esther was chosen to be the new queen. Surely, the king thought he had chosen Esther; however, we know that God sovereignly arranged the whole thing.
Picture:When believers are redeemed, they thing that they did the choosing Messiah Jesus until they look back. Then they see that God is the One who sovereignly arranged everything; Holy Spirit was the matchmaker—
Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. (Ephesians 1:4)
It does not mean that since He chose us, then we should be holy and blameless. What is really being said?
He chose us, and He made us holy and blameless
When we put it all together, we get the picture of what Adam had with God [before the Fall]. Adam had a spirit, which is where God's Holy Spirit lived. Through his spirit, Adam and God had perfect communication, fellowship, and love going back and forth constantly. Adam's spirit totally ruled his body and his soul since Holy Spirit indwelt his spirit—
Adam was innocent and was obedient to God without any self-effort.
What has been restored to those who believe Messiah Jesus is their Savior? We got back our spirit through which we can communicate, fellowship, and love God through the Person of Holy Spirit. Of course, once Holy Spirit makes that match and delivers our spirit to us, the enemy — our flesh — attacks.
Esther 3, Part 2: SOUNDS CORRECT
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We express our deepest appreciation to Mitchell and Dawn Kolodin for their excellent work in transcribing and editing this entire Esther study.
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