1Ki 20:1-21  “Whose fan is in his hand…”

The title of this study is taken from Matthew 3:12 where we learn with this statement of John the Baptist what God will do through Christ via the unquenchable fire which represents God’s word that will actively and completely judge God’s people (Rev 15:8). The two things that will happen for those who are being judged in this age  (1Pe 4:17, 1Pe 4:12, 1Jn 4:17) are described in these terms; wheat will be gathered into the garner and the chaff will be burnt up with unquenchable fire.

Mat 3:12  Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire. 

Rev 15:8  And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God, and from his power; and no man was able to enter into the temple, till the seven plagues of the seven angels were fulfilled. 

It is “his floor“, our heavenly Father’s and Christ’s floor (Joh 16:14-15), where all this activity is taking place; where Christ and His body will stand upon it, and where Peter, who represents the church, will be built upon the cornerstone Jesus Christ (Mat 16:18). Christ is set upon that floor by God (1Co 12:18, 1Pe 2:5-6) as the first of the kind of first fruits and sure foundation (1Co 3:11) who endured great suffering (Isa 53:4, Isa 53:10) so that He, as our forerunner, could help His body endure the winnowing process we must all endure to be fitly framed into the temple of God (Heb 4:15, Eph 2:21-22).

Joh 16:14  He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you. 
Joh 16:15  All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you. 

Eph 2:21  In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: 
Eph 2:22  In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit. 

1Co 12:18  But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him. 

1Pe 2:5  Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. 
1Pe 2:6  Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion [1Co 12:18] a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded. 

The scriptures we will look at in 1 Kings 20:1-43 were written for our admonition “upon whom the ends of the world are come” (1Co 10:11). The battles of which we will read between Syria and Israel, between Benhadad and Ahab, are very instructive in showing us how we will overcome our principle enemy within through Christ who is working in us both to will and to do God’s good pleasure (Php 2:12-13). His pleasure is to give us the kingdom of God in earnest within us today (Luk 12:32, Luk 17:21, Eph 1:14) as He thoroughly purges us day by day as we die daily (1Co 15:31).  He is giving us what is needed to patiently possess our souls as doers of the word until the glorious day when we will inherit the kingdom in its fullness in the first resurrection, if we are granted to endure until the end through this process of judgment (Eph 6:12, Mat 6:34, Luk 21:19, Rev 11:15, Mat 24:13).

Php 2:13  For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure

Luk 12:32  Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.

This battle between Syria and Israel, and all the lessons that Ahab the king of Israel had to learn, are all type and shadow events written for the elect’s sake (2Co 4:15) to teach us how to deal with sin in our members (Rom 7:23) as we learn to forsake ungodliness and worldly lusts (Tit 2:12).  As a result of the destruction of our man of sin, typified by Benhadad along with a long list of other evil kings who also attacked Israel at their appointed time (Amo 3:6), Israel, being a type of the Israel of God, is the apple of God’s eye even as we are Satan’s primary target whom he wants to kill and destroy spiritually (Zec 2:8, Psa 17:8,Joh 10:10).

Gal 6:16  And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God

Zec 2:8  For thus saith the LORD of hosts; After the glory hath he sent me unto the nations which spoiled you: for he that toucheth you toucheth the apple of his eye. 

Psa 17:8  Keep me as the apple of the eye, hide me under the shadow of thy wings

Joh 10:10  The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly [“under the shadow of thy wings“].

1Ki 20:1   And Benhadad the king of Syria gathered all his host together: and there were thirty and two kings with him, and horses, and chariots: and he went up and besieged Samaria, and warred against it. 
1Ki 20:2  And he sent messengers to Ahab king of Israel into the city, and said unto him, Thus saith Benhadad, 
1Ki 20:3  Thy silver and thy gold is mine; thy wives also and thy children, even the goodliest, are mine. 
1Ki 20:4  And the king of Israel answered and said, My lord, O king, according to thy saying, I am thine, and all that I have.

Benhadad and all his host that have been gathered to battle against Israel represent the powers and principalities God’s people wrestle against all the time (Eph 6:12). Benhadad is God’s sword in His hand (Psa 17:13-14) who has “thirty and two kings with him, and horses, and chariots: and he went up and besieged Samaria, and warred against it.” The 32 kings have all the right combination of numbers to witness [2] to us this process of judgment [3] upon Ahab who is learning for the elect’s sake one of many ways God’s grace is administered to us in this life – “by thy sword” [3+2=5].

Psa 17:13  Arise, O Jehovah, Confront him, cast him down: Deliver my soul from the wicked by thy sword;

None of “thy silver and thy gold”, “thy wives also and thy children, the goodliest”, were Benhadad’s, and yet by merely sending a seducing spirit via the messengers that Benhadad sent, Ahab very nearly gave up so much wealth to this evil king’s desire (Mat 4:9) saying, “My lord, O king, according to thy saying, I am thine, and all that I have.” The spiritual lesson for God’s elect is to know what is yours and to hold fast to it, as you cleave to God and resist the devil (2Pe 1:4, Rev 3:11, Jas 4:7).

2Pe 1:4  Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: [represented byThy silver and thy gold is mine; thy wives also and thy children, even the goodliest“] that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. 

Rev 3:11  Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown. 

Jas 4:7  Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 

1Ki 20:5  And the messengers came again, and said, Thus speaketh Benhadad, saying, Although I have sent unto thee, saying, Thou shalt deliver me thy silver, and thy gold, and thy wives, and thy children; 
1Ki 20:6  Yet I will send my servants unto thee to morrow about this time, and they shall search thine house, and the houses of thy servants; and it shall be, that whatsoever is pleasant in thine eyes, they shall put it in their hand, and take it away

It took this second coming of the messengers sent from Benhadad to finally start to wake Ahab up to the treacherous and selfish spirit he was dealing with. It wasn’t good enough for Benhadad to know that Ahab was willing to give him all the things that he was asking of him, Benhadad needed to also send servants to investigate the merchandise of Ahab and take the best of the best, and take even “whatsoever is pleasant in thine [Ahab’s] eyes… and take it away”. This behavior of Ahab is one step worse than king Hezekiah who also had no comprehension of the proper decorum for a king of Israel, which is to not show all the treasures of the temple that represent God’s truth, the altar where we eat at which they are not worthy to eat [in this case king Benhadad and his entourage] (Heb 13:10, 1Jn 4:6). On the other hand, Ahab is even worse than Hezekiah willing to give away his typical birthright [“Thy silver and thy gold is mine; thy wives also and thy children, even the goodliest“] in regard to this gentile king (Jud 1:11-12, Isa 39:2, 2Ki 20:13). Alas, God showed mercy to Ahab and made him reconsider enough that he would seek out safety that would soon be found in the multitude of counselors that were available to him (Pro 11:14, Pro 24:6).

Heb 13:10  We have an altar, whereof they have no right to eat which serve the tabernacle. 

1Jn 4:6  We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error. 

Jud 1:11  Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core. 
Jud 1:12  These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots; 

Isa 39:2  And Hezekiah was glad of them, and shewed them the house of his precious things, the silver, and the gold, and the spices, and the precious ointment, and all the house of his armour, and all that was found in his treasures: there was nothing in his house, nor in all his dominion, that Hezekiah shewed them not. 

1Ki 20:7  Then the king of Israel called all the elders of the land, and said, Mark, I pray you, and see how this man seeketh mischief: for he sent unto me for my wives, and for my children, and for my silver, and for my gold; and I denied him not. 
1Ki 20:8  And all the elders and all the people said unto him, Hearken not unto him, nor consent.

Finally, Ahab starts to demonstrate some spiritual backbone in type and shadow by going to the elders to mark this proud man (2Th 3:14) who was simply on the take, wanting what was not his from an unsuspecting Ahab, who at this point was symbolically becoming friends with the world (1Jn 2:15-17). He reminds the elders all the things he was willing to give to Benhadad (perhaps to keep peace with Syria; we’re not told), but we are told what his elders thought of all such actions, “And all the elders and all the people said unto him, Hearken not unto him, nor consent.”

1Jn 2:15  Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

2Th 3:14  And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed.

1Ki 20:9  Wherefore he said unto the messengers of Benhadad, Tell my lord the king, All that thou didst send for to thy servant at the first I will do: but this thing I may not do. And the messengers departed, and brought him word again. 
1Ki 20:10  And Benhadad sent unto him, and said, The gods do so unto me, and more also, if the dust of Samaria shall suffice for handfuls for all the people that follow me. 
1Ki 20:11  And the king of Israel answered and said, Tell him, Let not him that girdeth on his harness boast himself as he that putteth it off.

Now that Benhadad realizes he’s not going to get his way, seeing Ahab has had a spiritual wake-up call via the counsel of the elders, the real spirit of Benhadad starts to manifest with these murderous words that ironically sound a lot like the earlier words of Ahab’s wife Jezebel to Elijah “The gods do so unto me, and more also, if the dust of Samaria shall suffice for handfuls for all the people that follow me“. Let’s compare those words to hers: “Then Jezebel sent a messenger unto Elijah, saying, So let the gods do to me, and more also, if I make not thy life as the life of one of them by to morrow about this time” (1Ki 19:2). Ahab’s wicked and controlling wife represents Babylon that wants to call the shots and bring fear into our hearts through false accusations, threats and false doctrines (Rev 12:10, Rev 2:10, Luk 12:5). Benhadad represents Babylon who wants to rob us of all our spiritual riches, as stated earlier, to take our crown.

Rev 12:10  And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night

Rev 2:10  Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.

Luk 12:5  But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him.

Verse 11 confirms that Ahab has awakened to Benhadad’s evil intent by telling him in so many words that he is a lame duck who has no armor on, regardless of his proud words of defiance against the king and nation of Israel. Ahab is starting to sound more like King David in this instance and realizes that this defiant spirit of Benhadad must be challenged (1Sa 17:4-8, 1Sa 17:26). The lesson for God’s elect is that He will always wake us up and prepare us for battle at the appointed time despite ourselves, because the battle is the Lord’s, and the preparation and answer of our tongues are also from him (Mat 25:6-10, 2Ch 20:15, Pro 16:1).

1Sa 17:4  And there went out a champion out of the camp of the Philistines, named Goliath, of Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span. 
1Sa 17:5  And he had a helmet of brass upon his head, and he was clad with a coat of mail; and the weight of the coat was five thousand shekels of brass.
1Sa 17:6  And he had greaves of brass upon his legs, and a javelin of brass between his shoulders. 
1Sa 17:7  And the staff of his spear was like a weaver’s beam; and his spear’s head weighed six hundred shekels of iron: and his shield-bearer went before him. 
1Sa 17:8  And he stood and cried unto the armies of Israel, and said unto them, Why are ye come out to set your battle in array? am not I a Philistine, and ye servants to Saul? choose you a man for you, and let him come down to me. 

1Sa 17:26  And David spake to the men that stood by him, saying, What shall be done to the man that killeth this Philistine, and taketh away the reproach from Israel? for who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?

1Ki 20:12  And it came to pass, when Benhadad heard this message, as he was drinking, he and the kings in the pavilions, that he said unto his servants, Set yourselves in array. And they set themselves in array against the city.

Pride comes before a fall, and these are the words of the pride-filled and spiritually drunken voice of the king of Syria. He and the kings in the pavilions are about to bring a great slaughter on their own people as a result of their haughty spiritually drunken spirits (Pro 16:18, Pro 14:34-35).

Pro 16:18  Pride goeth before destruction, And a haughty spirit before a fall. 

Pro 14:34  Righteousness exalteth a nation; But sin is a reproach to any people. 

1Ki 20:13  And, behold, there came a prophet unto Ahab king of Israel, saying, Thus saith the LORD, Hast thou seen all this great multitude? behold, I will deliver it into thine hand this day; and thou shalt know that I am the LORD. 
1Ki 20:14  And Ahab said, By whom? And he said, Thus saith the LORD, Even by the young men of the princes of the province. Then he said, Who shall order the battle? And he answered, Thou. 
1Ki 20:15  Then he numbered the young men of the princes of the provinces, and they were two hundred and thirty two: and after them he numbered all the people, even all the children of Israel, being seven thousand.

This prophet was prophesying for Ahab, but in fact it was a prophecy written for our sakes (1Pe 1:12, 1Co 10:11) to remind us of “this great multitude” of Revelation 7:9  and how Ahab, who represents the elect, will “by the young men of the princes of the province” order the battle (Rev 11:15). That order will be maintained by Ahab who shall order the battle, just as it will be ordered by God’s elect during the thousand-year reign under Christ’s direction. Likewise, there was order in the seven churches of Asia which all eventually forsook Paul (2Ti 1:15) as will all the world represented by Gog and Magog at the end of the thousand-year reign (Rev 20:8). The world needs to clearly see the order God has ordained in the church during the thousand-year reign, which is maintained by a rod of iron, and that in time will be rebelled against, as per the counsel of God’s will (Rev 20:6, Eph 1:11). Verse 15 confirms that these prophetic events of Ahab’s rulership point to a future event reminding us that all the leaders of this world and all their decrees and laws are to be superseded by the rulership of Christ and His bride. Because we have dominion over all the rulers who rule the kingdoms of this world, represented by the numbers 232 [2+3+2=7], by extension we also will have absolute authority over all people of the earth, represented by the statement, “all the children of Israel, being seven thousand.

1Ki 20:16  And they went out at noon. But Benhadad was drinking himself drunk in the pavilions, he and the kings, the thirty and two kings that helped him.

This above verse we’re reading describes the status of the world just before the return of Christ (Deu 28:29, Luk 17:26-29). They (the young men of the princes of the provinces) “went out at noon” sober and vigilant being about their Father’s business so to speak (Heb 11:7, Luk 2:49) as opposed to “he and the kings” who were not in a state of readiness but of drunkenness (Joh 6:44, Heb 11:7, 1Pe 4:71Pe 5:8-9).

Deu 28:29  And thou shalt grope at noonday, as the blind gropeth in darkness, and thou shalt not prosper in thy ways: and thou shalt be only oppressed and spoiled evermore, and no man shall save thee. 

Luk 17:26  And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. 
Luk 17:27  They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. 
Luk 17:28  Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; 
Luk 17:29  But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. 

Heb 11:7  By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith. 

Luk 2:49  And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business? 

Joh 6:44  No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. 

1Pe 4:7  But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer

1Pe 5:8  Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: 
1Pe 5:9  Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethrenG81 [Jacob have I loved and Esau have I hated who were taken from the same womb (Rom 9:13)] that are in the worldG2889.

1Ki 20:17  And the young men of the princes of the provinces went out first; and Benhadad sent out, and they told him, saying, There are men come out of Samaria. 
1Ki 20:18  And he said, Whether they be come out for peace, take them alive; or whether they be come out for war, take them alive. 
1Ki 20:19  So these young men of the princes of the provinces came out of the city, and the army which followed them. 
1Ki 20:20  And they slew every one his man: and the Syrians fled; and Israel pursued them: and Benhadad the king of Syria escaped on an horse with the horsemen. 
1Ki 20:21  And the king of Israel went out, and smote the horses and chariots, and slew the Syrians with a great slaughter.

The enemies of God always underestimate the power and resilience which is in the weak of the world, who are more than conquerors through Christ (1Co 1:26-29, Col 1:27, Eph 1:21, Eph 6:12, Rom 8:37) as confirmed with this ultra-confident statement of Benhadad in his flesh toward the young men of the princes of the provinces who went out first, Whether they be come out for peace, take them alive; or whether they be come out for war, take them alive.

This again was another example of a spirit of pride, high-mindedness and conceit (1Co 10:12, Rom 11:20-25) that God warns us about repeatedly in His word and that will always precede destruction, the end result being shown: “And they slew every one his man: and the Syrians fled; and Israel pursued them: and Benhadad the king of Syria escaped on an horse with the horsemen. And the king of Israel went out, and smote the horses and chariots, and slew the Syrians with a great slaughter” (1Ki 20:20-21).

During the thousand-year reign, the elect have no intention of being influenced by the perverted cultures of mankind who will still want to “take them alive” whether we come in peace or come to make war. In truth, we are coming in the name of the Lord to enforce peace for an appointed time and then to make war against the entirety of humanity by administering the judgments of God during the great white throne judgment that will destroy the last spiritual enemy, which the naturally rebellious carnal mind of man is (Rev 20:11, Luk 13:35, 1Co 15:26, Jer 17:9).

1Co 1:26  For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: 
1Co 1:27  But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; 
1Co 1:28  And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: 
1Co 1:29  That no flesh should glory in his presence. 

1Co 10:12  Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall

Rom 11:20  Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear: 
Rom 11:21  For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee. 
Rom 11:22  Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off. 
Rom 11:23  And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be graffed in: for God is able to graff them in again. 
Rom 11:24  For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert graffed contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be graffed into their own olive tree? 
Rom 11:25  For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.

This victory that was given to Ahab and the nation of Israel is a representation of the victory God can give His children over sin if the Son of man sets us free (Joh 8:36). It is a process, as we all know, and so, although Ahab has won this battle, he is already being warned to keep fighting a good fight of faith in type and shadow at the hand of the prophet sent to him by God: “And the prophet came to the king of Israel, and said unto him, Go, strengthen thyself, and mark, and see what thou doest: for at the return of the year the king of Syria will come up against thee.”

It takes a lifetime of overcoming, in other words, and much tribulation (Act 14:22, Mat 24:13, Rev 3:21), to receive the full benefit of this verse, “Whose fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” Having done all through Christ, we will be able to “strengthen thyself, and mark, and see what thou doest: for at the return of the year the king of Syria will come up against thee” and you will by the grace of God be able to stand (Eph 6:11-18).

Act 14:22  Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God. 

Mat 24:13  But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. 

Rev 3:21  To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.

Eph 6:11  Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 
Eph 6:12  For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Eph 6:13  Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. [God’s elect are being winnowed now so that we can stand against the wiles of the devil.]
Eph 6:14  Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; 
Eph 6:15  And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 
Eph 6:16  Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. 
Eph 6:17  And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: 

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