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“Those who honour Me I will honour, but those who despise Me will be disdained.”

Even though Jesus said, “The master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly,” when He taught His disciples about shrewdness, the manager was nevertheless a thief, for he was using and giving away that which was not his to secure a position for himself. His generosity to the debtors of his master was on his master’s accounts, and anyone of you who has done any business knows that such generous discounting can reduce your profits and even cause a loss to your business. He was shrewd, yes… but he was protecting himself, not his master, and there was certainly no honour in what he was doing.

True shrewdness, elect, is not taking what belongs to your master and using it to secure your future. True shrewdness, especially when we are speaking of it in the context of our King and based on what we do know of Him, is to use what is ours to secure for Him honour and His future.

Jesus said, “No servant can serve two masters.” The shrewd manager was serving two masters, firstly himself and then maybe at a stretch his master, which in truth he was not. He had been accused of mismanagement and by his scheming to secure his future, he proved that the accusation was correct.

Yes, you need shrewdness, elect, as I have mentioned earlier in chapter II… but shrewdness without honour is not worthy of our King. It is when we learn to be shrewd as Jesus taught us in the parable, but do it with honour, that we have taken the shrewdness to the extra mile – honour. The shrewdness to use what you have sacrificially in order to honour the Lord begins when you would rather be proved a liar and made to look like a fool than to allow anyone to say or do anything derogatory to Jesus or His word.

If you have laid hands on the sick and nothing happened, it is better to first say your faith was too small than to say their faith was insufficient or that it was not God’s will. For in the first you insult the sick and in the second you presumed to judge what God’s will is about the sick. Do not forget that when they asked Jesus what made the blind man blind, whether it was his sins or his parent’s sins, Jesus replied that it was neither, but that he was born blind for the work of God to be displayed in him.

No, honouring our King with shrewdness is to use that which belongs to us to ensure that His word is kept and that which He has promised to do is done. It is ensuring that any outstanding promise or word of our Lord to those to whom He gave His word is fulfilled at our expense.

Take the Parable of the Shrewd Manager for instance; true shrewdness with honour would be to give the clients of his master the discount out of his own pocket. When he discounted the thousand bushels of wheat to 800, a truly shrewd person who is doing it with honour would give the discount as if his master was the one who was giving the discount, but the actual 200 bushels shortfall is made up by the manager himself so that the master’s client goes away praising his master for his generosity.

For in reality, who would hire the shrewd manager after they found out that he had given them the discount first so that he could have a job with them later? For, if a man has stolen from his master, he will also steal from others. A man who cannot serve the master he has honourably will not serve the new master honourably either. That is why the false prophet who will take his gifting and secure for himself a place in Satan’s hierarchy will himself never be trusted by Satan either. You can be certain that he will also betray Satan, for he had already betrayed the Lord who is a much better Master.

So then the Spirit of Kingship in you must inspire you to honour the Lord by ensuring that His word is kept to those to whom He has given His word, even if it costs you everything that you have. And what is it that you have now? Your hope, your future, your eternity, your credibility, even your honour, much less your worldly goods. As Paul wrote to the Corinthians: We are fools for Christ… likewise we should walk alongside the apostle and make sure we too are fools for Christ. Foolish enough to ensure that which Jesus has given His word for is fulfilled, even at our expense.

At this moment in time our King suffers dishonour, for His enemies and the world are mocking Him again as they did when He hung upon that cross. They are saying, “When is this ‘I am coming soon,’ for it has been 1,900 years since He said that?” And whilst many of us have tried to explain it and excuse it and even make a joke out of it with lines like, “God’s timing is not our timing,” or, “To God a thousand years is like a day and a day is like a thousand years,” these excuses do nothing to restore honour to our King.

The first step to true honour is truth, and the truth of the shrewd manager is that he was about to lose his job and he was being generous to secure his own future at his master’s expense. That is foolish but honourable. Shrewd? Possibly, but at least honourable. However, imagine if you would that he used his own wealth to fund the discounts; now that would have been both shrewd and honourable.

The first honourable step for the church to do is to admit that Jesus has not been able to fulfil His word because of us. The sick remain sick because we have chosen not to lay hands on them and not because God cannot heal. For the promise Jesus gave to the sick was this: “And these signs will accompany those who believe: In My Name… they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.” However, we prostituted that simple promise to the sick and ritualised it as James suggested and added the anointing of oil by the elders of the church. And taking the prostitution and ritualisation further, we began to sell the oil and demanded that the sick should have sufficient faith first and to wait for that special anointed preacher (elder) to be sent by God for their healing, all of which go against Jesus’ simple promise. And so when they buy our anointed handkerchiefs with a donation and queue up to go to a crusade by some elder, emptying their worldly goods in our offering baskets in the hope of buying, bribing and pleasing God with their faith and nothing happens, the sick go home sick, but in their hearts they rightly lose all trust in Jesus.

Use this as one example and you can quickly see how we, the church, are responsible for the loss of credibility that Jesus has with the people. We have spent centuries making Jesus out to be a liar over and over again, whilst covering up ourselves with ritualised prostitution so that we might appear holy and righteous, deceiving those whose hearts and minds are weak, but antagonising those who can see through our slight of hands and hypocritical stance so that they no longer have time for Jesus.

The Spirit of Kingship will cause you to restore honour to the Lord by first exposing our own sinfulness… sin not as the church would define sin, no, but sin as disobedience to Jesus is defined. You see, to many, as long as you are sexually moral you are not sinning even though you do not listen to Jesus. To the Father, no amount of sexual morality can appease for the sin of not listening to Jesus, for the command to the disciples was and is “Listen to Him,” not “Keep yourself pure.” And having faced the truth about yourself, then your attitude to your worship of God will never be like that of Cain who was angry with Abel because Abel made a better sacrifice. Rather, your attitude would be that of Abel’s, to take the best of what you have for a sacrifice to imitate God. For as surely as God slew animals, lambs, to make skin for Adam and Eve to cover their nakedness, so Abel became like God and slew animals as a sacrifice to God. Cain was the ‘vegetarian’ who did not kill anything to make a sacrifice to God, but Abel murdered, killed, animals to make a sacrifice to God. Cain’s self-righteousness about not killing animals made him the true murderer and Abel’s cruelty to animals made him righteous in God’s eyes.

Using God’s Name and His word to cover up your nakedness and to present yourself as righteous may be shrewd, but it is dishonourable. The master of the parable may have commended the manager for his shrewdness, but see that he did not go on to honour the manager with a promotion. Indeed, even though it is not written, you can safely conclude the master would have let him go, regardless of his efforts.

Yes, God is looking for shrewdness and it is shrewdness that is essential in the formation of your spirit of kingship, but it is honour that polishes and makes it presentable to your King as a gift, a pearl of great worth. Pearls are formed from bits of dirt and debris that irritate the oyster, and the oyster covers it with layers of lacquer until the debris is smooth and no longer an irritant, thus turning it into a pearl… something of great worth that in the days before we learnt how to culture pearls, it took 100,000 oysters to produce a pearl worthy of a piece of jewellery. Likewise, your walk in the Lord is like that of a pearl and its lustre… something of no worth, even an irritant, that the Holy Spirit has patiently worked on until a pearl is formed… something, someone, He can present to the Lord as a precious jewel. Now pearls are valued for their roundness and lustre, their deep shine, the way they capture the light and reflect it with depth.

You can be that pearl of great worth that the Father is looking for, worthy enough to adorn New Jerusalem, when you seek to do all that you are doing with honour… honour for Jesus. It does not matter whether you are a great apostle who has been shown all the mysteries of eternity like Paul or whether you are a new born, a believer, lowly in life and given no special unction by the Lord, but just to be one of many. What matters is how much you do, say or think in whatever you are purposing with an attitude not only to love Him, but to honour Him and to bring Him honour.

The highest honour then, elect, is when you spend yourself being your Brother’s keeper, even if it cost you not only your life, but even your soul.

Those who are zealous enough for the Lord’s honour that they would volunteer to be the false prophet so that there is no further delay in the fulfilment of Scripture, have truly crossed over from death to life, for then even the fear and thought of eternity in the second death has not stopped you from doing that which you believe will bring honour to your King. Those who are truly seeking to honour Jesus in this manner never qualify to be the false prophet, but are the pearls of great worth He is searching for so that He can bring this age to a fitting end.

To the brother who would lay down his soul to keep his Brother’s honour and word, what would he secure from the Father? Consider this, elect, and be shrewd as to whom and how you honour. John the Baptist said, “For the one whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God gives the Spirit without limit.” Then what limit is there for the one who not only works for the honour of the One who sent him, but lays down his eternity to ensure that the One who sent him is honoured and His word is kept?

Rest and peace to all who honour the King, even as they labour unceasingly.

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