By Billy Cole
I want to bring you a message from the Book of Esther, a book that many theologians totally disregard. They never read a verse out of it. They can’t relate it to the things of God. There are many wonderful and rich thoughts in the Book of Esther. As far as I’m concerned, there is nothing in God’s Word that is not profitable to us. Even the Old Testament and its genealogies, historical facts and records are things we can learn so much from. The scripture teaches that the Old Testament is a schoolmaster or one that causes us to understand the New. Thank God for the New Testament because it was pretty hard to live for God under the Old. Thank God for the grace of God we find in the New Testament.
I want to look at the fourth chapter of Esther. In Esther, once the law of the Emperor was made and the signet ring put upon the seal then that law could not be changed. The law mentioned here was that all of the Jews on a certain day would be killed. But when Esther approached the king he said, “We can make another law”.
What a beautiful example that is. God told Adam and Eve, “Thou shalt surely die.” That law cannot be changed. Men and women today are spiritually dying and will come up in the Day of Judgment and experience the second death. But there is a new law. There is a New Testament. Praise the Lord. Not just the old law. Not just the Ten Commandments but God has made a new will, a new law. And in that, we can turn to Him. He will bear the brunt and the brutality of the death of a sinner. He has already done it for us.
Esther teaches us about hatred and revenge which can have a terribly damaging affect on our lives. If someone has done you wrong and you have hatred in your heart and it brings you to a place of revenge, it will have a very strong self-destructive effect upon you. Thank God He has made a way to heal our hearts and help us forgive those that have not asked to be forgiven. Sometimes people don’t ask to be forgiven. Sometimes they won’t even admit they have done you wrong. But God gives us the ability to forgive so that we can be like Him.
Attitude is so important. You’re not going to get through this life without somebody hurting you. You’re not even going to get through this life without somebody in the church hurting you. We are human beings and things that are common to human beings are going to happen to us. I know we are filled with the Spirit, but we are of a dual nature. We are both flesh and spirit. We are not totally perfected yet. We are working towards perfection. There are some times you will hurt people unintentionally. Sometimes people are hurt and you don’t even know it. Everybody in the church is not living for God. The Lord Jesus Christ Himself chose twelve that were going to be apostles and one of them was a devil. One out of twelve – that’s a pretty high percentage. There are going to be folks that call themselves apostolic, that are going to be preachers that are secretly in sin up to their ears. But that doesn’t mean you can’t live for God. That doesn’t mean you can’t overcome every offence and obstacle. We can live it if we make up our minds. God can give you victory over your hurt and your wounds. We have to be cautious of what we are thinking. The battle is in our mind. We have got to overcome that battle.
The only real power the enemy has over us is the power to whisper to us. The enemy, the devil, Satan, whatever you want to call him, the prince of this world, his only power is the ability to inject into our thoughts his thoughts. He can whisper to us. He can speak to us. He can make an impression upon our minds and cause us to think wrongly. He cannot destroy you but if he can get a bad attitude in your mind you’ll destroy yourself. That’s where the battle is.
In Second Corinthians the apostle Paul wrote these words: For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (2Co 10:3) (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds;) (2Co 10:4)
Are you glad that you can pull down the strongholds of the devil? Well, before we can pull them down, we have to know where they are. The very next verse tells us where those strongholds are.
Casting down imaginations, That’s the stronghold of the devil — our own imagination. It’s not out here somewhere like a fortress or fort. It’s not like a great army that has come up against us. It’s right between your own ears. That is where the battle is. If we can keep our thoughts — the Apostle Paul said:
Whatsoever is good, whatsoever is virtuous, whatsoever is right, and whatsoever thing is good —think on these things. (Philippians 4:8)
We need to keep our minds thinking on the right things. Verse five: Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge We need to know the Word of God. If you know His word, it will keep you. When Satan attacked Jesus, He simply quoted the Word of God to him. We can do the same thing.
exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; (2Co 10:5) That’s it right there. If you can keep your mind right, I don’t care who does what to you, you can live for God. I don’t care who fails, who falls into sin or brings a reproach upon themselves — you can live for God if you keep your mind straight. So we have mentioned hatred and revenge and the horrible self-destructive power it has.
In Esther chapter four there is a very beautiful thought I want to share with you. Beginning with verse ten: Again Esther spoke unto Hatach, and gave him commandment unto Mordecai; (Est 4:10) All the king’s servants, and the people of the king’s provinces, do know, that whosoever, whether man or woman, shall come unto the king into the inner court, who is not called, there is one law of his to put him to death, except such to whom the king shall hold out the golden scepter, that he may live: but I have not been called to come in unto the king these thirty days. (Est 4:11) Didn’t sound like too good of a relationship. I have not been called to come in unto the king these thirty days. (Est 4:11) And they told to Mordecai Esther’s words. (Est 4:12) Then Mordecai commanded to answer Esther, Think not with thyself that thou shalt escape in the king’s house, more than all the Jews. (Est 4:13) Mordecai is saying to Esther — “Don’t forget you’re a Jew too. And when the Jews die, you are going to die along with them.”
For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father’s house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this? (Est 4:14) There are several rich thoughts in this text, but I want to take the major thought and title it “The frustration of having a position and not having any power”.
We consider the President of the United States as one of the most powerful men in all the earth. But it is absolutely astounding how little he can do except for his influence. You take away his influence and you just about take everything away from him. Sometime ago I read about the fracas that came up over Mr. Donald Regan (White House aid) charging Mrs. Nancy Reagan with going to astrologers. It made quite a flap in Washington. People were quite concerned about this. I was concerned too. You never know what they are doing behind closed doors do you? There was something Mr. Regan said that kind of touched me when he made his resignation to the president. He got a nice letter back from the president. Mr. Regan said, “I know him well. These are not his words. He didn’t write this letter.” And that’s the truth most of the time. When he made a speech he did not write those speeches, he had a Cabinet meeting and they told him what he could say and what he could not say.
They actually go through practices. When they are going to have a press conference they go through all kinds of practicing and anticipate questions. Mr. Reagan being the actor that he was could memorize those lines. As long as he was dealing with that he did quite well. This is not meant to be critical of the former President. I don’t preach politics. I am just wanting to make the point that the President is not his own. He has the prestige. When people see him they applaud and they love to shake hands with him. He has all of the service and wealth of America surrounding him. But he is really little more than a figurehead. It is those in his Cabinet that are running this country through their various departments. I am sure there are many times the President sees situations that are not right, that he would like to correct, but he cannot. You say, “Well if he was the man he ought to be he would change so and so.”
You really don’t know what you are saying. You don’t know how impossible that is, with the grinding of the wheels of government that we have. Suppose the President wanted to do something in Charleston, West Virginia. There is no end to the red tape of getting it done. It is so involved that it is just unreal. Even in the matters of war. For instance in Vietnam, why couldn’t we whip a little nation? Why can’t the great big United States of America whip a small nation? There is one answer – politics. It was politics. Are you kidding? We have enough firepower that we could wipe Vietnam off of the face of the earth in one hour’s time. We let that little nation humiliate us. They humiliated us. I know we don’t like to think about it but we were humiliated in Vietnam. There wasn’t much we could do about it.
I was talking to a general who was a school friend of mine. I have known him all his life. He has the Holy Ghost and baptized in Jesus name. He is a general and is also an inventor. He works for the military in lasers, in the laboratory. It is absolutely astounding. He said, “Mark this down Brother Cole — anytime you see an airplane with weapons in the newspaper and it is presented as something new – that thing is so obsolete they are ready to get rid of it.” Right now, during the Grenada War there are planes, (we’ve got fifteen of them) that are never parked on the same runway, (any two of them). They are never allowed to be at the same airport, ever. They can rendezvous anywhere in the United States — in thirty minutes they are that fast. They have the power to destroy an entire nation with one single strike.”
Now we have a lot of power. The United States has enough power to destroy the entire world. But we let someone like that guy in Panama walk all over us. I am not talking politics but I am using an illustration to show that you can have position and not have power.
It can happen to us if we are not careful. That’s the thing I’m concerned about. Here is a woman that is queen of the whole empire. She is a Jew and word has come that they are going to be destroyed. The Jewish people took this very seriously. Mordecai put sackcloth on. The Scriptures tell us they were in mourning. They were grief stricken because they knew this was for real. The Bible says that Esther was grieved. Do you know what she did? The first thing she did was to send Mordecai some new clothing. She said, “You’re not supposed to be out there in the gate with sackcloth on. You are supposed to dress right”. So she sent him a new outfit. What was she doing? She felt very much like a victim because there was nothing she could do about it. So she sent Mordecai a suit of clothes. She gave him a little gift.
Esther wanted to do something about this situation. Mordecai refused her gift. He said, “I don’t want your gift. How is that going to help me? It doesn’t make any difference if I am wearing a tuxedo or a pair of blue jeans. If I am going to die what is the difference? Your new suit is not going to help me. I don’t need new clothes. I need an intervention. I need you to go into that fellow that made that law. I need you to do something about this.”
Have you ever found yourself in that position spiritually? You wanted to do something but it seemed there was nothing you could do.
Then she quoted the law to Mordecai. We quoted it in verse eleven. She was not misquoting the law or misunderstanding the law, she was quoting it just as it was. She was telling Mordecai, “Now if I go in there —you know what the law is. If someone has not been invited into the emperor or into the king…” (And he was not just king over a nation – he was king over an empire, over the Meads and Persian Empire) “the law is that if I go in to his inner court without an invitation, that I will die — unless he extends his golden scepter to me.”
Notice what the law says in verse eleven, All the king’s servants, and the people of the king’s provinces, do know, that whosoever, whether man or woman, shall come unto the king into the inner court, who is not called (or invited), there is one law of his to put him to death, except such to whom the king shall hold out the golden scepter, that he may live: Then she calls to their attention that “he hasn’t called for me for thirty days! So I’m not in the best of relationship here. I’m not in the situation where he is calling for me. I just can’t walk in there. Here Mordecai, take this suit of clothes. Be appeased. Be reasonable. I’m giving you a little token. I’m sending you a `get-well’ card. I’m sending you a sympathy card. Don’t blame me for this problem.”
But Mordecai wouldn’t accept that. Here is the thing she was forgetting. She was not just a “whosoever”. That word “whosoever” would apply to the whole kingdom, but she was not just a “whosoever”. She was his wife! She was the queen and that gives you a few privileges, doesn’t it? She was his bride. Sometimes we look at the scripture and we feel a weakness, we feel a timidness to go into the presence of God. We think of ourselves as being nothing and we “were” nothing. But we are something today —because God has caused us to be born again. God has filled us with the Holy Ghost. God has given to us His name. We “were” nothing — but don’t call me nothing today! I’m a son of God. I have been touched by the power of the Lord and there are certain privileges that go along with that. Don’t call me a “whosoever”. I happen to be a brother.
I know that those out in the world are unsaved and don’t have the touch of God in their lives. They are a “whosoever”. The scripture says “Whosoever will may come”… and they are indeed a “whosoever”. But you and I are not a “whosoever”. You and I are a part of the bride of Christ. We have taken upon us His glorious name. We have the name of Jesus in us. We took it in baptism by burial in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. We have been filled with His Spirit. We are His. We belong to Him and we can boldly come into the throne of God. You don’t have to wait for Him to call you. I’ve gone into the Lord three or four times today and He hasn’t called me once. We can go in to Him any time we want to. We are His children. We are His blessed. We are His anointed. The scripture teaches that we are the apple of His eye.
Many times we don’t have what we need because we don’t ask for it. The scripture says “knock and it shall be opened unto you, ask and it shall be given to you”. We can just wander around without the things we need from the Lord.
Sometimes preacher’s wives accuse their husbands of loving the church more than they love them. They feel “You give your time to the church and no matter what I want to do or where I want to go if Sister so‑and-so calls you just drop everything and go”. Well that is our life and we do a lot of that. I remember one time I picked up my date book and was looking at it. I looked at it and Sister Cole had written a note in my date book that said “It’s just about time that you pay a little attention to your wife”. Do you think I ignored that? Absolutely not. Your wife influences your life tremendously.
So we have this position. We may have been a “nobody from nowhere” when we came to the Lord. As far as the world is concerned we may have been a zilch on the status ladder, at the bottom of society, but I want you to know that when you take upon you the name of Jesus Christ and receive His Spirit it makes all the difference in the world.
We are all impressed by people who have great status in life. We should not have a bad attitude toward dignitaries. In one meeting in Oregon I noticed one sister that was just weeping and sobbing. She had quite a bit of makeup on but she was moved by the message that the Lord gave me for church that day. She was just sobbing and weeping. She had little caverns all down through the makeup. She was beginning to pray and seek the Lord. She really prayed and began speaking in tongues as the Spirit of God gave the utterance. I didn’t know who she was. It didn’t make any difference to me if she was poor or rich, but I came to find out that she was the president of Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (MADD) for the entire United States. She had spent all day long filming on TV. She was formerly Miss Oregon. She was a beauty queen. Now she was the head of MADD and had been filming all day long. I was impressed by that — of course I was. I was impressed by her ability and her beauty. Sitting across from her was a nominee running for State Senator. He was going to run against Mark Hatfield. He was sitting there, worshiping God, talking in tongues and would have fit into our worship just as good as anyone. I was impressed with that. I was impressed the other day that Mr. Caperton (running for governor of West Virginia at the time) went to the altar in Huntington, West Virginia where Brother Harper is the pastor along with Brother Kitchen (now deceased). He wept before God. He then went to our conference and again wept before the Lord. I am impressed by all of that, but I tell you it doesn’t make any difference what your background is when you come to the Lord. You have that access.
I don’t want to be offensive but little Rosie that we have in our church – I love Rosie — I’d do anything for her — I’d fight a million devils for her. When she came to God her background was not good. I think she has eight or nine brothers and sisters. Every one of them has a different father. Her mother came here to visit and she didn’t even know Rosie’s name. She couldn’t remember the name she gave the girl. She was nobody from nowhere. But I tell you, I would just as soon have Rosie pray for me as anybody in the world. I don’t know a preacher in the world I’d rather have pray for me than Sister Rosie. She can boldly go into the throne of God and pray. She’s not perfect, you can find faults with her if you look close enough, but I tell you God has made her His child. She has committed herself to the church. The world might consider us outcasts but we can go boldly before God. We don’t have to go by all of the rules. When you become a child of the King — when you become part of the Bride of Christ — it is a different game. I know there are a lot of rules out there, but we can overcome those. We call it supernatural. The rule is natural but we have that supernatural power in our hearts and lives.
Thank God for the glorious relationship we have with the Lord. It thrills me to death when we get someone that is skilled in the church, someone of some status, that’s great someone that is an electrician or a carpenter or has a big office job downtown. That’s all great, but I tell you it doesn’t cut any ice with the Lord. Once you get baptized in Jesus’ name and are filled with the Holy Ghost you can boldly go into the throne.
Once when Brenda was very sick in Thailand, I went into her room at the hospital. Her fever was gone but her body was very weak. It took some time to regain her strength. I went in and put my hand upon her head, caressed her hair and told her how much I loved her, that she was my baby. Now what if she had said to me ‘Oh I am unworthy of your love’? I would have felt stupid. Here I am her father, I loved her and there isn’t anything I wouldn’t do for her to get her well. There isn’t anything you wouldn’t do to get your children well in the same situation. What if they looked up to you and said, `I’m not worthy for you to love me’. You would feel stupid. And that’s the way we do God.
She wanted a hamburger from the President Hotel. Lord, we didn’t have that kind of money. I’m not kidding you in those days we were poor. On wedding anniversaries we would go to a hotel restaurant and have a couple of rolls and a cup of coffee. That was it. We were poor and we were trying to reach a nation on five hundred dollars a month. That took care of everything – five hundred dollars a month to reach a nation of forty million people. She wanted a hamburger — well that was like going to a restaurant where they charge you fifty dollars for a meal. I got her that hamburger though. I don’t think I would have stolen or killed somebody (he laughs) but I was going to get her that hamburger one way or another. She wanted that hamburger and a little strawberry tart. I got so tickled at her when I took her back to Thailand later. We stayed in the President Hotel the first couple of nights. We are a little better off than we used to be. There was one dessert she always wanted but I never could afford to get it for her all the years that we lived there. I said, “You can have anything to eat tonight that you want.” So that was the first thing she ordered. Guess what? She didn’t like it. I said, “See, all these years of grief and sorrow and you didn’t even like it.”
Can you see the point? The Lord wants to do so many things for us, but sometimes our attitude gets in the way. We don’t need to be arrogant. I am not teaching you to be arrogant. Do you understand that? I am not teaching you to be arrogant but we need to understand who we are and lift our heads up. You are a child of God. You are part of the Bride of Christ. Go in there and ask for whatever you want.
The above article, “Frustration of Position with No Power” was written by Billy Cole and compiled by Arthur “Skip” Lefler. The article was excerpted from chapter ten in the book, Teachings By Billy Cole.
The material is copyrighted and should not be reprinted under any other name or author. However, this material may be freely used for personal study or research purposes.