Five Kings In A Cave [R]


When  Adoni-zedek of Jerusalem heard what Joshua and the Israelites had done to Jericho and Ai and that they had allied with Gibeonites, he sent messengers to several other kings: Hoham of Hebron, Piram of Jarmuth, Japhia of Lachish, and Debir of Eglon saying, “Come and help me destroy Gibeon,” because they surrendered to Joshua without a fight and sitting a bad precedent. Adoni-zedek intended to make an example out of Gibeon so that no other cities would join forces with Joshua. So these five Amorite kings combined their armies for a united attack. They moved all their troops into place and attacked Gibeon. The Gibeonites sent word to Joshua that they were under attack and Joshua and his army marched all night  to attack the Amorite kings.

Thing went well for the Israelites and the rout was on. The five kings fled the battle when they saw thing going bad and took refuge in the cave at Mekkedah. One of the Israelites soldiers saw them enter the cave and told Joshua where they were hiding. Joshua instructed some of him men to stop up the entrance of the cave and then resume the battle. When the battle is over, the entire army comes back to the cave and they bring the Kings out for execution.

Canaan is a type in the bible for the victorious Christian life. Jesus said, The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.” Ultimately, God is saving us from hell and to heaven. In the present God is saving us from sin and self. Sin is powerful because it is rooted in our flesh. These Amorite kings are symbol of the fleshly forces {Pharaoh’s} that seek to dominate us, lord over us, enslave us. We are not to yield to the power of the flesh but walk in the Spirit. We are to be hyper-niki’s, more than conquerors.

Romans 8:1-4

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

What are the dominant forces of the flesh that seek to lord over us? There are more than five but tonight I want to talk about five powerful fleshly kings that will lord over us if we allow it.


Augustine believed that pride was the root of all sin and that humility is the foundation of all virtue.  He said, “It was pride that changed angels into devils; it is humility that makes men as angels.”

I know this, at the center of Pride and Sin is the unbroken I. I remind you that the first person pronoun [I, My, Me} in Greek is the word ‘ego‘. You are familiar no doubt with the words: Egomaniac, Egotism, Egocentric–all these terms refer to excessive pride.

The Rich Fool

And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest. 17 He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’ 18 “Then he said, ‘This is what I will do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain. 19 And I will say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”’

I think of the words of Lucifer…the archangel…

I will ascend to the heavens; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights. I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.”


Someone has said that pride is the only disease that everyone recognizes except the person who has it.

We need not kid ourselves, it likes to go undetected. What I am saying is that PRIDE is deeply embedded in our flesh and if we are not careful, it will subtly take control of our life. Many people who act humble are in fact very proud. I heard about a man who was given an award for his humility. It was a gold tie pin but they had to take it away from him because he wore it everywhere he went. He was proud of his humility. Those of you my age can remember Mrs. Bertha Smith and the tract she use to refer to again and again…it is called NOT I BUT CHRIST and it focuses on identifying the secret spirit of pride. Let me list a few of the indicators in that tract…

[1] Exalted feeling in view of your success or position.

[2] Spirit of independence.

[3] Love of human praise and a secret fondness to be noticed.

[4] Love of supremacy, drawing attention to self in conversation.

[5] The stirrings of anger or impatience.

[6] A touchy, sensitive spirit; a disposition to resent and retaliate when others disapprove.

[7] Self-will; a stubborn, unteachable spirit; an arguing, harsh, sarcastic expression; an unyielding, headstrong disposition; a driving, commanding spirit; a disposition to criticize and pick flaws when set aside and unnoticed; a peevish, fretful spirit; a disposition that loves to be coaxed and humored.

[8] Carnal fear; a man-fearing spirit; a compromising spirit?

[9] A jealous disposition, a secret spirit of envy shut up in your heart.

[10] An unpleasant sensation in view of the success of another.

[11] A disposition to speak of the faults and failings, rather than the gifts and virtues of those more talented and appreciated than yourself.

[12] A dishonest, deceitful disposition; the evading and covering of the truth; the covering up of your real faults.

[13] Leaving a better impression of yourself than is strictly true.

[14]False humility; exaggeration; straining the truth.

[15] Lack of faith and trust in God; a disposition to worry and complain in the midst of pain, poverty, or at the dispensations of Divine Providence; an over anxious feeling whether everything will come out all right.

[16] Lack of concern for lost souls; dryness and indifference? Selfishness; love of ease; love of money.

Not I But Christ

 Lord, bend that proud and stiffnecked “I,”

Help me to bow the neck and die,

Beholding Him on Calvary,

Who bowed His Head for me.

I am humiliated every time I read the list, there is not much if anything on the list of which I am not guilty. Watch that secret spirit of pride. It likes to hid in the darkness of your deepest soul.


Zig Zigler said fear is False Evidence Appearing Real. This is why the left loves fake news: it is designed to promote fear. The latest example is the Corona Virus. Just a few years ago, it was Social Security. When Reagan ran from president, it was the threat of war–he is a warmonger. Those who promote and incite fear are not of God. He doesn’t peddle fear, the devil is the fear monger. The devil is basically a terrorist. He peddles fear and promotes insecurity. He wants to destroy your peace and your sense of security. This is why he tempts all true believers with doubt. If you never have doubts, I am worried about your spiritual condition.

When Adam and Eve transgressed: the first results [immediate] was fear and shame. Our parents became grossly insecure and insecure people lie. They lie because they are afraid. They believe that lies protect them from being hurt. Insecure people cannot trust. They are afraid to tell you the truth. They think that love is earned. They live in constant fear of being rejected. But their dishonesty destroys their relationships one by one. Good healthy relationship are based on truth. You would be surprised by the number of people who live under the tyranny of fear. Paul told Timothy,  God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. God does not want you to live under the dreadful tyranny of fear. There is hope and I am going to tell you how to get out from under this horrible taskmaster called Insecurity.

We had a WEE Care, that is weekday early education for 30 of the 38 years I was at Danville. A big part of the program is CHILD CARE. Back in the early 90’s we had a little 7 year old girl named Beth who was bad to act out from time to time. She had a little brother who was three or four years younger. Beth’s mother was fairly attractive, tall slender build and in her mid twenties. She had children before she was ready and she was waiting when the WEE Care opened and did not come to get her children until closing time. Beth and her brother were 12 hour children which is never a good sign. One day Beth showed out to the point that he workers were exasperated; they were at wits end and so they sent for me. I was a little aggravated at first but I knew the kids were innocent and my heart went out to Beth and her brother. The van was parked by the widow of the Child Care so I took Beth to van. The women could see us but not hear us. I spoke gently to Beth and just began probing. Finally, I ask the right question and she unburdened her little heart. She said, “I went to big one night a year ago and when I walk up I had no daddy and I have not seen him since, he just left and did not even say by. Every night when I lay down, I have a hard time going to sleep because I am afraid that when I wake up it will just be my brother and me.There are a lot of Beths in our world. I didn’t have the confidence that I should have had but I said to Beth, “Beth your mother is not going to leave you. She works hard and I know she looses her patience with you but she loves you and she is not going to abandon you.” Beth was seven year old and living in a world of fear. This should not be.

I’m a little hesitant to do it but I am going to share a personal testimony.


We call lust everything but what it isWebster defines lust as...having a very strong sexual desire for someone. Actually, it is to look of upon the flesh of another person with sensual and selfish desires. Lust has no regard for the other person. We are so confused in our society that we don’t know the difference between love and lust. Most of what we call love is lust. Having sex with someone is not making love. Love in most cases has nothing to do with sex: it should have. We sin every time we have sex for a selfish reason, married or not.

Lust puts my desire above your need.

I know for a fact that men have a problem with lust. I also know that old men have a problem with lust. I am extremely afraid of two things: porn and gambling. Now I am speaking from my perspective and conditioning. I was subjected to both of these evils when I was a kid. I know what both will do to me. Am I tempted? Of course I am, if I were not there would be nothing to fear. While I am on the subject: Ladies don’t make it harder on us: cover up, dress modestly. There are some things that only your husband should see, at home, not at church or Walmart.

Ladies, men are visually stimulated. All you have to do to get them fired up and give them a picture, a view and they get excited. Women are doing foolish things. I have pleaded with members of my own family about dressing in a revealing manner and they laugh at me. Ladies you are pouring gas on the fire; be careful. I tell the young ladies in my family that good men are attracted to modest women.


I use to joke about drug addiction but not any more; addiction jokes are no longer funny. Once it happens to someone you love, it will cease to be a laughing matter. The bad thing about addiction is the blindness it creates. Drug addicts do not see drugs as harmful; they think of drugs as being helpful, ENABLERS but in reality they are disablers. The Graham Association says that 7 out of every 100 are addicted to drugs and alcohol. I think it higher. I heard a medical doctor say last week that if you have been on pain medicine for more than two weeks, you have a problem and if your doctor keeps prescribing pain medicine, you need to find a new doctor. I have become friends with a doctor in Decatur who says, “There are not enough narcotics in the world to relieve one persons chronic pain.” I think he is right on! You keep throwing pain med at chronic pain and you will end up with a much worse problem than chronic pain. There are some realities we have to accept…

Drugs kill and the medical industry knows this yet they keep legalizing more and more drugs. We are in a drug epidemic and no one is talking about it. Young people, I will tell you how to prevent, don’t start, don’t experiment with drugs. Do not do recreational drugs. Millions of addicted began with these so called recreational drugs and alcohol is a drug.

No one lives a pain free life. Pain is a part of life and we must except it.

Narcotics are for short term: for people in intense or traumatic pain following an accident or surgery or for the terminally ill. They are not for back aches and headaches. Life and narcotics don’t go together.

Narcotics are not enablers; they are disablers. Yes, in the beginning the rocket fuel that narcotics produce will enable you to fly higher, boost your energy enabling you to get more done with less rest but that is going to change. You will have to take more and more just to enable yourself to function. Eventually, your basic function will be to get the drugs and they are expensive.

Long story short: getting addicted to a narcotic or to alcohol can and will destroy your marriage, family, business, health, your social relationships, your mind and your life. They create a vortex that will suck you under.


Greed is one of those secret sins [like jealously and envy] that we hide in the darkness. I heard every confession in the book but after 50 years no one has ever confessed to me that they are jealous, envious or greedy. These are the ones we like to keep hidden. I want to give you some advice. A lady on a search committee ask me about a person the other days and all I said was, “Check their giving record.” There is only one thing that I need to do to check out your credibility or your integrity: look at your giving. I am sorry folks, but it is a dead give-a-way. For a man to pretend to love his church and not support it financially is a sure indicator that he is lacking in integrity. He does not have things together. If a husband loves his wife and children, he will support them financially. It is absurd to think otherwise. Yet Baptist churches are filled with people who want to assume leadership when they are robbing God of HIS tithes. I am very familiar with those who make their own laws regarding giving but only a rebel makes his own laws. You do not give because your heart is not right and you have no integrity because you are pretending that it is right. To have integrity, you have to tell the truth. So stand up and tell the church, “I will not support you financially. I would like to help make decisions but I am not going to give my money.” Do that and see how many committee appointments you get.



Now, as I have spoke on the kings that we hid in the darkness and secret places of our lives, has the Holy Spirit put His finger on any one of these Kings? If He has, I am going to tell you what to do.

Bring them out into the open, into the light. Don’t keep them hidden.Call them what they are. If you have a problem with lust, you will never get victory by calling it something else. If you refuse to admit that you are jealous, you will never get victory of jealously. {Junior Hill}You put your heel on their neck. You take command of them, instead of letting them command you.Surrender them to Joshua {Jesus}. You don’t have what it takes to put them to death but He does. Bring your sin to Jesus. He is the only person in the universe that wants your sin.

[1] Identify the secret sin and call it what it is…

To get free of addiction…call it addiction.

To get free of an Alcohol addiction…call it an addiction not a disease. Alcoholism is not a disease, it is a sin.

If you stretch the truth and call it a lying not embellishment or exaggeration.

If you are looking at someone inappropriately, call it lust not admiration.

Call it what it is... or there will be no victory.

If you get all tensed up every time you have an opportunity to give: call it what it is, Greed.

You get no victory until you call it what it is and acknowledge the destruction it is doing. Greed is no small sin: he perpetuates every form of evil: porn, abortion, drugs, gambling, etc.

[2] Next: You bring it out into the light [open]. We call this confession.

Perhaps your are thinking… “Will I am not confessing.” No confession, no victory. It is that simple.

The devil will keep you in bondage and darkness so long as you refuse to confess. There is no victory a part from confession. I heard a story when I was a kid about another kid…He lived on a big Southern Plantation and he was in good standing with the Master. He had his chores to do but he also had a lot of free time. His master had a small lake in front of the mansion and on that lake, he had some prize swans that he valued highly. He was very clear about the swans, no one was to hurt or injure them. One day this kid is tempted to throw rocks at the swans. He doesn’t intend to hurt them, only frighten them but his rock gets to close and hits one of the swans in the head. He fishes the bird out of the water but the swan is dead. He quickly slips into the forest to bury the dead swan. Then he goes the kitchen to so his chores. The man who runs the kitchen is not a nice man and he was watching the boy through the window and he saw it all. After the boy had done his routine chores, the cook said, “Boy, I want these floors scrubbed.” The kid said, “That’s not my job.” “I saw you kill that swan today,” said the cook, “Do you want me to tell the master?” The boy scrubbed the floors. He became the cooks slave. Finally one day, he just couldn’t take it anymore and he went and confessed to the Master. He was shocked when the Master said, “I saw you, I have known all along but I was waiting to see if you would confess. I believe you have suffered enough for your crime but don’t do it again.” “You don’t have to worry, I’m not going near that lake,” said the boy and then he headed for the kitchen. The cook said, “boy scrub the floors,” and boy said, “not today“. “I’ll tell the Master,” said the cook. “I already told him,” said the boy as he kept walking.

Third, by grace with the help of Jesus, you take authority over the sin. You put your foot on it.

Fourth, you give the Holy Spirit permission to execute the sin. You have no love for this sin and you do not want it to survive. The best thing for sin is death. You either have it executed or it will kill you. No compromise with sin. A family had a little dog that got hit by a car.


The Prodigal Son

Scripture: Luke 15:11-24

11 To illustrate the point further, Jesus told them this story: “A man had two sons.
12 The younger son told his father, ‘I want my share of your estate now before you die.’ So his father agreed to divide his wealth between his sons.
13 “A few days later this younger son packed all his belongings and moved to a distant land, and there he wasted all his money in wild living.
14 About the time his money ran out, a great famine swept over the land, and he began to starve.
15 He persuaded a local farmer to hire him, and the man sent him into his fields to feed the pigs.
16 The young man became so hungry that even the pods he was feeding the pigs looked good to him. But no one gave him anything.
17 “When he finally came to his senses, he said to himself, ‘At home even the hired servants have food enough to spare, and here I am dying of hunger!
18 I will go home to my father and say, “Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you,
19 and I am no longer worthy of being called your son. Please take me on as a hired servant.”’
20 “So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him.
21 His son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son. ’
22 “But his father said to the servants, ‘Quick! Bring the finest robe in the house and put it on him. Get a ring for his finger and sandals for his feet.
23 And kill the calf we have been fattening. We must celebrate with a feast,
24 for this son of mine was dead and has now returned to life. He was lost, but now he is found.’ So the party began.


Jesus was the master at telling stories and this story is the most famous story Jesus told and quite possibly the most famous story in all of literature. It is much more complicated than you think. One of my relatives, Kenneth E. Bailey, a Presbyterian scholar fluent in Arabic and a specialist in Middle Eastern Literature points out something that you and I would never see. This story is poetic. This story is called a chi-asm, it is written in a certain pattern ABCD-DCBA and then the parrallel [elder brother] ABCD-DCB but the last A is missing. Jesus did not finish the story. There is a reason why and we will get to it later. We could spend weeks on this story but we are going to try to get it into three or four messages.

There are three main characters in the story but today, we will focus on the Prodigal Son…

The Prodigal represents the overtly rebellious and the Gentile. In either case, it represents those who are repulsive to the orthodox Jew or the Jewish Religious Establishment of Jesus day.


Unlike his older brother, he does not hide his resentment for his father. He approaches him and asks for his inheritance early. The younger son said to his father,”I want my share of your estate now before you die.” In other words, he is saying “give me my inheritance early.” 

To his credit, he was not sneaky. The older brother was the pretender, not the Prodigal. He was open about his defiance and rebellion. He made no effort to hide his sins.

The Prodigal wanted his independence. He wanted to be free of any restraints. He did not want to live under the authority of his father, he did not want to be accountable to his father or even to live in his fathers presence. He wanted to be absolutely free of his father which is why he moves to a far country. It didn’t want any attachment that would make him feel guilty.


  • It was shocking request. It was not customary for a child to ask for his inheritance while his father was living. Because the Father had two sons, the younger would inherit one third of the estate at his Father’s death but he didn’t want to wait. This was a shocking story to the Pharisees, “How dare a son treat his father in such a way!”
  • It was a shameful request.  Jesus was telling this story to the Pharisees and they were enraged by the younger sons behavior because he was bringing shame on his father. What kind of son says to their father, “I wish you were dead.” This is basically what the boy is saying. He publically humiliated his father.
  • It was selfish request. The AV reads,“Give me the portion of goods that falls to me.” The flesh is impatient. It wants what it wants when it wants. This is the essence of sin. The motto of the flesh is “give me and I want.” The young man wanted his money and he wanted his way. He wanted his independence and he wanted to live an undisciplined life. He did not want to live under the authority of his father, he did not want to be accountable to his father or restrained by his father. He didn’t want his father to be present. It didn’t want any attachment that would make him feel guilty.


The Prodigal was under the illusion that he could sin without paying the consequences sohe wasted all his money in wild living.” The Greek word for ‘wild’ is a-sō-tōs. It must be a tough word to translate because everyone translated if differently. 

  • AV-Riotous
  • NKJV-Prodigal
  • ESV-Reckless
  • Holman-Foolish
  • NASB-Loose
  • NIV-Wild

The Greek word means to act in a prof-li-gate or dissolute way. To profligate is t0 give in to self-indulgence, cast off all restraints. It is a life without discipline. The same word also means wildly extravagant and licentious. Licentiousness is self-indulgence in sexual sins. So the elder brother may have been right when he said, “But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him.”

The word wasted in verse 13 is the same word for a farmer sowing seeds, it means to broadcast or to disperse. The prodigal was squandering his inheritance. He was recklessly spending money on things that have no significance. He was literally throwing money into the wind. But he had given no thought to what would happen after the money was gone. Rebels refuse to look at the big picture–to think long term. {Halmark Movie}


To his credit, the Prodigal does repent which is more than we can say about his brother but he did not repent until he came to his senses. Sin messes up your mind. It keeps you from thinking straight. Sometimes we have to get caught in some uncontrollable circumstances before we begin to think. We have to hit rock bottom which is what the boy did.

The kid is in a foreign country which means Gentile, he spends all his money and than a famine hits. Famines are tough if you have money but they are fatal to those that are dead broke. The boy attacked himself to a farmer who sent him to feed the pigs. The AV says he’joined’ himself to a local citizen of that country but the Greek word is the word for glue. He glued himself to this man but the man didn’t care anything about him. MacArthur believed that the man wasn’t even paying the kid because the boy was starving.

He was starving literally and figuratively. He needed food but he also needed friends and he didn’t have any, not even one. No one cared anything about him. Suddenly, having a  loving, caring father means something to this wayward child. In this dirty pig pen, he begins to think and pray. Then he came to his senses, he had a change of mind, a radical change of mind about everything.

  • He changed his mind about sin– Once sin had allured him but not anymore. He sees sin for what it is…black and evil. Sin is a weight that will carry you down. It will carry you further than you want to go and keep you longer than you want to stay. Sin is a downer!
  • He changed his mind about work.
  • He changed his mind about home.
  • He changed his mind about His father. 


Both sons were rebellious, both sinned against their father but only one repented. In the final analysis, there are only two kinds of people: those who repent and those who do not. Remember, the essence of sin it that you do things your way: the elder brother was serving the father, but he was doing it his way. He needed to repent as much as his kid brother. Unfortunately, he did not see his sin, only the sins of his brother. To repent, you have to see your sins.