Job 1:8 “And the Lord said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?”
Job 1:20 Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped, 21 And said, Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord. 22 In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly.
The test of true holiness is reaction to adversity. “It was a shrewd remark of Andrew Fuller, that a man has only as much religion as he can command in trial.” “Submission to Divine arrangements [providence] is the highest test of obedience.”
Job 2:3 And the Lord said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? and still he holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movedst me against him, to destroy him without cause.
The book of Job has been avoided by the average Christian because there is the feeling that Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar was giving bad advice and therefore not worthy of much regard. These three “comforters” had some good advice, but they had applied it all to the wrong man. We would be wise to quote them more often and treat much of their advice with more respect. They teach us;
1. That waiting seven days in meditation before the Lord doesn’t necessarily make one infallible.
2. You can be righteous and wrong.
3. You can be easily wrong when you judge only by what is visible.
4. That being absolutely sure of your righteousness and speaking with opinion can injure both yourself and the one needing healing.
5. That there are exceptions in every case to be judged; that there are different sets of circumstances in each troubled life, and that one pat formula does not apply to all. ” ‘Show us a perfect man!’ Consider Job. God pronounced him ‘perfect.’ Will you contradict God? Better ‘mark the perfect man’ for your association and imitation, pleasure and profit.”
Job 8:20 Behold, God will not cast away a perfect man, neither will he help the evil doers:
Job 15:16 How much more abominable and filthy is man, which drinketh iniquity like water?
We have developed a very high tolerance for sin.
Job 24:2 Some remove the landmarks; they violently take away flocks, and feed thereof.
Job 28:28 And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.
Not sin, but evil. Evil is often in the form of innocent fun, influence – but it leads to sin! The Holy Spirit has come to keep us from more than sin, but the evils that corrupt and lead to sin.
Psalm 15:1 “Lord, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill? 2 He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart. 3 He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbour, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbour. 4 In whose eyes a vile person is contemned; but he honoureth them that fear the Lord. He that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not. 5 He that putteth not out his money to usury, nor taketh reward against the innocent. He that doeth these things shall never be moved.”
The book of Psalms deals chiefly with the contrast between the righteous and the wicked, while the book of Proverbs makes the contrast between the wise and the foolish.
Psalm 1:1 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.
Blessed, Hebrew: ESHER (835) meaning happy, how happy! The first Psalm opens throwing light on our companions. See Light, Lamp, Psalm 119. There is a tendency in man’s psyche to imitate the people he admires and associates with. Therefore, right companionship is a big factor in character development. Notice the words “not” and “nor” used in conjunction with happiness. The modern theologian would have us to believe there is no happiness in negativism. Sometimes happiness is not in the things that you do, but in the things you do not do.
Psalm 4:4 (KJV)
4 Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah.
An excellent description of sobriety. An awful sense of God’s omnipresence, omniscience, omnipotence, majesty, holiness and justice, coupled with an awful sense of “the exceeding sinfulness of sin,” and of its terrific penalties Solitude (sometimes in this life, but surely in the next) ought to be enough to bring us to a stand [against sin]. Giddy Charismatic religion lacks the seriousness needed to confront sin. A right frame of mind toward holy things and a fear of the Holy One of Israel is a sign of true wisdom. Proverbs chapters 1 through 8
Psalm 15:1 Lord, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill? 2 He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart. 3 He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbour, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbour. 4 In whose eyes a vile person is contemned; but he honoureth them that fear the Lord. He that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not. 5 He that putteth not out his money to usury, nor taketh reward against the innocent. He that doeth these things shall never be moved.
See Psalm 24:3; Micah 6:8, Integrity.
1. This entire chapter describes God’s ideal man.
2. This chapter contains a list of qualities for all saints to set as goals in the pursuit of holiness.
3. This chapter tells us who and what kind of Christian shall be promoted to high places in the kingdom after judgment.
Psalm 16:3 But to the saints that are in the earth, and to the excellent, in whom is all my delight.
What a fine word – “excellence”! Is not all the refining of self by the Holy Spirit just this? Is it not a process that removes the crudeness of sin and selfishness leaving us with the excellence of the Redeemer in the countenance? Holiness is dignity and excellence, it is purity and cleanliness because these are heavenly qualities. Three words to be meditated upon more by those who seek His perfectness; 1)
Excellence, 2) Dignity, 3) Refinement. These qualities to be cultivated means certain death to self and drastic alteration of the personality for some, but achievable where there is abundance of love for the Word. Excellent, ADDIYR (117) Goodly, Lordly, noble.
Psalm 17:15 As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness.
Unconscious holiness. You don’t strive to be holy. You strive with temptation and evil. To be holy you love the Word and read it with loving affection … go to sleep, wake up in the morning, holy. Holiness is achieved as God’s Spirit and man’s spirit hold communion in the Word. We become holy as we become loyal and intimate with the Presence of God. Holiness and obedience to the commandments is love and sublimation to the righteous and not a torturous legalism as apostates assert. See Exodus 35:29; Psalm 4:4; 119:97.
Psalm 18:7 Then the earth shook and trembled; the foundations also of the hills moved and were shaken, because he was wroth. 8 There went up a smoke out of his nostrils, and fire out of his mouth devoured: coals were kindled by it. 9 He bowed the heavens also, and came down: and darkness was under his feet. 13 The Lord also thundered in the heavens, and the Highest gave his voice; hail stones and coals of fire. 14 Yea, he sent out his arrows, and scattered them; and he shot out lightnings, and discomfited them. 15 Then the channels of waters were seen, and the foundations of the world were discovered at thy rebuke, O Lord, at the blast of the breath of thy nostrils.
THE MUSH GOD
Nicholas Van Hoffman has a penetrating column on the “Mush God” of today. Read it friend, read it twice and maybe you will weep as he speaks of the gross representation of the Holy Deity. Here is Van Hoffman: The Mush God has been known to appear to millionaires on golf courses. He appears to politicians at ribbon cutting ceremonies and to clergymen speaking the invocation on national TV at either Democratic or Republican conventions. The Mush God’s presence is felt during Brotherhood Week and when Rotarians come together. He is the lifeless deity President Carter was referring to when suggesting peace might come to the Middle East because the Egyptian president and Israeli prime minister both worshiped the Great Mushy One. The Mush God has no theology to speak of, being a Cream of Wheat divinity. The Mush God has no particular credo, no tenets of faith, nothing that would make it difficult for believer and non-believer alike to lower one’s head when the temporary chairman tells us the Reverend, Rabbi, Father, Mufti, or So-and-So will lead us in an innocuous, harmless prayer, for this god of public occasions is not a jealous god. You can even invoke him to start a hookers’ convention, and he/she or it won’t be offended. God of the Rotary, God of the Optimists Club, Protector of the Buddy System, the Mush God is the Lord of secular ritual, of the necessary but hypocritical forms and formalities that hush the divisive and the derisive. The Mush God is a serviceable god whose laws are not chiseled on tablets but written on sand, open to amendment, qualification and erasure. This is a god that will compromise with you, make allowances and declare all wars holy, all peaces hallowed.
Psalm 18:26 With the pure thou wilt shew thyself pure; and with the froward thou wilt shew thyself forward.
“God suits His administration (see context) exactly to our disposition, experience and conduct – even to the two opposite extremes of mercy and frowardness. Human purity secures divine purity in return.” God meets spirit with spirit. He meets the angry and violent with anger and violence; He meets the gracious and penitent with kindness, patience and forgiveness. It is a good principle when having to administer justice in the affairs of church discipline. More can be tolerated in a repentant person than in an arrogant person when their sins are being discussed.
Psalm 19:1 The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. 2 Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. 3 There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard. 4 Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun, 5 Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race. 6 His going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it: and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof.
THE COSMIC ORDER OF CREATION
“Good order is the foundation of all good things.” “The heavens themselves, the planets, and this center, observe degree, priority and place, insisture, course, proportion, season, form, office, and custom, in all line of order.” God’s commandments all have this quality: they are not good because they are God’s commandments, but they are God’s commandments because they are good. Look at Psalms 19, the psalmist declares the orderliness of the cosmic universe. He looks upon nature, the fields, the sky…He watches the sun rise and fall and the moon come out at night…He becomes awed by the order of these things in nature. He concludes, “The heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament showeth His Handywork.” He thoughtfully observes the orderliness of the cosmic world around him and notices that everything is regulated by laws; everything is accurately controlled. He realizes that his life is greatly benefited by these laws that control nature. Everything is orderly and predictable. And then, in verse seven, he goes from observing the cosmic order in the cosmic universe to observing the moral order God gave to regulate man’s behavior. He realizes the divine connection between the cosmic laws that govern the universe and regulate its orderliness, and the moral laws of God that were given to man that promise him a peaceful existence. As he grasps the logical relationship between God’s laws and God’s love…he sings, “The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart: The commandments of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than the honey and the honeycomb. Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward.” This entire chapter of Psalm 19 reveals that moral laws are a part of the total cosmic order of the creation! As a Spirit-filled cosmic Christian, I know every law of God issues from His benevolent nature. I have no resentment toward those laws. I will not consider them unreasonable.
I will consider them good and love them as He did and as the Holy Spirit teaches me to do. Romans 8:4 Law is a rule of order. The laws of God or the commandments of the Lord are not simply the ultimatums of a superior being lording over an inferior being. Laws are principles of governmental order to insure the happiness of men in the moral environment of a cosmic universe. To use the words of W. E. Vine, an eminent Greek scholar, “That which owes its origin to God will always bear the qualities of His nature.” God’s nature and the commandments have this affinity, this one thing in common, they mingle and merge in the sweetness of God’s great heart. In the last days, Satan has succeeded in blinding millions of Christians to the goodness and supremacy of divine law. But Christ magnified the law and upheld its principles, insisting upon law as a regulatory influence upon the behavior of man. He cleansed the temple twice with a scourge in an effort to enforce one of God’s commandments. Read Matthew 5 with I John 2:3-5; 3:22-24. Note the use of commandment in singular and plural forms. The single commandment is to love, while the plural (commandments) refers to those moral commandments in various forms and various divine sources, (See Commandments, Naves Topical Bible) that expresses and further defines the single command to love. The commandments magnify the commandment. If love was not defined in a written form, man would humanize it and interpret it as sentimentalism, emotionalism, or even as sexual pleasure. He attempts this now, but the commandments expose his folly as humanism. Thank God for the commandments! They let us know precisely what God means by “love.” John 14:15; I John 5:1-3 Paul upheld the law as good and spiritual, and he was used of God to instill even new laws and ordinances to regulate the behavior of the church. Romans 7:14 The writer of Hebrews declares, “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them.” Hebrews 10:16 The Word of God is a revelation of those commandments and those fixed laws that teach man how to live in harmony with a moral universe. When a man flaunts himself against the moral laws of God as set forth in scripture, he is “ripping off” his own destiny. Why did God flood the first world, allowing only righteous Noah to escape? Because “their imaginations were only evil continually.” That generation perished because they were a threat to the order of things. When cosmic laws themselves do not check Cosmic Law evil in the creation, then God Himself oversees the destruction of evil with divine intervention. Having a proper and positive attitude toward the order of things contained in the cosmic commandments should be a part of the Christian mentality. The sinister trend within the contemporary neo-fundamental church world to discredit the supremacy of divine law, shifting the emphasis to charisma and emotionalism, is a revival of the ancient heresy of Marcion, who in the second century spewed the doctrines of anti-nomianism upon the church. Anti, meaning against and nomia, meaning law, is again being revived under a new movement of love cultists who propagate a lawless kind of love that amounts to so much sloppy humanistic sentimentalism. These false teacher deplore all references to the biblical order of things as “legalism” and “traditions.” See Matthew 7:23. These are the days when men want: Love without law. Charisma without character. Power without piety. Gain without godliness. And blessing without obedience. When man tries to live against the order of things, he is attempting to survive a battle against the whole moral universe! The New Testament is replete with God’s commandments of moral order and harmony. In Romans 12, we have a score of commandments given to the New Testament Christian. In Matthew 28, Christ commands the church to world evangelization. The moral law of God is revealed to men in its basic form as the Ten Commandments. The Ten Commandments are a revelation of the moral nature of God. They give to man ten principles of human behavior essential to his knowing how to live in harmony with the rest of the moral creation. These ten laws are actually the ten principles of happiness. Christian parents should diligently teach them to their children. The very NATURE of God is bound up in them. But how many modern Christians teach them to their children? Paul encourages this positive attitude toward God’s laws to the New Testament cosmic Christian in his letter to the Romans. “Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good…for we know that the law (the order of things) is spiritual.” Romans 7:12, 14 The cosmic (orderly) concept is one of the most conspicuous truths of the Bible. Every created thing finds its perpetual state of goodness abiding by the laws which govern it. This includes atoms, animals, as well as man … all elements of the cosmic creation find their well-being by abiding under the canopies of divine laws that regulate them. God’s love is a cosmic love – that is, it loves to obey His commandments, or laws of order. Living by God’s commandments is not only biblical, but it makes good cosmic sense.
Psalm 19:7 The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. 8 The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes. 9 The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. 10 More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. 11 Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward.
Note: “Of the Lord.” These laws issue from the Lord, they originate in His being. It is to be noted that in the context of divine government and in defining those elements of the Word that pertain to the kingdom, He uses only His title, LORD. See Lord, Lordship.
KINGDOM LAW, THE MORAL ORDER OF DIVINE
Six descriptive titles that define the moral elements of the Word of God that take in the whole of Divine Revelation.
BLESSINGS FROM UNSUSPECTED SOURCES
1. Conversion comes from the law (Word of God). v.7
2. Wisdom is in the testimony of the Lord.
3. Joy of heart is in the statutes of the Lord.
4. The enlightenment and illumination, the understanding is in the commandments.
LAW – DOCTRINE
LAW; Torah, referring to all doctrines of divine government.
STATUTES; Or ordinances pertaining to atonement-communion, or laws given to regulate the conduct of magistrates in administration of Justice. [God’s Morality to be administered]
TESTIMONY; ACTS OF INTERVENTION that are credited to God in behalf of His people, or any instance where God speaks directly to persons. Psalm 50:7 (Incontestable) [God’s Morality upheld]
COMMANDMENT; Moral law, code, purposes “Enlightening the eyes” speaks of understanding [God’s Morality revealed]. Perceiving the difference between God’s moral standard (Holiness) and man’s sub-standard (sin).
PRECEPTS; Judgments [God’s Morality vindicated]
FEAR- “is clean” – It sets the soul against all sin. [God’s Morality within] An awareness of the nearness of a Holy God. Fear is not a vice, but a virtue! It is the holy and intelligent attitude toward sin and disobedience that reminds one that there is penalty or consequence to sin as well as great rewards in choosing to follow the precept.
UNDERSTANDING DIVINE LAW
What is the basis of the moral commandment? The underlying principle of the commandment is compassion and concern for the well-being of others. It is the same principle as defines divine love (agape). To judge everything with a spirit of compassion, thoughtfulness, concern, feelings, interest in what is ultimately the better moral good for the whole (or individuals) is the divine principle of the commandment. If law means order and if law produces order, then the only persons who object to law and who resent law are those who represent the opposite of the law, which would be “lawlessness” (disorder). To be opposed to the law would be to represent lawlessness – only the selfish (sinful, lawless) oppose law. See Matthew 7:21-23.
Legalism is not evil as some have been made to believe. It was legality that caused God and His Christ to undertake the agonies of the cross. The cross was a legal act and the only way that liberals can be saved. They simply are not being honest with the facts when they say that obedience to the teaching of the Lord and the apostle’s is legalism. So is God’s decree that without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sins. Over ninety percent of the bible is dealing with legal matters as it treats the subjects connected with people, kings and nations Christ insisted John the Baptist baptize Him that “all righteousness be fulfilled.” This makes Jesus a legalist because even though He had no need of being baptized BUT, He wished to fulfill all righteousness. He It isn’t obeying a law or precept that makes an act legalistic when obedience is born out of desire to “fulfill all righteousness.” The desire to obey the word of God is always righteous and good. Modern apostates use this word to attack the righteous because they have no desire to obey the commandment themselves. When silly demands are made upon God’s people that have no Bible premise, i.e. Your shoes must have shoe strings and frosting on cake is forbidden (because it’s worldly) is legalism and should be detested the same as worldliness. But all the teaching of the Lord and the apostle’s should be meticulously taught and observed. And is it not far better to be too careful about pleasing God than to be a carnal liberal with a loose goose lifestyle?
All legalism is not bad. See Psalm 17:15. “Legalism” is not wrong so long as, 1) That the law being enforced is clearly a point of divine order and revealed in chapter and verse as a principle of divine order or a matter of biblical precedent for the church to follow. 2) That the person dealing with spiritual law himself possess the virtue or the spirit of the law, which is love. As in the words of Paul, “We speak the truth in love.” Apostates use the word legalism as a semantic club thinking to intimidate Christians of holiness persuasion.
A SUMMARY OF PSALM 19:7-11
I. POWERFUL; “converting the soul” vs. 7 – See John 17:17.
II. PLAIN; “making wise the simple” vs. 7
III. PLEASING; “rejoicing the heart” vs. 8
IV. PURE; “the commandment…is pure” vs. 8
V. PERMANENT; “enduring forever” vs. 9
VI. PRECIOUS; “more to be desired are they than MUCH FINE GOLD” vs. 10
VII. PREVENTATIVE; “by them is thy servant warned” vs. 11
FREEDOM AND “THE ORDER OF THINGS”
The supreme purpose of God’s law is order. Without order the achieving of happiness is impossible and unattainable. One reason for the wave of worldliness dashing against the church is the prevailing of wrong concepts of “freedom.” Especially at this point in time it is extremely important that Christians have a knowledge and understanding of freedom. I have asked many Christians what freedom is and they cannot answer it correctly. If you believe it means that you are able to do anything you want to then it may startle you to know that in reality there is no such thing as freedom. There is only one exception we will treat under from in a special treatise you can search and find under Freedom and Bondage. To the man of this world, there is no such thing as freedom. Christ not only came to provide an atonement for our past life of sin, but to provide the knowledge and power (love and inspiration) to live above sin in our remaining life. I Corinthians 15:34; Titus 2:11-14 The Ten Commandments set forth the ten principles of social order. These ten principles of happiness reveal the restrictions God has put upon sinful human behavior that violates the happiness of man. When God gave man the Ten Commandments, He was giving him the ten principles of order (the words order, principle and law meaning basically the same thing), that he must not violate in his pursuit of happiness. Our freedom is in living on the positive side of the principle. The positive is established by what is good. The negative is established in what is evil (the opposite of what God declares good). The law simply reveals right and wrong from the divine perspective that we may know and distinguish right from wrong. The Holy Spirit’s (Spirit of Christ) indwelling furnishes me the power (love for good) to choose, to execute the positive good. This is often in conflict with body desire, but freedom in the spiritual sense is from the power of sin control (body preferences) and living by spirit preference for what is right (positive). When a man violates any of these ten principles of order, he is contributing to his own ultimate self-destruction. Psalm 7:15,16; 9:15) When you attack or violate the ten principles “in the name of freedom,” it is one of the strongest signs that you do not possess the Spirit of Christ. The Holy Spirit only operates within the moral realm of the kingdom law and commandments. To claim a Christianity that lives without or uncommitted to the moral code of divine law is myth. Romans 8:4; Romans 7 and 8. We do not have to violate goodness and order. Goodness is beneficial and man has the intelligence to know goodness, therefore, the violation of what man knows to be right and good is a willful act against moral order and Order makes him accountable to Almighty God. See Deuteronomy 5.
Psalm 19:12 Who can understand his errors? cleanse thou me from secret faults. 13 Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression. 14 Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.
The Psalmist cries out for cleansing. He seeks God’s restraints to help him in his battle against sin. His desire is to be “upright.” He is concerned with the purity of his words and heart. Here is the evidence of a saint: the desire for moral perfection.
Psalm 23:3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
Psalm 24:3 Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? or who shall stand in his holy place? 4 He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully. 5 He shall receive the blessing from the Lord, and righteousness from the God of his salvation. 6 This is the generation of them that seek him, that seek thy face, O Jacob. Selah.
Psalm 29:2 Give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name; worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness. (Psalms 90:17; 110:3)
Psalm 32:2 Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile.
“Guiltless and guileless. Imputed and imparted sinlessness.” When we speak of perfection, we speak of the new creation’s relationship to sin. Here scripture makes it very clear that it is possible that God is not imputing iniquity to a man and that there is such a thing as a guileless human spirit. We live in a day the social sciences dictate to the church whether a man can be perfect or not, or whether sin has any dominion over the Christian or not. We should resent the idea that humanism dictates to God on matters where He has spoken regarding the moral state of His saints. Holiness and perfection are first and natural pursuits of the truly born again. Guilelessness is possible. Colossians 3:1-10 Sin is the primary cause behind all of man’s unhappiness. “Blessed (happy) is the man,” implies the state of mental health. Mentality (blessed) is very much related to and predetermined by moral (iniquity, guile) state. Godliness begins with an abhorrence of sin.
Psalm 33:1 Rejoice in the Lord, O ye righteous: for praise is comely for the upright. 2 Praise the Lord with harp: sing unto him with the psaltery and an instrument of ten strings. 3 Sing unto him a new song; play skilfully with a loud noise. 4 For the word of the Lord is right; and all his works are done in truth.
A SPECIAL RING
The singing and rejoicing of the upright is especially acceptable to the Lord. There is a true ring to the song of rejoicing when it is the righteous singing. Contemporary Christians have made singing the chief part of their meetings. They have been taught that righteousness is something Jesus gave them apart from works. James 2. The fervent songs of praise in any assembly where worldliness prevails is in vain. The emotionalism of it all should not fool us. The songs of the righteous may not be as appealing to the ear as those songs produced by electronic professionalism. God regards the purity of the upright (yashar, 3477, just and righteous) more than the sound of the music. What Bible holiness defines as worldliness, the modern Gospel assumes to be God’s blessing in the form of indulgence. extravagance replaces moderation; emotionalism replaces obedience and beautiful music that glorifies Christ becomes their good works. They sing in admiration of a candy-man Saviour. Sin and worldliness in the assembly will not stop apostates from singing. Psalm 94:15; Isaiah 14:11; Ezekiel 26:13; Amos 5:23; 8:10; Romans 3:20. Righteousness makes our singing valid, but singing doesn’t make righteousness an actuality.
Psalm 37:27 Depart from evil, and do good; and dwell for evermore. 37 Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright: for the end of that man is peace. (Job 1:8; 2:3)
Here in Psalm 37:23-31 is another tribute to the righteous. “Would the Psalmist point us to a style of man that did not exist? How can we mark a perfect man if there is none to mark? The most solemn hour is death. The perfection and peace that will bear marking then, must be real, substantial, eternal.”
Psalm 39:1 I said, I will take heed to my ways, that I sin not with my tongue:
“Conversation and conduct, lip and life, ‘tongue’ and ‘ways’ are always closely associated. One tempts the other or shields the other. We will surely sin in both unless we ‘take heed’ to both. But the Psalmist evidently thought it was possible to be saved from sin in ‘ways’ and ‘tongue.’ Therefore, guard the life and the lip. [Diligence: So essential to achieving holy goals of perfection.]” Jesus said, “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh”. Scripture indicates to us a very close association between the tongue and the heart. Often Christians who claim to be holiness ruin everything with tongues, including their reputation and the holiness people in general. Be not deceived, understanding the importance of modesty and the New Testament ordinance of the hair, abstinence from jewelry and costly clothing is an important element of holiness; but there is such a thing as heartless holiness. The tongue tells me what is in the heart. Your inconsistency makes your visible “holiness” a curse to you and a reproach to holiness people. James 3:2
Psalm 40:4 Blessed is that man that maketh the Lord his trust, and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies. 8 I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart. 9 I have preached righteousness in the great congregation: lo, I have not refrained my lips, O Lord, thou knowest.
The highest theme that can be preached in “the great congregation” is righteousness! PSALM 50 These two chapters (50 and 51) are often attributed to the writing of David just after his fall. If so, it reveals his stronger position against sin, realizing that even he, holding a high relationship with God, fell to the desire of sin. He seems now to be more intolerant toward sin. His determination against evil in himself and others becomes more firmly established as expressed in these Psalms. PSALM 50:3-23 Apparently all through life they had ignored the moral message of the Word. In spite of their devotion to God, they had set aside the commandments and the weighty matter of moral perfection. Where there is an absence of the fear of God, there will be a lack of proper regard for holy things. That can harm us – a disregard for the penalties and consequences of divine precept can be serious. Exodus 23:20,21; Hebrews 10:26,27 But here in the text of Luke 13:26; “Then shall ye begin to say, we have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets.” Then things began to happen! When God was preaching in the streets they wanted nothing to do with Him, but when the end of life came and they had come to the place of reckoning then things began to happen. Psalm 50. v.16 But unto the wicked God saith, what hast thou to do to declare my statutes, or that thou shouldest take my covenant in thy mouth?
Here is a list of indictments against the religious wicked which God brings against His people. Things we do without regarding the consequences. But unto the wicked … is there such a thing as “wicked” people being numbered among the religious, the fundamentalists, even the Charismatics, the “holiness” people? It’s certainly implied by the following …What hast thou to do to declare my statutes … God was speaking to people who “declare His statutes.” Men who had “taken His covenant in their mouths” … who handle the Word of God. v.17 Seeing that thou hatest instruction, and castest my words behind thee. What is the significance of the words, “and castest my words behind thee?”
1. When you remove the word law from the Christian vocabulary, you destroy; a) Order, b) Tranquility, c) Peace, d) Happiness, e) When you destroy the word law, you destroy the efficacy of conversion. Psalm 19:7; John 17:17
2. When you eliminate the fear of God, you; a) Chase away the encamping angels, b) You have no access to the secrets of the Lord, c) You will lose the joy and protection of the Lord; See Psalm 128. The modern Gospel preachers who murder Gospel words are the same people who would crucify Christ if He should return to earth. The man who would harms His Word, would harm Him! “Oh no,” they say, but my actual relationship and attitude towards the Word is my true relationship to Christ. Those who rail on the Word and holiness people would rail on Christ if He should be among us. My true relationship to Jesus is my actual relationship to the Word of God. Matthew 18:7
3. When you destroy or attack obedience, you are destroying your intimacy with Christ. “If you love me, keep my commandments.”
4. Another word being crucified is holiness. When we take from the glories of this world and fail to promote it as the very nature of God and the divine intent upon every redeemed life, when we fail to teach it as the divine imperative and treat the subject with the same fervency as the scripture does; we are robbing ourselves of the ultimate privilege of seeing God. Hebrews 12:14; Matthew 5:8
5. We talk so much about love, and murder the word hate. Religious joy and gladness is phony if hatred for sin is not as great as your love for God. Psalm 97:10; Hebrews 1:9 For the one who loves God must hate evil with the same intensity he loves God! If we do not have this divine balance of love and hate, the oil of gladness is taken from of us. Hebrews 1:9. When we start murdering words, avoiding them, rejecting them, we had better remember, HE IS THE WORD! We may be losing our very life in Christ.
6. You may not realize it, but when you touch the word sin – when you refuse to pronounce it, explain it, refuse to warn of it, you attack the very foundations of atonement and repentance. Sin is rebellion against God and separates men from God. To be restored and have that fellowship with God renewed, one must repent of their sin (rebellion), accepting the atonement on the basis of consciousness of sin. Mark 1:4; 2:17; 2 Corinthians 7:9; 2 Peter 3:9 When we touch one word of the Bible with arrogance, complacence, intellectual pride, theological indifference, we are not guilty of attacking a word, but the word. We are attacking the entire revelation of scripture! These people guilty of hating instruction (Neo-antinomian teaching and philosophy), cast His words behind them. Noting that this regard for is a lack of fear of God and His Word. To trifle with the Word of God is certainly a great evidence of a lack of the fear of God. For the things that are written will surely come to pass and will certainly be required of us!!! v.18 When thou sawest a thief, then thou consentedst with him, (to be pleased with; delighted). And hast been par taker with adulterers. This is a most interesting observation. God did not accuse them of actually being thieves or being an adulterer or having committed adultery, but he did accuse them of having certain affinities and apparently showing some kind of approval or consent of thieves and adulterers. There are many modern contemporary Christians who wouldn’t think of murdering someone, yet will watch violent television shows as scores of human lives are wiped out. They will not curse or use foul language, but they will sit and listen to foul mouthed entertainers curse and proudly, openly, shamelessly declare their adulterous lifestyle. They deny adultery, but remarry adulterous people at their altars with one, two and three living mates. Psalm 101:1-3 Psalms 50:19-20 Thou givest thy mouth to evil, and thy tongue frameth deceit. Thou sittest and speakest against thy brother; thou slanderest thine own mother’s son. These “lawless believers” had no control over Appetite their tongue. Very basic evidence of non-regeneration. The first evidence of spiritual transformation is the Holy Spirit’s control of; a) the appetites (sex, hunger, and greed), and b) the members of the physical body. Romans 7:23; 13:14; Galatians 5:16; Colossians 3:5; James 3:6. v.21 These things hast thou done, and I kept silence (and nothing happened); thou thoughtest that I was all together such an one as thy self: but I will reprove them, and set them in order before thine eyes. See Colossians 3:5. When these people in the words of John, practiced evil (I John 3:4,8 committeth, gr. POIEO, to abide in, agree with or practice), perhaps for a lifetime, and nothing happened. But God promised the time would come when He would come into the garden of paradise and He would visit them at a time of reckoning (Verse 3 with verse 21). We are all moving toward the day of judgment and reckoning. There are many things we are doing now that we will not receive an immediate retribution for committing, but the angels keep good records! This final encounter with divine justice and judgment is a part of our faith. For this, many believers will come into the final judgment confused and their values twisted, not realizing they were demoralized. They did not have a committed and intimate relationship with the Word. They were “in love” with Solomon’s Head of Christ portrait, with the sentimental concept of Christ their success oriented pastor had been dishing out in his delicate non-offensive way. But the Christ, the real Christ, is in the Word, brother. He’s in the Word, sister! Adam and Eve knew their transgression, but “many” will come into judgment not realizing the difference between the importance of holiness and works. See Matthew 7:21-23; Romans 10:10; Ephesians 2:10; James 2:20. If you have faith in the Word of God, you will obey it gladly, and with delight, and as John says, “And we (true children of God) know His commandments are not grievous.” I John 5:3. “Now consider this, lest I tear you in pieces, and their be none to deliver.” Such a little thing that Adam and Eve would eat a forbidden fruit. Such extreme measures of retribution in judgment comes from God it seems. But one sin affected the entire history of the world and billions of souls. We must never lose sight of the fact that ignoring the commandments (disobedience) constitutes sin, sin constitutes rebellion against divine government. By our behavior in disregarding even the “least” of the commandments, we set a moral precedent that profoundly affects millions! Adam and Eve were the first parents. All the generations of mankind would read back upon their history and behavior. They had a weighty responsibility! This is precisely the danger many holiness people see in allowing worldliness and loose moral attitudes to overrule any commandment in scripture. It is “the pearl principle.” Paul’s anointed instruction which found its way into scripture and most assuredly approved of God, was that women who possessed the fear of God did not wear pearls or adorn themselves (the flesh) vainly, but to practice good works, silence and subjection. If the church can’t abide by the “pearl principle” – how can it be competent morally in other matters of right and wrong. The slightest deviation from the biblical plan of moral revelation at the beginning only becomes wider and further apart at the far end of time. This demanded extreme measures if their behavior was giving forth a bad example. The retribution must be equal to the crime – equivalent to the ultimate nature of harm done, yes, here in verse 22 God reveals extreme measures that will be taken in judgment. The consequences will be horrible. The revelation of God’s Word is clear and sufficient. Complete and instant loving obedience to the Word is the real evidence of the Spirit-filled life. v.23 Whoso offers praise glorifieth me and to him that ordereth his conversation aright will I shew the salvation of God. 1) Offereth praise. 2) Ordereth his conversation aright. Praise is a glorious thing in the life of him whose CONVERSATION (conduct) is ordered aright. These two qualities go hand in hand. Praise is not approval – no substitute for righteous conduct and holy sensitivity to right and wrong. I Timothy 5:24; 2 Peter 3:3,4; Matthew 4:4,7,10; Psalm 73:2-17 When Jesus was tempted in the wilderness, hungering and weak in body, He retorted to the tempter three times;
“IT IS WRITTEN…”
“IT IS WRITTEN…”
The Word was sufficient for our Master – let it be sufficient for us. We must be very careful of the deception modern preachers advocate on the basis of God’s silence. You have the Word, “What saith it?” Malachi 3:15
God gave Adam and Eve the commandment not to eat of the “tree of good and evil.”
She went toward the tree then halted, then moved closer … and NOTHING HAPPENED. She was finally standing under it … and NOTHING HAPPENED. She nervously reached out for the fruit … NOTHING HAPPENED. She held the fruit in her hand looking at it … and NOTHING HAPPENED! She put the fruit to her face and began to smell its aroma and noticed how pleasant it was … and NOTHING HAPPENED! Finally, she touched it with her tongue to just nibble on it breaking the skin through to get a hint of its flavor … and NOTHING HAPPENED! It was so pleasant! She bit into the fruit, and the juice burst forth to meet her taste … and NOTHING HAPPENED. She ate the fruit and it was so good she had another and another … and NOTHING HAPPENED! AND WHEN NOTHING HAPPENED … it seems there were no side effects, she didn’t feel any guilt or despair whatsoever … she waited, but NOTHING HAPPENED! She decided to call to her husband, Adam. When he came, she encouraged him to eat, saying, “I have eaten the forbidden fruit and it is delicious AND NOTHING HAPPENED! I feel great … in fact, I feel liberated. I think the snake was right.” After some persuasion, Adam went with Eve to the forbidden tree and with some curiosity – for he could see that Eve was showing no ill effects – she was still having the blessing and speaking in tongues even though she was not regarding the commandment – Adam reached out to the swaying branches … and NOTHING HAPPENED! Eve reached out to the tree and plucked off another of the fruit and started eating … and NOTHING HAPPENED! Suddenly, Adam plunged his teeth into the forbidden fruit – then trembling … he waited … and NOTHING HAPPENED! They spent some hours lingering around the tree talking about the wonderful taste of the forbidden fruit, and especially that there were no bad effects. In fact, “I feel real good!” And they went laughing into paradise. Jude 10 Suddenly SOMETHING HAPPENED! The sun was going down in the West when they heard the familiar rumbling from the East. They had heard it before; but on this evening it sounded different … ominous. They watched as the glow of the Shekinah moved toward them in the distance. SOMETHING HAPPENED. They froze with terror and began to tremble. A strange dark feeling they had never experienced began to fall over them. Their minds became confused; feelings they had no words for began to overtake them; the beauty of paradise became dim; their desire to enter the Shekinah cloud and commune with God was gone … they felt like running away from Him, like hiding! When they broke the commandment … NOTHING HAPPENED! But now His presence draws nearer and … SOMETHING HAPPENED! They listened to the snake … and NOTHING HAPPENED! They smugly ate the fruit, wiped their mouths … and NOTHING HAPPENED! They boasted how good they felt after showing contempt for the commandment … and NOTHING HAPPENED! But when they looked up and saw the Shekinah … SOMETHING HAPPENED! Adam and Eve suddenly realized that sinful guilt, disobedience, rebellion against the divine commandment, tampering with His governmental revelations, could not dwell in His presence. They said, “we must go out to meet Him.” Hastily they tore large leaves from the nearby trees in an attempt to cover their bodies. As Satan had said to them, they suddenly became aware of their sin! They had entered the arena of good and evil. In this sense, they had indeed “become like God” and the words of Satan came true, “Ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.”
THE WICKED AMONG THE RIGHTEOUS?
See Jude 4
The modern Gospel feels license to tolerate worldliness and arrogantly laughs at Christians who do not wear pearls because the wisdom of the Word advises them not to. They feel secure because they prosper; they can point to the blessings (success) and colossal powers of their super churches and the super church movement with super pastors as “proof” of God’s approval of this contemporary Gospel philosophies. “We must be right! Everything is going great for us!” We “are rich and increased with goods and have need of nothing.” They note: “this contemporary philosophy is working!” And God keeps silent. But the time is coming when He will come “and not keep silence”. Notice 50:3, the silence of God makes some think God is like us. This is the basic evil thought underlying unspoken philosophies of the contemporary liberation Gospel movement. See Matthew 7:23. Adam and Eve had and were very conscious of the commandment (Word). Knowledge of that commandment (Word of God) was sufficient. Never in the history of the church has it had such access to the pure knowledge of God. That is sufficient! When will the church learn that it is the Word and not human experience that constitutes divine government and assures divine approval? Adam and Eve knew the commandment concerning the tree of good and evil. They did not take the commandment seriously. They allowed the influence of others (voices), their own reasoning and how they felt after disregarding the commandment to determine their conduct. We must learn from them that His Word is “settled in the Heavens forever!” The Word of God is sufficient and we will find all power and purity within its boundaries. God’s laws will not be disregarded by the Holy Spirit! Neither can man defy God’s Word without ultimately incurring God’s displeasure. When the Word of God is ignored, adverse conditions will finally develop against us. his word is sufficient!
Psalm 50:22 Now consider this, ye that forget God, lest I tear you in pieces, and there be none to deliver. 23 Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me: and to him that ordereth his conversation aright will I shew the salvation of God.
God’s wrath is against sin whether it be in the church or in the world.
“Psalm 51 is an excellent text for a study on exomologesis. i.e. a full and complete confession. A deep thoroughgoing confession of all sin. The early church approximately 500 AD) placed great importance on this as essential to in-depth conversion up to the time of Constantine. New converts were set aside in groups until they had made thorough confessions, restitutions and received a complete deliverance from sin with rejoicing, honesty and self-esteem returned.”
Psalm 51:1 Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy loving kindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. 2 Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. 3 For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me. 4 Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest. 5 Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me. 6 Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom. 7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. 8 Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice. 9 Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities. 10 Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.
“A clean heart is a divine creation, not a human development.” The visible Christian can only manifest the inner Christian. If you have inner affection for modesty it is evidenced by visible modesty. It means that you carefully watch over the features of your body to be sure they are not revealed in a salacious manner but that they are covered properly so not to cause a person of the opposite gender to be attracted to some part of your body. In the world they design everything they wear to be salacious making the body and its features alluring to the opposite gender. Paul’s instruction teaches the opposite of the world’s intention when they design their clothes. Almost everything in the world of novel journalism and entertainment is body oriented and the theme of sex. In Paul’s epistle to the young pastor timothy we are taught that the classical Christian profile is modesty and shamefacedness reflected in the way a Christian clothes the body.
Psalm 51:11 Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. 12 Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.
So, he hadn’t lost his salvation, but the joy of it. Freedom from sin is the liberty of the holy. Freedom from moral law is freedom of the sinner.
Psalm 51:13 Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.
We must be free of sin and morally qualified in God’s sight to teach others and effect true conversion in sinners.
Psalm 51:14 Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation: and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness.
How times have changed; the saints of old sang of righteousness. Compare some of the hymns of old song books with the new music and note the difference in the moral tones.
Psalm 51:17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.
Psalm 55:22 Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.
PRAYER THE PATH TO PERFECTION
FIFTEEN CLOSET INSIGHTS
There is a very important connection between prayer and holiness. Following are some good bits of advice from personal human experience. Prayer is much more than requesting something of God. It is communion and fellowship with Him. Out of that communion there are some wonderful holy effects.
1. Prayer should be secret. “And when thou prayest, enter into thy closet and shut the door and pray to thy Father in secret.”
2. Prayer tranquilizes the human spirit. It imparts a peaceful and calm outlook. “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee.” Isaiah 26:3
3. Prayer transforms. Romans 12:2
4. Prayer gives self-control. Being in the presence of deity has a moral influence upon our human impulses.
5. Prayer destroys sinful desires. It is all but impossible to be praying and sinning at the same time. It is probably the most perfectly moral state of man.
6. Prayer sensitizes the conscience.
7. Prayer energizes and revitalizes the forces of love, instills compassion and destroys the carnal tendency to conflict with other personalities.
8. Prayer initiates us into the realm of the supernatural. It is a link with the world of holy power.
9. Prayer increases faith.
10. Prayer gives us a divine perspective on life and its problems.
11. Prayer is the perfect time for self-examination. An exercise in moral perfection. Psalm 51
12. Prayer helps us to see the face of God in His Word. That is, the Word of God becomes personal when it is read with prayer, it becomes personal conversation with God.
13. Prayer is the only way to meet spiritual or human crisis.
14. Prayer is the Urim and Thummim of the New Testament Christian in seeking the will of God. It instills peace and teaches us that staying in God’s peace is great indication of His will. Colossians 3:15
15. Prayer puts us in communion with the divine presence. The glory of God in prayer emanates moral power and instills moral affection and sensitivities.
Note that David spoke of prayer as a duty. A duty is something we do whether we want to or not because it is a necessity and we know it is essential in the achieving of spiritual goals. There are two duties every Christian has. Only two; 1) To pray daily; 2) To read the Word daily. It is interesting to note that this represents the two pure forms of God’s presence; Spirit presence and Word presence constitutes the presence and person of God. God is Word and God is Spirit. When we pray and read the Word, we’re exposing our personality to the influences of the divine presence. Prayer has been replaced by a fleeting shallow type of praise. Deep meditations in the Word have been replaced with flitting through the Word and singing verses from an overhead projector. Serious and intent application of the soul to intercessions, fastings and groanings in the Spirit will never be replaced by such a praise theory.
Psalm 58:10 The righteous shall rejoice when he seeth the vengeance: he shall wash his feet in the blood of the wicked.
We tend today to be over sentimental about rank evil … the psalmists are realistic in recognizing that right cannot triumph without the actual overthrow of evil … But we are often horrified when the psalmists spell out what this means – perhaps because we are less in love with good, less opposed to evil than they; … or because we value life more than right.
Psalm 64:3 Who whet their tongue like a sword, and bend their bows to shoot their arrows, even bitter words:
This Psalm describes the fate of those who criticize and conspire against the perfect.
Those who are perfect toward the Lord will love all who seek it. Are we to assume that all the wicked are murderers, thieves and whoremongers? We assume from this Psalm, that the wicked are those who despise those who seek perfection and slander them without fear (contemptuous). “Some can face cannons and open enemies; but bitter words shot at them in secret injure their souls and wound their hearts and dishearten them by their very intangibility. Some dread scorn and the sneer worse than the sword and the arrow. Worse than all, these ‘bitter words’ are secretly shot at the excellencies of character and reputation – at perfection of doctrines, experience, testimony and behavior.”
Psalm 73:1 Truly God is good to Israel, even to such as are of a clean heart.
THE TRUE ISRAEL
This reminds us of the seven messages Jesus gave to the seven churches in chapters two and three of Revelation. He started each message by addressing the entire church and ended by saying; “He who hath an ear to hear, let him hear.” So while scripture speaks to all it only applies to those who are “of a clean heart.” “God is good to Israel” is directed to the nation: but, the words “to such as are of a clean heart” is directed to those individuals within the nation that qualify as recipients of His goodness. All may receive His favor, but only the pure qualify.
Psalm 80:4 O Lord God of hosts, how long wilt thou be angry against the prayer of thy people?
Note: “The prayers of thy people.” Little did the people know their prayers were not being accepted by God and that God was Dissembling actually angered by their prayers. Spreading our hands out to Him, singing, weeping with no thought whatsoever of our worldliness and duplicity, shouting in the midst of the church with the crowd around us is not prayer. Secret prayer in His presence is purifying. It moralizes us and mellows our spirits. It makes us sensitive to uncleanness and sin, to worldliness and lust. No wonder the Lord was angered with their prayers. The first thing prayer effects is the one praying. The first effect of genuine prayer is an instilling of heart holiness. We’ll dance jigs and learn Hebrew folk dances; anything but go into secret prayer and find true holiness of heart. Isaiah 59:1,2
Psalm 82:6 I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High.
Psalm 84:11 For the Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.
Prosperity in this world that makes us soft and selfish is not necessarily what God means by “good things.” A good thing will first of all not be something consumed by our lusts (flesh pleasure). Secondly, a “good thing” will not work against spiritual character and the work of holiness in me. Thirdly, if I am blessed with a good thing and forget God, it can become a curse to me. Fourthly, this is conditional. This promise is only to those who walk “uprightly.”
Psalm 85:10 Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.
The contemporary Christian wants the “mercy” and “peace,” but not truth and righteousness. But mercy and peace that is indeed of God are joined to truth and righteousness. Mercy and peace are bonded to truth and righteousness. They go together and must be loved the same. If you take one, you have to take the other. If you want only one, you can’t have either. J. Vernon McGee said of this verse, “Today righteousness and mercy are not even on speaking terms.” Righteousness brings about order and concord in life. Without order there is no peace. It’s very logical that peace follows righteousness. To paraphrase this, tranquility is always the result of order.
Psalm 85:13 Righteousness shall go before him; and shall set us in the way of his steps.
Psalm 90:17 And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us: and establish thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands establish thou it. (Psalms 29:2; 110:3)
A very plain person outwardly who is endowed with a soft and kind manner has a beauty that makes them more desirable than the most gorgeous person who is of the world.
Psalm 93:5 Thy testimonies are very sure: holiness becometh thine house, O Lord, for ever..
Actual list of activities taken from a bulletin of a typical modern church. Beginning with first page, omitting nothing. First event: “A Christian skate at the Palace Skating Rink.” Second event: “Swimming, picnic, canoe rides, Bring your bathing suits, shorts and T- shirts.” Third event: “Saturday night movie. 7:00 PM” Fourth event: “Noah’s Ark Party. 7:00 PM” Fifth event: “The Singing Lucky Family. 7:00 PM” At the end of the announcement this statement; “Scripture says, God inhabits the praises of His people. Praise will bring your prayers into the presence of God, and when this happens you will get results.”
The back page contained a statement of faith that started like this; “We believe in holiness without narrowness…” The modern church leadership philosophy is, have programs, get everybody doing something, keep the saints moving, everybody has a night for their age or their particular interest. Social clubs are all the same. They disregard moral emphasis (their purpose is social fun) and add more absence to the already shattered home-life. Even when the family arrives at church they are separated into special age group sessions. The church should be returning to togetherness instead of listening to the organizational “experts.” Ephesians 5:27
Psalm 94:15 But judgment shall return unto righteousness: and all the upright in heart shall follow it.
Only the willing heart finds the observance of God’s law a delight.
Psalm 96:9 O worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness: fear before him, all the earth.
PRAISE WITH HOLINESS
Worship is only valid as holiness abounds. Christ didn’t die on the cross to build an amoral praise cult. Clouds of angels were worshiping Him before He descended in Kenosis. The elation of emotional religion is a deceptive face that so long as believed, holiness is impossible. See Psalm 33:1; Matthew 7:23; Music; Rock. Happiness, nor singing are no proof of righteousness or salvation. Jeremiah 12:1; Amos 5:23,24 But the righteous do sing because they are happy.
Psalm 97:2 Clouds and darkness are round about him: righteousness and judgment are the habitation of his throne.
God’s throne is not only the source of moral excellence, but His omnipotence is committed to upholding moral excellence throughout the creation! See Psalm 19.
Psalm 97:10 Ye that love the Lord, hate evil: he preserveth the souls of his saints; he delivereth them out of the hand of the wicked.
A saint? One who hates evil with the same passion he loves God! Deliverance comes fast to those who hate evil.
Psalm 97:11 Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart.
The true Charismatic movement dates back millenniums and is made up of the holy happy. See Psalms 19:7; 119:97. The true Charismatics are the righteous and the upright.
Psalm 97:12 Rejoice in the Lord, ye righteous; and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness.
The righteous have God’s permission to rejoice. But nowhere does He ask the wicked, the hypocrite, or the apostate to rejoice.
Psalm 99:5 Exalt ye the Lord our God, and worship at his footstool; for he is holy.
Psalm 99:9 Exalt the Lord our God, and worship at his holy hill; for the Lord our God is holy.
This is not approval of “sloppy agape” philosophy that insists we can just slouch around and drag into God’s presence any ole’ way we want to. Repeat this scripture and breathe the holiness of God! Tarry in His holy presence! For by this we become holy and lose the humanistic sacrilegious philosophies of conditionless theology.
Psalm 101:1 I will sing of mercy and judgment: unto thee, O Lord, will I sing.
The righteous sing about strange things … things like judgment!
Psalm 101:2 I will behave myself wisely in a perfect way. O when wilt thou come unto me? I will walk within my house with a perfect heart. 3 I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me.
Twenty million people read romance magazines regularly producing a 250 million dollar industry. Most of the readers are women. Romance stories usually follow the pattern of a strong, sensitive man meets a woman, who ultimately becomes her idol of security. Everything she wants is in this man and the story ends with her getting her man and they live happily ever after … whether they are both married when they met or not. We know this is reality, but everyone dreams of someone who will carry them off from their troubles and sorrows in this world. Instead of turning to Christ, they turn to paper pulp magazines and the TV soapies.
TV’S TWENTY-THIRD PSALM
TV is my idol; I want it every day. It maketh me to lie down on the job and maketh my children poor scholars. It leadeth me away from prayer meeting, it destroyeth my family life. It taketh away my love for the Bible and defiles my thought-life so that I cannot pray: Yea, though I have in my home an instrument of temptation, I will fear no preaching, for many preachers also have one. Thy western and thy mystery, they comfort me. Thou preparest a Hollywood movie before me in the presence of my innocent children. Thou troublest my sleep with evil thoughts, my mouth runneth over with jingles and rhymes about beer and tobacco. Surely temptation and hypocrisy shall follow me all the days of TV. And I shall dwell in the house of lukewarmness forever.
TELEVISION, VIOLENCE AND IMAGINATION
“Twelve evil impressions entering the mental reservoir (according to mathematical calculations) can produce a combination of 479,001,600 permutations.” “According to a recent survey combining NBC, ABC and CBS, there are 3.13 immoral acts of violence, profanity and sex combined per TV hour.” The average child views 4,000 hours of TV by the time they enter Kindergarten, meaning they have had registered on their mind 12,520 acts of killings, cursing, fornication and adultery. These figures on violence and immoral acts do not include the violence of cartoons, humanism and other subtle forms of corrupting influence that can be registered on a five year olds mind, i.e. worldliness and vices such as swindling, blackmail, seductions, gambling, smoking, fighting, drinking, lying and marital conflicts. The exploitation of criminals and criminal acts on news is one of the more subtle forms of evil influence. News exploits the evil traits and deeds of man and rarely ever exploits goodness (apart from violence). A distorted view of the real world. In view of this, a) Is it not easy to understand why godly preachers would speak against having television in the Christian home, and b) See clearly that the television industry is a worldly and evil influence upon the Christian, and diametric to the work of the grace of our Lord Jesus. “Teaching us to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts, and to live soberly, righteously and godly in this present world.” Titus 2:12 Any child of God professing holiness will not have such a potential of worldly evil in their home. “I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside.”
OUR CHILDREN’S MODELS
Some say, “violence does not come from television, it comes from man.” That’s exactly the point! Sin is in man, man is in television, and for that reason television is sinful! Television is the instrument man uses to exploit evil. Television has brought more prayerlessness, defused more saints, cluttered more beds of ease, addled more minds, promoted more indecency, is the source of more vulgarity, has projected more humanism and done more to promote human personality and sinful body oriented lifestyle than any other man-made device since the creation.
Psalm 106:3 Blessed are they that keep judgment, and he that doeth righteousness at all times.
To the holy, righteousness becomes a most desirable element of our nature. We love it! We dwell in it, we dwell upon it, we rejoice in it, and all of the commandments that contain the revelation of righteousness.
Psalm 106:3 Blessed are they that keep judgment, and he that doeth righteousness at all times.
Psalm 106:13 They soon forgat his works; they waited not for his counsel: 14 But lusted exceedingly in the wilderness, and tempted God in the desert. 15 And he gave them their request; but sent leanness into their soul. (See I Corinthians 10)
It is inferred in the first sentence that not all entered into this lust movement being described. Holiness is a desirable obsession and not drudgery to those who possess it. Our “blessings” too often curse us in the end. He gave them their request and let them learn that too often what we want is not what He wants and is the worst thing for us. He “let’em have it.”
Psalm 106:19 They made a calf in Horeb, and worshipped the molten image. 20 Thus they changed their glory into the similitude of an ox that eateth grass.
Man’s nature becomes like the god he worships and adores. When Israel turned to the molten calf, their conduct became like the animal they worshiped, shameless and morally uninhibited. See Exodus 32.
Psalm 107:17 Fools because of their transgression, and because of their iniquities, are afflicted.
See Psalm 106:13,14.
A fool is not necessarily demented. But when a man with a good mind has access to the Word and doesn’t use it and lives contrary to it, then he is willfully demented. Note the process, 1) “Fools,” unchecked evil impulses; 2) “Transgression,” willful violation of the Word; 3) “Iniquities,” it becomes an acceptable and tolerated practice of evil; 4) “Afflictions,” the law of reaping. When we violate the behavioral recommendations the Word of God (commandments) make, we will find out sooner or later that the commandments were designed to keep trouble out of our lives. Psalm 107:13,20,28; See Commandments.
Psalm 110:3 Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: thou hast the dew of thy youth. Psalms 90:17; 29:2
Psalm 112:1 Praise ye the Lord. Blessed is the man that feareth the Lord, that delighteth greatly in his commandments. 2 His seed shall be mighty upon earth: the generation of the upright shall be blessed. 3 Wealth and riches shall be in his house: and his righteousness endureth for ever.
This is a rare, but glorious combination. The pursuit of riches is very distracting to the pursuit of holiness. Jeremiah 45:5; Matthew 19:24; Mark 10:25 But riches come to those who “delighteth greatly in the commandments.” But the Psalmist here is not speaking of riches – he is speaking of the pursuit of holiness, moral integrity! Verse one contains his priority. Verse two contains his prosperities. His prosperity is brought on by his priorities. Right priorities must precede the blessing of God! The modern idea that faith in Christ guarantees a material blessing is bunk! Most modern prosperity cases are achieved by being diligent in business and any rich sinner can match a “testimony” of riches and God didn’t have anything to do with his success (the ungodly). This Psalm is speaking of a godly man, such as Job or David who put the fear of God and the moral commandment first in their life. Then God blessed his seed (children) and he became a mighty social influence for good. Then came wealth and riches last. Then notice that his “righteousness endureth forever”. His love for the commandment did not diminish. As Paul said in the opening of his first letter to the church at Corinth, “Not many mighty, not many noble among us,” but there are some. The righteous will not allow his riches to affect his righteousness.
Psalm 112:4 Unto the upright there ariseth light in the darkness: he is gracious, and full of compassion, and righteous. 5 A good man sheweth favour, and lendeth: he will guide his affairs with discretion. 6 Surely he shall not be moved for ever: the righteous shall be in everlasting remembrance. 7 He shall not be afraid of evil tidings: his heart is fixed, trusting in the Lord. 8 His heart is established, he shall not be afraid, until he see his desire upon his enemies. 9 He hath dispersed, he hath given to the poor; his righteousness endureth for ever; his horn shall be exalted with honour. 10 The wicked shall see it, and be grieved; he shall gnash with his teeth, and melt away: the desire of the wicked shall perish.
God’s promises to the righteous.
Psalm 118:19 Open to me the gates of righteousness: I will go into them, and I will praise the Lord: Psalm 20 This gate of the Lord, into which the righteous shall enter.
The 119th Psalm consists of prayers made to God. Each of these prayers have in its content a recognition of the supreme role of the Word of God in the true saint’s life. There is revealed in these prayers the holy resolve of the saint against the things in his worldly environment that threaten him, discourage him and attempt to distract him from that pursuit. Psalm 119 reveals the proper attitude of a saint toward the Word of God and the governing laws of God’s kingdom. It reveals the attitude of the Spirit born in their recognition of the wisdom of God’s government over man as revealed in scripture. It reveals the mentality of the regenerate. It not only emphasizes the Word of God as a supreme criteria, but emphasizes in scores of passages the link between the heart and spirit of man with the Word (commandments). The moral law (commandments that describe ideal behavior) is simply a defining of human behavior that is motivated by love. Romans 13:8-10; John 14:15; I John 5:3. So why does Paul say in Romans 7:12 and 14 that the law is good and spiritual? Because it is the written revelation of what love is and best defined in Romans 13:8-10 above. So proper loving conduct is revealed in the law, but the weak point was that man lacked the measure of love and inspiration that made the commandment desirable to him and thus obedience possible. Then Christ came! Did He alter the moral requirement? No! The efficacy of the cross reached into the heart of man in regeneration through repentance and performs spiritual surgery on the stony heart, giving us a new heart. Ezekiel 11:19; 36:26; 2 Corinthians 3:3. Scripture refers to the heart in this sense over 900 times. Most of the references being in the old covenant revealing God’s intention to implicate more the heart of man in achieving obedience to the moral law. It is this implication of the heart to the commandment that some learned under the new covenant while many others did not. Pure religion, then and now, is of the heart. Matthew 5:8; 12:35; Acts 2:46; 2 Corinthians 4:6; Romans 2:19; I Samuel 1:12,13; 2 Kings 22:19; Psalms 4:4; 51:17; 57:7; 73:1; 101:2; 119:32; Proverbs 10:8. Also see Psalm 119:97. The readers may find the theme of law and commandment tedious without this explanation. Christ’s coming did not change the standard – it increased the moral standard! See Matthew 5:17-48. Christ came to furnish the inner man with the love-power of the Holy Spirit giving us, providing for us that which was lacking under the old covenant – perfect love for the commandment! Romans 8:4 It is at this point the Meologists (See Meology) insist the Holy Spirit teaches us to love God and man and not the commandment. They are the same! The proponents of the modern Gospel think to love apart from adherence to the biblical precepts. Human religion must endorse love if it is fashioned after the teachings of Christ, but true religion is not a sentimentalism that loves self and others conveniently; but rather a divine love for others and the commandments. When a Christian loves the commandment – when the heart is made perfect with Calvary love – it will love as God loves and find that through my love for the Word and His commandments I am loving others. James 2:8 The key phrase in Psalm 119, the largest chapter of the Bible is, “Thy Word.” The key verse is verse 11. “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” A love for the Word creates hatred for and abhorrence of sin. A right relationship with the Word of God produces a right relationship with God through separation from sin (the only proper relationship a true disciple can have toward evil). Sainthood is reflected in one’s attitude toward the Word of God. This is clearly revealed and is the single outstanding feature of every single verse of this prominent chapter. For an excellent commentary on this Psalm, consult Treasuries of David by C. H. Spurgeon.
SOME OBSERVATIONS FROM PSALM 119
Psalm 119:1 Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the Lord.
This verse starts with the word blessed, or “happy,” is the person who walks in (complies gladly with) the law of the Lord. This Psalm opens with a happy group of believers who enjoy “the way” and walk in the Law with great and positive exultations. Here are 176 verses of scripture speaking of that relationship of the positive attitude lovers of God have toward the holy commandments and the orderliness of God’s kingdom. 2 Corinthians 3:3
Psalm 119:2 Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart.
Again, happiness is attributed to those that keep and seek the Word of God with loyal affection.
Psalm 119:3 They also do no iniquity: they walk in his ways.
When one complies with the Word of God, there will be no iniquity in that lifestyle. Iniquity is eliminated when God’s Word is followed.
Psalm 119:4 Thou hast commanded us to keep thy precepts diligently. 5 O that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes! 6 Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto all thy commandments. 7 I will praise thee with uprightness of heart, when I shall have learned thy righteous judgments. 8 I will keep thy statutes: O forsake me not utterly.
Notice the evolution of thought here; Verse 3, they Verse 4, us Verse 5, my Verse 6,7,8 I
The Psalmist started by observing others, but soon learned that it was more important to be concerned with his own personal relationship with the Word. At first he did not identify with the righteous, but as he observed them, he became one of them.
Psalm 119:9 Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.
The young spirit is a Niagara of dynamism. The Word of God rightly channels that energy where it is needed in the building of the kingdom. 2 Kings 6:1-4. Especially do we need the wisdom of the Word to keep our energies in harness. A stallion running wild is a waste. A stallion in a splendid harness is both very useful and beautiful to behold. So is a youthful spirit in the splendid harness of the Word.
Psalm 119:10 With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments.
This is the only way to seek God; with the whole heart. Desire and affection are planted in the heart of the redeemed to love the Word. He thought of his relationship with God as equivalent to his relationship to the commandments.
Psalm 119:11 Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.
This verse is the key to the whole Psalm 119, indeed to all the Word of God. The Word imparts in us the divine moral that will not tolerate sin! God’s Word in the heart is the only power man has available to him that is greater than the power of sin. Notice the union between the heart and the Word.
Psalm 119:12 Blessed art thou, O Lord: teach me thy statutes.
The man that loves God is teachable!
Psalm 119:14 I have rejoiced in the way of thy testimonies, as much as in all riches.
This is a paradox to some: How can one rejoice in the demands the Word of God makes upon us (the flesh nature) – more than that – think of the testimonies of His Word as “riches.” See Galatians 5:1417;
Psalm 119:16 I will delight myself in thy statutes: I will not forget thy word.
Another paradox! How can the Psalmist actually delight in the statutes? When you find out they are the wisdom of God working in behalf of our happiness, when we discover how well they work for us producing a better life and how that loving compliance with the Word of God can transform the life. See Psalm 19:7. You will rejoice as the man who has discovered a glorious secret. This is where our faith must be placed first; in the moral message and commandments of God.
Psalm 119:18 Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.
The modern Christian has become so preoccupied with prosperity and what God is obligated to do for him, that we have become the church generation that finds nothing “wondrous,” glorious, rewarding, or even desirable whatsoever in the law of the Lord. It is to our shame, and will be to our eternal loss. The disciplines and principles of God’s moral laws promise the greatest rewards in the judgment.
Psalm 119:19 I am a stranger in the earth: hide not thy commandments from me.
When we are lonely, when we are in strange places, when our friends are far from us and we have no one; we have “thy commandments.”
Psalm 119:20 My soul breaketh for the longing that it hath unto thy judgments at all times.
What a precious attitude toward the Word here expressed, his soul is breaking, his heart is longing – for heaven? No! But for the moral judgments of God every minute! We could call this a case of a good “heart condition.”
Psalm 119:21 Thou hast rebuked the proud that are cursed, which do err from thy commandments.
Here God’s attitude is revealed toward the proud and the erring. Certainly pride and contempt for the commandments of God are one and the same. God’s commandments involve compassion, they demand respect and regard for the rights, the feelings and the possessions of others. The proud are self-centered, but the spiritual who regard the commandments of the Lord are “others-minded.” Romans 13:8-10.
Psalm 119:23 Princes also did sit and speak against me: but thy servant did meditate in thy statutes.
Sometimes the righteous are accused, having no recourse, no appeal. Here, someone high and mighty is slandering him, but he is comforted through meditation in the Word. Another comforting power of the Word – to restore us when we are victims of injustice.
Psalm 119:24 Thy testimonies also are my delight and my counsellors.
The righteous actually delight in the spiritual truth of moral law. The testimonies of the Lord give more guidance than if one was surrounded by wise men.
Psalm 119:28 My soul melteth for heaviness: strengthen thou me according unto thy word. 29 Remove from me the way of lying: and grant me thy law graciously.
Here is revealed that there still lingers within this heart, that loves God and righteousness, a tendency toward lying or exaggeration. What a prayer – he is asking God to replace his moral imperfections with the moral law. Bible characters were always confessing their sins in brokenness, not denying them in self-righteousness and arrogance.
Psalm 119:30 I have chosen the way of truth: thy judgments have I laid before me.
Here is the initiative of the believer revealed again. He, by his own volition, has chosen the way of truth, and he himself (and not another), set God’s judgments as his goal. Ephesians 2:10; James 2:20,24. There are two elements essential to make holiness valid before God;
1. The provisions of grace made available to man.
2. The appropriation of grace by man’s volition. There is no valid state of
righteousness apart from the provisions of grace – that which God Himself initiated – nor is what God initiates efficacious until man by choice of will acts upon it. When we speak of “he himself (and not another),” we are not speaking of righteousness apart from God’s grace. Salvation is a combination of God’s initiative through the cross and man’s response to grace. Read Ephesians 2:8-10; Titus 2:11. See Initiative of Believer. See Romans 3:20.
Psalm 119:31 I have stuck unto thy testimonies: O LORD, put me not to shame.
Here again the Bible speaks of something sticking (Proverbs 18:24, the PHILEO, special friendship). It is a term that denotes a very special closeness to the testimonies of the Word. Because of this special affection, he has a right to ask not to be shamed.
Psalm 119:32 I will run the way of thy commandments, when thou shalt enlarge my heart.
Here the writer expresses the desire to excel in his pursuit of the commandments and that he will do so as God enables him and gives him the energy and endurance needed. It also speaks of the fact that when the heart condition is right, the commandments are eagerly pursued. The heart enlarges when subjected to prolonged running. He so pursues the Word of God.
Psalm 119:33 Teach me, O LORD, the way of thy statutes; and I shall keep it unto the end.
He doesn’t ask to be taught special revelations, prophecy, mysteries – but the moral
principles of the statutes of the Word, and then promises to keep the truth he receives and abide in it to his last breath!
Psalm 119:34 Give me understanding, and I shall keep thy law; yea, I shall observe it with my whole heart.
When God gives man divine understanding, the result is insight into the moral law and a dedication that executes what it understands. Holy Ghost baptism guarantees high performance!
Psalm 119:35 Make me to go in the path of thy commandments; for therein do I delight.
The servant of God pleads with the Lord to help constrain him and give special persuasions in spite of some distractions in life; for he realizes that when he is walking in the commandments he is at his happiest level of life.
Psalm 119:36 Incline my heart unto thy testimonies, and not to covetousness.
Ever present with man are the sudden and unexpected temptations to covet something that reaches out to him from the environment. But here he asks the Lord to touch his heart that he might be at that time especially attracted to the testimonies of the Word. There is a diametric principle suggested here. The opposites are the Word (testimonies) and the world (covetousness). I John 2:15
Psalm 119:37 Turn away mine eyes from beholding vanity; and quicken thou me in thy way.
The eye is the instrument of the body life. I John 2:16. Control the eye is to control desire.
Psalm 119:38 Stablish thy word unto thy servant, who is devoted to thy fear.
“Devoted” to the fear of God!? It would Fear of God shake the timbers of many modern Charismatics if they should ever discover the biblical truth about the fear of God. It would shatter their theology too! See fear in Naves Topical Bible; Fear of God.
Psalm 119:39 Turn away my reproach which I fear: for thy judgments are good.
It’s the voice of a man who has learned a lesson. He realizes the reason he’s suffering and finds no fault with God for his troubles and graciously requests relief.
Psalm 119:40 Behold, I have longed after thy precepts: quicken me in thy righteousness.
Another precious attitude. The yearning of the inner man for the moral precepts of God. He knows this pleases a righteous God and asks for His touch.
Psalm 119:41 Let thy mercies come also unto me, O LORD, even thy salvation, according to thy word.
Here the mercies of God and His salvation are thought of as one by the singer. The only source of the knowledge of salvation is in the Word of God. Surely God’s mercy is most vividly portrayed in the cross – salvation.
Psalm 119:42 So shall I have wherewith to answer him that reproacheth me: for I trust in thy word.
In the Word of God there is an answer for every fool and wise man, to know it is to have the answers.
Psalm 119:43 And take not the word of truth utterly out of my mouth; for I have hoped in thy judgments.
He asks to never lose the power to speak the truth. There are too many “teachers” today who do not have this concern for truth. Our objective in preaching is not to effect results, but in the words of Jesus, “a Man that hath told you the truth.” John 8:40
Psalm 119:44 So shall I keep thy law continually for ever and ever.
There was certainly some kind of love and personal attitude toward moral law for the writer to have such a desire to “keep thy law continually forever and ever.”
Psalm 119:45 And I will walk at liberty: for I seek thy precepts.
Here is another paradox. How can liberty and God’s precepts possibly be related. It’s very simple. When you walk in God’s precepts, you are at spiritual liberty. When you walk in the lusts of the flesh, your spiritual life is in bondage, but your flesh is at liberty. The Psalmist is here speaking of spiritual liberty.
Psalm 119:46 I will speak of thy testimonies also before kings, and will not be ashamed.
A love for God is equivalent with not being ashamed of Him. To be proud of the Word is to be proud of God. It is unthinkable to be ashamed of someone we love.
Psalm 119:47 And I will delight myself in thy commandments, which I have loved.
Here is the attitude of affection for the commandments of the Lord. The Psalmist understands that the commandments are God’s wisdom being shared with him and he receives them as such. He appreciates this wisdom God shares in the commandments and loves Him for it.
Psalm 119:48 My hands also will I lift up unto thy commandments, which I have loved; and I will meditate in thy statutes.
Oh how glorious it would be for the church to lift its hands in the sanctuary unto the commandments (the Word) because it is loved. How strange and yet how glorious it would be to have the preacher stand, raise his hands and cry out to his congregation, “Let us raise our hands unto the commandments (Word) of the Lord which we love, and then we shall turn to the Word of God and meditate in His statutes (instruction).”
Psalm 119:49 Remember the word unto thy servant, upon which thou hast caused me to hope.
Here the servant wants God to remember the words He has spoken and promised. He reminds Him of what His Word promises – not that God has forgotten – but that the Father knows how carefully we have been paying attention to His Word.
Psalm 119:50 This is my comfort in my affliction: for thy word hath quickened me.
When a person is seriously afflicted, it causes serious reflection. The soul flees to God, the mind flees to the Word for answers and consolations.
Psalm 119:51 The proud have had me greatly in derision: yet have I not declined from thy law.
He is not allowing the pressures of the proud to divert him from his affection for the Word of God, and though he remain under this pressure, he will only become closer to the law of the Lord. In all of the confusion, his relationship to the Word was not broken, but rather strengthened.
Psalm 119:52 I remembered thy judgments of old, O LORD; and have comforted myself.
There is much comfort to be realized from looking back and reflecting on God’s dealings with mankind. It gives us stability when we see the consistent and almost predictable way He deals with man … always according to righteousness and within the frame of His moral law. This moral consistency in God is comforting to the righteous.
Psalm 119:53 Horror hath taken hold upon me because of the wicked that forsake thy law.
The righteous who cleave to the Word of God and regard the moral precepts highly will often be the victims of the wicked. When a man forsakes the moral laws of God, it produces horror. Some of us may have to wait until the judgment, but God will rectify these wrongs. Sometimes instantly, but surely ultimately, the Holiness of the Lord will prevail over the wickedness of man.
Psalm 11954 Thy statutes have been my songs in the house of my pilgrimage.
“Thy statutes (decrees) are my song as I wander through the world.” Some would have us think that the theme of Psalm 119, which speaks only of the commandments, the law, the judgments, the testimonies, the statutes, the precepts of the Lord, have nothing to contribute to the state of man’s well-being. This is a lie from hell. The Word of God has definite sanctifying powers. John 17:17. The whole redemptive scheme is to the end that we may return morally, respond rightly to the Holy Spirit’s moral promptings and convicting ministry to regard the Word of God, to seek holiness of life. This is the proper attitude toward the Word of God and life itself. The righteous have a song in their heart that the vain, the libertine, and the apostate will never know. The wicked cannot carry God’s tune in a bucket.
Psalm 119:55 I have remembered thy name, O LORD, in the night, and have kept thy law.
When day was past, the din of voices faded away, the strain of labor left the body weary, his final thoughts in the night were of the Lord. As he reflected, he fell asleep with a smile on his face, “today I have kept thy law.”
Psalm 119:56 This I had, because I kept thy precepts.
When our desire is to keep the precepts of God, there is no one way to describe the goodness that comes from it. Fill it in for yourself. Here are just a few; Health I had, because I kept thy precepts. Joy I had, because I kept they precepts. Safety I had, because I kept thy precepts. A miracle I have, because I kept thy precepts. Peace I have, because I kept thy precepts. And a thousand other good things. The second observation; He is speaking in the past tense. Note the words “had” and “kept.” It does not say, “This I have,” but “this I had.” Could it be he had it but he doesn’t have it now but fully realizes life was better when he “kept thy precepts.”
Psalm 119:57 Thou art my portion, O LORD: I have said that I would keep thy words.
When we dedicate ourselves to the Lord and cut ourselves off from the world’s portions: limit our self only to the bread and water of spiritual dedication, others will revel around us, but we will keep His Word. And like Daniel, we will come forth in the end with the brighter countenance.
Psalm 119:58 I intreated thy favour with my whole heart: be merciful unto me according to thy word.
He could put his whole heart into his petition because of his confidence in the Word. When you live by the Word of God, every angel, every attribute of God, every promise, all of the kingdom is behind you from the cherubs to the archangels!
Psalm 119:59 I thought on my ways, and turned my feet unto thy testimonies.
Honest reflection can be redemptive. It implies his feet were not in the ways of the Lord, but after reflection and thought, he turned unto the testimonies of the Lord.
Psalm 119:60 I made haste, and delayed not to keep thy commandments.
This is a good description of unquestionable, instantaneous obedience.
Psalm 119:61 The bands of the wicked have robbed me: but I have not forgotten thy law.
Misfortune has befallen him, but it will not affect his commitment to the moral laws of God. He will not believe that “it does not pay to serve the Lord.”
Psalm 119:62 At midnight I will rise to give thanks unto thee because of thy righteous judgments.
When other people are eating, sleeping, and merry-making, the servant of the Lord is praising God! Why, because he has been blessed, been prospered, has made a big business deal that day? No! He gives thanks unto God because “of thy righteous judgments.”
Psalm 119:63 I am a companion of all them that fear thee, and of them that keep thy precepts.
Perhaps the greatest influence upon the righteous is the fellowship of the godly we surround ourselves with. When new converts come to Christ, they must first off seek new social companions that “keep thy precepts.”
Psalm 119:64 The earth, O LORD, is full of thy mercy: teach me thy statutes.
Here he looks around him upon all the glory and beauty, the order, and realizes the benevolent nature of the God who created it all. The result: to have the Creator as his teacher, to absorb His excellencies.
Psalm 119:66 Teach me good judgment and knowledge: for I have believed thy commandments.
What a spiritual word, this word teach. To learn you must be teachable. You may have intelligence, you may have a photographic mind, but if you’re not teachable, you will be morally stagnant. This servant has the obedient attitude toward the commandments, and therefore, is teachable and desires to be taught. Notice he desired, 1) Good judgment, and 2) Knowledge. The first curriculum priorities in the University of the Holy Spirit is goodness, morality, character and holiness of life.
Psalm 119:67 Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept thy word.
This verse does not imply in any way that God had afflicted him – only that before the affliction he was straying from the Word. When Satan attacks us physically, he is often doing us a favor by causing us to turn to the Word.
Psalm 119:68 Thou art good, and doest good; teach me thy statutes.
Here is one of the first principles of acquiring a right attitude toward the moral law of God. It is revealed clearly here by this sensible and spiritual writer. The principle is this: First, he saw the goodness and benevolence of God. Observing natural creation will reveal this to us. He had examined this great cosmic factor, and once establishing the benevolence of God, he realized that God’s statutes, laws and precepts for man could only be good as well. Secondly, he then wanted to learn the principles of God’s statutes because he was convinced of their benevolent origin and the beneficial effects they would have on his own life.
Psalm 119:69 The proud have forged a lie against me: but I will keep thy precepts with my whole heart.
Don’t let the proud bother you. Take some advice from this man’s conduct and occupy your whole heart with the precepts of God. It’s a most wonderful way to obliterate the intents of the wicked.
Psalm 119:70 Their heart is as fat as grease; but I delight in thy law.
Speaking of the indulgent wicked; they delight in food and luxury and it shows. The righteous “delight in thy law” and it shows.
Psalm 119:71 It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes.
See verses 51,53,67. Here the Psalmist reveals even a greater thing known to us regarding afflictions – something he didn’t say before. Here he says, “it is good for me.” Sometimes afflictions in the flesh bring health to the spirit by restoring a new teachable spirit in the Word.
Psalm 119:72 The law of thy mouth is better unto me than thousands of gold and silver.
If Psalm 119 reveals man’s saintly attitude toward the Word of God, then this is the epitome of all such expressions. Every human heart lusts for the bartering powers of silver and gold. The Psalmist declares here that his spiritual desire for the moral law of God is greater than the flesh nature’s desire for gold or silver in abundance! Maybe the modern Christian’s preoccupation with prosperity is a result of the low value he actually places on the law of God’s mouth. See Law and Commandments.
Psalm 119:73 Thy hands have made me and fashioned me: give me understanding, that I may learn thy commandments.
The purpose of his being created is directly linked to the achieving of moral perfection as revealed in the Word.
Psalm 119:74 They that fear thee will be glad when they see me; because I have hoped in thy word.
Good morals and good conduct produce good reputation. Good reputation cannot be bought, it can only be earned by being consistently good. “They … will be glad when they see me;” implies too that his “word goodness” inspires others and that he has become a good model image to others.
Psalm 119:75 I know, O LORD, that thy judgments are right, and that thou in faithfulness hast afflicted me.
Though God allowed Job’s affliction, He was standing over Job every minute – “in faithfulness.” The Psalmist trusts God’s judgment in the time of his affliction. It’s good to know that as God’s children, there is always a purpose in one’s affliction. The unsaved have no such consolation. We can’t lose, “to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” Philippians 1:21
Psalm 119:77 Let thy tender mercies come unto me, that I may live: for thy law is my delight.
The man who makes the law of the Lord his delight has a special kind of faith and confidence that can ask anything of God. He knows that life is in his delight for the law.
Psalm 119:78 Let the proud be ashamed; for they dealt perversely with me without a cause: but I will meditate in thy precepts.
Sometimes our own brethren will exclude us and bar us from their favor “without a cause,” for no good reason at all. Leave it to God and continue meditation in His precepts to protect your heart from wrong and hateful attitudes developing.
Psalm 119:79 Let those that fear thee turn unto me, and those that have known thy testimonies.
There is a mysterious affinity between all those who fear the Lord and know the testimonies of His Word. There is something the holy-minded have in common that binds them and brings them together. There is a special bond between all those who love the commandments. Malachi 3:16
Psalm 119:80 Let my heart be sound in thy statutes; that I be not ashamed.
It is healthy for the heart to be established in the Word. The Psalmist knows not only that the state of his heart is related to its relationship to the statutes of the Lord, but that circumstances in life are determined out of that relationship. Ashamed (BUWSH, 54, also means to be disappointed.)
Psalm 119:87 They had almost consumed me upon earth; but I forsook not thy precepts.
He has apparently merged from some great pending catastrophe or mortal threat, and as he emerges from it he immediately reminds himself and others that his faithfulness to God’s moral precepts had something to do with his survival.
Psalm 119:88 Quicken me after thy lovingkindness; so shall I keep the testimony of thy mouth.
What a nice word; loving kindness. Of course, it is easy to obey and regard the commandments and moral laws of a God of loving kindness. God’s love and perfect love of His servants meet and merge in the Word.
Psalm 119:89 For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.
The Word of God is settled where? In heaven! Not in Rome, not in Moscow, not in Washington, DC, but in heaven!
Psalm 119:90 Thy faithfulness is unto all generations: thou hast established the earth, and it abideth.
God’s decree that established planet Earth continues through the centuries. If God can establish planet Earth by His Word, which involves a solar system and millions of cosmic laws, then He can surely uphold His Word and execute the promises He makes to His saints.
Psalm 119:92 Unless thy law had been my delights, I should then have perished in mine affliction.
Here again is the attitude of the righteous toward the moral law of God revealed. It is positive, beneficial and generates mental health. His delight in the Word overpowered his afflictions.
Psalm 119:93 I will never forget thy precepts: for with them thou hast quickened me.
Powers of life are drawn from God’s moral precepts.
Psalm 119:94 I am thine, save me; for I have sought thy precepts.
Something important to note in this verse; the Psalmist does not say that he kept God’s precepts, but that he “sought” the precepts. This desire of the inner man is the first thing essential to the keeping of the precepts. Without it, it is impossible to please Him. I John 3:22. Without a heart that seeks the precepts of the Word it is certain obedience to them is impossible.
Psalm 119:97 O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day.
How many Christians “filled with the Spirit” in this church age have this kind of affection for the Word of God? This loving attitude for the Word of God is The paragon of biblical themes. It must exist before holiness (Christian character); yea, is the Spirit of Holiness. Note verses 35, 52, 54, 77, 92, 103, 111, 113, 119, 127, 128, 129, 131, 140, 165, 167, 174
Psalm 119:101 I have refrained my feet from every evil way, that I might keep thy word.
Another reference to the initiative of the believer in disciplines of the Christian life. It is oversimplified theology to believe that “all one has to do is get saved and the Holy Ghost does the rest.” We must remember that Jesus in taking the cup of God’s wrath in Gethsemane “sweat blood” in doing so. It is ideal for us to obey out of spiritual desire, but it is often reality that we must obey by sheer choice of will without inspiration, and acting upon our knowledge of right and wrong. It is pleasing to the Father to look down upon us at such times and see us have enough character within ourselves to make right moral choices. Many of our decisions are inspired of the Holy Spirit, blessed with God’s presence and in that case, obedience is a “snap,” but there are also times of self-enforced obedience. The former is more desirable, but the latter is often reality.
Psalm 119:104 Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way.
The effect, the moral understanding that comes through the precepts of God produces two attitudes. 1) An attitude of compliance, submission and obedience to the Word of God, and 2) A perfect hatred for sin, See Hebrews 1:9; Psalm 97:10
Psalm 119:106 I have sworn, and I will perform it, that I will keep thy righteous judgments.
The Psalmist was serious about his obedience to the righteous judgments of God. He made vows concerning them. A little Brazilian girl came to the American missionary after a meeting one night holding the tresses of her hair and said slowly, “I made a vow, I made a vow.” She was telling him in very broken English that she had vowed not to cut her hair. More vows are in order at our altars when the ministry of the Word has spoken to us.
Psalm 119:108 Accept, I beseech thee, the freewill offerings of my mouth, O LORD, and teach me thy judgments.
Two chief things seem to make up this verse. 1) The praise of the mouth, and 2) Learning the judgments of God’s Word. It is a good balance. To ignore it will bring spiritual perversion. “All praise and no judgment makes Jack a dull Christian.”
Psalm 119:109 My soul is continually in my hand: yet do I not forget thy law.
As David and the soldiers of war in Israel encountered their enemies in battle, they went from man to man with their singing swords swinging against flesh and metal. They encountered one mortal enemy after another going from man to man in the battle, but always remembered, possibly even sang, or shouted out the words of God’s law in the din of the battle.
Psalm 119:111 Thy testimonies have I taken as an heritage for ever: for they are the rejoicing of my heart. 112 I have inclined mine heart to perform thy statutes alway, even unto the end.
There is something eternal in God’s Word that makes our dedication and our lifestyle eternal in nature, in purpose and in intent. This isn’t something he determined in his mind by sheer resolution, but something he desired in his heart.
Psalm 119:113 I hate vain thoughts: but thy law do I love.
Here is where the spiritual battle lies: in the mind. When the moral law of God is loved and meditated upon and hatred for vain thoughts exist together, there is victory over temptation. You sure can’t be tempted by what you hate.
Psalm 119:115 Depart from me, ye evildoers: for I will keep the commandments of my God.
Young converts often have trouble keeping their Christian experience. It’s usually the bad companions who keep hanging around. Start talking about Jesus and you’ll soon only have good companions. There are some things that don’t go together and here’s one such combination – evil companions and the commandments of the Lord.
Psalm 119:118 Thou hast trodden down all them that err from thy statutes: for their deceit is falsehood.
It’s very clear that God is against those who “err from.” These are defectors, apostates, compromisers. There is certainly nothing worse than someone who has known the truth and then err from it. Hebrews 2:1
Psalm 119:119 Thou puttest away all the wicked of the earth like dross: therefore I love thy testimonies.
This is a moral universe. Though many wicked tyrants have risen through the history of the world, moral societies have prevailed to this time that men be free to worship. What is good and right has a way of surviving the persistence of evil. Stick to the Word and you’ll survive with the Word!
Psalm 119:120 My flesh trembleth for fear of thee; and I am afraid of thy judgments.
It is false to believe that fear is always Fear of God the vice and never virtue. The fear of God is a virtue, the fear of the devil is a vice. The fear of God is a virtue, the fear of an ungodly enemy is a vice. The fear of God is a virtue, but the fear of something that has not happened is a vice. The fear of God is simply an awareness of His terrible majesty and Godhead. When the Psalmist says, “I am afraid of Thy judgments,” he is perceiving that there are consequences to sin, that is not a vice, but a virtue!
Psalm 119:126 It is time for thee, LORD, to work: for they have made void thy law.
When morality declines, it is here implied Judgment that divine intervention is pending. Anti-nomians (against law) have existed ever since God gave man the law. Satan was the first anti-nomian to openly defy God’s moral government. Then Cain came along and many after him until this day there are probably more antinomians in this age of grace than of all ages past. Only the wicked hate God’s law and wish it void. Romans 8:7
Psalm 119:127 Therefore I love thy commandments above gold; yea, above fine gold. 129 Thy testimonies are wonderful: therefore doth my soul keep them.
It’s easy for a wife to obey a husband that loves her and shows it. It is also easy for a saint to live a life of obedience to the Word of God when the attitude toward the commandments and the testimonies is that “they are wonderful.”
Psalm 119:130 The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.
The Word of God contains a revelation of human behavior and moral principle like nothing else! In the Word of God is contained the history of sin, the creation of the world and the plan of the ages for the simplest mind to perceive. To hear it and learn it is like turning on the lights.
Psalm 119:131 I opened my mouth, and panted: for I longed for thy commandments.
What a great description expressing a right attitude for the Word of God! As a deer being hunted, running, leaping, on and on as his killers pursue, the desire for water grows greater and greater, so is the Psalmist panting after the commandments of the Lord!
Psalm 119:134 Deliver me from the oppression of man: so will I keep thy precepts.
When we are under the power and the influence of man: when what a man thinks affects my life and holds me under his subtle influence: whatever way I subject myself to man must be broken if we are to be free to serve the Lord. We serve man best by serving God first.
Psalm 119:135 Make thy face to shine upon thy servant; and teach me thy statutes.
God is a pleasant teacher, and not a grouch. It is much easier to learn from a pleasant voice and a pleasant face. The law and the statutes of the Lord do not come from an angry countenance, they come from a heart of benevolence.
Psalm 119:136 Rivers of waters run down mine eyes, because they keep not thy law.
What a precious response of this saint toward wholesale rejection of God (when we reject His moral law, we have rejected Him). There are three reasons the righteous sorrow; 1) Because such a great thing as God’s law being wasted and ignored. 2) By disregarding the law of God, man self-destructs and himself becomes the victim of his own wickedness toward others. 3) The wicked always cause others to suffer.
Psalm 119:137 Righteous art thou, O LORD, and upright are thy judgments.
The word righteous always denotes to do justly, that is what is ultimately best and good for others. See Genesis 1. A right attitude toward the law is reflected in a right concept of the Lawgiver.
Psalm 119:140 Thy word is very pure: therefore thy servant loveth it.
Psalm 119:155 Salvation is far from the wicked: for they seek not thy statutes.
Here is a great principle. To seek salvation is very closely related to a desire for righteousness, although it may first be evidenced by wanting to escape from the pollutions of the sinful life. Romans 10:10. To show respect for the moral principles of the Bible is a first and an early sign of seeking salvation. So salvation has to do; 1) With the atoning blood, and 2) With continuing in righteousness and seeking moral truth. We also have something here close to Psalm 19:7, “The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul.” Reversing the Psalmist’s statement above he says, “Salvation is near the righteous, for they seek Thy statutes.” The moral precept and salvation through the cross are wed and woe to the man who attempts to drive them apart.
Psalm 119:165 Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.
Here are some more of the wonderful benefits of having a right attitude toward the moral law of God. 1) Great peace, 2) Tranquillity.
Psalm 119:166 LORD, I have hoped for thy salvation, and done thy commandments.
Here the Psalmist joins two very related things again, salvation and obedience to the commandments. Jesus said, “If you love Me, keep My commandments.” John 14:15; See Psalm 19; 119:55
Psalm 119:167 My soul hath kept thy testimonies; and I love them exceedingly.
The Psalmist does not say that his heart kept the commandments, but that his soul (intelligence) kept the testimonies of the Lord. Holiness makes sense. Salvation is a logical thing when searched out. It in no way conflicts
with any logics of jurisprudence. But then the writer goes on to say, “I love them exceedingly,” so here is the combination of intelligence and affection in obedience.
Psalm 119:169 Let my cry come near before thee, O LORD: give me understanding according to thy word.
The Psalmist does not say, “Give me understanding,” but “Give me understanding according to Thy Word.” There’s too much religious understanding that comes from the human logic, human emotion, rather than from the revelation of His Word. These humanistic teachings are derived from the Bible, but originate in a wrongly motivated heart.
Psalm 119:170 Let my supplication come before thee: deliver me according to thy word.
Here is deliverance “according to Thy Word.” Not a conditionless deliverance, but a conditional deliverance, “according to Thy Word.”
Psalm 119:172 My tongue shall speak of thy word: for all thy commandments are righteousness. 173 Let thine hand help me; for I have chosen thy precepts. 174 I have longed for thy salvation, O LORD; and thy law is my delight. 175 Let my soul live, and it shall praise thee; and let thy judgments help me. 176 I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek thy servant; for I do not forget thy commandments.
Psalm 119 ends with a confession of having gone astray like a lost sheep attracted to “greener pastures.” In spite of this wandering away from the sheepfold, the soul cries out to God that He would come as a shepherd and seek this lost sheep, and then a fact we are all familiar with, “for I do not forget Thy commandments.” It doesn’t matter how far we wander away from God, we carry the moral commandments of God’s kingdom we have once learned with us. They remain in us even though they do not avail for us. When a man strays from the church, from Christ and from the kingdom, he may forget many things, but he will not forget the commandments, the moral principles of God’s kingdom. Note: There seems to be only four verses in Psalm 119 that do not speak directly of some part of, or make reference to the law of God or the Word of God. They are verses 84,121,122,132. All other verses make a direct reference to the Word of God.
Psalm 128:1 Blessed is every one that feareth the LORD; that walketh in his ways.
Psalms 128 is a tribute to those who fear the Lord. The fear of God is the Bible term that expresses the idea of God consciousness and the effect God consciousness has morally upon behavior. In every instance in scripture, where mortal man actually contacted the divine presence or a divine messenger, he was visibly shaken and awe stricken. The sloppy and frivolous attitude of the apostates down play the importance of God’s awesome presence. They prefer a god who is un-inhibiting and suffer from a wrong concept of the divine presence. Job 4:15; Ezekiel 1:28; Daniel 8:7; Revelation 1:17; 19:10; 22:8Fear is another theme the modern Gospel will not preach. There “is no fear in love” is the sum of their fear theology. They have made all fear a vice; as something wrong for Christians to have toward God. But this modern concept of fear as being evil is itself evil. The fear of God is different than the fear of danger or harm oftentimes unfounded. The fear of God is good and positive as clearly indicated in scripture! It is in fact integral in the perfecting of holiness.
Psalm 19:19 “Let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” 2 Corinthians 7:1 The perfecting of holiness is only possible in the fear of God (God consciousness) and not apart from it. Following are some scripture references that tell us that fear is a Christian virtue. A right concept of God is essential to having a right relationship with God. Ephesians 5:21; 6:5; Philippians 2:12; Colossians 3:22; Hebrews 5:5; 12:28; I Peter 1:17; 3:2; I John 4:16; Revelation 11:18; 14:7; 19:5. TO PROVE THE FEAR OF GOD IS A VIRTUE; The Lord honors and shows high respect for those that hold Him in fear. Psalm 15:4 A man that fears God will be taught of Him. The Lord becomes his personal tutor. Fear imparts contentment and peace, and brings the blessing of God, not only upon your own life, but upon your children. God shares His secrets with those mortals who fear Him. Psalm 25:12,14. The Lord has some pleasant surprises waiting for those who have served Him here on Earth in fear. Psalm 31:19 God’s eye is upon them that fear Him. Psalm 33:8 Angels encamp around about those saints that fear Him and delivers them in times of crisis and threat. There is no want to the man who fears the Lord, a quality we should teach our children. Psalm 34:7,9,11We are given an injunction as churches and as a body collectively to fear the Lord (be extremely aware of His presence) when we assemble ourselves. Psalm 89:7 Mercy is guaranteed to those who fear the Lord and He has special affections of pity and mercy from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear Him. Psalm 103:11,13,17. God provides very special things for them that fear Him. For you see, fear of the Lord is the basis of sound wisdom. Psalm 111:5; Proverbs 1:7,9,10. Contrary to the theology of the modern Gospel, God provides tasty foods for those who fear Him.
Psalm 111:5 We find also that in the virtue of this fear of God there are two mental states cultivated by it. Wisdom, Proverbs 1:7,9,10; Psalm 111:10; and Happiness is the lot of the man who finds the fear of God and delights in His commandments.
Psalm 112:1. Those who fear the Lord make up the special company. They seem to consort together and have a special holy fellowship with God’s approval.
Psalms 119:63; 66:16. God not only provides the needs, but fulfills the desires of those that fear Him, because the man who fears God will only have pure desires.
Psalm 145:19. The Lord loves certain of His saints and most certainly has special affection for those who fear Him. Psalm 147:11. Those who possess the fear of God possess a virtue that is capable of separating them from sin. Proverbs 8:13; 16:6.The fear of the Lord even has an effect, apparently, upon man biologically in the sense of well-being, for his days are prolonged. Proverbs 10:27. They that fear the Lord will have a love and a joy for life and abide satisfied. He will be preserved from any visits of evil. Proverbs 19:23. And where are riches, honor and life? They are in the fear of God. Proverbs 22:4. We are given a divine commandment, an injunction if you please, to fear the Lord “all the day long.” Proverbs 23:17 In Proverbs 28:14, we find the highest mental state of man, happiness to those that fear the Lord. “Happy is the man that feareth alway.”
Fear will secure for us preservation, good fortune and survival. Ecclesiastes 7:18. “Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another: and the Lord hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon his name.” Malachi 3:16. There is physical healing for those who fear the Lord. Malachi 4:2. “Behold, that thus shall the man be blessed that feareth the Lord.” Psalm 128:4.
Psalm 138:8 The Lord will perfect that which concerneth me: thy mercy, O Lord, endureth for ever: forsake not the works of thine own hands.
When God created Adam, it was solely the creative act of God and Adam had nothing to do with it. But, after Adam “became a living soul” and stood upright and walked into the Garden of Eden, he had a part to play in his destiny. In his reaction, only God had a part in that, but in his post-creation state it is he and God. So it is in our redemption. Atonement was His glorious work before my re-creation, but sanctification involves my response to God after recreation. John 17:17; Romans 3:20.”Forsake not the work of thine own hands.” God created us and then provided laws and principles, or “operating instructions” to go with His product, that we might achieve the very highest good from life. I saw an ad once that said, “The bible is the instruction manual that came with the world when God created it.”
Psalm 141:5 Let the righteous smite me; it shall be a kindness: and let him reprove me; it shall be an excellent oil, which shall not break my head: for yet my prayer also shall be in their calamities. (2 Corinthians 10:5)
RECEIVING CORRECTION, TRUTH
What an excellent attitude! He will pray for the man who reproves him! The carnal spirit reacts with self-vindication and contempt. David will pray for the righteous man who corrects him in his folly and prays for him when he enters calamity. John 4:6; Compare 2 Samuel 12:13 with I Kings 22:24,26,27. The human nature, though professing Christianity, resents correction. One of the greatest hindrances to personal holiness is the inability and lack of spiritual capacity to receive instruction, and in particular, corrective instruction. We are programmed by the modern consumer environment to receive preferential treatment if they want my business. In the world, products are sold on the basis of what the customer wants. In the kingdom, this is reversed, we please the “maker.” The objective of the kingdom is what is right and good for the whole and not what an individual selfishly prefers. The carnal nature has no choice as to whether he will do good or evil in the ultimate sense. Reason: Good will prevail and evil will finally be exterminated. Revelation 20:11-15. It is that simple. The soul of man is not higher in value than truth and goodness. Basically, scripture is preached from two standpoints; 1) From the morally preventive stand point, and 2) From the morally corrective standpoint. It may be a textual sermon, it may be expositional, it may be the treatment of a subject, but depending on the moral condition of the group or of individuals being preached to, the message will preventive or corrective. In common terminology we consider an inspirational message as preventive and an instructional message as corrective, or an inspirational message we consider to be “positive,” while instructional type messages we take as “negative.” What naturally follows is that the man who can preach “positive” messages that align with the moral preferences of his listeners is the more widely accepted (and successful) preacher than the man who is instructional and corrective in his approach. The ministry of the prophets was almost entirely corrective messages. He is malcontent so long as evil exists unchallenged. Both ministries are needed to provide balanced spiritual health for the body of Christ. However, we must be careful not to choose our preachers on the basis of whether they are “positive” or “negative,” but rather on the basis of truth. The more negative the environment becomes, the more corrective preaching is needed. Let men of God who feel the cry of corrective truth be careful to maintain a life of prayer and brokenness before the Lord. Many men have the right message, but their spirits lack compassion and anointing in deliverance. It indicates they are strong in the Word (mind) and weak in prayer (heart). It is not truth that preaching is positive or negative. In the strict sense there is no such thing as negative truth. Jesus said, “Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:32. He did not say, “Ye shall know positive truth (or negative truth) …” Truth is actuality! Actuality itself cannot be positive or negative. Positive and negative aspects 1f spoken truth are only determined by the moral level of the hearer! Preach tithing and those who tithe will rejoice in your “positive message.” Why? Because they’re living in obedience to the truth. But in the same meeting the same message is negative (corrective) to those who do not tithe. So the matter of truth being positive or negative is a misnomer. It only becomes positive or negative to the hearer depending on whether they are living in obedience to the truth (positive) presented or contrary (negative) to the truth. It is all in the living and not the preaching. As the church digresses morally, ministers preach less fullness of truth (less moralistic topics) and concentrate preaching subjects they know to be acceptable to the lifestyle of the hearers. Our culture is locked into an indulgent body oriented lifestyle that is opposed to the teaching of Christ on death to self and sacrifice. The silence of “dumb dogs” feed the freedom of carnal nature, and as carnality increases due to less preaching on holiness (moralistic Bible) subjects, congregations demand less and less truth on the holy life. Result: A contemporary fundamental movement that has no taste for holiness and moral perfection. But when the ministers become “dumb dogs who will not bark” they leave God only one option to purify the church – judgment, to bring the church to repentance. I Timothy 4:16; 2 Timothy 3:16; Acts 2:41.
Psalm 144:15 Happy is that people, that is in such a case: yea, happy is that people, whose God is the Lord.
The writer makes it very clear that there is a difference between GOD and the LORD, between worship and obedience. It is not enough just to believe in God as the creator of all things and the supreme being who has provided redemption. As creator, this simply makes us the “creation.” By recognizing God as a supreme being speaks of His relationship to me, but when that same God is also Lord, that speaks of my relationship to Him. See Romans 3:20. Using a concordance, searching out the word “Lord” applying to deity, you will find a very significance meaning is attached to the use of the title Lord. It’s a twofold relationship; 1) of love, and 2) authority. God is Lord. He is the sovereign of a great eternal kingdom! Happy is that people whose God is the Lord. There is a difference then between a God relationship,” and a “Lord God relationship.” Happiness is in knowing God as LORD! The contemporary church philosophy tries to make out that Christians are happy and blessed because they believe in God, worship God and praise God, but all of this without a true lordship relationship. Without a holy regard and obedience for His Word, worship becomes “as a sounding brass,” or “tinkling cymbal.” See Amos 5; Matthew 7:22; Fear of God Psalm 128.
Psalm 149:3 Let them praise his name in the dance: let them sing praises unto him with the timbrel and harp.
Psalms 145 through 150 are praise songs. Twice, here and in Psalm 150:4, dancing is mentioned in worship. These are the only two times dance and praise are used together as not being an act of spiritual celebration in public. David danced and leaped before the ark, a public celebration in the streets. 2 Samuel 6:14. Miriam danced. Exodus 15:20. The maidens of Israel danced in honor of Kings Saul and David. I Samuel 18:6. There are 27 references to dancing in the Bible. We should make the following observations regarding the dances recorded in the Bible. It is not mentioned once in the dispensation of the church. Worship is prescribed in the New Testament as Psalms and hymns and spiritual songs. Dancing when recorded in Old Testament was done openly, in public and not a part of temple worship. It is not taught or suggested, but spontaneous when it occurs in some Pentecostal meetings. It is done out of elation and joy, not imposed as a form of worship in the church. The scripture never speaks of dancing with partners. Pentecostal meetings are often marked with dancing, especially in the earlier days of the outpouring. It usually occurs as an overflow of worship and with a very special sense of God’s presence. However, we must be very careful of such a practice becoming a feature of worship by suggestion. If we are going to bring this into the church then let’s do it also out in the open when we hold celebrations as it is mentioned in scripture. As flesh has gotten into our doctrine and the promotion of evangelism (personality worship), so now we are making the dance a thing of worship by suggestion. It is a known fact that churches promoting the Hebrew dance and “Holy Ghost dance steps,” are those churches inclined to the sensational and carry the strong Charismatic emphasis. If we are going to bring something out of the Old Testament and foster it, promote it as a thing from God, then let us go into the Old Covenant and bring forth the truth of the holiness of God, the moral teaching which has its origin there and the scores of precepts and commandments that promote righteousness. As usual, the apostates are being very selective, and promoting a practice that has no moral edification whatsoever. They make anything big that enhances their “good time” religion apart from the goodness of holiness and obedience to the moral commandment. Hebrew dancing is just another distraction from the pure spiritual issues of holiness of life. Dancing is no sign of a valid holy life. Israel danced before the golden calf with great fervor and in great ecstasy! Exodus 32:19. .pc 30
Proverbs speaks of the difference of moral concepts in the wise and the foolish. The Psalms speak of the difference of moral concepts between the wicked and the righteous. Nine chapters here (Proverbs 1 through 9) dedicated to wisdom, the right use of the mind.
Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
The modern church movement leans more and more on the professional products of his technological environment. For computers to serve the church in keeping records is certainly no sin, however, when you go to the computer for future direction, it borders becoming an electronic god! Sophisticated slick magazine productions slanted to self-promotion brings the celebrity evangelist the same results as it brings the movie stars and corporate business world. Professional advisers trained in the secular sciences- Education required for spiritual ministry- These are humanistic deviations of science away from anointed leadership qualities. Publications and computers, as well as ministerial aids are good and necessary. But when we become dependent on these functions and utilize the sciences where God has provided spiritual powers and either replace the gifts and ministries with secular gimmicks or combine the gifts with the secular forces, we violate the exclusiveness of a jealous God and run the risk of judgment. We become like Samson, “and he wist not the Lord had departed from him.” See study Judges 16:20.
There is a massive movement toward the science of building Gospel ministries on the principles of big business. Professionalism and electronics are the foundation of most national ministries. You can see the man’s moral convictions change as his success increases. They say it won’t change them when they step into the limelight, but as their apostasy becomes apparent to (many but not) all, they still insist “all is well with my soul.” One great man of God once told his followers that God told him “not to touch the gold or the glory.” He has done both and the whole world knows it, but will these men repent and change? In child psychology we have put away the old-fashioned paddle in the home, because modern wisdom (professional humanism) in its sweet, sloppy way insists the Bible is unreasonable and outdated. The swing in society to rehabilitate contrary to the divine process of guilt and punishment is the philosophy of humanism. The judiciary system in the Western world has gone soft on the criminal, not giving due regard for the suffering of the innocent. At last count, 60 percent of serious crimes are committed by former criminals turned back into the streets by the humanist judicial system. Just so the Evangelicals have gone soft on sin. The modern church has taken up the song of these fools until it too has become impotent and helpless toward sin and evil influences (worldliness). When the church begins to reject the clear and serious moral teaching of scripture for the soft logics of humanism and worldliness, Pragmatism it is only a matter of time until our addiction to worldly success makes us completely oblivious to the fact we are lost. See I Kings 10 and 11; Deuteronomy 17 To entrust the evangelism of the world to technology rather than keep it totally within the bounds of pure biblical definitions is to become dependent on secular humanism. The ministries become impersonalized and super churches become big business.
Proverbs 4:7 Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.
“The first thing is wisdom” “Above all things get wisdom” (American Translation) Hebrew definition of wisdom: (chokmah, 2451) wisdom (in a good sense):-skillful, clever. Hebrew definition of principal: (reshiyth, 7225) The first, in place, time, order or rank, beginning, chief. When a person commits an evil act by being clever, it is never called wisdom. He is tricky, foxy, but not wise. He is a “con artist,” but not wise.
Proverbs 6:20 My son, keep thy father’s commandment, and forsake not the law of thy mother: 21 Bind them continually upon thine heart, and tie them about thy neck. 22 When thou goest, it shall lead thee; when thou sleepest, it shall keep thee; and when thou awakest, it shall talk with thee. 23 For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life: 24 To keep thee from the evil woman, from the flattery of the tongue of a strange woman. 25 Lust not after her beauty in thine heart; neither let her take thee with her eyelids.
Proverbs 8:18 Riches and honour are with me; yea, durable riches and righteousness.
This is wisdom speaking. She makes it clear in this repeated statement that she is not speaking of gold and silver. There is something more durable than gold to the man who has it – and the rich man would give all of his riches to have only one such gem called “peace.” There are devilish riches and then there are durable riches. God wants us to know there are two kinds of riches that come from two kinds of wisdom, and that the divine kind that is “durable” only exists with righteousness!
Proverbs 8:20 I lead in the way of righteousness, in the midst of the paths of judgment:
The intelligent (where wisdom resides) pursuit of life. True wisdom is first of all a sound morality.
Wisdom, righteousness and judgment are as integrated as a traveler (wisdom) on a path (judgment) headed in a special direction (righteousness).
Proverbs 8:36 But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate me love death.
God’s laws are not arbitrary. You may choose to disobey and die. You may choose to live a “Christianity” that does not regard the wisdom of the holy commandment. The commandments of God were not concocted by Him for the purpose of; a) Controlling us; b) Testing us; c) To condemn us. John 3:17. God gave man law because they contained and revealed the principles he can live a happy peaceful life by in the observing of them. Actually, these are not “God’s laws” as much as they are moral absolutes. They are immutable principles of good that guarantee to man, or reveal to man the way he can achieve his happiest state. Wisdom tells us, “he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul.” Our disobedience takes nothing from God! Disobedience of the commandment is an act of “self-affliction.”
Proverbs 9:10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.
I Corinthians 2:16 The Mind of Christ. Wisdom: Using all the faculties of mind for good; the best use of the combined powers of the mind.
THE DIVINE MENTALITY
We think of the Holy Spirit controlling the body, but only if He gains control of the mind is He in control of the whole being.
SEVEN BASIC FUNCTIONS OF THE MIND
Understanding the Mind and the Mentality;
INTELLIGENCE – Capacity: The quantity ability of the mind.
KNOWLEDGE – Content: The ability of the mind to contain and store facts. Wisdom is different than knowledge. Knowledge apart from wisdom will cause us to puff up, but wisdom is the right use of knowledge, I Corinthians 8:1, and leads us in the paths of righteousness.
UNDERSTANDING – Cognizance: The ability to perceive and be logical.
PERMUTATION – Imagination: The ability of Imagination the mind to fantasize or to use the impressions of memory by recall. One of the greatest powers of the mind! The ability to rearrange and recombine facts can be good or bad. When this power of fantasy is used for truth and combining facts, it becomes like the rearrangement of chemicals and can be used to great benefit to man. But when the powers of fantasy are used wrong and the imagination thrives upon evil, violent, and sensuous facts, the outcome is corrupting and self destructive. Imagination can possibly permute, or combine 12 conscious impressions into more than 79 million different combinations! Paul was speaking of something along these lines when he said, “He who thinketh he stand, take heed lest he fall.” We can think wrong, we can imagine we are great, we can imagine and fantasize that we are heroes and that we are handsome and that we are beautiful and that we are in control – such assertions can amount to living in a fantasy world. Because we’re nothing but worms with brains. Jeremiah 9:23,24.
MEMORY – The ability to retain and recall cumulative material. Works in conjunction with imagination, but distinguishable.
WILL – The resolution. The ability to be determined to execute according to knowledge, rather than the dictates or the impulses of the lower nature.
CONSCIENCE – Sensitivity to moral values. Super consciousness. of the Holy Spirit comes through the “renewing of the mind.” The Holy Spirit will purify, indwell the mind in achieving our sanctification. Holiness comes through a “pure mind.” Romans 12:2; Ephesians 2:3; I Peter 4:1. We have been feeding and fostering a religion of the heart that is basically emotional without the complete surrender of the intellect. We must surrender spiritually, intellectually and biologically to the Lordship of Christ. I Thessalonians 5:23 Solomon’s life illustrates to us that God’s wisdom and our human stupidity can coexist. By the wisdom of God, Solomon gilded Israel with gold and lifted it to the highest standard of living in its entire history, but at the same time he failed to use the faculties of his mind to execute any wisdom to control his body from indulging in forbidden things. I Kings 10 and 11; Solomon.
TRANSFORMATION OF THE MIND
1. It Is Word Wisdom. It is spiritual perception and understanding of what is right and what is wrong.
2. It is Spirit Wisdom. It is the wisdom and influence of the Holy Spirit upon the mind (open and presented to Him) receiving His understanding of evil, its origins and the ultimate effect that certain things of the world have upon the human psyche (mind). Man minus wisdom means mistakes and misery. It is amazing how psychologically sound the life of holiness is. It says of the demoniac when he was delivered by the word of Christ, that when the people came they saw him, “dressed and in his right mind.” When the demoniac was delivered; 1) Spirit – demons left him at the command of Christ. 2) Soul (mind) – He was “in his right mind.” 3) Body – clothed. There are tremendous implications and ties between our intelligence and our morality. Only retarded and demon possessed people think immodesty acceptable. Sin (rebellion) is a form of mental illness. The mind is blocked, is not in charge, is not functioning soberly, not in control of its faculties. The Prodigal’s Mentality. When the prodigal son “came to himself,” he realized he had sinned against heaven and against his father. We deduct by this that sin is a form of mental illness. The young prodigal was demented until he is attributed with using the faculties of his mind in a morally sound way.
Proverbs 11:1 A false balance is abomination to the Lord: but a just weight is his delight. (Micah 6:8)
In Proverbs 16:11 it states, “All the weights of the bag are his work!” The just weight and measures is the invention of God to establish criteria and order.
JUSTNESS AND CRITERIA
“To do justly” applies to the Christian in his dealings in “everyday” living as much as it applies to merchants and those who use the weight and measure in their business! This is a good application of Christian casuistry. Here God establishes the idea of applying the teaching of principles and morals to everyday life. Injustice is something that we can all become guilty of! The ancient weights and measures were something God used to illustrate the injustice of the human spirit in its dealings with other humans. The ancient weight and measure are a type of the Word of God. When we speak of being weighed in the balances, we are speaking of being justly judged by the Word of God! Revelation 20:12. The Bible says: “The weights of the bag are His work.” God established a rule of measure to insure a criterion for all to go by which is, of course, “justice,” or “an equal measure for all.” When we fail to use the measure God has ordained for all and insist on using a personal weight, standard or measure … we are using a false measure … and this is an “abomination to the Lord.” Ancient merchants would carry two sets of weights with them. They would carry the “just weight” and the “unjust weight.” They would use the “just weight” when weighing things they were purchasing for themselves … and use the “unjust” or lighter weight when they would sell the same merchandise to someone else. We must all weigh ourselves in the balances … God’s balances! Holiness people, true holiness people use a just weight. He will not feed salt to his cows and lead them to drink before market. Or to take six insurance estimates on his damaged car, turn in the three highest and then take it to the one lowest and pocket the rest. The unjust weight is an abomination to the Lord! No wonder sinners aren’t attracted to some churches. We carry two weights;
*WHAT THE OTHER MAN DOES BUT WHEN WE DO IT
What is a FAULT in others Is WEAKNESS in me
His MOTIVES ARE IMPURE I have GOOD REASONS
He is being STUBBORN I am being FIRM
He is PREJUDICED I am using GOOD JUDGMENT
He is a SLOW POKE I am being THOROUGH
He is a SPENDTHRIFT I am being GENEROUS
He is CRANKY I am being SERIOUS
He is CROOKED I am just being CLEVER
He is STINGY I am being FRUGAL
Christian! Jump up on the other man’s scales! Revelation 21:8.
Proverbs 11:5 The righteousness of the perfect shall direct his way: but the wicked shall fall by his own wickedness. 19 As righteousness tendeth to life: so he that pursueth evil pursueth it to his own death. 23 The desire of the righteous is only good: but the expectation of the wicked is wrath. 12:5 The thoughts of the righteous are right: but the counsels of the wicked are deceit. 17 He that speaketh truth sheweth forth righteousness: but a false witness deceit. 28 In the way of righteousness is life; and in the pathway thereof there is no death. 13:6 Righteousness keepeth him that is upright in the way: but wickedness overthroweth the sinner. 14:12 There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.
THE CULT OF PLURALISM
PLURALISM. “The theory that reality is composed of a multiplicity of ultimate beings, principles, or substances: It opposes the position of Monism that reality is ultimately one, but agrees in denying the Dualism of mind and body.” Christian pluralism is the doctrine thousands of contemporary leaders are slipping into as they get further away from the singular authority of scripture. The more liberal and amoral one becomes toward biblical commandments and the singular authority of scripture, the more he is admitting to the idea of salvation by more than one ultimate course. You’re unconsciously practicing pluralism, that is to say, believe on the blood of Jesus (justification) and forget the doctrines of perfection (sanctification). They say, there is more than just the biblical way of sanctification to produce Christians. There is more than one kind of church or code of morals. Anything that deviates from the one way authority of scripture is humanistic pluralism.
FUNDAMENTAL LIBERALISM IS PLURALISM
The minute a man of God stops believing in the Word of God as the single divine authority, he then begins the long slide into pluralism. This is a lesson in the theology of apostasy.
Pluralism is a cult.
God is “one God.”
God has “one law!”
God had “one son.”
There’s only “one thing that atones” – the blood.
There was only “one cross” that redeemed man.
There was only “one last Adam.”
There was only “one resurrection.”
There is only “one city of God.”
There is only “one gospel.” Galatians 1.
“But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.” Galatians 1:8
There is only “one mediator.”
There is only “one virgin birth.”
There is only “one tomb that is empty.”
There is only “one divine nature.”
There is only one Messiah.
There is only “one Holy Ghost.”
There is only “one Bible.”
There is only “one message in that one Bible.”
There is only “one kind of holiness.”
There is only “one definition of holiness in the Bible.”
There is only “one kind of separation according to scripture.”
There is only “one narrow way.”
There is only “one highway of holiness.” See Proverbs 16:25.
Proverbs 14:34 Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.
“Ethical data … are of the very first importance; for civilization, however far advanced, cannot long endure unless it is founded on sound ethical principles and practices.”
THE ADMIRATION SYNDROME AND MODERN MODEL IMAGES
What’s happening to our children? The celebrity syndrome takes the affection and admiration of our children away from closer family figures, such as father, mother or uncle, and places it in athletes, movie stars and other achievers in the world. Even criminals often exploited by the news media reach celebrity status in the eyes of children in their forming years. Newspapers, public school systems, television and magazines exploit the achievements of man, even if that achievement is an unprecedented sadistic, inhuman crime! If children are not taught the importance of character, not taught character values in their home environment, they will lapse into admiring achievers in the tinsel world of fame and glamour who are epitomes of personality, but totally without character. While admiration is a natural part of our lives, it is unnatural that our children grow up untaught and without moral values to properly guide them in selecting who they shall admire. The result is that young people have only an exposure to the personality of human achievement, but little exposure to character values. The cruelty of all this is that we become like those we admire. So modern young people are only being given characterless personalities to see and imitate. Result: A society full of personality cults with little character. Even television celebrities who have roles on television with some character or principle to their television image live immoral lives off the screen! And, vice versa – professing Charismatic actors and actresses portray devilish TV characters.
1. Children with forming lives are born with the capacity to admire their peers and form ideals among them based on values they have had implanted by the parent. If the parent fails to establish those character values, the child has been betrayed and will suffer the consequences the rest of his/her life. However, if that child becomes a Christian later in life this is one of the miracles of regeneration! At the moment of a true and in depth conversion old things pass away and all things become new and we are endowed with the mind of Christ! 2 Corinthians 5:17.
2. The home environment too often provides everything but those rules and disciplines that give growing lives the basic values needed.
3. Through adolescence and puberty they become competitive in the process of growth and development. Young people are learning to achieve among others and growth is evidenced as they transcend their own achievements.
4. The next step is for that child to select the achievement figures (model roles) that appeal to him/her. They will choose the achiever they admire. There are two questions; 1) What character values does the child have; and 2) What kind of achiever will he admire. The latter depends on the former. And another question is, who are those achievers exposed to him/her in his environment? This depends on whether his environment is controlled by the parent or uncontrolled.
5. Satan controlled society is a personality oriented society! Atheistic humanism controls the media. Personality cults are a part of humanism! The entire entertainment world is dominated by drugs from the script writers to the acting set. Cocaine is sold and deducted from the payrolls of television companies. The psychedelic, hallucinatory drug user is behind all the violence being dreamed up and dished out to TV viewers.
The news and entertainment industry is not interested one whit in the character of children and/or people! It exploits chiefly the accomplishments and sensational exploits human ability can achieve. Result: The minds of children have been captivated by a hallucinatory insatiable hunger to exploit the physical achievements of men not at all based upon reality or character! The close parental influence is also minimized by the fact that the modern parent does not spend enough time with their children to transfer any character training that is so essential to their ultimate happiness. Of course, the better character is occurring more commonly where parents understand the importance of their teacher image role to their children. Children will seek and have an achievement figure to admire. If he does not find it in his parent, he will find it in the world of television, sports, racing, dances, entertainment and even criminals. At the turn of the 19th century and the development of technology which dramatically expanded the power of media and the communication industries, including radio, photography and then television; young people turned from family images of character as their admiration figures. They no longer saw parents, relatives or neighbors in their small sphere of exposure as examples of achievement. Their local sphere of exposure suddenly became extended to the world. They saw others in the world they preferred as examples of achievement. Media powers took over the minds of the youth! Instead of admiration of character traits, they began to admire the flashing, make-believe personality traits. Suddenly young people are exposed to all the world’s achievers who are made by the power of media. Rock singers, criminals and politicians continually bomb the brains of modern youth and adult. Foul language, bedroom scenes and plots fill the TV screens. We are living in the day of personality exploitation. Result: Character training is out and every modern child is the victim of personality exploitation. The two generations of American children have been programmed by this worldly syndrome. The flash and fancy of television personalities has produced a great deal of influence in producing the present personality (body) and amorality oriented theology within the contemporary church.
Proverbs 15:26 The thoughts of the wicked are an abomination to the Lord: but the words of the pure are pleasant words. 6:12 It is an abomination to kings to commit wickedness: for the throne is established by righteousness. 17 The highway of the upright is to depart from evil: he that kept his way preserved his soul.
If righteousness (obedience) establishes a dynasty, then disobedience destroys dynasties.
Proverbs 20:1 Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.
ALCOHOL (Note: some stats may be outdated but a Google search can update. Of course they insist that social use is as far as they intend the drinking of alcohol to go. But along with the sweet jingles they teach our children, they seem to forget the fact that the first social drink has filled the gutters of America’s “skid rows” with over 4,000,000 plus alcoholics. No alcoholic advertisement will show a drunk person lying in the gutter. It always depicts the people who drink as handsome normal middle class people, as something very clean and acceptable. The alcoholic industry pictures the drinking and imbibing of alcohol as something done by everyone and as an acceptable part of an ordinary life with no warnings of the destruction and damage it has caused or can cause. They don’t tell us that they have produced 7 million heavy drinkers who are constantly a danger to the peace and welfare of non-drinking citizens. They don’t paint pictures of skid rows and mental institutions that are literally filled with professional men and women with distorted minds. No, they don’t tell us that 10,000 plus mental patients enter Belview Hospital in New York in a year’s time to relieve alcoholic psychosis. They continue to beam their deceptive advertising into American homes trying to make parents and children believe that everyone’s doing it … the truth is that the liquor industry is keeping the terrible truth from the public and with jingles and beautiful illustrations motivate the masses to follow an example they say exists, which in reality does not. They are asking everyone to drink because everyone drinks, which is not true! The former Attorney General of California, Stanley Mosk, said “More juvenile crimes are committed under the influence of alcohol than from any other anti-social influence.” Mr. Mosk said, “85 percent of the youth in custody are there for one of three reasons… 1) That they were taught to drink as a social grace, 2) They were in search of adventure and drank away from home, and 3) Because of a lack of control in a home broken by alcoholism.” Now here are some scientific facts relating to the use of alcohol and to think that 85 percent of youth in custody are subject to these facts as users of alcohol. Dr. Haven Emerson, former president of the Board of Health, New York City, says, “Alcohol is not a medicine. It cannot be relied upon to improve circulation, respiration or digestion.” “In alcoholics the brain cells slowly degenerate. It decreases resistance to infection. And alcohol is a direct cause of various acute and chronic diseases.”
Fact No. 1 – Jesus did not turn the water into fermented wine at the marriage of Cana! It was not too many days before the marriage that Jesus had emerged from the wilderness of fasting, filled with the Holy Spirit. He came to the wedding of Cana. After arriving it was announced that the host had run out of wine. That the wine they had been using was fermented, there is very little doubt. But, that the wine that Jesus created was fermented is impossible. When Mary suggested to the Lord that He use His power to supply more of the same kind of wine, He sharply rebuked the suggestion with, “Woman, what have I to do with thee?” or, literally, “Woman, what have we in common?” That the wine they were drinking, and had run out of, and the wine Jesus created were two different kinds of wine, are proven by the words of the governor when he said, “You have saved the good wine until now.”
Fact No. 2 – What was different about the wine they ran out of and the wine Jesus finally created from the water? The Roman writer, PLINY, writes, “WHEN GRAPE JUICE WAS BOILED DOWN TO ONE THIRD OF ITS BULK IT WAS CALLED ‘SAPA’ OR ‘THE BEST WINE’.” SO YOU SEE, THE GOVERNOR OF THE FEAST GIVES IT AWAY – JESUS CREATED THE SWEET, PURE SAPA WINE WHICH IS NOT A FERMENTED WINE. Our Lord created bread and fishes for the multitude, it wasn’t stale bread and the fish was not spoiled. Rot and spoilage, including the fermentation of juices, all came as a result of the curse. Man tampered with the purity of foods just as he tampered with the purity of everything he touches. I recommend that the reader make a search on the Internet for, sap, and you will be surprised what you find when you read the many hits you will get!
Fact No. 3 – The Greek and Hebrew words used in the scripture for the word wine do not necessarily imply fermented wine. When the word is mentioned in the Bible, it does not always mean that it is fermented. All references to “grape-juice” are rendered “wine” in the Bible. The word grape juice is not once found in the Bible. The juice of grapes is always mentioned as wine. And so we have in this winebibbing age the contention of the drunkard and the social drinker that wherever wine is mentioned this implies “fermented wine.” This is not true. For instance, Isaiah 65:8, “As the new wine is found in the cluster.” Here Isaiah speaks of the juice of the grape still in the grape as “wine.” Another scripture so often used is found in I Timothy 5:23 – “Use a little wine for thy stomach’s sake.” This scripture has been quoted to death. Some have probably quoted it unto death thinking it was license to drink alcohol. This is stomach wine that was restored from the grape syrup.
Fact No. 4 – “Stomach wine” or “wine for the stomach,” according to the writers of old Greek medicine, was a grape juice prepared as a thick unfermented syrup for use as a medicine for dyspeptic and weak persons. Pliny, who lived in apostolic times, again writes, “The beverage is given to invalids to whom it is apprehended that fermented wine is injurious.” Even in the day of Jesus and Pliny it was a known fact that alcohol was “injurious” to the human body. To imagine that Jesus would create a poisonous, destructive drink rather than pure juice would be diametric to the Holy nature of God.
Fact No. 5 – It is also very important for us to note that the Greek word OINOS for wine is not even used in the four passages of scripture that speak of the institution of the Lord’s Supper. The word used is “FRUIT OF THE VINE.” Nowhere in the writing of scripture does the Holy Spirit permit us to believe that there is any virtue to the imbibing of alcoholic beverage. If we study the Word of God with an honest Christian heart we will come away from it a total abstainer. Isaiah said, “The harp and the vial, the tabret and the pipe, and wine, are in their feasts: but THEY REGARD NOT THE WORK OF THE LORD.” And it’s so true…I’ve yet to see the person given to pleasure and social drinking who had any true devoted love for THE WORK OF THE LORD! Moses told the priests that they must separate themselves from the wine and the strong drink… Joshua warned his followers that they should “drink not wine and strong drink.” Proverbs 23:29; Isaiah 55:1.
“The blight of alcohol cost federal and state governments, as well as individuals, more than 100 billion dollars a year in damage to lives and property.” Alcohol is not a product such as house furniture, because it is an addictive product causing more than half of the accidents on the highways. More people are killed in one year from alcohol than the total amount of casualties in the Korean or Viet Nam wars. There are no warning labels on alcoholic products and yet there is on tobacco. In 1985, 65 percent of auto accident fatalities were alcohol related!
IS ALCOHOLISM A DISEASE?
The prevailing philosophy among the wets now is that alcoholism is a disease that can be cured only with medical aid, hospitals, rest homes, etc. It seems strange that the wets should drag this hollow excuse out now after all these years and years of drunkenness and tag it as a disease. If alcoholism is a disease…
1. It is the only disease that is contracted by an act of the will;
2. It is the only disease that requires a license to propagate it;
3. It is the only disease that is bottled and sold;
4. It is the only disease that requires outlets to spread it;
5. It is the only disease that produces a revenue for the Government;
6. It is the only disease that provokes crime;
7. It is the only disease that is habit-forming;
8. It is the only disease that brings violent death on the highways;
9. It is the only disease that is spread by advertising;
10. It is the only disease without a germ or virus cause, and for which there is no human corrective medicine;
11. It is the only disease which we are fined for contracting;
12. And last, but not least, it is the only disease that bars the patient from heaven, for no drunkard shall inherit the kingdom of God. (Except there is repentance … I Corinthians 6:9-10)
Proverbs 21:8 The way of man is froward and strange: but as for the pure, his work is right. 13. Whoso stoppeth his ears at the cry of the poor, he also shall cry himself, but shall not be heard.
THE SPIRIT OF JUDAS
Millions of dollars are passing from the hands of rich Christians into the hands of rich evangelists, missionaries and TV celebrities every year in America while little known legitimate ministries with no overhead struggle on the frontiers of evangelism. Millions of dollars circulate among those who make up “the Gospel of rich.” Thousands of unknowns labor tirelessly, unbelievably handicapped because they have no funds for proper food, property or equipment. We drive Cadillac’s and boast of our religion while other of our brethren starve and suffer at our door. Most Charismatic businessmen like to give their money to something big where he will receive notice from “big men.” World evangelism would be transformed and given great impact if these monies were being channeled through the front line ministries. Great unknown ministries lost in the interiors of far flung spiritual battle fronts, struggle, bleed, cry and sweat with no help from the rich at home. It is an injustice that God sees and will judge with terrible consequences. A very small percentage of the monies handled between the rich and the famous reaches the front lines of world evangelism where people wait in pain, hunger and spiritual darkness. While river evangelist in the Amazon are without literature, boats, motors, Bibles, food, clothing, equipment and materials to build, the futile cycle of charity keeps turning and sparkling like a giant rhinestone glistening in the glory of Pentecostal materialism. Millions of dollars circulate among the affluent Pentecostals. We’ve put millions into satellites, millions into gorgeous graphics, millions into self-promotional schemes, millions into entertaining a self-centered apostate church of North America, while heathen go lost, millions stay hungry, and the darkness continues to cover the Arab world, the Asian world and jungle islands continue to be inhabited by cannibal tribes. Millions are put into cosmetics, jewelry, luxurious homes and expensive furniture. We could take the advice of Bell telephone and “reach out, reach out and touch someone” instead. While we revel night after night in expensive restaurants, take our trips to Israel, spending hundreds, thousands and millions of dollars, the lost stay lost, the hungry stay hungry and those in the darkness remain in the dark. This is God’s prosperity?!? James warned us: James 5:3,5 “Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days. Ye have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton; ye have nourished your hearts, as in a day of slaughter.” Psalm 49:16-18.
Proverbs 24:21,22 “My son, fear thou the Lord and the king: and meddle not with them that are given to change: For their calamity shall rise suddenly; and who knoweth the ruin of them both?”
Proverbs 21:15 It is joy to the just to do judgment: 21 He that followeth after righteousness and mercy findeth life, righteousness, and honour. 29 A wicked man hardeneth his face: but as for the upright, he directeth his way.
Proverbs 22:1 A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold.
Proverbs 23:10 Remove not the old landmark; and enter not into the fields of the fatherless:
Proverbs 27:17 Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend. (I Corinthians 15:33)
Proverbs 28:23 He that rebuketh a man afterwards shall find more favour than he that flattereth with the tongue.
Proverbs 29:1 He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy. 6 In the transgression of an evil man there is a snare: but the righteous doth sing and rejoice.
Proverbs 29:18 (KJV)
18 Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.
This proverb has been translated to say, “Where there is no voice of the prophet, the people throw off restraint.”
Proverbs 30:5 Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. 6 Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar. 7 Two things have I required of thee; deny me them not before I die: 8 Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me: 9 Lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is the Lord? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain.
“Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.” Ecclesiastes 8:11
Ecclesiastes 1:2 Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity.
I John 2:15,16; Colossians 2:21. Vanity – Hebrew “HEBEL” (1892) emptiness or vanity; something transitory and unsatisfactory. Vanity – Greek “matelotes” (3153) futility;; depravity. More thought should be given about the seriousness of vanity. Vanity goes unindicted because it is such a “little thing”. And yet the seed of every scarlet sin is in vanity.
1. COSMETIC – To be cosmetically minded is to be artificial, to be phony. It is to make oneself look good by appearance from the outside, it is attraction to self. 2 Timothy 2:9. The cosmetics are a sensual practice to create attraction to self with erotic intent. It is sensual or it would not be so vital to and characteristic of prostitutes. It is the placing of importance on the sensual, visible self rather than upon the qualities of inner character.
2. EXTRAVAGANCE – Cosmetics are extravagant inasmuch as they are non-essential, and therefore a waste of time, substance and money. As God looks from heaven, He sees waste as a corporate thing. He can see the collective losses (in souls, progress, food and clothing) by such practices.
CONSEQUENTIAL – We insist that vanities are inconsequential, they are only “little things.” They are infinitesimal and therefore not really important. Here are some of the things that vanities will do to the human psyche that are important;
1. Makes us self-conscious.
2. Genders pride.
3. Alters behavior.
4. Fosters sophistication.
5. Diametric to practibility.
6. Will affect relationships and moral judgment. “Birds of a feather flock together.” Wrong associations lead to trouble, pain and tears. Psalm 1:1-4.
7. Unpractical or impractical – Vanity is impractical. Spirituality is the essence of practicability. To be practical is to be spiritual. To be vain has always been equated with sub-culture.
8. Worldly – Worldliness is a deadly vanity and forbidden as a moral corrupter. 20:4-6; Isaiah 3:24; I Timothy 5:6; Titus 2:12; Psalm 39:11; Proverbs 6:25; 31:30; Ezekiel 28:17. “Whosoever is a friend of the world is the enemy of God.” See James 4:4
Ecclesiastes 7:15 All things have I seen in the days of my vanity: there is a just man that perisheth in his righteousness, and there is a wicked man that prolongeth his life in his wickedness. 16 Be not righteous over much; neither make thyself over wise: why shouldest thou destroy thyself?
Best understood by reading Romans 10:2,3.
Ecclesiastes 8:8 There is no man that hath power over the spirit to retain the spirit; neither hath he power in the day of death: and there is no discharge in that war; neither shall wickedness deliver those that are given to it.
SOFTNESS DESTROYS DISCIPLESHIP
What is needed now – every Christian to launch out in a fiery war of heroism against every patch of darkness until hell shakes and the devil is stunned. If the cream puffs would launch such an offense and every candy Warfare Christian would become an iron faced soldier, full of God’s Holy Ghost, we could win the world to Christ in ten days! We have been called to preach the Gospel to the nations and bring the world to its knees, confessing the sovereignty of the Lord Jesus Christ, to wage a war against sin. General Patton said in a letter to his wife in 1945 as he saw the end of World War II nearing; “I love war, I love the responsibility and the glory of it.” Anon.
Ecclesiastes 8:11 Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil. (Isaiah 59:14,15)
SONG OF SOLOMON
Song 2:5 Stay me with flagons, comfort me with apples: for I am sick of love.
THE LOVE CULT
Materialism (Solomon was a master on this subject) produces luxury, luxury provides ease and comfort, ease produces softness – softness of mind, as well as softness of the body. This softness is diametric to self-discipline. The love philosophy is the doctrine of the “soft.” Sacrifice cannot exist in an environment of plenty without knowing self-discipline (self-control).
“A RICH NATION CAN FOR A TIME, WITHOUT NOTICEABLE DAMAGE TO ITSELF, PURSUE A SOURCE OF SELF-INDULGENCE, MAKING ITS SINGLE GOAL THE MATERIAL EASE AND COMFORT OF ITS OWN CITIZENS. BUT THE ENMITIES IT WILL INCUR, THE ISOLATION INTO WHICH IT WILL DESCEND, AND THE INTERNAL, MORAL AND PHYSICAL SOFTNESS THAT WILL BE ENGENDERED WILL IN THE LONG TERM BRING IT TO DISASTER… America did not become great through her softness and self-indulgence…her miraculous progress and achievements flow from…qualities far more worthy and substantial…adherence to principles and methods constant with our religious philosophy and satisfaction in hard work, the readiness to sacrifice for worthwhile causes, the courage to meet every challenge of our progress, the intellectual honesty and capacity to recognize the true path of our own best interests.” Every institution of man, every social structure made up of human beings is undergoing a change in the form of rebelling against (firmness) authority. (The detestation of discipline is expressed in resenting authority as the source of discipline.) Catholics are rebelling against the Pope. Baptists rebel against water baptism. Congregations rebel against traditional teaching of the Word of God. Teenagers rebel against parents. Organized citizenry rebel against police and courts. Our congress and courts pass laws from pressure coming from minority activists and make decisions to reverse traditional Christian rights in public schools. Criminal law, Bible reading, religious holidays. School curriculum (sex education). Even criminals bring law suits against prison authorities! We lay the blame for all of this at the feet of a rising deity called humanism.
We indulge in this luxury. Sacrifice and dedication will not coexist.
Softness eats away our character values. We lose resolution to enforce righteousness. We become passive and non-aggressive. Without the principles of dedication. We become passive people. We lose our will to be great. is only accomplished by discipline (self-improvement by self-control) and resolution. When these qualities are lost, our pursuit of character is impossible and we revert to deification of personality (self).
To exist without being active. involvement – quiet. Uncommitted, neutral.
4. SELFISH APATHY
We have lost the will to be morally great, to achieve! Our greatness lies in the powers of money and technology. During the rule of kings and priests in Israel’s history, softness set in. The priesthood became soft toward sin and wickedness. The people went under tribute. It was at this time God instituted two new offices, the judge and the prophet. We think of another special ministry God raised up, the “reformers,” Nehemiah and Ezra. These ministries renewed the aggressive spirit of moral resolve against evil.
A Scottish brigade was in battle. Needing bullets, they called for the quartermaster to bring bullets up from the rear lines. They kept powdering their guns and shooting their diminishing supply of bullets. The enemy started a new attack … they were running low on ammunition. Just as they were shooting their last bullets, the keg arrived. The enemy came rushing in as they tore open the keg of bullets. As they ripped the lid off, they trust their hands into a keg of raisins. THEY LOST THE BATTLE. Someone made a mistake and grabbed a keg of raisins instead of a keg of bullets. We’ll not win the battle of the Lord with sweets! We have been deceived into believing that to love is always a virtue and that to hate is always a sin. This is war brethren! The abounding of sin demands the uncompromising aggressive spirit of the prophet! Sin abounds where there is a love of wrong. When the prophet comes opposing this wrong love, he is merely revealing a spirit that loves God and not things. We have become so congenial and comfortable with these nice things of the world that it makes the prophet look harsh, crude and hateful. We point at the preacher of righteousness and we say, “You don’t have love!” Actually, he does have love … a love for purity, holiness and righteousness. It’s not the same kind of smug religious sentimentalism we call love today.
In a column appearing in The California Farmer, R. J. Rushdooney described the theology of love by saying, “Those who claim to be above hate are also beyond love. They do not feel strongly enough about anything to love it.” To the contrary, love is to have strong feelings for what is right and good. This necessitates equally strong feelings for that which is wrong, evil and displeasing to God! Mr. Rushdooney further states, ” Such people are emotionally and intellectually sterile.” Love-mongers don’t understand that there is a difference between righteous hatred and malicious hatred. See Amos 5:15. At this point you could read the Ten Commandments and conclude that the things we are not to do are the things we are not to love. When we do the things we are not to do, we are loving the things we are not to love. You love the things you do. You do the things you love. To love wrong is sinful love. To love what God does not love, is sinful love. To love what God loves is agape in me.