- I Samuel
- II Samuel
- I Kings
- II Kings
- I Chronicles
- II Chronicles
- Song of Solomon
A Biblical Defense of Authentic Christianity
FROM CAIN TO CHRIST MAN WAS SAVED BY FAITH IN EACH OF THE SEVEN AGES
But, from the fall of man in the garden of Eden God’s redemptive plan of a new beginning for man was to bring moral transformation of the inner man through faith in God’s Lamb in the Church age.
R. D. Rusk, in his book, Moral Transformation: The Original Christian Paradigm of Salvation, covers the history of the church from its beginning to the present taking us through the centuries of the church’s cultural environments, the reformation and post reformation influences up to the present and how those cultural influences have affected the church as it passed through centuries of history. His objective is to bring the reader to the realization that the original message of biblical doctrine is the moral transformation of the believer in Christ. I have been making this point for decades. Our calling to holiness is in one word our calling to embrace the moral transformation experience as the original message of authentic Christianity as taught by Jesus and the apostles. Classic Christian Culture Commentary (CCCC) is committed to this fact as the grand and supreme paradigm of the true and original message of the gospel the church must get back to! Every subject addressed by God, the Patriarchs, Prophets, Christ and his apostle’s is dealing with the morals of a people in their day and how people and nations relate to the moral law of God. The singular theme of Jesus and the early church according to the New Testament record was and is moral transformation.
The format of this commentary started with reading a very old and small book entitled, Daily Holiness Textbook (DHT) by Pepper Thompson, back in the seventies that Jack Rettinger shared with me from his library when he was pastor the of Assembly of God church in Tucson, Arizona. Some years later when I had to write my dissertation I decided to use the format of this little book and add my material to his notes which was many times more than was in the little DHT book. Now, after getting this book up on line I will start adding many times the material that it now has in it. At first it was a doctrinal commentary on the moral perfection of man of more than eight hundred pages. I also added a Greek and Hebrew Lexical Analysis of the words used in the Text, divided the Old and New Testaments, included chapter content, a bibliography, a large Study Reference Index listing all subjects touched on inside the text for your search convenience.
Paragraphs beginning with quotation marks will be Pepper Thompson’s original text I left in so that his message continues to live that was in his book. Though brother Thompson has been gone for many years his love holy behavior and his message to keep the early church before the church of his day was very true. The church of Acts has never ceased to be throughout the church age! I am honored to be able to hand these truths on to the next generation along with my studies.
The moral excellence of God and the moral perfection of man was the original theme of the Practical Holiness Commentary (PHC) written first in 1986 with a strong emphasis on Christian dualism, a chief doctrine of the New Testament taught by Jesus and the apostle’s but lost in the second century by the over reactions to Gnosticism in the time of Augustine, A.D.354-430, and later by Luther. Augustine is known by some theologians as the father of Christian doctrine. His doctrinal inventions included celibacy of the priesthood, purgatory, predestination and infant baptism. Much of his theology was not to be trusted. For a man to have these errors in his doctrine disqualifies him to be considered a doctrinaire of truism that can be trusted. He may have committed some heroic acts in the reformation period but if any man deserves veneration his doctrine and character must also align with the Word of God. Augustine and Luther reacted bitterly against the errors of Gnostic dualism and unfortunately labeled all dualism as false doctrine instead of making a distinction between scriptural and unscriptural dualism, the one being supremely biblical and one being supremely erroneous. Unfortunately they turned the church away from biblical dualism which is a vital and voluminous doctrine of the New Testament and also aligned with the Old Testament as well.
Perfecting personal holiness is the redeeming occupation of the Christian and the ultimate plan of God for redeemed souls. The efficacy of the cross is to restore man into fellowship with his creator through the power and grace of the cross. All other endeavors such as evangelism in its many forms and branch efforts to achieve reaching the world with Jesus’ redeeming power must have the undergirding of a moral transformation in those who represent the Lord.
As soon as we get the new web site up and running, and that’s now if you are reading these lines on site, we will start adding large volumes of my notes and sermon material from over sixty years of literally stacks of notes, hundreds of sermon outlines, study charts and audio messages. If the Lord tarries and I go home before He returns, I want to leave something behind that will keep on living and preaching after I am gone
The gold gilded Shittim (Acacia) boards that supported the curtains of the tabernacle outer wall were set into silver sockets that were pressed into the ground. Each socket was set by pressing the two tenons of the sockets into the ground. The silver socket is a type of redemption and the two tenons speak of the two doctrines, justification and sanctification, that constitute salvation. The fact that salvation (soteriology) consists of two supreme doctrines, Justification and Sanctification, it helps the very complex work of redemption much simpler to understand and rightly divide. Both doctrines have their beginning in Genesis when God instituted the principles of perfect justice and equivalence as the basis of redemption. In God’s plan B man’s redemption became the objective of God’s great heart and mind. Being a God of perfect justice, according to Attorney C.F, Creighton, author of Law and the Cross, a masterpiece proving that the blood redemption was the only way God could redeem man and remain just and the justifier of the sinner. Redemption had to be based on the just principle of equivalence and the life and death equivalence in particular that proves that only death can atone for life as equivalents. That is, a life for life. This is stated in simpler terms in the law God gave Moses, an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. Exodus 21:22-27. Only the blood which is the life of all flesh is equivalent to death the just punishment for man who rebelled, sinned, against that his creator. God established that forensic basis even though it meant God’s horrific commitment to providing a sinless man to provide a just redemption. This principle is so wonderfully woven throughout the scriptures from Genesis to Revelation that it makes the Judeo-Christian God the true and authentic creator of the universe. The blood stained thread that runs through the fabric of every chapter of the bible covering the ages of recorded history is the single greatest proof of a divine authorship. It is an absolute impossibility that a man or a number of men in consort over six millenniums of time could have brought about a flawless revelation of blood redemption culminating with the appearance of the Messiah to take our penalty and fulfill over 20 prophecies of the Old Testament foretelling His birth, life, death and resurrection centuries before He became God manifest in the flesh. It would be impossible! All of us who have been morally transformed by the power of regeneration having become new creatures in Christ through His death and resurrection have our salvation rooted in a solid historically and judicially correct plan that was conceived in the great heart of a loving God and carried out by an eternal and omniscient creator!
While making the final edit on this page I discovered a man and his book that I must mention here because his message echoes my teaching on the apostle’s teaching I have been stressing my entire ministry in the word. I was so happy to accidently happen onto his web site and I share it here. The emphasis I have placed on holiness of life and moral transformation mentioned in my book, Grace, at and after the Cross, is mirrored in this scholarly work. See details in the opening words above. This is what the scripture means when it uses the word holiness when referring to a moral quality in the believer. The efficacy of the cross is not building mega churches, but building holy temples in every individual soul for the Spirit of Christ to reign in and through. That moral transformation is indeed the original emphasis and intent of God in the early church clearly seen on every page of your bible! R. D. Rusk brings this out so clearly documenting the fact with historical accuracy the conditions through the church age that has obscured that original pristine message. He also explains how the Lord aroused the apostles to start addressing the importance of doctrine when it became necessary by the church fathers after distorted teachings began to appear in the church challenging the pure gospel. Paul addresses the appearance of other gospels in his opening words to the church of Galatia. These distortions of the gospel in the beginning made it necessary to codify divine revelation to preserve the moral transformation message of the cross.
THE TWO THETICAL DOCTRINES OF THE CROSS
The doctrines (codification and teaching) of justification and sanctification are the foundation doctrines of the cross solidly rooted in the granite of jurisprudence (the science of law that establishes the logics that guarantee an orderly society) establish that lead us into the godly life. To possess a desire for holiness at new birth is the signature that a sinner has been saved and transformed. Some terrible faith teaching on the subject of being saved has produced an impotent salivation experience. No, we must pray sinners through to regeneration and with that assurance we are coming up a mental belief but a whole church generation that has demonized those who have experienced a moral change, transformation that transforms the sinner into the image of authentic Christians as we see in the Church of Acts. Moral transformation is not only possible but should be the norm as it has been throughout the nineteen hundred years of the church history. Only materialism and an apostate church condition failed to produce moral transformation as a result of becoming a Christian. But, when we are born again and do possess a desire to achieve holiness by His grace (Titus 2:11-14) do we have the mark of a child of God.
A Christian once saved can only mature and develop in pure holiness through a learning process called discipleship, a word taken from the root word, discipline. Moral transformation is not merely one of the messages of the bible but that moral transformation and holiness is the message of the bible. Dr. Cruden, a great theologian who gave us the complete bible concordance used by all preachers and bible students before computers, described holiness in just four very simple words; Separated unto God. Closeness to the Lord can only happen as I become separated from the vanities and sins of the world. Valid holiness must have these two qualities developing simultaneously. CCCC treats these facts as God’s intent for every believer.
Traditional holiness standards have been under increased fire by “big preachers”; slandered, bad-mouthed and lashed out against by men who show an intelligence on other subjects that indicates they should know better. Brethren, biblical holiness is under fire! We are returning fire with the truth of pure doctrine.
Separation unto God is the spiritual aspect of religion that involves primarily the spirit and soul of man, the invisible latent half of man’s triune nature. When we come to the feet of Jesus and become His dedicated servant, we are sanctified instantaneously. Sanctified in simple language is coined in just three words; devoted unto God. Dedication to God also involves bringing the sarx (carnal flesh nature) under submission to the will of God as revealed in the teachings of the Lord Jesus and then expanded by further revelation to the apostles in their more detailed instruction we call, the apostle’s doctrine. Separation from the evil influences of the world produced by the god of this world, to entice us and raw us away from seeking our new spiritual life with our whole heart. That is only becomes possible through an intimate walk with the Lord Jesus that creates strong desires to please Him who laid down His mortal life that I might have eternal life.
The body is the third part of man’s triune nature and the depraved nature of the whole man. This depraved body nature has a strong affinity with the environment of the world around it. Paul makes us realize this when he warns the Corinthian church that we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ and we will be judged by those things we have done in our bodies whether good or bad. The appetites ((1) libido, (2) hunger and (3) ambition) must be brought under the governing control of the Spirit of Christ in me when I become a child of God. The signature of genuine regeneration is when the Spirit of Christ as Lord over the will of the appetites of the body! If the appetites of the flesh nature are not under Spirit control, then I am none of His. Romans 8:9. If Christ dwells in a man’s heart the evidence is that the moral power of Christ will be manifest AND THE MORAL POWER OF Christ within expels and dominates the evil tendencies of the flesh. John 6:63. No one can be a new creation in Christ and be rebellious against any moral commandments the word of God puts on this body of sin. Apostate religion rebels against any commandment or instruction given to the church in the word that is directed to the body. But the body is the instrument of sin and it is in the body that scripture tells us plainly that sins reigns. Romans 7:25; 8:3. But, if Christianity is a moral transformation as scripture tells us it is, then conversion to Christ is primarily a moral miracle of transformation!
If I am attempting to live for God with one foot in the world and one foot in the church, I am a crossover Christian and taking some very big chances with my eternal destiny. Coalition governments never work or survive. Phony Christianity will not allow God’s word to dictate to it “in the little things that don’t matter.” The modern crossover gospel that believes, we must change with the world in order to win it, has not only taken hold of a doctrine of the Devil, but they have not experienced the authentic work of transforming grace that renews the mind. Romans 12:2. Through that demonic philosophy the carnal mind then attempts to bring the world’s values with them over into the church. They have never surrendered their bodies and its appetites as a living sacrifice. The result of these pragmatic philosophies is that the church becomes so worldly and the world becomes so churchy that you can no longer tell the difference. Their bodies remain committed to the engrained cultural values of the world system around them and then the go to church praise God with great emotion. These must return to the feet of Jesus and enter into an experience of exomologesis until they have experienced the in depth conversion and a complete consecration as scripture teaches. Water baptism illustrates what did not happen to the many shallow conversion crossover believers. In the early church shallow conversions were not tolerated and when some started saying they had accepted salvation through faith even though they seemed not to have evidence of moral transformation. The church leaders started requiring an intense discipline of confession that became known as exomologesis. They were taken aside and made to spend hours and days recalling their sins of the past and confessing them in deep contrition. They were made to make confessions, to make restitution and then once cleared they had to confess to the body of the church before they could be restored to the fellowship. We do not find a precedent for this procedure in scripture so we cannot practice it. However, that extreme is better than the extreme in the opposite direction being tolerated today in the liberal church movements. Easy believism and the faith doctrine that was one of the convenient doctrines contrived by the Charismatic doctrinaires who handed off a series clichés that became doctrine in the church. One example; Doctrine separates but the Spirit unites an effort to show contempt for doctrine and place emotional worship above pure doctrine. A false teaching is usually a distortion of a pure doctrine. Today we have replaced the life of secret prayer with praise and especially public praise.
When we are baptized by immersion it is a symbol of death or dying with Christ. You are buried in the water (death) and then you are raised to a new life of righteousness unto men and HOLINESS UNTO THE LORD. But when the minister of Christ by his power lifts you up from the water that is a type of God’s power raising you up into the newness of life as a new creation in Christ and bearing His likeness. It means He has saved you from sin and eternal death and now the life you live belongs to him! We have a lot of wet sinners walking around in the world of the neo-antinomian evangelical church world today who have no evidence of a moral change in their values. They are still stuck in the world and want to “worldlyize” the church. They do this because they really think the psychology of the world is wiser than God (or they wouldn’t try to displace the teachings of the word with that of the world). Their faith is still in the using of worldly gimmicks, business psychology and philosophies of expedience to make converts. But when they have made their converts they are like the people who tell them they are saved. Picture a vast graveyard with the heads of the buried and maybe one shoulder or an arm above ground and that is a good spiritual picture of whole evangelical groups and movements in this end time.
It is the flesh nature that has very strong affinities with the fallen world environment. At one time deeper life teaching included themes on consecration, dedication, temperance, restitution and special prayer relationships with God.
In The Classic Christian Culture Commentary we lay no stress on the matter of the holy life that is any different from the scriptures themselves. For God the Father to realize His redemptive purpose to restore man back into fellowship with Him, there has to be a moral transformation before that can happen. Our natures are going to have to be altered and agree with God on all matters mentioned in His word. Before two can walk together they must be agreed and in our case it’s going to mean big changes on our part, not God’s part – transforming changes! Every word of the Bible is expressing that one purpose of God to bring us back to Him through making a new creature of those who return to Him in repentance. Be ye holy as I am holy is a message first given in Leviticus and repeated some five times through the scriptures across time to Peter’s epistle’s – from Moses to Jesus! Holiness IS the only one true theme of the Bible and Satan has done everything he can to relegate it to contempt in the mind of every confessing Christian! This is an unbelievable accomplishment but he has accomplished this around the globe and I am a witness to this having lived in and preached in forty nine nations of the world in my sixty years of ministry.
CCCC (Classical Christian Culture Commentary) is focused on placing attention on the original purpose of God to transform the fallen sinner morally into His likeness. This is a treatment of that original intent to be restored in every Christian heart even if it means I go into the Lord’s presence in repentance to have my first love renewed. The apostle Paul beseeched the Christians to present their bodies once again as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable unto God surrendering your body in loving obedience to the laws and commandments of the Lord. We must take the body to task with God’s Word in hand and with a broken and contrite heart. Romans 12:2; I Thessalonians 5:23;
This third element of man (the depraved flesh nature) is where most modern theologians and preachers have become either cowards or escapists afraid to touch on the body of sin. Preachers will go through all kinds of verbal contortions to avoid confronting the depravity and perversions, the vanities and vices of the flesh, yet the empirical subject of the bible! It is this body life we defend from coming under the regimen of spirit control because we do not understand the relationship between the two after conversion. Not only that, how can we keep our numbers and teach the biblical truth about carnality and sin? Carnal Christians kick and scream when scriptures touch on the moral prohibitions directed at the body life. But it is in this very area of truth these pages aim its message – at the source of sin, controlling the depraved appetites of the body and the mentality that resents the Spirits control over it. If Jesus hates it, then we hate it! If Jesus is pleased by it then we are pleased by it and nothing else matters.
We will be going back in church history and fuss with some of the early church fathers. For example, Augustine was the inventor of purgatory, celibacy of the priesthood, infant baptism, lapsarianism (Calvinism and predestination) and other more serious doctrinal departures from the word of God. To give the church Fathers a blind credibility based on some of their writings and the place they filled in the earlier church’s history is not wise! We only give infallibility to the authority of scripture and they along with each of us bow to that same final authority. Everything handed down to us from these men should be examined in the light of God’s word. It is a fact that in this end time the church has more tools and evidences to arrive at truth than our fathers had. They lived closer to the life of Jesus and the apostles but did they have the intellectual humility, the divine grace, to write accurately the things that would leave an eternal impression on the posterity of the church?
A good example of this is Augustine overlooking the dual nature of the two entities of man that Jesus taught so clearly that preceded Him and then later of Paul the apostle in all of his epistles and especially his letter to the Romans. Then Luther made the statement that, the epistle of James was a book of straw because he was angered by James writing that, faith without works is dead. Some of the great venerated men whose names have become the name of denominational churches were sometimes not too careful about their exegesis in their attempt to defend their particular doctrines. We must be very careful not to venerate these men and in so doing fail to point out the heresies they propagated. It’s all in the record of the church’s history. We must love the truth and then follow it wherever it takes us.
In this volume we will speak of holiness in both the spiritual and practical sense; from prayers to pearls! Christianity must possess both a negative sentiment for the world with an equal positive sentiment for the divine moral in order to please God. That truth is clearly taught by Jesus and the disciples Hebrews 1:9 Religion without the pursuit of moral excellence is superficial religion no matter how emotional it is (See Amos 5; Matthew 7:21-23). The new liberation gospel of pluralism proposes to introduce a religion of humanly induced sensational results with no regard for personal sanctification. I John 3:5; Romans 8:29. In the end this kind of religion will never cross the finish line!
It is a spurious gospel that implies devotion to God is adequate, and then tolerates an affection for the passing vanities of this world, ruthlessly pouring contempt on the pre-eminence of biblical sanctification.
Scriptural holiness teaching is not the peculiar thinking of an ancient age or the tradition of a bygone culture. Holiness is a spiritual emotion that rejoices in obedience to God’s every commandment. It is a desire to issuing from the very heart of the Spirit born that finds it highest pleasure in obedience to the heavenly Father. The holy heart is twice as willing to obey the commandment, than law requires. Obedience to the commandments is not a duty but the delight of the born again.
But scripture in the very beginning reveals that the whole primary objective of redemption is the achieving of a new moral creature of the divine kind. There is nothing recorded in scripture that is not implicated or involved in the issues of man seeking the godly life through the grace of God, the struggle between good and evil. The encounter between Eve and the snake in Genesis 3 was a moral encounter and from that encounter the battle rages until this day and the enemy and his tactics have not changed. Analyze the temptation of Jesus in Matthew chapter 4 carefully and you will discover your enemy and how to defeat him. Jesus succeeded against him where Eve and Adam failed.
All of recorded history inside and outside of the Bible, every verse of poetry, every prophecy carries the moral message of the divine intent, the perfection of man and every parable, every verbal allusion of the Master, the gospel writers and especially the scenes of Calvary, cry out to declare the supremacy of God’s dream of a paradise for an obedient race of man. Calvary’s purpose is to justly restore man to a state of moral purity and the power to overcome the unholy trinity! The power to be an overcomer begins with living a holy life and walking with God. There is no other message in the Bible but holiness! First, the holiness of the moral excellence of God and secondly, that holiness imputed (hagiazo) at conversion and thirdly, the holiness imputed (hagiosune) after conversion to Christ by the glorious unfathomed powers of the cross! Yes, I did not make a mistake when I said they are both imputed because they both can only happen by the grace that comes from God. Suddenly, in this latter day the biblical traditions of our praying fathers, perfected through the centuries in dungeons, torture chambers and candlelight, glorious revivals, revelations and persecutions, are being challenged and discredited. This down-play of holiness in pulpits and bible college classrooms has morally disarmed three generations of church youth since my conversion sixty years ago. The church youth of today do not even have the same vocabulary we had sixty years ago. This generation, well into the twenty first century now, has little or no knowledge of the biblical doctrine of moral transformation and or of the doctrine of separation due to the fact that most of the teachers in today’s Bible college’s and seminary are liberal and shallow in their theology and belong to the schools of licentious neo-evangelicalism. The blind cannot lead the blind into truth. At the same time personality has been put on a pedestal. Beauty queen contests, physical contact in church, holding hands in prayer and praise, petting, heavy dating, fornication, ecumenism, talent contests, soapies, swimming parties, “moderate” drinking, dancing, dirty stories, preoccupation with drug ridden sports and fashions, cosmetic classes in the church and remarriage at the church altars are only some of the abominations s becoming common in “Bible believing” churches. Ichabod!! This is licentious grace! Better described as disgrace! Theology is out and Meology is in! We have come by the conscience of Gasparoni, the Italian bandit who hoped for heaven because he had never committed murder on Friday. This trend clearly reveals the new pre-occupation of the modern Christian with the body. A natural outcome when the pure doctrine of sanctification is no longer lifted high as one of the supreme doctrines of the Christian quest. (Search Dichotomy of Salvation)
The Bible is the book of the divine ethic. It is man’s only source of the revelation of the divine moral. Scripture contains many revelations, the chief of which would certainly be God revealing himself as a holy God by nature. But the bible contains another doctrine that necessitated the revelation of God – the origin and history of sin.
The whole redemptive plan of blood redemption based on the principle of equivalence according to jurisprudence (the science of law) that demands that only life (in the blood) could atone for the death (in sin) as equivalents. The sin of Adam’s race was tantamount to rebellion against kingdom government. The only thing needed once a plan of perfect justice was in place was a sinless man sent from heaven into a sinful world. The outcome was well understood by God the Father and God the Son. Only heaven could provide that vital key to our redemption. That sinless man from heaven would be hated, despised, conspired against and put to death by evil forces in a world overcome by depravity and degradation. But and once that sinless man’s blood was spilled there would be redemption and heaven would be opened for those who come to Him in repentance and receive from Him the joy and power to obey His Word.
Therefore scripture is the history of sin, giving us its origin in Lucifer in the rebellion in heaven and then transmitted to man soon after his creation in paradise recorded in the first three chapters of Genesis, three of the most important doctrinal chapters in all of the inspired scripture. Strange thing that an archangel and the first man committed the most notoriously evil acts right smack dab in the center of heaven and then in the center of paradise! The Bible traces sin from Lucifer and the heavenly war, through the history of creation, Adam and Eve’s sin committed in the heart of paradise and Golgotha’s victory. Finally in the book of Revelation God’s systematic termination of all three of the thought to be invincible power figures that dominate the world scene in this end time is described. An understanding of sin (rebellion against divine government) in those first three chapters of the bible is essential to having right concepts of all other biblical doctrines and especially the doctrine of redemption and why it was essential to the eternal life of man secured for us by the blood of God’s son, Jesus Christ.
These pages were not only intended to direct God’s toward pure doctrine and proper exegesis of scripture regarding the classic Christian culture of the moral perfection of the Christian life, but also a work of emphasis on other right things. It is intended to apply common and correct theological definition to the scriptures on the subject of practical holiness, as well as to meet the challenge of immoral world influences and the new amoral church creed. On these pages we will consider the source of all of mankind’s trouble, the body and its corrupted appetites and what they are and how Jesus has conquered them and then passed the power of that secret on to every child of God through the scriptures! For example, one of the things we will putting up on site is a complete list of all vices and all virtues taken from Thirty Thousand Thoughts compiled by four great theologians and lifted from one section of this masterpiece printed in several volumes by Funk and Wagnalls Publishers, 1884. This is an exhaustive list of all human vices and virtues. A great help and good thought food for the preacher.
THE BODY AND THE BIBLE
I live in a body. My every day Christian Body life is lived through the articulate members of the body that move from signals that originate in the brain. I live, move and have my being, my existence through the medium of the body. The mind and spirit are joined to it in such a way that as goes the state of my body, so goes the condition of my mind and spirit. Classic Christian Culture Commentary deals with the sanctification and holiness of the body, its relationship to God (a positive relationship) and its relationship to the world (negative relationship). Satan cares not that the modern Christian adopts mental and spiritual faith in Christ as long as he can keep the Christian from presenting the body in sanctification and persuade the mind to embrace the antinomian attitude that resents any moral obedience to God’s moral commandments and in particular those commandments that call for the death of the self and obedience to the doctrine of separation. Antinomians are also anti-doctrine as God’s law is a definite doctrine of both Testaments. These two, doctrine and moral law overlap in so many ways they are inseparable. Where you find Antinomian Christians (actually a misnomer because there is no such thing as a Christian who is against God’s moral law), you will also find a person or a whole church that is anti-doctrine. I have seen with my own eyes the ads in the church section of a Dallas newspaper of Charismatic churches who had written in large letters across the center of their ad, we do not preach doctrine. Of course that is not true at all. The fact that you proclaim that you do not teach doctrine – is a doctrine. Your doctrine is that you do not teach doctrine! What splendid idiocy. The word doctrine in the Greek is didache which means teaching. They are actually advertising that they do not believe in teaching – a major quality of the apostle’s epistles. These people are the epitome of apostasy. They are in fact the doctrinaires of false doctrine. Do they believe in angels? Do they believe in prosperity? Do they believe in God’s love? Do they believe in freedom from biblical commandments? Yes, they believe these things and they teach these things and teach them as doctrine. What a poor thing to brag about. They have many doctrines that they cannot defend with the scripture. What they are saying by this proud almost humorous claim is that, “We do not tell people how to live, nor do we teach the biblical doctrines of sanctification, separation, restitution or anything that will offend you. Such a church cannot preach Jesus because Jesus said, my doctrine is not mine, but His that sent me. John 7:16. I would like to be sitting in that church if the pastor should give an exposition of Matthew 5.
Neither does Satan care to control the Christian body – so long as he can render it un-surrendered to the Lordship of Christ by those enticements he has planted in the world all around us. The sparkle and strobes of the world have so mesmerized the carnally minded that they have become spiritually neutered on issues of right and wrong according to the commandments of Jesus and apostle’s doctrine. We can say they march to the drums of another drummer – a rock drummer. All the prince of this world has to do to make Christianity impotent is make sure the church is striving to please the sinner more than to please God. This was the ploy Satan used to destroy the first human pair’s communion with God. He merely persuaded them to please themselves and ignore their creator. Their disobedience to the commandment destroyed their relationship with God once they no longer obeyed God’s law given to them.
Go ahead and wear salacious and provocative clothing and skip church to attend sporting events and sit home and watch “Christian” TV. Every soul is digging. Saints dig into the Word and sinners dig a pit for them to fall into. You can, by faith even prophecy, cast out devils and support Christian missionary programs that preach the gospel and feed the hungry, just so long as you do not take God’s governance over you seriously. Ignore God’s commandment to be holy and smirk at moral perfection and loving obedience to the moral laws of God, that is your choice and the consequences that will result. Read Matthew 7:21-23 carefully and see the folly that millions of Christians have been lured into by the god of this world in these last days. The only thing that makes praise and good works valid is if we love the Lord and obey what He teaches. And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? Luke 6:46. If ye love me, keep my commandments. John 14:15. Read Matthew 5 for starters.
Satan cares not how much you praise Jesus or go to church. Just so you never believe that God’s moral law applies to the church age of grace. The objective of this treatise is two-fold:
1) To emphasize the importance of the biblical teaching on the role of body in sanctification. Modern interpretation deals chiefly with the sanctification of the latent part of man, the mind and spirit. The Word of God deals with the Spirit control of the body as the empirical efficacy of the cross. The term holiness hardly implies the spirit of man but is totally directed to the behavior of a Spirit controlled body. Liberal fundamentalism’s preferential exclusion of the body is a horrendous falsehood of the false doctrinaires heading the apostasy in this twenty first century. To exclude sanctification from the doctrine of salvation leaves the church with an impotent gospel. It proclaims and accepts Jesus as Savior, but then rejects Him as Lord. It will not save! Matthew 7:21; Luke 6:46. A gospel that eliminates the doctrine of sanctification after the cross negates the efficacy of being sanctified at the cross when we repent.
2) It is a taking to task contemporary interpretation that gives the body of sin immunity or exclusionary treatment by people who have the intelligence to know better. It was the doctrine of the Nicolaitans and the doctrine of Jezebel that Jesus made special mention of in Revelation 2 when He addressed the churches of Ephesus, Smyrna and Pergamos. He condemned Pergamos for tolerating the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, a doctrine he said he hated. He commended the church of Ephesus because they hated the doctrine of the Nicolaitans which He said he also hated! The Nicolaitan doctrine was an early form of the Gnostic movement that would come on its heels to threaten the church. It was a fleshy doctrine that taught that what we did in the body would not be held against our spirits in the judgment as long as we place our faith in Jesus and believed in His redemption in our behalf. To them the spirit would go to heaven if we believed in Jesus and the flesh would pass into dust being two different entities. In his message to the seven churches declared he hated this doctrine, twice! The Nicolaitans got their name from the Hebrew word, Nicolah, meaning, let us eat. They practiced having their wives in common and were made up of many groups but all believed in deep immorality and practiced chanting and had a hodgepodge of various doctrines. They were given to fornication and adultery and all sorts of immorality. In plain language, they were a filthy lot. This doctrine later evolved to become the Gnostic movement that made Jesus the head of a love cult religion adding a mystical aspect to His life in the flesh teaching he was only a mirage denying His humanity. To do this you would have to eliminate most of the books of the New Testament and pervert the meaning of the scriptures they teach from. The Gnostics under Marcion about AD 140. But to know more about the Gnostics in the early church visit, http://www.logosresourcepages.org/Versions/gnosticism.htm
Surprisingly, there has been a recent reviving of the Gnostics who still promote Marcion’s concepts to this day. They have a web site defending his dualism teaching and even have a copy of his butchered bible they sell on line. I quote one paragraph here to point out an error in their deductions.
Marcion followers yet today claim that he compiled the first canon of the New Testament in AD 140 and that for centuries has been maligned as a heretic, since the Church Fathers like Tertullian accused him of taking the razor to the Bible and cutting out several of the Pauline epistles; Acts, 1 and 2 Timothy and Titus. In addition the only Gospel in Marcion’s Bible was two thirds of Luke. Actually that’s it. A part of one gospel and ten Pauline epistles. http://www.marcion.info/
Polycarp, bishop of Alexandria called Marcion Satan to his face when they passed in the market place and Polycarp refused to speak or look at him. Marcion called to Polycarp asking, Polycarp, do you not know me? Polycarp turned, looked at him and said, Yes, I know you, you are Satan.
Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, [emotionalism, praise] shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, [emotionalism, praise] have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? [signs, wonders andmiracles and good works] and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you [ ginosk; “never intimate with you”] depart from me, ye that work iniquity [Grk: anomia; lawless, they despised obedience to the commandments of the word as essential to salvation, the universal signature of all apostate religions]. Matthew 7:21-23
Read the accounts of other whole church movements and eras that were believers in Christ but had perverted the authentic classical Christian culture of moral transformation. Israel as a nation was cast off and dispersed over the earth. Thyatira was in danger and had allowed false teaching to corrupt God’s people. They all had some good qualities but obedience to the commandments and bringing the discipline of the Spirit to bear on the depravity of the flesh was lacking. That lack was allowing the flesh a freedom Christ came to destroy – the freedom of the depraved flesh to express itself contrary to the efficacy of the cross to bring death to the body of sin.
These Modern “fleshologians” who will not tell their followers the terrible (yet glorious) truth of the Spirit’s disciplines over the depraved flesh appetites and how to bring those appetites under the control of the Holy Spirit, gives sin a safe harbor in the body, robbing Christians of not only the ultimate joy of a victorious life in Christ that overcomes the world, but run the terrible risk of being cast into outer darkness unprofitable servants in the judgment. Matthew 8:12; 25:30.
Christian casuistry has become a bit more complicated at the end of this century due to the increasing immoral inventions of godless techies, entertainers and the sports industry combined with the pornography industry, humanistic educational systems and a slew of legislators more concerned for votes now than their children and grandchildren’s welfare. There is a high impact by the evil enticements today that previous church environments did not have to contend with. Materialism has made it possible to have many things encumbering the Christian’s life that other church periods would have never tolerated that placed a strong emphasis on moral transformation and godliness. Thins in our environment even change the meaning of language we speak and the values we hold that previous church periods did not tolerate. Environment has dictated to the Christian what to believe and how to “interpret” the word of God. Television, lewd fashion trends, abortion, sex education in the schools, drugs, divorce and high divorce rates, professional violent and drug ridden athletics, pornography, the rock racket culture, unisex, apostate fundamentalism, special interests and homosexual activism and legal abortion are just a few of the evil influences that have intimidated many churches and their leaders and drawn those churches away from the purity of piety. As the world becomes more and more immoral and secularized the church becomes more mortal and earth oriented to the things around it. In a time when the church should be raising high the banners of holiness and weeping in contrition, it has become a gutless and a giddy country club status conscious social club scraping to the world for its approval and acceptance.
Genesis 1:31 “And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.”
It has been said that we only have one chance to make a first impression that is usually lasting. When we meet God for the first time as we open His word we have our first impression of God the Father. And what do we find Him doing? He is working; bent over His creation laboring to bring forth!
The Word of God opens with these words, in the beginning God created. This was strenuous labor placing great demands on the energies of omniscience. The Word tells us that after the Lord God had ended His great creation including all the beauty and splendor of an eco system that man still researches and finds to be endless, that God rested from His labors. In chapter 2:1 and 2 it tells us that God finished the task of the creation and then in verse 3 that He rested on the seventh day. The thought that God rested tells us that in the celestial sense that God felt the tremendous release of power from His divine person and actually went into a mode of repose, and that He settled back into a state of tranquility and calmness and ceased from His labors to recover from the exertion of bringing forth His creation.
So we learn from our first impression of God that He labored to accomplish His purposes and from that we see Him giving us an example that labor is essential to achieving any good goal we have in life. It is impossible to achieve any spiritual goal without work! God makes that very clear in the opening verses of His revelation to man.
We can say that here in the opening verses of Genesis the book of beginnings is a first principle of life, the work principle which we continue to treat in the opening verse of the next chapter.
In Genesis 1:1 we meet God for the first time and our first impression is that He labors to fulfill His plans for the Kingdom. He had a plan, an agenda, and that plan started with a great work of creation brought into existence but with man on His mind in every design, every sound and every shape and color. It implies what we have often wondered about heaven when we have asked ourselves what will we do in heaven with eternity on our hands? There will be many things to do because even in heaven labor will be essential to our state of happiness. This work ethic is explained in the chapter 2 below.
Genesis 1:31 And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.
In these opening verses of the Bible we are quickly introduced to the creator as a God of moral benevolence and goodness. At the close of each creative period, verses 10, 12, 18, 21, 25, it says that what God created was good (Hebrew TOV). He formed man and woman as the last creative act and then in verse 31, he looked back upon all of the creation and called it “very good”, that is, TOV MEOD, Goodness which means literally, “supremely good!” It’s interesting that the Hebrew word TOV often refers to God in scripture as meaning morally good. He is the source of supreme moral goodness. In all of the creation we have the signature of God – goodness. To be the source of supreme moral goodness, He possesses perfect moral goodness in the supreme sense! God’s very first acts, our first impressions, allude to His holy nature. (See Deuteronomy 5 commentary on the tenth commandment; See Psalm 19 for the study on Cosmic Order)
Genesis 2:3 And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.
We should note that the entire first chapter of the Bible in Genesis, the book of all beginnings that the subject is labor and the consequences of it. There is no feeling like the feeling of contentment and fulfillment any person feels when they have successfully finished a task of labor. It is a contented feeling like no other experience in life gives. Whether it is a quota he must meet on his job or fixing a leaking roof. A wonderful feeling settles over us when we have finished a task well done.
The Bible begins its story letting us meet God for the first time when He is in labor over His creation. Locked into these verses is the principle of the work ethic and God Himself demonstrates this principle. It must have some kind of supreme significance for the principle to be placed as the first lesson God gives to man at the very beginning.
THE WORK ETHIC is strongly set forth by Paul. If a man does not work neither shall he eat. 2 Thessalonians 3:10. And why is work important to God? Because work is a key to mental health.
1. I am given a task to do.
2. I must put forth an effort to accomplish it.
3. Once the work is finished I am contented.
4. The final therapy is the sense of fulfillment.
5. Fulfillment is a major factor leading to personal happiness.
A lazy man that you can read a lot about in the book of Proverbs in scores of commentaries is a curse to the world and one of the worst kinds of character traits.
Note that God experienced a great sense of fulfillment when He saw everything He had made He saw that it was very good. He was contented, and yes, God does have emotions the same as we do. Remember, He made us in His image and likeness and so there will be many similarities, parallels, between the divine and the human nature. Sin and rebellion infested the nature of man and distorts those divine qualities and when we abandon them the similarities are disturbed and order is lost. When we are restored to His obedience through Christ in us then those distortions are restored and with the restoration of that divine order our fellowship is also restored and a the desire to keep His commandments returns to our new nature
The first thing God sanctifies in scripture and the first time the word QADASH (6942) was used, equivalent to the Greek word, hagiazo (G37), to declare as holy, ceremonially; to observe as clean, hallowed. Exodus 3:5
Genesis 2:16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: 17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
The first commandment is given and divine law is instituted. Through the ages there has been a struggle between the depraved flesh nature and the commandments. The carnal mind is body oriented. It strives to serve and gratify body desires of the appetites. See the complete study on Biblical Dualism by searching on the search engine. The commandment (the revelation of moral wisdom) is contrary to sinful flesh. Galatians 5:17.
Romans 7:14,20-23; Search appetites to understand depravity, pleasure.
The endeavor of the carnal mind; to modify the commandment, to interpret the commandment in the interest of body preference, to acknowledge the commandment, but not allow the commandment to have absolute authority over the body nature (appetites). The carnal mind reasons that God is a loving Father and therefore He would not put “unreasonable” restrictions or inhibitions upon us. But this reasoning reflects rebellion. Agape is the expression of fidelity toward God and His commandment! Sin is rebellion against Divine authority and attempts to modify the commandment, the moral principles set down by God. To be “carnally minded” is as old as the Garden of Eden. It seems to always involve an attempt to humanly interpret the divine commandment or to brazenly defy the moral excellence of God’s moral law, to protect the body life against the death of self, which obedience to the moral commandment will bring. “Hath God said”, or “did God really say that”?
Introduction to Genesis 3
GOD’S MORAL LAW VS THE APPETITES
AND THE DEPRAVITY OF THE MAN
Wherever you find the term king, Lord, sin, commandment, etc. it is a reference to divine government. Man is depraved and depravity needs to be governed!
Eve was given the law of God meaning her nature constituted of her human appetites (libido, hunger and ambition) was to be subject to the law of God. Instead she subjected God’s law to her to appetites.
It’s interesting to note that Adam and Eve did not become terrified by their violating the law of God until the presence of God calling them is mentioned. When they became aware of their creator’s presence when they heard his voice, they became desperately terrified!
The first act of rebellion against divine government is recorded here in Genesis chapter 3. The first sin was committed when Eve and then Adam (no matter how it was she managed to convince him to become a partaker with her) reversed the efficacy (the desired intent or outcome) of God’s law and subjected the moral law to their appetites when appetites must be in subjection to law.
We have here the core of a social problem that remains at the very center of social order the world over today! They are called liberals and conservatives. A liberal changes the laws that govern human behavior as human behavior depreciates making the nature of man above the law. This makes law subject to man and man is depraved. There is no good thing in the flesh.
For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. Romans 7:18.
A conservation cannot change the law because he sees it as a principle that once it is established as a principle cannot change without destroying the good of social order. The conservative simple believes that depravity (the strong tendency of human nature to demoralize) must be subject to an unchanging divine law that to man by the hand of his creator.
But the liberal denounces all of this including every moral law insisting that laws must change to accommodate the immoral elements of society, who are usually vocal and esteemed as intellectuals of academia. Humanism and other philosophies such as pragmatism and relativism are taught in all the secular universities brainwashing the last two to three generations of thinking and social trends.
In short, it’s the same story today as in Genesis 3: Depravity today wants to rebel against God and to do this they subject the moral law of God to man, making man autonomous making his own laws and doing that which is right in his own eyes instead of subjecting his flesh nature to the badly needed moral laws of his creator. This is folly and actually, with all the evidence in history to prove this principle as an accurate evaluation of this world’s present dilemma, it is nothing short of splendid idiocy to deny it.
Eve was a liberal because she subjected God’s law to her humanity. Today liberal politicians think to change the laws to comply with man’s depravity and his downward plunging morals taking a nation helplessly into self destruction. Liberals had one song they sing to justify subjecting the law to changes in social values, and that is that the world is changing and we must change with the demands of depravity. In a few short years we have gone from making abortion a crime to making it a human right – that is – to place a women’s will over the law of God. In a few short years we have gone from pornography and homosexuality sins against the laws of God and the laws of the land to declaring pornography simply a matter of freedom of expression and homosexuality a matter of freedom of choice, a matter another alternative lifestyle. The new godless anti-Bible politicians never consider that open social sins are highly offensive to Christians and their holy Scriptures. In fact, whole church denominations have been won over to the whole concept that we can no longer live in the past and have abandoned the authority of divine law retaining the name Christian, while renouncing the moral laws of holy Scripture. All liberalism whether in a government or a church movement subject God’s laws to depravity while the conservative tries to subject the depraved nature of man to the law.
The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof? Jeremiah 5:31
Genesis 3:1Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? 2 And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: 3 But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. 4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: 5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. 6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. 7 And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.
(See Psalm 50:21)
In verses two and three, Eve reveals that she knew well the commandment forbidding them to eat the fruit of the tree of good and evil. If you want to avoid the temptation of eating the forbidden fruit, then remember that it is a forbidden “tree”. Stay away from the tree if the fruit is forbidden! Here is revealed for the first time the illusion of the human mind to divest the commandment of God of its final authority. Satan succeeded in transferring final authority from the commandment to the mind of man. He planted in her thinking conclusions that were extremely logical. He suggested to her what she would gain by eating the fruit, but blinded by illicit desire, they did not consider what they would lose by their disobedience. We know from this Eden encounter that desire must be present to be tempted of evil. Where there is no desire, there is no temptation. Satan begins the fall of man with the planting of desire.
James 1:14-15 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. 15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.
Both natures have their own set of desires. When the spiritual man is saturated with God, the body appetites are easily put down and temptation is reduced. Romans 13:14 all sin begins with temptation but temptation can only occur through desire as James tells us.
We have been robbed from a wonderful source of power and purity by listening to the song of the antinomian love cult. Hate is a vital part of agape! A hatred of sin that is equal to our love for God is scripturally encouraged for a very good reason Psalm 97:10; Hebrews 1:9; for you see, it is quite impossible to be tempted by something you hate or have no desire for. To detest evil is a virtue in man and a vital part of the holy nature God gives the born again. We speak as though temptation comes from without, whereas no temptation would have the slightest effect were it not that it appealed to some form of admiration for the forbidden that lurks within us, which normally we ourselves suppress. We are not tempted by the world, the flesh, and the devil, but by ourselves. Adam blamed Eve, and Eve blamed the serpent, but God was not deceived and drove them out of the garden.” When the carnal mind is given to impulses of self advantage it never thinks of what it might lose in God, it dwells only upon what it hopes to gain in the flesh. It is the self delusion process of the fallen nature. It is this dishonest rationale of the carnal mind in these last days that attempts to repeat the scenes of Eden and divest the holy commandment of its love and authority, transferring that authority to self that it may fulfill its own personal desires (pleasures). Taken from the Holiness Manual shared with me by Jack Rettinger.
Genesis 3:11 And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat? (2:16)
Here is the “first commandment” as given in Genesis 2:16, 17. In these very dawning chapters of the Bible, man and the commandment begin their coexistence. The first time the word commandment appears in scripture. This is the logical place to consider the nature of the commandments of God.
What is in the commandment?
1. The given commandment is intended to prove man’s love for God. Love is only proven when man has a choice between two alternatives; to obey God or disregard the commandment for a reason preferable to self. Choosing God’s revealed will over any other alternative is the only proof of our love for God. John 14:15, 21; I John 2:35.
2. God’s love is revealed in the commandment. All of His commandments issue from His benevolent nature. The commandments seek only the welfare and well being of man. Romans 13:8-10
3. There is the revelation of God in the commandments. The commandments reveal the moral nature of God’s own divine character.
4. There is wisdom in the commandments of God. The commandments reveal the divine thinking on human behavior. You’ll never go wrong abiding by the wisdom of the commandments. Psalm 19:7-8
5. Truth abides in the commandments. Not only does truth abide in the commandments, but it is from whence all truth issues and it is by the commandments that all actuality is established.
6. The commandments are the moral laws of the kingdom of God. They represent the system of moral order of divine government. The Commandment are not negative but very positive! We see that word, not! The flesh immediately recoils murmuring to itself, Negative! Negative! Negative! It’s true. Thou shalt not is negative – no doubt about it. But it is negative to the thief and not to the righteous man who does not steal. In fact, it’s quite positive to me if a thief has stolen something from me. I am saying, Positive! Positive! Positive! All of the nots in the moral commandments given by the Lord to Moses on Mount Sinai were positive to the righteous and negative to the evil doer!
7. The Holy Spirit operates only within the boundaries of the moral commandments. Romans 8:4
Genesis 6:5 And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
When the taste for worldly vanities replaces our pursuit of purity, universal corruption will ultimately result. Early in the history of man he corrupted himself in spite of his knowledge of God, his historical proximity to the creation and his access to God. Genesis 6:5; 8:21; Jeremiah 8:19; Proverbs 6:18; Romans 1:21; 2 Corinthians 10:5
Genesis 6:6 And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. 8. But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.
Search: Grace Before, At and AFTER the Cross. A complete study on the three zones of grace that puts every doctrine in a proper prospective. Every Christian should read this treatise on grace.
SOME INSIGHTS INTO THE NATURE OF GOD.
Understanding the grace of God which is first mentioned here in Genesis is extremely important whenever we discuss the nature of God. “A lack of understanding of the nature of God will give birth to a host of errors both in understanding the Bible and in the Christian walk ultimately determining my eternal fate. Some think all of God’s attributes are of equal importance. Others believe there is one basic nature from which all of God’s attributes and actions originate. The modern church’s cry that God’s nature in the church period has changed from being a God of law to a God of love after the cross is not only scripturally wrong, but dangerous and deadly to the soul’s welfare. God does not change and that is perhaps the most absolute fact regarding His nature. For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed. Malachi 3:6. Nature is defined as ‘the basic constitution of a person or thing,’ we can ask ourselves, what is God’s basic characteristic? What is it about God that cannot be reversed or changed? Looking at His attributes we see many are conditional upon man’s response. For example, His love is balanced by His hatred of evil (Proverbs 6:16, ‘These six things doth the Lord hate.’ Revelation 2:6, ‘… the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.) His mercy can be changed to wrath. (His mercy before the flood was changed to wrath on all the inhabitants of earth that breathed. The cry of the penitent before the flood would have been welcomed, but once it started raining God turned a deaf ear to their pleas.) His attribute of longsuffering will be changed to swift judgment in flaming fire. 2 Thessalonians 1:8 conversely, though the Lord is angry with the wicked every day, His attribute of anger can be changed to mercy if man will repent. Thus we see that all of God’s attributes have an opposite side and can move from one attribute to another.
However, there is one quality which remains the same. It never increases nor decreases in neither its intensity, nor does man’s actions alter it. It was the echo of the angel’s anthems before time and will be sung by the saints in eternity. There will never be a time, yea, one second, when God will not be holy, righteous and truthful. His love may justifiably change to hate and His mercy to wrath and He would still be God. But He could never be unholy, unrighteous, or untruthful and remain the [immutable] benevolent creator of the universe. Thus His basic nature is holy for it cannot be reduced or altered by man’s actions, or changed with the passing of time. From this basic unalterable characteristic of God we must determine and define all of His other attributes to get a proper understanding of the God we love and serve. His love, mercy, wrath, longsuffering, etc. are all based on His unchanging Holiness – Holiness is the standard by which God judges and acts. How Judgment refreshing and comforting to know God will not change His view and opinion from one day to the next. What He loved in the beginning (righteousness and obedience) He still loves. Hate What He hated in our first parents (rebellion Sin and disobedience) He still hates today.
Acceptance and adherence to this truth is basic and necessary for ‘growing’ and ‘glowing’ in our walk with God. To end right we must begin and continue right.
With the winds of changing doctrine blowing unstable souls into the fields of confusion and chaos, it is refreshing to know that a firm foundation exists for the teachable heart. ‘Holiness becometh thine house, O Lord, forever. Psalm 93:5.
Genesis 6:9 these are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God.
While all of mankind was falling into the pits of wickedness … “Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations. “Apparently, 1) environment does not overcome the man who walks with God. Our intimacy with the Father shields us from the evil stimuli of the most vile and wicked surroundings. Environment does not determine my personal character if I am walking in the Spirit of God, and 2) God’s grace was not affected, diminished or required less where sin abounded in the environment. Grace produces the same kind of saint no matter the environment if that saint has a love for God.
Genesis 17:1 The Lord appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect.
God’s first injunction to man was to be perfect. Man must be capable of this pursuit for it would be inconsistent with the just nature of God to demand or command something quite impossible for man. This would amount to instant condemnation if God required of man something he was incapable of. We therefore deduct that moral perfection, being one of the first commandments given, that enough love for God can achieve this. For only love (desire) for God can properly motivate man to comply with the divine wish. Leviticus 11:44; See Perfection in Introduction) this particular commandment has been carried through the ages, beyond the cross as the ultimate moral goal for all who love God. Leviticus 11:44; 19:2; Matthew 5:48; I Peter 1:15
Genesis 25:34 Then Jacob gave Esau bread and pottage of lentiles; and he did eat and drink, and rose up, and went his way: thus Esau despised his birthright. (Ecclesiastes 7:8)
Goodness always seeks the ultimate right. Esau chose the immediate pleasure (lentil soup) over the ultimate good (the birthright).
Genesis 35:2 Put away the strange gods that are among you, and be clean, and change your garments:
Even in the house of Jacob strange gods had crept in. But the first thing we must do when we seek God’s fellowship and favors is to search and cleanse the life of all impurities. Genesis 35:35 it is strange what we will tolerate in our lives until we enter a crisis. Suddenly we become aware of impurities throwing off everything we once tolerated.
Exodus 28:36And thou shalt make a plate of pure gold, and grave upon it, like the engravings of a signet, HOLINESS TO THE Lord.
Exodus 3:5 And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground.
This is the first time the word, “Holy” in this particular sense is recorded in scripture. However, the Sabbath or seventh day of the creation week God first sanctified, denoting that days and places are made hallowed as well as man. Genesis 2:3 it is therefore fitting that we should begin here to define it. Here the Hebrew word used is qodesh, denoting something that is holy. In Genesis 2:3, the Hebrew word qadash was used which means to declare holy. The word in this text is stronger in that it may even imply that God was residing on this spot in the desert before Moses approached it. In both the Hebrew and Greek languages we have these two forms of holiness denoting a difference between something that is holy and set apart to God and something God may declare holy. It is of peculiar interest that the second thing God declared to be holy was a piece of ground. When God told Moses that this ground was hallowed and he was not to come treading upon it until he had “put off” his shoes indicates several very interesting facts regarding holiness.
“True holiness consists of conformity to the nature and will of God, whereby a saint is distinguished from the unregenerate world system and is not committed to their (the world’s) principles and precepts, nor governed by their maxims and customs.”
1. In a sense, everything that is made was made by Him and is therefore holy. It is holy by virtue of the fact it has issued from God who is supremely just, benevolent, and altogether righteous in character.
2. However, Lucifer by guile brought sin and Lucifer disorder into the original and perfect creation. God did not renege on committing the world to man even after his fall and was driven from the gardens of paradise. However, in His sovereignty God often and arbitrarily designates, chooses a person, a place, or a thing as holy. When God claims a person, a place, or a thing as being holy, He is claiming it as belonging to Him for His own special purposes. All things in the celestial kingdom are holy and perfect. All things outside of the celestial kingdom (terrestrial Holiness kingdom) that pertain to the economy of man are holy in the imperfect sense or only as God so designates.
3. In Luke 1:35, Jesus is declared holy, “That holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.”
4. Holy is also a designation of the Spirit of God. He is called Holy Ghost and Holy Spirit more often than by any other name or title in the New Testament.
5. The children of Israel are referred to as a Holy Nation. Exodus 19:6; 22:31; Leviticus 11:44, 45; Numbers 16:3
6. And then in a very noticeable way, Christians under the new covenant are declared as holy more frequently than were the Jews in the Old Testament for reasons that are obvious. We are given immediate holiness status upon repentance and justification. Romans 3:20 The new born child of God possesses both a new creation spirit that is his own (reflecting the moral character of the divine nature) and also joining the new human spirit is the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit, the actual divine nature presence. This newly combined nature loves the theme of holiness as every angel in heaven. Holiness, the divine morality, is now our great obsession, and that obsession is evidence of our new birth. 2 Corinthians 5:17, 18 we also have the fuller revelation of Holy Scripture. For these reasons, we are to assume that, a) God intends for us to take on the holy nature to ourselves, b) To possess and be obsessed with the glorious privileges of holiness, c) Because holiness is the spirit that indwells us, we can bear the Saint title, “saint.” Acts 19:13, 32, 41; Romans 1:7
7. The tabernacle of Moses was holy. Exodus 28:29; Leviticus 10:18; Ezekiel 42:14 A very high order of holiness was The Holy Place which set within the court of the tabernacle and contained also the Holy of Holies. When we speak of a “high order” of holiness, we are merely recognizing an order that is clearly established in the design of the tabernacle; a) the court where people and proselytes of the Jewish faith could come to encounter the priests and offer their sacrifices. b) The Holy Place was where only ministering priests authorized by special designation could enter and minister. c) The Holy of Holies was where only the high priest was allowed to come and stand before the mercy seat, offering atonement for the sins of Israel at a time designated by God. The over-comer is one who himself has morally conquered, not merely believed in the victory of Christ. 2 Thessalonians 2:13 If Christ’s overcoming life does not instill moral perfection in us then His highest purpose in Calvary’s horrors are not realized. Seven times in the seven messages to the seven churches of Revelation chapters 2 and 3, Jesus directed Himself to the overcomers (conquerors). To remain holy one must challenge many philosophies and trends in the world and even within the church. I Peter 3:12; 2 Peter 1:10; Revelation 22:12 If I possess the holy nature, I will resist all forms of impurity, I will discern them, expose them, challenge them and do battle with them, all in persistent love which in keeping with the holy nature of God. Ephesians 5:11 God’s holy state, being the highest form of holiness, and man’s fallen state, being the lowest form of moral existence.
The holiness of God is the highest form of holiness that refers to the perfect moral nature of the eternal God. When you speak of holiness you are referring to the moral excellence of the divine nature. Genesis 1:31. Secondly, there are objects that are not morally invested by nature, but declared holy. When a shovel used to remove ashes from the altar was formed and placed into the hands of the priests, it became “holy” and a Standing permanent part of the tabernacle furniture. That shovel could be used for nothing but the altar of God. As humble as it was, it had been dedicated, that is, devoted to a place of service and separated from any other use. To become sanctified or holy means also to be set aside or become dedicated to the service of God. This will happen completely when we resign all our personal rights to His will and high purposes which are in Christ. I Corinthians 15:24; Mark 12:30 Holiness then speaks of, 1) The nature or character of God, I Peter 1:15 and, 2) those things which he so designates or claims for Himself. Holiness is understood by all fundamental theologians to be chiefly comprised of two parts; a) Dedication to God and, b) Separation from the world. The contemporary Christian movement has done great harm to the doctrine of sanctification by rejecting the essentialness of separation. Separation has been either, a) Avoided by being ignored by the modern preacher or, b) Viciously twisted to comply with the modern, morally loose Christian lifestyle. There has been very little honest treatment of this doctrine in recent decades. The writings have been ambiguous or have completely avoided the issue of holiness as pertaining to worldly amusements (movies, the adulterous celebrities within the industry, television, entertainment full of lust, violence, and immorality, entertainment figures); worldly practices (immoral affect of video games, dancing, rock music, Christian and otherwise); worldly emulations (the worshiping and modeling of lifestyles and appearance after unregenerate celebrities, fashion and entertainment figures); worldly sports scenes (violence, wrong image models, characterless achievers, drugs, lust of money); worldly fashions (immodesty, cosmetology, body consciousness, egotism, individual and corporate extravagance) and scores of other worldly evils inundating the church. Psalm 101:2, 3 Separation is the essence of holiness and holiness is essential to salvation. Hebrews 12:14 without separation, the state of holiness is un-achievable. Holiness is love for moral excellence because we know this is pleasing to our Lord and His first priority for us. 2 Thessalonians 2:13; I Timothy 3:16 throughout scripture, a strong sentiment of repulsiveness is the only expression of holy men toward the holiness of God, toward sin and the worldly system. Job 15:15; Ezekiel 39:24; Hebrews 1:9; I John 2:15,16 There is then, only one way we can understand holiness as it relates to the Christian life.
First of all, holiness is the nature of God. This nature expressed through us will be the same as it is expressed through Him, a sentiment toward right and wrong which is God’s and not our own. To profess holiness means that one is willing to totally align himself with the divine order of right and wrong. The scripture contains no flattery in referring to the world (iniquity, abomination, filthy, enemy, weak and beggarly). The nature of holiness in God shrinks instantly from the slightest communion with that which is impure or evil in design, nature and origin. Apostate Christians who do not seek holiness of life will avoid all truth and discussion in matters of sin, worldliness, holiness and sanctification, that they may continue in a lifestyle that is pleasing to them rather than pleasing to God. A non-holiness oriented Christianity is neither theologically, experimentally, nor spiritually sound. A religion void of holiness is void of the divine moral and possesses only natural morality. A religion professing holiness without separation is a religion that is not valid. God the Father and His Christ have suffered untold eternal agonies in venting their sentiments against sin. Our sentiments toward sin and everything that leads to sin (worldliness) should be the same as that divine sentiment revealed in scripture. Hebrews 1:9 every person who comes to Christ must possess both elements of the holiness of God if their confession of sin and the desire to be saved from it is sincere. When we become redeemed, we are agreeing to be “holy unto the Lord.” We become His possession – solely and entirely (entire sanctification). Once we become holy (the possession of God) we cannot be used or owned by another. Leviticus 20:26 Here then is the proof of love, true agape. If I love Him, if I really love Him, I will gladly separate myself from anything that injures, violates, or threatens His pleasure in me, or my fellowship with Him as indicated by any word or principle, by any commandment or precept contained in His holy Word. This is practical holiness.
Exodus 15:11 Who is like unto thee, O Lord, among the gods? Who is like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders?
This is the Bible’s first direct reference to the holiness of God. In Exodus 2:3, God sanctified the Sabbath, in Exodus 3:5 He declared the ground He met Moses on, holy, Reverence here He declares Himself holy. Moses describes this awesome consuming majesty with well chosen words. With this introduction, holy becomes the most frequently used term in referring to the person of God. The word “holy” in the Hebrew is in two forms having the same basic meaning with the only difference being primarily in the pronunciation. The first and most common is the Hebrew word here is qodesh (H6944) – set apart – by implication of scripture meaning separated from all that is unclean. 2 Corinthians 6:17; I Thessalonians 4:7 the closest literal meaning is morally clean or separated. Actually, to be clean and separated carry the same idea as being separated from impurity. Here again is reference to God’s person as being morally pure or separated from the unclean. How interesting; when God formally introduces Cleanliness Himself to His creature He reveals Himself as “morally clean,” holy. Just as meeting someone the first time involves an introduction by name, so God’s revelation of Himself involves a revelation of His name. Names are usually understood to be labels used to distinguish one person from another. Shakespeare’s question, “What is in a name?” would have great significance in the fact God reveals Himself throughout scripture as “the Holy One of Israel” and “the most Holy God”. Leviticus 22:2; Ezekiel 39:7; Psalms 71:22; 78:41
WHAT’S IN A NAME?
The word Nabal means fool;”Let not my lord, I pray thee, regard this man of Belial, even Nabal: for as his name is, so is he; Nabal is his name, and folly is with him:” I Samuel 25:25 Abram became Abraham, Jacob became Israel, Esau became Edom, and Solomon became Jedidiah and Daniel became Belteshazzar. Bible names of persons have a meaning, which meaning usually conveys some impression as to the special character of the one who bore the name. The disclosure of character through a name is true of deity in an absolute sense. God has personally inspired the pages where His name appears that He may transmit to all men what impression He wants us to have of Him and what supreme qualities He especially wants us to perceive in Him. There are many names of God in the Bible and each contains a revelation of Himself. But there is no name, title, or descriptive term God uses more in referring to Himself than the word “holy”, other than Lord. (Lord being a title, where holy refers to His Nature.) So frequent is this word used in conjunction with reference to His person that it has become the universally known sublime title of the creator. To the king we say, “Your Highness”, but to God men and angels cry, “Holy! Holy! Holy! Isaiah 6:3; Revelation 4:8 The first instance of men calling upon the Intimacy “name of the Lord”, is found in Genesis 4:26.
1. To call upon the “name of the Lord” was to worship Him;
2. To “forget His name” was to apostatize;
3. To “take His name in vain” was to trifle with His holiness.
God called Moses (a righteous man) and Cyrus (a heathen king) by their names. Throughout scripture there is reference to this divine intent of God to know us in a personal and intimate way on a “first name basis.” From the beginning it was so when the Lord came moving across the gorgeous landscapes of Eden calling from the midst of the flashing thunder, “Adam, Adam, where art thou?” Genesis 3:9 God called Samuel by name in the night when he was yet a lad. I Samuel 3:4 When Jesus called Saul the persecutor by his name, “Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?” He was transformed into a dynamic apostle with a ministry that reached to every generation of the church. Jesus let it be known that “He calleth His own sheep by name.” John 10:3 God has called us to a name relationship. I will sing praise to thy name. Psalm 9:21 and sing praises unto thy name. Psalm 18:49 we will remember the name of the Lord. Psalm 20:7 Give unto the Lord glory due unto His name. Psalm 29:2 we have trusted in His holy name. Psalm 33:21 let us exalt His name together. Psalm 34:3 I will wait on thy name; for it is good. Psalm 52:9 save me, Oh God, by thy name. Psalm 54:1 I will glorify thy name forevermore. Psalm 86:12. Praise thy great and terrible name. Psalm 99:3 all that is within me, bless his holy name. Psalm 103:1 God desires an intimate name relationship with us, a vital truth in the pursuit of holiness.
To love Him and desire His presence, to frequent that presence in prayer is the only means by which my nature can be effectually mellowed and transformed taking on the characteristics of His holy nature. Intimacy with God is the secret of becoming like Him. Shall we call intimacy “the closet of prayer”? It is in this closet relationship of personal communion our affections are ennobled and our personal sanctification is most profoundly affected.
Exodus 19:6 And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation.
EXODUS 20 See Deuteronomy 5
The word for law, Torah, has several meanings. In the OT it usually refers to the whole divine revelation, with special emphasis on the first five books of Moses. It is also used of the OT codes which guided Hebrew life. By the time of Jesus, to most, “law” included the mass of human traditions that had grown up to”explain” the OT. To us today, law usually is thought of as the Ten Commandments. The word itself means, “Instruction.” It is used of a parent’s instruction of a child (cf. Prov. 1:8; 6:20) as well as of God’s instruction of His people. OT law is codified in several major passages. These are (a) The Ten Commandments, Exodus 20; (b) The Covenant Code, Exodus 21-23; © The Deuteronomic Code, Deuteronomy 12-6; (d) The Code of Holiness, Leviticus 17- 20; (e) The Priestly Code; Leviticus 27. OT law regulates every aspect of Israel’s life. The moral law of the Decalogue states enduring principles. Covenant and Deuteronomic codes give instruction about a broad range of daily social relationships, from administration of justice, to training children, to care of the poor. The Code of Holiness and Priestly Code deal primarily with religious matters. Thus many have divided the laws’ content into three divisions: moral, civil, and ceremonial. The law has several functions. The first is to reveal the law giver. The kind of person God is is shown in the values embodied in the law. The second is to reveal sin, by clearly expressing the standards that God establishes for His people. The third is to guide the choice of individuals and the believing community toward holiness. However, the OT is clear that a person who lives by faith in covenant relationships with God will, from love, choose to obey the law. To the true believer, the way of law will be a joy and not a burden.
Exodus 22:31 And ye shall be holy men unto me: neither shall ye eat any flesh that is torn of beasts in the field; ye shall cast it to the dogs. 23:2 Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil; neither shalt thou speak in a cause to decline after many to wrest judgment:
(See Acts 19:32)
“An analysis of Calvary’s scenes reveal this; that human emotion is the worst enemy of Divine truth. Things haven’t really changed much in 2,000 years. The modern religious crowd still resents and attempts to crucify the truth. Paul, in his letter to Galatia called these doctrinaires of false doctrine, another gospel. The Conspiracy against Christ by the enemies of Christ is a perfect example of how truth is lost on the raging sea of human emotion whipped up by men in power lying – but sooner or later the storm dies and truth surfaces again! They prosecute as criminals those who fall below their standards and persecute those who rise above their standards. So many voices and personalities clamor after our emotional allegiance that many a faithful disciple has had his feet turned off of the highway of holiness to join the church of ‘Everybody’s doing it.’ Many Christians of our day, having lost their hold on the Word of God, have passed into a state of false sublimation. The apostate philosophy is nothing but an emotional twilight zone within the church where emotionalism has exceeded the moral laws of God’s Word.”
Exodus 23:13 And in all things that I have said unto you be circumspect: and make no mention of the name of other gods, neither let it be heard out of thy mouth.
The Lord forbid Israel from even mentioning the names of the heathen gods. To mention them would lead to talking about them, to talk about them would lead to a knowledge of them, a knowledge of them would lead to turning to them in a time of trial or depression. This would lead to believing they get results from the false god and then we tell others and they are persuaded to believe in them and finally idolatry becomes entrenched. On the surface, some commandments seem to be almost senseless, but “He doeth all things well”. He knows human nature and where little things lead. Christians must understand that it not only what is considered to be sin by all that is sin, but what God forbids, in His great wisdom, is sin. The commandments also keep us from the little things that lead to sin.
Exodus 28:30 And thou shalt put in the breastplate of judgment the Urim and the Thummim; and they shall be upon Aaron’s heart, when he goeth in before the Lord: and Aaron shall bear the judgment of the children of Israel upon his heart before the Lord continually. 36 And thou shalt make a plate of pure gold, and grave upon it, like the engravings of a signet, HOLINESS TO THE Lord.
The signet was a gold plate shaped to lie flat against the miter (hat) band. The gold plate was bordered with a blue lace. Visualize the white miter hat, the gold plate with the blue lace around it. Engraved upon the golden plate were the words, “HOLINESS TO THE LORD.” There is something significant here. This golden signet bearing the words HOLINESS TO THE LORD is positioned against the forehead of the priest when he is wearing the miter (hat). It so happens that this golden signet bearing the holiness theme is pressed against the frontal lobes of the brain. It is in the convolutions of the frontal lobes of the brain that all thought life takes place. “HOLINESS TO THE LORD” is significantly pressed against the center of all thought life indicating to us that the supreme and highest thought of all, the noblest and most sublime of all obsessions is the holiness of God! Isaiah 23:3 Holiness Christians who believe in the priestly ministry of the believer dwell upon the thoughts of God’s holiness and the moral purity of life. Character is supreme, glorious and elevating in the Spirit-filled mind. I Peter 2:9. See 2 Corinthians 10:5.
Exodus 28:37 And thou shalt put it on a blue lace, that it may be upon the mitre; upon the forefront of the mitre it shall be. 38 And it shall be upon Aaron’s forehead, that Aaron may bear the iniquity of the holy things, which the children of Israel shall hallow in all their holy gifts; and it shall be always upon his forehead, that they may be accepted before the Lord.
1. The heart, v. 30
2. The mind, v. 36-38
1. The breastplate of righteousness was worn over the heart of Aaron, speaking of God having His people in His affections.
2. HOLINESS TO THE LORD pressed upon the forehead against the thought life.
These two pieces of the garment speak of the two soul centers of man; 1) The heart, which is the seat of affection and, 2) The mind, which is the seat of knowledge. The breastplate of righteousness speaks of communion between our hearts and God. The miter and signet upon the forehead speaks of staying our minds upon the Holiness of the Lord. Isaiah 26:3
Exodus 32:1 And when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down out of the mount, the people gathered themselves together unto Aaron, and said unto him, Up, make us gods, which shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him. 19 And it came to pass, as soon as he came nigh unto the camp, that he saw the calf, and the dancing: and Moses’ anger waxed hot, and he cast the tables out of his hands, and brake them beneath the mount.
AARON AND FLESH RELIGION
Aaron tried to hold the people together with the calf. He did succeed at this, but in the process of “succeeding” he destroyed their character.
FLESH RELIGION CAN PRODUCE CERTAIN RESULTS
While God was making Aaron a priest, Aaron was making God a beast. Exodus 28:1; 32:19. While God was exalting Aaron, Aaron was debasing God, and causing a fracture between God and God’s people.
Exodus 32:25 And when Moses saw that the people were naked; (for Aaron had made them naked unto their shame among their enemies:)
(See Leviticus 18:6-20)
An exposure of human body is a distraction of the mind from spiritual thought. Exodus 20:26
1. Nakedness was forbidden by God’s precept, provocative, lewdness, self exposure of the body by improper immodest clothing in men or women.
2. Mixed bathing is the practice of extreme immodesty and the closest thing to nakedness socially accepted by man.
3. Jesus said that if a man looked upon a woman to lust after her, he was guilty of adultery. Matthew 5:28 to deny that public beaches or swimming parties are not provocative and a form of extreme immodesty, reveals basic dishonesty in a professing Christian possessing Christ within. It is dishonest to deny actuality. To deny the evils of beaches, and the provocation, extreme sensuality, immodesty, conduct and thoughts that occur in the environment of mixed bathing are the conclusions of a hardened sinful heart, evidence of a complete absence of the Holy Spirit. Liberals can be optimistic in regard to worldly amoral practices, such as the lewdness in public bathing allowing great liberty and tolerance, but then show pessimism toward holiness and the virtues of modest apparel, chastity, separation and shamefacedness. They are optimistic of evil and pessimistic in sanctification. There is very little talk about modesty on the beaches. Nakedness is forbidden in the home in this passage. See Leviticus 18:6-20 Familiarity among family members is not “healthy” for children as the humanists teach. It is an abomination. It is morally destructive and has no good results to show. Only God truly understands the delicate psychological factors in the forming of a child’s character. Adults often thrust their children into situations of exposure based upon their adult abilities to cope. Children cannot cope with sexuality as adults. You may expose your child to nakedness and see no immediate ill effect – but the impression is made and lying dormant or repressed until later years when there is a moral or mental Nakedness breakdown and those impressions surface and repressions are released – in the form of disaster. In childhood, the mind is very impressionable. The most difficult impressions to eradicate are the deepest made in childhood. Shelter your children from exposures that are premature for them. Nakedness leads to sexual promiscuity whether that nakedness is in the home or in a pornographic magazine. Both are biological in effect and constitute an evil influence according to the wisdom of the Word. If society had disallowed nakedness in any form, as God’s Word directs us, there would be no pornographic industry today. If nakedness had been contained in its first forms, it would not be crammed down our throats from billboards, newspapers and magazines publicly as something acceptable. If we had kept the biblical standard as God instructs us, there would be very few sexual crimes committed. Most of these criminals have character flaws going back to their childhood environment.
Exodus 34:27 And the Lord said unto Moses, Write thou these words: for after the tenor of these words I have made a covenant with thee and with Israel.
THE COVENANT OF THE TEN COMMANDMENTS
Israel (representing the human nature) was not able to keep up their end of the covenant. The Ten Commandments are the basis of the covenant God has made with man, which is, a standard contract and rule of life, so that man can have fellowship with God and God can have that desired fellowship with man. Here is the principle again – sin and fellowship with God are diametric! We see that the Ten Commandments outline the moral covenant God made with man. God said by this covenant, if you want to walk with me and be in harmony with me; walk according to this covenant. Deuteronomy 6:7 When man was unable to live up to that moral Law, Moral code of God (the moral covenant), that did not void the moral requirement. Christ, through redemption, came to provide men with the power they needed and lacked in devotion, willingness, affection for the divine moral. God did not change the moral law (for it was not evil), but changed the fallen nature of man enabling him to be compatible with moral law (for he was evil). Matthew 5:17 His birth, life, death and resurrection fulfilled the ceremonial law, so the ceremonial law was not canceled, but fulfilled! But the purpose of His coming was to provide a holy nature enabling us to fulfill the righteousness of New Birth the moral law and thereby grow in holiness, godliness and purity. John 1:12; Romans 8:4; Hebrews 8:20; 10:1-16 The moral covenant, or the morality of (and even beyond as brought out in Jesus’ teachings in Matthew 5 and 6) the Ten Commandments is the holy objective, the efficacy of the cross God is intent, on achieving in man! Genesis 17:1; Deuteronomy 5:32; I Kings 8:61; Psalms 37:37; 119:1-3,6,96; Matthew 5:48; Luke 6:40, 2 Corinthians 7:1; Ephesians 4:11-13; Philippians 3:12-15; Colossians 4:12; I Thessalonians 3:10, 2 Timothy 3:17, I John 3:6-10; 5:18 Note especially Romans 8:4, “that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” This is most certainly a reference to the moral law; see Matthew 5 and 6, as it could not possibly be ceremonial law. Hebrews 10 and 11
THE LAW FOR JEWS OR GENTILES
One way to distinguish between the moral law and the ceremonial Law of Moses is to understand that the ceremonial law was given to and for the Jewish people and all under the Old covenant to practice. The moral law is universal and relates all human behavior of all ages and all the nations of the world. The moral law applies to all living beings of all nations while the ceremonial law was given to Israel and only those who were within the Hebrew nation practiced ceremonial law. When Christ offered up the sacrifice of heaven, making atonement for the sins of man, He fulfilled those laws that only the Jews observed. However, He reinforced the moral law and opened the gates for all nations to come and serve God in righteousness through faith, upholding and fulfilling the moral obligations of the moral law. Matthew 5:17-48; Romans 8:4 Where Christ’s death fulfilled any type in the ceremonial Law of Moses, then that law is fulfilled. Judaizers insisted on continuing these liturgies after the Lord’s death. Paul’s chief concern and ministry was to purge this ceremonialism from the church. Paul makes this point quite clear in Colossians 2:16. There is still a lot of fuzzy thinking about the law and a clear codification of same. Here are some facts about law that help us understand it better.
1. The word “law” is used about 500 times in scripture; about 300 times in the Old Testament and about 200 times in the New Testament.
2. Most of the time these references are used not necessarily referring to the tables of the law given to Moses, but include them.
3. Jesus did distinguish between “the law” [referring to the books of Moses] and the prophets. Matthew 7:12
4. The word “commandment” often had direct reference to the moral maxims of either Moses or Jesus. Matthew 5:19; 22:40; John 14:15, 21; 15:10; I John 2:4; 5:2
5. That there is a distinction made in scripture between the ceremonial law and the moral law. One was something to do in faith, while the other was something to be by faith.
6. Context usually makes clear whether the reference is to moral law or the fulfilled ceremonial law, such as in Colossians 2:16, the first epistle of John and James chapter 2.
7. Many do not make a distinction in the relationship of the law to flesh as being different from its relationship to the spirit-life. The moral law ministers death to the flesh, but life to the spiritual man when obeyed. The moral law means the opposite to the flesh nature to what it means to the spirit-life. Example: Romans 8:7-10
Exodus 34:29 And it came to pass, when Moses came down from mount Sinai with the two tables of testimony in Moses’ hand, when he came down from the mount, that Moses wist not that the skin of his face shone while he talked with him.
Moses was not conscious of his shining countenance. He did not go up into the mountain seeking it. He did nothing in the way of effort to achieve it. He didn’t even know when it happened. He unconsciously possessed the evidence of God’s glory in his person. The highest holiness is achieved in the same manner – unconsciously – in His presence. We conclude from this phenomenon that true holiness is wrought out of communion with God. As we seek Him and commune with Him in the closets of prayer, we will take on His glory unconsciously – a glory all men will note. It should be noted that Moses’ shining countenance was an external manifestation of experiencing an extreme intimacy with the Word of God, as well as the presence of God. The new creation desires His Word presence and His Spirit presence – never one without the other.
Exodus 39:30 And they made the plate of the holy crown of pure gold, and wrote upon it a writing, like to the engravings of a signet, HOLINESS TO THE Lord.
“HOLINESS UNTO THE LORD”
Suddenly we see a very important little word; “TO”. Holiness is something we have TO the Lord. Holiness is not something we have UNTO MEN. Righteousness is UNTO MEN. The doctrine of holiness has always been a dichotomy (in two parts). Separated from the WORLD. Dedicated to GOD. Romans 6:19; Ephesians 4:24; Exodus 28:36-38;
Leviticus 10:10 And that ye may put difference between holy and unholy, and between unclean and clean;”
Leviticus 3:1 And if his oblation be a sacrifice of peace offering, if he offer it of the herd; whether it be a male or female, he shall offer it without blemish before the Lord.
In chapters 2 and 3 of Leviticus, the requirements for making offerings and sacrifices unto the Lord are given. Sacrifices had to be offered unto the Lord as God specified or they were not accepted. Malachi 1:13,14 The requirements of making sacrifice; Upon an altar only, Exodus 20:24 Clean animals, Genesis 8:20 To God alone, Exodus 22:20 Perfect animals, Leviticus 22:19 At a place divinely established, Deuteronomy 12:6 By appointed priests, I Samuel 2:28 In faith, Genesis 4:4 In obedience, I Samuel 15:22 There is a quality of sacrifice which God requires. It would be well for us to identify the quality of the sacrifices listed above and be sure they are in the sacrifice of the life we are offering to
God. We concluded that God does not accept every kind of worship and
service we offer Him. Isaiah 1:10-16 from the beginning, the sacrifices that were brought to the tabernacle had to meet the specifications which God required,
THEY HAD TO BE WITHOUT BLEMISH! The sacrifice had to be exactly that: a sacrifice. Does the Christianity of professional football players, movie and TV stars violate the specifications of an offering to the Lord? Is the kind of Christianity of the Grand Ole Opry “Christians”, who sing gospel country music on Sunday then in night clubs and casinos the rest of the week, a life of full obedience? Is this Christianity on God’s terms? Is there a brand of Christianity today that is being offered up to the Lord which utterly ignores what is acceptable to God? It is a fallacy of fundamentalism that believes that belief in the blood of Jesus constitutes valid salvation, Amos 5:18, 23, or that believing in the return of Christ means you will be taken when Christ returns. The sacrifices had to be presented on God’s terms. 1) They had to be a certain kind of animal; 2) They had to be spotless and without blemish – the best; 3) They had to be brought to the priest at the tabernacle; 4) The sacrifice had to be salted with salt.
Leviticus 10:1 and Nada and Abhor, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the Lord, which he commanded them not. 2 And there went out fire from the Lord, and devoured them, and they died before the Lord.
THE NEW CONCEPT OF CAPABILITY
It is quite possible to be proficiently capable and spiritually (morally) unqualified for ministry in the church. 1) Messengers were sent out to give David the news of Absolom’s death. Both capable, but only one was qualified. 2 Samuel 18 2) Uzzah and Ahio were capable of escorting the Ark of the Covenant on the ox cart, but they were unqualified. 2 Samuel 6:6 3) A man can be extremely capable rhetorically, but spiritually, or biblically unqualified. The modern church world is filled with capable Charismatic personalities. They are capable of getting results, but carnal, secular philosophy disqualifies them. The fire must be of a purely divine source! A man may be a master of rhetoric, brimming with personality, but if he’s been divorced three times, he is biblically unqualified. In this end-time, the ranks of the ministry are filled with men who have ran but were not never called; educated but not sent and able not dedicated; capable, but not qualified and dispatched from the throne!. This is why we have a weakened church and so little doctrinal foundation in the holiness in the bible centered churches, the messengers are unauthorized and competent, not anointed. Jeremiah 2:3; Isaiah 58
Leviticus 10:8 And the Lord spake unto Aaron, saying, 9 Do not drink wine nor strong drink, thou, nor thy sons with thee, when ye go into the tabernacle of the congregation, lest ye die: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations: 10 And that ye may put difference between holy and unholy, and between unclean and clean; Leviticus 44 For I am the Lord your God: ye shall therefore sanctify yourselves, and ye shall be holy; for I am holy: neither shall ye defile yourselves with any manner of creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. 45 For I am the Lord that bringeth you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: ye shall therefore be holy, for I am holy. 47 To make a difference between the unclean and the clean, and between the beast that may be eaten and the beast that may not be eaten.
Holiness as the purpose of new life in Christ is clearly set forth in this verse; 1) Bringeth you up out of the land of Egypt, 2) To be your God: 3) Ye shall therefore be holy, for I am holy. That is, “Ye shall desire to be morally perfect as I am morally perfect.” Notice the three steps upward in this ascension in holiness;
1. “Out of the land of Egypt” (Atonement)
2. “To be your God” (Under His Lordship, government)
3. “Be holy” (The goal of personal character)
Leviticus 16:30 For on that day shall the priest make an atonement for you, to cleanse you, that ye may be clean from all your sins before the Lord.
Cleansing from all sin is always the effect of atonement and never the result of the works of the law, the works of the flesh, growth, gradualism or anything else except atonement. Leviticus 18 – 22
In a strict sense, chapters 17 – 27 are all included in the Leviticus holiness code. But the dietary laws, and the regulations concerning ritual uncleanness, are dismissed in later revelation. The call to moral purity remains a vital part of relationship with God.
Every moral issue discussed here is relational. Even more important each rest on an intimate relationship between God and the people he calls to holiness. No less than 30 times in these 5 chapters does God state, in explanation of His commands, “I am the Lord,” “I am the Lord your God,” or “I am the Lord who makes you holy.” God’s own character is the source of the commands. Relationship with God makes holiness necessary. And experience of God as “our” God is the motivation for holiness.
Leviticus 20:7 Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be ye holy: for I am the Lord your God.
In connection with this verse read Leviticus 11:44; 20:26; and I Peter 1:15,16, Because our God is holy, and because we should be his, therefore are we to sanctify ourselves, to be “severed” from the world, and to be holy in all manner of conversation [conduct]. Let special emphasis be upon the words, “All manner.”
Leviticus 20:8 And ye shall keep my statutes, and do them: I am the Lord which sanctify you.
Only God can sanctify a human soul. No man can purify his own heart. Sanctification has full liberty, but is never lawless. The rest of this verse shows that God sanctifies us that we may observe his law. This fact reveals the perversion of the modern gospel.
Numbers 15:40 “That ye may remember, and do all my commandments, and be holy unto your God.”
Numbers 16:3 “And they gathered themselves together against Moses and against Aaron, and said unto them, Ye take too much upon you, seeing all the congregation are holy, every one of them, and the Lord is among them: wherefore then lift ye up yourselves above the congregation of the Lord?”
Numbers 13:32 And they brought up an evil report of the land which they had searched unto the children of Israel, saying, the land, through which we have gone to search it, is a land that eateth up the inhabitants thereof; and all the
people that we saw in it are men of a great stature. 33. And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.
[There are sizable discouragements to those who will seek holiness.] What are giants and walled cities to God? Go on in! People who have once been in the Canaan of Perfect Love and who come back with discouraging accounts of it, do more harm than anybody else. But, if you will read carefully, you will not be so much scared when you find that these spies contradict themselves; for how did the inhabitants of the Holy Land become such giants if the land ate them up?
Numbers 32:23 But if ye will not do so, behold, ye have sinned against the Lord: and be sure your sin will find you out.
By referring to verses 6-22 it will be seen that the sin that kindles God’s anger and that will surely find you out is the sin of discouraging people from entering The Holy Land.
Deuteronomy 1:21 Behold, the Lord thy God hath set the land before thee: go up and possess it, as the Lord God of thy fathers hath said unto thee; fear not, neither be discouraged.
Note that God claimed to be “the God of the Fathers of the children of Israel”. This scripture is probably a reference to the Patriarchs. God often refers to “The God of your Fathers” or the Fathers of Israel. Why does He in so many cases relate to and address the “Fathers” and not the “Sons” of Israel? Deuteronomy 12:1; 27:3
1. The Fathers had many experiences with Jehovah. Experiences of disobedience and tribulation that would make them good teachers.
2. It was under the Fathers of Israel that God revealed Himself in the greatest ways. Many times the new generation has not had the spiritual experiences, the in-depth teaching, and the length of life that seasons us and gives us wisdom. It is a wise young person who consults his Fathers, regards the advice, counsel and the experiences of the Fathers of Israel in his decision making.
3. It seems God had established Himself with the Fathers of Israel, but it is strongly implied by God’s statement that though He was well established in the thinking and in the hearts of the Fathers of Israel, He was not yet established in the hearts and thinking of young Israel.
4. Truth is established in the original facts, documents or records. This statement implies that while God regarded Himself as the God of “the Fathers of Israel”, He had some reservation in considering Himself as the “God of the Sons of the Fathers of Israel” in the same sense as He had established Himself with their Fathers.
It also implies that God has “established” Himself with those who have proven faithful. The young are thus encouraged to pursue the counsel of faithful ancients, that they too will in time establish themselves as “Fathers”. God wants the experience and the wisdom of the Fathers to be preserved through succession. That succession is preserved as the young respect the faithfulness and wisdom of the Fathers. God let it be known that He identified with the wisdom of the Fathers to thus encourage the young to do the same. God was not leaving out the younger generation of Israel, but He was indicating that His relationship to the “Fathers of Israel” was one of attachment and different in the sense of authority than that of
the Sons. It should also be noted that when the Fathers disappointed God, there were young men who acted and pleased Him. It is a great advantage to a young man when he serves God with the faith and obedience of an “old man of God”. Phinehas is an excellent example. Numbers 25:6-13
Deuteronomy 4:9-10 (KJV)
9 Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy sons’ sons; 10 Specially the day that thou stoodest before the Lord thy God in Horeb, when the Lord said unto me, Gather me the people together, and I will make them hear my words, that they may learn to fear me all the days that they shall live upon the earth, and that they may teach their children.(See Deuteronomy 32:46)
FAITH OF OUR FATHERS
For a very good reason, the Bible frequently speaks of “the God of our Fathers”. In each case the writer could have written, “our God”, or “the God of this generation”, or “the God of the church”, but the writers refer to the God of our Fathers. Exodus 5:30; 4:5; 3:13; Deuteronomy 26:7; 1:21; 12:1; 1:11: 4:1; Joshua 18:3; Judges 2:12; 2:20,22; 3:4; 2 Kings 21:22; I Chronicles 12:17; 5:25; 29:20; 2 Chronicles 21:10; 30:19; 33:12; 20:6; 7:22; 24:24; 28:6; 11:16; 13:18; 14:4; 15:12; 19:4; 20:33; 30:7,22; 34:32,33; 36:15; 28:9; 29:5; 13:12; Ezra 7:27; 8:28; 10:11; Nehemiah 9:36; Psalms 39:12; Daniel 11:37; 2:23; Acts 24:14; 5:30; 7:32. Modern special interest groups, the intellectual community, combined with the influence of the entertainment world have vested youth with a place of prominence in the world unequaled in the history of man. It has always been that the elder generations influenced and guided the younger. The self expression movement of the 1960’s that gave rise to the hippy sub-culture, rebelled against all symbols of authority, ushering in a reversal of biblical principles in regard to the influence of youth upon society. The impact that youthful forces exerted on society brought a reform into the Western culture that has completely reversed the social systems being controlled by the older elements of society. Now it is the young people’s world. A few short years ago FM radio was all “easy” listening, almost entirely classical music. Today, FM is hard rock, strictly the music of the young. This trend is seen across the whole spectrum of Western society. There has been a youthful reform of traditional values in church, campus government and fashions. Even government is influenced greatly by the dictates of youth. Computerized banks, fast cars, fashions and music appeal to the young. It is not an elderly person’s world today! This is not God’s order that the young dictate the lifestyle of a nation. The Bible reveals that knowledge, and in particular, spiritual knowledge, is brought down from generations past and that the experiences, the teachings and the convictions of the Fathers should play a great part in directing the affairs of the church in each succeeding generation. The youthful trend in the world has affected attitudes toward authority symbols and government in the church. While Christ’s youthful life is a mystery, much of His adult life is revealed. He told the Jews that He always spoke those things which “The Father” speaks to Him – referring to His “Father” were a reference to His origin. The bible refers to “the God of our Fathers”, because the genuine faith is established in the original. Godly youth accept this, but the new “liberated” renegade youth do not. 2 Timothy 2:22. Christianity will remain pure and true if it keeps the traditions, or its roots in the original apostolic form of faith. Traditional churches rightly recite allegiance to the apostle’s doctrine. A youthful generation dictating to the Fathers will reflect the careless, impetuous Rebellion and impulsive energies of inexperienced youth, which no sane person equates with maturity or highly cultivated thought. There are times when God will use the dynamism of youth to accomplish what older men are incapable of, but these are instances approved and ordained of the Holy Spirit and are the exception rather than the norm. Pastors in the modern churches have been forced to accommodate the demands of youthful reforms in the church. It is a fact that some churches have even been threatened and dictated to by the youth leaders and told to “step aside or else!” The church of Jesus Christ is not run by “kids”, but by “elders”. An apostle is a Father of churches. Young people who want to be used of God must pursue the course of maturity. These are the youth God will use and is using. No matter your age – fellowship in reverence before the Ancient of Days. Take His wisdom upon you, live soberly and respect your “Fathers,” and God, in His time, will promote you. Naboth’s vineyard was not for sale or trade, because it was the vineyard of his “Fathers”. It was a highly cultivated fruit because it had the collective qualities of all who preceded him. This he thought valuable. He respected it as something that had been perfected and cultivated by generations of knowledge that preceded him. He realized the value of the knowledge those before him had cultivated into the vines he knew nothing of. When God gave the commandments, He told Moses “teach them thy sons and thy sons’ sons”. In the kingdom, grandfathers are supposed to be respected teachers and an influence upon their grandchildren. In the new world of social reform and rebellion against God’s laws and kingdom principles, the youth too Landmarks often dictate and overrule the traditions of “the Fathers”. This is a violation of biblical principle. While it is true that some fine, dedicated young men may manifest more wisdom and spiritual quality than some of their elders, he still must entreat his elders as such. There is nothing more glorious in the church than to have in its ranks elders who retain the sweetness and power of the anointing; the fragrance and aura of being in the presence of the Ancient of Days with young men among them dedicated to the teachings and doctrines of godliness. Leviticus 23:39-44; Nehemiah 8:13-18, tells us that in the 7th month and the 15th day, God declared to be the Feast of Tabernacles. During this week of holy convocation, the offering of first fruits and sacrifices, Israel was not to dwell in their homes, but they were to go into the forests and bring in the bows of trees and bushes and build booths in the cities, in the streets, on their housetops and even in the courts of God. They were to live in these booths for one week, “that your generation may know that I made the children of Israel to dwell in booths, when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God”. Leviticus 23:43 God does not want us to forget the past. We are not to allow present prosperities make us forget the sacrifices, the pain, the struggles, the tears, and the blood that went into the achievements of our Fathers. Materialism will deceive us into believing our humanistic reforms are proving correct over traditional Christian teaching, but it’s only for a short time. Already the sickness of Western society has become a terminating illness. The horror of it all is that humanism will move from one reform to another, but will not acknowledge the wisdom of God’s Word. Blindness controls man’s lust for freedom from God. Revelation 16:9, 11.
A NOTE TO THE FATHERS:
When you turn to the setting sun and hand the reins of your church or ministry over to a young pastor, do it graciously and step aside. Don’t get in his way. So many elders come to the end of a good ministry and then fail at their test of turning it over to the young. Don’t die a “bitter old man” when you’ve been respected all your life. To cause a young preacher trouble is to touch God’s anointed and will surely bring disappointment to the heart of God. When you retire – go sit in the pew and be “available” if the young come to you. Relinquish your authority fully and completely or move completely out of the area. Don’t end a good life and a good ministry causing trouble for a young minister because you can’t stand the humility of not being seen as still being in charge. Don’t let the light of holiness go out at the end. Modern gospel advocates become cynical when an elderly saint speaks of the “old days,” but anyone with an honest mind knows there were qualities, experiences, intimacies with God and a rare old-time sweetness among our elders not to be found in the microphone jungles of the new electronic church. This is essential to righteousness and renewal that we return to listening to our Fathers and regard their convictions, esteeming them and paying heed to their warnings when they offer them. Offer to sit quietly and hear them out: it will surprise you what you’ll learn and how much sense they make. One reform needed badly, that instead of youthful dynamism dictating to the church, that once again the elders standing firmly upon the principles of God’s Word reform the church, re-institute abandoned scriptural practices and revive the biblical principles of character, church government and anointed leadership. It should be the faith of our Fathers influencing youth, and where there is divine order and biblical government, the current will flow in this manner and in this direction. The dedicated youthful spirit has its right place in the church, but vocal, worldly elements must not replace the influence of the Fathers.
Deuteronomy 6:5 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.
THREE OF ME
The Psychology of Sanctification. Don’t let the word psychology scare you. The Bible is full of it! Notice the terms that refer to the mind – all found in the Bible frequently; knowledge, understanding, mind, will, sober, wisdom, fear, conscience, thoughts, remember, imaginations, etc. These are all words that refer to the function of the mind and its powers. The Bible teaches that man is trichotomy – that is, he consists of three parts; spirit, soul and body. To be “wholly sanctified,” simply means that all three parts of our being must be surrendered to the sanctifying sovereignty of the Holy Spirit. Both Moses and Paul referred to these three areas of the faith life thousands of years ago. Moses said to Israel, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart (conscience), with all thy mind (intelligence or thought life), and with all thy strength (the physical appetites: of libido, hunger, and ambition).” Deuteronomy 6:5
Paul the apostle came along in his first epistle to the church of Thessalonica and said, “I pray God your whole spirit (conscience), and soul (mind and thought life), and body (physical strength including appetites) be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” I Thessalonians 5:23 Now there is something very interesting about these three distinguishable parts of man’s personality. It seems that both Moses and Paul, you might say the leading theologians of the two covenant periods, show a complete harmony in distinguishing these three parts of man and the way man expresses himself through them. Moses and Paul both indicated that man is a triune being. He has a mind, he has a body and he has a conscience or spirit. Both men are suggesting that we have three separate entities within. It therefore is possible that a person may become more dedicated or sanctified or more God-ward in their intellectual pursuits than perhaps in their spiritual (spiritual sensitivities) pursuits or they may become very spiritual in the sense they are prone to praise and adoration, but they may also be retarded in spiritual control of their body. The carnal mind that rules and expresses itself through the body appetites is the medium of how depravity manifests itself. Those who are not born again have little or no control over it. The spirit and soul develops until full physical maturity, but without the new birth and the knowledge of God’s word control of the body and control of the appetites will be missing. Romans 13:14; Galatians 5:17 The Christian that is retaining the ecstasies of God in his daily experience in Christ, walking in the Spirit, rejoicing in victorious faith is the Christian who has learned that all three parts of his personality are affected by all of the graces of God. These graces include applying the word of God to my daily life, perfecting holiness in the fear of God and attention to prayer without ceasing. All three parts of the triune nature will receive an equal measure of attention. One are of the nature can develop spiritually and excel while the other two parts of personality may lack spiritual cultivation. This is one of the conditions that are the cause behind different beliefs within Christianity. The psychology of sanctification is simple to understand; that I am not a single natured being but I have two natures, flesh nature and the spirit nature. There are two natures but three integers (parts) that make up the soma nature of every man and woman.
The mind excels in the knowledge of God as I give my faculties to constant exposure to the Word of God. Have you ever wondered how good and evil could coexist in men such as Balaam, Samson, Saul and Solomon, and, yes, even David?
On the basis of the psychology of sanctification, Balaam was a man who could prophesy under the anointing of the Holy Spirit and truthfully declare that “the cry of a king was in the camp of Israel”. At the same time his spirit was prophesying in submission to the Holy Spirit, his body was lusting for the house of gold promised by the heathen king, Balak. It’s also possible that Balaam lacked dedication in his thought life (soul). He allowed his thoughts to run over all the good reasons he should accept Balak’s offer, but it didn’t turn out as he fantasized.
Notice David’s problem. He was quick to judge the man who killed the pet lamb of another; he knew the truth (knowledge), but he could not apply truth to the evil of his own life. The body’s libido was imposing itself upon the mind. His desire for an illicit love blinded him to his true spiritual relationship to God! This was 1035 BC, but sounds just like AD 2012!
Peter excelled in spiritual desire, but his thinking was not sound, it had not caught up with his spirit. In Peter’s case, his spirit and his body did well, but his impulsive mind was not spiritually mature. This did change after the resurrection. When we read of such men as Daniel, John the beloved, and Enoch, we see men who seem to possess a more balanced and evenly developed triune nature. Such men as Diotrephes severely lacked the quality of praise and softness of spirit. A true prayer life will not allow the mind to become twisted and unreasonable. So while the spirit and soul drink in the Spirit presence and the Word presence of God to give it life, the Word of God calls for the mortification or death of the body. Paul put it in these words, “I beseech you therefore brethren by the mercies of God that you present your bodies a living sacrifice…” Galatians 2:20 and Romans 12:1 Two positive forces giving life to the spirit and the soul, and the negative action of self denial to the body constitute a biblical and full experience of sanctification. The virtue of the mind is truth. The virtue of the spirit is worship. The virtue of the body is moderation (self control). To be sanctified “wholly” means to be growing in spirit, soul, and body simultaneously. The universal church also possesses these three basic characteristics of life. We have movements which are excellent in scholarship (mind), but if anyone should release an audible praise (spirit) it would disturb the meeting. In another kind of church they are known for emotionalism to the point of bedlam and boast that they “haven’t had any preaching for weeks – the Lord has really been blessing” (spirit). In yet other churches such emphasis is put upon the physical state of man – the meetings glow with beaming personalities, laughter, song, and even “Holy Ghost dancing,” love feasts that include indiscreet (and non-biblical) embracing, holding of hands in prayer, and other forms of unscriptural worship. Today we see a creation of worship around a personality oriented preference system. We have spiritual Preference churches (in the sense they have no emphasis on doctrine), intellectual churches, and body oriented religion. The latter is evil, dangerous, and sensual. They are moral time bombs. There are many fine churches that hold doctrine high and retain a warm spirit of praise. These churches are the few who have the combined ministry of mind and spirit; in these churches the Spirit and the Word have achieved a vital efficacious balance. Some years ago there was a child always riding a tricycle around his house. Some years later he was still riding around the house, only now he was a man riding a big tricycle. There he was, head bent over the handlebars, pumping with all of his might. It was no longer funny or cute. He was mentally retarded … but his body had kept on developing. He had become a man without a mind. We see this very thing too often in the spiritual experience of individual Christians, as well as churches. There are three parts of me that must develop together. The spirit, soul, and body compliment and need each other in the process of triune growth. The Charismatic philosophy allows for the spirit’s dedication to God in praise and worship, but not the surrender of the mind and body. They treat conversion as a spiritual experience only. The mind must be surrendered and allowed to search out such essential doctrines as separation, holiness, law, fear of God, crucified life, sacrifice, righteousness, godliness, worldliness obedience – which all pertain to Christian body disciplines. They throw off such biblical teaching, referring to it as “bondage” and “legalism,” without understanding it. I Corinthians 9:27 They retain only the Spirit, the abstractness of Christianity, rejecting the substance of it – the obedience of the visible life to the moral commandment. They have substituted the real life of obedience for outward praise and emotional worship. See Amos 5:18-24 Emotionalism can imitate praise, but holiness cannot be imitated. You can become emotionally involved with the Gospel, entering into worship and praise, but it is impossible to imitate holiness. Praise can be emotionally imitated – it’s good therapy. But praise apart from the surrender of the mind and body being equally sanctified (separated unto God), leaves us operating at only one third of desired obedience. Whenever obedience is mentioned as an essential part of the Christian experience we are equating obedience to our love for God. Obedience to be valid must be bonded to and the result of a desire to please the God we love and serve – with joy! Time will reveal to these Christians that it takes more than praise to make it. Therefore, when one chooses not to practice separation (from the world), he conveniently denounces it as something to be personally interpreted. He must put up some kind of doctrinal smoke screen to make separation a non-essential element of Christian life. He insists “there are more important things” that constitute the true and deeper things of the Christian life. He will further deduct that because God is not judging him and he is “blessed,” that this is sufficient proof that God approves of his lifestyle, because anyone knows, he asserts, that “whatever God approves, He blesses.” See Romans 12:2; Acts 15:20; Psalm 50 The body is learning the disciplines of withdrawal from the world so that it can serve and not distract the spirit and the soul in their pursuit of God. It, the body, being the residing place of sin (see Sin), is relegated to a non-dominant role in the spiritual life Christ gives. It becomes the habitation of the Holy Spirit and an archive where the Word of God is stored. When the body is not separated from the world Body and is still attached by desire, see Romans 8:5, to the world, Satan still holds a “beachhead” in us. We still lack a total commitment of self to Christ, which must include the body. It is very simple – sanctification involves attachment of the spirit to God through Christ and detachment of the body from the world. The modern Gospel attempts attachment, but fails miserably at detachment! We have created a pseudo spiritual salvation that is not spiritually intelligent and doctrinally oriented. An emotional worship combined with a mental assent as to the credibility of the cross and atonement, but almost entirely without soulish intelligence.
Truth and biblical facts worry those who have built mega church movements of on a Gospel message that has no similarity whatsoever to the apostle’s doctrine – the Church of Acts. Though my spirit may be directed toward God, I am still not a complete Christian so long as my flesh nature maintains inordinate having pleasure and affinities with the world. This condition exists on a wide basis throughout modern evangelical Christendom and is one of the reasons why apostasy flourishes in highly developed and opulent cultures. It is this attraction between body-comfort and materialistic environment that creates a Christianity that rejects body disciplines and the biblical doctrines of separation. It produces a fundamentalism of the “rich and the famous.” It is a Christianity with only part of self giving mental assent to the Savior. The solution is simple – when judgment suddenly sweeps away the good times, the deviants will come to their senses! Those who reject body holiness claim that it must be rejected because many who embraced separation became legalistic and inconsistent. While this is sadly true many times and some pastors require more extreme demands of external appearance than God requires it should be pointed out that separation of the body from the world (worldliness) is a biblical doctrine and cannot be affected one whit by liberal or legalist extremists. That’s a carnal cop-out. Live out the true teaching – don’t replace it with another. It is as incorrect to pursue sanctification in the spirit and reject sanctification of the body as it is to pursue body separation without love and compassion. They are both a bit devilish.
The Ten Commandments are recorded in Exodus 20, and here in Deuteronomy 5.
THE TEN COMMANDMENTS – TEN PRINCIPLES OF HAPPINESS
Every Christian adult and child should have these ten principles of happiness mastered and committed to memory. They are a revelation of God’s moral nature.
Here is a simple division;
1. The first three commandments. Teach us not to TRIFLE with God’s holy nature and person.
2. The fourth commandment, “Six days shalt thou work…and on the seventh day thou shalt rest from all thy labors”. God tells us to REST, and to WORK!.
Teaches us the keeping of the Sabbath;
a. As a day of rest.
b. As a monument to instantaneous creation.
c. Abstaining from pleasure. Isaiah 58
3. The fifth commandment. Teaches us (as children) to be,
b. RESPECTFUL to parents as long as they live. (Christ’s rebuke of Pharisees) The only commandment of the 10 with a promise if kept:
(1) That it will be well with you,
(2) Days will be long upon earth.
4. The sixth, seventh, eighth, and ninth commandments. Teach proper MORAL BEHAVIOR TOWARD OTHERS.
5. The tenth commandment. Teaches us not to covet. Man’s basic fault and a factor behind all sin. While this commandment is attached to the previous four, it seems to summarize man’s real sin problem – SELFISHNESS (greed). Man lives in a moral universe. See Genesis 1. A million cosmic laws preserve this planet from destruction. Man is part of this cosmic creation and is therefore, to a great measure, controlled by the same moral laws of cosmic preservation. Example, “Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he reap.” Galatians 6:7,8 So while definite penalties are not pronounced against those who violate these laws, the penalty of trying to live against moral law is that you are living out of harmony with the moral laws of the creation, and when we do this, our own iniquity will destroy us if we continue in it. See Proverbs 5:22, Psalm 19.
Deuteronomy 6:7 And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. 8 And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. 9 And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.
Deuteronomy 7:6 For thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God: the Lord thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth.
A careful perusal of the chapter in which this verse may be found will show how utterly separated God’s holy people were required to keep from those who surrounded them, lest they should be contaminated by improper associations. The very principle of osmosis by association makes separation essential to maintaining a holy life for anyone living in this “untoward (warped, crooked, perverse-4646) generation.” Acts 2:40
Deuteronomy 7:9 Know therefore that the Lord thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations;
Deuteronomy 8:1 All the commandments which I command thee this day shall ye observe to do, that ye may live, and multiply, and go in and possess the land which the Lord sware unto your fathers. 2 And thou shalt remember all the way which the Lord thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no. 3 And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord doth man live.
Deuteronomy 13:1 If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, 2 And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them; 3 Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the Lord your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.
(See Jeremiah 28:9)
Deuteronomy 13:17 And there shall cleave nought of the cursed thing to thine hand: that the Lord may turn from the fierceness of his anger, and shew thee mercy, and have compassion upon thee, and multiply thee, as he hath sworn unto thy fathers;
(See Joshua 7)
Deuteronomy 14:2 thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God, and the Lord hath chosen thee to be a peculiar people unto himself, above all the nations that are upon the earth.
The holy life has no thought or affection toward the worldly system. Those who do possess holiness, it is here informed, will be so different from the world, the world will note them as “peculiar.”
Deuteronomy 18:13 Thou shalt be perfect with the LORD thy God.
(See Titus 2:14; I Peter 2:9)
Deuteronomy 22:5 The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the Lord thy God.
“A rule intended as a protection against perversion and immorality.” This commandment given by God was to preserve Israel from the cross dressing that was very strong in many of the tribal nations in Palestine. Sodom and Gomorrah were two cities that were strongly homosexual in their cultural development. Many of God’s precepts given to Israel was to distinguish them from the other heathen religions by not allowing Israel to have any practice of those worshippers of Baal in the other nation cities. Baal worshippers worshipped the gods of fertility by wearing wool (animal product) and cotton (an agricultural product) to worship the gods of fertility of their crops and animals. God forbid Israel from wearing these two materials together thus denouncing that practice as becoming a temptation to the Israelites.
Deuteronomy 24:13 In any case thou shalt deliver him the pledge again when the sun goeth down, that he may sleep in his own raiment, and bless thee: and it shall be righteousness unto thee before the Lord thy God.
Note the Lord attributed the deed to the man if he would show this kindness. “It shall be righteousness unto thee – ” Righteousness is always to mean to deal justly and kindly toward others. Holiness is my personal relationship with God while righteousness implies my just dealings with man.
Deuteronomy 26:19 And to make thee high above all nations which he hath made, in praise, and in name, and in honour; and that thou mayest be an holy people unto the Lord thy God, as he hath spoken.
God’s glory is His people – holy people.
Deuteronomy 28:9 The Lord shall establish thee an holy people unto himself, as he hath sworn unto thee, if thou shalt keep the commandments of the Lord thy God, and walk in his ways.
Holiness is much more than an emotional attachment to God or the Son. Anyone in their right mind would acknowledge the logics of sin and redemption through Christ once faced with it. But that understanding of man’s need of a Saviour that saves a soul from the pangs of hell is a very small part of the total concept of redemption. Holiness is the Divine intention – not just to save us from – but to bring us unto perfection at any cost. The second dimension of Gospel truth is, 1) The supreme importance of obedience to the commandments. 2) Learning to please Him by loving and understanding the principles of the commandments, “and walk in His ways.” 3) To always realize that the reason God’s favor is conditional is because outside the commandment is disorder and chaos. His commandments mark the boundaries of order and peace for man.
Deuteronomy 29:19 And it come to pass, when he heareth the words of this curse, that he bless himself in his heart, saying, I shall have peace, though I walk in the imagination of mine heart, to add drunkenness to thirst: 20 The Lord will not spare him, but then the anger of the Lord and his jealousy shall smoke against that man, and all the curses that are written in this book shall lie upon him, and the Lord shall blot out his name from under heaven. 21 And the Lord shall separate him unto evil out of all the tribes of Israel, according to all the curses of the covenant that are written in this book of the law:
The Word of God makes holiness clear. To reject it is to “walk in the imagination” of the human heart. Religious men may manufacture some cheap imitations of peace and blessing, but it is short lived and will surely turn to shame. God can deliver the disobedient to judgment from among the righteous and He can and He will preserve the righteous from the judgment of the wicked as well!
Deuteronomy 30:2 And shalt return unto the Lord thy God, and shalt obey his voice according to all that I command thee this day, thou and thy children, with all thine heart, and with all thy soul; 6 And the Lord thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live.
It is a matter of congratulation that perfect love and a long life of holiness may be matters of heredity as well as other things of less value. Virtues as well as vices may be transmitted in a family. “Else were your children unclean, but now are they holy.” It is implied here that our cultivated qualities of character become genetically programmed in us and that those qualities can be transmitted to our offspring. We know that traits are genetically transmitted. Can it be that we are doing our children a favor, as well as ourselves, by cultivating the fruit of the Spirit and pressing into the holy life. There is some evidence by observation over my four score years that good character and nature qualities can program the genes to reproduce like kind.
Deuteronomy 30:9 And the Lord thy God will make thee plenteous in every work of thine hand, in the fruit of thy body, and in the fruit of thy cattle, and in the fruit of thy land, for good: for the Lord will again rejoice over thee for good, as he rejoiced over thy fathers: 10 If thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to keep his commandments and his statutes which are written in this book of the law, and if thou turn unto the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul. 11 For this commandment which I command thee this day, it is not hidden from thee, neither is it far off. 12 It is not in heaven, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go up for us to heaven, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it? 13 Neither is it beyond the sea, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go over the sea for us, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it? 14 But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it.
The life of obedience and holiness are not only apparent to all who are Christians, but it is very much at hand – it looms before us as a majestic mountain – quickly challenging us as we rise from the cross a new creation. To miss holiness is as impossible as stumbling over a mountain.
Deuteronomy 30:15 See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil; 16 In that I command thee this day to love the Lord thy God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments and his statutes and his judgments, that thou mayest live and multiply: and the Lord thy God shall bless thee in the land whither thou goest to possess it. 19 I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live: 20 That thou mayest love the Lord thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him: for he is thy life, and the length of thy days: that thou mayest dwell in the land which the Lord sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.
Deuteronomy 33:2 And he said, The Lord came from Sinai, and rose up from Seir unto them; he shined forth from mount Paran, and he came with ten thousands of saints: from his right hand went a fiery law for them. 3 Yea, he loved the people; all his saints are in thy hand: and they sat down at thy feet; every one shall receive of thy words.
The “fiery law” issued from God’s love for His people. See I John 5:1-3..pc 30
Joshua 3:5 “And Joshua said unto the people, Sanctify yourselves: for to morrow the Lord will do wonders among you.”
“The reason some do not see the greatest of God’s wonders is because they have not yet sanctified themselves.” Holiness today and wonders tomorrow. Exodus 19:10,14,15; Leviticus 20:7; Numbers 11:18; Joshua 7:13; I Samuel 16:5; Joel 2:16. All of these scriptures put the initiative of sanctification or the act of sanctification directly upon the person.
Joshua 6:18 And ye, in any wise keep yourselves from the accursed thing, lest ye make yourselves accursed, when ye take of the accursed thing, and make the camp of Israel a curse, and trouble it.
(See also 7:1; Deuteronomy 13:17)
It is strange and interesting that the translators of the King James translated, “the devoted thing” (Hebrew, cherem) as the “accursed thing.” That which is accursed of God is the very thing man devotes himself to. Achan desired the thing God forbid. In the end the accursed thing becomes a devoted thing (lust). See Joshua 7:1,4,5,11, 12,13,15; Deuteronomy 13:17
Joshua 7:12 Therefore the children of Israel could not stand before their enemies, but turned their backs before their enemies, because they were accursed: neither will I be with you any more, except ye destroy the accursed from among you.
“The glory of the victorious church was that men proclaimed the Gospel with holy unction and certified it by holy lives.” Nothing but sanctification will cast every accursed thing out of the Church. Ministers will find it to their interest not to deviate, but to accept God’s way of dealing with such accursed things. We cannot purify ourselves, but we can make an entire consecration of ourselves to God. When we do our part, God does his. Morals affect our relationship with God and our power against the enemy.
Judges 2:10 “And also all that generation were gathered unto their fathers: and there arose another generation after them, which knew not the Lord, nor yet the works which he had done for Israel.”
Judges 21:25 (KJV)
25 In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes. Judges 5:23 Curse ye Meroz, said the angel of the Lord, curse ye bitterly the inhabitants thereof; because they came not to the help of the Lord, to the help of the Lord against the mighty.
Neutralism is amorality and amorality is a form of skepticism. What glorious privilege is this? That mere man was needed to “help the Lord”. What honor, what opportunity! When God has a plan for man, He needs the employ of men to “help” Him. Not because He cannot do it Himself, but because He wants to share the kingdom with men; to include men in all of His accomplishments. Numbers 25:6-8; Luke 11:23; Matthew 25:28; Exodus 2:11-17.
Judges 16:20 And she said, The Philistines be upon thee, Samson. And he awoke out of his sleep, and said, I will go out as at other times before, and shake myself. And he wist not that the Lord was departed from him.
There are several renditions of the meaning here in Samson’s statement. In researching the Hebrew the idea is that he would go out against the Philistines, shake and howl and shake off the chains as I have before again and again.
Samson kept wanting a “piece of the world”. The world ended up getting all of him. “Then she said, ‘The Philistines are on you Samson!’ He awoke from his sleep, and thought, ‘I shall get off as I have done over and over again, and shake myself free’ – not knowing that the Lord had left him.” (American Translation)
SAMSON AND THE CHARISMATICS
Suddenly prominent Evangelical preachers are beginning to preach righteousness. Some of us wonder where these men have been for the last twenty years. The truly great prophets are those who were sensitive to the Holy Spirit when such evils as television first appeared. The minister who takes up this theme should have evidence of his credentials;
1. He should have a sound doctrinal understanding of holiness, knowing that separation is an essential part of true holiness and possess the same. Preachers who are devoted to God but not separated from the world are not qualified to teach holiness. Search Qualifications
2. He should have a good theological understanding of the difference between holiness and righteousness and not confuse them in his preaching.
3. He should have an established testimony as a holy man. How can you teach a doctrine your reputation does not support. And then, any man who has a “holiness” image should be able to teach it and will teach it faithfully (without reservation, preference, or being personally slanted). When the manufacturers advertise TV as “bringing the world into your living room,” how can a man of God (professing) say he is practicing separation and have such an instrument in his home? Separation is exactly what actuality declares it to be. We talk “holiness,” but show little evidence of separation. That is hypocrisy, not holiness. See Separation; Holiness/Righteousness; Psalm 101:2,3. The modern Gospel proponents preach a holiness without separation. But the essence of holiness is separation from the world! I John 5:1-5; 2 Corinthians 6:17
MODERN SAMSONS AND SEPARATION
Modern conditions resemble Samson’s departure from the traditional (biblical concepts of his parents). Judges 14:1-3 The mark of the apostate church is that it rejects the very mention of holiness of life and separation in particular. It detests serious examination of biblical sanctification. Environment, not scriptures, dictates moral standards. The modern Gospel movement is characterized by its recognition of the holiness of God, but with no teaching on the holiness of man. Neither Samson nor the apostates regard the commandments. They attempt, consciously or unconsciously, to escape the doctrine, the importance, the supremacy of separation from the world by flattering God with praise and adoration. They produce emotionalism, act out a very humanistic charisma and call it “the joy of the Lord.” Those who experienced the pure Pentecostal power in previous generations know very well the difference between the glorious Pentecost then and the contemporary counterfeits prominent today. Amos 5:21 Separation from the world is a essential part of our faith. In Christian love. (I John 2:15) In Christian faith. (I John 5:4) In Christian power. (Judges 16:20) In Christian worship. Amos 5:18-24; Isaiah 1:18) In Christian doctrine. (I Timothy 3:16,17)
SAMSON AND EXTERNAL HOLINESS
Samson’s dedication included an external feature that spoke of his special relationship to God; his hair. When he lost his outside religion it did affect, it did indicate a spiritual condition had depreciated on the inside of him. His inside changed when he trifled with external disciplines. When he let Delilah mess with his hair he lost the presence of God. When he disobeyed God, he lost something! Too many men wear their hair the way they do because their wives or girlfriends like it that way. They will let a woman “mess with their hair,” but reject anything God mentions about it. God’s Word and not the silly fancy of feminine vanity dictates to man the proper lifestyle and hair style for his Christian life. The Bible does speak of spiritual externals … and on this very object. The Lord departed from Samson and he didn’t know it. Judges 16:20 It happened to Laodicea also. “Thou sayest I am rich and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; AND KNOWEST NOT.” Revelation 3:17 Samson went out and shook himself as at times before. We keep on shaking and going through the motions. We talk about Jesus, faith and miracles. We shake awhile and sing awhile. After Delilah gave him the haircut, then he went into defensive action, too late! Samson ran out from the tent full of emotion, but emptied of God. What’s on the inside is more important. When you have modesty of heart (inside), you’re going to be visibly modest in the external Adornment life also. The people who talk about religion being on the inside are the same ones that spend so much time and money adorning the outside. Holiness (or any spiritual virtue) is a spiritual desire that dwells inside of you, a purity of heart, and if you have the Spirit of holiness inside of you, your visible will reflect perfect morals, judgment, and taste. The Bible text is very clear in its treatment of being ostentatious; Expensive, fashionable clothing, glamorizing, and seeking beauty. The Painting of the face, jewelry. I Timothy 2:9 Cutting or adorning the hair in any vain manner. Men, styling the hair long. The hair is not to be thought of primarily as an object of self enhancement, but treated as scripture teaches, in a spiritual manner. I Corinthians 11:1-15 To the contrary, the Bible takes a position against these visible practices. How can any Christian who claims to be “filled with the Holy Spirit,” not even be able to keep these “least commandments?” Matthew 5:19
JUDGES 15 There are many interesting parallels between Samson and the Charismatic movement;
1. He had good origin.
2. He rejected the counsel of his peers, scripture, and parents.
3. He was strong. Samson was a man of physical strength and renown.
4. He was influential and admired, had a position of being “a judge” over the church. The Charismatic movement exerts tremendous religious influence over the fundamental churches in this era. Charismatic (Greek CHARISMA, meaning free gift) comes from the Greek root “CHARIS” meaning joy. It has emphasized personalities, while claiming great adherence to the doctrines and person of the Holy Spirit. It has been a flaring personality movement. There has been very little emphasis upon character. (It represents a new concept of prosperity that promotes a Gospel of the rich rather than a Gospel to the poor.) A noticeable likeness to the ministry of Samson.
5. Samson was next to the last judge. The Charismatic movement with emphasis on gifts and personality, representing a corrupted message, may very well be the movement that will precede the last great movement of the church which will surely be the message of purity and holy preparation, the bride. This final movement will restore proper emphasis of character (in place of the present emphasis on personality), and may well be ushered in by cataclysmic judgments that will bring a much needed God consciousness (though short lived, as the antichrist projects himself to the nations before the world sees its most terrible hour). The last two judges could correspond with a last two church movements, the latter being a movement with emphasis upon character and holiness of life as we would see in the character of Samuel
6. Samson was too good to condemn, and too bad to emulate or model after. The Charismatic movement has brought sub-grace living that is obnoxiously diametric to the teachings of Christ and the apostles. i.e., emphasis on charisma and none on character; emotionalism without systematic doctrine; open departure of traditional biblical values (holiness, separation, obedience); prosperity emphasis, the practicing of prominence and importance of man, extravagance; sophistication (eliteness or high-mindedness) that tends to ignore, despise the poor within its inner circles James 2:6; physical contact in worship, forms of praise and worship without biblical precedent; complete ignorance and rejection of teaching on church government principles; emphasis on the importance of the physical state.
7. Samson, though called of God and anointed of God, had certain ties and affinities with the world that he could not and would not terminate. Samson was not an over-comer. This lack of moral commitment and resolution in Samson finally destroyed him in the end. Worldliness will always destroy the movement that tolerates it. Modern neo-Christians embrace worldliness as an addict embraces drugs, he needs it to support him and keeps him hallucinated. He made alliances with and among his enemies. Amos 5:23; Romans 3:20
8. Samson had a marriage with the world and at the same time a call from God. They don’t go together! They are non-compatible and ultimately end with God withdrawing His Spirit and our entering a state of delusion and blindness.
9. Samson possessed spiritual gifts and power from God that continued to operate and coexist with his promiscuity. This led him to believe, deceived him into believing he had God’s approval in spite of his contempt for the moral precept.
10. Samson lost the real power and strength of the Holy Ghost, yet continued to go through the motions he had learned so well.
11. Samson became blinded by the very world system he was called to have dominion over. So, the world is pleasantly mesmerizing, but also promises destruction in the end.
12. Samson destroyed himself in the end. Liberalizing the moral precepts of God only ends up one way self destruction. Samson’s life relates to us clearly that power without character concepts will ultimately prove to be false and destructive. We destroy ourselves when we disobey the moral commandments.
Ruth 3:11 “And now, my daughter, fear not; I will do to thee all that thou requirest: for all the city of my people doth know that thou art a virtuous woman.”
I Samuel 15:22-23 “And Samuel said, Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, he hath also rejected thee from being king.”
I Samuel 15:21 But the people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the chief of the things which should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrifice unto the Lord thy God in Gilgal.
Natural ability can produce desired effect. The church in this technological age of competency has most definitely moved into the realm of natural methods to achieve results and then claim those natural effects as Divine. If Krogers or Panasonic achieves results using the same methods, we call it business psychology – if the super-evangelist does it, they say it’s God. Technology is a power, and power is always a good thing when held by a good man. But when men use the power of technology (or any power) to promote themselves, through highly trained men who surround them, Divine contact lessens and the biblical standards of qualification (character) and approval (consensus) no longer play a part in the vital area of church leadership. Denominational leaders and local church elders are no longer the authorities of the church as God originally ordained it to be. The modern church is governed and most highly influenced by those of celebrity status most of them self promoted. Spiritual results require the abasing of self, while natural methods demand the Mercenaries exalting of personality (self). 2 Corinthians 1:12 The first and most glaring of all commandments God has given is this; He does not approve of natural attempts (methods) to glorify Him – nor will He accept the fruit (results) of natural attempts to glorify Him that in any way conflict with the Word. All such “works” and ministries will be rejected in the judgment. See Matthew 7:21-23. God will not share His glory with another. Exodus 20:5; 34:14; Deuteronomy 4:24; 5:9; 6:15; Joshua 24:19
I Samuel 15:23 For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, he hath also rejected thee from being king.
The Divine concept of sin is more extreme than human reasoning will permit. The sparing of the sheep could correspond with the new concepts of worship based on reasoning rather than a loving adherence to the Word of God. Where God’s Word speaks, obedience supersedes our own super-spiritual ideas. Religion today advocates praise apart from precept. This was Saul’s mistake. Sparing the sheep speaks of having a mushy sentimental philosophy about what pleases the Lord. It’s all humanistic when obedience to the Word loses pre-eminence.
I Samuel 15:24 And Saul said unto Samuel, I have sinned: for I have transgressed the commandment of the Lord, and thy words: because I feared the people, and obeyed their voice.
What is commonly thought of as “the favor of man,” may better be identified as “the fear of man” as Saul honestly declared. Exodus 32:1,2; 32:22-23; Deuteronomy 25:17; Galatians 1:10 There is an emotional interplay between the fear of God and the favor of man. Too often ministers of the Gospel move from the former to the latter almost unconsciously. Saul was to rule the people in behalf of God, but became ineffective when he allowed the people to pressure him against the commandment. Saul was a big man physically, loaded with external pluses and possessed a lot of charisma, but was a coward when the crowd pressured him. I Samuel 10:23
I Samuel 16:7 But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.
IMPORTANCE OF APPEARANCE
It is as necessary to impress man with visible righteousness and purity as it is to impress God with the sincerity of the inner man. Somewhere, sometime, someone repeated the words spoken to Samuel when he was about to anoint Eliab and said, “It’s not what’s on the outside that counts, but what’s on the inside.” Remember what God told Samuel? He said man looks on the outside, but God looks on the inside. This is too often quoted to imply that there is no merit to the visible virtues of modesty and chastity as it may affect our appearance as Christian men and women. It is also said to imply that there is an “inside” and “outside” holiness, and that one is of no consequence or of lesser consequence than the other. Both of these implications are wrong in principle, in practice, and in doctrine.
1. All of the inner spiritual qualities of the fruit of the Spirit as described in Galatians chapter five can be imitated, as can any of the visible moral qualities of the Christian life!
2. It is impossible to say that a man is more holy in his spirit than in his flesh.
3. In this text there is nothing to support an “inner holiness” doctrine. When God mentioned the outside of Eliab, He definitely did not make any reference to how Eliab was dressed. He was probably dressed as any other man of that day.”Countenance” and “stature” are the words used as the visible marks of Eliab’s appearance that deceived the prophet. Literally, he was tall and handsome. As Eliab appeared before Samuel, he kept himself in line and probably tried to impress Samuel with his pleasant mannerisms. The inner graces can be imitated and are as liable to sham as any of the graces that regulate the visible appearance. Eliab later showed his true character when David visited the battlefield. He was nice enough when he tried to impress the prophet, but Eliab could be so nasty to the members of his own family. The test of true inner grace is not how one acts to celebrities and superiors, but the real test is how one reacts to subordinates and inferiors. Much error comes from overemphasizing a half-truth. Proponents of “inside” or “outside” holiness are both scripturally wrong! God’s holiness affects both parts of man equally.
2 Samuel 22:22,25 “For I have kept the ways of the Lord, and have not wickedly departed from my God. Therefore the Lord hath recompensed me according to my righteousness; according to my cleanness in his eye sight.”
1 Kings 15:11 “And Asa did that which was right in the eyes of the Lord, as did David his father.”
I Kings 10:27 And the king made silver to be in Jerusalem as stones, and cedars made he to be as the sycomore trees that are in the vale, for abundance. 28 And Solomon had horses brought out of Egypt, and linen yarn: the king’s merchants received the linen yarn at a price. 29 And a chariot came up and went out of Egypt for six hundred shekels of silver, and an horse for an hundred and fifty: and so for all the kings of the Hittites, and for the kings of Syria, did they bring them out by their means. 11:1But king Solomon loved many strange women, together with the daughter of Pharaoh, women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Zidonians, and Hittites;
I Kings 11:2 Of the nations concerning which the Lord said unto the children of Israel, Ye shall not go in to them, neither shall they come in unto you: for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods: Solomon clave unto these in love.
6 And Solomon did evil in the sight of the Lord, and went not fully after the Lord, as did David his father. 7 Then did Solomon build an high place for Chemosh, the abomination of Moab, in the hill that is before Jerusalem, and for Molech, the abomination of the children of Ammon. 8 And likewise did he for all his strange wives, which burnt incense and sacrificed unto their gods.
SOLOMON’S FASCINATION WITH GRANDEUR
Read I Kings 7; 10:14 through 11:8 You may have enough to finish building your tower, but not have enough sense to keep from falling off of it. A man can do a splendid work in the Lord, build churches, and like Solomon, even build a kingdom, but Solomon didn’t have the wisdom to preserve his own soul from gold, from women, and from power alliances with heathen nations. Like Job’s story, Solomon’s story reveals yet another reason why good men go wrong. He received great portions of God’s wisdom to establish a great kingdom, and still lacked the wisdom of moral character to save his own soul. It takes a different kind of virtue to build a social structure, an organization, than it does to cultivate personal spiritual character. In Deuteronomy 17:14-20, God told Israel the time would come when they would want a king and would have the desire to be like other nations. The Lord gave four commandments to the king that they would set over them.
1. Multiplying of horses was forbidden.
2. Multiplying of silver was forbidden.
3. Multiplying of wives was forbidden.
4. The king of Israel was to write and copy the law that was before the Levites. We do not find that Solomon regarded any one of these four commandments, but to the contrary, flagrantly violated them. He was so busy building a super-nation, he ignored the moral commandments and ended up destroying Israel (by corruption) and possibly losing his soul. There are several questions that come to mind here that bear upon holiness of the Christian life.
1. That Solomon had received a special wisdom from God to govern the nation of Israel.
2. That in spite of this anointing from God, he was guilty of disobedience to the Word of God, which finally resulted in causing his own moral corruption.
3. By the wisdom of God he built a kingdom and gilded it with gold; then by his disobedience to the Word, sowed the seeds of decay that destroyed the very kingdom he built with God given wisdom. Draw a parallel between this coexistence of good and evil with the Laodicean church recorded in Revelation 3, and with the life of Samson, who was a strange combination of good and evil coexisting. Balaam was another, David, Saul, Judas – these all experienced anointing and sin simultaneously.
While there is the truth that the gifts of God are without repentance, there is also such a thing as a point in the disobedient life when God departs. Judges 16:20.
Note the following:
1. All three of the forbidden things which God commanded of Israel’s kings were forms of political power.
2. Horses and chariots speak of power.
3. Silver and gold speak of monetary power.
4. The marrying of wives speak of political alliances. Ancient kings married into the families of other regal families to insure personal dialogue and thus create alliances between their nations. Solomon, in spite of the wisdom God gave him for Israel, displayed a horrendous arrogance toward the Word of God. Solomon reverted to the “might” and “power” (Zechariah 4:6) of worldly alliances and military strength utterly disregarding the principles of personal purity and righteousness to preserve Israel. We note worldly philosophy being embraced by a changing and pompous Solomon. He made the mistake of regarding God’s commandments as simplistic and not of too great importance as he became exalted and powerful. God did prosper Solomon – no doubt about it – but it is a stupid mistake to think of my prosperous state as God’s approval when I am quite cognizant that I am not really obeying the commandments He gave me.
5. Those who are Spirit anointed oftentimes disregard the Word. Solomon is certainly the classic example of this condition.
6. The key word to faith is, resources. Solomon prostituted his wisdom by seeking his resources in the world to establish the security of the nation of Israel. There is a strange spiritual chemistry fomenting in Solomon as it does in all Christians who claim faith in God but employ the world’s resources to accomplish kingdom goals.
To use the world’s resources to promote personality in the name of spiritual faith is classic folly! Success is no substitute for holiness. It’s possible to be;
1. Capable and not qualified.
2. To be competent, but not anointed.
3. Educated, but not dedicated.
True faith has all of its resources in God. It may not be big, it may not be prominent, but it has this confidence; all of its resources are in God. See Zechariah 4:6
I Kings 11:9 And the Lord was angry with Solomon, because his heart was turned from the Lord God of Israel, which had appeared unto him twice.
“God has favorites, but He does not favor His favorites.” Psalm 15; 24:3-6 He over-related to his material environment. I Kings 10:26-11:4 In 2 Chronicles 1:12, God promised Solomon wisdom, knowledge, riches, and wealth. Deuteronomy 17:14-20, God gave guidelines for all the kings of Israel to follow, including Solomon. He should have related more heavily to the commandments than to his material state. God didn’t cancel the kingly commandments when He promised him riches and wealth. That would still be required. No matter what material state we find ourselves in, we must still keep the Word of God in a proper perspective, even more so when we know full well that materialism is diametric to so many spiritual principles. Moderation is a different value than extravagance. Wealth genders pride in many – hardly ever humility. We are never warned against poverty, but “the love of money is the root of all evil.” Wealth heeds sophistication and high-mindedness, not spiritual virtue. Jesus said it’s very hard for the rich to enter the kingdom. If the rich are to avoid the error of Solomon they must stay in close proximity to the Word, letting everything revolve around it! Solomon failed to do this and lost holiness of life.
I Kings 15:5 Because David did that which was right in the eyes of the Lord, and turned not aside from any thing that he commanded him all the days of his life, save only in the matter of Uriah the Hittite.
Avoid mistakes in life that put something on the record that cannot be removed or forgotten. God commended David here for having a special love for His commandments.
I Kings 15:14 But the high places were not removed: nevertheless Asa’s heart was perfect with the Lord all his days.
Although there were some reforms that Asa might have inaugurated, but did not; and although there may have been some glaring faults in his management of his kingdom; yet the Bible asserts that his heart was perfect with the Lord all his days. So also, in spite of our ignorance and infirmities and other natural or circumstantial disabilities, it is possible for us to have a heart like Asa perfect with God all our days.
I Kings 21:20 And Ahab said to Elijah, Hast thou found me, O mine enemy? And he answered, I have found thee: because thou hast sold thyself to work evil in the sight of the Lord.
Jezebel was Ahab’s darling, but when he saw Elijah, he called him his “enemy.” Selfishness, pride, and sin twists our thinking and values until we don’t know our true friends from our real enemies. See Psalm 141:5.
I Kings 21:25 But there was none like unto Ahab, which did sell himself to work wickedness in the sight of the Lord, whom Jezebel his wife stirred up.
Desire for body pleasures will overrule conscience again and again until conscience loses its authority in governing the moral direction of the soul. A Christian given to (non-biblical) pleasure and who seeks pleasure (and sometimes innocent and legitimate forms of pleasure) can do so until the lust for pleasure begins to play a part in how we make our decisions. Conscience acts upon what is right and wrong, while the body appetites function on the basis of pain and pleasure. The Christian perfecting holiness in the sight of God must never allow his conduct to be dominated by decisions based upon pain and pleasure. We do err when we relate things of pain to evil. And things that are pleasant as good. See philosophy, Hedonism. Israel lusted for the “leeks and onions.” Humanistic religion is programmed for pleasure. Holiness makes its decisions on the basis of right and wrong and not on the biological preference for pleasure. James 4:3 The serpent beguiled Eve. Genesis 3:4 The influence of the mixed multitude on Israel. Numbers 11:4 Jaen influences the mighty warrior to his death. Judges 4:17 The influence of Solomon’s heathen wives. I Kings 11:3 Jorum, King of Israel, influenced by his wife, daughter of Jezebel. 2 Kings 8:17, 21:9; See 2 Chronicles 33:9; Hosea 4:9; Luke 12:1; Galatians 3:1.
2 Kings 23:3 “And the king stood by a pillar, and made a covenant before the Lord, to walk after the Lord, and to keep his commandments and his testimonies and his statutes with all their heart and all their soul, to perform the words of this covenant that were written in this book. And all the people stood to the covenant.”
2 Kings 3:1 Now Jehoram the son of Ahab began to reign over Israel in Samaria the eighteenth year of Jehoshaphat king of Judah, and reigned twelve years. 2 And he wrought evil in the sight of the Lord; but not like his father, and like his mother: for he put away the image of Baal that his father had made.
God judged all kings as good or evil. As each ascended the throne the chronicle usually monitored five facts about each king. 1) His name; 2) His age when he began to reign; 3) How long he reigned; 4) His mother’s name; and 5) Whether “he did right in the sight of the Lord,” or “did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord.”
I Kings 14:22 Rehoboam – Judah – Did Evil
I Kings 15:3 Abijam – Judah – Did Evil
I Kings 16:1-2 Baasha – Israel – Did Evil
I Kings 16:30 Ahab – Israel – Did Evil
2 Kings 3:1-2 Jehoram – Israel – Did Evil
2 Kings 10:31 Jehu – Israel – Did Evil
2 Kings 12:1-2 Jehoash – Judah – Did Right
2 Kings 13:1-2 Jehoahaz – Israel – Did Evil
2 Kings 14:1-3 Amaziah – Judah – Did Right
2 Kings 15:1-3 Azariah – Judah – Did Right
2 Kings 16:1-2 Ahaz – Judah – Did Right
2 Kings 17:1-2 Hoshea – Israel – Did Evil
2 Kings 18:1-3 Hezekiah – Judah – Did Right
2 Kings 21:1-2 Manasseh – Judah – Did Evil
2 Kings 22:1-2 Josiah – Judah – Did Right
2 Kings 23:31 Jehoahaz – Judah – Did Evil
2 Kings 23:36 Jehoiakim – Judah – Did Evil
2 Kings 24:8-9 Jehoiachin – Judah – Did Evil
2 Kings 24:18 Zedekiah – Judah – Did Evil
2 Kings 9:30 And when Jehu was come to Jezreel, Jezebel heard of it; and she painted her face, and tired her head, and looked out at a window.
The ostentatious Jezebel
Jezebel is still the Bible’s symbol of the physical beauty cult. Our Gospel Fathers
once preached fearlessly whole messages on Jezebel, the woman who painted herself, and in so teaching, warded off many worldly evils. But today, the neo-Christian is completely conditioned to worldliness and vanity of flesh. Little girls in their young teens dress and paint like little harlots, mincing in the church. Mothers and fathers not only tolerate it, but practice it themselves. What was once considered an evil form of worldliness is now being promoted as good from the pulpit!
K2 Kings 16:3 But he walked in the way of the kings of Israel, yea, and made his son to pass through the fire, according to the abominations of the heathen, whom the Lord cast out from before the children of Israel.
HEATHEN TRADITION: HALLOWEEN
Halloween was founded and given most of its characteristics by the druids. Druids: A priest or soothsayer of a Celtic religious order in ancient Gaul, Britain, and Ireland. The druids possessed some knowledge of geometry, natural philosophy, etc., superintended the affairs of religion and morality, and performed the office of judges: they were influential especially before the Celts were Christianized. A member of an order known as the United Ancient Order of Druids, founded 1781, in London.
The druids established the following things regarding the Halloween celebration.
1. They established October 31 as the day evil spirits return to the earth making contact with human beings.
2. They originated the idea of costumes.
3. They originated the idea of trick or treating.
4. On this day human sacrifices were made by the druids.
Christians should have no part with this “harmless” Satanic celebration that is of demonic origin! See 2 Kings 17:8-11; 2 Chronicles 33:2. This is one of the “harmless” practices Christians have become involved in. When the church sanctifies itself and separates itself unto the Lord, it will depart from all heathen practices and celebrations. God’s people will denounce and ignore any practice of heathen origin. God made parents intelligent for such good reasons as this. A Christian religion of our own liking means we can do as we like. Christians who seek to be holy, seek to be set apart as the Lord commands. See Holy; Sanctification; I Chronicles 15:12.
2 Kings 20:3 I beseech thee, O Lord, remember now how I have walked before thee in truth and with a perfect heart, and have done that which is good in thy sight. And Hezekiah wept sore.
How quickly God acknowledged the tears of this weeping King who cried out to Him. Why? Look at his character qualities! 1) I have walked before thee; 2) In truth; 3) With a perfect heart; 4) Good scriptural conduct; and 5) Brokenness, “and Hezekiah wept sore.”
I Chronicles 29:17 “I know also, my God, that thou triest the heart, and hast pleasure in uprightness. As for me, in the uprightness of mine heart I have willingly offered all these things: and now have I seen with joy thy people, which are present here, to offer willingly unto thee.”
I Chronicles 12:33 Of Zebulun, such as went forth to battle, expert in war, with all instruments of war, fifty thousand, which could keep rank: they were not of double heart.
The best warriors in our holy war are the single-hearted. Loyalty is essential. Treason cannot be tolerated. Divided hearts are the omen of defeat.
I Chronicles 15:12 And said unto them, Ye are the chief of the fathers of the Levites: sanctify yourselves, both ye and your brethren, that ye may bring up the ark of the Lord God of Israel unto the place that I have prepared for it.
“Sanctify yourselves.” The initiative of the believer to set himself apart, to be cleansed by his own choice.
I Chronicles 16:29 Give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name: bring an offering, and come before him: worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.
(See Psalms 29:2; 96:9)
BEAUTY AND CLEANLINESS
When God created the cosmic world, He gave it beauty in color, form, fragrance, sound, taste and order. Through the ages man has been devastating the original Edenic beauty! Where bottles, cans, graffiti, trash, junkyards, discarded paper and litter of all descriptions clutter the scene, ecology is threatened to the point that even unregenerate man is sounding the alarm of its dangers. Trash spoils natural beauty. Uncleanness is always the enemy of beauty! You can destroy the beauty of anything with filth. So it is with the BEAUTY OF HOLINESS! Worldliness is the pollution of the beauty of holiness. Cosmetology is man’s attempt to deify self. But when we pollute the natural beauty, we not only attempt the glorification of the flesh, we cheapen and pollute original beauty. “The natural look” is always in vogue, considered good taste and envied by the unchaste and impure.
I Chronicles 28:9 And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for the Lord searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off for ever.
Know thou the God of thy father. God didn’t indicate to Solomon that he needed a whole new revelation for “the special day he was living in.” God’s advice to Solomon was to adhere to the faith of his Father; to abide by David’s teachings and convictions. A willing mind. Willingness speaks of inner desire. A desire to serve God and keep His commandments. This inner desire is the God given key to obedience. It is what the Holy Spirit brings into the heart of the genuinely converted. If you have the Holy Spirit, you will love truth and the commandments above l things. John 14:15
2 Chronicles 20:21 “And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed singers unto the Lord, and that should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army, and to say, Praise the Lord; for his mercy endureth for ever.”
2 Chronicles 26:5 And he sought God in the days of Zechariah, who had understanding in the visions of God: and as long as he sought the Lord, God made him to prosper. 2 chronicles 26:5
2 Chronicles 20:21 7:14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
The word here is “turn from their wicked apathy.” Ezekiel 44:23
2 Chronicles 13:12 (KJV)
12 And, behold, God himself is with us for our captain, and his priests with sounding trumpets to cry alarm against you. O children of Israel, fight ye not against the Lord God of your fathers; for ye shall not prosper.
2 Chronicles 20:21 And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed singers unto the Lord, and that should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army, and to say, Praise the Lord; for his mercy endureth for ever.
This is immortalized in sacred Holiness, history by the wonderful victory God gave His faithful king Jehoshaphat when Moab, Ammon, and Edom had all united against Judea. Each nation was larger than the [smaller Hebrew nations], and God sent him a prophet to deliver His message not to go out against them belligerently, but to [go out singing] the beauty of His holiness. [As they sang of His holiness] He sent a confusion among them so they mistook their own allies for the Jews, and fought against them in the moonlight and so utterly exterminated each the other as to super-induce a general stampede, in their panic leaving the very earth groaning with the spoils of war, which the Jews captured. They who sing of it should possess it in spirit, soul and body. I Thessalonians 5:23. See Body; Trichotomy.
2 Chronicles 25:2 And he did that which was right in the sight of the Lord, but not with a perfect heart.
Some ways the heart can be off;
1. Obedience with reservation.
2. Obedience with divided affection.
3. Obedience lacking pure motive.
4. Obedience for others to see.
5. Obedience without compassion.
2 Chronicles 25:5 Moreover Amaziah gathered Judah together, and made them captains over thousands, and captains over hundreds, according to the houses of their fathers, throughout all Judah and Benjamin: and he numbered them from twenty years old and above, and found them three hundred thousand choice men, able to go forth to war, that could handle spear and shield. 6 He hired also an hundred thousand mighty men of valour out of Israel for an hundred talents of silver. 7 But there came a man of God to him, saying, O king, let not the army of Israel go with thee; for the Lord is not with Israel, to wit, with all the children of Ephraim.8 But if thou wilt go, do it, be strong for the battle: God shall make thee fall before the enemy: for God hath power to help, and to cast down. 9 And Amaziah said to the man of God, But what shall we do for the hundred talents which I have given to the army of Israel? And the man of God answered, The Lord is able to give thee much more than this. 10 Then Amaziah separated them, to wit, the army that was come to him out of Ephraim, to go home again:
Amaziah had tremendous organizational ability. These natural skills can get the man of God in trouble. He organized everything. He had put his confidence in his natural ability, in money, and force. Then the prophet came and spoiled his plans and showed him it was more glorious to put his faith (have his resources) in God. Amaziah is to be commended! He dumped his plan, put his fate and his faith in the power and resources of God. Result: He “slaughtered” the Edomites.
FAITH AND RESOURCES
Jesus’ life was the pure example of finding its resources in the power of God. The Pharisees used their alliances with the political forces of Rome. The philosophies of the Greeks was still prevalent along with the resources of a powerful Roman Empire. Jesus did not in any way avail Himself of any of these natural resources. He was a man who totally and completely relied upon His “connection” with the Father. He achieved all through His communion with God and depended entirely upon the anointing of the Holy Spirit. Moses did not use resources of the world to bring about the freedom of the slave nation Israel from Egypt. Gideon did not use the resources of the world when he destroyed the camp of the Midianites. In fact, the men and nations these men conquered were trusting in might and power, in alliances, in swords and chariots. It was men of the world who trusted in the resources of the world that were conquered by men of spiritual faith who used spiritual weapons. In Judges 4, it was God who gave Deborah the battle plan that would destroy Sisera and the 900 iron chariots. Iron at this time was considered the symbol of strength on the battlefield. Horses and iron chariots was an invincible military advantage. But Jabin’s kingdom fell when the resources of the world met in mortal combat with the faith of Deborah and Barak whose resources were in God!
2 Chronicles 26:15 And he made in Jerusalem engines, invented by cunning men, to be on the towers and upon the bulwarks, to shoot arrows and great stones withal. And his name spread far abroad; for he was marvellously helped, till he was strong. 16 But when he was strong, his heart was lifted up to his destruction: for he transgressed against the Lord his God, and went into the temple of the Lord to burn incense upon the altar of incense.
The ill effects of materialism on character. If we make the mistake of being absorbed in, distracted by the blessings of obedience, we can easily enter upon a self-destructive course. Solomon ruined his spiritual life, as well as his spiritual ministry, by indulging in the resources of materialism.
I Kings 10-11; 2 Chronicles 26:15,16; Deuteronomy 6:10-12; Jeremiah 22:21; Ezekiel 16:49; Haggai 1:4; Proverbs 14:12; 16:25
There is a post blessing wisdom we must observe that is as essential as pre-obedience wisdom. Men rise and fall with their morals.
2 Chronicles 26:16 But when he was strong, his heart was lifted up to his destruction: for he transgressed against the Lord his God, and went into the temple of the Lord to burn incense upon the altar of incense.
“When he was strong … he transgressed.” All the kings of Judah and Israel were rated as either good or evil. The message is clear; God seeks righteousness and holiness in all men, and especially His leaders. 2 Kings 3:1-2 In a concordance it can be seen, especially between the books of Judges and 2 Chronicles, that the moral condition of Israel and its kings was God’s chief concern.
Ezra 10:1 “Now when Ezra had prayed, and when he had confessed, weeping and casting himself down before the house of God, there assembled unto him out of Israel a very great congregation of men and women and children: for the people wept very sore.”
Nehemiah 8:8 “So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading.”
Nehemiah 8:3 And he read therein before the street that was before the water gate from the morning until midday, before the men and the women, and those that could understand; and the ears of all the people were attentive unto the book of the law. 8 So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading.
The Bible is a moral book revealing the divine nature of a loving heavenly Father. When the book is read distinctly and the sense is given and human minds perceive and understand the reading, result will be holiness of life. “I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy loving kindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.” Psalm 138:2 See I Timothy 3:16; 2 John 9
Nehemiah 13:26 Did not Solomon king of Israel sin by these things? yet among many nations was there no king like him, who was beloved of his God, and God made him king over all Israel: nevertheless even him did outlandish women cause to sin.
Esther 3:2 “And all the king’s servants, that were in the king’s gate, bowed, and reverenced Haman: for the king had so commanded concerning him. But Mordecai bowed not, nor did him reverence.”
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.
Isaiah 59:15 “Yea, truth faileth; and he that departeth from evil maketh himself a prey: and the Lord saw it, and it displeased him that there was no judgment.”
Isaiah 1:4 Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the Lord, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward.
Provocation: Something God feels strongly when we don’t feel it at all. Revelation 3:17. God is addressing the moral degradation of His own people. He has no favorites under these conditions.
Isaiah 1:10 Hear the word of the Lord, ye rulers of Sodom; give ear unto the law of our God, ye people of Gomorrah.
God addresses Israel as Sodom and because their sins had made them as morally corrupt as these infamous people and invalidated the covenant so long as they remain content in corruption. Here again we see the conditional nature of the promises of God. As their morals changed, so did God’s relationship change with them. The God of love becomes the God of wrath. Actually it is not He who changes, but our morals that change, and that predetermines everything between ourselves and God.
Isaiah 1:11 To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me? saith the Lord: I am full of the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he goats. 12 When ye come to appear before me, who hath required this at your hand, to tread my courts? 13 Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto me; the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting. 14 Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth: they are a trouble unto me; I am weary to bear them. 15 And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood. (See Homily Amos 5)
Flattery (praise) without holiness get’s us nowhere with God! The praise philosophy has emptied over into our personal experience with Christ also. Worldliness and morality gets worse as emphasis on praise and “love” gets stronger. By excluding proper emphasis of holiness, fundamental theologians have created a subtle change of practice. Religious experience is migrating from God elevating man by grace, to man elevating God in praise as a premise of divine approval. We have developed a generation of gushy Christians who have developed a high tolerance for sin, who believe they are saved and accepted of God so long as praise (without piety) remains. What a shock millions are in for on trumpet day! Jesus uses very clear language when again and again He exhorts, “Why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things I say?” The highest form of love is not emotion, but obedience … not an experience produced by stimulating the emotional base of man. Again He said, “If you love me, keep My commandments.” And then … “happy are ye if ye do them (His commandments).” In Isaiah we learn that God warned the people of Israel to stop coming before Him in the solemn feasts (to praise and worship) so long as they remained detached from obedience to the moral commandments. His lordship is established in obedience, not worship or faith. See Matthew 7:22. You see, God, unlike we humans, doesn’t puff all up when you praise Him. He has myriads of angels to praise Him in the heavenlies throughout the eternities. The beauty in praise is that the one who praises God is walking in agreement with Him and that there is an Enoch-like relationship going on where God and I together are malcontent about the sin and sickness blighting the world … about the disobedience of man … about the apostasy in the church … this is what makes me the friend of God, this is what makes my love and praise to God valid. But we praise men and create nice pleasant relationships based on that praise and think we can pull the same trick with God, but it doesn’t work!! We transmit our sick smooth ideals that work on people over into our relationship with Jesus – and He is offended by it! “Thou thoughtest I was altogether such a one as thyself.” Psalm 50:21
Isaiah 1:16 Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil; 17 Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow. 18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. 19 If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: 20 But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it. 21 How is the faithful city become an harlot! it was full of judgment; righteousness lodged in it; but now murderers. 23 Thy princes are rebellious, and companions of thieves: every one loveth gifts, and followeth after rewards: they judge not the fatherless, neither doth the cause of the widow come unto them.
We must admit our true state. Sinful coverup is impenitence. Horrible sins are creeping into the denominations; homosexuality, prostitution in the Bible Colleges, incest, adultery – and on the list goes. But when we come to the conventions and councils, what do we hear? No mention of our sins, only pretense, only “God is moving by His Spirit and given us the greatest move in history.” It’s a cover-up! Christ tells the church to clean up their act and repent to have His blessings. Revelation 2 and 3.
Isaiah 1:25 And I will turn my hand upon thee, and purely purge away thy dross, and take away all thy tin:
The divine hand – not anything we can do – purifies us from sin. How strong are those words, “Dross” – “tin” – “all” – “take away” – “purge!”
Isaiah 2:6 Therefore thou hast forsaken thy people the house of Jacob, because they be replenished from the east, and are soothsayers like the Philistines, and they please themselves in the children of strangers. 7 Their land also is full of silver and gold, neither is there any end of their treasures; their land is also full of horses, neither is there any end of their chariots: 8 Their land also is full of idols; they worship the work of their own hands, that which their own fingers have made: 9 And the mean man boweth down, and the great man humbleth himself: therefore forgive them not. 11 The lofty looks of man shall be humbled, and the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down, and the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day.
As hot and cold temperatures clashing in the atmosphere cause raging tempests, so when a righteous God meets with great currents of sin there will be cataclysmic judgment! God condemns the attitude of the human nature to put its confidence in human resources, human power, human skill and human wealth with the fitting conclusion; “The lofty looks of man shall be humbled and the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down, and the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day.” Verse 11.
Isaiah 2:17 And the loftiness of man shall be bowed down, and the haughtiness of men shall be made low: and the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day. 19 And they shall go into the holes of the rocks, and into the caves of the earth, for fear of the Lord, and for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth. 20 In that day a man shall cast his idols of silver, and his idols of gold, which they made each one for himself to worship, to the moles and to the bats; 21 To go into the clefts of the rocks, and into the tops of the ragged rocks, for fear of the Lord, and for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth. 22 Cease ye from man, whose breath is in his nostrils: for wherein is he to be accounted of?
God repeats His charges. Their sin was not biologically immoral – it was their pride and self awareness (note verses 11 and 17). God censors man for putting his confidence in his own strength and warns mankind that He will rise up and shake the earth and in thus doing will shake all men to their senses and to a new consciousness of God, a new dependence in Him. All of man’s bodily resources are in the earth. In a sense, earth is the mother of man. When earth is shaken, man’s resources and his future are all suddenly proven to be unstable and he becomes insecure. If man loses his confidence in planet Earth, he only has God to turn to. Those days are coming upon the earth soon. Haggai 2:6,7,21; Hebrews 12:26; Ezekiel 38 and 39.
Isaiah 3:15 What mean ye that ye beat my people to pieces, and grind the faces of the poor? saith the Lord GOD of hosts.
While moral government should not patronize the lazy and wicked, it does have a moral obligation to those who are legitimately poor. God constantly reminds us in scripture that He watches over the poor and will cause every rich man to regret his mistreatment of them. See Exodus 22:22-24; 23:3,6,7.
Isaiah 3:16 Moreover the Lord saith, Because the daughters of Zion are haughty, and walk with stretched forth necks and wanton eyes, walking and mincing as they go, and making a tinkling with their feet:
Self-awareness does everything it can to make the body desirable and attractive. God calls this loftiness and haughtiness an abomination in His eyes. The aesthetic cult of cosmetology is the sign of moral degeneration in society and in the church. Proverbs 7:10.
Isaiah 3:17 Therefore the Lord will smite with a scab the crown of the head of the daughters of Zion, and the Lord will discover their secret parts. 18 In that day the Lord will take away the bravery of their tinkling ornaments about their feet, and their cauls, and their round tires like the moon, 19 The chains, and the bracelets, and the mufflers, 20 The bonnets, and the ornaments of the legs, and the headbands, and the tablets, and the earrings, 21 The rings, and nose jewels, 22 The changeable suits of apparel, and the mantles, and the wimples, and the crisping pins, 23 The glasses, and the fine linen, and the hoods, and the vails. 24 And it shall come to pass, that instead of sweet smell there shall be stink; and instead of a girdle a rent; and instead of well set hair baldness; and instead of a stomacher a girding of sackcloth; and burning instead of beauty.
Here is a large portion of scripture revealing in clear language the importance indeed that God places on body holiness and adornment. It genders pride and destroys the purity of Christianity. It is in this area of self-aggrandizement the carnal church violates the commandments that pertain to the body. Here Isaiah describes how the proud display their scandalous vanities. It is apparent that materialism controlled their thinking. Here is very plain holiness preaching by Isaiah that many modern preachers would not tolerate. Paul and Peter both warned the church against practicing the world’s fashions that accentuate the sensual beauty of the human body. This careless display of self-attraction only reveals ones fascination with the world and love for self. Self-deification has always been an obnoxious thing to God. I Timothy 2:9; I Peter 3:2,3. There are many moral commandments prohibiting it. The scripture here is quite elaborate in giving a description regarding the external conduct of these religious people. If it is true, “What’s on the outside is not important,” every inner virtue has external manifestations while every inner evil, such as, worldly glamour, immodesty, sensuality, selfishness, haughtiness – all of these vices manifest themselves visibly as do the virtues. If “what’s on the outside doesn’t matter,” then those who spend so much time and money adorning themselves shouldn’t be spending so much time and money doing so. The modern liberal Christians manifest their vices by their showy and ostentatious taste – the same kind of elite deviants Isaiah is describing here. I Corinthians 13:4. Obsession with fashion and beauty is the concern of an evil mind. A national radio evangelist from California cried out to his radio audience, “Whatever it takes to make you beautiful – do it! Some women look like unmade beds!” (Laughter from the congregation.) With no regard to the many passages that teach against sensual vanities, modesty, extravagance, and sensual beauty, thousands of modern preachers speak the wisdom of the world and promote physical beauty. This is a sin against the Spirit of the Word and against God’s people. How can any preacher be a man of God and not respect the convictions of others and show no regard for the principles of mortification as contained in the scriptures? Romans 12:2; I Timothy 5:6; 2 Timothy 3:2; Titus 2:12; Philippians 3:18; John 15:19; Colossians 3:2; I John 2:16. When people join the church they profess to give up the spirit of the world. They profess to renounce the pomp and vanities of self and flesh. To repent is to denounce their pride and follow the example of our meek and lowly Savior. And now what do they do? You often see fundamental figures practicing the same trends of fashion as the world. The Holy Spirit is denouncing this through Isaiah as something to be judged harshly. Verses 17 and 23.
FINNEY ON FASHION, Objections Answered;
Objection. ‘But if we dress plain, then other Christians about us will ask, ‘Why be singular?” Certainly; Christians are bound to be singular. They are called to be a peculiar people, that is, a singular people, essentially different from the rest of mankind. To maintain that we are not to be Holiness singular is the same as to maintain that we are to be conformed to the world. But the question now regards fashion in dress equipage. And here I will confess that I was formerly myself in error. I believed, and I taught, that the best way for Christians to pursue, was to dress so as not to be noticed, to follow the fashions and changes so as not to appear singular, and that nobody would be led to think of their being different from others in these particulars. But I have seen my error, and now wonder greatly at my former blindness. It is your duty to dress so plain as to show to the world, that you place no sort of reliance in the things of fashion, and set no value at all on them, but despise and neglect them altogether. But unless you are singular, unless you separate yourselves from the fashions of the world, you show that you do value them. There is no way in which you can bear better testimony by your lives against the fashions of the world, than by dressing plain. I do not mean that you should study singularity, but that you should consult convenience and economy, although it may be singular.
Objection. ‘But if we dress plain, the attention of people will be taken with it.’ The reason of it is this, so few do it that it is a novelty, and everybody stares when they see a professing Christian so strict as to disregard the fashions. Let them all do it, and the only thing you show by it is that you are a Christian, and do not wish to be confused with the ungodly. Would it not tell on the pride of the world, if all the Christians in it were united in bearing a practical testimony against its vain show?
Objection. ‘But in this way you carry religion too far away from the multitude. It is better not to set up an artificial distinction between the church and the world.’ The direct reverse of this is Holiness true. The nearer you bring the church Contrast to the world, the more you annihilate the reasons that ought to stand out in view of the world, for their changing sides and coming over to the church. Unless you go out from them, and show that you are not of them in any respect, and carry the church so far as to have a broad interval between saints and sinners, how can you make the ungodly feel that so great a change is necessary? Objection. ‘But this change which is necessary is a change of heart.’ True; but will not a change of heart produce a change of life?
Objection. ‘You will throw obstacles in the way of persons becoming Christians. Many respectable people will become disgusted with religion, and if they cannot be allowed to dress and be Christians, they will take to the world altogether.’ This is just about as reasonable as it would be for a temperance man to think he must get drunk now and then to Attire avoid disgusting the intemperate and to Finney retain his influence over them. The truth is that persons ought to know, and ought to see in the lives of professing Christians that if they embrace religion they must be weaned from the world and must give up the love of the world and its pride, and folly, and live a holy life, in self-denial, and active benevolence. Objection. ‘Is it not better for us to disregard this altogether, and not pay any attention to such little things, and let them take their course; let the milliner and mantua-maker do as they please, and follow the usages of society in which we live and the circle in which we move?’ Is this the way to show contempt for the fashions of the world? Do people ordinarily take this course of showing contempt for a thing, to practice it? Why, the way to show your abhorrence of the world is to follow along in the customs and fashions of the world! Precious reasoning this.
Objection. ‘No matter how we dress if our hearts are right.’ Your heart right! How can you dress wrong and your heart be right? Then your heart may be right when your conduct is wrong. Just as well might the profane swearer say, ‘No matter what words I speak, if my heart is right.’ No, your heart is not right, unless your conduct is right. What is outward conduct but the acting out of the heart? If your heart was right, you would not wish to follow the fashions of the world.
Objection. ‘What is the standard Attire of dress? I do not see the use of all your preaching, and laying down rules about plain dress unless you give us a standard.’ This is a mighty stumbling block with many. But to my mind the matter is extremely simple. The whole can be comprised in two simple rules. One is – Be sure in all your equipage, and dress, and furniture, to show that you have no fellowship with the designs and principles of those who are aiming to set off themselves, and to gain the applause of men. The other is – Let economy be first considered, and then convenience, save all you can for Christ’s service; and then, let things be as convenient as Christian economy will admit.
Objection. ‘Would you have us all to turn Quakers, and put on their plain dress?’ (That was written when Quakers dressed plainly.) Who does not know that the plain dress of the Quakers has won for them the respect of all the thinking part of the ungodly in the community? Now, if they had coupled with this the zeal of God, and the fact they had weaned away from the world, and the contempt for riches and the self-denying labor for the conversion of sinners to Christ, which the Gospel enjoins, and the clear views of the plan of salvation which the Gospel inculcates, they long since would have converted the world. And if all Christians would imitate them in their plain dress (I do not mean the precise cut and fashion of their dress, but in a plain dress, throwing contempt upon the fashions of the world,) who can doubt that the conversion of the world would hasten on a pace?
Objection. ‘Would you make us all into Methodists [holiness]?’ Who does not know that the Methodists, when they were noted for their plain dress, and for renouncing the fashions and show of the world, used to have the power with God in prayer – and that they had the universal respect of the world as sincere Christians. And who does not know that since they have laid aside this peculiarity, and conformed to the world in dress and other things, and seemed to be trying to lift themselves up as a denomination, and gain influence with the world, they are losing the power of prayer? Would to God they had never thrown down this wall. It was one of the leading excellencies of Wesley’s system, to have his followers distinguished from others by their plain dress. Objection. ‘We may be proud of a plain dress as well as of fashionable dress. The Quakers are as proud as we are.’ So may any good thing be abused. But that is no reason why it should not be used, if it can be shown to be good. I put it back to the objector – Is there any reason why a Christian female, who fears God and loves the souls of men, should neglect the means which may make an impression that she is separated from the world, and pour contempt on the fashions of the ungodly, in which they are dancing their way to hell?
Objection. ‘This is a small thing, and ought not to take up so much of a minister’s time in the pulpit.’ This is an objection often heard from worldly professors. The minister who fears God will not be deterred by it. He will pursue the subject, until professing Christians are cut off from their conformity to the world, or cut off from the church. It is not merely the dress, as dress, but it is the conformity to the world in dress and fashion, that is the great stumbling block in the way of sinners. How can the world be converted while professing Christians are conformed to the world? What good will it do to give money to send the Gospel to the heathen when Christians live so at home? Well might the heathen ask, ‘What profit will it be to become Christians, when those who are Christians are pursuing the world with all the hot haste of the ungodly?’ The great thing necessary for the church is to break off from conformity to the world, and then they will have power with God in prayer, and the Holy Ghost will descend and bless their efforts.
Objection. ‘But if we dress so, we shall be called fanatics.’ Whatever the ungodly may call you, fanatics, Methodists, or anything, you will be known as Christians, and in the secret conscience of men will be acknowledged as such. It is not in the power of unbelievers to pour contempt on a holy church, that are separated from the world. How was it with the early Christians? They lived separate from the world, and it made such an impression that even infidel writers say of them, ‘These men win the hearts of the mass of people because they give themselves up to deeds of charity and pour contempt on the world.’ Depend on it, if Christians would live so now, the last effort of hell would soon be expended in vain to defeat the spread of the Gospel.
Isaiah 4:4 When the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and shall have purged the blood of Jerusalem from the midst thereof by the spirit of judgment, and by the spirit of burning.
It is a pity when the city God has chosen and the people God has chosen has to be equated with sin and judgment. It’s a pity when Christians bear the name of Christian, speak of the Holy Spirit, carry a Bible, and practice the sins of the worldly. If God judged Israel, and in particular, the daughters of Zion, He will also judge those who rebel against the moral message of holiness in the church of today.
Isaiah 5:20 Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!
There are those who put holiness people with Holiness Critics convictions in a category with Pharisees, contending that separation is the rejection of all pleasure as wrong or sinful. This is not so. We teach that separation is most certainly the essence of the doctrine of sanctification.
1. Christians who hold to Bible standards Separation withdraw from sinful pleasures, but also Remnant enjoy many pleasures that are wholesome Pleasures and constructive to the mental health of the Christian. We believe that “a cheerful heart doeth good like medicine,” but that flesh pleasures of the wrong source that are worldly or clearly forbidden in scriptures i.e. “banqueting and reveling” or are clearly pleasures that sinners designed and indulge in will be undesirable to the praying heart.
2. A holiness Christian believes that true Convictions pleasure is in the joy of pleasing the Lord and that “there are pleasure [galore] at His right hand.” We do not believe that pleasure is limited to bodily activities! The highest pleasure is to know you are doing those things pleasing in His sight. Why should anyone feel sorry for us or criticize us because we do not indulge in the physical pleasures of the world to the same extent they are. It is a sure sign of carnality when Christians begin to equate joy and contentment with worldly pleasures and practices.
3. The world system has so enshrined pleasure and entertainment that we think of it as an essential. Holiness Christians are often judged wrongly as being abnormal if they don’t run to the same “excess of rioting” (ASOTIA, meaning a profligate), I Peter 4:4, which implies such things as abandoned to vice, unprincipled, indecent, shameless, vicious, wasteful, extravagant, depraved and corrupt. Television, for example, exploits every one of these vices that many modern Christians who profess to be “filled with the Holy Spirit” watch without shame. The carnal Christian who owns and watches television never reviles himself for this evil habit, but the holiness Christian is judged as legalistic by the new “liberated” Christian simply because he does not. “Woe unto you who call evil good, and good evil!” Hebrews 11:25; I Peter 4:3,4; Revelation 3:17.
Isaiah 6:3 And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.
Here we have the Trisagion, “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of host.” In scripture God is called, “most holy,” “the Holy One,” “the Holy One of Israel.” The cry of celestial creation fills the crystal air of heaven with this most “magnificent word!”
Isaiah 6:7 And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged. 8 Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.
“The very context shows that unclean character, conversation, conduct and associations appear startlingly in their own convicting and woeful light when our eyes see “The King, the Lord of Hosts.” But a live coal from off God’s altar cleanses all iniquity and sin away. Then, and not till then, is the cleansed person ready as he should be for God’s call to work for the salvation of others.” I John 1. Isaiah was exercising the office of the prophet when he had this experience and confessed “unclean lips.” The best among us will be further purified when encountering the glory of God in times of deep prayer. It is surprising what God, His Spirit and the angels find in us that we ourselves do not sense until we encounter Him.
Isaiah 14:11 Thy pomp is brought down to the grave, and the noise of thy viols: the worm is spread under thee, and the worms cover thee. 12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! 13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: 14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. 15 Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.
E. Stanley Jones said, “Sin is rooted in self advantage.” If the essence of love is others, then the essence of sin is self. Sin is the selfish conduct of man. Sin is the concern one has for himself only. Love is the concern we have for others first.” The great archangel Lucifer, so brilliant as to receive that honorary cognomen, light-bearer of heaven, as the word signifies, when he ventured out on the audacious experiment of aspiring to be a god instead of an archangel, thus forfeiting his loyal grip on the Omnipotent Jehovah, the Light and Life of the Universe, they both evanesced forever, thus having him veiled in midnight and lifeless spiritual corpse, yet largely retaining the wonderful intellectual power which had given him long and vast authority among the heavenly monarchy. While you see Satan seriously lost power in the fall, yet he has wonderful craft, cunning, strategy, and versatility, which he utilized in the generalship he manifested in the Eden war.” See Ezekiel 28:12-19.
Isaiah 26:2 Open ye the gates, that the righteous nation which keepeth the truth may enter in. 8 Yea, in the way of thy judgments, O Lord, have we waited for thee; the desire of our soul is to thy name, and to the remembrance of thee. 9 With my soul have I desired thee in the night; yea, with my spirit within me will I seek thee early: for when thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness.
Isaiah 28:17 Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet: and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding place.
Isaiah 29:13 Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men:
Holiness is of the heart and is revealed by our love for and obedience of God and God’s loving law. There is a religion that’s very mouthy, very close to God according to their lips – but their worldliness exposes them as being far from pleasing to God.
Isaiah 30:10 Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits:
THE POSITIVE GOSPEL EXAMINED
A new philosophy of life has captivated modern society and religion. Its fundamental principle is the rejection of a negative view of life for a constantly positive outlook and thrust. Herein, it affirms, is the secret of a radiantly happy and successful life. Many are the testimonials which acclaim its fascinating powers. Has Dr. Norman Vincent Peale’s book, “The Power of Positive Thinking” (1952) given impetus to this modern philosophy of life? Dr. William Ward Ayer, formerly the pastor of Calvary Baptist Church of New York City, in a letter of 1952 to the editor of the “United Action” of the National Association of Evangelicals, said, “Actually, he has started a new cult in religion. To define it clearly is beyond my ability, but it has a good deal of Mary Baker Eddy in it without that lady’s complete annihilation of reality. It exudes the hyper-optimism of ‘Pollyanna the Glad Girl’ cleverly interwoven with Dale Carnegie’s philosophy. ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People,’ lifted to a religious level … Unless one is deeply discerning, it will not be noticed that Peale has caricatured God, ignored sin and its needed repentance.” The majority of Evangelical ministers apparently have joined the cult of the (so called) positive gospel. It is therefore urgent that its philosophy and fruits be examined. Although a greater percentage of the population now belong to the Church than a generation ago, it is generally conceded, its moral influence is far less. The time was when the Church was the moral conscience of the land; now it is largely but the modified re-echo of its secular thinkers and entertainers. Prophets of biblical righteousness have given way to popular, positive gospel preachers who speak “smooth things” and cry, peace,” to disobedient souls who can have no peace. They gladly call men to believe on the crucified Jesus, but shrink to call men to total repentance and full obedience to the risen Lord. They prefer to preach an undisturbing, positive gospel of grace, unmixed or weakly tinctured, with the righteous requirements, prohibitions and warnings of God’s moral law. The absence of this potent, negative element hastens the apostasy of the Church and the total corruption of society.
Isaiah 32:17 And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever.
Mankind minus God dreams on in quest of peace for the world. Here is the solution so simple, so achievable through the provisions of the cross. There are an average of forty wars in the world annually – to achieve peace. In 1985 the United Nations celebrated 40 years of existence. Their original purpose was to end all wars, but instead there have been in over 100 wars in that time with millions dead. This verse contains the world’s answer – righteousness! The Bible is a history of righteousness over evil and how righteousness will triumph over sin at last. Revelation 22:1-5
Isaiah 35:8 And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein. 9 No lion shall be there, nor any ravenous beast shall go up thereon, it shall not be found there; but the redeemed shall walk there:
A Holy Highway Holiness people walk in a way others do not walk. To the holy, holiness is an enjoyable subject and frequently discussed. It is a simple conclusion that compromisers and worldly Christians do not speak of holiness. Worldly preachers do not preach of holiness, and the subject is simply left alone by the neo-Christian movement. But to the holiness people, in spite of our struggles, we acknowledge it and love to talk it. To us … it is the way.
Isaiah 47:10 For thou hast trusted in thy wickedness: thou hast said, None seeth me. Thy wisdom and thy knowledge, it hath perverted thee; and thou hast said in thine heart, I am, and none else beside me. 11 Therefore shall evil come upon thee; thou shalt not know from whence it riseth: and mischief shall fall upon thee; thou shalt not be able to put it off: and desolation shall come upon thee suddenly, which thou shalt not know. See Homosexuality; Leviticus 18:23; 20:13; I Kings 14:24; Romans 1:24,26,27.
A vivid description of God’s judgment upon the violent and growing homosexual community. A.I.D.S. and herpes subduing them and no solutions in sight. It makes us see God’s anger at this devilish immorality. God has a special hatred for sexual perversion. For this sin five cities were destroyed in the plains where now lies the great Dead Sea.
Isaiah 48:8 Yea, thou heardest not; yea, thou knewest not; yea, from that time that thine ear was not opened: for I knew that thou wouldest deal very treacherously, and wast called a transgressor from the womb. 17 Thus saith the Lord, thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; I am the Lord thy God which teacheth thee to profit, which leadeth thee by the way that thou shouldest go. 18 O that thou hadst hearkened to my commandments! then had thy peace been as a river, and thy righteousness as the waves of the sea: 19 Thy seed also had been as the sand, and the offspring of thy bowels like the gravel thereof; his name should not have been cut off nor destroyed from before me.
Charismatics try and read profits into everything, but this is not material profit, (yaal,  to ascent; to become useful). It is speaking of profiting in the sense of achieving goals of moral maturity, benefit. It’s made very plain here that peace and justice are born out of the commandments of the Lord. See Heart Holiness. Here the Lord connects the thought of prosperity with obedience to the commandments. The commandments are matters of moral principle and obedience, “Then had thy peace been as a river, and thy righteousness as the waves of the sea.” When reading verses 17 and 18 it seems to imply that this is the kind of profit God was speaking of. See Introduction Psalm 119.
Isaiah 51:1 Hearken to me, ye that follow after righteousness, ye that seek the Lord: look unto the rock whence ye are hewn, and to the hole of the pit whence ye are digged. 7 Hearken unto me, ye that know righteousness, the people in whose heart is my law; 52:1 Awake, awake; put on thy strength, O Zion; put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city: for henceforth there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised and the unclean. 11 Depart ye, depart ye, go ye out from thence, touch no unclean thing; go ye out of the midst of her; be ye clean, that bear the vessels of the Lord.
The ultimate victory; the banishment of impurity!
Isaiah 54:17 No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord.
Those persecuted and prosecuted for righteousness sake shall become the judges of their persecutors in the day God retries the world. It will be a great hour of triumph and vindication for the righteous. To the persecuted, the hated and despised of the Lord – “Your day is coming!” To the wicked men of worldly power and authority who hate the righteous and pervert judgment, we say … “Your day is coming!” Isaiah 66:5
Isaiah 56:9 All ye beasts of the field, come to devour, yea, all ye beasts in the forest. 10 His watchmen are blind: they are all ignorant, they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark; sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber. 11 Yea, they are greedy dogs which can never have enough, and they are shepherds that cannot understand: they all look to their own way, every one for his gain, from his quarter. 57:15 For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.
Apart from God and a personal relationship with Him, there is no holiness. We are redeemed sinners. We cannot remain right without remaining contrite. Contriteness, brokenness is something that we must linger in the presence of God for until we have it. “I dwell … with him …” God dwells only with the penitent; therefore God is unable to express His holiness except through them. Contrition (a deep sorrow for sin with its many afflictions and the oppression of evil) is God-given. Amos 6:6. The joys of revival come through the tears of contrition.
Isaiah 59:2 But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear. (Psalm 80:4) 14 And judgment is turned away backward, and justice standeth afar off: for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter. 15 Yea, truth faileth; and he that departeth from evil maketh himself a prey: (Isaiah 5:20) and the Lord saw it, and it displeased him that there was no judgment. (Ecclesiastes 8:11) 17 For he put on righteousness as a breastplate, and an helmet of salvation upon his head; and he put on the garments of vengeance for clothing, and was clad with zeal as a cloke. 60:21 Thy people also shall be all righteous:
“Let everyone who nameth the Name of Christ, depart from iniquity.” 2 Timothy 2:19.
Isaiah 61:11 For as the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth; so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.
God dreaming again of that glorious day when righteousness and praise fill the creation. Note that righteousness precedes and accompanies praise. Only the praise of the righteous is valid. Praise without piety is presumptuous. See Isaiah 1:11; Praising God on the basis of His goodness and apart from righteousness is irrelevant and irresponsible! We cannot pick up on praise and pitch piety! All true praise is born out of God’s righteousness abounding in us. All other praise is emotionalism born out of fantasy and ecstatic idealism. Praise not based on the knowledge of God’s Word is the worship of an imagined god who resembles God, Doctrine but is another god. The righteous do praise, but praise is not always righteous.
Isaiah 62:12 And they shall call them, The holy people, The redeemed of the Lord: and thou shalt be called, Sought out, A city not forsaken.
“God not only calls them so, He extorts that confession from others. Why should we then be ashamed to be so designated? Wesley and his friends were nicknamed ‘The Holy Club,’ Holiness ‘The Holy People’ is a designation of the highest honor.” Isaiah 66:5. It seems this is a divine designation for those who gather themselves together under the banners of holiness. It’s reasonable to assume that if shovels, stones, badgers skins, wooden posts, animals and garments (pertaining to the furnishings of the tabernacle) were designated as “holy unto the Lord,” that it should be no surprise that God’s people whom he has redeemed, should also bear the honor of being called, “The Holy People.” See Romans 3:20 “They shall call them.” “They,” referring to the non-holy, shall call them, the holy people. So the unholy see the lifestyle of God’s people. That is, if we are God’s children and bear his image we will burst forth as morning stars of holiness in the midst of a dark and perverse generation! The more wicked the world becomes, the brighter the holy countenance will shine. The more wicked men become the more God’s people, who bear the lifestyle of the sanctified, will stand out in contrast.
Isaiah 65:5 Which say, Stand by thyself, come not near to me; for I am holier than thou. These are a smoke in my nose, a fire that burneth all the day.
This term, “holier than thou” was directed at those who broke God’s commandments and had “burned incense upon the mountains and blasphemed Me upon the hills.” Read context. So, in actuality it applies not to those keeping God’s commandments, but to those who break God’s commandments. These were pluralists who thought they could worship God any way they wanted to. They worshiped the god’s of the world and at the same time acknowledged the Creator and confused them as being the same.
Isaiah 66:5 Hear the word of the Lord, ye that tremble at his word; Your brethren that hated you, that cast you out for my name’s sake, said, Let the Lord be glorified: but he shall appear to your joy, and they shall be ashamed.
Jeremiah 9:3 “And they bend their tongues like their bow for lies: but they are not valiant for the truth upon the earth; for they proceed from evil to evil, and they know not me, saith the Lord.”
Jeremiah 22:29 O earth, earth, earth, hear the word of the Lord.
“Thus saith the Lord of hosts, Hearken not unto the words of the prophets that prophesy unto you: they make you vain: they speak a vision of their own heart, and not out of the mouth of the Lord. They say still unto them that despise me, The Lord hath said, Ye shall have peace; and they say unto every one that walketh after the imagination of his own heart, No evil shall come upon you. But if they had stood in my counsel, and had caused my people to hear my words, then they should have turned them from their evil way, and from the evil of their doings.”
Jeremiah 1:17 Thou therefore gird up thy loins, and arise, and speak unto them all that I command thee: be not dismayed at their faces, lest I confound thee before them. For, behold, I have made thee this day a defenced city, and an iron pillar, and brasen walls against the whole land, against the kings of Judah, against the princes thereof, against the priests thereof, and against the people of the land. 19 And they shall fight against thee; but they shall not prevail against thee; for I am with thee, saith the Lord, to deliver thee. (Isaiah 54:17)
The message of righteousness and practical holiness will be the least popular in periods of moral decay. The church will reflect the moral preferences of the world. All apostasies of the church occur when the church allows the spirit of the world to encroach the domain of the church which is to be under the authority of the Holy Spirit. The corruption of the world environment has always preceded and been the chief cause of spiritual apostasy. i.e. The church in Corinth. Especially in such times of moral decay when Prophets men are so preoccupied with the physical world and its material advantages, righteousness and the message of practical Prophets holiness is rejected although a form of fundamentalism is retained. Amos 5:18-23. Prophets are men of conscience who with great Conscience resolution retain high and holy concepts of right and wrong as revealed in God’s Word. Notice how God speaks to the prophet in verse 18; “For, behold, I have made thee this day a defenced city, and an iron pillar, and brasen walls against the whole land, against the kings of Judah, against the princes thereof, against the priests thereof, and against the people of the land.” Great renewals and revivals of nations begin with the lofty moral concepts of a holy God in men of conviction. A prophet does not speak what men think, what Prophets men will accept, but God-thoughts. A prophet is first of all a man of conscience and conviction whose inner thoughts become trumpets. Many of the modern celebrity preachers with their flashing personalities have scaled the heights of notoriety by practicing a sort of plagiarism, getting their inspiration from books and professionals. But their message lacks the sound of the trumpet, there is no real message of repentance directed at the heart of Laodicea. You cannot draw a picture of lightning with charcoal. Notice the prophet’s message was to his contemporaries and not to a past generation, the evils of millennium past. We are living today, we must want a cleaner and better today, and be willing to cry out the message that will change our generation morally in the now. It takes no courage to cite the evils of the inconsistencies of the fathers, or a future Antichrist.
Jeremiah 2:6 Neither said they, Where is the Lord that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, that led us through the wilderness, through a land of deserts and of pits, through a land of drought, and of the shadow of death, through a land that no man passed through, and where no man dwelt? 11 Hath a nation changed their gods, which are yet no gods? but my people have changed their glory for that which doth not profit.
An excellent description of religion that has lost its holiness heritage, and then “knocks” the faith feats of the Fathers.
Jeremiah 2:12 Be astonished, O ye heavens, at this, and be horribly afraid, be ye very desolate, saith the Lord.
Because of lack of holiness, God calls the universe to weep!
Jeremiah 2:13 For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.
Water is the cleansing agent for all mankind. It is therefore a type of the sanctifying (cleansing) work of the Word of God. Ephesians 5:26; Hebrews 10:22.
Jeremiah 6:16 Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein. 7:26 Yet they hearkened not unto me, nor inclined their ear, but hardened their neck: they did worse than their fathers.
Jeremiah 8:7 Yea, the stork in the heaven knoweth her appointed times; and the turtle and the crane and the swallow observe the time of their coming; but my people know not the judgment of the Lord. 8 How do ye say, We are wise, and the law of the Lord is with us? Lo, certainly in vain made he it; the pen of the scribes is in vain. 9 The wise men are ashamed, they are dismayed and taken: lo, they have rejected the word of the Lord; and what wisdom is in them?
“The wise men.” These older men should have known better. The church corrupts because men who are older and wiser have capitulated their position in true holiness. These “wise men” whom God should have been able to count on to stem the tide of worldliness joined the apostates and “rejected the Word of the Lord.”
Jeremiah 9:3 And they bend their tongues like their bow for lies: but they are not valiant for the truth upon the earth; for they proceed from evil to evil, and they know not me, saith the Lord.
True heroes of the faith today are those who will not be intimidated by the compromisers and will be “valiant” for the truth. We must be anointed to handle the truth and to overcome in time of apostasy. It’s a courageous and exciting task!
Jeremiah 9:13 And the Lord saith, Because they have forsaken my law which I set before them, and have not obeyed my voice, neither walked therein;
Jeremiah 9:23 Thus saith the Lord, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: 24 But let him that glorieth glory in this, (John 17:3) that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the Lord which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the Lord. (Revelation 3:17)
There are four characteristic powers that trigger admiration.
1. STRENGTH – Strength is power and automatically becomes authority. It makes the possessor a power figure. Strength and authority are often synonymous. Strength Model Image is the key of leadership among young gangs. Even the election process, the strength is in plurality of the vote in favor of the candidate. Strength, whether it is physical or any other form of advantage, such as alliances, friendship or weaponry, becomes authority wielding the power to dictate. Strength in any form is desirable and therefore admired.
2. BEAUTY – Beauty is certainly an advantage and a personality force. Beauty is admired by those who are less beautiful and the beautiful person assumes a rank role. It at least gives that person some advantage and definitely has strong psychological influence. Modern commercial products are advertised on the basis of the psychological fact that beautiful people make the best product models, because people are attracted to the models and then associate the beautiful model with the product. If you have a beautiful model, you have a beautiful product. Attraction to the figure relating to the product is associated with the product by the viewer. This is a psychological fact, thus business psychologists use the principle of beauty as a power to sell. Beauty is desirable and therefore admired. Human nature only counts those things desirable that are advantageous and advantage equals a form of power.
3. SKILL and TALENT – Skill immediately includes all athletes who by their skill, combined with their physical strength, agility and intelligence, makes them physical achievers. Achievers demand respect and admiration from aspiring achievers or those who are non-achievers. That person who excels by virtue of skill is admired. Talent differs from skill inasmuch as it is something that is not learned, but rather inherent. Examples would be, artists, someone who has inherited his size and strength, musicians or vocalist with voices and the natural genetic talent for music. When talent is properly cultivated and they excel in their fields of art, admiration results. This especially applies to the area of entertainment, actors, singers, etc. Talent is something that is developed. There has to be a sort of flamboyancy, even arrogance often in artists who excel beyond the rest of the pack. They not only must have the talent, but they must have a drive and a motivation, and sometimes even a “dog-eat-dog” mentality. Natural talent that becomes noticed and celebrated is always a strong advantage to the natural life.
4. INTELLIGENCE – Definitely an admired quality of power that is quite human and too often misdirected. I Corinthians 3:18. Christians who might possess any of these power potentials must be warned against allowing themselves to be trapped by them. Body powers must be totally dedicated to Christ. The modern Christian philosophy allows for the body to be used in the world often as an evil influence (acting that includes portrayals of immoral characters), while practicing a fundamental faith in Christ with their spirits. This is Laodiceanism! Strong admiration occurs when certain individuals possess all four of these natural qualities; strength, beauty, skill or talent and intelligence. Lucifer is a classic example of possessing all these qualities. He was the angel of beauty and fell, Absalom had pride in his beautiful head of hair, Saul, the man who stood tall, Solomon distracted by the power of his riches. Others, such as Daniel, Shadrach, Meshack and Abednego did not prostitute their natural powers for the favors of the world’s system. See Satan; Isaiah 14:11-14.
Jeremiah 9:23 Thus saith the Lord, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: 24 But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the Lord which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the Lord. 25 Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will punish all them which are circumcised with the uncircumcised;
Jeremiah 10:10 But the Lord is the true God, he is the living God, and an everlasting king: at his wrath the earth shall tremble, and the nations shall not be able to abide his indignation.
Jeremiah 12:1 Righteous art thou, O Lord, when I plead with thee: yet let me talk with thee of thy judgments: Wherefore doth the way of the wicked prosper? wherefore are all they happy that deal very treacherously?
Jeremiah 12:7 I have forsaken mine house, I have left mine heritage; I have given the dearly beloved of my soul into the hand of her enemies. 8 Mine heritage is unto me as a lion in the forest; it crieth out against me: therefore have I hated it. 9 Mine heritage is unto me as a speckled bird, the birds round about are against her; come ye, assemble all the beasts of the field, come to devour. 10 Many pastors have destroyed my vineyard, they have trodden my portion under foot, they have made my pleasant portion a desolate wilderness. 11 They have made it desolate, and being desolate it mourneth unto me; the whole land is made desolate, because no man layeth it to heart. 12 The spoilers are come upon all high places through the wilderness: for the sword of the Lord shall devour from the one end of the land even to the other end of the land: no flesh shall have peace.
Corrupted leadership, no moral influence. Religious leadership without the holiness message will come to nought. Much of the “righteousness” being preached in liberal churches is a righteousness that anyone with a natural social standard would endorse. It is a righteousness we benefit by – by conforming to it. But holiness invades my personal life and challenges my lifestyle. So we accept standards that enhance our natural life. Worldliness we will have, and holiness (separation) we will not have!?! Righteousness apart from holiness is respectable, but not acceptable. See Ephesians 4:24; Romans 3:20.
Jeremiah 13:27 I have seen thine adulteries, and thy neighings, the lewdness of thy whoredom, and thine abominations on the hills in the fields. Woe unto thee, O Jerusalem! wilt thou not be made clean? when shall it once be?
God asks the question of his people; “Will you be made clean?” A plea for purity. It certainly reveals God’s concern for the holiness of His people. I Thessalonians 4:3; 2 Thessalonians 2:13.
Jeremiah 14:13 Then said I, Ah, Lord GOD! behold, the prophets say unto them, Ye shall not see the sword, neither shall ye have famine; but I will give you assured peace in this place. 14 Then the Lord said unto me, The prophets prophesy lies in my name: I sent them not, neither have I commanded them, neither spake unto them: they prophesy unto you a false vision and divination, and a thing of nought, and the deceit of their heart.
Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
The heart (feelings, affections) needs the stability of a mind saturated with the moral absolutes of kingdom law.
Jeremiah 22:21 I spake unto thee in thy prosperity; but thou saidst, I will not hear. This hath been thy manner from thy youth, that thou obeyedst not my voice.(Ezekiel 16:49)
Jeremiah 23:6 In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE Lord OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.
Not now, but someday righteousness and holiness will be fully loved and embraced. Many modern fundamentalists have opted holiness for a social issue of righteousness, but they are different and cannot replace the other. Don’t confuse righteousness for holiness. See Righteousness; Holiness.
Jeremiah 23:9 Mine heart within me is broken because of the prophets; all my bones shake; I am like a drunken man, and like a man whom wine hath overcome, because of the Lord, and because of the words of his holiness.
A real encounter with the holiness of God. The profound effect that it has upon us. Isaiah 6:1-10, Now, in this tinsel world we will boast arrogantly against holiness and the holy – but when we personally encounter the glory of His holiness we will fall blathering, much worse than Jeremiah.
Jeremiah 23:11 For both prophet and priest are profane; yea, in my house have I found their wickedness, saith the Lord. 12 Wherefore their way shall be unto them as slippery ways in the darkness: they shall be driven on, and fall therein: for I will bring evil upon them, even the year of their visitation, saith the Lord. 13 And I have seen folly in the prophets of Samaria; they prophesied in Baal, and caused my people Israel to err. 14 I have seen also in the prophets of Jerusalem an horrible thing: they commit adultery, and walk in lies: they strengthen also the hands of evildoers, that none doth return from his wickedness: they are all of them unto me as Sodom, and the inhabitants thereof as Gomorrah. (2 Thessalonians 2:10-12; Jeremiah 12:7-13)
When the priesthood (representing people to God) failed to bring righteous communion, God gave prominence to the office of the prophet (representing God to the people), but now even the prophets have become corrupted!
Jeremiah 23:16 Thus saith the Lord of hosts, Hearken not unto the words of the prophets that prophesy unto you: they make you vain: they speak a vision of their own heart, and not out of the mouth of the Lord.
They were “prophets,” but spoke out of their own heart.
Jeremiah 23:17 They say still unto them that despise me, The Lord hath said, Ye shall have peace; and they say unto every one that walketh after the imagination of his own heart, No evil shall come upon you.
These people who sought and listened to the prophet must have been “believers,” but without moral concepts.
Jeremiah 23:22 But if they had stood in my counsel, and had caused my people to hear my words, then they should have turned them from their evil way, and from the evil of their doings.
True prophets will preach righteousness and effect holiness (moral purity) in the people. False prophets preach a non-moralistic, non-holy message and the people who choose preference to perfection are apostates.
Jeremiah 23:32 Behold, I am against them that prophesy false dreams, saith the Lord, and do tell them, and cause my people to err by their lies, and by their lightness; yet I sent them not, nor commanded them: therefore they shall not profit this people at all, saith the Lord.
“By their lightness.” The one prevailing Lightness characteristic of the “Charismatic” movement is their lack of seriousness. To seriously seek God would mean moral perfection – and that would end the party. Pentecost is not just “joy,” but “righteousness [first], and peace [secondly], and [then] joy in the Holy Ghost.” Jeremiah 4:9; Romans 14:17.
Jeremiah 24:7 And I will give them an heart to know me, that I am the Lord: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God: for they shall return unto me with their whole heart.
God’s expressed desire again and again – intimacy – but restricted only to those who love Him with a heart of pure holiness. John 17:3. “Whole-heartedness may be lost. It may also be regained. Knowledge and loyalty is God’s gift, to be accepted by us, to prompt us to return to whole-souled service. How quickly God turns to those who turn to him with their whole hearts! A whole-souled service is what he wants and what we should render. Are we one with God in this?”
Jeremiah 25:5 They said, Turn ye again now every one from his evil way, and from the evil of your doings, and dwell in the land that the Lord hath given unto you and to your fathers for ever and ever:
Salvation is separation from evil – not in it, with it, but from!
Jeremiah 28:9 The prophet which prophesieth of peace, when the word of the prophet shall come to pass, then shall the prophet be known, that the Lord hath truly sent him.
1. False prophets prophesy smooth things which the people prefer. Isaiah 4:10; 2 Timothy 4:3
2. False prophets are committed to self- advantage, to human preferences rather than divine truth and urgency. Jeremiah 23:9,22.
3. False prophets speak “in the name of the Lord,” but were not sent of the Lord. Jeremiah 14:14
4. False prophets are arrogant! I Kings 22:23,24
5. False prophets are proven wrong and evil in two ways;
a. What they prophesy shall not come to pass. Deuteronomy 18:22; Jeremiah 28:9.
b. What they prophesy shall come to pass, but they lead their followers into moral error. Deuteronomy 13:1-3.
6. God will severely judge false prophets!
Jeremiah 7:4,8; 23:11,12; 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12.
Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.
God has a beautiful plan for us – on His moral terms.
Jeremiah 29:12 Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. 13 And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. 16 Because the sons of Jonadab the son of Rechab have performed the commandment of their father, which he commanded them; but this people hath not hearkened unto me:
Men’s religious philosophies compete with God’s Word for attention. His Word is in simple language, easy to understand and therefore easy to obey. If God designated the Word for man, he surely made it comprehendible by man.
Jeremiah 38:2 Thus saith the Lord, He that remaineth in this city shall die by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence: but he that goeth forth to the Chaldeans shall live; for he shall have his life for a prey, and shall live. 3 Thus saith the Lord, This city shall surely be given into the hand of the king of Babylon’s army, which shall take it. 4 Therefore the princes said unto the king, We beseech thee, let this man be put to death: for thus he weakeneth the hands of the men of war that remain in this city, and the hands of all the people, in speaking such words unto them: for this man seeketh not the welfare of this people, but the hurt.
They sounded so humane – “this man seeketh not the welfare of this people.” These men had a problem basic to all apostate thinking, they favored the people over morality. Do we think to preserve the wicked from the inevitable judgment of God if they do not turn from their corruptions? To seek the welfare of the “people,” to be genuinely concerned for them, we will want to see them purged from all moral impurities. They didn’t deny the truth of Jeremiah’s prophecy, they only thought of the effect it would have on the people. They display the same zany attitude toward inevitable judgment as the modern apostate … no consideration that judgment is imminent, no sense of the times. No message that reflected kingdom events, but rather a infatuation with the plush of the world system around them. Churches are filled with trained theologians who simply block out of their thinking on the seriousness of the times we are living in. They prophesy that the coming of the Lord is a great event that will take us on to an even more luxurious existence. Woe unto them! For they speak not of the judgment, of worldliness and prayerlessness. There is no tone of God in their message. Concern for personal welfare, but no thought of establishing the precious truths of God. Jeremiah’s suffering for the truth of the Word, 1) Hiding, 36:26; 2) Prison house, 37:15; 3) Prison court, 37:12; 4) Into the pit, 38:6.
Jeremiah 48:10 Cursed be he that doeth the work of the Lord deceitfully, and cursed be he that keepeth back his sword from blood.
Super ministries become a power to themselves and claim to be under the direct anointing and calling of God and responsible to Him only. They are hailed as para-church ministries. However, a man who is honest will “provide all things honest.” If any public ministry will not make his finances known to his supporters, he is basically dishonest and not trustworthy. A man to be non-accountable is not to be credible. The time has come when Christians who pursue Mercenaries true holiness must demand righteousness of life of those ministries they support with prayer and substance. Mercenary ministries can only continue because there are not enough righteous to boycott them out of business. Super celebrities hold the masses spellbound with their fluent speech, charismatic appearance, sophisticated electronics, theatrics, entertainment and a glorious show of color, beauty, light and sound. See Jude; Apostates. There are some very fine media ministries that do not fall into the category of Charismatic personalities promoting prosperity.
1. Media ministries are pastorally impotent. They are incapable of carrying out pastoral responsibility to the believer. They are incapable of personal contact. Media ministries are not able to communicate. Communication is a dialogue whereby there is personal two way communication, expression, feelings and the sharing of ideas. Media men cannot provide the personal one-to-one that is essential to shepherding. Shepherding can only happen when the shepherd and the sheep are together. A proper and logical proximity of the shepherd to the sheep is not and cannot be achieved by any stretch of the imagination. The closest thing to achieving this relationship may be in the letter and appeals sent through the mail, but alas, the letter was printed by a computer with coded paragraphs, and even the signature was printed by a machine! They want the fleece from the sheep without the burden of caring for the sheep.
2. Media ministries are not, therefore, shepherds. A shepherd cares for the flock, defends the flock, calls the flock by name (personal relationship) and keeps the goats out of the sheepfold. The satellite celebrity can fulfill none of these shepherding obligations.
3. Media ministries think more of money than morals, more of their own financial condition than the moral condition of the church. If there was no money in the media ministry, it would not exist. Expensive graphic magazines, television time, and radio stations take millions of dollars to support. If the message is not positive and appealing to the audience, the finances would stop. When you are selling a product you must give the people what they want if they’re going to buy the product (support).
4. Media ministries do not preach against sin, but rather a kind of Gospel that appeals to young personality oriented Christians. Sound doctrine is impossible for the faith teachers.
The Pauline format for perfecting the church with pure doctrine is contained within a few verses in his second epistle to Timothy. 2 Timothy 3:16,17; 4:2. Doctrine (teaching), reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect. Reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
Lamentations 3:51 Mine eye affecteth mine heart because of all the daughters of my city. (Isaiah 3)
Ezekiel 44:23 “And they shall teach my people the difference between the holy and profane, and cause them to discern between the unclean and the clean.”
Ezekiel 1:28 As the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud in the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness round about. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord. And when I saw it, I fell upon my face, and I heard a voice of one that spake.
Awesome effect of God’s holiness upon mortal man.
Ezekiel 2:6 And thou, son of man, be not afraid of them, neither be afraid of their words, though briers and thorns be with thee, and thou dost dwell among scorpions: be not afraid of their words, nor be dismayed at their looks, though they be a rebellious house. 7 And thou shalt speak my words unto them, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear: for they are most rebellious.
Ezekiel 3:7 But the house of Israel will not hearken unto thee; for they will not hearken unto me: for all the house of Israel are impudent and hardhearted.
Anointing and calling are not indicated by one’s ability to attract and hold large crowds. Matthew 7:23; John 8:59.
Ezekiel 3:20 Again, When a righteous man doth turn from his righteousness, and commit iniquity, and I lay a stumblingblock before him, he shall die: because thou hast not given him warning, he shall die in his sin, and his righteousness which he hath done shall not be remembered; but his blood will I require at thine hand.
Righteousness shall not be remembered from the past after our backslidings. The goodness before rebellion will not save you!
Righteousness must be up-to-date. We must have integrity now and be in good standing this day to insure your eternal destiny. Holiness is morality up-to-date.
Ezekiel 8:10 So I went in and saw; and behold every form of creeping things, and abominable beasts, and all the idols of the house of Israel, pourtrayed upon the wall round about. (Amos 5:23)
Ezekiel 16:49 Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. 50 And they were haughty, and committed abomination before me: therefore I took them away as I saw good.
EZEKIEL 18 Reveals God’s righteous judgment of all iniquity. Note: Chapter 33 of Ezekiel is a repeat of chapter 18, which reveals God’s extreme concern in the matter of iniquity found in His people.
Ezekiel 18:4 Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die. 5 But if a man be just, and do that which is lawful and right, 6 And hath not eaten upon the mountains, neither hath lifted up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, neither hath defiled his neighbour’s wife, neither hath come near to a menstruous woman, 7 And hath not oppressed any, but hath restored to the debtor his pledge, hath spoiled none by violence, hath given his bread to the hungry, and hath covered the naked with a garment; 8 He that hath not given forth upon usury, neither hath taken any increase, that hath withdrawn his hand from iniquity, hath executed true judgment between man and man, 9 Hath walked in my statutes, and hath kept my judgments, to deal truly; he is just, he shall surely live, saith the Lord GOD. 10 If he beget a son that is a robber, a shedder of blood, and that doeth the like to any one of these things, 11 And that doeth not any of those duties, but even hath eaten upon the mountains, and defiled his neighbour’s wife, 12 Hath oppressed the poor and needy, hath spoiled by violence, hath not restored the pledge, and hath lifted up his eyes to the idols, hath committed abomination, 13 Hath given forth upon usury, and hath taken increase: shall he then live? he shall not live: he hath done all these abominations; he shall surely die; his blood shall be upon him. 18 As for his father, because he cruelly oppressed, spoiled his brother by violence, and did that which is not good among his people, lo, even he shall die in his iniquity. 19 Yet say ye, Why? doth not the son bear the iniquity of the father? When the son hath done that which is lawful and right, and hath kept all my statutes, and hath done them, he shall surely live.
Each man stands by himself to be held solely responsible for his/her own deeds. Remember the case of the good father who had the bad son? Luke 15:11-24. Righteousness is not inherited! Nor does an evil son take away from his father’s righteousness in God’s sight.
LORD, I FIND THE GENEALOGY OF MY SAVIOR STRANGELY CHECKERED WITH FOUR REMARKABLE CHANGES IN FOUR GENERATIONS. REHOBOAM BEGAT ABIA: A BAD FATHER BEGAT A BAD SON. ABIA BEGAT ASA: A BAD FATHER AND A GOOD SON. ASA BEGAT JEHOSHAPHAT: A GOOD FATHER AND A GOOD SON. JEHOSHAPHAT BEGAT JORUM: A GOOD FATHER AND A BAD SON. I SEE, LORD, FROM HENCE THAT MY FATHER’S PIETY CANNOT BE CARRIED OVER TO MY ACCOUNT: THAT IS BAD NEWS FOR ME. BUT I SEE ALSO THAT ACTUAL IMPIETY IS NOT HEREDITARY: THAT IS GOOD NEWS FOR MY SON. -Thomas Fuller
Ezekiel 18:20 The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him. 21 But if the wicked will turn from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die.
The proof of possessing a new nature through a new creation experience is compatibility with the moral laws of God. “And keep them and do them.” To live “right” is to live within (keep) the law. Keeping (obedience) the law produces right. So, if you are living a spiritual life, it is the same as keeping the moral law. Romans 8:4; 13:10; See Heart Holiness.
Ezekiel 18:22 All his transgressions that he hath committed, they shall not be mentioned unto him: in his righteousness that he hath done he shall live. 23 Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord GOD: and not that he should return from his ways, and live?
God’s feelings will not interfere with His justness. But see God pleading with the sinner – see His compassion for the sinner, He wants so much for him to turn and not burn.
Ezekiel 18:24 But when the righteous turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and doeth according to all the abominations that the wicked man doeth, shall he live? All his righteousness that he hath done shall not be mentioned: in his trespass that he hath trespassed, and in his sin that he hath sinned, in them shall he die. 25 Yet ye say, The way of the Lord is not equal. Hear now, O house of Israel; Is not my way equal? are not your ways unequal?
“Oh, God wouldn’t do that.” Man’s twisted mind distorts his concept of God. Willful sin attempts to neutralize the moral revelation and alter the perfect justice of God rather than conform. A wicked man will even argue with a perfect God. Human perversion contends with perfect justice.
Ezekiel 18:26 When a righteous man turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and dieth in them; for his iniquity that he hath done shall he die. 27 Again, when the wicked man turneth away from his wickedness that he hath committed, and doeth that which is lawful and right, he shall save his soul alive. 28 Because he considereth, and turneth away from all his transgressions that he hath committed, he shall surely live, he shall not die.
Note: “Shall turn from all his transgressions that he hath committed.” A complete departure from and confession of all transgressions.
Ezekiel 18:30 Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, saith the Lord GOD. Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin. 31 Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die, O house of Israel?
“Iniquity,” their own inventions will destroy them. Sin is moral disorder that breeds every kind of violence and disease. Sin, to continue in it is to “self-destruct”. Not God, but their own iniquity will destroy them! “Make you a new heart” – soul. These means of transformation were available under the old covenant, as well as today under grace. Romans 12:2
Ezekiel 18:32 For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord GOD: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye.
God hurts to see man destroying himself in sin and rebellion.
Ezekiel 22:10 In thee have they discovered their fathers’ nakedness: in thee have they humbled her that was set apart for pollution.
IS “NAKEDNESS” RELATIVE TO CULTURE AND INDIVIDUALS?
What is Nakedness?
1. Total nudity. Ezekiel 28:42, Job 1:21.
2. Exposure of breasts, pubic hair, thigh, leg. Ezekiel 16:7, Isaiah 47:2.
3. In undergarments. John 21:6,7; I Samuel 19:24
4. Poorly dressed. James 2
Absolute Statements drawn from God’s Word.
1. Nakedness is a shame. Revelation 3:18; 16:15; Ezekiel 28:42.
2. Nakedness is demonically related. Mark 5.
3. Nakedness is for the purpose of sexual acts. Genesis 9:23; Leviticus 18:6,19; Ezekiel 16; 23:18.
4. Nakedness is an association to prostitution. Ezekiel 23:29.
5. Nakedness many times is the result of drunkenness. Habakkuk 2:15.
6. Nakedness is associated with filth and vileness, not purity and chastity.
7. Nakedness is to be judged. Lamentations 1:8; Ezekiel 23:27-29.
1.In man’s first culture God clothed man fully, probably with an emanating glory that covered the body.
2.If nakedness is relative, why doesn’t man tend toward fully clothing himself instead of the other extreme of fully undressing.
3. This undressing comes from a few in the TV industry and the world’s style makers.
4. Men and women dress to allure attention.
5. The rationale of relativity is an attempt to remove shame from our filthy behavior.
We live in a time of license. Even Christians believe nakedness is “relative.” That is, it depends on what society has become conditioned to, what conscience allows. Nakedness is “relative” to sin! It is only the privilege of those who are joined in wedlock. The essence of uninhibited nakedness is illicit sexual behavior, animalism and disease.
Ezekiel 22:26 Her priests have violated my law, and have profaned mine holy things: they have put no difference between the holy and profane, neither have they shewed difference between the unclean and the clean, and have hid their eyes from my sabbaths, and I am profaned among them. 27:27 Thy riches, and thy fairs, thy merchandise, thy mariners, and thy pilots, thy calkers, and the occupiers of thy merchandise, and all thy men of war, that are in thee, and in all thy company which is in the midst of thee, shall fall into the midst of the seas in the day of thy ruin.
Ezekiel 28:14 Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. 15 Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee. 16 By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire. 17 Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee.
“The Bible is the history of sin. It begins with Satan’s fall and the effect of his fall upon the kingdom. The world which started with Adam and Eve was apparently created to be the great process by which God will replace the fallen angels who followed Lucifer in the rebellion. This explanation gives purpose to creation and the conditions existing before and after the fall of Adam and Eve and fits well with the biblical scheme of the ages.”
Ezekiel 28:19 All they that know thee among the people shall be astonished at thee: thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt thou be any more.
We should note here that Satan’s devices today will very much reflect the original virtues which God created in him. He will use these qualities originally vested in him to entice man and distract him from God’s plan for his life, from the commandment, from pursuing holiness; to carry out his princely rule over those who join him in rebellion against God. Namely, those who are disobedient and not converted by the Gospel of Christ in this world.
1. Verse 12, “Full of wisdom.” “A mind is a Wisdom terrible thing to waste” because a wasted mind always means a wasted soul. Satan Mind was full of intellectual power and is using that power today by deceiving men with words and being the master of all semantical languages in the world, including the confusion and deceptions placed upon us by the sciences, and in particular evolution, intellectualism, and all manipulations of human behavior. From the hawking of the carnival barker to atheistic humanism being spewed out in the college and university classrooms. In recent history the world has been profoundly affected by the “wisdom” of such names as, Marx, Engels, Hitler, Lenin, Keynes, Blake, Oxnom, Spencer, and Mao. Satan’s only power is his extreme cleverness. We must never underestimate Satan’s “corrupted wisdom.” Verse 17.
2. Verse 12, “Perfect in beauty.” The insatiable appetite of man for that which is Cosmetology aesthetic is being fed by Satanic emphasis on artificial beauty. Beauty, chiefest among those forces affecting the conduct of modern man. The deceptive quality upon which man bases so much of his conduct.
3. Verse 13, “Every precious stone was thy covering,” (The Sardis, topaz, diamond, beryl, onyx, jasper, sapphire, emerald, carbuncle, and gold.) These precious gems and metals constitute the value system of the carnal nature. For these things men lower themselves to animals, commit heinous crimes and make for themselves beds in hell. It is Lucifer who drives men to ruination with these fallen celestial qualities. In heaven the walls and streets will be covered with these worthless beauties.
4. Verse 13, “Thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created.” Music in the last days has especially challenged the good judgment of holiness people.
Neo Christians, who we might call the offspring of neo-liberalism, have embraced rock music conceived in the bosom of the psychedelic culture and pounded out its beat at disco joints and dance halls across the land and around the world to further debase man and move him further from fellowship with God. Yet the new generation feels that this music can be “dedicated and used for the Lord” as any other music. What is not fully realized by some of the young neo-liberals, is that there was a time when music in the world had its acceptable sounds and words that were not near as diametric to Christian thought, purpose and practice, but in the last age the rock beat, having come from the drug addicted sub-culture, is demonic to its core and very different from the music of ages past. There was a time when the music of the world and the music of the church had its compatible elements, but in psychedelic music there is no compatibility! The Christian who does not accept this, has failed to appropriate the Spirit’s wisdom.
Ezekiel 36:25 Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you.
“Idolatry – no matter who or what we idolize – is at the very root of all filthiness; for it is spiritual adultery and heart wandering from God. Nothing but divine cleansing can wholly remove it.”
Ezekiel 36:27 And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them. 29 I will also save you from all your uncleannesses: and I will call for the corn, and will increase it, and lay no famine upon you.
The indwelling Spirit saves us from all – not some – not certain kinds – not to a certain
degree – but from all uncleanness [in human nature and the worldly environment].
Ezekiel 44:23 And they shall teach my people the difference between the holy and profane, and cause them to discern between the unclean and the clean. (Nehemiah 8:8)
“And what other business [does a true] holy ministry have? For what else does it exist?”
I. “TEACH THEM”
All depends upon the teachableness of the disciple. 2 Timothy 3:7 – “Ever learning.” To be taught we must be teachable.
II. “MY PEOPLE”
God’s people do need teaching on this subject from God anointed, ordained ministries. Why? Because the priests are supposed to only have God’s interest at heart. This dedication is necessary in God’s teachers. But, oh, the beautiful sound of these words, “My people.” To think, He calls me His own – that I am His. I must not spoil the beauty of this sound – I must seek His holiness, keep His commandments with joy and song and seek always to please Him!
III. “THE DIFFERENCE”
Difference infers “differ,” meaning “opposites” or opposing, contrast in. To cleave to what is good and abhor evil – opposite action toward opposite values.
IV. “BETWEEN THE HOLY AND PROFANE”
Any that is not holy is profane. Holy implies it is morally pure and acceptable to the holy nature. Profane; to treat as common, as not holy.
V. “AND CAUSE THEM TO DISCERN”
Before the priests were to transmit their judgment to the people concerning the holy and profane what was holy and “common.”
VI. “BETWEEN THE UNCLEAN AND THE CLEAN”
This seems to be a reference to the law of God and those things so defined in the law of Moses. However, the important word in the text, “to cause my people … to know.”
Ezekiel 44:24 And in controversy they shall stand in judgment; and they shall judge it according to my judgments: and they shall keep my laws and my statutes in all mine assemblies; and they shall hallow my Sabbaths.
Another of God’s many, many calls to His people to find moral life through moral truth and principle.
Daniel 12:3 “And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.”
Daniel 10:8 Therefore I was left alone, and saw this great vision, and there remained no strength in me: for my comeliness was turned in me into corruption, and I retained no strength. 9 Yet heard I the voice of his words: and when I heard the voice of his words, then was I in a deep sleep on my face, and my face toward the ground. 10 And, behold, an hand touched me, which set me upon my knees and upon the palms of my hands. 11 And he said unto me, O Daniel, a man greatly beloved, understand the words that I speak unto thee, and stand upright: for unto thee am I now sent. And when he had spoken this word unto me, I stood trembling. 12 Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words.
If Daniel was so affected, a man to whom scripture attributes no faults or sin to, how shall the worldly, the carnal, the “holiness” people who have so little compassion – How shall a man stand in His presence who has arrogantly denounced Christian perfection and slandered those who have stood for separation and traditional moral values of the church fathers – oh, the horror of that encounter between those religious wicked and a holy God’s Glory God! And this encounter Daniel was having was only an archangel! See Psalm 50:14-23.
Daniel 12:3 And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.
Credit will go to those who “turn many to righteousness” and not to those who “in Thy Name done many wonderful works.” There is a difference. Biblical salvation begins with biblical conversion. Matthew 7:22; Romans 10:10..pc 30
Hosea 14:9 “Who is wise, and he shall understand these things? prudent, and he shall know them? for the ways of the Lord are right, and the just shall walk in them: but the transgressors shall fall therein.”
Hosea 4:6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.
At the end of World War II General Patton was in the last great tank battle with Rommel that brought the final downfall of the German forces in North Africa. General Patton walked out onto the smoking battlefield strewn with dead American and German soldiers and shouted, “Rommel, I read your book!” Rommel had written a book on tank warfare and George Patton, being a good commander, wanted to know as much about his enemy as possible, so he read Rommel’s book on tank warfare, and because he read that book, he learned Rommel. Knowledge is power and advantage – especially the knowledge of God’s Word.
Hosea 6:3 Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the Lord: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth.
First there is the rainy season that signals the end of the growth of the harvest. It is the events that take place after the latter rain that are most important! The latter rain only alerts us. For, you see, after the latter rains (last) comes the dry season when the grain turns golden and dry. Then quickly the grain is cut and let lay until there is the proper low moisture content. Then, and only then, is the grain raked and stored in the garners!! You don’t have a harvest in the rain. You don’t actually have a harvest until the grain is brought in from the fields and stored! Have we confused the latter rain with the actual harvest? They are not the same! There is much more to happen to the church after the rain. The latter rain signals the reaping. Have we been wondering what has been happening these latter years to the latter rain? Have we passed through the latter rain and entered into the dry season in preparation of the great harvest? The farmers understand the importance of the dry season. Upon examining the latter rain of Joel’s prophecy and conditions developing today in the so-called era of the Charismatic movement, we see a difference between the latter rain realities of the first 50 years of the Pentecostal movement and the last 30 years of the Charismatic movement. There is a noticeable difference between the outpouring at the turn of the last century beginning with the ministry of Dwight L. Moody, and the beginning of the Charismatic movement in approximately 1950. What marked the early (1900) outpouring that is not a part of the Charismatic claims.
1. SPONTANEITY – All one needs to do is read the accounts of the early outpourings such as recorded in Frodsham’s work. There was no human elaboration of spiritual power. We didn’t wear pins and necklaces to advertise Him and it was far from popular to be in the camp of the Pentecostals. Today we’ve made the Holy Spirit a celebrity and the baptism of the Holy Spirit a symbol of “charisma,” something of a novelty while the full range and manifestations lessen or are claimed to exist (coexist) with rank worldliness and lack of moral principle.
2. GODLINESS – The early outpouring thrived in the atmosphere of holiness separation from the world) people. The lifestyle of the early Pentecostals was simple and separated. They began to experiment with vanity in the name of expediency – after all, the world listens to us if we don’t put so much difference between ourselves and them. They further discovered they could be vain, worldly, watch adulterers and fornicators on TV and still speak with tongues. We stopped practicing separation and decided after some experimentation that we could shiver, jerk, cry, speak with tongues, be extravagant, lewd and fashionable while enjoying this fundamental faith in Christ. We removed articles from the constitutions of our churches that named worldly practices. We started going back to the movies, and in fact, have Pentecostal movie stars! We buy and sell on the Lord’s day. We strip down on the public beaches and even hold cosmetic classes for our ladies in the church. Divorce is common now with some couples even switching partners, remarrying and staying in the church. Yes sir … we’ve come a long way in our pursuit of the deeper life. In fact, we became so thrilled with this discovery that we decided holiness was all wrong and just non-essential legalism. We decided that our human experience and feelings are sufficient to guide us. We know now that holiness is a troublemaker.
3. SACRIFICE – The human nature cannot tolerate and will not take an injustice. You must be divine to take a wrong without reacting with anger or revenge. Matthew 5:39. The early outpouring of the latter rain carried the theme of “sacrifice.” The Holy Spirit teaches us to be frugal and self-denying. Look at us today … a lusting bunch of chocolate soldiers all dressed up to kill. So programmed to luxury by our air-conditioned world we can’t even produce a generation that can evangelize the hard places of world. We’re cosmetic, soft and self-indulgent. Our fathers of just three generations past launched the full Gospel on its mission of world evangelism. In those days we accepted sacrifice in the form of privation, persecution … and even death! See Sacrifice, Contentment, Discipline. Today the call of God is stymied with educational requirements, psychology tests and mission boards who do not even have a life of prayer! Missionaries return from the field defeated at a high rate. We’ve lost the spirit of sacrifice.
4. ANOINTING – In the time of the latter rain the anointing was common and mistakes were admittedly frequent. Today education, professionalism and religious humanism has turned us into respectable institutions smothered with programs and entertainment. Sophistication and respectability not only makes us more acceptable to the world, but has (which we would never admit to) encroached the anointing of the Holy Spirit. To be socially respected and raise our social acceptance to a worldly level, we have ignored the Bible standards and the moral state of the church in the process.
7. PERSECUTION – Jesus said, “in the world you will have tribulation.” John 6:33. He also said, “If the world hates me, it will hate you also.” John 15:18. The latter rain church grew and thrived on the hate and persecution heaped upon it by the world and its enemies within the church! They hated us because we were loud and holy! Pentecostal denominations grew at such a fast rate it was the only thing the world and the nominal churches could say about them. But as we passed through the period of the latter rain and moved into the Charismatic period we began to see our reproach through backslidden eyes. Charismatic emphasis grew to feel persecution and zeal was unnecessary, after all, “we are not second class citizens.” We have certain dignities and we ought to show the world we can do anything they can do and still be Christians. So these Pentecostal businessmen and Catholic Pentecostals, displayed an extreme loyalty to the tongues experience even though through this “revival” of the 50’s all attention toward sanctification, holiness, separation and righteousness was being dropped from mention. We grew to despise this idea of separation and rejected the Bible holiness of the Fathers for this new thing which the Catholic Pentecostals gave us. The theme of perfection gave in to liberalism and “holiness people” became “Charismatics.” But original Pentecost, the pure latter rain movement, did possess these qualities; 1) Spontaneity, 2) Godliness, 3) Sacrifice, 4) Anointing, 5) Persecution. These qualities hardly exist in the church of today. The Charismatic gatherings of today are not at all the same religion the fundamental churches embraced the first half of the twentieth century about the time of the start of WW II. Therefore, the modern Charismatic movement has its own era and identity. Neither does it bear the biblical image of the early church. It can be identified as a movement that came out of the latter rain, but is not a latter rain movement as it believes itself to be. But like a comet, the real thing has come and the real thing has gone! Charismatics, not being a movement that teaches the apostle’s doctrine or the moral transformation that Jesus and Paul, Peter and Jude taught may be emotional but without the pure doctrines of biblical justification and sanctification as the foundation of their message holds the credentials of the Holy Spirit without these vital factors. It is only kept alive with emotion and the remnants of a pure fundamentalist religion. It is the Laodicean movement of Revelation three that has no moral theme whatsoever. It claims life and riches and cites prosperity as the sign of God’s blessing and approval. But it has none of the moral characteristics of the Bible church. Sincere Christians who are in it should move into the Word of God and repent of their identity with it. We are in the period of the dry season. We are a generation of great spiritual claims. God describes us as He sees us. If you are a true member of the remnant and you are in touch with God, you will be like Anna and Simeon, you will know the true condition of the day you live in. I Chronicles 12:32. We are not in a period of revival, we are in a period of apostasy in spite of loud Charismatic claims. This is not to say that God will not do signs among them because they are Charismatic. God blesses people and honors faith and pays no attention to where He is when He finds it. The Charismatics as a movement are anti-sanctification and especially do they hold in contempt separation. There are two doctrines that constitute sanctification; devotion to God, a selfless affection that desire only to please God; and separation from all the evil influences that have their origin in the world by ungodly and unregenerate man. Amos 5:20.
Hosea 7:2 And they consider not in their hearts that I remember all their wickedness: now their own doings have beset them about; they are before my face. (See Psalm 50)
Moral digression leads to self-destruction. God’s silence and patience is not to be confused as God’s approval! Psalm 50:21 Sooner or later God must make sin, continued rebellion and flesh honoring religion come to its senses. God’s first reason for remembering “all their wickedness” was that in the anguish of it all they might repent. Revelation 9:20,21; 16:9,11.
Hosea 9:9 They have deeply corrupted themselves, as in the days of Gibeah: therefore he will remember their iniquity, he will visit their sins.
So again we see as in Hosea 7:2 and Psalm 50:21, that iniquity is not always judged immediately. Sometimes it is “remembered” later.
Amos 5:24 “But let judgment run down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream.”
Amos 5:15 Hate the evil, and love the good, and establish judgment in the gate: it may be that the Lord God of hosts will be gracious unto the remnant of Joseph.
God’s people are not called to love, but to love good! Revival is always marked by a return to morality. An emphasis of love apart from goodness and justice and the establishing of judgment (impartial treatment of good [people] and evil [deeds]), becomes nothing but human sentimentalism. Materialism genders the philosophy of positivism. Here God instructs His people to return to a balance of moral action. The neo-Christian movement has become a love cult, but true Bible holiness is only achieved so long as we hate evil as much as we love the good. There is no such thing as the love of God apart from a perfect hatred for sin. Psalm 97:10.
1. We thus conclude that the love of evil is sin (all evil being rebellion against the laws of divine government).
2. There is such a thing as sinful love, and holy hatred. Hebrews 1:9.
Amos 5:18 Woe unto you that desire the day of the Lord! to what end is it for you? the day of the Lord is darkness, and not light. 19 As if a man did flee from a lion, and a bear met him; or went into the house, and leaned his hand on the wall, and a serpent bit him. 20 Shall not the day of the Lord be darkness, and not light? even very dark, and no brightness in it?
HUMANISTIC FUNDAMENTALISM The curse of the Second Coming. See 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12.
1. Belief in the second coming of Christ is no sign of valid fundamentalism. Amos 5:18.
2. Praise is no sign of genuine Christianity. Amos 5:21-22.
3. Emotional music and worship is no sign of genuine Christianity. Amos 5:23-24.
4. Where is genuine Christianity? Amos 5:24.
“Lord, who shall abide in the tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill? He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart. He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbour, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbour. 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. He that putteth not out his money to usury, nor taketh reward against the innocent. He that doeth these things shall never be moved.” Psalm 15:1-5. 2 Timothy 3:5.
Amos 5:23 Take thou away from me the noise of thy songs; for I will not hear the melody of thy viols. 24 But let judgment run down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream. (Psalm 80:4)
The new electronic evangelism approach has turned church pulpits into religious vaudeville act centers. First we copied the world’s methods, now we are governed by their motives. Like methods represent like motives.
THE MODERN GOSPEL MUSIC INDUSTRY IS MERCENARY
Many Gospel singing groups require a large fee before they will schedule an “appearance.” Many of them will not even schedule in churches and some are handled by booking agencies only. When any spiritual ministry is mercenary in its operation, without admitting it, it has become secular, but always behind the words, “Our prayer is that Christ will be glorified.” They set their salaries on the level of those of the world, claiming that “Gospel workers in the kingdom of God have a better message and are promoting a good cause and therefore we should be paid even better than the world’s entertainers.” There’s only one hitch to that philosophy; God doesn’t have any “entertainers.” The premise of making a demand of money for spiritual ministry is a corruption of the divine intent! These practices and philosophies do not reflect the biblical moral nor manifest Holy Spirit ethic.
MODERN GOSPEL, CROSSOVER AND “CHRISTIAN ROCK”
Crossover music attacks the holiness and dignity of Christ and violates the biblical principle of separation. 2 Corinthians 6:14-18. Christians who claim the indwelling of the Spirit of Christ will reject crossover music as being insidious. Corrupt and evil influences grow in the body of Christ because Christians do not refuse to listen to slang and jargon directed at the person of our Lord. One such Gospel song speaking of Christ says, “I know that God is almighty, I have seen Him do His stuff.” Another song says of Christ, “He’s a nice guy.” These are not Holy Spirit inspired words. The Holy Spirit’s ministry is to “glorify” Christ! Common, base slang language used in modern Gospel songs are planted in music by Satan to downgrade deity and corrupt biblical concepts of the majesty of God. Street slang comes from gutters, not from Heaven! John 16:14.
MODERN GOSPEL SONGS ARE COMPROMISE SET TO MUSIC
Another modern song says, “It can’t be wrong, when it feels so right.” This song advocates: What feels right is right. It smacks with suggestive, adulterous behavior in the attempt to relate to the immoral subculture. i.e., existentialism, self-expression and situation ethics. Ephesians 4:14.
Modern church rock promotes personality. If they could produce Gospel music without “me” or “money” in it – how many would be in it? Man’s musical preferences reveal his level of grace and his state of conscience. Worldly rock identifies with two things; 1) Bizarre self-promoted personalities, and 2) Obsession with drugs and sex. Church rock identifies with the same forces in a religious form. Rock is flesh nature music appealing to and stimulating carnal behavior. Religious rock is entertainment. History proves that entertainment makes any society soft. Softness is diametric to the disciplines and hardships of world evangelism. Rock does not induce the worship of the Spirit – it induces sensual pleasure. Theatrics, showmanship and personality cults had no part in the early church. When these practices become features of the church it only declares the true state of the church. As the church turns carnal, so does its music. The obsession with musical programs in recent years has been mostly responsible for clapping and personality admiration being introduced into the church, corrupting spiritual forms of worship. Clapping for performance is not biblical. Clapping in churches came to us from the theater. Clapping unto the Lord in praise is acceptable according to the Psalms, but not practiced by the early church. Clapping in conjunction with music or ministry in the church has no precedent in the New Testament. It is definitely a Charismatic tradition. We gather at sings as if God was the jolly green giant. With stars in our eyes we adore Him for His goodness to us. We haven’t won a soul to Christ in years. We are laden with self-deifying cosmetics, watch the soapies by the hour and have no private prayer life. We have nice homes, insurance and security, we give nothing to the poor, we gorge in expensive restaurants and we pay millions to tour Israel. Our indulgence in music is just another shameful way the uninhibited flesh life finds pleasure in the name of “blessing.” “Cure selfishness and you have just planted the garden of Eden”. -Belinski See Colossians 3:16. Music that does not worship or induce worship, but rather entertains, does not edify the spiritual life. The message of sanctification should be the chief joy of the saint. See Heart Holiness; Psalm 119. When it becomes otherwise, a wise pastor will repent and correct the trend. To test the spiritual values of any church, announce an “all night Bible study” for one Saturday evening and an “all night sing” the next and see what happens. Subtle, insidious and morally disarming humanistic doctrines are being transmitted to people under the lull of musical sound.
ROCK MUSIC IN THE CHURCH
1.During the Victorian or Puritan age of history past, man’s popular music was born out of a cultured human spirit. Classical music that came from Beethoven, Bach and Tchaikovsky was music born out of the spirit of cultured men (not necessarily the Holy Spirit). By cultured we mean that mankind’s ideals placed great emphasis upon dignity, propriety and productivity. Refinement was a mark of the majority of citizenry in the period of the Renaissance. Mozart wrote 636 symphonies in his lifetime. A tremendous feat when you consider he wrote his first symphony at the age of 5 and died at 35. He produced all of his work in 30 years and the world still hails him. Rock is the music of the young, not the old. Mozart’s work has been loved for centuries by all. There were times in history when the moral ideals of men were much more closely aligned to the morals of scripture, or at least the moral consensus of society was with less public license in regard to immoral conduct. Rock music originated in recent times in the person of Elvis Presley, and later the Beatles of England. Elvis Presley attended an Assembly of God church in Memphis, Tennessee, but his style of music was not given him by the church. I heard Elvis Presley’s former pastor address the General Council of the Assemblies of God when I heard him say something like this, to thousands of pastors present, Pay attention to you young people because you never know who they are. Elvis Presley rejected Christ and chose rather the pleasures of sin, becoming the world’s first great rock star. His performances were characterized by sensual pelvic motions. The Beatles were also sub-culture and immoral, identifying openly with the drug culture. Rock music had its origin in the time of the sexual revolution of the sixties and cradled in the drug culture. Rock and classical music, therefore, are distinguished as having two different moral environments, cultural value system and social cast types in their origins. A rather recent twist to church rock is the formation of “Christian” heavy metal rock groups. One of the first and most noted was the group called, STRYPES. They wear the bizarre clothing and display every visible feature of the hard rock heavy metal arsenal including the bisexual faces of women. Buried deep in the depth of rock sounds are words that speak of Christ. They imitate in every way the hard rock talents with only one exception … the words which often you cannot understand. Is this God’s idea? The Lord gave us a simple to understand commandment through Paul the apostle; “be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed…” Christianity is to imitate Christ, to be Christ-like. When any person imitates the world it becomes impossible for them to be Christ-like. Here again is the great principle of holiness; “Be ye holy, even as I am holy.” Holiness includes the consecration of the body. Modern Gospel proponents practice a religion that refuses to inhibit the flesh, to put it to death by self-denial. While practicing worship, these people allow the life of the flesh to go uninhibited in worldly flesh pleasures. Spiritual apostasy has been greatly accelerated by the neo-fundamentalism philosophy that excuses the body from obedience to biblical morality.
The philosophy of these people who try to mix Jesus with their ungodly lifestyle in order to “win young people to the Lord,” have been duped by a demon of apostasy whose name is pragmatism. His cohorts are two other demons we identify as relativism and expedience. All three are from hell!
Rock is dance music.
Rock music appeals to low life, low taste sub-culture kind.
Rock music induces body consciousness.
Rock played by so-called Christians will draw certain Christian youth into the rock sessions. It is impossible to indulge in rock of any kind and obey in spirit such scriptures as Romans 12:2; 13:14; 2 Corinthians 6:19; 7:1; Colossians 3:1-6; I John 2:15.
2. While man’s immoral tendencies have always been basically the same, there have been periods of greater or lesser social moral influence. The time of the Renaissance was a period of higher moral ideals. Our present Western society is more tolerant to immorality than that of the cultures of the near East and Eastern Europe (Communist Countries). There were some notorious periods of low morality, such as the era of Sodom and Gomorrah, the sensuous Roman Empire and certain ancient pagan societies (study the moral standards of Corinth). These produced the same licentious form of arts and open sex as allowed in most Western societies today. The modern Gospel blends with the moral revolution while the traditional holiness movement takes exception to it and refuses its influence. See Matthew 7:17. The origin of rock music proves it is evil. Anything that is good must have a good origin. If you want to know if something is good or evil, just trace it back to its origin. While rock originated in the person of Elvis Presley, it developed rapidly in the psychedelic drug culture period of the early 60’s. It has always been the music of the drug culture and has been openly professed as “the devil’s music” by its authors. At an Indonesian convention, American rock singers were stopped in the middle of their song by the Indonesian brethren because they were “playing the same music we once used to call demons when we were in witchcraft.” There is no such similarity between hymns and spiritual songs. There is the argument that rock music is like all other music, it is only a matter of personal taste. That is a glib and oversimplified reply and should be rejected immediately by any thinking person. First, we must make a difference between spirit (not the same as spiritual) music and body music. Spirit music expresses the feelings; emotions, ideals, worship that glorifies the holiness of God. “Christian” rock is body music with Christian lyric – just another attempt of Satan to link flesh religion with fundamentalism to corrupt it. Rock sound originated in the lowest and most immoral environments of the recent world (drugs, rebellion and sexual promiscuity). It is a Satanic revival of rebellion and self-expressionism. By adding Christian lyrics to rock sound, you cannot make ROCK music spiritual! This is not the music of a human spirit, but of body appetites and evil spirits.
3. The company it keeps and the people who promote it. Spirit music appeals to the cultural instincts of man if he has any, his desire to self-improve, his dream of refinement. It has been historically true that church music followed the style of music being played in the world, but that was when worldly music of past eras was of much more refined quality in the world, and the origin of past music reflected the feelings and ideals of noble men. No social psychologist would deny the music of today is related to the drug culture. The new morality, self expressionism, combined with the inspiration of hallucinatory drugs, head the rebellion against traditional values. The drug/rock movement is diametric to and against culture, against order, against self-refinement, and against the very idea of the dignity of life. Rock rebelled against all of these qualities of human refinement and is the music that expresses that spirit.
GODS OF THE YOUTHFUL PERSONALITY CULT
It features the worldly “star” or “stars” on Rock Music the stages of entertainment showing off their electronic skills and inviting the worship of their admirers. It reeks with the style of the world, the precedence set by the Beatles, KISS and other demonic wordings. It is a far cry from the style of music set by the precepts of holy scripture … “with psalms and hymns.” Rock music has a body origin. It comes from and promotes the promiscuous sex lifestyle of swingers, homosexuals and libertines. Its theme is sex, its beat is sexual, its words are full of suggestive jingles describing the sex act – appealing to fornicators and adulterers. While it exists in the same world as the symphony, a different kind of people go to the rock session than to the symphony concert. Modern youthful and amoral “Christians” have tried to foster this body music upon the church. It is impossible to do without bringing a carnal influence upon the youth of the church. Anyone who is in the Spirit will be disallowed by the Holy Spirit within them to ever accept it. It is such a diverse kind of music that some rock musicians cannot even play normal music. An evangelist asked a rock musician to play “Coming Home” for the altar service and he couldn’t even do it. Just before this he had filled the air with all kinds of LOUD “sound.” Rock is sound, music is melody that appeals universally to the higher part of human nature. Rock does not have universal appeal. It appeals to the base of man’s flesh nature. Hard rock entertainers bite off the heads of live chickens, advocate drugs and sing on one theme; sex. And the modern contemporary Christian speaks well of “Christian rock?” See Amos 5:23; Ephesians 5:19; Isaiah 14:11; 24:8; Ezekiel 26:14; Amos 8:10; Colossians 3:16. If the real Christ stepped forth from the pages of scripture and began to make a scourge with His hands, knocking over money changers and shouting, “My house shall be called a house of prayer,” these same people who advocate Christian rock would not accept that Christ! When we find that He rejects our practices, will we love Him then? When He crosses us and disagrees with us in the judgment, it will be over the issue of purity and holiness. That alone is the concern of God. The “Lord” these modern Christians love is a Lord they have created in their own imaginations, not the Lord of the temple who wove the scourge demanding compliance to the moral commandment.
SATELLITE CHURCHES – with dishes outside the sanctuary channeling celebrity preachers onto giant screens inside the sanctuary is an effort of mercenary ministries to tap another source of financial income. It is another infringement upon the divine order of the church. It violates the scriptural methods God has endorsed regarding the proper function of the local church. What begins as a supplemental meeting, a novel diversion from the norm has subtle and far reaching ethical impact upon the church spiritually.
a. Pastors will not be able to correct “big name” men who teach error.
b. The shepherd/flock intimacy is violated by an unaccountable voice in the local assembly.
c. A new source of discord and contention is introduced into already troubled church life when the pastor and satellite celebrity disagree.
We have sacrificed the “foolishness of preaching” for a new kind of electronic personality. We have abandoned the ideas of piety and godly disciplines. The new Christianity has a new image called success. What is the effect of super satellite preacher “dishing” out their doctrines to local churches? The denominations now must compete with the para-church satellite preachers as they realize they are losing their hold on their constituents. Thus forcing the greater part of the evangelical movement (especially among the Pentecostals who are leading the way in the break from local church authority) to capitulate from biblical evangelism to the methods of result (numerical, financial) oriented evangelism. While the local minister and especially his people may be committed to their denominational heads, the divided loyalty of his people will also be to the super satellite celebrity! The body of Christ will be torn and morally corrupted as it is appealed to for its patronage. The local church has always been more interested in moral standards than the fellow out there in the TV studio. But now that interest of the local pastor in the moral state of the believer must yield to the intimidating powers of the TV celebrity preacher if they’re to hold the loyalty of the people. Local pastors do not dare (the majority who are not in the “super pastor” category) speak contrary to the teaching of the satellite preacher. The satellite ministries are outspokenly anti-holiness. The local pastors actually becomes assistant pastors in their own churches. Many pastors have confessed that if they should take a position against the doctrinal errors of the satellite preacher they “would split their church down the middle.” And many churches have been split! But this condition will become less frequent as pastors are “learning” that “it’s better to surrender to the false doctrine of the TV teachers than to split the church.” Result: the TV celebrities enjoy their unbiblical and unprecedented control over the local pastors and their congregations. Secondly; they enjoy an unprecedented position of importance and vocal input into the church universal without being accountable to anyone!
One after the other, new schemes of competition will set in between the denominational directors and the super satellite celebrities to vie for the loyalties of the adherents. The inevitable outcome is that moral standards will be set aside as each side strives to please the listeners. Holiness congregations who have refrained from owning televisions don’t have the problems created by the satellite ministries because the teaching they have received disallows television and blind loyalty based on the celebrity figure’s prominence. In the end, those “simple holiness people” who held to the Bible emphasis of character, and practiced the principles of practical holiness will avoid the confusion the personality cults are bringing to the denominations. In the end their simple dedication will prove them right. The only other factor involved is God’s judgment on the whole carnal state of affairs unless Christians and churchmen repent and return to the original biblical design of church government and quality discipleship. Jeremiah 6:16.
Before you send money to any TV ministry or magazine I can tell you how to prove they are who they say they are. Just send them a request to see their last annual financial report. They may have their accountant send you a letter stating that their financial practices are audited and found to be in order – but that is not a financial statement.
Jonah 3:10 “And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not.”
Micah 6:8 “He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?” (See Psalm 15)
Nahum 1:3 “The Lord is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked: the Lord hath his way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet.”
Habakkuk 1:13 “Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity: wherefore lookest thou upon them that deal treacherously, and holdest thy tongue when the wicked devoureth the man that is more righteous than he?”
Zephaniah 3:5 “The just Lord is in the midst thereof; he will not do iniquity: every morning doth he bring his judgment to light, he faileth not; but the unjust knoweth no shame.”
Zephaniah 2:3 Seek ye the Lord, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness:
Zephaniah 3:2 She obeyed not the voice; she received not correction; she trusted not in the Lord; she drew not near to her God. (See Hebrews 12:5-11; Revelation 3:18-20)
How many times does the word “not” appear in this verse? Sometimes the things we do not do are as important to our destiny as what we do. See the word “Against” in Ephesians 6:12. See also I Corinthians 13:4-6.
Haggai 1:7 “Thus saith the Lord of hosts; Consider your ways.”
Zechariah 14:20 “In that day shall there be upon the bells of the horses, HOLINESS UNTO THE Lord; and the pots in the Lord’S house shall be like the bowls before the altar.”
Zechariah 4:6 Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the Lord unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.
“Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord.” MIGHT, KHAYIL, (2428) Means of force – Armies, wealth, great forces, riches, strength or even virtue. Boldness – war, root; to inflict – irresistible abuse RESOURCES POWER, KOAKH, (3581) Strength derived from ability, root; to be firm ABILITY
Christ destroys the Antichrist with the power of His Word streaking out of His mouth, and not with the material weapons created by the world! Natural men put their confidence in natural resources and forces of the world, but spiritual faith has its confidence in God through prayer, truth, angels, miracles, scriptural principles, the precious blood, and obedience to the precept. Solomon’s life is the classic example of Zechariah’s inspired statement. See I Kings 10:14-11:8. This scripture is quoted much and applied to mean many things. But the basic principle being revealed by these divinely inspired words is simply that as God’s children we should not go to nor consult the gods (forces) of this world to achieve desired results. Our resources are in God! Spiritual faith has its resources in God. Humanism has its resources in the world. The anointed life has all of its resources in God, not in the world. Moses didn’t use the resources of the world when he led the children of Israel through the Red Sea. It was the pure power of God. Joshua did not use the resources of the world to cross the Jordan at the time of flooding, or in the bringing down of Jericho. Gideon did not use conventional weapons or alliances with mighty nations to smash the tribute of the Midianites. He had “strange weapons,” 1) A clay pitcher, 2) Torch, and 3) A trumpet, according to God’s instruction causing alien armies to destroy themselves. As the church is immersed in materialism we depend less and less on the divine resources. Barak came against the iron chariots of Sisera and had sweet victory because he went up at the word of prophesy. Natural faith would have never gone up against Sisera with conventional weapons. Natural faith would have never depended on a clay pitcher, torch, and a trumpet as weapons against the world’s mightiest army. Men of the world who trust in the world’s God, Power resources are conquered by men of spiritual faith with no resources in the world. Sisera’s 900 iron chariots speak dramatically of the world’s power. Iron has always been a symbol of war and industry. History tells us that the Hitites were among the first to forge iron into swords. They used their iron swords against Egyptian armies smashing the Egyptian’s brass swords into pieces. It at one time caused the Pharaohs quite a bit of concern until they analyzed a captured Hitite sword and forged their own. How envious sometimes we are of the world’s secular power, its beauty and of its glory. Here lies the morality of1faith. Spiritual faith finds its pleasure and its resources in God. Neo-faith has theorized that if we want to win the world we must make them realize that as Christians we are not inferior, so we dress like them, talk like them and imitate them. But it is not conformity to their methods that makes us effective, it is contrast. Contrast brings conviction to the sinner. Contrast (holiness) is gone from the contemporary movement. Conviction has gone with it. With no depth of conversion, the unregenerate people are brought comfortably into the neo-Christian way. This new concept is neither scriptural nor does it produce converts with depth of salvation. They openly lash out against traditional holiness insisting they are not under bondage. See Flesh and Spirit; Heart Holiness; Bondage; Freedom. The Bible calls it (liberalism) the “broad way.” The grievous thing about the modern Gospel’s prominence is that thousands know nothing of the blessedness of traditional holiness and the true to the Bible walk with God. They only know one way and assume from what their teachers tell them that the “narrow way” is a wretched life of legalism. The truly holy people of God will weep when they think on this.
SECULARISM: A system of doctrines and practices that rejects religious faith and worship. Pertaining to the world or to things not spiritual or sacred. Secularism, a deadly subtle form of worldliness, is the big beloved enemy of the church. It is the mother of materialism, the cradle of apostasy.
The spirit of secularism has infiltrated the church and seduced Gospel preachers to abandon moral precepts. An apostate is one who has capitulated to Satan’s offer to trade their moral principles for success. They, like Esau, have sacrificed the glorious rewards of ultimate good for the immediate pleasures of success. See Genesis 25:33,34. We have turned Christ and His Gospel into a product that sells.
There is no difference between the neo-Christian secularism and worldly secularism in practice. In theory the neo-Christian practitioner of secular humanism simply incorporates the idea of God and gives God and Christ credit for something they achieve through worldly resources and human effort. It is only a sign of our spiritual decadence when we credit God with monies that come in from sending out a full color graphic magazine on a one and a half million name computerized mailing list crammed with spectacular stories and graphics! To say that God uses and works through this process of technology is proof that we have completely lost sight of the efficacy of the cross – “to destroy the works of the devil.” Any ministry that compromises the message of sanctification and is not bent on producing genuine sinless Christianity – any mass media ministry that does not commit itself to the Character accomplishing of supernatural character is a traitor to the whole intent of Christ and His sufferings. When media ministries actually become effective in producing Christians who believe in the traditional holiness values of the Bible, then, and only then, are they of God. No man in his right mind would admit – openly confess – be so brazen as to publicly state that such technology is more effective in building the kingdom of God than the biblical qualities of prayer, fasting, irrational compassion, honesty, separation from the world and the anointing upon a pure and holy life. We have not only seen these qualities wane and being abandoned for the resources of modern technology, but pursue them in such a frenzy there is no proper time for prayer and meditation in the Word … and then call the whole secular mess the blessing of God. The more the church uses and depends on technology to achieve “results,” the less emphasis is being put on Christian character. Reason; the message of perfection, sanctification and separation from the world (and in a time such a message needs stressing) does not have the appeal vital to attracting followers. There is a sort of illicit triangle love affair involving finances (first), faith and the formulas among national evangelists. We use faith as the motive and purpose of our efforts, but the bottom line is, the real love affair is between money and motives. Our aim in productivity is to produce monies rather than disciples. The proof of this is rather obvious – we are producing more money with the Gospel than we are genuine disciples. Wherever this electronic evangelism prevails, worldliness will finally prevail and Bible holiness will be sacrificed for success. Holiness truth will not allow success. These perversions of Gospel commercialism must revert to selling an image of self; a brand of sub-gospel that “sells.” Movements, religious or secular, are built either on the sound principles of good, or by a cheap secular promotionalism. They are easily distinguished.
HUMANISM: A belief that the destiny of man lies in the hands of human ideals and powers … to depend totally on natural (worldly) resources. Neo-Christian humanism incorporates human ideals and powers into divine law and supernatural power to achieve personal religious ideals and ambitions. But it lowers the power of God and the divine resources provided through the Holy Spirit to a secondary and thus inferior source to that of human ability. To depend totally upon God and spiritual resources reflects “total faith.” “Results” have never been an objective of God. Secularism and humanism are both destroyers of all principles of faith and holiness of life. These humanistic philosophies are diametric to the divine operation of God. “That you present your bodies (the human element of life) as a living sacrifice.” Romans 12:2
Biblical holiness cannot be achieved until the humanistic mentality is recognized as a perversion of faith and as the true spirit of worldliness. There has been an invasion of the church by demons of secular ideas, concepts, compromise and humanistic business principles. Results derived from the resources of the world will not reap eternal benefits because they always operate apart from pure biblical doctrines of righteousness and holiness. Matthew 7:22 In the mad rush to achieve “success” through the magic of technology, business psychology and other laws of the secular world, we have necessarily had to trample the holiness life under our feet because it knows no success in the world and it threatened our using these worldly resources. Like Saul, we’ve come forth insisting that “what we’ve done, we’ve done to the honor and glory of God” and therefore, even though we have not complied with the commandments of the Lord, He will surely accept our efforts and accomplishments. We are so obsessed with tangible “results” we’ve completely lost sight of the fact that holiness of life is the real objective of Calvary. See Matthew 7:21. Like the secular lords of the world, we are losing our character as we gain success. Revelation 3:7.
Zechariah 8:3 JERUSALEM SHALL BE CALLED A CITY OF TRUTH; AND THE MOUNTAIN OF THE LORD OF HOSTS THE HOLY MOUNTAIN,
In the closing scenes of history, God’s truth will prevail having crushed the thundering and massive bulwarks of evil that prevailed through the ages. Evil is persistent, but unable to conquer goodness. In the end, every selfish and evil work will be brought into judgment and in the light of eternity, will vindicate truth by vanquishing all who chose to love other than the truth. In the end, truth conquers all of its enemies.
Zechariah 13:8 And it shall come to pass, that in all the land, saith the Lord, two parts therein shall be cut off and die; but the third shall be left therein. 9 And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The Lord is my God.
A remnant is an imperishable group of survivors that refuse to compromise their convictions for power, prominence or prosperity in this present world system! The holiness people will not bow nor be brought low by the intimidations of liberalism. “As long as we are kind to people and worship God, we can disregard the ‘lesser’ commandments without consequences.” The very thing the snake told Eve.
Zechariah 14:20 In that day shall there be upon the bells of the horses, HOLINESS UNTO THE Lord; and the pots in the Lord’S house shall be like the bowls before the altar. 21 Yea, every pot in Jerusalem and in Judah shall be holiness unto the Lord of hosts: and all they that sacrifice shall come and take of them, and seethe therein: and in that day there shall be no more the Canaanite in the house of the Lord of hosts.
When the common, every-day utensils of life are thus inscribed, surely “in that day” HOLINESS UNTO THE LORD shall be inscribed on human hearts and minds and bodies. In the 21st verse it says that “every (seething) pot in Jerusalem and in Judah shall be holiness unto the Lord of hosts.” Prophecy indicates that morality will be unpopular in the last days. Matthew 5:10; 2 Timothy 3:3,12. Vocal anti-holiness apostates will increase in number. With great arrogance a wall of worldliness has been thrown up against the remnant Christians who hold to the precious doctrines of holiness and separation. But, the day of holiness is coming! In the soon coming millenial age, HOLINESS UNTO THE LORD, will be engraved on the horses’ bridles in Zion! Campbell’s soup will no longer bear the Universal Product Code of the antichrist computer system, but it may have on the label, HOLINESS UNTO THE LORD! It will be emblazoned on water tanks around Jerusalem, in every classroom, and on every university campus; “HOLINESS UNTO THE LORD.” Holiness has been maligned, discredited and despised by those who close their minds to the divine moral, but God’s moral system will be in during the millennium. The heads of nations will be required to come up to Jerusalem to confess His holiness.
Malachi 1:8 And if ye offer the blind for sacrifice, is it not evil? and if ye offer the lame and sick, is it not evil? offer it now unto thy governor; will he be pleased with thee, or accept thy person? saith the Lord of hosts.
The purity of the sacrifice is still important to God. Praise without purity,
prosperity apart from piety is to offer God a cancerous, sick lamb and call it a “sacrifice.” Luke 6:46
Malachi 1:13 Ye said also, Behold, what a weariness is it! and ye have snuffed at it, saith the Lord of hosts; and ye brought that which was torn, and the lame, and the sick; thus ye brought an offering: should I accept this of your hand? saith the Lord. 14 But cursed be the deceiver, which hath in his flock a male, and voweth, and sacrificeth unto the Lord a corrupt thing: for I am a great King, saith the Lord of hosts, and my name is dreadful among the heathen.
The greatest sacrifice we offer to God is the life we have! However, we may have the prerogative to offer ourselves or not, but once we offer ourselves it must be on God’s terms. See Leviticus 3:1.
Malachi 2:5 My covenant was with him of life and peace; and I gave them to him for the fear wherewith he feared me, and was afraid before my name. 6 The law of truth was in his mouth, and iniquity was not found in his lips: he walked with me in peace and equity, and did turn many away from iniquity. 7 For the priest’s lips should keep knowledge, and they should seek the law at his mouth: for he is the messenger of the Lord of hosts.
One of the most powerful and explicit verses of the Bible to describe those moral qualities God Himself outlines as essential elements of the holy life desired in His priests (ministers).
Malachi 3:3 And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness.
Like priest, like people. It is a fact, hardly with exception, that no people will rise above the righteousness of their leaders. God concentrates His purge upon the priests – once purified they will convey that purity to the people.
Malachi 3:5 And I will come near to you to judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and against false swearers, and against those that oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow, and the fatherless, and that turn aside the stranger from his right, and fear not me, saith the Lord of hosts.
God classifies those that oppress the “hireling,” the “widow,” the “fatherless (orphans)” and the stranger with sorcerers, adulterers and liars. God continually Poor, The throughout scripture warns us that He takes into account those who violate or take advantage of the poor and the unfortunate (and includes not parking spaces set aside for the handicapped).
Malachi 3:13 Your words have been stout against me, saith the Lord. Yet ye say, What have we spoken so much against thee?
Those who speak against holiness and embarrass holiness people and lash out against separation from the world may not realize that such reproach of righteous practice is equivalent to being stout (2388), CHAZAQ, obstinate, or to take a position against. Apostates see no wrong in their worldliness and if something is pointed out to them they act the same as guilty children; “What have we spoken … against thee?” Love is exclusionary. To love God He demands I exclude any love for the world. The world hates the holy and the worldly hate holiness. John 15:19. A singing group called a pastor and asked to have a service with them. Not knowing them he asked, “Do you believe in holiness?” “Oh, yes!” replied the brother. “Do your ladies wear jewelry, pants, or make-up? Do you have a television or practice public bathing?” “Oh, brother …” the voice quietly said, “those things have nothing to do with holiness.”
1. We seem to not attach moral values to our behavior anymore.
2. Some Christians do not know that holiness includes the heart and the body.
3. In the pastor’s questions, scriptural (and moral) behavior was definitely involved, i.e. modesty, conformity to the world, vanity, adornment, the viewing of evil created by the evil. Psalm 101:1-3.
4. “Every conscious act has moral implications.” C. B. Eavey). To relegate holiness to the abstractness of “love” and “faith” only is a cop-out. Holiness of life implicates the concrete visible behavior of the body. My conduct in its many forms is either discharging a positive moral influence on the environment, or a negative amoral or immoral influence on the environment. To not be cognizant of this moral reality indicates an absence of Holy Spirit presence. Let us not feign innocence when guilt is literally smeared all over our faces and Feigned hanging all over our body. Pretending innocence doesn’t impress God, fool the holy or stay judgment.
Malachi 3:14 Ye have said, It is vain to serve God: and what profit is it that we have kept his ordinance, and that we have walked mournfully before the Lord of hosts?
God accommodates them. He tells them what they said. They have found fault with the way of life they were taught, they complained of three things. 1) “What profit.” They found no benefits in obedience. 2) “That we kept His ordinance.” They became uncomfortable and incompatible with the moral laws of God. 3) “That we have walked mournfully.” “Let’s have a happy, position religion. This serious life of holy precepts and separation was wrongly taught by our praying fathers. Let’s live ‘before’ ourselves and drop this ‘fear’ religion.”
Malachi 3:15 And now we call the proud happy; yea, they that work wickedness are set up; yea, they that tempt God are even delivered.
“Personality plus” qualifies too many of the modern church leaders. This qualifying and selecting leaders on the basis of “what they’ve got on the ball,” or because they are capable, “they’ve got a lot going for them,” is corruption of divine qualification. Character and anointing, not education and looks reflect good judgment. You end up with twisted values, shallow doctrine and immorality.
Note three errors God cites:
1. They confuse pride with happiness. They equated success and riches with God’s approval and blessing. They were elated with their security while displaying a worldly lifestyle. God announces He has nothing to do with this false fleshy “happiness.”
2. Those who have no standard of holiness, no evidence of the divine nature, obedience to the Word, or no moral resemblance to Bible holiness are made leaders and “set up” (seem to prosper) in the church. God announces He is not responsible for such appointments!
3. They tempt God and nothing happens! They violate the commandment and prosper? They live worldly and seem to be blessed!? They disregard the truth of the Word without consequence. They hold in contempt the holy and enjoy security? They break God’s rules without flinching! They teach false doctrine and people listen to them. These were believers and religious, but impious. See Psalm 50:21.