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.