Rebellion Speaks To The Heart

Transgression [like an Oracle] speaks to the wicked deep in his heart.

There is no fear or dread of God before his eyes.

For he flatters and deceives himself in his own eyes,

That his iniquity will not be found out and be hated.

…he does not reject or despise evil.

Psalms 36: 1-2,4b Amplified

I believe King David wrote this Psalms out of his own personal experience with sin. The person in the psalm is called “the ungodly” (NASB) or “the wicked” (Amplified). The main fundamental characteristic of this person is there is no fear or dread of God before his eyes. He does not reject or despise evil.

Transgression signifies “willful deviation from, and therefore rebellion against, the path of godly living (Vines). You can not rebel against something unless it has been applied to you as a restraint. This is one reason I believe King David is speaking from his personal battle with sin. We will use the Bathsheba and Uriah scandal (II Samuel 11) to illustrate our point.

Transgression speaks pure rebellion against God’s revealed will in the heart of the ungodly or wicked person. In Scripture the heart is described as the hidden man, the “real me”, who I really am when the exterior facade that people see is stripped off. As the heart is hidden within the body of man, so the “real me” is hidden from the view of others…but not from God’s view. It is here, the heart, where this person has rejected  God’s lordship.

Rebellion speaks “like an Oracle”. This means man’s heart hears transgression or rebellion as an authoritative voice, it sounds true and correct in what it says because man’s heart is exceedingly wicked, who can know it. In ancient times an oracle was someone who heard from the pagan gods (demons) and was sought out by the powerful and the not so powerful who needed to know “the will of the gods”. Whatever the oracle said settled the matter. For example, Alexander The Great sought out the Temple of Apollo oracle at Delphi in Ancient Greece for “godly” advice.

This spirit of rebellion speaks with authority deep in the heart of this person. The common characteristic of the ungodly or wicked is that there is no fear or dread of God before their eyes. Fear” is obedient, reverential respect or awe for God. They do not have it. “…no …dread” means he does feel extreme reluctance to face God if he offends Him (Vines). In the midst of his willful rebellion toward God, he does not think about having to give an account before a Holy God. Because this measuring stick, the fear and dread of the Lord is not before the eyes of his understanding, he does not realize that he is deceiving himself. He is blinded with his own cravings or lusts and the desire to please man, or himself, instead of pleasing God.

Oh, there is a way that seems right to man but the ends thereof are death.

The reason he does not think about God in these matters is because rebellion flatters the heart to soothe his conscience, that organ that convicts of right and wrong. The flattery “sears the conscience” so it ceases to work, therefore, they have no moral compass. They are morally blind, i.e. if it feels good do it. The deception is necessary to prevent the inner man, especially in a Christian, from discovering his own iniquity and, consequently, hating his iniquity. Instead he, the Christian, goes on in his rebellion against God’s revealed will.

In David’s case, he went nine months being deceived by his transgression concerning his adultery with Bathsheba and murder of Uriah, her husband and David’s loyal soldier. It was only when Nathan, God’s prophet, rebuked David did he awaken from transgression’s deceiving flattery and the fear or dread of the Lord returned to his understanding. Transgression flattered him with things like: “Your the king, do what you wish”; “You work hard and deserve this;” or “Your a strong warrior and smart leader, it is unfortunate that good men (i.e. Uriah) have to die”.

As born again Christians, if we discover our iniquity in the light of the Holy Spirit’s conviction, we will hate it, for our true born again nature is to be Christ-like and not devil-like. If we can only repent of our sin in “words” but not in “practice”, then we will get on our knees and beg God to deliver us from the sin because we know He hates it; therefore, we hate it. By true repentance and the mercy of God, we can escape the bondage that our sin has delivered us into. Paul said:

Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness? But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, YOU BECAME OBEDIENT FROM THE HEART to that form of teaching to which you were committed….

(Romans 6: 16-17 emphasis added)

The fear of the Lord includes the hatred of evil but a person in this condition, does not reject or despise evil (verse 4). Instead they embrace it and hold it close to their heart. They deceive themselves and others about what they are doing or so they think. David describes this person’s conduct:

The words of his mouth are wickedness and deceit;

He has ceased to be wise and to do good.

He plans wickedness upon his bed;

He sets himself on a path that is not good;

He does not despise evil.

(Psalms 36: 3-4 Amplified emphasis added)

If we have rebellion flattering us in our hearts concerning something WE KNOW is sin, displeasing to God, we need to get into God’s word and let Him teach us the fear or reverence of the Lord so we can truly hate our sin. We all like the song Good Good Father by Chris Tomlin but the apostle Peter says if we call God “Father” we need to live in the fear or reverence of the Lord:

If you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each one’s work, CONDUCT YOURSELVES IN FEAR during the time of your stay on earth; knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ.

(I Peter 1:17-19 emphasis added)

I know to some Christians, maybe most, fearing or reverencing the Lord is a foreign concept due to the emphasis on “love” in the New Testament church and the sugar coated preaching many hear today.  In future post we will look at how the early Christian church conducted itself in the fear of the Lord  and that Lord Jesus, the Messiah, delighted in the fear of the Lord.

Think on these things. Examine yourself. If need be, learn to walk in the wholesome, healthy, profound, adoring, awed respect (i.e. the fear of the Lord) of the Ancient of Days, our Heavenly Father, and Lord Jesus.

Oh by the way, did you see your self in what David said?

Carl

The Importance of Kindness

To him who is about to faint and despair, kindness is due from his friend, lest he forsake the fear of the Almighty.

Job 6:14 Amplified Bible

Though I have read the Book of Job several times, I did not remember this verse until I heard a sermon on kindness.

Job is addressing one of his friends who came to “comfort” him. Job was faint and in despair from the trial he was undergoing and he needed “kindness” from his friends instead of judgementalism. Satan’s goal in Job’s trials was to have him curse God to his face which would amount to forsaking the “fear” or “reverence” of the Almighty. He would cease to conduct himself in the healthy, wholesome, overwhelming, profound, adoring, awed respect (reverential fear) which manifested itself in obedience.

After hearing this sermon, I couldn’t help but wonder how many times I had walked right by another Christian who was “faint and despair” and did not stop to offer a word of encouragement or to tell them that God had not forsaken them, but would see them through the deep waters they were going through. I wondered if a brother or sister in Christ had turned their back on the Lord due to my lack of sensitivity and just common kindness.

God put several Christian hospital workers in my wife’s path when she was receiving treatment for breast cancer. They were an unbelievable encouragement to her and me during this time of spiritual fainting and despair. Just to know that the Lord had not forgotten us, was such a blessing.

Do you know anyone that is fainting and in despair due to some trial they are undergoing? If you do, show them kindness. Encourage them to not let their trial deter them from continuing to offer the Father the profound, adoring awed respect that He alone is worthy of. Remind them that He chose them in Christ Jesus before the foundation of the world, to spend eternity with Him as His adopted child. And how He has lavished His grace upon them by sending the Lord Jesus to die on the Cross for their sins while they were yet sinners.

In closing, remember our brothers and sisters in foreign lands that are being persecuted and murdered for their faith in Christ. One way to express our kindness is to ask the Father to strengthen their faith, give them an abundance of grace and the comfort of the Holy Spirit.

Let us heed the Holy Spirit through the writer of Hebrews:

[Therefore beware] brethren, take care, lest there be in any one of you a wicked, unbelieving heart [which refuses to cleave to, trust in, and rely on Him], leading you to turn away and desert or stand aloof from the living God.

But instead warn (admonish, urge, and encourage) one another every day, as long as it is called Today, that none of you may be hardened [into settled rebellion] by the deceitfulness of sin [by the fraudulence, the stratagem, the trickery which the delusive glamor of his sin may play on him]. Hebrew 3:12-13 Amplified

Carl

God’s Jewels.

Then those who feared the Lord talked often one to another; and the Lord listened and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him of those who reverenced and worshipfully feared the Lord and who thought on His name.

And they shall be Mine, says the Lord of hosts, in that day when I publicly recognize and openly declare them to be My jewels (My special possession, My peculiar treasure). And I will spare them, as a man spares his own son who serves him.

Malachi 3: 16-17 Amplified Bible

“This was not a fear based on feelings but was the result of hearing, learning and responding to who God is from His word. Those who feared God would keep his commandments, walk in righteousness, and put aside anything that would hinder worship and service to Him.

Those who feared the Lord received wisdom from God, which brought blessing and favor.”

Messenger of Rebuke and Renewal – David M. Levy, p. 93

Communist China Church Update

As you are probably aware, the communist government is ravaging the Christian church in China. Many pastors have been beaten and imprisoned, church buildings destroyed or converted to secular use, church members beaten and some imprisoned, a rewrite of the Holy Bible to make it “pro-communist”, youth forbidden to attend church, and other suppressing tactics.

Yesterday at church I spoke with a sister-in-Christ who had done much gospel work in Communist China over the years. I asked her what her contacts were saying about the current outbreak of persecution. She said that some are saying it is really bad.

Others said they had been praying for persecution to return because the Christian church in Communist China was becoming too much like the church in America and it needed persecution to purify it.

Think about that for a moment.

Please pray that the Chinese Church will go “on in the fear of the Lord and the comfort of the Holy Spirit (Acts: 9:31). That the true believers would be “…all filled with the Holy Spirit and ” begin “to speak the word of God with boldness (Acts 4:31)”.

“Remember the prisoners, as though in prison with them, and those who are ill-treated, since you yourselves also are in the body. “. Hebrew 13:3

Carl

Wisdom Calls – The Conclusion of All Things

King Solomon, aka “The Preacher”, gives you and I hard-earned advice on what is important in living out our life. Being very, very rich and not always obedient to the Lord, Solomon investigated all of life’s pleasures and came to the following conclusion.

The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person. For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil.

Ecclesiastes 12: 13-14

Now let’s look at the Amplified Bible’s translation of the same Scripture. The richness of the Hebrew amplification is stunning and far reaching when you apply it to the way you live your life. The authors of the Amplified Bible say that this is what a Hebrew person understands when he reads this Scripture.

All has been heard; the end of the matter is: Fear God [revere and worship Him, knowing that He is] and keep His commandments, for this is the whole of man [the full, original purpose of his creation, the object of God’s providence, the root of character, the foundation of all happiness, the adjustment to all inharmonious circumstances and conditions under the sun] and the whole [duty] for every man.

For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it is good or evil. [Matt. 12:36; Acts 17:30, 31; Rom. 2:16; I Cor. 4:5.]

Ecclesiastes 12: 13-14

Take a few moments and dwell on this Scripture. It is worthy of your pondering and meditation.

A short definition of the fear of the Lord is a healthy, overwhelming, profound, adoring, awed respect of the Lord. It is not a negative practice. As a matter of fact, Scripture tells us it is our treasure. We will discuss that later.

May we New Testament believers follow Apostle Paul’s instructions:

“THEREFORE, since these [great] promises are ours, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from everything that contaminates and defiles body and spirit, and bring [our] consecration to completeness in the [reverential] fear of God. ”

2 Cor. 7:1 Amplified Bible

Thank you for your time and interest. Comments welcome!

Be blessed and protected in Christ Jesus!

Carl

God’s Time Table

Time is not idle.

God Almighty’s clock is ticking.

Time is marching to the Second Coming

The Day of Vengeance of our God is looming (1)

The Year of Redemption will be in the Son of Man’s heart

Man can not stop God’s timing or turn it back

We can only worship the Lord with reverence

And rejoice with trembling

How blessed are all who take refuge in Him! (2)

The day cometh

The Day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night

While they say “Peace and Safety” destruction will suddenly come

The godless shall not escape

No. Not one. (3)

There is no fear of the Lord before their eyes (4)

But those who trust in Jesus Christ will not be surprised

The Day will not overtake them like a thief

They all are Sons of Light

They all are Sons of Day

They are alert and sober

Not asleep in the light

For God has not destined them to wrath

But for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ

Therefore encourage one another

As you see the Day approaching (5)

For Time is not idle

God Almighty’s clock is ticking

The Day of Vengeance of our God is looming

The Year of Redemption will be in Jesus’ heart (6)

Even so, Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!

The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen. (7)

1. Isaiah 63: 4, Isaiah 61: 2b

2. Psalm 2: 11-12

3. I Thessalonians 5:2-3

4. Romans 3:18

5. I Thessalonians 5:4-11

6. Isaiah 63:4, Isaiah 61:2b

7. Revelations 22: 20-21