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 Unsuspecting Christian

[17] Now I urge you, brethren, keep your eye on those who cause dissensions and hindrances contrary to the teaching which you learned, and turn away from them. [18] For such men are slaves, not of our Lord Christ but of their own appetites; and by their smooth and flattering speech they deceive the hearts of the unsuspecting.

Romans 16:17-20 NASB…

Many Christians go through their daily routine never suspecting that the enemy is laying snares for them. This scripture tells us that the “unsuspecting” are subject to being deceived by Satan’s ministers who can come as angels of light. The Lord Jesus taught us, in the model prayer, to ask God to DAILY “deliver us from evil.” (Matthew 6:13)

Peter warned us to “gird your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you” when the Lord returns for His Bride (I Peter 1:13).

Following are some characteristics of an “unsuspecting” Christian:

  1. They are easy targets for flattery and seductive speech due to walking in pride. (As biblical Christians we are to “set our mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth for you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.” (Colossians 3:1-10)
  2. They believe anyone who uses the name of Jesus or Christ and can speak the Christian language is a true believer. (The Lord Jesus said concerning the last days that “false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect.” (Matthew 24)
  3. They believe every supernatural appearance, event, spirit or voice is from God. (The Holy Spirit warned us through the apostle John to “do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world”. (I John 4:1-3)
  4. They dabble in or have an unhealthy interest in occult practices, i.e. sorcery, witchcraft, divination, omens, astrology, mediums, spiritist, necromancy, etc. (Paul warned us that “those who practice such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.” (Galatians 5:19-21)
  5. Participate in yoga (even Christian yoga), eastern meditation, “spiritual formation” or other New Age practices that “bind” or “empty” the mind to reach an altered state of consciousness where you open yourself up to the demonic dimension and the lie that you are Divine. Practices rooted in eastern mysticism or eastern religions (Buddhist, Hindu, etc.). (The Lord Jesus teaches that man is not Divine but “…unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” (John 3:1-16)
  6. They read books by religious mystics, which could be written by pagan authors or Protestant or Roman Catholic mystics. (The Holy Spirit through the writing of the apostle Paul warns us that in the end times “…God will send upon them [i.e. those who did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved] a deluding influence so that they believe what is false…”. (2 Thessalonians 2:11) Eastern mysticism, dressed up in Christian garb, is invading the Church and contains the “lie” that man is Divine and offers the false promise of peace and unity. The writings of these mystics can open the door to these dangerous practices.
  7. They do not give the Bible priority in their life. (Lord Jesus said “MAN SHALL NOT LIVE ON BREAD ALONE, BUT ON EVERY WORD THAT PROCEEDS OUT OF THE MOUTH OF GOD.” (Matthew 4:4)

If this is you, please consider the spiritual war that is swirling around you unseen, but nevertheless very real, and with eternal consequences. Paul warned us to “not give the devil an opportunity” (Ephesians 4:27) Why? Because he will take it. Many of the characteristics listed give the devil an opportunity to destroy you, your spouse, your children, your church, your witness, etc. Therefore, I encourage you to:

8] “be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is and…be filled with the Spirit…” Ephesians 5: 15-18

“Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” I Peter 5:8

For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness…” 2 Corinthians 11:14

“…beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” 2 Corinthians 7:1

Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen”. (Jude 24 -25)

Father God, please protect us from the evil one today so we do not stumble. Use us Father to do your will on the earth and to be a blessing to others. In Jesus Name. Amen

Carl

Flattery

“…they speak arrogantly, flattering people for the sake of gaining an advantage…” Jude 16b

Welcome back. We continue with Jude’s description of false teachers:

4. Though evidently these false teachers had not reached Rome yet, Paul issues a similar warning to the Roman disciples:

“Now I urge you, brethren, keep your eye on those who cause dissensions and hindrances contrary to the teaching which you learned and turn away from them. For such men are slaves, not of our Lord Jesus Christ but of their own appetites; and by their SMOOTH AND FLATTERING SPEECH they deceive the hearts of the unsuspecting.” (Romans 16:17-18 emphasis mine)

The false teachers, needing to gain the trust of Jesus’ unsuspecting bond servants, used flattery to entrap them.  A review of Proverb will show you how the enemy uses flattery to deceive people.

Along this same vein, Dear Reader, be very careful of those who try to make the gospel mysterious by talking about this mystery and that mystery, making themselves out to have some deep private revelation, drawing people to themselves instead of Jesus, and complicating the gospel with their great swelling words.

“But I am afraid, lest as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your mind should be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.” 2Cor. 10:3 emphasis mine

Carl