Author Topic: A Thought For Today  (Read 145315 times)

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Richard Myers

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Re: A Thought For Today
« Reply #320 on: March 19, 2020, 08:20:02 PM »
Reprove or Not?

  "I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise Thy head, and Thou shalt bruise his heel."  Genesis 3:15


This morning, long before day, I received a blessing from God. Before this blessing came, I felt that my strength was leaving me. I had great suffering through my whole body. It seemed as if the entire system were being crushed. Every nerve and sinew was in pain. I thought of calling up the family, and then I said aloud, “They can not give me relief.” I prayed to the Great Physician to change the condition of things, to let me feel His healing power. And relief came.

The Lord has given me this message for our churches: “Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and show My people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.”

The whole of the fifty-eighth chapter of Isaiah is to be regarded as a message for this time, to be given over and over again. There is a strife between the forces of good and evil, between the loyal and the disloyal angels. Christ and Satan are not at an agreement, and they never will be. In every age the true church of God has engaged in decided warfare against satanic agencies. Until the controversy is ended, the struggle will go on, between wicked angels and wicked men on the one side, and holy angels and true believers on the other.

There is not, and can not be, a natural enmity between fallen angels and fallen men. Both are evil. Through apostasy, both cherish evil sentiments. Wicked angels and wicked men are leagued in a desperate confederacy against the good. Satan knew that if he could induce men, as he had induced angels, to unite with him in his rebellion, he would have a strong force with which to carry on his rebellion.
 
In the hosts of evil there is jarring and discord, but they are all firm allies in fighting against heaven. Their one aim is to disparage God, and their great numbers lead them to entertain the hope that they will be able to dethrone Omnipotence.

When Adam and Eve were placed in the garden of Eden, they were innocent and sinless, in perfect harmony with God. Enmity had no natural existence in their hearts. But when they transgressed, their nature was no longer sinless. They became evil; for they had placed themselves on the side of the fallen foe, doing the very things that God specified they should not do. Had there been no interference on the part of God, man would have formed a firm alliance with Satan against heaven. But when the words were spoken, “I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel,” Satan knew that although he had succeeded in making human beings sin, although he had led them to believe his lie, and to question God, although he had succeeded in depraving human nature, some arrangement had been made whereby the beings who had fallen would be placed on vantage ground, their nature renewed in godliness. He saw that his action in tempting them would react upon himself, and that he would be placed where he could not become conqueror.

In the statement, “I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed,” God pledged Himself to introduce into the hearts of human beings a new principle,—a hatred of sin, of deception, of pretense, of everything that bears the marks of Satan’s guile.

In the fulness of time Christ came, and in human nature lived on this earth a life unmarred by spot or stain of sin. With His whole being He hated sin of any kind. The emissaries of darkness give Christ the credit for being the one who expelled them from heaven. They hate Him for His purity. When He came to this world, His purity was a constant reproach to the proud, sensual generation then living on the earth. They hated Him, and in the end crucified Him.

In His work on this earth, Christ saw how, by a disregard of the injunctions of God, in regard to righteousness and true doctrines, evil would be made almost indistinguishable from good. At times He looked upon the deceiving power of Satan, and saw that the wrong-doing of evil workers must be met. At one such time there fell upon the ears of the multitude the words:—“Why do ye not understand My speech? even because ye can not hear My word. Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own; for he is a liar, and the father of it. And because I tell you the truth, ye believe Me not.”

Explaining the parable of the tares and the wheat, He said:—“He that sowed the good seed is the Son of man; the field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one; the enemy that sowed them is the devil: the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels. As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of the world. The Son of man shall send forth His angels, and they shall gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; and shall cast them into a furnace of fire; there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.”

So we see that between Christ and Satan there is unceasing conflict. This conflict will be waged until the work of salvation is accomplished. And it will grow fiercer as the end approaches.

Through the transforming power of the grace of Christ, men may prevail against the evil that strives for the victory. They need not become the servants of Satan, the dupes of his lies. They need not continue to be his willing captives. They may rise against the deceiver, whose wily tissue of lies cost our first parents their Eden home. They may resist the attacks of Satan. God can give them power to distinguish between falsehood and error, between sincerity and truth. If they choose, they may stand on vantage ground. But they can continue to stand there only by placing their hand in the hand of Christ, and following where He leads the way. 
 
It is after man has received light and evidence, after he has seen the contrast between truth and error, that the struggle against sin begins in his heart. But this enmity against wrong did not exist in his heart until Christ placed it there. Those who are truly loyal will show that their mind and heart are fully with the Lord Jesus. They will discern the specious sentiments of Satan, and will refuse to endorse actions that God condemns. But he who continues to depart from the laws of Christ’s kingdom displays a spirit that is more and more decidedly at enmity against God.

The Lord calls upon the one who has been working unrighteousness to put away his sins, and be converted. Unless the transforming grace of Christ is poured into his soul, he will refuse to oppose the works of Satan. The human agent who is worked by the power of the enemy, will close the door of his heart to every appeal made by the Saviour. He will refuse to hear the words, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me.” And the God of heaven will not exercise His power to force man to practise righteousness, with the heart in determined resistance.

“There shall be enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed.” We pray that this enmity may be more decidedly seen, that righteousness may be exalted, and sin called by its right name.

When there are among God’s people those who have departed from the path of humble obedience, those who have exalted self, those who have united with Satan in accusing and condemning the men appointed of God to be ministers of salvation, shall we keep silence for fear of hurting their feelings? When there are men in the church who love riches more than righteousness, and who stand ready to take advantage of their fellow men by unjust dealings, shall we make no protest? And when men standing in the position of leaders and teachers work under the power of spiritualistic ideas and sophistries, shall we keep silent, for fear of injuring their influence, while souls are being beguiled? Satan will use every advantage that he can obtain to cause souls to become beclouded and perplexed in regard to the work of the church, in regard to the word of God, and in regard to the words of warning which He has given through the testimonies of His Spirit, to guard His little flock from the subtleties of the enemy.

When men stand out in defiance against the counsel of God, they are warring against God. Is it right for those connected with such ones to treat them as if they were in perfect harmony with them, making no difference between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not? Though they be ministers or medical missionaries, they have dishonored Christ before the forces of the loyal and the disloyal. Open rebuke is necessary, to prevent others from being ensnared.

To believe that evil must not be condemned because this would condemn those who practise the evil, is to act in favor of falsehood. If, after a man has been given many cautions and warnings, to save him from his hereditary and cultivated tendencies to wrong, he takes offense, and refuses to accept the message graciously sent him from heaven, and puts aside the reproof of the Holy Spirit, his heart and conscience become hardened, and he is in great darkness. { SpTB02 10.1 }
The enmity that God has put in our hearts against deceptive practises, must be kept alive, because these practises endanger the souls of those who do not hate them. All deceptive dealings, all untruthfulness regarding the Father and the Son, by which their characters are presented in a false light, are to be recognized as grievous sins. There are those who have become apt scholars in this deceptive work. Those who can not see the danger that is threatening the Lord’s heritage because of these things will soon feel no enmity against the arch deceiver. Those who stand in positions of trust in our institutions are to show constant vigilance, else they will be taken captive. In words and deportment, in all their business transactions, they are to show the exactitude that will win the commendation, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

It should now be clearly understood that we are not really helping those who are determined to do evil, when we show them respect, and keep our words
of reproof for those with whom the disaffected one is at enmity. A grave mistake has been and is being made in this matter. Shall the servants of Jehovah, into whose heart He puts enmity against every evil work, be assailed as not being right when they call evil evil, and good good? Those who feel so very peaceable in regard to the works of the men who are spoiling the faith of the people of God, are guided by a delusive sentiment.

There is to be a constant conflict between good and evil. Those who are enlightened by the Holy Spirit’s power are to strive with every power of their being to snatch the prey from the seductive influences of men who refuse to obey the word of God, whether they be in high places or in low. Christ’s property is not to pass out of His control into the control of the children of darkness.

If this matter were rightly understood and closely guarded, God’s servants would feel a continual burden of responsibility to counterwork the efforts of the men who do not know what they are about, because they are enchanted by the delusive allurements of Satan. When God’s people are fully awake to the danger of the hour, and work fully on Christ’s side, there will be seen a sharp contrast between their course and that of those who are saying, “Good Lord, and good devil,” and we shall see much firmer and more decided work done to counterwork the schemes of satanic agencies.

Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.