Stiffened Necks and Rebellious Spirits

Proverbs 29:1, 10, 11 ESV

1 He who is often reproved, yet stiffens his neck,

    will suddenly be broken beyond healing.

10 Bloodthirsty men hate one who is blameless

    and seek the life of the upright.

11 A fool gives full vent to his spirit,

    but a wise man quietly holds it back.

When we are walking in fellowship with Jesus Christ, and we are living to him and to his righteousness, and we are walking according to the Spirit and not according to the flesh, those who are living wicked and immoral lives are going to hate and resent us.

Especially if we are on the front lines (spiritually speaking) in a spiritual war against our spiritual enemy, Satan, opposing his lies and proclaiming the truth of the gospel of Christ, we are going to face all kinds of opposition and persecutions and attacks against us.

For our enemy Satan hates the truth, and he is going to strongly oppose the truth, and he is going to use other humans against us, who he has been able to deceive, to try to take us down, to discredit us, and to falsely accuse us of wrong when we are not doing wrong.

And this is because Satan has deceived their minds to the point to where they have stiffened their necks against correction, and they refuse to be corrected and to learn truth and to reject the lies of the enemy. And, so they may turn to venting their frustrations publicly as a way to get sympathy for their cause as well as in an attempt to silence the righteous.

Proverbs 29:18, 19, 20 ESV

18 Where there is no prophetic vision the people cast off restraint,

    but blessed is he who keeps the law.

19 By mere words a servant is not disciplined,

    for though he understands, he will not respond.

20 Do you see a man who is hasty in his words?

    There is more hope for a fool than for him.

In today’s modern market-driven church (businesses of men), the large majority of pastors are not teaching the true gospel of grace. Instead, they are teaching a very diluted gospel message which appeals to the flesh, and which does not insist on putting the flesh to death.

They have altered the gospel message so as not to offend the people of the world who they are hoping to attract to their businesses which they call “church.” But they have also altered the gospel to conform with the flesh of man rather to have man conform with the ways of God.

They use Scriptures, taken out of context, to build their doctrine of salvation while they willfully ignore all the Scriptures which oppose what they are teaching. For, what they are teaching is a faith in Jesus Christ absent of repentance, obedience, and submission to Christ as Lord.

So, they have to literally ignore much of Jesus’ teachings, and much of those of the New Testament apostles in order to continue with their charade. And so they focus their attention only on those verses which they make to support their false doctrine of salvation from sin.

And, the result of this diluted half-truth (lie) gospel is that the people are casting off restraint, and they are becoming lawless, doing what ought not to be done, while claiming they have the freedom to do so now that they are under grace and not under the law.

Since they are being taught that they do not have to repent of their sins or obey the Lord or submit to Christ as Lord, for they call this “works-based salvation,” they feel liberated to continue in all manner of evil, in sexual immorality, in lies, deception, cheating, stealing, gossiping, slandering, child abuse, spousal abuse, and adultery, etc.

Even though there are those who are still holding to the truths of the gospel who are out there on the front lines speaking the truth in love, sharing with the people the truth of the gospel, they will not listen, and they will not obey. They believe they don’t have to, even though they know the truth.

Proverbs 29:23, 25, 27 ESV

23 One’s pride will bring him low,

    but he who is lowly in spirit will obtain honor.

25 The fear of man lays a snare,

    but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe.

27 An unjust man is an abomination to the righteous,

    but one whose way is straight is an abomination to the wicked.

Many people are refusing to listen to and to obey the true gospel of grace because of pride. They don’t want to yield to another. They want to remain in control of their own lives, doing what they want to do. They don’t want to give up their sinful lifestyles, and so they embrace the lies.

Rather than walking in the fear (honor, respect, reverence) of the Lord, as we are commanded to do, they are more concerned about what other people think of them and with fitting in with their culture. So, they choose to honor the flesh of man rather than to honor God with their lives.

But that will be a snare for them because it keeps them bound in their sin while promising them freedom from sin. It promises them heaven as their eternal destiny while it sends them straight to hell. For they are trusting in a lie to save them, and that will be their downfall.

Light and darkness do not mix. They are opposed to each other. Good and evil, the same. The flesh and the Spirit are also opposed to each other. We can’t walk in the Spirit and in the flesh at the same time. We are slaves to the one we obey. If to sin, it ends in death. If to obedience, it results in righteousness, which leads to sanctification, which ends in eternal life.

Slavery to sin is an abomination to the righteous who are following their Lord in surrender to his will and in obedience to his commands. Daily, by the Spirit, they are dying to sin and self and they are following Jesus wherever he leads them in doing and saying whatever he commands.

Thus, the righteous who are walking the straight (honest, obedient, upright) way of the cross of Christ, in the power of God’s Spirit, are an abomination to the wicked. They dislike and hate us, and they are revulsed by us, because they oppose what we stand for.

Again, they reject the truth, because they don’t want to obey the truth, because they want to still have control over their own lives and to enjoy the freedom they feel they have, which they believe they have been granted, to live however they want, only now without guilt.

But God will judge them for their refusal to bow the knee to him, and they will be broken by him, and if they will not repent, and if they continue to refuse the Lord and his gospel, that brokenness will be beyond healing. And that breaks my heart that so many are refusing to obey the Lord, and thus they will end up in hell for eternity.

So, we need to be those who are committed to getting the truth of the gospel out to as many who will listen and who will be saved. For, Jesus died on that cross, not just to forgive us our sins, but that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness. So, know the truth that will set you free.

[Lu 9:23-26; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Jn 1:5-9]

Come and See  

An Original Work / May 20, 2013

Based off John 1:35-51

John, the Baptist, called of God to

Make straight the way for the Lord,

Told his disciples about Jesus,

So two of them followed Him.

One of them who followed Jesus

Told his brother, Simon Peter,

Who then he brought to the Savior,

Who had told them, “Come and see.”

Jesus Christ, our Lord, Messiah,

On his way to Galilee found a man, Philip,

So he told him, “I want you to follow Me.”

Philip then found his friend,

And he told him, “We have found the one

The prophets spoke of – He is Jesus!”

Philip then said, “Come and see.”

Jesus saw the man, Nathanael,

While he sat beneath a fig tree,

Even before Philip called him,

So Nathanael did believe.

Nonetheless the Lord said,

“You believe because of what I told you.

You will see much greater things than these

If you will Come and see.”

Jesus’ calling to each one of us.

He tells us to believe in Him

As our Lord and Messiah,

And to follow where He leads.

He says we must turn from our sins,

Die to sin and self each day,

And put on our new lives in Jesus;

Bow before Him; humbly pray.

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