CREATURE VERSUS CREATOR
FAMILIARITY VERSUS REVERENCE
“That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death.” (Philippians 3:10) Can you clearly sense the Apostle Paul’s deep yearning and his most earnest heart cry here as he cries out, “That I may know him”? Oh, how Paul dearly loved his Lord Jesus Christ and so desired to know everything about Christ that he could possibly know while in this life on earth. Such a heart cry and longing is most pleasing to our Lord. Our Lord God desires that each and every human creature know Him well. And He will most gladly reveal Himself to us, if only we will allow Him to do so. Because God desires that we know Him, it is most easy for us to learn of Him and come to know Him most intimately. But the first requirement in coming to know Almighty God is to have a sincere desire (not just fleshly, nosey curiosity) to know Him. Please tell God you are desirous to know Him fully and to meet the necessary requirements for having Him reveal Himself unto you.
“Lord Jesus, please create within me an earnest desire to know Thee to the fullest extent that Thou hast chosen to reveal Thyself to us while we are on this earth in our fleshly body. Please make the desire to fully know Thee the primary desire of my heart, the one thing I long for and desire above all other things in life. I pray this for all other people also. Please pour out Thy Spirit on Thy entire human race and smite us all with an intense desire to seek Thee, to learn of Thee, and to know Thee to the fullest extent possible. Help us all to seek Thee with all our hearts. Amen.”
In order to know God, we must repent of making our own Self our god and turn to the Lord Jesus Christ receiving Him and trusting in Him by faith, whereby we are made into a child of God and receive His Holy Spirit to teach us and reveal to us our Creator God thru His written words, The Holy Bible. God has graciously given us His Holy Bible, an inspired writing of everything He has chosen to reveal of Himself to the human race while we are in this life on earth. God desires that we read the Bible MUCH and meditate in its teachings day and night. If you truly desire to know God, then treasure His Holy Bible and read and study it as much as possible. Then God will be faithful to reveal Himself to you thru those Scriptures.
“Almighty God, thank Thee for giving us Thy Inspired Scriptures, the Holy Bible. Stir up my spirit to desire to constantly and diligently read and study the Bible and to meditate on its words day and night. Please give me Thy Spirit of Understanding as I do so. I pray this for all other people also. Thank Thee for Thy Promise of Thy Holy Spirit teaching us the meaning of Thy Scriptures if only we will diligently study them. Amen.”
A second important requirement for knowing God is to fully believe everything written in His Holy Bible. In English, God’s inspired, inerrant Holy Bible is the 1611 King James Version. God commands us to believe all of the Holy Bible in its entirety. If you choose to rebelliously reject any part of it, God will of a certainty smite you with spiritual blindness. Look in Jeremiah 36 at Jehudi reading the Scriptures to the king, his princes, and his servants. “And it came to pass, that when Jehudi had read three or four leaves, he cut it with the penknife, and cast it into the fire that was on the hearth, until all the roll was consumed in the fire that was on the hearth. Yet they were not afraid, nor rent their garments, neither the king, nor any of his servants that heard all these words.” (Verses 23-24) Jehudi disliked those Scriptures and thus he destroyed them. Notice how backslidden were the king and all the others present, in that this rebellious act didn’t bring Holy fear upon them.
Present day enemies of God’s Holy Bible attempt to destroy it by writing many counterfeit bibles and proclaiming that the one true Bible is inaccurate. Without fail, God smites each and every enemy of His Holy Bible with spiritual blindness, no matter how great of a Christian leader they are esteemed to be in the eyes of men. It is of dire importance for you to ask God give you a heart to wholly believe His Holy Bible.
“Heavenly Father, please help me to believe that Thou has been faithful to preserve Thy Holy Scriptures throughout all generations, and please create within me a heart that fully believes Thy Holy Bible. I pray this for all other people also. Amen.”
“Seek ye the Lord”
“Verily thou art a God that hidest thyself, O God of Israel, the Saviour.” (Isaiah 45:15) It is important for us to know that one facet of God’s nature is that He is a God that hideth Himself. “But Brother Richard, why would God want to hide Himself from us? You just said that He is desirious to reveal Himself to us.” He hides Himself so that only those people who diligently obey His command to seek Him will find Him and come to know Him. “Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near.” (Isaiah 55:6) In order for you to come to know the True God, you must obey this command to seek Him. Look in Jeremiah 29:13 at God’s promise to those who will search for Him with all their heart. “And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.” Most great treasures that exist (regardless of the kind of treasure they are) are well hidden. Our Creator ordained that to be. Almighty God is the Greatest Treasure that exists. Thus He is a God Who hideth Himself. Still, you can readily find Him by searching for Him with all your heart. How does one search for God with all one’s heart? By constantly diligently reading and studying the Holy Bible while continuously crying out to God, “Where art Thou, Lord God?” Look at the great prophet Elisha doing this in II Kings 2:14. “And he took the mantle of Elijah that fell from him, and smote the waters, and said, Where is the Lord God of Elijah? And when he also had smitten the waters, they parted hither and thither: and Elisha went over.” “Where art Thou, Lord God?” should be a constant cry of our heart. The 3rd requirement to knowing God is to obey His command to seek Him.
“Lord God, help me to well understand that Thou art a God that hidest Thyself. Please create within me a heart to diligently search for Thee by constantly studying Thy Bible while crying out to Thee, ‘Where art Thou, Lord.’ I pray this for all other people also. Amen.”
Almighty God will faithfully reveal Himself to those who diligently seek Him. He will teach you all of His Will for your life thru the Holy Bible and thru the Holy Spirit Who dwells in Christian believers. As God teaches you what He wills that you do, then you are duty bound to obey Him. If you rebel against Him and refuse to obey Him, you WILL not know Him. Obedience is a 4th requirement for knowing God.
“Lord God, teach me the necessity of obedience to Thee in order to know Thee. Please create within me a heart truly desirous to fully obey Thee. Please guide me and direct me to meet all the necessary requirements for fully knowing my Creator God. I pray this for all other people also. Amen.”
“He was afraid to look upon God!”
When we meet God’s requirements for knowing Him, then He will reward us by readily revealing Himself to us, letting us see Him and know Him just as people did throughout the times when the Bible was being written. He will let us meet Him and get to know Him well. Oh, what a wonderful thing it is to meet and come to know the One True God! His Greatness is beyond measure. God revealed Himself quite openly and directly to various people throughout the Bible speaking to them from Heaven in an audible voice and showing His Person to people to certain degrees. The Bible is full of accounts of people meeting God. Let’s study those descriptions of God in order to learn of Him. And let us learn of our own selves by studying people’s reactions upon encountering and seeing God in Person. One of the best ways to gauge how well you know God is to study the reactions of people to meeting God, how the people in the Scriptures reacted when they had a definite encounter with God, and compare those reactions to your attitude toward God to see how alike or different they are.
“Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father in law, the priest of Midian: and he led the flock to the backside of the desert, and came to the mountain of God, even to Horeb. And the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed. And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt. And when the Lord saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I. And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground. (Exodus 3:1-5) This modern day church has pretty much ceased to regard their church buildings as being a holy place. Many social activities filled with the world and foolishness are carried on there. And when the church does meet for a “worship” service, everyone is told that it is just fine to dress down and be casual, come as you are in your casual attire and casual attitude and we will smile on you with approval. They don’t know God. They haven’t well met Him at all. They are in spiritual ignorance of the Nature of High and Lofty Almighty God Who commands us to serve Him with fear and trembling.
“Moreover he said, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face; for he was AFRAID to look upon God.” (Verse 6) Reading the Bible accounts of people meeting God in Person, the most common reaction is that of FEAR. Professing Christians have stood in my face and casually, cheerfully, and blithely, with levity proclaimed most frankly to me that they do not believe we are to fear God. They don’t know God. They don’t know Him because they haven’t met Him. Because when a person truly meets the Great and Terrible God, of a certainty it strikes fear in that person’s heart. In order to come to God and to learn of Him and come to know Him well, you must learn to fear Him. Ask your God to help you fear Him.
“Almighty God, teach me the fear of the Lord. I long to know Thee fully, so please teach me to properly fear the High and Holy, Great and Terrible God that Thou art. I pray this for all other people also. Amen.”
“Woe is me!”
“In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. Above it stood the seraphims…And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory. And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke. Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts.” (Isaiah 6:1-5) Seeing God, knowing God, will of a certainty make one aware of the extent of his sinful condition. Becoming aware of just how exceedingly sinful we are will cause us to exclaim along with Isaiah, “Woe is me!” We might not use those exact words, but whatever words pour from us will have the same meaning. To see God is to see a Holy, Supreme Being highly lifted up and full of marvelous glory. His Pure and Perfect Being exposes our imperfections and impurities for the exceeding sins that they are in reality. If you have never come to the place where you saw yourself as being exceedingly sinful, then you don’t really know God.
“Lord God, please show Thyself to me, High, Holy, lifted up, pure, and perfect. By seeing Thee, I will be made aware of how undone and unclean I am in Thy Sight. I pray this for all other people also. Amen.”
“I am a sinful man, O Lord”
Read the fascinating account in Luke 5:1-11 of Simon Peter and his fishermen friends having toiled all night fishing with their nets but having taken nothing. At our Lord’s command, they launched out into the deep, let down their nets, and enclosed a great multitude of fishes that broke their net and filled 2 ships that they began to sink. That miracle preformed by our Lord God certainly got Peter’s attention. And just how did that cause Peter to react. “When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord. For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of the fishes which they had taken.” (Verses 8-9) That miracle showed Peter that the man Jesus before him was Almighty God. Realizing he was in God’s Very Presence brought fear upon Peter, causing him to fall down before Jesus, begging Christ to depart from him a sinful man. In verse 10, the Lord had to admonish Peter to “Fear not.” Seeing God, meeting God, coming to know God, brings on great fear because we are sinful creatures. Have you come to truly fear God? If not, you don’t know God. You have never truly seen Him nor met Him.
“Almighty God, I beg Thee to teach me the fear of the Lord. I want to truly see Thee, meet Thee, and know Thee intimately. Please reveal Thyself to me and teach me to fear Thee. I pray this for all other people also. Amen.”
“Trembling and astonished”
Read in Acts chapters 7-9 of Saul persecuting and killing Christian believers. He stood by and approvingly watched Stephen being stoned to death. Saul made havock of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed them to prison. He continued zealously breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord until our Lord God said, “Enough” and confronted Saul personally. “And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.” (Acts 9:3-6) Have you ever fallen prostrate before God? Have you ever trembled in the Presence of Almighty God? If not, you don’t know Him well. Have you ever asked your Creator what He would have you to do with the life He has given you to live here on this earth? If not, you do not know God well at all.
“Lord God, help me to desire to totally do Thy Will for my life. Help me to sincerely seek for Thee to show me and to guide me into Thy Will for me. I pray that all other people will also do this. Amen.”
“When I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead”
O to see the Lord Jesus Christ in all His Great Glory. Do you think that your reaction would be a heart filled to overflowing with joy unspeakable? Well, then read on. “And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle. His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire; And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters. And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength. And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last.” (Revelation 1:13-17) When people see God, they fall at His Feet as dead and the Lord God has to encourage them to fear not. To know God is to fear Him. If you don’t fear God, you do not know Him. You just don’t know him at all.
“Speak unto us smooth things”
Our degenerate nature (old man) always seeks the easiest path. We had rather play (or do nothing) than to work hard. We had rather eat cookies and ice cream than to eat nourishing foods. And regarding Almighty God, we had just rather hear about His goodness, love, and mercy, and ignore His Holy, Righteous, Pure Standards set forth for us in the Bible. We don’t want to hear about those things. We don’t want to hear about His Holy Hatred against our sins and His awful wrath building up against our sins. We are just like the rebellious Israelites God spoke against in Isaiah 30:9-11. “That this is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the Lord: Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits: Get you out of the way, turn aside out of the path, cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us.”
WHAT A FATAL REQUEST THAT WAS! Read on in Isaiah 30 at the destruction Jehovah declares he will bring upon them because they despised the words of God. Also keep Numbers 14:28 in mind. “Say unto them, As truly as I live, saith the Lord, as ye have spoken in mine ears, so will I do to you.” If you desire to not know God, He will withdraw Himself from you, letting you live as a stranger to Him until you meet face to Face in Judgment. Then you will be wailing, “Woe unto me, that I have sinned.”
If you truly desire to know your Creator God, then it is of necessity that you forego picking and choosing only the “pleasant” things about Him. Ask God to create within your heart a sincere desire to know everything about Him. Remember Philippians 3:10, when Paul uttered his burning desire to know Christ, he added, “and the fellowship of his sufferings.” This is why Paul knew The Lord so well; he did not balk at entering into the fellowship of Christ’s sufferings, but rather was desirious to do so. Keep in mind it wasn’t just Christ’s sufferings Paul desired to partake of, but the fellowship of those sufferings. The sweetest, most intimate fellowship we Christian believers can possibly experience with our Lord while we are in this life on earth, is the fellowship of His sufferings. To miss out on that fellowship is to lose out on so the very best this life has to offer.
“Lord Jesus, please create within me a sincere desire to know everything about Thee. Please make me as desirous as the Apostle Paul to know the fellowship of Thy sufferings. I pray this for all other people also. Amen.”
“Holy and reverend is his name”
How wonderful it is that our Lord is a Friend that sticketh closer than a brother. How pleasant for us to think on that aspect of our Lord. But we are reluctant to look upon Him high and lifted up, full of glory, because that shows us how unclean and undone we are, and causes us to cry out, “Woe is me!” We do not want Him to shine His Pure Light onto us, because that light “slays” us, just as it “slew” Saul on the road to Damascus. When we truly see Almighty God, we readily see Him to be Holy and Reverend. That causes us to reverence Him. “Holy and reverend is his name.” (Psalms 111:9)
“Lord God, please teach me to sincerely reverence Thee. I pray this for all other people also. Amen.”
Think on the Scriptural accounts I just gave of 5 different men meeting up with our Lord God. O how they reverenced Him. Some even fell at His Feet as dead. How the Sight of God brought on profound reverence toward Him. That is how people react when they genuinely come to know God. In this chapter’s title, I put familiarity in opposition to reverence. That is because familiarity is the typical attitude toward God of people who do not know Him. I see this attitude of familiarity presently at epidemic proportions among professing Christian believers and it is getting worse and more sinful all the time.
Back about 1999, when I was visiting in the States from Japan, a young Christian lady asked me about my missionary work in Japan. As I testified most briefly to her about what a blessed life God had given me on a foreign field, she soon cut me off with, “Yes, He’s a nice guy.” Tho I had spoken for less than a minute when she interjected with that comment, I sensed that she did it to cut me off. Possibly she had been interested in hearing about the “exciting,” worldly, heathen lifestyles of the Japanese, or something rather than how gracious God had been to me, because she seemed immediately turned off by such speech from me. Whatever her motives, I want to preach about the content of her blithe comment about God, “Yes, He’s a nice guy.” I believe that confession of hers shows that she knows so very little of God. She hasn’t met Him very personally. She hasn’t seen Him close up. Because if she had, her reaction would have been akin to the reactions of the 5 men in the Bible I previously mentioned. Does she think that when she meets God in Person at His Judgment Bar, that she will gaily smile at Him and say, “You’re a nice guy”? Our present attitude toward Almighty God should be exactly how we expect it to be when we meet Him Face to face in Judgment.
Once I was listening to a U.S. “Christian” radio program as a man gave his “Christian” testimony. He testified of going back into deep sin time and again after trusting in Christ. In testifying of God repeatedly showing mercy to him time and again, he used the following kind of speech. “God’s cool like that. No matter how many times we dirty our diapers, He is there to help us.” (And he used a more base word than “dirty” that I will not even use in this book to keep it from dirtying up this writing that is for God’s Glory.) Look at that statement of his. His speech shows that he doesn’t know much of God. No Bible characters that knew God well used language anything like that to describe God. So what does he plan to say to God when he looks upon God’s Face on Judgment Day, “You’re cool”? Each time you open your mouth with levity and light, amusing talk about God, you just show your spiritual ignorance. You testify to everyone who hears you that you know not God. What a marvel of a testimony you are. You had better earnestly seek Him while He may be found.
That woman and man, both professing Christians, are 2 vivid examples of modern day Christians’ familiar attitudes toward our High and Holy Almighty God due to the fact that they know Him not. For brevity’s sake, I’ll stop with just 2 examples. You likely can recall plenty such irreverent, sinful speech about God that you have heard by Christian people around you. Preachers who have opted for pleasing their worldly, foolish minded church members with much foolish talk become sinfully insane enough to tread on Holy ground with their sinful foolishness, bringing foolish talk into their descriptions of God and His Ways, Heaven, and anything else that is High and Holy. Worldly Christians who roar with laughter as they drink in all that stagnant, abominable water of the world give little or no thought as to why their own family life is in shambles, their children are deep in sin, and the whole world is perishing in steadily greater degrees.
May God give you and I enough Spiritual sense to cry out to Him in earnest for Him to have mercy on us and save us from the horrible sin of treating Him with familiarity instead of the most profound reverence. Christian parents, if you treat Almighty God with such buddy, buddy, light, humorous familiarity in front of your little children as they grow up, then there is no call for you to be surprised when you see them grow up to disdain God and head straight for an eternal Hell. If you do not serve God with fear and trembling as your children grow up watching everything you do and say, you will have no reason to expect your offspring to fear God or any eternal fate they might possibly meet. “Holy and reverend is his name.” (Psalms 111:9) If you know what is good for you, you will make your number one goal in life that of making Almighty God’s Name Holy and Reverend to you.
“Heavenly Father, please help me to make Thy Precious Name High, Holy, and Reverend in my life. Teach me to serve Thee with fear and trembling. Set a guard around my mind and in front of my lips. I pray this for all other people also. Amen.”
Thank God that our Precious Lord is a Friend that sticketh closer than a brother. It is natural to be intimate with friends. But don’t ever forget how high and Holy this Friend is, and never fail to treat Him with the reverence He deserves. If the President of the United States invited you to the White House for a friendly dinner with him and his family, would you arrive in faded jeans and T-shirt smacking on chewing gum, slap him on the shoulder and greet him with, “Howdy, pal. How’s it going?” If you have enough common horse sense to not be so rude to another human of such high degree, then just why do you think it appropriate for you to show up at God’s house for a worship service, “dressed down” and physically and mentally ever so casual? Something has seriously perverted your thinking and put you in big trouble with your Creator Who is a Great and Terrible God.
“Lord God, please cause me to think on my ways concerning these things. Show me how far I fall short of making Thy High and Holy Name Holy and Reverend in my own life. Forgive me for the sin of degrading Thy Lofty Name and save me from doing so. I pray this for all other people also. Amen.
“If I be lifted up”
Some Christians hold the opinion that we must bring our Saviour down to the level of lost sinners in order for them to understand Christ and come to Him. When this involves forsaking reverence for undue familiarity, I believe it to be wrong in its nature and detrimental in bringing lost souls to our Lord. I see nothing in referring to God as being cool and being a nice guy that would influence lost men to repent. Christ said of Himself, “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.” (John 12:32) “This he said, signifying what death he should die.” (Verse 33) I believe we can rightly glean more meaning from those words. Because He is a High and Holy God, I believe that the one and only way for us to draw men unto our Lord, is to lift Him up as highly as possible with our life, our words, and our teaching and preaching of the Bible. Our God has already made Himself humble and lowly by coming to this earth and taking on human flesh. Our Lord lowered Himself by coming down to us, making it easy for us to know Him well. Therefore it is wrong for us to take the attitude that we must work to bring Him down to our level by means of familiarity and such. We should have just the opposite attitude of desiring to lift Him up as high as possible. May we always listen carefully to what God’s Holy Spirit speaks to our hearts concerning this and may we have hearts that desire to obey Him concerning this.
“Lord Jesus, because Thou art High and Holy, I pray that my life will lift Thee up highly and thereby draw multitudes of lost souls unto Thee. I pray this for all other people also. Amen.”
“In honour preferring one another”
Not only are we too familiar in our speech about God and to God, but also we are a generation that has become much too familiar and casual in our speech among ourselves about ourselves. We are ever so prone to feed on foolish speech when talking to others, speech that in general puts down the person to which we direct it. Recently, inside a church, I introduced a missionary friend of mine to a senior Japanese pastor whom I estimate to be over 70 years old. On making the introduction, I told my American friend how that this Japanese Christian, after having retired from being principal of a Christian school for many years, was now pastoring a church. Words of homage from my friend would have been most proper and in order, especially upon first meeting this elderly Japanese man who had given many years in service to God. But do you know what the American missionary said to the older Japanese pastor (as his first words of greeting upon just meeting that man)? “So, you are not garbage yet?” (Foolish, jesting words meaning your life still has some value to it and you haven’t been tossed out onto the garbage pile of life yet.) The pastor replied “What?” in shocked disbelief to these very first words coming from a missionary he had just met for the first time. I was embarrassed beyond measure and spoke what I could to the pastor, trying to rectify that deplorable situation. Later, when I got alone with my friend, I calmly, kindly, and earnestly implored him not to talk to an older Japanese pastor like that, saying that it was most inappropriate. But my friend brushed me off by saying, “I said that he was not garbage yet,” as if that amounted to a compliment. I gave up in disgusted awe, praying for him to do better. We are far too bold and brash in our speech, generally lacking in kindness and reverence to everyone. May God help us to have our speech seasoned with salt.
“Lord God, please correct all that is wrong with me in this area of my life and my speech. I pray this for all other people also. Amen.”
“Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another.” (Romans 12:10) Here, we are commanded to be kind to others and to humble ourselves before others, lifting them up with our speech and deeds toward them while at the same time lowering our own selves. Think on how our sinful desire to rise causes us to constantly want to “cut others down” with foolish humor aimed at degrading them. “In honour preferring one another,” means we are to abase Self and lift up other people, not with vain, sinful flattery and such, but with God’s love, polite speech, and kind affection. Our present day generation has soaked their heads in the brazen, sinful speech of the mammoth, sinful entertainment industry and thus has become so sinfully brazen and bold in their speech. Christians readily fall headlong into this sin for the exciting fun it gives their flesh. And the Judge of the Universe records every thought and word for Judgment Day.
“Heavenly Father, please save me from my fleshly, sinful nature that is so prone to lash out at others and cut them down with sinful, foolish humor. Please help me to be kindly affectioned to others with brotherly love that comes from Thee. Please help me to prefer others in honour by debasing Self and lifting them up with Thy love and kind affection. I pray this for all other people also. Amen.”
Parents, you have a duty to your offspring’s Creator to teach them proper speech and to guard them from the numerous worldly, high tech sewer pipes that spew out sinful, brazen speech. As a child, I was taught to look up to and respect adults, especially those in authority. Now, when a candidate for the U.S. presidency visits a junior high school, those 14 year-olds call him by his first name as if he were their peer. Such should not be. Listen closely to God’s Guidance and with His Help, teach your children proper speech and proper respect for everyone. You should teach your children to respect and honour godly Christian leaders, in particular. It heavily grieves my spirit to be in a church where everyone from the smallest child on up, calls the pastor by his first name. Where is the honour due to this man of God? Just what is wrong with you (apart from sin) that you cannot call him, “Pastor Smith” instead of calling him “Jack”? God has placed that pastor over you in a position of spiritual authority. Therefore lift him up high by giving him the honour and respect that is rightly due to him. By doing so you also honour and exalt God, and will in turn be blessed by God for doing so.
“Lord God, please help me to always give proper honour to all people to whom it is due. I pray this for all other people also. Amen.”
“But to this man will I look”
God clearly tells us what is required of us in order to have Him look upon our life with favor and thereby bless our efforts to serve Him. “For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the Lord: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.” (Isaiah 66:2) This is the same “poor in spirit” that Christ speaks of in Matthew 5:3 and it means to reckon one’s self as being nothing and having nothing, that is, reckoning one’s entire being and total possessions as belonging to God. “Contrite” means to be deeply sorrowful for having done wrong, having sinned. “Trembleth” literally means to physically tremble. Nowadays, it is most rare for anyone to tremble at God and His word. But it is a must for each of us to be the person described in this Scripture in order to have God look on us with favor.
“Lord God, please help me to poor in spirit, regarding myself to be nothing and to own nothing, thereby acknowledging that all my being and possessions belong to Thee. Create within me godly sorrow for having sinned against Thee. Instill within me the Fear of the Lord that will cause me to tremble at Thy word. Please help me to be a person Thou wilt look unto. I pray this for all other people also. Amen.”
The opposite of “looking unto” is “looking away from.” If we are not the kind of person that our Lord God will look unto, then we can expect Him to turn His Back upon us, and that leaves us in a most tragic state. That is the state of much of the body of Christian believers on this earth. God has turned His Back upon them because they are not the kind of people He will look unto. We live our lives proud faced. We come to God’s house for a worship service more or less in a party time spirit, dressed extravagantly or too casual, proud faced, laughing, and spewing out foolish speech. The women come dressed abominably in britches, bedecked with jewelry, with faces caked thick with make up. There is little or no reverence, shamefacedness, or sobriety. If perchance the sermon has power to break hearts, the women fortify themselves against crying, knowing what tears do to the proud paint job on their proud faces. And still we are dumb enough to wonder just why the reason that Almighty God’s church has no power. The reason is because God does not look unto such people. He turns His Back on such proud, haughty people and leaves them to go on in their foolish, vain, proud sin until judgment falls. We fortify our proud selves against true penitence and crying out “Woe is me!” Therefore God hides Himself from us and we lose knowledge of Him. We lose His Presence and His blessings upon our service to Him. Ask God to make you totally aware of this reality.
“Almighty God, please reveal to me the fullness of the important truth that has been explained here. Help me to do completely right concerning these grave matters. I pray this for all other people also. Amen.”
You young preachers, think seriously just what kind of “man of God” you make up your mind to be. If you are not a man whom God will look unto, then you will become a failure and a washout as a preacher. The 3 subjects I have been addressing in a row, “Flesh,” “Foolishness” and “Familiarity” are very closely related. If you are spiritually dumb enough to make the decision to put “life” into your preaching by means of the “Foolishness” and “Familiarity” that your fallen “Flesh” can produce, then rest assured that Almighty God in Heaven will NOT look unto you. God will look away from you. He will turn His Back upon you. He has decreed for all eternity that He will not pour out His Holy Anointing Oil on that rotten, putrid flesh. God will toss you out on His large garbage pile of worthless preachers and you will be a failure and a washout. Think seriously on these grave matters and earnestly pray that you will be totally submissive to God’s Guidance to do right in these serious, eternal matters. What is written in this paragraph is direly important for us preachers to keep in mind.
“Heavenly Father, I pray for all Thy preachers and also for all of us Christians to do right concerning these important things written here. Help us all, Lord, I pray. Amen.”
“They would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.” (Matthew 11:21d) It would be good for you to look at the many accounts in the Old Testament of God commanding people to repent in sackcloth (coarse clothing, burlap) and ashes (literally putting ashes on their heads and bodies). The lowly sackcloth and unbecoming ashes are an outward show of true sorrow, penitence, and humility. Look at godly Daniel. “And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fastings, and sackcloth, and ashes.” (Daniel 9:3) Such as that is what made Daniel a great saint.
Proud people spurn God’s commands to fast and to put on sackcloth and ashes. Can you picture any modern day church member exchanging his or her extravagant clothing, make up, and hairstyle for sackcloth (burlap) and ashes? Thus, in our pride, we cause God to force such upon us. In previous chapters, I have preached plenty about end time famine; a God created fast forced upon a fat generation whose god is their belly. God also strikes with previews of judgment that put sackcloth and ashes on people. On September 11, 2001, people all over the world watched live coverage of terrified New Yorkers fleeing death and destruction running on foot, covered with ashes and their soft clothing (Matthew 11:8) much damaged and dirtied to look like sackcloth. Escape paths were strewn with dainty shoes (discarded because they hindered running) as ash covered people fled barefoot. Proud faces and countenances were ever so fallen, replaced by stark fear. This is what the Judge of the Universe does when He looks away from (turns His Back on) sinfully proud, foolish, irreverent people. With His Help, we must desire to be and strive to be poor and contrite of spirit and to truly fear our Great and Terrible God.
“Heavenly Father, please have mercy on me and save me from the sins of being proud and haughty. Please help me to totally yield my being to Thee for the purpose of Thee creating within me a poor, contrite, and broken heart and spirit. Please create in me a sincere fear of the Lord that will cause me to tremble at Thy word. Please make me into a person whom Thou will look unto with favor. Please save me from being a proud, sinful person whom Thou will turn Thy Back upon and look away from, forsaking that person. Have mercy on me and save me from that awful fate. I pray this for all other people also. Amen.”
As I write this in June 2007, several areas of the U.S. are in the 2nd year of drought conditions with several large fires raging, while in other localities deadly floods drown people and destroy much property. Here in Japan, many water reservoirs contain only 30% of their capacity, as rainfall is much below normal this year. God is drying up this sin-sick world. The number of hungry and thirsty people is increasing. Everyone who believes in prayer is yelling, “Pray for rain!” We who truly know God should be shouting, “Repent!” Recently, Psalms 107:33-34 caught my attention. “He turneth rivers into a wilderness, and the watersprings into dry ground; A fruitful land into barrenness, for the wickedness of them that dwell therein.” If we want our necessities supplied, we must live pleasing to God. “He turneth the wilderness into a standing water, and dry ground into watersprings. And there he maketh the hungry to dwell, that they may prepare a city for habitation; And sow the fields, and plant vineyards, which may yield fruits of increase. He blesseth them also, so that they are multiplied greatly; and suffereth not their cattle to decrease.” (Verses 35-38) God has all power to help or to cast down. Which He does, depends on whether we are good or bad. It is far past time for us to cease being familiar with God and instead begin to truly reverence Him.
From chapter 8 thru this chapter, I have preached a steady progression of topics related to next one. We love and serve mammon for the purpose of buying all the things of the world that we love. We drink that water of the world to our destruction, as we live in the flesh instead of living in the Spirit. We become vain and foolish, and finally lose all reverence for Almighty God and instead treat Him with undue familiarity. The result is God turning His Back on us and forsaking us instead of looking unto us with favor. Finally, He remedies our rebellion by means of judgment as I described at the end of the last chapter. Cease being familiar with God and treat our High and Holy Creator with all reverence.
“Almighty God, please help me to do just that. Please help me to truly fear Thee with godly fear and to reverence Thee from my heart with Holy Reverence and Awe. Save me from sinful, vain foolishness and undue familiarity toward Thee and toward my fellow men. I pray this for all other people also. Amen.”
Please always bear in mind a most important truth I stated at the very beginning of this book in the 2nd paragraph of chapter 1. Creatures that rebel against their Creator do it unto their own destruction. This book is getting plenty long, but each topic I address concerns sinful rebellion against our Creator, which destroys us. May God help us all to forsake each and every one of these rebellious sins in order to be saved from that destruction.
You must treat Almighty God with the Greatest Reverence. If you fail to do so, He will turn His Back on you, thus hiding Himself and knowledge of Him from you. You will not know the High and Lofty God unless you treat Him with the Highest Reverence. You cannot know God apart from treating Him with Reverence and Awe. Think on the 2 true examples I gave you in this chapter of modern day Christians. The woman said of God, “He’s a nice guy.” The man said, “God is cool like that.” Their speech clearly testifies that they know not God. May God save you from such speech. And may He save you from the sin of irreverence toward Him.
“Almighty God, smite mankind with the fear of the Lord. Teach all of us the terror of the Lord. Sober us up with a full knowledge of the Wrath of God. Save us from feeding our beings on foolishness. Help us to always feed on Thy Eternal Scriptures and to tremble at Thy Word. Teach us to be sober minded and to properly reverence Thee, passing our time on earth in fear and trembling. I pray this for all Thy human creatures on this earth. Amen.”
(This is the end of Chapter 14 of Creature Versus Creator)