#193 (8/22/18)

      Source of material:  Rev. B.R. Hicks

Please read Romans 1:16-18.  In verse 18, the author of Romans mentions the wrath of God. Wrath is defined this way:  nostril, breath, burn, stream of fire that creates the Lake of Fire, zeal, love.  The wrath of God burns away all sin between Him and us.  His fiery breath consumes all sin as He attacks the maladies of the fallen heart.  His wrath is not directed at or intended to harm the spiritual and physical beings of man.  He loves us but is compelled by sinful behavior to be harsh with it; to the point where He consumes it.  He hurts us to save us from indwelling sin that causes separation between His heart and the believer's heart.  He is committed to saving the believer from sin!  It is a dangerous place to be when He leaves us alone!

Also in verse 18, please take note where His wrath is directed.  First, against ungodliness, second, against unrighteousness.  Ungodliness is rejection of the truth.  Unrighteousness is knowing the truth but not allowing righteousness to issue forth, not taking a stand for the truth.  

Please turn to the Book of Numbers, chapter 11, and read verses 16-17 & 25.  Moses was being crushed under the weight of the burden of caring for the nation of Israel.  As a result of this, God took of the spirit that was upon Moses and gave it to seventy elders to help bear the load.  Now go to Exodus 24:9-15.  The seventy elders were taken up to the mount of God, with Moses and Aaron, and saw God as well as ate and drank in the presence of the LORD (verse 11).  They received a very special visitation from the LORD; they were allowed to SEE God!  They experienced the power and anointing of the glory of God.  Next, read Numbers 13:30-33 & 14:1.  In chapter 14, verse 1, the Bible says, "all" the people wept because the promised land (in their eyes) was unattainable.  Where were the 70 elders???  You would think, after seeing God and carrying the anointed of His glory, they would have taken a stand against the naysayers who said the Land could not be conquered.  They did not take a stand and defend the LORD; they did not allow righteousness to issue forth.  God's people underestimate what happens at church and the anointing it carries.  They have eaten and drank of the LORD, they have seen God, but many times fail to take a stand for the truth in their personal lives.  God's people are guilty of unrighteousness---knowing the truth but failing to take a stand for it.  Are believer's taking a stand for the truth against their own flesh, knowing that something is wrong but allowing the flesh to influence behavior?  We hold down the truth and be unrighteous by not letting the truth come out.  Wrath comes when unrighteousness comes out.  We know what to do!  Take a stand and let righteousness issue forth!  The seventy elders should have withstood the unbelieving congregation and tried to reason with them, persuade them, convince them that God was well able to conquer the Land.  

Please read Hebrews 3:8-11.  The nearness and presence of the LORD causes the heart to choose God easily.  His influence is given by gift.  Conversely, when He withdraws His presence, our choices are made by stature.  We MUST choose the LORD without His intoxicating influence!  Our choices must be made by stature (Him being withdrawn)!  Hebrews says that if we are not making the right choices, we are hardening our heart (verse 8).  Why do we love the Word of God?  Why do we listen to the Word?  The reason should be for the purpose of DOING!  Not doing is unrighteousness!  

The Bible is replete with instances when Israel did not want to understand for the purpose of obeying.  They were given so much revelation of God and His Son.  They thought the amount of revelation they received was indicative of their maturity.  Revelation does not make a person mature; doing does.  Maturity in God is not what we know but what we DO with what we know.  The choice is ours:  hold the truth down and be unrighteous (suffering God's wrath) or, taking a stand for the truth and letting righteousness issue forth.