And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun; and power was given unto him to scorch men with fire. And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which hath power over these plagues: and they repented not to give him glory. Revelation 16:8,9.

 

Part II
by Brother Emerson A. Wilson

 

Jesus As He Is
Let's take a look at Jesus. The story of Jesus has gotten so far from Him as He really is. Today, most people's picture of Jesus comes to their minds by some artist's conception. Artists have painted what they "think" He looks like, but nobody knows what He looks like except from what the Bible declares. If you read from Isaiah through to the Revelation, you will find what the Bible depicts Jesus to look like is a million miles from these nice, gentle-looking young men that artists have painted.

First of all, Isaiah prophesies of Him as a man of sorrow. He was NOT a man to be desired. As far as the natural eye could see, there was NO BEAUTY in Him. His beauty can only be seen with the spiritual eye.

We read in Revelation 1:14-16, 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. Why was it shining that way? Why did He look like this? My friends, He was ready to put the heat on five of seven congregations which claimed to be The Church, but were loaded down with things that offended and didn't line up with the standard that makes the Church of God the Church of God!

I want you to grip the fact that He is the same today! When we, as a congregation, begin to act like any of those churches mentioned in the Revelation, He will put the heat on us. His attitude never changes. Unless you have protection of some kind, you are going to get scorched. Thank God, The Church is a shadow; it's a tabernacle that keeps us from the heat. When God is scorching others, we are air-conditioned. When those outside The Church are getting burned up from the New Testament being poured out, The Church has a tabernacle from the heat. Our Scripture text said that men are scorched with a great heat. We are in the time when God is putting the heat on. Men are being scorched with great heat.

What are the things that offend and keep The Church from shining? One is men's thoughts. People who claim to be Christians will sit right down in the pew and challenge God's thoughts with their own. Men's sayings, men's standards, and men's organizations are so working among us that the man, Jesus Christ, is hidden.

Isaiah depicts what happens when men get scorched with great heat: The voice said, Cry. And he said, What shall I cry? All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field: The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: because the spirit of the Lord bloweth upon it: surely the people is grass. The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever. Isaiah 40:6-8.

In the New Testament we read:
Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently: Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you. I Peter 1:22-25.
James tells us: Let the brother of low degree rejoice in that he is exalted: But the rich, in that he is made low: because as the flower of the grass he shall pass away. For the sun is no sooner risen with a burning heat, but it withereth the grass, and the flower thereof falleth, and the grace of the fashion of it perisheth: so also shall the rich man fade away in his ways. James 1:9-11. The truth of the matter is, my friends, when we get right under the sound teaching of God's Word and believe it like it is, none of us has anything to glory in except the cross of Jesus Christ. Anything we have that is worth glorying in, God gave it to us.

Holding Truth In Unrighteousness
Our Scripture text says that men were scorched with great heat and blasphemed the name of God. Human spirits have so taken hold of men that when you put the truth on them and they get scorched with it, instead of saying, "Thank you, Lord, for showing me," they turn right around and blaspheme God. How do they blaspheme God?

The Grace of God teaches us to live Godly right in this present world, and the wrath of God is revealed from heaven (Romans 1:18) against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness. Here he is talking about people who hold the truth in unrighteousness even though they have a knowledge of the truth. They know what they OUGHT TO DO, but in spite of that, they go on in their unrighteous way.

Just mark it down, whenever you get around where God is, He is going to pour out some wrath on you. What is the wrath of God? Paul said, For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness.Romans 1:16,18. When God is good enough to get the truth across to you and you know what you SHOULD DO along certain lines, but you just tromp it under your feet and go your own unrighteous way, it stirs the wrath of God.

This is not just about unsaved people; this is about people who have found the right foundation, but are allowing things in their lives that are not according to The Truth of God, and not according to righteousness. My friends, when you go on in spite of what God shows you, you restrain, hinder, and keep down the truth. Truth, by that individual's life, is checked, hindered, and held back. Truth which is designed to bless is stopped because of unrighteousness. That very sin, my friends, will extinguish the love and the desire for the truth of the Gospel.

Right here is where people begin to lose their desire to attend church. There has to be something happen within your own experience; somebody else may have done terrible things, but you don't lose your desire for truth until you allow something to take place within your own life and your own experience. Truth is then choked back in unrighteousness, in unrighteous thoughts and unrighteous desires.

The Gospel Demands Obedience
Now friends, this doesn't happen in regard to secular truth. Oh no. Sin doesn't repress the enthusiasm of the truth of science and other areas; men go right on in their unrighteousness and still have a desire to look into the "truth of science". But, my friends, it is very different in regard to the truth that comes from God's Word. Why? The Gospel does not offer a mere abstract truth to excite speculations within you. Bible truth has great demands on it. One of the claims of the Gospel is obedience to God's Word, and it is not as easy to obey the Gospel as it is to admire it and to talk about it.

Now get this: there are a LOT of people on the "fringes" (edges) who 'admire' the Gospel and just 'love' to talk about it, but there is a VAST difference between admiring it and obeying it! My friends, it takes a REAL, heartfelt, burning experience of the Holy Spirit in your life to bring you to that place of obedience where you obey the Gospel. Truth prescribes not only the way we SHOULD believe, but also the way that we MUST walk. To WALK RIGHTEOUSLY is always harder than to believe righteously. Do I need to repeat that? To WALK RIGHTEOUSLY is always harder than to believe righteously. It's one thing to "talk the talk", but can you "walk the walk"???

It comes right back to that old saying, "Actions speak louder than words". It's true. The Bible tells us that …faith without works is dead (James 2:20). It's one thing to "profess to believe", but quite another to STEP OUT IN FAITH, to act upon that which we believe! Many many many can get all worked up "talking" the "good talk", but quickly and easily fall by the wayside when it comes time to "walk the good walk".

Still talking about men who hold the truth in unrighteousness, the truth of the Gospel is a rebuke to the life of sin. Just mark it down, you are listening to a man preach a perverted Gospel when he makes room for sin in a Christian's life. Let me go there once more: it is a perverted Gospel when a preacher stands and preaches that it's to be expected for a Christian to sin. I care not who he is, how famous he is, where he comes from, or what flag he's flying, it's a perverted Gospel when any man (or woman for that matter) preaches or teaches that a Christian 'is going to sin'! The truth of the Gospel is a rebuke to the life of sin. Every page in God's Word is dead against sin!

Is it any wonder that people cannot, do not, have life-changing experiences in salvation any more when the pulpits and classrooms of our churches are filled with those who preach and teach that a Christian is "going to sin"? They say, "It's an expected fact: we are going to sin." How much, I ask you, does that speak to the miracle of salvation, and let's face it, it IS the GREATEST miracle of all. How much power does that give Jesus Christ of His having defeated sin on our behalf? I'm not talking about those who 'teach' the perversion that "we are under Grace, therefore, it's O.K. to sin". I'm talking about those who stand up, as leaders in the congregations of churches and spout that "Christians are still sinners." You can't be both, my friends. You are either bound by sin or freed by salvation. A well won't give off both bitter AND sweet.

The individual who loves sin and has no wish to give it up has a bent in his (or her) life towards keeping it and going on in it. You want to know WHY the preachers and teachers of the churches today won't lay out the straight of it: YOU MUST GIVE UP SIN; STOP SINNING? Why if they put out the TRUTH, they would face reduced numbers of those who step up to shake the preacher's hand and sign a card! There is pleasure, at least for a season, in sin; you start laying the truth on folks that they must GIVE UP sin, STOP SINNING, and just watch the numbers go down, both in "new converts" and "old bench warmers".

My friends, folks do NOT like to sit and hear a preacher preach the Gospel that writes "Condemned" right across their hearts. No, that is not a good feeling, but that is EXACTLY what the Truth of the Gospel will do when you get around to where the TRUTH is preached! It will tell you what you REALLY are in the eyes of God.

So, friends, right into our state of Egyptian darkness, Laodicean coldness, and Sardis deadness, the Son of righteousness has burst out, brightly and hotly. What for? To gather and cheer His elect and to wither anything and everything that is contrary to the Truth. Now I want to lay another Bible fact on you: Sin CANNOT grow where the Gospel is. The Gospel preached with the fervency and power of the Holy Ghost will cause men to wither. So God is putting the heat on to gather His elect, and to wither up and scorch carnal professors. Sad to say, some of them are scorched and moved into rage, hate, and judicial blindness.

One sheep who comes out of Babylon (false religion) and stands in the sun of righteousness and all His glory is more trouble to a carnal minister and an earthly flock than a entire hostile army! They begin speaking things that false religion can't come up against.

So men were scorched with great heat and they blasphemed. They get so stirred in truth that they blaspheme and speak evil of the name of God, God's doctrines, and God's Grace. They blaspheme Him in two ways. When Jesus was casting out devils, the Pharisees accused Him of casting out devils by Beelzebub, the prince of devils. Jesus answered them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand: And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand? And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your children cast them out? therefore they shall be your judges. But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you. Matthew 12:25-28.

He went on to let them know that he was casting out devils in the name of The Father and by the Power of God that was given Him as God's Only Begotten Son, the second person of the Godhead. Jesus let them know that they were blaspheming. They contributed the power of God to the power of Satan. Jesus was casting out devils by the power of God, but they said He was doing it by the devil.

There is nothing wrong with laying truth on a system if it is of the devil. There are false systems of religion, such as the false Pentecostal movement, that are under the power of the devil. Why? It bears the earmark and manifests the spirit of the devil. It is uncontrollable. Mark this down: when any spirit gets hold of you, religious or otherwise, that you cannot control, it is ALWAYS the devil!

The Spirit of God, according to I Corinthians 14, is subject to the prophets. God will never make you do anything. He will woo at your heart. He will inspire you. He will direct you. He will even make you miserable if you don't obey Him, but He will never MAKE you do anything. These old false Pentecostal spirits that take hold of people beyond their control are of the devil! If those poor people ever find freedom, somebody will have to lay hands on them and cast out that devilish spirit. On the other hand, my friends, there are things of God that people just get stirred at and say it is of the devil, so they blaspheme.

Lying
The second way people blaspheme is by lying, going right on professing when the truth has shown them that they are not right. In Revelation 2:9, Jesus said, …I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not… Let's go back and read verse 9 of our Scripture text: And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which hath power over these plagues: and they repented not to give him glory. Revelation 16:9. John said these people blasphemed when they claimed to be children of God, and were not. How do we blaspheme? When we say we are a Christian, a child of God, when we are not.

Friends, God's name is a character name. It is the only character name in the world. You can have the name "Wilson" or "Jones" or "Smith" (or any other name) and have ANY KIND of character. I was a Wilson when I was lost in sin. My name is STILL Wilson, and now I am living for God, by the Grace of God, and keeping my life clean. You can have the name Wesley or Luther or Graham or Roberts or any other name, and still have ANY KIND of character. "God" is the only character name. To bear the name of God, to say you are a Child of God, you must take on the character, the nature, of God within you.

The Bible plainly teaches that when you come in repentance, confessing to God, you are made partakers of His divine nature. What is His nature? God is a Spirit and through the blood of Jesus Christ, after your heart is cleansed by faith in His shed blood, then God moves into your heart and life through the Spirit. Through that Spirit, you have become a partaker of God's divine nature. The very moment your name is written down in The LAMB'S Book of Life, you can call yourself a son of God, a child of God, an heir of God and a joint-heir of Jesus Christ.

God is the ONLY giver of a character name. That is why, if you will read the geneology of the world, there is none called the son of God from Adam up until Christ. Paul makes it plain in I Corinthians 15 that Adam was just a living soul. The only life he had was life for himself. Jesus, however, the "second Adam", came as a quickening Spirit. Thank God, He not only had power to be the Son of God in Himself, but He also can make anyone else a Son of God (child of God) if they will let Him come into their heart and life.

So it is blaspheming to claim you are a Christian, a child of God, and not possess the Spirit of God within your heart and life, because you are living contrary to God's nature. God is a Spirit, and His nature is HOLY. He says to His children, Ye shall be holy: for I the Lord your God am holy. Leviticus 19:2. When does holiness begin? When God comes in through the Holy Ghost.

God told Moses to take off his shoes because he was standing on "holy ground". Moses had probably seen lots of bushes on fire, but that one, in particular was strange: it was not burning up. God was in the bush, setting it on fire, and it was holy ground. Now, once God comes into your heart and life, Thank God, it is HOLY GROUND. It is a holy possession. Through the Grace and strength of God living within us, we are able to live a HOLY LIFE.

Does Your Life Honor God?
Verse 9 of our Scripture text says that they repented not. Now, why does God do all this plaguing? To get you to repent! You have been "trying" to live a Christian life in YOUR OWN STRENGTH and by YOUR OWN HUMAN UNDERSTANDING. It is too much for mankind to be able to do. What do we need to repent of? Well, if you haven't anything else to repent of, repent of your humanism. Brothers and Sisters, this is THE thing that the devil is using against the people of God like never before: humanism. I realize that we are all humans, but the devil would like to make us SO human that we cannot be spiritual. The devil wants to make us so human that we cannot be conquerors or overcomers. He is using humanism in a great way.

"They repented not to give Him glory." How do you give God glory? There is ONLY ONE WAY to truly give God glory: to turn from sin. People who profess Christianity while still living in sin are NOT giving God glory. Romans 3:23 says, For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God. Brothers and Sisters, as long as you are living in sin, you are coming short of the glory of God.

On the other hand, when you allow God to deliver you from sin, His very presence will give you strength to live free from sin. Then you CAN glorify God. Real Bible repentance is TURNING AWAY FROM sin and TURNING TO God. So we give God the glory when we TURN FROM sin. We honor Him by living a life of obedience unto Him.

Romans, Chapter 1, says that when they knew God, they honored Him not as God. What happened? God turned them over to vile affections, made homosexuals out of them, and turned them loose to every kind of corruption imaginable!

Malachi 3:2 asks, But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner's fire, and like fullers' soap. Chapter 4, verses 1 and 2 tell us: For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble…But unto you that fear my name shall the sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings…

Which way does the message affect you? Did it burn you, or bless you? If God's Word burns you, if the Word of God strikes you hard, remember that back of it, there is a God Who LOVES you, Who thinks that you are TOO GOOD to be lost. Unless you are awakened to your true condition, you WILL BE LOST. In His love, He is working to awaken you to your true condition on this side of a final judgment, while there is still time to do something about it.


JCSM's Top 1000 Christian Sites - Free Traffic Sharing Service!