“The almost general mediocrity of fortune that prevails in America, obliging its people to follow some business for subsistence, those vices that arise usually from idleness are in a great measure prevented. Industry and constant employment are great preservatives of the morals and virtue of a nation. Hence bad examples to youth are more rare in America, which must be a comfortable consideration to parents. To this may be truly added, that serious religion, under its various denominations, is not only tolerated, but respected and practiced. Atheism is unknown there; infidelity rare and secret; so that persons may live to a great age in that country without having their piety shocked by meeting with either an atheist or an infidel. And the Divine Being seems to have manifested His approbation of the mutual forbearance and kindness with which the different sects treat each other, by the remarkable prosperity with which He has been pleased to favor the whole country.”
This quote was taken from a letter Benjamin Franklin wrote while in Europe in an effort to describe to the European populous, particularly any contemplating emigrating, the prevailing conditions. The entire letter is well worth reading if one wants to compare the general conditions and mindset of the United States during it’s birth, to the general conditions and mindset, indeed the many, many mindsets of the United States citizenry today.
The main points I wish to bring to the front are the necessary condition of hard work, and the all but non existent condition of atheism. Both conditions have been marginalized in the United States today, where working and sacrificing toward a goal, is not a necessary path to security, but an optional path. Much of the population has seized upon “entitlements” and “rights” to be defined, not as one’s guarantee of reaping the fruits of his or her labors, but of someone else’s. Today, individual faith in God is often as hen’s teeth, having been replaced with institutional religion, or no religion at all. In saying this, I have no motive of seeking to blame, I simply make the observation.
What things do the scriptures teach concerning the individual abandonment of faith toward Christ , of walking in faith and taking responsibility for one’s walk, and the responsibility of using the mind that God gave the individual, particularly when there is great temptation and pressure to find some organization that seems tailor made for you, and joining it? I will draw from the following:
1.The two Enochs
2. God’s “way” in the earth, and it’s abandonment
3. The Angel that led the children of Jacob
4. The error in building a temple, when one already exists
5. The error of choosing a king, when you already have one
6. The importance of being in your right mind
1.The scriptures refer to the antediluvian age as the “world that then was”. From the fall of man until the flood that ended that age, there were two men named Enoch. One was conceived and born outside the presence of God, in the land of Nod, born to Cain the murderer. One was born to Seth, who was a figure of resurrection. Cain murdered Abel his brother, in whom the seed of promised redemption was called. We know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. Thereby we know that the seed of promise was in Abel. So God raised that seed, in a figure of resurrection, In Seth. Chapter 5 of the book of Genesis proclaims that Adam’s race, any that would live, would be reckoned in Seth, signifying that salvation, as promised, would come not only by a seed of the woman, but of a resurrected seed of the woman. Genesis 5 declares itself the “book of the generations of Adam…”. In like manner, the first chapter of the gospel of Matthew calls itself the “book of the generation of Jesus Christ”.
The name “Enoch” means “place of inauguration”, or the place you are taught and enjoined to something new, the beginning of something.
verb (used with object), in·au·gu·rat·ed, in·au·gu·rat·ing.
to make a formal beginning of; initiate; commence; begin: The end of World War II inaugurated the era of nuclear power.
to induct into office with formal ceremonies; install.
to introduce into public use by some formal ceremony: Airmail service between Washington, D.C., and New York City was inaugurated in 1918.
Enoch, the son of Cain, was Cain’s first born. A city was built and called Enoch, named for Cain’s son. It says of the Enoch born to Seth, that he walked with God, and God took him. Jesus said that the days of the Son of man would be like the days of Noah. (Luke 17:26). One of the grievances the Lord voiced to Noah was that man had forsaken His way in the earth. The Lord destroyed the city Enoch, and translated the man Enoch, thus signifying that His way in the earth, is for the individual to seek, to know, and to walk with the Lord. This can not be fulfilled in a system of man’s device, no matter how cleverly named.
2. Post flood, a new age began. The Lord had said to them who emerged from the ark, “Be fruitful and multiply. Spread abroad, replenish the earth and subdue it”. As time passed, and the memories of the lessons of the age past, a group of humanity had come to a place called Shinar. At this time, they made a determination to build a city and a tower, and take a name for themselves. This is evidence that they had again forsaken the Lord’s way in the earth. For to Seth, the figurative man of resurrection, was born a son, Enos. It says that then men began to call upon the name of the Lord. This too, is teaching us, that them born to the man of resurrection not only call upon the name of the Lord, but the name of the Lord is called in them. Jesus said, “Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name”. Psalm 139 is about this. Also, Matthew 1 and the book of the generation of Jesus Christ, which counts 42 generations from Abraham until Christ. If you count them, you will find yourself on 41 from Abraham when you count to the man Jesus. This is not a mistake. The 42nd and final generation are not reckoned until the resurrection, and includes not only Jesus in resurrection, but all begotten to God in Him, and quickened together with Him by faith of the operation of God, by the Spirit of God, and raised together with Him. This is not a generation like any other. It is a spiritual house and generation. It is all who are born to God in Christ. It spans all human generations. Enoch, the seventh from Adam speaks of these in the book of Jude, as do many places in scripture. The Lord’s coming and unveiling can not be properly understood without including this generation of Jesus Christ, as declared by Matthew 1, and the whole of the scriptures. At Shinar, they again forsook the Lord’s way, and sought in their ignorance, once again, to make their own. In building a tower on which to portray the heavens, they again demonstrated that the kingdom of God was no more in the by faith, and so they set about (again) to find it. I can tell you this…to be driven from the presence of God does not involve geography or physical locomotion. In short, it means the presence of God is no longer in you. Outer darkness, described in the closing pages of the book of Revelation, means that the individual has not the light of God and of the Lamb in them, and so, must walk in the light of something or someone else. Again, the Lord’s way is in the individual. The Body of Christ is a body of individuals. He came in order to lead many sons unto glory. (Sons being generic…neither male nor female).
3. At some time, the Lord, per His word, visited the children of Israel, and lead them out of Egypt and bondage. First Corinthians tells you , “for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ”. Again , Exodus 23 says,“Behold, I send an Angel before thee, to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared. Beware of him, and obey his voice, provoke him not; for he will not pardon your transgressions: for my name [is] in him. But if thou shalt indeed obey his voice, and do all that I speak; then I will be an enemy unto thine enemies, and an adversary unto thine adversaries”.
In Samuel’s day, things changed, and the nation lost it’s way. For though the Lord had been king over them, invisible, yet ever present, The people began to chide Samuel and desire a king like all the rest of the nations. The Lord said to Samuel, “Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them”. Even though they had been told how a king of flesh would oppress them, tax them, seize their best property, their children, and put them to all manner of tasks and works, the people persisted, and God gave them their king(s). This system of concession degraded and decayed, resulting eventually in the collapse of the nation from within. The people became like any other people, lost all individual moral compass, following their kings instead of each fearing and following the Lord, until the nation was conquered and lead again into captivity, coming full circle from Pharaoh to Babylon. The condition of the nation in it’s last days before it’s captivity, “[2Ki 17:32-33] So they feared the LORD, and made unto themselves of the lowest of them priests of the high places, which sacrificed for them in the houses of the high places. They feared the LORD, and served their own gods, after the manner of the nations whom they carried away from thence”. This is a pitiful state, telling you that if you don’t know the Lord within, yet retain a religious mind, you will serve just about anything presented to you as God. This condition blossomed and destroyed the nation, from the time they ceased from each following the Lord (or not if so choosing), until the nation fell. You can not legislate morality. A nation of people are either lead individually of The Anointing, or stumble and bumble along behind their (perceived) anointed leaders. I will say this. As many as are lead by the Spirit of God, THEY are the sons of God. Christ in you is the hope of glory. Christ in president, pope, priest or preacher, is not hope at all. (Colossains 1)
4. King David, once brought into peace and prosperity, one day in his house of stone and cedar, had a pleasant and noble thought. He observed his own comfortable estate while the Lord (seemingly) still dwelt in a worn out old tent. David determined to build for the Lord, a magnificent house. The Lord commended him for his sentiment, but told David that it was not possible for David to build Him a house. If the heaven and the heaven of heavens are not sufficient to contain Him, where is the house any man proposes to build Him? In other places the scriptures are very clear. The Most High does not dwell in any house built with hands. If you want to search for the Lord using the process of elimination, you may eliminate man made edifices, systems and structures named wrongly for Him (like they did at Shinar). The Lord went on to tell David that He, the Lord, would build a house for David, in one born to his house. That one would sit upon the everlasting throne. When Solomon replaced his father David as king, they blew the trumpet and declared the word of God fulfilled. They were in error. That is not the son the Lord was talking about. Solomon went on to build a temple, which the Lord never said to build, and had said could not be any house for the Lord. It was a concession, just as giving them a king of flesh had been.
Jesus plainly declared Himself to be the Father’s house ( the house in fact that God promised David). Jesus said, “The Father dwells in me”, and “I and my Father are one”. Jesus said of Himself, that He would go and prepare a place for you, come again and receive you to Himself. This is accomplished in the Spirit of God and of Christ dwelling in you. Paul wrote and said , “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?”. It is a sad state of affairs when a people profess Christ and yet have to be told this. This is Shinar all over again. If you know that you are the temple of God , you, like Enoch the seventh, will not be deceived into looking for another, no matter how cleverly named . Benjamin Franklin , knowingly or unknowingly (I don’t know which) described these things in describing a nation of people in whom the Lord dwells by His Spirit, rather than a nation that through ignorance of God, builds monuments and edifices to Him, as the builders of Shinar did with their tower. Ezekiel wrote of the Lord speaking how that the people had turned their back to the temple. If I understand that I am the temple (if so be the Spirit of God dwells in me), turning my back to the temple takes on new meaning. Jesus said the Kingdom of God is within you. If I look for it elsewhere, I have turned my back.
5. As we have spoken before, the Lord is King. He always is, was and will be King. Hear what Paul wrote to Timothy, “[1Ti 1:17 KJV] Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen”. The Lord and His way has been beautifully described in Judges 9. It is a parable of the fullness of the Godhead depicted as the The Olive, The Fig and The Vine. The Olive id the Spirit. The Fig is the Father. The Vine is Christ. In the parable, the trees of the forest desire the Olive, the Fig and the Vine to rule over them. The three refuse to do this, because in so doing, their nature and character would be violated. The Lord does not reign by imposing Himself on flesh. He reigns from within, by revelation of Himself, by reasoning with the individual, and allowing the individual to follow. Finally the trees make the same offer to the bramble, who agrees to lead them. The bramble is full of thorns. It’s way of rule is the way of punishing and tearing flesh. Carnal authorities, particularly religious carnal authorities, are a blight and a terror. The Lord calls it a terrible thing, “[Jer 2:11-12 KJV] 11 Hath a nation changed [their] gods, which [are] yet no gods? but my people have changed their glory for [that which] doth not profit. Be astonished, O ye heavens, at this, and be horribly afraid, be ye very desolate, saith the LORD. For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, [and] hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water”. For individuals to forsake the individual walk in the holy Spirit, in lieu of man made systems which the Lord does not, and can not dwell in (as He told us) is something the Lord calls astonishing and cause for great fear. The fountain of Living Waters is the Spirit of Christ. The broken cisterns are man made religious systems. Jesus is the King eternal, immortal, invisible. He is the one Moses warned the people about, saying if you do not hear Him, you will be cut off from the people. The people of God have the Fountain of Living Waters. The sheep know the voice of the shepherd, and will hear no other. The nation that looks for anointed leaders is blind. The kingdom of God does not come with observation. It is within you, or not. But there is presently no other place to look for it.
6. Jesus once crossed over the sea of Galilee to a place called the land of the Gadarenes. He was not welcomed there, and they eventually asked Him to leave, which He did. While there Jesus delivered a man called Legion, from a head full of many and conflicting voices. This picture fits perfectly, the condition of society around us today. Society and culture are morally bankrupt, as a whole. While individuals struggle to maintain peace of mind, and individuals who are mindful of God, also arguing, debating and striving with every manifestation of perverse human depravity, and it’s demand to be recognized, are in a constant state of torment. This depraved collection of destroyed humanity hates God, and does not want the Lord in their “territory”. It will flatly refuse to debate and dispute with you, anything to do with the Lord. It will debate and dispute with you, it’s demands of acceptance, it’s “rights”, it’s demands and loud mouth shouting of self aggrandizement, insisting that you must “embrace it”. . The man called Legion is a picture of the mental torment possible when you leave a place of peace in the Lord, and lock horns with fallen flesh. “Gadarene” means “reward after”. It is helpful to know that the man dwelt in the tombs…the closest place to the kingdom of God he could think of, because he was probably taught that the Lord and His kingdom were on the other side of the grave…over yonder, in the “sweet bye and bye”. Thankfully, the Lord delivered him, and he was found clothed, in his right mind, and at Jesus’ feet. These things I say, to comfort them tormented by what they see and hear happening in the nation and world around them, and they feel compelled to fight it tooth and nail. The Lord said, “Come, let us reason together….”. That is what a “right mind” occupies itself with. I do not have any obligation whatsoever to dispute and debate with fallen flesh and it’s legions of conflicting voices. Even Jesus knew what was in man, and so did not need any to testify to Him of it. And neither did He commit Himself to an y man. There is one message, and one message only, for the world and them in it. Repent and believe the Gospel.
[Rom 2:7-11 KJV]
To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life: But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that does evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile; But glory, honor, and peace, to every man that works good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile: For there is no respect of persons with God.