Ruled with a Rod of Iron
Transcript - July 10, 2020
Welcome back everyone. Glad you can join us. A big thank you to Carlos for his presentation on the life of David. That was very thought-provoking and a lot of us have been going back over the Old Testament characters and seeing a lot more than what we saw before, and realizing that these men were subject to like passions like as we are, or that a man of passion is probably the correct translation of that.
Before we begin to sing, I think all of us are watching with great interest the events that are taking place around the world and, for those of you that are thinking people which those of us who engage in these presentations and the material we're looking at, we are trying to think about things. I think it is quite obvious that a lot of what is happening in the present time in the in the world, is very much contrived and it is being orchestrated for a very specific purpose, to bring about a new world order. But the challenge for us is how do we relate to this? Do we try and fight against the system? Do we try and expose them for the false people that they are? Is this our message? Is this our calling? Is this what God calls us to do? My response to that is NO. We are called to preach the gospel. We are called to preach the beauty of our Father's character and recognize our own weaknesses and faults of character. It's so easy to look at the faults and the weaknesses of others, but we want to look at our own faults and weaknesses.
So let us kneel together and then we will pray. Our Father in Heaven. We just thank you that we can come before you this morning. We thank you for your great love for us. We thank you for the double portion of your Spirit. We pray that as we spend this time together, that your Spirit will guide us and bless us and that we would draw nearer and nearer to you and to recognize our great need of you as we see the events of the world changing, we see the powers that are moving to change our world into a very, very different place which we have experienced over the last number of years. Father, we pray for the
Spirit of Jesus that will be loving and gracious and kind to all around us to harbour no feelings towards any person and to be ready for your soon coming return. We pray this. We continue to study the beautiful messages that you've given us, that we will rejoice in these truths and that we will be like Jesus when he comes and we thank you Father in Jesus name. Amen
We have been studying for some time in regard to the character of our Father. One attribute or one element of our message that people have found particularly difficult to take hold of, and that is the mirror principle. This is difficult for many reasons because, if the mirror principle is true, we are far more wicked than we have ever imagined ourselves to be. And there is plenty of incentive therefore not to accept the mirror principle. It's much better to present God as tyrannical, arbitrary, willing to burn, destroy, kill people than to believe that that's our nature and that we are possibly in fact more merciful than God as seems to be demonstrated in the life of Moses when he's pleading with God not to wipe out all the Israelites. But if we take that view, then there are as we've discussed previously, there are many, many consequences with viewing God this way which will ultimately prevent us from receiving the seal of God which is to have his character. So I just want to refresh a few points where, when God speaks to His children, the challenges that human nature throws up to God when he's trying to show man what he is like and we can turn in our Bibles to Genesis chapter 4 and we will look at verse 10.
Here we have a case where Cain is doing the wrong thing we look at verse 10 and the Lord has said, “what have you done”. Let me actually go to KJV Genesis 4 verse 10 (Gen 4:10), “And he said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother's blood crieth unto me from the ground.”. As God understands the personality of Cain, he understands his character, he now is telling him what's going to happen and he says to him in verse 11, “now art thou cursed from the earth, which had opened her mouth to receive thy brother's blood from thine hand; when thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength; a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth”. So God is telling Cain what is going to happen.
The reader is the one that determines how this happens. Is it Cain himself through his own actions that has damaged the environment through his murder of his brother thus damaging the quality of the Earth's capacity to yield or is God intervening into nature, and in a punitive sense, inflicting punishment upon Cain. The reader is the one that has to decide the answer to this question. And how does Cain respond? “And Cain said unto the LORD, My punishment is greater than I can bear.” What is Cain suggesting in that rendition of the text? What does he suggest? I can't handle what you're doing to me. You're punishing me. Because what does it say in verse 14 “Behold you have driven me out this day from the face of the earth;”. Yes, you did this to me. God is telling Cain, look this is what's going to happen to you. You're going to have a lot of difficulty because of what you have done and Cain turns it around and says, you are inflicting punishment on me. Yes, oh you're the perpetrator, you are the aggressor in bringing this issue up to me, you are the aggressor and I am the victim. Maybe he inherited that from his father, so the woman whom you gave to be with me.
So we see this human trait manifesting itself and we see it over and over again. In the story of Abraham and Sarah, we won’t turn to the verse there, when God is saying to Abraham, “you're going to have a son” and Sarah is in the back of the tent and what does Sarah do, she laughs and she hears the Lord say to Abraham, “why did your wife laugh”. What does she say, “I didn't laugh. Why are you accusing me of something I haven't done. You're incorrect, your statement is incorrect. I'm the victim now”. Which is interesting because the question is directed at the husband and she replies. Why did the Lord ask Abraham? Do you remember the story? Because Abraham had laughed in the previous chapter when he was told and the reason he's asking Abraham is because Abraham's unbelief manifested itself in Sarah and that's why he's asking Abraham, “why is your wife laughing”. Because he's trying to reach Abraham and tell him, “you did this, you caused your wife to manifest the same spirit of unbelief that you yourself possess”. If Sarah had have been quiet and, I don't know how it happened, she might have burst out of the tent and said I didn't laugh. If she hadn't been quiet, the actual perpetuator of the laughter might have been addressed in that he could have said to him, “well Abraham, you know, do you think there's a problem here” and Abraham might have had the opportunity to face himself and say “I'm sorry Lord. I shouldn't have laughed”. But because she burst out and said I didn't laugh, it all focused on her, didn't it. It all became about her because she made it about her rather than being about him and so, of course her laughing is unbelief it is incorrect and God is trying to help them, God is trying to reach out to them.
This is the great problem that we have, that when someone in a position of authority or leadership reaches out to someone in their community and suggest to them that maybe there is a problem, it's always the potential for a crisis isn't it? Because if the person does not accept the counsel that is being offered, what is the implication then for the one who has offered the counsel. There must be a change in the perception of the character of that person there must be an understanding that this person is completely lost their marbles because their counsel is completely false and it is unjust and it is unfair which means that they then lose respect for that individual and see them in a different light and see their character differently and so there is a separation that takes place as a consequence.
So it's dangerous to offer counsel. It's always dangerous, it's a risk because if human nature resists and says I don't know what you're talking about, then you've got nowhere to go. There's nowhere to go. God has to agree with them or be seen to agree with them in order to be able to walk with them and to maintain a conversation with us. This is why we have in the scripture so many passages where God sounds like us, because if he doesn't sound like us, it breaks the relationship. If he begins to speak to us in a manner of what our real heart condition is and we deny it then we break the relationship with him, and go in a different direction and we destroy ourselves. So God is in this difficult situation and one of the texts and I want to come to the Spirit of Prophecy here, and this has been pivotal to me in regard to the parable of the rich man and Lazarus. When Christ told the parable of the rich man and Lazarus, did he know that the whole body of Christianity would take this parable that he spoke and use it to preach a doctrine of eternal Hellfire? Was he aware of that? Of course He was aware of that. So the question is, and I've asked that question, “Lord, why did you say this and from where does that question come?” Wasn't that a little bit, you know, indiscreet of you, to do that? Like, couldn't you have done this a different way? Wasn't there a better way than to give - to the whole of Christianity an excuse to believe in eternal torment? Like really, there was a better way than this wasn’t there, Lord? Really? According to us. And so we see here and this is a principle this is one of the key principles in regard to the mirror principle.
This is Christs Object Lessons page 263, “In this parable of the rich man and Lazarus Christ was meeting the people on their own ground”. Why didn't he just say to them, “look your ideas about the rich man and Lazarus a false and you were deluded in having this understanding”? If he had have done that he can only come to where we are. We are not capable of coming to where he is because of our sinfulness and so he meets us on our own ground. “The doctrine of a conscious state of existence between death and the resurrection was held by many of those who were listening to Christ's words.” It had been around for at least two or three hundred years since the Greeks came in and took over Israel through Antiochus and others at that particular time and he began to do sacrifices on the altar about 163 BC and before this the Greek, the Hellenic influence on the Jews had begun to have influence, as well as going back to when they were in Babylon. The immortal soul began to have influence. So it says that, “the Saviour knew their ideas, and he framed his parable so as to inculcate important truths through these preconceived opinions”. Now that’s interesting use of language there. “Preconceived opinions”. What's another word we could use for “preconceived opinions”? Could you say error? Through their wrong ideas? Their bias is error. So Christ is teaching truth through error. Does that make sense? She's being careful here not to give the idea that Christ is teaching error and she calls it “preconceived opinion” but we know that this “preconceived opinion” of a conscious state in death is error. We know this is false. And through this falsehood, Christ teaches a truth because he can do nothing but to meet us where we are. This is the point of the mirror. This is the point.
Notice what it says next, “he held up before his hearers a mirror wherein they might see themselves in their true relation to God”. This is the mirror principle. Is that clear? We'll come back to the screen, “the Saviour knew of their ideas and he framed his parable so as to inculcate important truths through these preconceived opinions” or errors. “He held up”, and this is a holding up, “He held up before his hearers a mirror wherein they might see themselves in their true relation to God”. This is the principle that humanity finds so difficult to accept, that God is forced to come to our preconceived opinions to meet us where we are in our thinking, in order to show us our true relation to God. And how does this work? How is this supposed to bring us closer to God by starting to sprout material that is error? How does this actually bring us closer to God?
The key is found in Romans chapter 5 and verse 20 (Rom 5:20). Okay. This is the principle by which God seeks to help us. “Moreover the law entered”. Now, let's have a look at that word “the law entered”. I'll bring it up here, can you see that on the screen? What does it say? “To come in alongside, that is, supervene additionally or stealthily, come in privily, enter”. So when it says, “Moreover the law entered”, where did “the law enter”. How does the law enter “privily” or privately. Where does the law “enter” to do this? Into your heart. So the law is bringing conviction into your heart, into your mind. It speaks to you in your mind. Okay, so “moreover the law entered” into your mind “that the offense might abound”. This is the mirror. The law enters and brings conviction into your mind through a revelation of your error. It reveals to you your error.
We see this in Matthew chapter 15 when he and the disciples are walking along and the Canaanite woman comes and says Lord heal my daughter and he doesn't answer her. This is a mirror that causes the sin of his listeners to abound. This is the principle that God is working on, “but where sin abounded, grace did much more abound”. And this particular verse I want to stress this point. This particular verse applies to every story in the Bible. Every story in the Bible. Why? Because Revelation 14 verses 6 and 7 (Rev 14:6-7) says “I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven having”, what sort of gospel, “the everlasting gospel”. This Romans 5:20 is the gospel.
This is how God saves us. This is how he comes to us. His law enters our mind and we begin to see our sinfulness. How can you see your sinfulness unless something happens in your life that you cannot even hide anymore. So God allows circumstances to occur in your life that prevent you from being able to hide the fact that there's a problem and then you have a choice to make - to either seek for grace and to seek God's mercy or then take the next horrible step and to deny that it's your fault and say, the woman cut me off from the face of the earth, no I didn't laugh. It's to point the finger at everybody else and if you do that, then the next time that sin abounds in your life, it's going to hit you harder and the next time it will be harder again and again until either you destroy yourself or you repent. Do we see this principle, this is how the gospel works.
How did God hardened Pharaoh's heart? He reached out to him, he showed him again and again it is your stubbornness that is bringing these plagues upon the earth. And pharaoh attributed them all to God, that God was doing this to him and was making him more aggressive and more defined. You're doing this to me. And in refusing to heed the warnings of God, he destroyed himself and his entire nation as a result because he refused to listen to the voice of the law entering privately into his mind and therefore he paid the price. This is the process by which we should read the scriptures that there is a consistency of how God works with us.
So I want to give you another example in Scripture. This one, it used to be quoted to me but my enemies have given up on me for the present time and they stop quoting things to me. But this is one that they would quote to me often. Deuteronomy 32:39 “See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god with me: I kill”. Do you understand Adrian, the words of scripture? “I kill”. Do you get it? You say God doesn't kill, the scripture says “I kill”, so you're wrong. Okay. How do you read? “I kill and I make alive.” So how do you read the scripture? I kill some and I make alive others or I kill the wickedness of humanity by revealing it to them and then I make them alive and bring them to newness of life. How do you understand? Well the next part of the verse will explain it to you. “I wound and I heal.” The same person. This is the element of scripture. How does God kill?
Well we see this in 1st Samuel chapter 2 and verse 6 (1Sam 2:6) - because our blessed sister Hannah sings this song. This is a song sheet, this is a victory song and she says, “The LORD killeth, and maketh alive: he bringeth down to the grave, and he bringeth up”. What is Hannah singing about? What has just happened in Hannah's life? Do you know? She's conceived a child. She's rejoicing because she's conceived a child. Why would she sing, “the Lord kills and the Lord makes alive”? Because of the fact that another woman was brought into her home and produced children for her husband. She had to listen to the laughter of little children and pitter-patter of feet in her kitchen and they weren't her children. That kills, doesn't it? But when she gave birth to a child, she was made alive and that's what she's talking about. She had to surrender. She had to give up to the Lord. She could have been bitter at the Lord. She could have said, as Rachel said to Jacob, “give me children or I die”. She could have said that to her husband, couldn't she. She's there crying because she's been killed in her spirit, she's being decimated. So I followed you Lord, I'm here in the temple, I'm a worshipper of the true God and look at my life, I don't have a child and now the General Conference president is calling me a drunk. Now what am I supposed to do? That kills. But she responds. She responds in faith, she responds with the faith of Jesus, she says, “no my Lord”. We could have thought of many other names to call him rather than Lord but she didn't and this is where she was killed. And the Lord took her through that experience in order for her to hang on a belief, “I believe Lord that you will take care of me” and through her faith she, Hannah, saved Israel. Didn't she? If Samuel had not have arisen, what would have happened? It would have gone much worse for Israel without Samuel, the Prophet, the son of Hannah, the woman of God. So in order for Samuel to become to be Hannah had to die didn't she? Hannah had to die. She had to die to her natural feelings and her natural inclinations and wanting to do to Peninnah. What Sarah did to Hagar, “get rid of that woman and get rid of those children out of my house”. She could have demanded that, couldn't she? Of course, what does Elkanah say, “am I not better to you than ten sons”? She promised her son to the Lord and she followed through on a promise. Not like some wishes “well now got my son, no you know I made a bargain but blow you I've got myself, I got my son now, no way”. And then having to hand him over to that priesthood who accused her of being drunk. That's a test. It's a tremendous test. Particularly the way he raised his own sons and the way they were operating in the temple. Shouldn't having her son being exposed to these young men that were involved in pornography of the ancient sort, not very good, not very good at all.
So I just wanted to read it to reiterate these points. So we go over this how God has to deal with us, Jesus in dealing with the men in the book of John, “why do you go about to kill me”. What do you mean, we're trying to kill you? You have a devil. He's trying to help them. He's trying to reach them in a direct manner and it doesn't work because it's too much for them to accept. They can't handle it so they accuse him of having a devil. This is why all of us will go through the time of Jacob's trouble. What happened to Jacob in the time of Jacob's trouble? Who was he assailed by? Christ. And who did he think Christ was? His enemy. He thought the one that loved him and had given himself for him was trying to destroy him, and he wrestled with him as if he was his enemy. That's really, really cutting to our human nature to think that you and I are going to think that, when Christ comes to us in the very near future, that we will think that it's an enemy. Oh, not I Lord, though all others would forsake you, I will not. I will know it's you. I'll have a table spread for you. I'll be ready for you. Really? This is the challenge that we face with our human nature. To recognize and we'll get to that point where our confidence, the strongest muscle and frame of a man his hip and his quad muscle, the strongest muscle on the earth in a human form is the whole hips, put out the muscle gives way. He's got no strength left everything is gone and the only thing he can do is hang on to his attacker.
Christ only put out his hip so that he would hold on to him. He didn't want to hurt him. He didn't want to do this to him but the only way to get Jacob to hang on to him, was to break the strong old put the hip out and the strongest part of his body so that he had to give up all hope of himself being able to save himself by his own actions and deeds. Every time that Jacob halted, he is reminded the Lord is my strength, the Lord is my strength. It was a blessing to him, it was not a curse for him to know, the Lord is my strength, the Lord is my strength and he needed that blessing.
So with that little introduction, I'd like to turn to Psalms chapter 2 and verse 9 (Ps 2:9). I'm going to look at this. We'll back up a little bit. Psalm 2 verse 1 (Ps 2:1) “Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth”, who are they? Who the kings of the earth? Oh well all the wicked, all the nations, the leaders of all the nations, “set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord, and against his anointed”. Against the Father and his Only Begotten Son saying, “Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us”. Notice what it says next, “He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh:”. How do you read? What does it say, “the Lord shall have them in derision”. Is this God meeting man where man is? When a man is confident, when someone threatens him and attacks him, when a man is confident, how does he act? He laughs with bravado, nonsense, I’ll brush you off, He meets man, when man thinks and man understands. Verse 5, “then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure”. How does God speak to them in his wrath? What is God's wrath? God's wrath as Chapter 13 of Acts of Our Gentle God expresses it, shows us clearly that God's wrath is allowing men to have the consequences of their own choices. He speaks to them in his wrath saying, “Okay, I have to let your sins to abound in order for me to speak to you about the folly of the things that you're doing” and he will vex them in his sore displeasure.
We could look at Isaiah 63 in verse 10 (Is 63: 10) about how they vexed his Holy Spirit but says verse 6 (Ps 2:6), “Yet have I sent my king upon my holy hill of Zion. I will declare the decree: the Lord hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day I have begotten thee”. This is what the kings of the earth have united in order to maintain the independent kingdoms and dominion they must oppose the begotten son who always acknowledges that what he possesses came from someone greater than himself. No monarch and no king is ever going to acknowledge someone greater than himself thus they must band together against the Begotten Son. They must worship a different being and the leaders of Christendom of course are more than willing to worship God the Son because he does not owe his inheritance to anyone but himself. That's the God they want to worship. A God that does not owe his inheritance to anybody else.
Then in verse 7, Christ is speaking, “the Lord has said unto me, Thou art my Son”, then in verse 8 the Father is speaking, “Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for what thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession”. Then it says this, “Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel”. What does that sound like to you? It sounds like God is going to take a rod of iron and beat to pieces, the nations of the world. That's what it sounds like, doesn't it. Is God speaking to us, meeting us in our own ground? As when a ruler of this world is challenged, he takes his mace or his battle axe and he beats those who would oppose him and he inflicts upon them his wrath and beats them to pieces so that he then can inherit those lands and possess those regions. Of course, verse 8 says, “I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance”. That's a slight difference because all that the kings of this earth wish to possess is the territory and the resources. The people themselves can die or become subservient and maybe those that are left, you will be subservient to me and you will be beaten into submission by me. Then it says in verse 10 “Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, you judges of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear and rejoice with trembling”. What does that suggest in reading this passage? It suggests, you better be afraid, be very afraid, because if you do not submit to me, I will crush you and I will destroy you. God speaks to us in our language. He comes near to us, to give us a mirror. He sets up in this chapter a mirror in which we may see ourselves in our true relationship to God. Verse 12, “Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and you perish from the way, when his wrath kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him”.
It's interesting that when you read different commentaries on Verse 9, I haven't got all the commentators up here but I've looked at Albert Barnes and Adam Clark and John Wesley and a few others, you look at Albert Barnes, “Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron”, this is what he says, “That is evidently thine enemies for it cannot be supposed to be meant that he would sway such a scepter over his own people”. What is “such a sceptre”? What scepter is he talking about? A scepter that would be to death his enemies and he's saying well it can't obviously be his own people he would be to death, those who are not his people but those who is his people he wouldn't do that. Okay, then you get Adam Clark who says the opposite of what has just been said. Adam Clark says, “thou shalt beat them with a rod of iron”, this may refer to the Jewish nation whose final rejection of the gospel was foreseen and in whose place the Gentiles or heathen were brought into the Church of Christ. So he's saying this is referring to the Jews. That God beat them with a rod of iron and the destruction of Jerusalem and Rome wiping them out, that this because of their refusal to accept the gospel of Christ, they were destroyed. John Wesley, “them, beat them, those that will not quietly submit to these shall be crushed and destroyed by thee”. That's rather sobering isn't it, that God would crush and destroy them. “This was a in part fulfillment when the Jews who persisted in unbelief were destroyed by the Roman power and the destruction of the pagan power when the Christian religion came to be established” and then he goes on and says some other things.
So it's interesting that all the commentators are willing to say, well, all those who aren't God’s people, he is willing to destroy and to kill. But I want to I want to look at this from a different perspective and I've spoken about this in the new book, As You Judge, chapter 12. I've spoken about this principle and it relates to the recording of the books but this statement, “rule them with a rod of iron” or “break them with a rod of iron” only occurs four times in Scripture. It's here in the book of Psalms and it occurs three times in the book of Revelation and we will go to that first reference now.
It is Revelation chapter 2 verses 19 through to verse 27 (Rev 2:19-27). Well actually want to read verse 27, “And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers:” That would “rule” is interesting. The Greek here is a little bit different to the Hebrew - 2:27 “rule” what does it say? “To tend as a shepherd, feed, rule”. This is quite different meaning here than “break” in Psalms 2: 9. In the Greek here it's like the rule as a shepherd. It introduces a new element here. John is seeing something a bit different which is interesting in Revelation 2:27. So again the New Testament having looked upon the face of Jesus is giving a slightly different interpretation to the Hebrew. I looked to see if this variant existed in in the Hebrew and it was a long shot but I think there was some. I'd have to go back and look at that again but we won't delay on this point.
But the summary of how he rules them with a rod of iron, let's look at how God deals with the Church of Thyatira from verse 19. “I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works; and the last to be more than the first. Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach them to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed to idols. And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not”. So what does God do? “I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds”. How does God “cast them into a bed and into great tribulation”? This is the question. How does God do this? We've talked about this principle. Moreover the law entered and caused causes great conflict in the mind. It's a bed of tribulation, anguish, and sorrow of spirit. But, of course, we tend to think in the flesh rather than in the spirit in the way that we read these things.
Verse 23, “And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know”, what, “that I am he which”, what? Why doesn't have to say hacked to death those who oppose me? What is he doing “searches the reins and the hearts”. This is what he's talking about “ruling them with a rod of iron”. What is he doing? He's “searching the reins” What's the reins? The desires, searching the desires, the thoughts, and the intents of the heart and the more wickedness that you do, the more torture you're going to experience in your conscience. This is how he rules, with a rod of iron. I thought this was interesting that he's telling you this is how I rule the nations with a rod of iron. I search the desires in the intents of the heart and “I will give unto every one of you according to”, whose works? Their own works. This refers back to Zephaniah 1: 12, “And it shall come to pass at that time, that I will search Jerusalem with candles, and punish men that are settled on their lees: that say in their heart, the Lord will not do good, neither will he do evil. Zephaniah 1:12. Searching them with a candle, searching their hearts, the thoughts and intents of the heart. This is how he rules the nations with a rod of iron.
Now we need to come to Revelation to see how he does this. Revelation 19:15. Notice the connection, “And out of his mouth goes,” what? “A sharp sword, that he should”, what? “Smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron”. How does he rule them with a rod of iron? “Out of his mouth goes a sharp two-edged sword that he should smite the nations that shall rule them”. The description tells us what this sharp sword is. What is it? The Word of God. Hebrews 4:12 tells us, “For the Word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit”. Searching the reigns. This is how Christ rules the nations with a rod of iron. And what is that rod of iron? Jeremiah 17: 1, “the sin of Judah is written with a pen”, or a rod, “of iron”. It's not the same word, pen is a slightly different word but you could interpret it that way. “A pen of iron, and with the point of a diamond:” and that diamond can be a pricking instrument, “it is graven upon what the table of their heart, and upon the horns of your altars”. So we see that this rod of iron is the whispering Spirit of Christ that speaks to us.
I want to share another thing about the finger of God because it's this process by which he convicted the men who brought the woman caught in adultery. We see in John 8, what does he do in verse 6? “This they said, tempting him, that he might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, with his finger wrote on the ground”. What is his finger? Let's have a look at Matthew 12: 28. We just went to look at some parallel verses. It says here, “But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come unto you. We parallel that with Luke 11:20 about how he casts out demons. Luke 11:20, “But if I with the finger of God cast out devils”, what is the finger of God? What was the previous verse? How did he cast out demons? By what? By the Spirit of God. So the Spirit of God is the finger of God. So when Jesus is writing in the sand, what is his spirit doing to those men? He's bringing conviction to their hearts. He's speaking to them. He's searching them with candles and they are tortured by the conviction of the Spirit. And as they are convicted, what is their response? John 8, how do they respond? Verse 9, “and they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one. beginning in the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst”. He threw those men onto a bed and he handed them over to the torturers. He ruled them with a rod of iron. The sin of Judah is written with the pen of iron and the tip of a diamond, and he was searching their hearts, he was pleading with them, “what you've done to this woman, you put her in this situation, you did this to her. Confess it. Forsake it. Give it up. But they wouldn't and this is the great trauma when you are seeking to reach to someone you love, and you're trying to reach out to them, and you're pleading with them and they don't listen to you. What happens to the relationship? It gets strained, it gets pulled apart. When Christ loses a connection with his children what happens to him. He gets pierced, he gets crucified, he gets an anguish of spirit, but because Christ never hardens his heart, he has to endure the pain. But what does humanity do? What do we do when someone hurts us and offend us? How do we deal with the problem? Cut them off. “I'm not going to endure this pain, I cut you off. You are dead to me.” But when you do this, what happens to your heart? It dies, you become hardened because you don't want to go through the agony of either facing your sin or the confrontation of what you're dealing with and so you put it on the other person and you steel yourself. Steel is iron. You steel yourself like iron. But Jesus has a heart of gold, it's not hard like iron. This is how Christ rules the nations.
Now I've written some of this in chapter 12 of the new book and I make some comments here. This is page 56 or 57 I think that I have written that on the words spoken to us privately, but notice I'm just making a comment here. The word spoken to us privately by the Spirit of Christ is written into our hearts just the same as any other conversation we have with any other person. When the Spirit of God is striving with you, you are in conversation with God. As faintly as you hear it. You're aware there's something you can feel, something inside of you that you feel uneasy. You may not recognize what it is, it may not be in words but you feel uneasy within yourself. What do you do with that uneasiness? That conversation of uneasiness is written into you and if you reject the Spirit of God, it is written into you with your own will and your own decision because the sin of Judah is written with a pen of iron. It's written into you and when you resist God, every time you resist the Spirit of God, it is written into you. But because Christ is there with you by his Spirit who so is it written on? All of it is written on him. He doesn't harden his heart. That's why we crucify to ourselves afresh the Son of God putting him to an open shame. Because every time he reaches out to us by his spirit and we reject him, it pierces him and we harden ourselves because we don't want to deal with the fact that we've just hurt him and it happens ever so subtly it. It is written on us and so it says it is for this reason, that when God opens the books in heaven, he is reaching into the hearts of men. He has no need for physical books as we use today because his law is not physical but spiritual dealing with matters of the heart and minds that are manifested in the flesh. The books are our hearts and God's heart. God's heart is a book, our heart is a book, the angels all have a book where everything is recorded. Everything that you have said, everything that you have done, they record it with their eyes and with their ears and it's written in their hearts and they are witnesses of the things that we have done. They are not collecting information to dam us. They are collecting information purely by the fact that they are trying to protect us and to be with us and this offers a completely different picture of God as being described in the judgment.
He is not what we thought, but God comes near to us, he presents himself to be a judge like what we would do to other people. Because when people hurt us that are close to us what do we do? Oh you might hire a private investigator, you gather all the information on that person. You track them, you record every word and you gather the information. For what purpose? Why do you gather the information? To prove yourself right and to prove them wrong and to execute them in whatever way you choose to execute them. That's why we gather information. God only gathers information because of the fact that he's always with us, and he hears, and he see, and he experiences everything that we experience.
So I've grown up in a gospel where God gathered information in order to damn me but because I believed that I was part of the faithful remnant, God doesn't damn the faithful remnant, He only damns those who are his enemies. And as long as you don't fall into too much sin, you can always you can always congratulate yourself that you're part of the faithful. But if you fall outside of that and you become a sinner, God help you. Because he's gathering the information and he will damn you because that's what you've done to others. That's the challenge. What is the God that you worship? What is the God that you understand? So we're reminded as it says, and I want to read this for you. What does love do? 1st Corinthians 13: 5, and I do want to read this in the NIV because I like the way it writes it. It says, love “does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs”.
Does God keep records of wrongs? That's a tricky question, isn't it. Well he's got books hasn't he. Can he help but record the history of our lives upon himself but he's not keeping that record to damn us. We keep records to damned people, God doesn't do this. He keeps no inventory of evil in order to prove us to be heretical. He has to keep the record in order to maintain his relationship with us because if he distanced himself from us, we would die. This is the reality.
So I've said enough for today but I just wanted to finish on what is it in Psalms 2: 9? How is it that God rules the nations with a rod of iron that he “will break them with a rod of iron”. This is how he makes the nation's their inheritance. It is through this breaking down process, it is through this rod of iron, that humanity is brought to the point where every one of us has to make a choice and say, “Lord I'm such a sinner. You've caused sin to abound in my life. I acknowledge, I throw myself like Jacob did upon the breast of Christ and says save me, save me from myself, and we shall become the inheritance of Christ because he has ruled us with a rod of iron”. Have you been ruled with a rod of iron? I die daily, every day to the thoughts and intents of my heart are presented before me and say, “oh God, help me. God help me”. I pray more and more that I say God help me rather than say, look what these people are doing, look at the nonsense that they are involved in, look at the garbage that this person is doing. That's the language of someone who's tried to get diversional therapy. Think about someone else's stupidity rather than your own. Help that person because I'm one of God's righteous people.
I just wanted to focus on recalibrating how we understand the mirror, to make sure we follow the mirror process, how God meets us, where we are, and how we can read text like this that all the commentators say that God will rule the world, and he will beat them to death with a rod of iron those that are his enemies. When this is the very gospel itself. They'll let it kill us but the spirit giveth life. It’s a parallel. Isn't it I kill and I make alive because he'll make the nation's his inheritance. It's the same gospel that is being preached but we read it as God is like us, that God will kill and destroy. If you have that view of God, you will never love him, you can never love him except by extortion and manipulation and control and all those things that keep fear in our hearts. And so I pray that you will find good news in these things. That our God is not what we think and that he is, in fact, seeking to save us. Thank God for that rod of iron that shows us our sinfulness so that we can come to repentance and stop accusing others and ask God and get to the place as that woman did where he said, “does no one accuse you, no man accuse you”, she says, “no man Lord”. The accusations. Had that woman been accused by other men? “No man Lord, I'm free”. Her own self-condemnation was coming from the fact that men had condemned her and Satan added to that to make her feel condemned by what she was led into. “No man” and Jesus says “neither do I condemn you, go and sin no more.
Let's pray. Father in Heaven, I thank you for the opportunity to go over this principle again. Help us to accept that you speak to us in the mirror because if you spoke to us plainly, we wouldn't accept you, we would push back on you and we would not accept the things that you have to say to us. In your wisdom, you rule us with a rod of iron. Your word convicts us and speaks to us and invites us to live differently from the way that we do. We ask your grace, we ask for your help and when you speak to us through your word, let us not accuse others. Let us not condemn others but let us take hold of your promises and believe that you love and forgive and will not hold anything against us. You hold no records of wrong for the purpose of damnation and I thank you in Jesus name.
Thank you everyone.