EXERCISING Godly WISDOM?
WHO IS IT THAT DOES THIS TODAY?
With the world in the sad state it is in and troubles of various kinds on the increase, even seen here in the USA with each passing year; who has even enough wisdom to determine why? How very few in our world today turn to the Bible to gain wisdom and make decisions based on Biblical wisdom, which also includes many future prophecies? Did Christ Himself prophecy about the present conditions on the world scene and that they would get worse as time proceeds? (Matt.24:7-8) Do all the people need to come face to face with their own sins and repent as a nation, so the nation can be forgiven? How wise would it be for leaders and the people to do that today, here in the USA? 2 Chr. 7:14 says for those who will listen; "if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” Today, even the First Lady of the US (FLOTUS for short) is strongly criticized for reciting what is written, which some believe to be the “Lord’s prayer”; found in Matt.6 & Luke 11. The words she read was given by Christ to be an outline of things to be praying for as individual Christians, but it is obvious even her critics do not understand the deep meaning and purpose of what she read. Her critics are not exercising Godly wisdom or anything close. Prov. 1:7 “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, But fools despise wisdom and instruction.” (NKJV throughout unless otherwise noted.) Certainly this verse reveals what is going on this very day in the USA, as I write.
As a people who used to at least claim to be one nation under God and had public prayers all the time, even though grown very liberal and immoral in just about every way, we are still as a nation the descendants of ancient Israel; the people of the God who has so richly blessed us! (See “America & Britain in Prophecy” by R.F. McNair on the booklets page. Along with that is an article titled “An American Prophecy” which is also available to download from the articles page.) For those who still do look to God as being His people, we have to separate ourselves from those who would resort to “wicked ways,” in order that we might still have the hand of God about us for protection and blessings. Ps 111:10 “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; A good understanding have all those who do His commandments. His praise endures forever.” Prov. 9:10 says; "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” We, as individuals have to set ourselves to learn about and obey God, by keeping His commanded ways, given throughout the Bible and this is exercising Godly wisdom. Let us seriously think about this and keep this in mind as background thinking, as we read the rest of this article.
Do you or anyone around you think they have and are using wisdom in life, while ignoring the Laws of the Living God, replacing them with YOUR OWN DESIRES? God wants to see some true and heartfelt desire to repent and change, correcting the things we have done or are doing wrong, which also applies to the COG realm. We have this passage in the NT to remind us; Heb. 3:12 “Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God;” Doesn’t it seem wise to you, my friends and brothers or sisters in Christ; that a nation in such trouble should look to the one true source of power that can help in time of need? This takes leaders with vision and the wisdom to know why things are going wrong, willing to follow God through His word, in order to rightly guide the people. However, that is not happening today and should be rather obvious, as this nation is in some serious decline! (Isa.9:16—See A Nation in Decline) The sharp divisions have not grown less since the last presidential election 8 years ago, nor have they with this most recent one.
Why do all the bad things happen that are now happening, does anyone have enough wisdom to explain this? We could check Deut.28 and Lev.26, reminding ourselves of the blessings and curses and why they were each given. Sometimes we need to step back and evaluate what is really going on in our own lives and ask ourselves how much God is really involved with our decisions. This also applies to the individuals of the COG in our time. (Rev.3:14-21) To really understand it all, we need the wisdom that the Bible offers and that Spiritual guidance Christ promised through the Holy Spirit, to those who are willing to be led by it. (John 16:13 & 14:26) If we are unwilling to follow the lead of the Spirit of God, in everything and at all times, the hard choices and trials can quickly overwhelm us. We cannot hold back as some do, who want to pick-and-choose when they will let God lead. That is not exercising Godly wisdom; no matter what the circumstance or trial, the truly converted will rely on God and strive to follow the instructions found in His Word! However, God has not called everyone to have that Spiritual strength and guidance and therefore some cannot even recognize when they are breaking a commandment for their own selfish desires.
Many in our world today do not even believe there is a God, so the Bible is discounted as a means of gaining any wisdom or understanding of why things happen the way they do. So the majority lean to their own understanding, even many in the COG who seem to be leaders are doing this today, which is not wise nor does it truly follow God. That is more of a laid back compromising approach of Laodicea that has to be repented of. (Rev.3:19)
Today we have 99% of all people that mostly, at any given time do not look to the God of the Bible for direction in their lives; not even in religious circles do we find most exercising Godly wisdom. WHY? They are deceived and believe lies instead of truth. (Rev.12:9) Leaders politic among the people, with lies and deceit, withholding or even distorting the truth in the hope of gaining and keeping an office—which goes all the way to the top office, even in our land! (USA) Presidents profess to cry out to God, wanting Him to bless America, while they continue right on into even greater sinfulness and neglect, bringing even more troubles as punishment. There is no evidence of real wisdom among them because they do not look to God and His word for guidance. True Christians however, do not involve themselves in politics and voting of any kind and DO focus on the Bible and true guidance, by following the lead of the Spirit, using the wisdom that comes through that Spirit. God reveals things to them that others just cannot see—so they are sometimes ridiculed and even persecuted, as the early true Christians were.
(That actually is a good measuring stick for true Christians today. They will be looking for the actual fruits of the Spirit working in their leaders, COG writers and other brethren, which is also becoming more scarce, as we approach the return of Christ. Many in the COG today have lost a true sense of direction, (Not even able to recognize with all honesty where we are in time today) which becomes obvious when you listen to them explain some Biblical point they don’t really believe or understand. There is much lukewarm watering down of the proven truths of the Bible going on today, as the COG is being affected by the very liberal society we live in. (Some even want to liberalize true Christianity by lumping it together with False Christianity in some of their writings!—See Christianity for more.) Even our own COG leaders are getting off into the weeds of the ditch on many things—but the blind trait attributed to Laodicea keeps them from seeing that they are. They have that “need of nothing” attitude and approach of Laodicea, thinking they are the best of the best, in some cases, including bias for their own particular organization and not truly loving other true Christians as they do themselves.)
There is a lot of wisdom recorded for everyone in the book of proverbs and it would do many good today, to remember that fact, as we have already seen at the beginning of this article. However, very few of the average people on the street today even read the book, let alone whole heartedly consider the words to be instructions for living and how we today might best apply them to avoid catastrophe and live righteously. Take for example the simple statement found in Prov.3:5-6 “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, (The Lord) and He (The Lord) shall direct your paths.” We do that by following where the Spirit and the Word direct us with belief and should understand that not one passage will lead you away from God or go against another. The times we are living in should cause us to want to gain wisdom from God. While we are in Proverbs, let us notice something that may help explain all of this devastation by the latest round of tornados and flooding in various places—which this kind of thing has also been on the increase from year to year. Solomon starts the book with this;
Prov.1:2-3 “To know wisdom and instruction, to perceive the words of understanding, 3 To receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, judgment, and equity;”—but now let us note as we drop down in this same chapter; (Please read this chapter in your own Bible) V.20 “Wisdom calls aloud outside; she raises her voice in the open squares. 21 She cries out in the chief concourses, at the openings of the gates in the city she speaks her words:” However those who think they are the wise do not listen, as we see when we continue to read.
V.24-28 “Because I have called and you refused, I have stretched out my hand and no one regarded, 25 Because you disdained all my counsel, and would have none of my rebuke, 26 I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your terror comes, 27 When your terror comes like a storm, and your destruction comes like a whirlwind, when distress and anguish come upon you. 28 "Then they will call on me, but I will not answer; they will seek me diligently, but they will not find me.”
Is God a harsh and mean Spirit, or have we humans brought these things on ourselves because of what God is saying here? Note this as we continue on; V. 29 Because they hated knowledge and did not choose the fear of the LORD, (is not wise) 30 They would have none of my counsel and despised my every rebuke. 31 Therefore they shall eat the fruit of their own way, and be filled to the full with their own fancies. 32 For the turning away of the simple will slay them, and the complacency of fools will destroy them; 33 But whoever listens to me will dwell safely, and will be secure, without fear of evil." This last verse brings it back around to wisdom and making wise choices. God is a loving Father who wants His children to learn the right way to live, which requires using some wisdom.
God takes care of a lot of things for us when we just rely on Him to lead us to the next step we need to take, then have the faith He will do so, through His Word and the Holy Spirit. He promises protection and blessing for obedience. Well, getting back to what we read in Proverbs 3, you may ask; just exactly how does one “trust in the Lord” without leaning to our own understanding sometimes? First off what does it mean to “lean not on your own understanding”? (Don’t try to support or better yourself with just your own human reason—always look to God and His guidance.)
Let us consider an example of actual fact, which is also Biblical history and a couple of people who did lean to their own understanding and did not exercise Godly wisdom. We must keep in mind that the Bible also tells us that the carnal mind is an enemy to God and His laws, or ways that lead to righteousness. The carnal minded person very seldom will use enough wisdom to avoid breaking any of the commandments of God, when they feel it is to their advantage to do so. (Rom 8:7 & 13) The carnal minded will resort to deception or lies to gain something, which actually violates several commandments, but those practicing such things seem to be oblivious to sin. (1John 3:4) let us look at the example of Scripture, found in Acts 5:1-2.
V.1 Now a man named Ananias, together with his wife Sapphira, also sold a piece of property. (The background for this: the beginning of the early COG when people were acknowledging the family aspect of the COG, (all being one body) and were contributing for the good of all and the growth of the Church.)
V.2 With his wife's full knowledge he kept back part of the money for himself, but brought the rest and put it at the apostles' feet.” (NIV)
By reading this story and the context of it, one gets the sense that these two were trying to fool the leaders by pretending to be giving it all. Peter, being led by the Spirit of God saw right through their deception, asking them why they were lying to the Holy Spirit by their deceiving actions. They died immediately for it, so that was very unwise! God’s people were commanded to be honest in all their dealings with one another, which is passed on to the COG, from the directions of the OT and the 8th & 9th commandments.
We see this example in Lev 19:36-37 'You shall have honest scales, honest weights, an honest ephah, and an honest hin: I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt. 37 'Therefore you shall observe all My statutes and all My judgments, and perform them: I am the LORD.'" In the beginning of this chapter they were told through Moses; Lev 19:2 "Speak to all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say to them: 'You shall be holy, for I the LORD your God am holy.” A true convert has enough wisdom to know they have to be honest in everything to become a child of God, (Matt.5:48 & Matt.6:33) so I hope you are seeing the wisdom portrayed in the Scriptures being brought to your attention.
The COG is in Laodicea today, and even in its weakened and scattered state; because of apostasy coming in the last decade of the 20th century and much ongoing lukewarm activity among organizations of this time frame, the zealous must still exercise Godly wisdom and strive to keep the laws of the Living God with zeal, if they want to remain in the body (Spiritual organism) and find protection through the serious trials ahead! (Rev.12:14) The COG that is true to its commitments and zealous for God, doing the commission given them by preaching the Gospel, not just writing about it will not be vomited out or separated from the body because of lukewarm-ness, but will find safety given to them by the hand of God and His intervention for them as individuals.
Others who seek to compromise and have their way about certain things, failing to repent and even acknowledge what their sins are, will find themselves in the great tribulation, if still alive at that time. (Matt.24:21 & Rev.3:10) If they have already died without full repentance, or have committed the sin of suicide, (self-murder, which even some ministers have done) they will not be in the first resurrection—not having brought Spiritual fruit to maturity. (Luke 8:14)
The remainder of true Philadelphians (Few in number left of that past time frame today) and the wise and zealous of Laodicea (which make up the COG of the end that goes into safety) will “shine like the brightness of the firmament, and those who turn many to righteousness like the stars forever and ever.” (Dan 12:3)
Dan 12:10 "Many shall be purified, made white, and refined, but the wicked shall do wickedly; and none of the wicked shall understand, but the wise shall understand.”
We need the wisdom that only God’s Holy Spirit can provide, in order to fulfill these passages and be a part of the Family of God in the first resurrection. We need the wisdom God’s Word and His spirit will provide as we go through life in these last days. We must learn what it is and be exercising Godly wisdom to be among those who endure to the end. May God speed the return of Christ!
(Written by the editor for TCOGMSO)