Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered outside the gate. Therefore, let us go forth to him outside the camp, bearing his reproach. For we have no continuing city here, but we seek one to come.
Select a thought to read by choosing a collection, the month, and then the day:
“He gave them into the hand of the heathen, and they that hated them ruled over them.”
In Psalm 21, David sang, “The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God.’ ” “ But how do we know what is in anyone’s heart. Or a better question: How did David know what was in someone’s heart? The obvious answer is that he did not know anyone’s heart, but God did, and that it was the Spirit of God speaking through David, revealing what is in a fool’s heart. David himself said on his deathbed, “The Spirit of the Lord spoke by me, and His word was in my tongue” (2Sam. 23:2).
It is wise to pay close attention to what the Spirit says, whether through David or anyone else. Here, the Spirit revealed what is in a fool’s heart, not necessarily what comes out of a fool’s mouth. When God, through Isaiah, revealed what was in Satan’s heart when he began to stir up rebellion against the Creator, the words that Satan was thinking could not have been the words that he spoke out loud to the creatures in heaven. His words to them would have been “smoother than oil”, even though “war was in his heart”.
The Spirit still reveals what is truly in the heart, and it is the only thing that can. Many times, it reveals what is truly in the heart by its silence. Isaiah (66) reveals that God will bring vengeance on those whose hearts are far from him by leaving them out, when He poured out His Spirit from heaven on the day of Pentecost. While Jesus’ followers were reeling under the power of God, praising God and speaking in tongues, those God condemned (and who in their hearts condemned God) remained speechless. Many of those left out of the Blessing were deeply religious elders, highly revered by God’s own, gullible people. But God knows the heart.
God still leaves out of the Blessing those who hate Him in their hearts, no matter how religious they appear to be. God does not judge by the appearance. He judges righteous judgment, and He is always right. In the Old Testament, as our beginning verse suggests to us, God cursed His own people to be ruled over by those who hated Him and them. But anyone who studies the ancient world knows that all those nations that ruled cruelly over God’s people were extremely religious. But God was judging their hearts, not their beautiful ceremonies and claims of devotion to a Deity. He had judged those heathen nations unworthy of His Blessing of the law, but He also gave them power over His own people to rule over them.
So it is now. In many places, those whom God has left out of the blessing, those who know nothing of the holy Ghost baptism, rule over God’s own people. They are deeply religious leaders, and they know how to impress the gullible children of God with an appearance of righteousness, but what is it that God sees in their hearts that He would refuse to give them His Spirit? Only God knows, and He is always right. Whoever He takes in, and whoever He leaves out, we still trust Him to have judged us all rightly.
Why do the saints of God remain under the yoke of teachers with no power and no truth? Why do they sit quietly and hear things they know are not right? If God has punished His people again with imprisonment to such masters, they have no choice but to sit there until God chooses to open a way for their escape.
I believe He is doing that now. Many among the saints are hearing His call to “Come out of her, my people”, and what a precious call that is! It is a call to freedom from the rule of men and women who in their hearts hate them and their God, though they claim to be serving Him.
Does this sound preposterous? Does it sound impossible that God’s precious sheep should be ruled over by men who hate them and their God? The Old Testament, which Paul said, “was written for our admonition”, tells us not to think so.