|On-Line Bible Lessons|
Pastor Ovid Need
NOTE: Time requires I leave in the minor errors, e.g., abbreviations in text, wrong abbreviations, mixed tenses in a sentence (though I have tried to catch all of them), caps, etc. As time progresses, we will correct the lessons. There are also some comments at the end of this chapter.
When placing in your answers for each question in the space provided, put ANS: before each answer. Capitalize, ANS:
1. We have seen what the heathen will say about God's people who seek to know what God's Word says about a given situation and then do it God's way as we face the activities of life. What else will happen, I Cor. 15:34; I Pet. 2:15 and I Pet. 3:1?
2. Where does our power, strength in the face of our adversary lie, vv. 1-2 (5:1; 6:1; 8:1; Mat. 28:20; Jn. 15:14, &c.)?
3. It is so easy to forget that we are not in a physical warfare and then think that our strength lies in physical means, II Cor. 10:4. Notice the danger of yoking together with unbelievers even with a common goal; the unbeliever's strength lies in the arm of flesh, but the believer's strength over the enemies of God must lie where, Deut. 4:5-9?
4. Read II Cor. 6:14-18 and I Cor. 3:17-18. There we see that when a Christian yokes together with an unbeliever, two gods come into conflict. The Christian's God has only one method of success, Deut. 4: 5-9, which is reinforced throughout Scripture. The unsaved man has another god; his god is a god of numbers, influence and physical strength--"Might makes right." If a Christian joins with the unbeliever and starts depending upon the unbeliever's god, what will happen to the Christian, Hos. 10:2-13; I Cor. 3:17-18?
a. What will God's people inherit, Jer. 17:5-7?
These two "gods" are in open conflict. The believer's goal and the unbeliever's goal might be the same, but the means to reach the goal are at war with each other. The goal may be the same, yet that goal can only be reached in the light of His word. The unsaved man will not see this at all; therefore, he has death built in. When a converted person joins with an unconverted person, the converted will also reap the unconverted's death. Our God will not share His glory and honor with anyone, and especially not with the gods of this world. We as Christians need to learn that any success in life, whatsoever, must come from one source and one source alone, OUR GOD.
5. When it came time to face a superior force in conflict, Abraham did not seek help outside of his house. Why did he refuse outside help, Gen. 14:22, 23?
a. What danger did Abraham see in accepting anything from the "heathen" (application, "unsaved")?
Observe how many times in Deut. 4 God reminds His people of the danger of joining with the unsaved, even for a common good goal. If our God would give victory, then the natural man would say, "Look how successful they were because they joined with the unbelievers," or "The unbelievers methods
6. What will be the results of serving the gods of the surrounding unbelievers, 4:25-28?
Problem: The heathens may be very nice. They may be more moral, more committed and nicer than even God's people, but they still have their hope in something other than where we must find our hope for victory. To join with the unbeliever is to run a very high risk of placing our hope in his gods.
7. What must be the motive behind everything a Christian does, without exception, I Cor. 10:31; Matt. 6:33?
a. What will be the motive behind all that an unsaved person does, without exception? Will it be to serve the interest of the kingdom of God or the kingdom of man and himself (the flesh) I Cor. 2:14; Rom. 3:11- 12?
b. Can God bless this kind of a union? Does the end justify the means? Does the end of seeking a common, good goal justify joining the two gods, the Lord and self? The historic conflict has been God's people joining with the world's idols and gods to try to accomplish something. God has always spoken against such action, and He will continue to do so. In II Ki. 17 (vv. 33-41), the people tried to fear the Lord and serve the heathen gods. What is the result of such double mindedness, Ja. 4:7-8?
8. God's working through His people as mentioned in Deut. 4:6-8 is conditioned upon what, Deut. 6:4-7 (see our Lord's words in Matt. 22:37)?
a. God working through His people to show Himself strong is not conditioned upon their numbers nor upon their physical might. What will God do for those who keep His commands, Deut. 4:7; I Jn. 3:22?
9. Deut. 4:8, God's laws are righteous. "True right has its roots in God." The Scripture speaks of two aspects of righteousness. We must be righteous, perfect or right, according to God's word in order to enter the presence of God. Where do we get this righteousness, Phil. 3:8-12?
a. The other aspect of righteousness is right according to God's word before men. Paul's speaks of both in his first letter to Corinth, I Cor. 1:30--before God for heaven, and then righteousness before men. The result of this righteousness is what, I Cor. 15:34? (See Deut. 4:8; Ja. 4:8; I Pet. 1:15 16.)
There are far more NT passages on this subject of righteousness than we can cover in this very short period.
10. Deut. 4:8, God promises greatness above all the people of the earth to His people who will observe "all this law." His promise is to those who yoke together with Him and His Word for their strength, not to those who yoke together with unbelievers for their strength. What two dangers are warned against in v. 9?
a. What three things are to be done to counter the above dangers, Deut. 4:9; Prov. 4:23; Prov. 22:6?
Can God trust us as He did Abraham in Gen. 18:19? How much more would the Lord trust us with if He could trust us?
b. Give a definition of diligent, v. 9.
How much can our Lord trust us with?
Amos 3:3. We need to decide who we will walk with. We will either walk with God or with men. We can't do both, which presents a perplexing problem. What is yoking up with the unbeliever and what is not? There are a couple of things clearly identified as yoking together with unbelievers. One is in marriage, and another is in a business partnerships. The line is clearly drawn in these areas.
But what about the many other areas, such as together against wickedness or together for a just cause? After consideration and advice from others much wiser than myself, here is where I believe the word of God leaves us. God's word speaks clearly on everything. I may avoid many of areas of conflicts because I do not want to face them; I may avoid them because of the division it may cause; I may avoid them because I just do not understand the God's word about the matter, yet the fault lies in me.
The word of God, however, speaks clearly about the issue of abortion, for example. God clearly identifies abortion as murder, Ps.139:16. As a Christian, and especially as a teacher, I, too, must speak out against abortion. I must take my stand against it. I must do all I can to protest it. I must work (within God's word) in every way I can to stop it. I do this because God's word requires this of me.
In my anti-abortion stand, there will be others there who may not be Christians. Their goal, accordingly, cannot be to glorify God; their goal will not be obedience to His word because they are not saved. Thus I am standing in the anti-abortion "room" because my God requires it of me. The unsaved may be standing there in the same "room" for very selfish, self-serving reasons. Yet we are both in the same "room." I can welcome them, and others may identify us as being together with the unconverted. God may even have laid it upon their hearts to stand in this anti-abortion "room." However, because we are in the same "room" does not mean we are joined together. It only means that we are both against the same thing at the same time, but our reasons for being there may be entirely different. The motives of the unconverted are not my business. My business is to be against what God's word is against and for what His word is for. And God may see fit to raise up the unconverted to take the same stand I must take in obedience to Him. Why? Maybe He sees the need for the unconverted to take the same stand in order to accomplish His will. (Cf., Isa. 55:9.) More than a few times in history, God has raised up the ungodly to help the godly.
The goal may be the same; we may be in the same "room" together; we may be found working for the same freedoms or against the same wickedness, yet I am not linked up with them. I am not in their camp under their direction. The unconverted can willingly come under the direction of the converted, as the strangers could do in Israel. We must protect our every thought and action, so that they are all done in relation to His law-word. I stand because He requires me to stand. If I am alone, I stand. If there are multitudes of unconverted, self-serving people in that same "room," I stand. My responsibility is to stand in terms of God's word, and if I am identified with a multitude of unconverted in a particular area, then I cannot help that.
One more thing that was pointed out to me. As "public policy" departs more and more from scriptural principles, we have no choice but to stand against "public policy." But our stand will be in terms of God's word, not in terms of how we might feel about those who make "public policy." As we stand in terms of God's word, and that stand goes against "public policy," we will be identified as radicals and protesters. We will be identified with those who stand against oppression out of motives other than to serve and please God, yet this cannot be helped. We do not base our stand on who is or is not there. We must base our stand on "is this what God requires for me?"
The more oppressive and abusive "public policy" becomes, the more unconverted people will stand against it. They will be identified with us and we with them because we are in the same "room." Yet we are there for two completely different reasons. They are there to protect their own hide, so to speak. We are there because God requires it of us. We cannot allow the "crowd" who is in that "room," and the reason they are there, to influence whether we go in or not. We enter into that "room," or stand against a particular oppression (or stand for a point of "righteousness") because God requires us to and for no other reason. The unconverted may have a good crowd to stand against oppression because to them, "might makes right." Yet because we are in the same cause does not mean we have to pick up their thinking of "might makes right." The crowd will not, the victory is in the Lord. (Pro. 21:31.)
Our responsibility is to stand in relationship to His word. God's responsibility is to work all things together for His glory. (See our book on Romans 13:1-7.)