Yourself To Do Evil
... a Message from the Messenger
[Or Selling Yourself To The
Bible 1611.Com / Sluice Box Adventures.com / Old Paths Baptist Mission © 2014
It’s possible for us ... in the confine of the human heart ... in the moment of temptation ... to sell something of eternal worth … in exchange for temporal gain in this life.
This message is filled with riveting illustrations.
• The Bump In The Road
• The Heart Is Unknowable
• The Heart Is A Highway
• The Illegal Way
• Jabez Stone
• Selling Yourself
Selling Yourself To Do Evil [Or Selling Yourself
To The Devil]
"My heart is inditing a good matter: I speak of the things which I have made touching the king: my tongue is the pen of a ready writer." [Psalm 45:1]
Looking out from the front door of our little home [I am inditing a matter] ... is a scene of vast dimensions ... of an expanse of flat black earth meeting the western blue, sky.
On the horizon ten miles away is the landmark of the fields ... the county court house.
Cornfields! Cornfields! Cornfields!
Now, let me see, in my mind's eye, I can see that somewhere, beyond those cornfields, are the myriads of inhabitants of this earth.
And who are they? No doubt, you and I have seen their faces.
We have seen them everywhere in our travels, and in the concourse of this life. These inhabitants of the earth are people, and people have souls; and these souls are eternal. Make no mistake about this word eternal. Your soul and my soul will continue somewhere ... forever. It is a given! If you believe The BOOK!
That BOOK I am referring to is the A.V.1611 Bible [The Authorized Version]. That BOOK is pure! Its words are pure! "The words of the Lord are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times." [Psalm. 12:6]
Now ... if we be: "fishers of men" as Jesus has ordained, we will agonize over the souls of men. "And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men." [Luke 4:19]
This is the starting point! The starting point is ... we all come into this world "dead in trespasses and sins".
And we might say, we are "deader than door nails!" That is our condition. In Ephesians 2:2, the Holy Ghost, through the Apostle Paul, shows that before we get saved by grace through faith in the blood of Jesus Christ, that we had the Devil as our BOSS [who is the god of this world].
Governmentally, the dominions, or kingdoms of this world belong to Satan. The truth of it is, we all walked according to the course of this world, and we all walked according to the Devil, before we became the adopted sons of God. I realize you may be aghast by all this talk about all of us being, by nature, children of the Devil, but THE BOOK does clearly say this! You and I either will agree with the indictment of God's word, or we will simply flat-out reject it ... to our own hurt, and to our own damnation.
"In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them." [II Corinthians 4:4]
"And you hath he quickened who were dead in trespasses and sins; wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience." [Ephesians 2:1,2]
Now, having established that we are by nature the children of wrath, I will begin my message.
Now, pay careful attention to what I am about to say. And please ... do not misunderstand what I am about to say. And here it is!
Even though we, as sons of Adam, are in bondage to sin, and are by nature the children of disobedience (or sons of the Devil!), we can, in an especial sense, sell ourselves to do evil, or in our unregenerate state, sell ourselves to the Devil!
The Bump In The Road
Have you ever seen a person all of a sudden bump into something in their life, and seen a discernible change in the direction of their life? It can happen any time to any one of us. I am inditing in this matter of the heart of man. Your heart is the center of you. My heart is the center of me. The heart you have is YOU.
It is, as the Webster's 1828 Dictionary says, the very "seat of the will" and in it resides its “secret purposes” and its "intentions or designs." "For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he." [Proverbs 23:7a]
Let me add this: there are many devices in a man's heart, which leads us to this question. Who can know the heart?
The Heart Is Unknowable
Let's search out this matter of the heart. In Proverbs 4:23, God gives us this truth. "Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life." In Judges chapter five in the song of Deborah and Barak, there are these references to the heart: "there were great thoughts of heart," [vs. 15b] and "there were great searchings of heart" [vs. 16], which proves one thing!
The heart is a pretty hard thing to figure out. If you doubt the veracity of this, read Jeremiah 17:9-10. The BOOK will straighten you and I out! "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it."
Now... BELIEVE IT!
Certainly the BOOK shows that no man can know the heart ... even his own heart. It is only God that knows the heart. "I the Lord search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings." It is God who knows and understands its inner workings. "Man's goings are of the LORD; how can a man understand his own way?" [Proverbs 20:24] (I am inditing in a good matter).
The Heart Is A Highway
The heart is the highway for many things! Consider this! It is "with the heart" that man believes the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the saving of his own soul. "For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation." [Romans 10:10] Wow! The heart is deceitful, yet it is with the heart that he believes ... what God says in His Book. Oh, how can this be? We learn in I Corinthians 2:9 that the things of God will not enter into the old unregenerate heart of man. He needs a "new heart" [Ezekiel 18:31] or "another heart" [I Samuel 10:9] and God can (and does) give you and I a new heart or another heart.
Why does God in the Bible put so much emphasis on the heart? It is for this reason, "the Lord looketh on the heart" [I Samuel 16:7]. God in His judgment wants to perform a righteous judgment, "But, O Lord of hosts, that judgest righteously, that triest the reins and the heart---.” [Jeremiah 11:20]
In contrast, and for reasons only found in GOD’s infinite MERCY and GREAT GRACE, God wants to give us a new heart, so that you and I may know Him intimately. [See Jeremiah 24:7]
The Illegal Way
The unregenerate heart of man is disposed to seek its own brand of salvation. In John Bunyan's The Pilgrim's Progress, the illegal way is illustrated. "That the highway upon which Christian was to go, was fenced on the other side with a wall, and the wall was called SALVATION."
After marveling over some men he found sleeping a little out of the way, Christian noted a peculiar thing. "He espied two men come tumbling over the wall, on the Left Hand of the narrow Way; and they made up apace to him. The name of the one was Formalist, and the name of the other Hypocrisy."
Christian asks them where they came from, and where they were going. They answer, "We were born in the land of Vain-glory, and are going for Praise to Mount Sion."
Then Christian asks them this, "Why came you not in at the Gate which standeth at the beginning of the Way? Know you not that it is written, That he that cometh not in by the Door, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a Thief and a Robber?"
What is the lesson we can learn from this discourse between Christian and the two men, Formalist and Hypocrisy? Do not try to find another route from that which God has declared to be THE WAY OF SALVATION!
Now we come to another scene ... an imaginary scene, visualized in the mind of Steven Vincent Benet years ago. "It is a story they tell in the border country, where Massachusetts joins Vermont and New Hampshire."
It is a good old story for an old New Englander ... like myself. I remember when I was a high school student in Peacham, Vermont, that The Devil And Daniel Webster was required reading in my English Literature class in 1967. This was a long time before I got saved by the blood of the Son of God, Jesus Christ. Yet, even then, I remember a strange feeling over a certain aspect of Benet's story.
Even though Daniel Webster was an important man early in our history as a nation, it was not him who I primarily remembered all these years. And even though that unsavory character, the Devil himself, known as "the stranger" or "Scratch" in the story ... stuck in my mind, it rather was the eeriness over the plight of another person in the story. It was over Jabez Stone. "There was a man named Jabez Stone, who lived at Cross Corners, New Hampshire."
There is nothing too peculiar thus far. "He wasn't a bad man to start with, but he was an unlucky man."
Now if we believe Benet on this score, that is, concerning what a bad man is, we will begin to believe the silly modernistic liberal's mindset: That there is a little good in all men! You better throw this one out in the trash, and instead, BELIEVE THE BIBLE!
"As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: Their feet are swift to shed blood: Destruction and misery are in their ways: And the way of peace have they not known: There is no fear of God before their eyes." [Romans 3:10-18]
There it is ... the double-barrel shotgun has gone off directly in the face of all who would believe in any goodness residing in man's heart. Let's just say that Jabez was not outwardly immoral. That is about where we all start. We come into the world, dead in our sins, and without a spark of goodness inside us. Now I hear you say, "Oh, my goodness! I am not all that bad."
Really! What goodness is that my friend? I am pleading with you to take God at His word. In the story, Jabez Stone, as a young man, begins to promote his lot in life. He goes by all the rules and keeps his nose clean. He does all the normal things! He finds himself a wife and they two have children. He works hard to get ahead, and yet he is always spinning his wheels. It is a series of misfortunes that "dogs" him.
Then "one day Jabez gets sick of the whole business."
I mean he was about to call it quits. This is the bump in the road I referred to earlier. It was coming for him! Benet's narration gives it this way. "It was about the last straw for Jabez Stone. 'I vow,' he said, and looked around him kind of desperate---'I vow it's enough to make a man want to sell his soul to the devil! And I would, too, for two cents!' Then he felt a kind of queerness come over him at having said what he'd said; though, naturally, being a New Hampshireman, he wouldn't take it back."
Now friend, I know you have seen some person suddenly bump into something in their life, and seen some discernible change in the direction of their life. (The wrong direction!) It can happen any time ... to any one of us. I am inditing in this matter of the heart of man.
How many of the children of men have fallen into
the pit of selling themselves to the Devil? It
is a common saying among many that every man has a
price. In The Devil And Daniel Webster, Jabez
Stone had in mind a price for which he was willing
to pay in exchange for worldly gain. To gain this
world's rewards, he would even be willing to sell
his own soul. Poor Jabez!
He went after temporal gain to the total neglect of that which is eternal. Like Esau, he was willing to "sell" his own birthright for a mess of pottage! My friend, never...never make the mistake about your soul's worth before God! Your soul is precious to God. Do not ever forget that. Now who, may I ask, has done as Jabez has done?
Nimrod wanted it all: fame, power and riches. He just plainly wanted prosperity, no matter what the cost. In these three verses it says it all. "And Cush begat Nimrod: he began to be a mighty one in the earth. He was a mighty hunter before the LORD: wherefore it is said, Even as Nimrod the mighty hunter before the LORD. And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar." [Genesis 10:8-10]
Vs.8 says: "he began to be a mighty one in the earth."
Here is that bump in the road! The when "he began" was after the transaction had already occurred. Nimrod got it all! And who ... was able ... to give him all of it? The "who" is called the god (small letter 'g') of this world. And who is it that the world belongs to, ... ever since Adam sinned?
Why ... it's the Devil himself! Satan has it all to give. Now, don't believe me on this score? Check it out yourself. What does the Bible show us? What can the Devil offer you and me? Well, let's see what he offered the Son of God Himself, when He was at the end of his fasting 40 days and 40 nights in the wilderness. "Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil." [Matthew 4:1]
Among the things "that tempter" offered to give Jesus [Who is God Himself] in verse 8 was "all the kingdoms of the world and the glory of them". "Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them: and saith unto him, all these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me."
Friend, the Devil has it ... to offer to anyone, even you and I. When Adam lost it ... the Devil gained it!
Now go back to Genesis chapter 10, verse 10, and note, "the beginning of his kingdom". A deal was made! Do you see it?
Nimrod entered in on a contract with the devil. Nimrod SOLD himself ... to gain the world, and the "pleasures of sin for a season," and to have it all ... all that a man can get. Nimrod "the mighty hunter" is a hunter for men from that day forward. Look at the contrast! Jesus wants us to be fishers of men. Yet the Devil wants to use a man to be ... a hunter of men! Nimrod became the author of a religious system. He built a city, the city of Babylon. Read about it in Genesis chapter 11.
It was a city whose very purpose was to be ... a hotbed of rebellion against God. It became the center of all witchcraft, and served as the foundation for all religious mysteries, and all in the honor and adoration of Satan himself. Nimrod was the father of all this!
"Mystery Babylon the great, the mother of harlots and abominations of the earth." Even today Babylon lives! In the Roman Catholic Church, in its very foundation, the religion of Nimrod's Babylon is preserved!
What does the Scripture say about another man who made a deal with the Devil, all because he wanted a kingdom, and at any price, even for the price of his own soul? And all for GAIN: the money, the fame and the power ... all to lavish on his own soul. In I Kings 12:26-33, the Scripture says this, "And Jeroboam said in his heart" (so that he would not lose his kingdom, with all his power, fame, wealth and life) "if this people go up to do sacrifice in the house of the LORD at Jerusalem---."
Look at it! It is ... at this point ... that Jeroboam is facing the how to question? Of how, he could keep all these things for himself. He would, as Jabez Stone, sell himself to do evil in order to keep all these things for himself. [Verse 28] "Whereupon the king took counsel." This was the wrong counsel from the wrong counselor. He transacts a deal, a covenant with Satan "for a kingdom!"
Satan's master plan is laid out, and Jeroboam carries it out! Jeroboam creates a false religion. It was patterned after Nimrod's Mystery Babylon:
1. With idols set up
2. With its own priesthood [Baalite, backwards-collared, and black-robed].
3. With its own center of worship.
4. With its own ceremonies befitting its god [The Devil].
This man troubled his own nation.
"Whereupon the king took counsel, and made two calves of gold, and said unto them, It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem: behold thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. And he set the one in Bethel, and the other put he in Dan. And this thing became a sin: for the people went to worship before the one, even unto Dan. And he made an house of high places, and made priests of the lowest of the people, which were not of the sons of Levi. And Jeroboam ordained a feast in the eighth month, on the fifteenth day of the month, like unto the feast that is in Judah, and he offered upon the altar. So did he in Bethel, sacrificing unto the calves that he had made: and he placed in Bethel the priests of the high places which he had made. So he offered upon the altar which he had made in Bethel the fifteenth day of the eighth month, even in the month which he had devised of his own heart; (There are many devices in a man's heart!) and ordained a feast unto the children of Israel: and he offered upon the altar, and burnt incense."
Israel never did go back to the true God!
What of Balaam? In Numbers 22:5-24:25 is the story of a man who is wrapped up in an "error". Balaam "wanted it all". He wanted a reward. The same man is shown in the book of Jude, verse 11, when it says, "Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core."
He wanted to be popular and accepted by men rather than obey God's revealed and perfect will. He would rather argue with God, and get into His "permissive will" in order to make that trip to Balak!
Balaam mulled over the thought of worldly reward within his heart in exchange for doing wrong in cursing the people of Israel. Verse 9: "And God came unto Balaam and said, What men are these with thee? And Balaam said unto God, Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab, hath sent unto me saying, Behold, there is a people come out of Egypt, which covereth the face of the earth: Come now curse me them..."
In verse 12: "And God said unto Balaam, thou shalt not go with them; thou shalt not curse the people: for they are blessed."
There it is---as clear and bright as the sun! “Thou shalt not go with them; thou shalt not curse the people!” God's perfect will is made known unto Balaam, but he just had no heart for it!
Have you ever seen someone you know that had no heart to obey God? Obeying God's directive was going to hit Balaam's pocketbook hard, and rob him of fame and acceptance by men. Balaam shows at this point that he had already signed a deal with the Devil.
The Devil got his soul, and in exchange, Balaam got his earthly reward.
Therefore, the "error of Balaam" is his running for the reward given by the Devil. The Devil has got a reward to offer anyone who has 'bumped' into some hard knock found in the road of life, and wants an easy way out. He can help you for a time or a season, but PAYDAY will come. And, as I would say so many times to my son, "The chickens will always come home to roost. You can count on it!"
Another one who sold him self, and thereby, troubled his nation, was Ahab. "But there was none like unto Ahab, which did sell himself to work wickedness in the sight of the Lord, whom Jezebel his wife stirred up." [I Samuel 21:25]
This man is the most, wicked king on record, and he had it all ... the power and material wealth! Yet he was not happy! He wanted more! One of the bumps in the road recorded in the old Black BOOK by the Holy Ghost is this one.
What a beginning! (The hearing of the Gospel of Jesus Christ does many things.) In the book of Philemon, in the conclusion of the epistle, the Apostle Paul gives this salutation. "There salute thee Epaphras, my fellowprisioner in Christ Jesus; Marcus, Aristarchus, Demas, Lucas, my fellowlabourers." [Philemon 23-24]
You can hardly find a higher relationship than what is described here between Paul and these "fellowlabourers." Their hearts were "knitted together" through "the common salvation." This common salvation comes by the grace of God through faith in the power of the shed blood of the Lamb of God ... even Jesus Christ ... which cleanses sinners from the stain of sin, and gives them eternal life. Now look at that word ... "Fellowlabourer."
What stronger word can be found to show how Paul felt about these fellow believers, and how he felt that their labours, and his, were intertwined? Oh, my! How Demas started well, but did he end well? What does THE BOOK show us?
Let's check it out. In Colossians 4:14, everything appears okay. "Luke, the beloved physician, and Demas, greet you." Here, Demas seems to be still on course for Jesus Christ. Not until we get to the book of II Timothy, in the sunset of Paul's ministry here on this earth, do we see the report of the bad news.
A derailment has occurred! And the casualty is Demas. He has fallen into the pit of "NO USE TO JESUS CHRIST" by an allurement to this world. "For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed---."
The warning of I John 2:15 is ignored, or forgotten. "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him."
To me the saddest commentary for any Christian ... is to begin well ... and not end well ... by not finishing the race set before him, or her. Yea, I want this to be for me, as it was for Paul! "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day; and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing." [II Timothy 7-8]
Friend, do you want this to be your testimony too? Are you waiting eagerly for the Lord Jesus Christ's coming to this earth? Are you His? Have you been born again? Have you repented of your sin, and trusted Jesus Christ for your salvation, which Jesus procured for you by His going to the cross of Calvary?
The command is ... for men everywhere to repent! "Whoso keepeth the commandment shall feel no evil thing: and a wise man's heart discerneth both time and judgment." [Eccl. 8:5] Can you right now ... where you sit, say as David said, "My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed: I will sing and give praise." [Psalm 57:7] Amen!
Now friend, when it comes for you, and you suddenly bump into something, in the course of your life, do not let it change the direction of your life from out of the Narrow Way, which is through Jesus Christ. That bump in the road can throw you, and destroy you, and it can happen at any time ... to any one of us. I am inditing in this matter of the heart of man. Be diligent concerning keeping your heart.
"Keep thy heart with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life!"
Do Not Sell Yourself ... To Do Evil! (Or Sell Yourself To The Devil)
"Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck" [I Timothy 1:19].
Never ... never make the mistake about your soul's worth before God! And never ... never allow yourself to be made shipwreck!
"But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price." [I Peter 3:4]. Amen! Amen! Amen!
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