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THE KING’S RULE Direction, Regulation, & Restraint Using 3 Levels of Influence

Regulation, Direction, & Restraint Using 3 Levels of Influence 1. Through the influence of truth and acts of lovingkindness

1. Influence of truth and love • Rom 2:4 Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance? • Rom 8:14 For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.

1. Influence of truth and love A person in love relationship with God responds to God's direction out of love for God and love for his fellowman. He is regulated by grace. • Rom. 6:14 For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace.

1. Influence of truth and love 1. God desires to influence using internal means – the ideal 2. Appeals to choices through love relationship 3. People love God; they want to do what He says is right; H.S. guides them • Gal 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love … self-control; against such things there is no law.

1. Influence of truth and love • Definitions – –What is truth?  –What is love? 

• Both truth and love needed –Only “love” – Dr. Tenderheart –Only “truth” – Dr. Frank N. Stein

2. Through the influence of moral law GOD USING EXTERNAL MEANS OF INFLUENCE

2. Influence of moral law • If people reject relationship with God, God brings regulation using moral law. • Moral law - describes what action a person ought to choose for the highest good of all – Describes – reality, not invention – Ought (should) – implies choice – “highest good of all” – laws of love – Ex. 10 Commandments: no murder, no adultery, no theft, no lies, etc.

2. Moral law – How we ought to choose • Deut 30:19 "I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants … “ • Josh 24:15 "If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD."

2. Moral law – How we ought to choose • 1 Kin 18:21 Elijah came near to all the people and said, "How long {will} you hesitate between two opinions (i.e. choices)? If the LORD is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him.“ • Ezek 20:7-8 "I said to them, 'Cast away the detestable things and the idols of Egypt…' I am the Lord your God. But they rebelled against Me and were not willing to listen to Me; they did not cast away the detestable things nor the idols of Egypt.”

2. Moral law – How we ought to choose • Prov 1:24 "I called and you refused, I stretched out my hand and no one paid attention… • Matt 23:37 "Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling.“ • John 1:11 He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him. • John 5:40 … and you are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have life.

2. Moral law – How we ought to choose • Gal 6:7-8 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. • Rev 3:20 'Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.'

Moral law – based on our design • God made us – He knows how we function • If we live according to our created design, we will get good consequences. If we disobey God’s commands, we get bad consequences. • Deut 6:24 "So the LORD commanded us to observe all these statutes, to fear the LORD our God for our good always and for our survival, as {it is} today.”

2. Influence of moral law • Obedience to law – good results • Disobedience – bad consequences – Rom 6:16 “… sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness.” – Is 1:19-20 "If you consent and obey, you will eat the best of the land. But if you refuse and rebel, you will be devoured by the sword."

God brings understanding (light) of right and wrong, along with the associated consequences. •

2 Ways that the moral law is broken 1. With knowledge – consciously breaking His law – James 4:17  sin – Is 51:4 “Give ear to Me… For a law will go forth from Me, and I will set My justice for a light of the peoples.”

God brings understanding (light) of right and wrong, along with the associated consequences. 2. Without knowledge – unknowingly doing so  ignorance – Prov. 29:18, Hos. 4:6 • Prov 29:18 “Where there is no vision, the people are unrestrained (“people perish” KJV), But happy is he who keeps the law.” • Hos 4:6 “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being My priest.”

2. Influence of moral law • Our response to the moral law – SELF-RESTRAINT –HOPE  obey for blessings • Do right to get good results –FEAR  of suffering consequences • Obey to avoid punishment • Fear of “being caught”

LOVE vs. LAW • Why are we devoted to someone? – Spouse, Boss, Leader, etc. • Out of love  We want to … • Out of law  We have to … • LOVE restrains us internally • LAW restrains us externally when internally we are selfish (wanting only what’s good for us)

• Will we obey from LOVE or from LAW?


WHAT HAPPENS WHEN A NATION REJECTS GOD AND HIS INFLUENCE? 1. Loss of love, hardened conscience towards loving God and others; loss of internal appeal 2. Lawlessness – not obeying & disregarding the moral law, not wanting to obey 3. LEVEL 3 – NATIONAL CALAMITY • NOT JUST TO STOP LAWLESSNESS • BRING BACK TO LOVE RLTN W/ GOD

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN A NATION REJECTS GOD AND HIS INFLUENCE? • Example of national calamity – I Kings 17:1-2, 18:1-2

• 1 Kin 17:1 Elijah said to Ahab, "As the LORD, the God of Israel lives, before whom I stand, surely there shall be neither dew nor rain these years, except by my word.“ • 1 Kin 18:1 Now it happened {after} many days that the word of the LORD came to Elijah in the third year, saying, "Go, show yourself to Ahab, and I will send rain on the face of the earth." • 1 Kin 18:2 So Elijah went to show himself to Ahab. Now the famine {was} severe in Samaria.

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN A NATION REJECTS GOD AND HIS INFLUENCE? • Example of national calamity – I Kings 17:1-2, 18:1-2 – Background – I Kings 16:29-33 – King Ahab & Jezebel

I KINGS 16-18: ELIJAH, AHAB & THE DROUGHT • Barnes – – “The great sin of Ahab—that by which he differed from all his predecessors, and exceeded them in wickedness—was his introduction of the worship of Baal, consequent upon his marriage with Jezebel, and his formal establishment of this gross and palpable idolatry as the religion of the state.”

• 1 Kin 16:31 ¶ It came about, as though it had been a trivial thing for him to walk in the sins of Jeroboam ….

I KINGS 16-18: ELIJAH, AHAB & THE DROUGHT • 1 Kin 16:31 …he married Jezebel the daughter of Ethbaal king of the Sidonians, and went to serve Baal and worshiped him. • Barnes – – Eth-baal or Ithobalus, whose name means “With him is Baal,” was originally priest of the great temple of Astarte, in Tyre. At the age of 36 he conspired against the Tyrian king, Pheles (a usurping fratricide), killed him, and seized the throne. His reign lasted 32 years, and he established a dynasty which continued on the throne at least 62 years longer.

I KINGS 16-18: ELIJAH, AHAB & THE DROUGHT • Barnes – – At this time, when a grosser and more deadly idolatry than had been practiced before was introduced into Israel by the authority of Ahab, and the total apostasy of the ten tribes was consequently imminent, two prophets of unusual vigour and force of character, endowed with miraculous powers of an extraordinary kind, were successively raised up, that the wickedness of the kings might be boldly met and combated, and, if possible, a remnant of faithful men preserved in the land.

KING’S RULE (Jer. 2:5, 3:19-20, 1:14-16, 2:9, 2:11, 4:11-12, 5:7, 5:15, 6:17, 7:3, 7:23-26, 9:23-24, 7:30-31, 19:4-5, 32:33-35, 9:9, 9:13-16, 9:25, 18:6, 12:14, 18:911, 26:2-6, Ezek. 23:35, Dan. 9:2-11, Zac. 7:11-14)

KING’S RULE • If a nation casts God’s law behind its back and moves away from God’s moral law, then God must employ a much stronger means of influence – national calamity. The Levites in Nehemiah’s day recounted of how God dealt with Israel using national calamity: “But they became disobedient and rebelled against You, and cast Your law behind their backs and killed Your prophets who had admonished them . . . . So that they might return to You, and they committed great blasphemies. . . . Therefore You delivered them into the hand of their oppressors who oppressed them . . .

• Using national judgment, God bore down upon Judah in the days of Jeremiah and Ezekiel. He inquired, “‘What injustice did your fathers find in Me, that they went far from Me and walked after emptiness and became empty? How I would set you among My sons and give you a pleasant land, the most beautiful inheritance of the nations!’ And I said, `You shall call Me, My Father, and not turn away from following Me. Surely, as a woman treacherously departs from her lover, so you have dealt treacherously with Me, O house of Israel. . . . Out of the north the evil will break forth on all the inhabitants of the land. . . . I will pronounce My judgments on them concerning all their wickedness, whereby they have forsaken Me and have offered sacrifices to other gods, and worshiped the works of their own hands. . . . Therefore I will yet contend with you,’ declares the Lord.”

KING’S RULE Has a nation changed gods when they were not gods? But My people have changed their glory for that which does not profit. In that time it will be said to this people and to Jerusalem, A scorching wind . . . . will come at My command; now I will also pronounce judgments against them. "Why should I pardon you? Your sons have forsaken Me. . . . Behold, I am bringing a nation against you from afar, O house of Israel, declares the Lord. And I set watchmen over you, saying, `Listen to the sound of the trumpet!' But they said, `We will not listen. '

KING’S RULE • Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, Amend your ways and your deeds, and I will let you dwell in this place. . . . `Obey My voice, and I will be your God, and you will be My people; . . . that it may be well with you.’ Yet they did not obey or incline their ear, but walked in their own counsels and in the stubbornness of their evil heart . . .They did not listen to Me . . . . they did more evil than their fathers.

KING’S RULE • Thus says the Lord, Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom, and let not the mighty man boast of his might, let not a rich man boast of his riches; but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord who exercises lovingkindness, justice and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things,

KING’S RULE But instead, the sons of Judah have done that which is evil in My sight," declares the Lord, "they have set their detestable things in the house which is called by My name, to defile it. They have built the high places of Topheth, which is in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire, which I did not command, and it did not come into My mind.

. . . (T)hey have forsaken Me and have made this an alien place and have burned sacrifices in it to other gods, that neither they nor their forefathers nor the kings of Judah had ever known, and because they have filled this place with the blood of the innocent and have built the high places of Baal to burn their sons in the fire as burnt offerings to Baal, a thing which I never commanded or spoke of, nor did it ever enter My mind; They have turned their back to Me and not their face; though I taught them, teaching again and again, they would not listen and receive instruction. But they put their detestable things in the house which is called by My name, to defile it. They built the high places of Baal that are in the valley of Ben-hinnom to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire to Molech, which I had not commanded them nor had it entered My mind that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin.

KING’S RULE • Shall I not punish them for these things? declares the Lord. Because they have forsaken My law which I set before them, and have not obeyed My voice nor walked according to it, behold, I will feed them, this people, with wormwood and give them poisoned water to drink. I will scatter them among the nations, whom neither they nor their fathers have known; and I will send the sword after them until I have annihilated them. • Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, that I will punish all who are circumcised and yet uncircumcised . . . .”

• God deserves pliable people who respond to Him. They ought to be just as pliable as clay in a potter’s hands. But Israel cast His law aside, and God grieved over them. He asks, Can I not, O house of Israel, deal with you as a potter does with the clay?" declares the Lord. Behold, like the clay in the potter's hand, so are you in My hand, O house of Israel. Behold I am about to . . . uproot the house of Judah. . . . I might speak concerning a nation or concerning a kingdom to build up or to plant it; if it does evil in My sight by not obeying My voice, then I will turn away from the good with which I had promised to bless it. So now then, speak to the men of Judah and against the inhabitants of Jerusalem ‘Behold, I am fashioning calamity against you and devising a plan against you. Oh turn back, each of you from his evil way, and reform your ways and your deeds.’

KING’S RULE • God worked for a wise opportunity so He could keep from sending Judah into Babylonian captivity. He sent Jeremiah to go after them: “Stand in the court of the Lord's house, and speak to all the cities of Judah who have come to worship in the Lord's house all the words that I have commanded you to speak to them. Do not omit a word! Perhaps they will listen and everyone will turn from his evil way, that I may repent of the calamity which I am planning to do to them because of the evil of their deeds.”

KING’S RULE • And you will say to them, `Thus says the Lord, "If you will not listen to Me, to walk in My law which I have set before you, . . . then. . . this city I will make a curse to all the nations of the earth.”

KING’S RULE • But Judah clung to her ways, inflexible in the Master potter’s hands. She would not turn away from evil. So God let Babylon carry her away. Yet still He kept pursuing her through the prophet, Ezekiel: “Therefore, thus says the Lord God, Because you have forgotten Me and cast Me behind your back, bear now the punishment of your lewdness and your harlotries.”

KING’S RULE • Daniel also told of how right God was in bringing national calamity. At the end of the Babylonian captivity, in the first year of Darius’ reign, “I, Daniel, observed the word of the Lord through Jeremiah and prayed. . . to the Lord God to seek Him by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth and ashes. . . . I prayed: . . . ‘Alas, O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps His covenant and lovingkindness for those who love Him and keep His commandments, we have sinned, committed iniquity, acted wickedly and rebelled, even turning aside from Your commandments and ordinances. . . . Righteousness belongs to You, O Lord, but to us open shame…”

KING’S RULE • “. . . .but to the Lord our God belong compassion and forgiveness, for we have rebelled against Him; nor have we obeyed the voice of the Lord our God, to walk in His teachings. . . . so the curse has been poured out on us, along with the oath which is written in the law of Moses the servant of God, for we have sinned against Him.”

In the second year of the reign of Darius, Zechariah also brought forth the same sad message: “But (our fathers) refused to pay attention and turned a stubborn shoulder and stopped their ears from hearing. They made their hearts like flint so that they could not hear the law and the words which the Lord of hosts had sent by His Spirit through the former prophets; therefore great wrath came from the Lord of hosts. And just as He called and they would not listen, … ‘so they called and I would not listen,’ says the Lord of hosts; ‘but I scattered them with a storm wind among all the nations whom they have not known.’ Thus a desolated land lies behind them so that no one went back and forth, for they made the pleasant land desolate.”