Job 4:12-21 “Shall a Man Be More Pure Than His Maker?”

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Job 4:12 Now a thing was secretly brought to me, and mine ear received a little thereof.
Job 4:13 In thoughts from the visions of the night, when deep sleep falleth on men,
Job 4:14 Fear came upon me, and trembling, which made all my bones to shake.
Job 4:15 Then a spirit passed before my face; the hair of my flesh stood up:
Job 4:16 It stood still, but I could not discern the form thereof: an image was before mine eyes, there was silence, and I heard a voice, saying,
Job 4:17 Shall mortal man be more just than God? shall a man be more pure than his maker?
Job 4:18 Behold, he put no trust in his servants; and his angels he charged with folly:
Job 4:19 How much less in them that dwell in houses of clay, whose foundation is in the dust, which are crushed before the moth?
Job 4:20 They are destroyed from morning to evening: they perish for ever without any regarding it.
Job 4:21 Doth not their excellency which is in them go away? they die, even without wisdom.

Introduction

When we read in the book of Revelation that we are to ‘read, hear and keep the things which are written therein’ and if we are given to put that verse together with Mat 4:4 where we are told that we are to ‘live by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God, then we know that Rev 1:3 is actually referring to “the things which are written” in the entire Bible and not just in the book of Revelation.
So now we can, in complete faith, acknowledge that these three men and Job himself, are nothing more or less than our own self- righteousness within us telling us that we do not deserve the wrath of God being poured out upon us. But in true human form, at the same time we tell ourselves that we, of our own efforts, are responsible for the deeds and misdeeds we have performed in these clay vessels. Job knew all His trials were the work of God, and still he “maintained his own [ self- righteous] ways before Him”.

Job 13:15 Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him.

As our “first man Adam” we actually believe that we have ‘our own ways’ when the Truth is that ‘our days were all written in God’s book before any of them were’.

Psa 139:16 Thine eyes did see mine unformed substance; And in thy book they were all written, Even the days that were ordained for me, When as yet there was none of them.

Like Job, each of us mentally and verbally acknowledge God as sovereign while at the same time denying that sovereignty by maintaining our own integrity. With that state of mind, we cannot comfort ourselves or others. If everything were reversed and Job were attempting to comfort these men, he would have done the same thing. He denies that he would do that, but the fact that he maintains his own integrity and condemns God, proves that Job would have held these men accountable for their own miserable condition, just as they are treating him. He denies this, but since neither he nor they are aware of the Truth of Psa 139:16, their accusations against each other are true.
Here is Job’s accusation against his so- called ‘comforters’:

Job 16:1 Then Job answered and said,
Job 16:2 I have heard many such things: Miserable comforters are ye all.
Job 16:3 Shall vain words have an end? Or what provoketh thee that thou answerest?
Job 16:4 I also could speak as ye do; If your soul were in my soul’s stead, I could join words together against you, And shake my head at you.
Job 16:5 But I would strengthen you with my mouth, And the solace of my lips would assuage your grief.

How could Job, who is contending with God, maintaining his own integrity and his own righteousness while condemning God for pouring out his wrath on Job’s self- righteousness; How could Job “solace [ and] assuage [ the] grief” of his friends ‘if their soul were in his soul’s stead’? How can anyone who believes themselves to be ‘purer than their Maker’ comfort those who are being afflicted by their Maker? That is impossible. It is simply not possible to comfort the afflicted while at the same time condemning God who has sent that affliction. I can be of no comfort to you, and you will be of no comfort to me, if neither of us understands that all of our afflictions are the sovereign work of God in our lives, for our good.

Rom 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

Nevertheless, Job, just like his friends and just like the Pharisee who looked down on the publican, announces that he is not like other men; he is more righteous than they, and he would never do to them as they have done to him. This confusion of mind all stems from being blinded to the understanding that God, in His own sovereign work, has placed within the same lump of clay, first a vessel of dishonor, and then, through the destruction of that first dishonorable vessel, a vessel of honor. Those are the “two men” who struggle against each other throughout scripture:

Gen 3:15 And I will put enmity between thee [“that old serpent the devil, and Satan”] and the woman, and between thy seed [“the first man Adam”] and her seed [“the last Adam”]; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.
1Co 15:45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.
Luk 18:10 Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee [“the first man Adam”], and the other a publican. [“The last Adam”. We all are both of these men]
Luk 18:11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. [ or these “miserable comforters”]
Rom 9:21 Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? [ We are the “earth” before we are granted to become ‘heavenly’.]
Rom 9:22 What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath [ our old “first man Adam”] fitted to destruction:
1Co 15:47 The first man [ Adam] is of the earth, earthy: the second man [ the last Adam] is the Lord from heaven.

Once we are granted eyes to see that “the first man Adam” is this “vessel of wrath, fitted to destruction”, and that it is through the death and destruction and ‘losing of his life’ that “the first man Adam” is “crucified with Christ” and that “of the same lump… the last Adam [ is] born again” within us; once we are granted to see this, then all the confusion about who receives the blessings and of the good promises as opposed to who receives the curses which are promised to come upon “the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction”, disappears and all of that confusion is replaced by understanding that “there is one event to the righteous and the wicked… man…; [ that] man… shall live by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God…; [ that] all things are ours… [ to] read, hear and keep the things which are written therein”.

Ecc 9:2 All things come alike to all: there is one event to the righteous, and to the wicked; to the good and to the clean, and to the unclean; to him that sacrificeth, and to him that sacrificeth not: as is the good, so is the sinner; and he that sweareth, as he that feareth an oath.
Mat 4:4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
1Co 3:21 Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are yours;
1Co 3:22 Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours;
Rev 1:3 Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.

Neither Job nor his “miserable comforters” knew any of this. In sending Job all of these false accusers, God is answering Job “according to the idols” of his self- righteous heart (Eze 14:4). Job knows he is not personally guilty of the sins being imputed to him by his ‘comforters’. But God is also answering Job’s “miserable comforter… friends… according to the idols of their hearts” (Eze 14:4-9). These men are just as self- righteous as Job, so God gives Elephaz a “vision of the night”, which, for the moment causes Eliphaz to feel that he has a special relationship with God. Here is what God has given Eliphaz. This is how God deceives us all, when He wants us to be deceived, while we think that God Himself is speaking to us:

Job 4:12 Now a thing was secretly brought to me, and mine ear received a little thereof. Job 4:13 In thoughts from the visions of the night, when deep sleep falleth on men,
Job 4:14 Fear came upon me, and trembling, which made all my bones to shake.
Job 4:15 Then a spirit passed before my face; the hair of my flesh stood up:
Job 4:16 It stood still, but I could not discern the form thereof: an image was before mine eyes, there was silence, and I heard a voice, saying,
Job 4:17 Shall mortal man be more just than God? shall a man be more pure than his maker?

God has ‘secretly’ sent a spirit to pose a question to Eliphaz. “Shall mortal man be more just than God? shall a man be more pure than his maker?”
What will Eliphaz do with this question? Remember, both Job and Eliphaz are each of us as a type of the self- righteous “first man Adam” within us. As such what do we all do when we read Christ’s parable of the “two men” who go up to the temple? Let’s look at that parable again, and as we read this parable, let’s remember what we all did when we first read this parable.

Luk 18:10 Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.
Luk 18:11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. [ Or this Babylonian who really does deserve your wrath upon his unrighteousness]

None of us at first see ourselves as this Pharisee. We may indeed see ourselves as the sinful publican, and admit that we have all been sinners, but how many of us read that story and ever considered that the spirit of this Pharisee was within us?
It simply is not given to “carnal… babes in Christ”, to understand the meaning of “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God”.

1Co 3:1 And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.
1Co 3:2 I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.
1Co 3:3 For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?
1Co 3:4 For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?

A babe in Christ simply cannot process the spiritual concept that “all things are ours… the world… death… things present and things to come, all are ours”… [ and it is we who are to] keep the things written therein because the time is at hand”.
So Eliphaz, as the type of each of us as “carnal… babes in Christ”, does what we all do upon hearing the words of his “night vision”. He immediately applies those words to Job, just as we all apply them to “the first man Adam” in someone, anyone, other than ourselves. This is so in the face of the all inclusive words of the rest of the words of his ‘night vision’.

Job 4:18 Behold, he put no trust in his servants; and his angels he charged with folly:
Job 4:19 How much less in them that dwell in houses of clay, whose foundation is in the dust, which are crushed before the moth?
Job 4:20 They are destroyed from morning to evening: they perish for ever without any regarding it.
Job 4:21 Doth not their excellency which is in them go away? they die, even without wisdom.

There are great truths in the words of this ‘night vision’. Does God place trust in His servants? The answer is that “all things are of Him, through Him, and to Him”, and do not depend upon anything any of us do, say or think.

Rom 11:34 For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor?
Rom 11:35 Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again?
Rom 11:36 For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.

Nothing depends upon the creation. “It is not of him that wills… but [ it is] of God”.

Rom 9:16 So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.

“All things are [ in reality] of the Father”, including “the preparations of the heart… and the answer of the tongue.”

Pro 16:1 The preparations of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue, is from the LORD.
1Co 8:6 But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.

So God really does not place trust in His creation and wants us all to know that it is Him in us by way of His Son within us, which gives us any standing with Him.

Col 1:27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:

Has God really ‘charged his angels with folly’? As we saw at the beginning of this book of Job, that is indeed the charge He has given them. It is under the charge of Satan and his angels, that Job lost all of his possessions, and it was under the charge of Satan that Job was smitten with boils from his head to the soles of his feet. It is through Satan that Eve was tempted, and that she and Adam ate of the forbidden fruit. It was “an evil spirit from the Lord” which troubled King Saul, tempted King David to number the people of Israel and was a lying spirit in the mouth of all of King Ahab’s prophets. (1Sa 16:14; 1Ch 21:1; 1Kg 22:22). It is the same to this very day:

Eph 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
2Co 11:14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.
2Co 11:15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.

“Spiritual wickedness in the heavens” is the proper translation, and this is the same warning we are given in 1Jh 4:

1Jn 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.

“False prophets” are under the guiding influence of false “spirits” who bring false doctrines into our heavens. That is why we are told to “try the spirits whether they are of God”.
So, yes indeed, God has “charged his angels with folly”.
Now let’s look at the next statement made by this spirit which was sent to Eliphaz as a ‘night vision’.

Job 4:19 How much less in them that dwell in houses of clay, whose foundation is in the dust, which are crushed before the moth?

Is mankind’s foundation really in the dust? Or is mankind really a spirit which is just temporarily housed in a vessel of clay? Is mankind really just dust, which is created by God’s own spirit, but dust none the less, which will never even know life except through a resurrection from among the dead? What do the scriptures teach? Here is what the scriptures teach:

Psa 104:24 O LORD, how manifold are thy works! in wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches.
Psa 104:25 So is this great and wide sea, wherein are things creeping innumerable, both small and great beasts.
Psa 104:26 There go the ships: there is that leviathan, whom thou hast made to play therein.
Psa 104:27 These wait all upon thee; that thou mayest give them their meat in due season.
Psa 104:28 That thou givest them they gather: thou openest thine hand, they are filled with good.
Psa 104:29 Thou hidest thy face, they are troubled: thou takest away their breath, they die, and return to their dust.
Psa 104:30 Thou sendest forth thy spirit, they are created: and thou renewest the face of the earth.

I have enboldened the words ‘breath’, in verse 29, and ‘spirit’ in verse 30, because they are both the Hebrew word ‘ruach’, which is most often translated as spirit. God’s spirit imparts life to all things, whether it is animal life or plant life. When He withdraws that spirit they die, and without a resurrection they “are perished”.

1Co 15:17 And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.
1Co 15:18 Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.

We do not read that ‘They who are fallen asleep in Christ are in heaven with Christ’. What we just read is that they are “asleep in Christ” and that if there is no resurrection from the dead then they all are perished. These are the Psalms of King David. Here is how his son speaks of this same subject of what becomes of mankind after his physical death:

Ecc 3:18 I said in mine heart concerning the estate of the sons of men, that God might manifest them, and that they might see that they themselves are beasts.
Ecc 3:19 For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast: for all is vanity.
Ecc 3:20 All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again.

Do dead people know anything or are they just unconscious as in sleep? Here is what the scriptures teach:

Ecc 9:5 For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten.

Christ said the same thing concerning two dead people, who He raised from the dead. He did not raise them from life. He raised them up from being among the dead:

Mat 9:24 He said unto them, Give place: for the maid is not dead, but sleepeth. And they laughed him to scorn.

“They laughed him to scorn” because they knew she was dead, just as Christ knew she and Lazarus were both dead:

Joh 11:11 These things said he: and after that he saith unto them, Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep.
Joh 11:12 Then said his disciples, Lord, if he sleep, he shall do well.
Joh 11:13 Howbeit Jesus spake of his death: but they thought that he had spoken of taking of rest in sleep.
Joh 11:14 Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead.

The fact that God considers a dead person to merely be sleeping does not negate the necessity of a resurrection from the dead to preclude they that are fallen asleep in Christ having “perished”.

1Co 15:17 And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.
1Co 15:18 Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.

How does all of this apply to all of those who lived in Old Testament times? Here is what the scriptures actually teach:

Act 2:29 Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day.
Act 2:34 For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand,

King David “is… dead and buried… David is not ascended into the heavens”. David is not yet given a spiritual body and must yet be raised up from among the dead to be given a spiritual body.

Joh 3:6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
1Co 15:44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.
1Co 15:45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.

“There is a natural body and there is a spiritual body”, but the spiritual body is not innate within the natural body. “It is raised a spiritual body”.
So this all proves and bears out the fact that this spirit speaking to Eliphaz is telling him the truth; Mankind’s “foundation [ really] is in the dust” and is not in the spirit, until and unless he is “born again”, and after this he must be raised from the dead into a spiritual body.
This spirit speaking to Eliphaz continues:

Job 4:20 They are destroyed from morning to evening: they perish for ever without any regarding it.
Job 4:21 Doth not their excellency which is in them go away? they die, even without wisdom.

To whom do you suppose Eliphaz applies these words. Is there anyone to whom these words do not apply? Yet Eliphaz is each of us, and we all at first apply these words to anyone but ourselves. It is in us all to think that it is some very especially wicked person, deserving of the wrath of God such as Job is experiencing, who is “destroyed from morning to evening” and who must “perish for ever without any regarding it”. To Eliphaz within each of us, it is a very evil man like Job whose “excellency which is in them goes away, [ and who] dies, even without wisdom”.
Indeed it is an especially evil man to whom all this must occur. But that very evil man who is deserving of the wrath and the scourging of our God is “the first man Adam” within each of us. It is his “excellency” which must “go away”. It is he who must “die, even without wisdom… that the excellency of the power may be of God and not of us”.

Rom 9:21 Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour [“the last Adam”], and another unto dishonour? [“The first man Adam”. We are the “earth”, before we are granted to become ‘heavenly’.]
Rom 9:22 What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath [ our old “first man Adam”] fitted to destruction:
1Co 15:47 The first man [ Adam] is of the earth, earthy [“clay”]: the second man [“the last Adam… Christ in you… of the same lump… in earthen vessels”] is the Lord from heaven.
Col 1:26 Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:
Col 1:27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:

So where is “Christ in you”? He is in “the same lump of clay… [ which] the first man Adam” was in. But He is increasing even as “the first man Adam” is daily decreasing.

2Co 4:7 But we have this treasure [ Christ] in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.
Joh 3:30 He [ Christ in us] must increase, but I [“the first man Adam”] must decrease.

Next week, Lord willing, we will continue to look back at how Eliphaz, within us continues to see how God’s judgments and His wrath apply to his friend Job, in particular, but to anyone but himself in general.
Here are next weeks verses:

Job 5:1 Call now, if there be any that will answer thee; and to which of the saints wilt thou turn?
Job 5:2 For wrath killeth the foolish man, and envy slayeth the silly one.
Job 5:3 I have seen the foolish taking root: but suddenly I cursed his habitation.
Job 5:4 His children are far from safety, and they are crushed in the gate, neither is there any to deliver them.
Job 5:5 Whose harvest the hungry eateth up, and taketh it even out of the thorns, and the robber swalloweth up their substance.
Job 5:6 Although affliction cometh not forth of the dust, neither doth trouble spring out of the ground;
Job 5:7 Yet man is born unto trouble, as the sparks fly upward.
Job 5:8 I would seek unto God, and unto God would I commit my cause:
Job 5:9 Which doeth great things and unsearchable; marvellous things without number:
Job 5:10 Who giveth rain upon the earth, and sendeth waters upon the fields:
Job 5:11 To set up on high those that be low; that those which mourn may be exalted to safety.
Job 5:12 He disappointeth the devices of the crafty, so that their hands cannot perform their enterprise.
Job 5:13 He taketh the wise in their own craftiness: and the counsel of the froward is carried headlong.

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