You Shall Not Follow A Multitude To Do Evil


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Marriage in Scripture – Part 7

You Shall Not Follow A Multitude To Do Evil

[Study Aired April 20, 2014]

How often have we all given in to the beast within, or to the pressures from the world without, and denied our Lord. Is there anyone who has never done so?

Rev 13:3  And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.

Rev 13:8  And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship [the beast], whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
Rev 13:9  If any man have an ear, let him hear.

God has blessed us to know that this ‘beast’ is not a man who doesn’t even exist until the very last generation of mankind before the beginning of the millennial reign of Christ. We have been blessed to understand that this ‘beast’ is, was and will be sitting on the throne of God, in the temple of God, in every generation of mankind. We have also been given eyes that see and ears to hear what “the temple of God” means:

1Co 3:16  Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
1Co 3:17  If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.

When we put these verses together with those verses in Revelation 13, only then are we able to understand how universal is the application of these verses to all men of all time:

2Th 2:3  Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day [“the day of the Lord… judgment upon the house of God”] shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; 
2Th 2:4  Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. 

Just as Christ’s original apostles denied their own Savior and “fell away” before “the day of the Lord” came to them, so also every man who will ever live will do the same and experience “a falling away first, [before] that man of sin… the son of perdition [is] revealed to [to be] sitting in the temple of God… which temple [we all] are… showing himself that he is God”. Even so our children will also succumb to the same pressures, which will be exerted upon them through the pressures of society without, which so appeal to the beast, the man of sin, the son of perdition within, and they will deny what they have been taught, and they will disappoint us, just as we and Christ’s apostles have all disappointed Him, before they are granted to remain faithful to the doctrine of Christ.

This “day of the Lord” is only delayed if we raise our children up to believe that being different is not good for their psyche. That is a lie! It is good for a child to be different from a multitude when that multitude is wanting to do evil:

Exo 23:2  Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil; neither shalt thou speak in a cause to decline after many to wrest judgment:

The whole world has “decline[d] after many to wrest [the] judgment” of those words, and most people prefer their children go along with the multitude. This world, for example, considers anyone who thinks it is a sin to dress your child up as a little devil and go from door to door threatening your neighbors to inflict a ‘trick’ if not given a ‘treat’ is an extremist who just doesn’t want children to have any fun.

Yes, ‘following a multitude to do evil’ is exactly what we are doing when we bow to the pressure of the what the scriptures specifically refer to as “the traditions of men, [and] the elements of the world”. When, meaning at what stage of our spiritual walk, are we told we will “follow a multitude to do evil”? Here is what we are told:

Gal 4:3  Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world

To what exactly is Paul referring? The Greek word translated as ‘children’ here in Gal 4:3 is ‘nepios’, which must never be confused with the Greek word ‘uihos’ which is also carelessly translated with the same English word, ‘children’.

Here is a much better translation of that Greek word ‘nepios’:

1Co 3:1  And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes [Greek, nepios] 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?

The fact these Corinthian Christians were divided over personalities indicated to the apostle Paul that they were yet “carnal… babes in Christ. Our children, even when they hear our words and receive them with joy, are “yet carnal… babes in Christ… and [will] walk as men” before they will become the mature ‘uihos’ of these verses:

Rom 8:19  For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons Ele of God. 
Rom 8:20  For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope,
Rom 8:21  Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
Rom 8:22  For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.
Rom 8:23  And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption [Greek – uihosthesia, mature sonship], to wit, the redemption of our body.

Here is Galatians 4:3 as it is stated in the book of Proverbs:

Pro 22:6  Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

“When he is old, he will not depart from it” is just another way of telling us that “a child [will] depart from… the way he should go” some time before “he is old[er]”. The sad truth is that we all must live by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God (Mat 4:4 and Luk 4:4), and we will all be “children… in bondage under the elements of the world” before we become “the manifestation of the sons [Greek – uihos, mature sons] of God, [who are not] in bondage under the elements of the world”.

Gal 4:3  Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world:

These “elements of this world” that keep us in bondage while we are children are clearly defined for us:

Gal 4:9  But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?
Gal 4:10  Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years. 
Gal 4:11  I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain.

The esteeming of one day above another is one of the most effective pressures to teach our children that we need to conform to the traditions of men, and “follow a multitude to do evil;”

Exo 23:2  Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil; neither shalt thou speak in a cause to decline after many to wrest judgment:

“The traditions of men” expressed in the “day’s, months, seasons, and years” observed by men are made to sound so innocent to the multitudes of mankind that we ignore Christ’s example, and rather than be made to appear different from the rest of society, as our Lord did, we “decline after many to wrest [our Lord’s] judgment [and] esteem every day alike” as He did.

Our children are pressured by our godless society to dress up as little demons on one day of the year, then we even lie to them about rabbits laying eggs, and we lie again and tell them that a fat man dressed in a red suit knows everything they do and will withhold gifts from them if they are naughty. Is it harmful to the psyche of our children to abstain from these “traditions of men”? Absolutely not!

What is it the scriptures specifically warn us:

Col 2:8  Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of menafter the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
Col 2:9  For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. 

It is instructive to know that the phrase in these verses, “the rudiments of this world” is the exact same Greek phrase translated as “the elements of the world” in Gal 4:3. Both referring to “the traditions of men [specifically the] observ[ing of] days, months, seasons, and years”.

Just to demonstrate the incredible pressure these pagan traditions of men have upon us and upon our children, after pointing out these verses of scripture to people within our fellowship, I have had parents ask me, ‘Are you telling me that I am supposed to tell the teachers at school that my child cannot take part in drawing names for Christmas gifts, Valentine’s Day cards, and Easter gifts?’ The answer is “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of menafter the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.”

What you as a parent do with your children is between you and God, but what the scriptures say is what I must teach, and those verses tell us to follow the philosophy and traditions of Christ as opposed to the philosophy and traditions of men.

Here is what Christ did as it pertains to the observance of days, months, seasons and years:

Joh 5:16  And therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus, and sought to slay him, because he had done these things on the sabbath day.
Joh 5:17  But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work.
Joh 5:18  Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God.

What are the two main reasons we are told the Jews wanted Christ dead? The two reasons we are given in these verses is that “He had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making Himself equal with God.” A child that is encouraged by his parents to conform to the traditions of men will be at a disadvantage when it comes to standing with our Lord who “esteemed every day alike”.

Rom 14:1  Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations.
Rom 14:2  For one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eateth herbs.
Rom 14:3  Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not [is weak in the faith] judge him that eateth [is strong in the faith]: for God hath received him.
Rom 14:4  Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand.
Rom 14:5  One man esteemeth one day above another [those who are not able to follow in Christ’s steps]: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.

Who is it that “judges another man’s servant”? It is the whole Christian world who “esteems one day above another”. And what are we told of those who are weak in the faith and “esteem one day above another”? We are told is that they are “in bondage to… the weak and beggarly elements [of] observ[ing] days, month, seasons, and years”, and they cannot yet follow Christ’s example and “esteem every day alike”.

“Weak in the faith” means that a brother or sister has heard of Christ and has received Him as best he or she is able, but has no concept of being “crucified with Christ… because He broke the sabbath and claimed to be the Son of God”.

Our little children have no concept of “dying daily” and being “crucified with Christ” either, but to teach them to conform to “the traditions of men is no way to prepare them for being “persecuted [and] hated of all men” which is guaranteed to “all who will live godly in Christ Jesus”.

Mat 10:22  And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.

Christ’s “name’s sake” is His doctrine and His footsteps and His example. All who follow His example are promised persecution from the established Christian world:

2Ti 3:12  Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.

No child who is sheltered from this persecution will know what it means to “live godly in Christ Jesus”, and the parents who are more concerned with their children being accepted by the other children in the school than they are with teaching their child to expect to be hated of all men and to expect to be persecuted by the religious establishment, are not teaching their children what is the Biblical “love of God”, which love is the enemy of the carnal mind of every man who has ever been born:

Rom 8:7  Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.

1Jn 5:2  By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.
1Jn 5:3  For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.

It is nothing less than offering our children to the fires of Moloch when we encourage them to conform to society and observes society’s days, months, times and years, whether those traditions are Jewish or pagan.

Deu 18:10  There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch,

2Ki 21:6  And he [Manesseh] made his son pass through the fire, and observed times, and used enchantments, and dealt with familiar spirits and wizards: he wrought much wickedness in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger.

Gal 4:9  But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?
Gal 4:10  Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years. 
Gal 4:11  I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain.

But the esteeming of days is just one of so many temptations which our society and our culture place upon our children. Any child who is not dressed in style is again made to feel different and an outcast from society. This is especially hard on young girls and our sisters in Christ who are expected, when the fashion dictates, to show cleavage and midriff and to dress as a harlot. If we place no boundaries on our daughters when it comes to following dress fashions, and we let them follow a multitude to do evil and dress like a harlot, then we need not be surprised if they become harlots.

A brother just this past week told me his grandson had brought home a paper from his school which his grandson was expected to sign, proclaiming a day of silence for the homosexual life style. His teenage grandson was expected to sign the paper and make it known to the school officials that he was on board with school officials, and he accepts their values as his values. It doesn’t seem possible that this is taking place in this country, but that is the trial the Lord has given us (Eph 1:11), and that is what our children are facing. Are you going to teach your children that they ought to conform to society, or will you teach your children that following Christ will cause them to be hated of all men? Will you relinquish your child’s values to the state? If you are willing to do that, then you have forfeited your position of  headship in your home to the principle of your school in direct contradiction to the commandments of God:

Psa 40:10  I have not hid thy righteousness within my heart; I have declared thy faithfulness and thy salvationI have not concealed thy lovingkindness and thy truth from the great congregation. 

1Ti 3:4  One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;
1Ti 3:5  (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)

1Ti 5:8  But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel. 

Heb 3:6  But Christ as a son over his own housewhose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.

“I have declared thy salvation”, God’s salvation, is salvation from sin. A godly man does not relinquish headship of “his house” to anyone. His head is Christ, and he will not let Christ be replaced by a corrupt, spineless, school principal, who very likely agrees with, or else is afraid of losing his job if he stands up to such perversion on a national level. As parents we must “be of the same mind”, father with mother, and be prepared to stand with Christ when we are ordered to disobey God and “follow a multitude to do evil [and] wrest judgment”. Do not think that  “traditions of men” are the end. Neither think that homosexual rights is the end. I have seen the declaration of the European Union that they intend to teach children the benefits of same sex unions and of masturbation. If you thought homosexuality would never be approved of by governments, you and I were both wrong. The adversary is not interested in just ‘tolerating’ all this perversion. The adversary will insist that we ‘celebrate’ these godless actions which historically have preceded the downfall of all great nations.

Another insidious trial that is so effectively robbing us of our children, is video games. All too often this scourge robs us of any claim of being a godly leader. Allowing children to live on a phone or an i-pad while playing video games teaches that child to be self-centered, and antisocial. Adults too, are just as susceptible to this weakness. It seems incredible that we could be ruled by such a habit which robs us of time to be godly fathers and mothers to our own precious children. Worthless video games rob us of  time that ought to be spent with our spouse or our children or our Lord or His body. That is what video games have the power to do to some of us. This is a curse to which some of us have confessed on our body e-mails. Our prayers are with any who are suffering under this burden. The adversary has been given dust for his nourishment, and that is the composition of all men. Satan has been commissioned to “try… my servant Job”, and you and I are Job. God has given Satan the commission of showing each of us what is our own ‘wood, hay, and stubble’, and God is in the process of burning out of each of us any wood, hay or stubble which is still within us. It is not called ‘fire’ for no reason. The purging of our spiritually combustible hearts is an excruciatingly painful experience, but it is a battle that must be fought diligently and consistently and daily.

2Co 4:16  For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. 

When we do the best we can with our children, we will still experience the heartache of watching them do exactly what we have done. The story of the prodigal son has proceeded directly from the mouth of our Lord Himself. Therefore it is a simple truth that we are all prodigal in our own time and in our own way (Luk 15:11-32). Our children simply cannot skip their own prodigal experience.

Peter’s denial of his Lord is common to all of us. Our children are no exception to that experience either.

The book of Revelation tells us ‘blessed is he that reads, hears, and keeps those things which are written therein, for the time is at hand’ to do so:

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. 

Here is part of “those things which are written therein” in the very next chapter:

Rev 2:4  Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.

So we all “leave [our] first love”. That is what the prodigal son did, but “when we are old[er] we will not depart from it”.

So what is it that is so powerful that it causes us all to “leave [our] first love”, become a prodigal son, and have to come back to our Lord “when we are old[er]”?

This is the answer to that question:

1Jn 2:16  For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

It is “all that is in the world” that causes us all to deny Christ, leave our first love, and waste our substance on riotous living.

God does not call His people ‘sheep’ for no particular reason. He calls us His sheep, because mankind, whether in rebellion to Him and His ways or in obedience to Him and His ways, are like sheep who are so easily led by their hireling shepherds to do ‘follow a multitude to do evil and to wrest judgment’.

Summary

The natural man is predestined to precede the new spiritual man. That is why we are admonished:

Mat 26:41 Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.

It is because “the flesh is weak that we are reminded:

Gal 4:8  Howbeit then, when ye knew not God, ye did service unto them which by nature are no gods.
Gal 4:9  But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage? 
Gal 4:10  Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years. 
Gal 4:11  I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain.

Col 2:8  Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. 

We are the example of Christ to our children, and how we act under the pressures of society will determine in large part how our children will respond when placed under the pressures of the weak, evil beast within, who just naturally craves the approbation and the acceptance of the world without.

It is a rare parent indeed who sees the value of teaching their children from their youth the value of being different from their peers. The way this is often first experienced by all who are granted the spiritual strength to follow in the footsteps of Christ is to show your children how our Lord Himself set us the example of “esteeming every day alike”, by treating the weekly sabbath as just another work day. Christ did that in obedience to His Father’s commandment:

Joh 8:28  Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things. 

That is the example and the principle by which we are to approach any and everything we do. If “in all [our] ways [we] acknowledge [Him], then we will follow His example and walk in His steps:

1Pe 2:21  For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:

Here is what that willingness to be obedient to His Father brought upon Christ:

Joh 5:16  And therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus, and sought to slay him, because he had done these things on the sabbath day. 
Joh 5:17  But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work.
Joh 5:18  Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God.

Christ could have avoided much persecution by simply keeping the weekly sabbath, but that was not what His Father had commanded Him, and that was not the example He gave us. Instead He was willing to die to obey His Father instead of following the traditions which He Himself had given to Israel before His own “times of reformation”.

Heb 9:10  Which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances [including “esteeming one day above another”], imposed on them until the time of reformation. 

As Christ’s example demonstrates for us, it is good to be different when that difference is something that makes us more like Christ. It is very difficult for children to overcome the natural sheep instinct within all men to conform to the ways of this world. It is hard enough to be different when your parents set you a good example. It is very unlikely any child will be willing to follow Christ when his parents don’t. That is why we are told:

Exo 23:2  Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil; neither shalt thou speak in a cause to decline after many to wrest judgment:

Pro 24:10  If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small.

Ecc 7:14  In the day of prosperity be joyful, but in the day of adversity consider: God also hath set the one over against the other, to the end that man should find nothing after him.

There is no “day of adversity” when we fit in with the customs and traditions of man and never have to know any real adversity, such as our Lord experienced by “esteeming every day alike” instead of bowing to the pressure to conform to the ways of this world.

Women and girls who are pressured to keep up with what is the very latest style must seek first the kingdom of God and have faith that God will reward them for being willing to resist and reject the pressures of society to conform to the immodest styles of this age. The styles of this age just naturally demand that we abandon all modesty and give ourselves and our children over to the current fashions in entertainment and in apparel. For all who are given to receive it, this is the mind of the spirit on this subject. These are His words which will not pass away:

1Ti 2:9  In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array;
1Ti 2:10  But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.

When it comes to entertainment and movies, what used to be considered X-rated is now considered to be PG, or simply in need of parental guidance. What used to be considered risque is now considered to be modest apparel. It is the style in our modern society for women to show ever more cleavage and ever more skin. So mothers must set an example for their daughters, and not cave in to the demands of society and dress their little innocent girls to look like hookers.

No one has ever heard me say one word about the exact length of a woman’s dress or her hair, and Lord willing, you never will. Nevertheless we all know what is and what is not “modest apparel”, and exposing yours or your daughter’s midriff, and half of yours or your daughters breasts, is definitely not “adorning [your]selves in modest apparel with shamefacedness and sobriety”. Many church-going people today have absolutely no use for 1Ti 2:9. It just sounds completely obsolete to many. We have allowed ourselves to see so much perversion on TV and in movies and on our computers, that we have forgotten the truth that is this verse of scripture:

Mat 24:35  Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.

So Truth is not relevant to the time in which it is spoken. Truth is always true and it does not change with the times.

Here is what the scriptures teach us concerning our eyes in every age:

Pro 27:20  Hell and destruction are never full; so the eyes of man are never satisfied. 

Ecc 1:8  All things are full of labour; man cannot utter it: the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing.

Mat 6:22  The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.
Mat 6:23  But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!

1Jn 2:16  For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

We must guard what we allow to enter into our eyes. “The light of the body is the eye”.

Let no one “who is called a brother” or a sister, ever be guilty of offering his son or his daughter upon the altar of conforming to the ways of this world to avoid the adversity known as “the offense of the cross”.

Luk 6:46  And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? 

1Co 1:18  For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.

Gal 5:11  And I, brethren, if I yet preach circumcision, why do I yet suffer persecution? then is the offence of the cross ceased. 

“The offence of the cross” certainly includes “do[ing] the things [our Lord] says” in all the admonitions we have seen in this study today.

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