Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought:
I Corinthians 2:66
IT IS CLEAR, THE LORD JESUS CAME INTO THE EARTH to bring a Kingdom. His first public proclamation was, Repent: for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand—Mt 4:17. And, it is clear the first Word of this Kingdom is repent. This is from the Greek metanoéo, which means let there come a change in your mind, in the way you think, and in the way you respond to life. The Kingdom He presented called for a changed people, redeemed and brought into line with an order of living that is contrary to the systems of the world.
Something else is clear. The Lord Jesus will have a people made ready to share with Him in the rule of His Kingdom. Indeed, no Word is more clear. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in My Throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with My Father in His Throne—Rev 3:21.
It’s also becoming clear to me that an older brother in the Lord was right when he said, “You know, Brother Corley, we are saved by grace, but we must qualify for God’s Kingdom.” He didn’t then tell me any more, but those words have remained with me through the years to bring some understanding with regard to the pain and processing so many of us have been going through. Oh, yes, we’ve had to come to see that suffering has its value. It brings something to pass in us that will make us of more value for the eternal Kingdom. It crowds us into deep association with our King Who Himself learned obedience by the things which He suffered—Heb 5:8.
But, let us come to the final part of the high Covenant Words of Ps 2. They will hold a steadying influence over us as we grow in our understanding of what the Lord is bringing to pass in us under the pressures of the most awesome hour the world has ever known.
10 •Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: •be instructed ye judges of the earth.
11 •Serve the LORD with fear, and •rejoice with trembling.
12 •Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.
If we’re not careful, we may lose seeing the importance of the mandates we find in these concluding verses of the Psalm. Actually, the words we have marked with bullets are Imperatives—given as commands to kings and judges—laying out what will move them toward qualification for fulfilling their duties in Christ’s Kingdom. The admonitions are clear. The qualities toward which they move are: ·the purification of wisdom, •self-discipline, ·reverent obedience, •joy with fearfulness, and •reconciliation with Christ.
THE LAST FIVE STATEMENTS OF PS 2 are a significant part of the Gospel of the Kingdom. They bear striking parallel with the points of The Everlasting Gospel. Seeing both Scriptures in the clear understanding with which they come is as important as any enlightenment that can come from any source for this formidable hour so near to the closing of this age. See this regarding The Everlasting Gospel.
Revelations 14:6-7 And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having The Everlasting Gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people. Saying with a loud voice, •Fear God, and •give glory to Him: for the hour of his judgment is come: and •worship Him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.
Both in the Hebrew of the Psalms passage and in the Greek of the Revelation passage the words we have marked with bullets are in the Imperative Mode. This strengthens the authority and clarity with which they come to us. According to Webster’s New World Dictionary, an imperative is a binding or compelling rule, duty, or requirement. It is a command or an order coming from some one in authority. Toward whom are these orders directed? While they may seem most pointedly to reach for rulers of earthly realms—kings, presidents, prime ministers, governors they go beyond into the uttermost parts of the earth to lay hold on us who have been redeemed by the precious blood of Christ. Can’t we see they are directed toward the people described in Rev 5:9,10. They are those who have been redeemed to God by the blood of Christ out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation, and have been made a kingdom of priests who shall reign on the earth. Oh, what a company is this! It is being forged in the fires of affliction all over the world. In them mercy and truth are met together to make overcomers. Through them righteousness and peace will find release in the earth (Ps 85:10).
THE IMPERATIVES OF PSALM 2 ARE SO IMPORTANT THAT we must take slow and careful look at each one. The first one is, Be wise now therefore, O ye kings... (Ps 2:l0a). This is in line with Paul’s prayer in Eph 1:17 from which we have drawn inspiration for years—That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge (better “acknowledgment”) of Him.
The word be wise in the Psalm comes from the Hebrew sachal from which derives our word MASCHIL. Sachal means to give careful and diligent attention to matters, considering them with serious thought and prudent application in life. This leads to the ordering of all one’s actions on the basis of wise forethought and understanding. In Ephesians we gain further understanding that this wisdom comes to its perfection only in our acknowledgment—I believe it means our growing and continuing acknowledgment—of Christ Jesus. He is made unto us wisdom (I Cor 1:30). This wisdom will find release in us by the work of the Holy Spirit.
The wisdom, toward which Ps 2:10 directs us, and about which Paul speaks, is not quickly come upon. It is a quality that will develop in the lives of those who rise early to study God’s Word with the help of His Spirit, who take time through their day to meditate on what they have seen, and who then order their living according to the ways of the Word. Being wise in this manner means adjusting our way of thinking, talking, acting and responding so as to be in line with Christ’s indwelling life—and, thus, in line with the Kingdom He proclaimed.
THE PROPHET DANIEL LOVED THE WORD SACHAL that David used in Ps 2 and made use of it in telling of the awesome events of the end-time. Of particular significance is the passage where Daniel tells of Michael, whom God described as the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people. We may well suppose that Michael is the great warrior prince of the heavenly realm, the Archangel whose presence assures the triumph of God’s people even in their darkest hour. When he arises, there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time. But, in this time of trouble there shall arise a company Daniel called they that be wise (Dan 12:1-3). Here, this word wise is from sachal, but in its Participle form spelled as maschilim. This is the Plural form of the word maschil, and means those people who have diligently pursued wisdom and made understanding the ways of God their daily delight.
In this time of trouble, we have this last promise God gave Daniel: Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise (the maschilim) shall understand (12:10). This is the last prophetic promise God gave Daniel.
There is more we could say here, but let us emphasize just these three statements from Daniel regarding the maschilim:
One—They that understand (the maschilim) among the people shall instruct many, 11:33.
Two—They that be wise (the maschilim) shall shine as the brightness of the firmament, 12:3.
Three—…the wise (the maschilim) shall understand, Dan 12:10.
Are these not the children of the Kingdom? They will have the wisdom and insight required for each day’s demand as they face a time of trouble like the world has never known. The wisdom required for these days will be like none ever called for in any days past. It is this kind of wisdom toward which Ps 2:10 directs us.
If God lays an imperative upon us, He gives us the grace that enables us to respond to it. Thus the command be wise holds within it its own ability to work in us. I find comfort in this, don’t you? We can’t even hope to discover wisdom’s fullness
in this brief paper, but we do need to give more attention to it. It is our prayer that the following sections will provide some guidance for those who are being purified for the last days. We must recognize there are some sources that try to place a wisdom upon us that does not fit in the Kingdom of God and from which we must be purged if we can have any hope of functioning in that Kingdom.
I believe we can say there are five sources of wisdom, some valuable for the Kingdom, some not.Those who will reign in life by...Jesus Christ (Rom 5:17), and who will sit with Him in His Throne (Rev
3:21), learn to discern pure wisdom. They seek it and allow adjustment in their understanding, in their insight, and in their responses to what life requires of them for the time of trouble.
FIRST, THERE IS THE WISDOM THAT IS FROM ABOVE (Jas 3:17). This is a product of the Holy Spirit at work in us. As it operates in a body of believers, Paul calls it the word of wisdom (I Cor 12:8). James gives us some powerful instruction regarding this wisdom in Jas 1:5. If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally (“bountifully”), and upbraideth not (that is, He doesn’t scold us for being dumb or stupid); and it shall be given him. Ask is from a Present Imperative form of aitéo which makes it mean, “let one ask, and ask, and ask,” under every circumstance, day after day. I think this is a process that may never cease. And, never will the repository of wisdom from above grow lacking. James then tells us in 3:17 that this wisdom that God gives is first •pure, then •peaceable, •gentle, and •easy to be entreated, •full of mercy and good fruits, •without partiality, and •without hypocrisy. Again, take note of the words with bullets. They are sharp and powerful. Note them in your Bible. Try and memorize them. Just know, this is the kind of wisdom that is ours for the asking!
But, hold to this point we gain from Paul in Eph 1:17. This wisdom born of God’s Spirit in us, coupled with the spirit of revelation, finds its increase in us as we grow in our acknowledgment of the Lord Jesus. It is only as we grow in knowing who we are in Him and Who He is in us that we discover that He is made unto us wisdom (I Cor 1:30). The deeper and more sure this relationship, the purer will be the wisdom and insight that will be ours for living under the pressures and peril of the last days. This wisdom, linked in its operation with revelation—that is, insight into and understanding of all that surrounds us—makes Kingdom persons both aware of what is taking place as well as how to respond in all matters of life, even the most difficult.
As the spirit of revelation works with the spirit of wisdom in us, we move forward toward the grand possibility of becoming overcomers—and rulers.
Pro 2:2-6 provides some powerful concepts for our growth in the Wisdom ready to find release in us from above. Yet again, see the bullets. So that thou •incline thine ear unto wisdom, and •apply thine heart to understanding; yea, if thou •criest after knowledge, and •liftest up thy voice for understanding; if thou •seekest her as silver, and •searchest for her as for hid treasures; then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God. For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.
Mark this passage in your Bible. Let the Holy Spirit work its concepts into your walk with the Lord.
SECOND IN THE LIST OF OUR SOURCES for wisdom is the wisdom that comes from the Word of God. A Psalmist expressed this so well. The entrance of Thy Words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple—Ps 119:130. But know this, there is a slight danger here. We must take care lest we take the Word of God and wrest it, which means twisting its meaning to comply with our own sometimes misguided concepts. I’ve learned this regarding receiving the wisdom of God’s Word: instead of my laying hold on the Word, I must allow the Word to lay hold on me. The Word of God has within it a power that will work its way into all our living, and all our responding to life, if we but learn to “soak” in its light. Paul says the Word of God... effectually worketh also in you that believe—I Thes 2:13. Effectually worketh is from the Greek energéo. It means the Word of God become an energetic force in us, releasing in us the very power of what it is.
Allow the Lord to work the wisdom of His Word into your living. It’s not nearly so important that we go about quoting Scripture as it is that our lives become expressions of the Word made flesh. Thus, we become demonstrations of His wisdom and light.
We are facing a world in which there is a buildup of warning from so called intellectuals, along with secularists, that we must beware of the fundamentals of religion. The media is particularly heavy in this. A recent article in a popular weekly magazine gives credence to the idea that more acts of terrorism, so on our minds today, may yet arise from the distorted minds of those who become taken with what any one of them may consider the Word of God. The Muslims consider the Koran the same as we do the Bible, and so other religions have their holy script. This recent secular article tells of “the danger that may lurk in the heart of all fundamentalist versions of religion, not just Islam—perhaps in the heart of religion itself” (US News and World Report, March 11,2002, pg 56). This thought tends toward agnosticism on all levels. If we embrace it, it leads toward infidelity and the exaltation of human wisdom above the wisdom of God. This will become increasingly pervasive as the age draws on toward its end, so that thinking in line with God’s Word will become most unpopular and those who do so will be branded as fanatics and dangerous. But the person who knows the Holy Spirit and who has discovered that the entrance of God’s Word gives light will tap into that wisdom of the Lord Who by wisdom hath founded the earth (Pro 3:19). This is the true wisdom that has been refined in the fires of eternity.
Some will be able to receive God’s kind of wisdom, some will not. I love what Paul said in I Cor 2:6. Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect (brought to maturity): yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought (that is, they are becoming unproductive and meaningless as rulers.) We can rest assured that the only wisdom that will remain is that which comes from out of the eternities with God. His grace is releasing it into our lives for the impending awesome hour. Thus, we continue to rejoice at His word, as those who find great spoil (Ps 119:162).
A THIRD SOURCE OF WISDOM IS that which comes from wise counselors. Pro 11:14 makes a powerful statement with regard to this. Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counselors there is safety. A counselor is a person who through life—sometimes with training and special gifting—has gained insight into the ways of living and responding to trials.
I thank God for counselors who have impacted my own life. More often than not, their influence has come on me through some simple conversation in which they made a statement or two that struck me as very wise and which I should embrace.
But know this: counselors need the constant help of the Holy Spirit. Often there are things the one seeking counsel cannot, or will not, tell. But there are no secrets kept from God. Therefore, by the gifts He gives there come answers no counselor equipped only with educational degrees can fully give.
There are various schools of thought with regard to counseling. All of them hold sonic value, yet, unless they be balanced by the first two principles we have laid out in the previous paragraphs regarding wisdom, they hold the danger of giving unwise counsel with wisdom that is tainted.
When I personally have sought counsel, I have learned to wait and see if the advise, that is, wisdom, imparted to me bears witness with the Holy Spirit at work in me, and if it is in line with the principles of God’s Word. If not, it proves valueless.
There is much more for us to see on this point, and in the two points that follow. For the present, however, let us click onto the accompanying PRAYER STARTERS and let the Holy Spirit use them to bring our understanding and wisdom further into line with the Kingdom toward which we are being drawn.
Let us hold our hearts open before the Lord, yielded to His Word and His Spirit, that the wisdom from above might find its release in us. We can know this: there is no darkness, no distress, no painful situation, no hopeless day but that our Heavenly Father sees it all and will release into us the wisdom—and revelation—to walk through it in triumph. This helps make an overcomer.
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