Survive The Deadly Epidemic

Be warned! An epidemic is spreading and getting worse day by day! It has more serious consequences than all other epidemics, but there is certainly a way to survive it.
Survive The Deadly Epidemic
Source - Image owned, uploaded and copyrighted 2016 by author, Peter P. Macinta (Brother Pete)

No doubt over tens of thousands of diseases pester mankind. Some are deadly and others, in their least, are quite devastating. Many go to great lengths to avoid ravaging and deadly diseases, and rightfully so. However, the entirety of humanity is troubled with something far worse than any physical disease, for not only does it bring physical death, but it brings eternal spiritual death [1].

From the time we are conceived each of us are plagued with a nature that is “at odds” with God, our sin nature. Logically, the symptoms of our sin nature is sin. The Holy Bible has

much to say about sin and points to the remedy for it-- the finished work of Christ. And while the Holy Bible specifically refers to sin, certain ailments of mankind are used in the Word to represent our sin nature and sin. When leprosy is mentioned in the Word it also represents sin, and the passages it occurs in bring out vital spiritual lessons.

Deuteronomy 24:8 is one of those many passages. From that verse we may learn the basics of how to survive the worldwide epidemic of sin so we will not have to suffer now and in eternity. I would like to begin with mentioning the epidemic, then giving our course of action as indicated by the Holy Spirit through Moses. I will mention only the spiritual epidemic to save time. Here is Deuteronomy 24:8 (KJ21*): “Take heed in the plague of leprosy, that you observe diligently and do according to all that the priests, the Levites, shall teach you; as I commanded them, so you shall observe to do.”

I. The Epidemic

“. . . in the plague of leprosy . . .”

Sin may be defined as any disobedience and any lack of obedience to God. God certainly has not left it up to us to decide what He desires, but has given us His Word, the Holy Bible, so we have the real facts before us-- provided that you have before you an accurate translation [2]. I present to you three observations in regard to the current state of the world. First, there is a lot of sin. All we have to do is check the news and there will always be a murder, a rape, theft, militant action, and a whole list of things.

The second and third observations can come from those around my age who are not blinded by the prince of this age [3]. The second is that there is definitely more occurrences of sin. Most people in the 1950s had respect for others. We did not need safety seals for our food. Residents of many communities could actually keep their doors unlocked, and I can give more examples. The third is that their are more gross sins. I really do not care to give details on that, but if one is open, knowledgeable, and honest they will agree.

With that said it is clear we are in an epidemic of sin, and it is contagious. God says it is contagious. Consider well Haggai 2:11-14:

"Thus says YHVH of hosts, 'ask now the priests for a ruling: 12 If a man carries holy meat in the fold of his garment, and touches bread with this fold, or cooked food, wine, oil, or any other food, will it become holy?' And the priests answered, 'No.' 13 Then Haggai said, 'If one who is unclean from a corpse touches any of these, will the latter become unclean?' And the priests answered, 'It will become unclean.' 14 Then Haggai said, 'So is this people. And so is this nation before Me, declares YHVH, and so is every work of their hands; and what they offer there is unclean.'" This passage, along with many others, also indicates that each of us is prone to sin. 

II. Our Course Of Action

Deuteronomy is part of the Jewish Law. After Christ came to minister on earth, by the Holy Spirit Paul wrote in Galatians 3:24 that, "the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith." Knowing the consequences of natural leprosy one would desire healing. Knowing the consequences of sin one should desire deliverance. Briefly, according to the whole counsel of the Word of God the consequences of sin include separation from the entire mercy and love of God now, and the same after physical death, but without hope.

"Take heed . . ."

However, just as Deuteronomy 24:8 begins with "Take heed," each of us will be definitely bless if we heed the message of the true Gospel that warns of eternal damnation but offers us Eternal Life in Christ (John 3:14-18). Numerous passages speak of the tremendous blessings of salvation once one fully surrenders to God through Christ. They include, but are not limited to, freedom from sin, freedom from self, freedom from the devil and the world, the ability to live for God, godly peace and contentment, healing, abundant life now, and Eternal Life.
 
Once we are truly saved we are still to take heed, especially since we definitely are in a plague of sin. The word in Hebrew calls us to [4] be on guard, take heed, take care, beware and to keep oneself, refrain, abstain. We are to be alert and pay attention to the written Word, His spoken Word to our hearts and, as we will later see, to what His true servants teach us as long as they are teaching us what God has commanded.

One thing that comes to my mind which I feel many overlook is distractions, especially when the Body of Christ is gathered together. With cell phones and other electronic devices we have more distractions than ever and oftentimes they do occur during a church service. But even without them, take heed, for our old nature would not mind being distracted when a servant of God is bringing out a truth we will desperately need. I often see people distracted when I speak about the sin-killing power of the cross or the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

So, do not be distracted, but focus upon the spiritual lesson or need of the moment. Neither be self-confident. Some feel they will never fall from grace. Do not be deceived with cheap grace, thinking you may freely sin and Christ will freely forgive. Nor be spiritually drowsy. Each of us must endeavor to be spiritually alert and in tune with the Holy Spirit. Remember we are in the midst of a deadly epidemic of sin.

“. . . that you diligently observe and do . . .”

“Diligently" is more accurate than “carefully" which is used in some other translations. The actual Hebrew means “exceedingly, much.” Sometime back I was criticized for cutting off from our house the TV cables we were not using and I was also criticized for other similar things. I was told I take things too seriously. As you see, the Holy Scriptures backup my actions. Besides, for my sake, and your sake too, Christ took things seriously. Therefore we should “exceedingly


much” obey His written and spoken Word in the midst of the current epidemic of sin.

“. . . according to all that the Levitical priests teach you; as I have commanded them . . . “

Immediately bringing the phrase ”Levitical priests" into our time we may substitute “God’s servants” for it. Now, I will clarify “God’s servants” as those who are Holy Bible believing, born again servants who instruct, exhort, and more, those in the Body of Christ (the universal church). Based upon Holy Scripture and personal experience that is also based upon Holy Scripture I would say we should pay special attention to those acutely aware of the spirit realm.

We are also to take to heart the beginning of the next clause which reads “as I have commanded them.” First, all servants of God are susceptible to error. A real servant of God will admit to this and encourage you to examine what he says according to the Word of God. Even the “best” of God’s servants might err. However, at the other end of “the spectrum” are those who are really false teachers. We are to avoid them. We can know if they are false by knowing the written Word  of God and carefully listening to the Holy Spirit.

When listening to, watching, reading an article, etc., from a servant of God we are to avoid distractions. In my ministry I have noticed that distractions seem to abound when I heavily speak on salvation, the crucifixion of the flesh, the crushing of the sin nature and the baptism of the Holy Spirit. With God's help train yourself to focus upon what is coming from the Word of God. There are often distractions before an assembly convenes. A sports event, carnival, relatives, and many other thngs often "pop up," especially when a person needs to hear a particular word from the throne of God. Strongly ignore all distractions and concentrate upon the Word of God.

In order to take heed, diligently observe and do what God wants us to do we must also avoid spiritual drowsiness (Romans 13:11, 1 Corinthians 15:34, Ephesians 5:14), drunkeness (1 Thessalonians 5:6, 1 Peter 4:7 and 5:8), dulness of hearing (Hebrews 5:11), and being slow of heart (Luke 24:25). To “nip all of these in the bud” we need to be foundationally alert so we are not tainted with any influences of the devil or the world.

Before we move to the final clause we must carefully consider “. . . as I have commanded them.” We need to make sure that when we listen to someone’s teaching, preaching or related ministry that they use a translation very close to the ancient texts [2]. In the midst of the current epidemic of sin there are way too many translations and versions that do not tell you the true mind, character and heart of God. In regard to God speaking directly to our hearts we need to make sure that what we think is God speaking to us corresponds to His written Word.

“. . .  so you shall be careful to do.”

This reminds me so much of James 1:22, “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.” Most people I know would do whatever their health officials would tell them to do if there was a medical epidemic. Most people upon seeing a caution sign next to a hospital room will gladly put on gloves, a mask and a robe if so warned to do so if the person they came to see had an infectious disease. How much should we obey and take heed, listen and take precautions exceedingly much in the midst of the epidemic of sin?

Now, while being infected with sin and succumbing to spiritual death is a fearful thought, we really ought to take action out of love for God and for our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. For the sake of the glorification of the Name of Christ and for the sake of our fellow disciples we should remain alert and spiritually focused to be our best for God and the Body of Christ.

But it all starts with taking heed to the Gospel, the Good News that the Son has provided a domain of safety from the wrath of the Father. The Son has lovingly provided full release from the power of sin. The Son has secured for those that trust in Him a most glorious resurrection. Within the Son is abundant life now as well as Eternal Life. If you do not have Christ as King of your life then please fully surrender to Him now, totally committing yourself to Him.

Notes:

[1] Learn the Holy Bible definition for spiritual death and more at http://thesureword.expertscolumn.com/article/you-still-exist-after-death#TwoDeaths .

[2] Please read about Holy Bibles Good And Bad at http://thesureword.expertscolumn.com/article/holy-bibles-good-and-bad .

[3] Satan is the prince of this world. Please see John 12:31, 14:30, and 16:11.

[4] From an electronic version of Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance by James Strong incorporated in the Online Bible program, and so throughout the article whenever the ancient language is referred to and no other authority is cited.

This article was written in the form of a sermon (message) outline with comments. God willing by October 12, 2016 (hopefully much sooner), you should be able to hear the actual message (sermon) by selecting a link at http://www.sapphirestreams.com/life/audioM.html#M420 .

Unless otherwise noted all Holy Scripture is from the New American Standard Bible changing LORD to YHVH as it rightly should be when the text so indicates. * = For other versions the spelling of some words is updated for our time in addition to changing LORD to YHVH as it rightly should be when the text so indicates.

Not responsible for any advertisements appearing with this article nor am I necessarily in agreement with any of them. The statements of this paragraph hold true not only for this article, but for everything I have placed on the Internet.



Article Written By BrotherPete

I am a minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, having served over forty years as a pastor. I graduated from Northeast Bible College of Green Lane Pennsylvania and have a Bachelors Degree in Bible. I am enthused about the Word of God and how it can make a positive change in the life of anyone once it is teamed up with faith and the Holy Spirit. I am happily married. Visit www.sapphirestreams.com.

Posted on 03-09-2016 68 1

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  • nbillett  07-02-2017
    Distractions do abound. But it is when we overcome these distractions and focus on the mission of Christ that we are victorious. Christ never promised that we would have it easy, but he did promise that he will always be with us.
    reply 0
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