Rebellion and Stubbornness

ďRebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry.Ē This was said by the prophet Samuel to King Saul after that Saul had returned from the war with the Amalekites. Saul had been commanded by God to go and destroy the Amalekites and their possessions including their livestock. However, the children of Israel had saved the best of the livestock alive in order to do sacrifice with them, and had spared the King of the Amalekites. According to what God told King Saul it is better to obey than sacrifice. Because of Saulís rebellion against the word of the Lord, Saul was rejected from being King over Israel.

Rebellion is laid up in the heart of man. Rebellion began in the garden of Eden, when Satan rebelled against God and worked to try to overthrow God by telling the woman that she would not surely die if she ate of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, but that she would become as gods, knowing good and evil. The woman rebelled against God when she ate of the forbidden fruit and the man rebelled against God when he took of the fruit and ate thereof. As a result of their rebellion, the serpent, the woman, and the man were all cursed. Furthermore, thru Adamís sin, sin entered into the world, and death by sin passed upon all mankind. Thus all mankind is plagued by the rebellion of Adam.

Man, before he is born of the Spirit, is in a completely rebellious state against God. He does not like to retain God in his knowledge and has said in his heart that there is no God. Before the flood, we see in man that every imagination of the thought of his heart was only evil continually and violence filled the earth. Similarly, today we see unregenerate man trying to overthrow the laws of God and to deny the existence of God. It doesnít matter how much creationists can show that the earth is only about six thousand years old, the problem isnít with manís head, but the problem is with manís heart, because he is bound and determined to attempt to prove the non-existence of God. Likewise, unregenerate men, strive to overthrow the moral laws of God. We are continually being plagued with political attacks on the ten commandments. Men say that adultery is all right and that it is all right for homosexual unions and that killing the unborn is all right Whereas Godís laws condemn such action, yet man is in rebellion against God.

After the flood, the children of men followed a man by the name of Nimrod in rebellion against God. God had told man to be fruitful and to multiply and to replenish the earth and to subdue it. Under Nimrod man set about to build a city and a tower whose top might reach to heaven. This was rebellion because it was designed to hold man together under the government of man in a one world government, thus throwing off the government of God. God thwarted this rebellion by confusing the tongues of men so that they could not understand one anotherís speech. Now this hasnít stop man from attempting to rebuild a one world government, but has served as a giant hindrance in the way to that effort. Throughout manís history he has tried to build a one world government: Babel, Assyria, Babylon, Medea and Persia, Greece, Rome, and in this modern day world, such is attempted under the umbrella of the United Nations. Each of the beastly attempts have resulted in laws and ordinances in direct opposition to the laws of God. Furthermore, a one world government is not a friend to Godís people.

In the spiritual realm, we also see rebellion, as it was prophesied that in that day, ďSeven women would take hold of one man, saying, ĎWe will eat our own bread and wear our own apparel, only let us be called by thy name to take away our reproach.íĒ We are living in a day when many want to be called by the name of Christ and to be known as the church of Christ, but they donít want his doctrines of grace, nor do they want to worship in the manner that his word prescribes. Thus they want their own gospel and they want their own practices. They are in rebellion against the true gospel of Christ and they are in rebellion against the government of Christ, but they want to be called by the name of Christ. Practices invented by men in rebellion against the government of Christ include mission societies, Sunday schools, Seminaries and Preachers Seminars, tithing as a new testament practice, women preachers, salaried ministers, instrumental music, church auxiliaries, and church foundations.

Lest we think that rebellion does not affect us as Old Baptists, let us consider the preacher Jonah. God had commanded Jonah to go to Nineveh and preach that which he bid him, but Jonah rebelled and went in the opposite direction. He found a ship and went down into the ship and set sail, trying to flee from the presence of the Lord. A great storm arose and Jonah was found out and cast over the side of the ship and swallowed of a great fish. There in the belly of the whale, Jonah lifted up his eyes and confessed himself to be in the belly of hell and proclaimed that salvation is of the Lord. The fish vomited Jonah up on dry land and Jonah went and preached that which God bid him to Nineveh. Please note that Jonah suffered for his rebellion as do we as Godís children suffer when we rebel. The closest thing that Godís children suffer to hell is in this time world when we rebel against him.

The children of Israel said that we will not have this man (Jesus) to rule over us. Also, they said that we have no king, but Caesar. Obviously they were in rebellion against God. However, we also can be in rebellion against God by our actions. Do we not rebel against God when we fail to press into Godís kingdom thru water baptism? Do not we rebel against God when we fail to seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness? Do not we rebel against God when we fail to maintain Godís government in our churches? Do not we rebel against God when we fail to live up to the standards of conduct laid down in Godís word, including both our dress and our life styles? Do not we rebel against God when we fail to maintain our marriages according to the pattern taught us in the scriptures? Surely, the list could go on and on. We need to recognize our own rebellious hearts and strive to root out rebellion in our lives wherever we find it. May God help us in this endeavor.

Elder Vernon Johnson