Church of God, New World Ministries

Knowing Your Enemy

Do we ever wonder why we are not changing? Have we repented of a sin, only to repeat the same sin over and over?

Those of you that have been listening to our sermons and reading our literature have learned that God inspired different words in the original texts to emphasize different kinds of sins. The reason God did this is to help us to know our enemy.

Our society and our people stands condemned by God’s definitions of sin. We live in a society that is set up to tempt human nature and when we yield to that temptation we miss the mark, and the Hebrew word is chattah. Another word for sin is aven, it means the vanity of personal appearance, bragging on our children, or general senselessness. Modern art and music is greatly twisted, bent, wrested and perverted from its true use; that word is avon.

Sneakiness, treachery the word for that sin is ma’al and this can include word-breaking, disloyalty, petty thievery and so on. From all these different names for sin, the Bible clearly brands and condemns sin.

This article is to help us pinpoint, locate and spot the sin in our lives and to root them out: that is what the days of Unleavened Bread are all about. ( The first and last day of unleavened bread are two of the seven annual holy days, Sabbaths, God commands obedience to in Lev. 23).

The enemy of mankind is sin, and sin has a target: and that target is you and me. The last part of Genesis 4:7 says: “Yea, on you its desire (is set) but you should rule over it.” If you and I don’t master sin now, while we have the chance, we will end up a reprobate. And someone who is a reprobate is someone who cannot cease from sin.

Now sin is not a person, or a personality, it is a force, a power. Sin is that part of human nature which pulls down, sin makes us want the wrong things and to go the wrong way. And that in turn, makes us want to give up and quit. In short, sin is what makes us carnal, miserable people that we are.

The answer to sin and to win this battle over our human nature, our sin, we must clearly see what sin is. We must know our enemy to defeat it.

People who participate in any type of sports, know that stabbing pains sometime comes with the playing of sports. And God is familiar with the stabbing pains of sin. We, who are Christians, must become familiar with our own sins in our lives.

Now before we give you the answer to sin, let’s look at a few more kinds of sin, both national, and personal, which God identifies as sin in the Bible.

Some sins are not necessarily intentional such as the ones you have just read about. But the Bible does talk about intentional sins. We know that people and nations do sin intentionaly at some time or other in life.

The Hebrew word zimmah means to meditate wickedness, a plan for evil, especially with sin of unchastity, incest, rape. We know that these types of people roam our streets today. The thing is; we don’t call them sinners, we call them homicidal maniacs, psychopaths, or unfortunate or sometimes misunderstood.

Notice Judges 20:6 “And I took my concubine, and cut her in pieces, and sent her throughout all the country of the inheritance of Israel; for they have committed lewdness and folly in Israel.” The word zimmah here is translated lewdness. And our nation is filled with sexual looseness and lewdness for which we must be punished!

“I will lift your skirt high and expose you naked, for your adulteries, your lustful cries, your vice so foul. Yes, on the open hills your lewdness have I seen! Woe betide you, Jerusalem! Will you ever be clean” (Jere. 13:27)? Our national lewdness or zimmah will mean our very destruction. The word zimmah is also used through the middle chapters of Ezekiel.

God is going to intervene soon, because of sin, and He is going to shake this earth. All nations and probably all individuals too are guilty of revolt and rebellion.

The next word for sinning intentionally is pasha’ it means to break away from, to change allegiance, to fall away, apostatize, rebel.

This is what the apostle Paul writes about in II Thessalonians the 2nd chapter and Hebrews 6:6. According to Matthew chapter 25, half the Church will not make it into the Kingdom of God because they have fallen away, change allegiance from the God of the Universe to the god of this world, they have rebelled against God.

Notice Isaiah 43:27 “Thy first father hath sinned, and thy teachers have transgressed against me.” The word transgressed is pasha’. Now read what Jeremiah says about the priest and pastors: “The priests said not, where is the Lord? And they that handle the law knew me not: the pastors also transgressed against me, and the prophets prophesied by Baal, and walked after things that do not profit” (Jere. 2:8).

The leaders, teachers and educators of this world have rebelled, and rebellion never goes unpunished. “What man thinks is the right course may end up on the road to death” (Prov. 16:25) “Rebels are out for mischief, but the king will send a cruel force against them” (Prov. 17:11). We in God’s Church must make sure that rebellion is not part of our personal life.

Sin is not only national and worldwide, but it is also individual and personal. Can we control our rashness and our temper? The sin of going astray is serious; at one time it required the blood of a sin offer. You can read about that in Lev. 4:13-14 and Numbers 15:27-30.

During the days of our conversion, we must be constantly on guard against this sin of piercing or breaking through the limits of self-control and decency. This going astray through ignorance or temperamental rashness is called shagag and it requires the blood of Jesus Christ to wash us clean.

Even King David fell victim to this sin: “Before I was afflicted I went astray (shagag); but now have I kept thy word” (Ps. 119:67). David did overcome this type of sin “but now have I kept thy word.”

To wander in mind, either from drunkenness or from just plain being carried away by foolishness is sin. Uncontrolled and wandering minds produce forgetfulness and daydreaming. Daydreaming is a sin.

How open and honest are you? Openness, innocence, and straight forwardness are earmarks of conversion. The direct opposite qualities such as treachery, slipperiness, deceit and sham is a sin and the Hebrew word is bagad, often translated perverseness.

Now there are two Greek words for evil or sin, they are kakia and poneria.

Kakia is sin, but it is the passive type. In other words, it is passive, it is lacking, it is no good, good for nothing. Passive sin is failing to do what you know is right.

On the other hand, poneria is actively, aggressively bad, it is destruction on the march. Satan is called the evil one in the Greek; Satan is aggressively evil, seeking to destroy everyone.

We need to search ourselves, to see passive evil or active evil, errors of omission and errors of commission, and must be rooted out.

The answer to sin is to know your enemy; the first step to conquering sin is to see it, because if you can see your sins you can fight them. Paul said he would have not known sin, unless the law revealed what it was. Ask God to show you and He will do it!

“Hate the evil, and love the good, and establish judgment in the gate; it may be that the Lord God of hosts will be gracious unto the remnant of Joseph” (Amos 5:15). The Bible commands us to hate, to loathe our sins. This is simple-sounding, but very difficult to perform. Why? Because the carnal mind loves sin.

“Among whom also we all had our conduct in times past in the lust of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others” (Eph. 2:3). The point is: lusts are pleasant, appealing, strong pulling desires, desires that are illegal. The human mind, by nature loves its lusts. The carnal mind hates God’s way, hates to give up its lusts.

Can we understand that our mind wants its own way, and not God’s way? And we can and must overcome this.

God says that He hates a proud look, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood and so on. All these sins we must overcome to be in God’s Kingdom. It is through the Holy Spirit that will enable us to overcome and hate sin just as God hates sin. When we come to the point that we really hate sin, we can begin to overcome. We need to ask for God’s mind, ask for help to hate sin.

Did you know that the entire Old Testament history is a chronicle of the results of sin? Paul tells us in I Cor. 10:6 “Now these things (in the Old Testament) were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they lusted.” The sufferings and failures of men and women who sinned.

What we need to do is to picture ourselves locked out of God’s Kingdom, thrust into oblivion. Think about the lake of fire, about eternal failure, about death, our sins will kill us if we don’t overcome them. Receiving God’s own help through His Holy Spirit, meditating on the results of our sins, will make us an overcomer.

“For godly sorrow works repentance to salvation not be repented of; but the sorrow of the world works death” (II Cor. 7:10?

King Saul gave the appearance of godly sorrow, but his fruits showed otherwise. So how can we have godly sorrow?

We must really care what God thinks about us, and how our sins do effect God our Father. Why? Because He is a loving, kind and deeply interested Parent, a Parent who grieves over His errant children. If we can really understand God’s parenthood, and if we are truly close to God, we can truly repent to God, when we sin. We will be ashamed of ourselves for what we have done to God personally, to God’s love, to God’s ways, to His outstretched helping hands.

Godly sorrow is strong enough to make us change, it is sorrow to God, not just sorrow for having messed ourselves up.

Worldly sorrow is sorrow all right and maybe to the point of tears. But it is sorrow for having failed ourselves. We didn’t live up to the image we have of ourselves. It spoils our self-esteem, it lowers us in our own mind, and that is selfish, worldly sorrow.

Now if you are trying to overcome, but not succeeding, maybe you need to try this: Analyze the reason you are trying to overcome. Is it purely selfish, in the same way worldly sorrow that you just read about?

Do you want to overcome so that you can put yourself forward, rise in the eyes of others, so that you may get ahead, if so, this is carnal, and the carnal mind wants to get ahead? Why do we want to get rid of sin, is it just for yourself and not the Work, then you are not overcoming?

If we are having a problem of overcoming, then we must change our motive for overcoming, pray for the desire to serve others. If we achieve a desire to serve others; we will realize why we must overcome.

Now we have an unselfish goal for overcoming and changing. Watching other people’s suffering and needs will give you a desire to change for their sakes, to help them. Sin is the thing we usually do. Sin is hard to root out because it is customary, usual, pleasant, easy and habitual.

Let us make ourselves the opposite of sin. Make ourselves practice the right way, repeat good habits several times in a row.

The answer to sin is STOP! Sin grows constantly worse; Sin goes from bad to worse, from worse to wretched, and from wretched to absolute filth and abomination.

The Hebrew word Ra translated sin many times in the Old Testament means exactly that: rot, filth, dung, and God hates sins so much that He calls it manure and sewage. That is how bad our sins are.

“Forasmuch then as Christ has suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin: that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lust of men, but to the will of God” (I Peter 4:1-2). God wants us to cease from sin. Sin is the enemy that can keep you out of God’s Kingdom, you must defeat it!

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