Scope of Conscience

1 Corinthians 13:12 “For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.”

Our conscious understanding of the world around us is limited by the scope of our ability to see or experience our surroundings. A surgeon can open up a chest and hold a heart in his hand, but he cannot see the spiritual heart of man. A brain surgeon can create a window to examine the brain but still cannot observe the conscience.

There is a spiritual component to people that is often neglected. Surgeons treat all they can see and often assume that which is tangible is the entirety of our being and yet we wrestle with meaning and purpose because of this neglect.

Near Death Experiences

Near death experiences have shown us testimonies of how the expansion of understanding for those whose spirit has separated from their bodies, albeit for a short period of time, is a reminder that there is much more to our existence than we know. There have been a number of people who have died temporarily and then came back to retell the story.

The list of books, testimonials, or movies on the subject of near death experiences is seemingly endless. If there are so many testimonials on the subject, the sheer fact that so many have experienced these phenomena gieves credibility to the thought of a continuation of existence after death.

Credibility of the Encounter

Ezekiel 8:3 “He stretched out what looked like a hand and took me by the hair of my head. The Spirit lifted me up between earth and heaven and in visions of God he took me to Jerusalem, to the entrance of the north gate of the inner court, where the idol that provokes to jealousy stood.”

In or around the 6th century B.C. lived a prophet by the name of Ezekiel. He was living in Jerusalem at the time of Jeremiah the prophet. There was great apostasy in the land during those days. Israel had a series of kings who had introduced idolatry into the land and the people had embraced it. As the culture grew more and more distant from God, the warnings of impending trouble kept increasing.

In chapter 8 of Ezekiel, the prophet describes a very specific time and place in which he had a very spiritual encounter with God. The pre-incarnate Yeshua transposed from the spiritual to the physical and appeared before Ezekiel. This moment in time revealed the seriousness that God was taking in bringing perspective to Ezekiel. It seems whenever we see the Lord breaking from the hidden nature of the spiritual into our limited reality, the intervention is a sign of God elevating the circumstances.

I don’t know if these encounters are an indication of man’s ignorance or if our ability to recognize the nature of the moment requires additional revelation, either way, there have been many moments like this in history.

What strikes me as so perplexing are the times when God simply sends an angel to deliver a message or He Himself shows up and does it Himself.

Ezekiel 8:9-12 “And He said to me, “Go in, and see the wicked abominations which they are doing there.” So I went in and saw, and there—every sort of creeping thing, abominable beasts, and all the idols of the house of Israel, portrayed all around on the walls. And there stood before them seventy men of the elders of the house of Israel, and in their midst stood Jaazaniah the son of Shaphan. Each man had a censer in his hand, and a thick cloud of incense went up. Then He said to me, “Son of man, have you seen what the elders of the house of Israel do in the dark, every man in the room of his idols? For they say, ‘The Lord does not see us, the Lord has forsaken the land.’ ”

Hidden ways of Man

I have often wondered how the Lord can view all of the wickedness in this world on a continual basis and not just wipe mankind off the face of the earth.

For God to allow such wickedness to exist at all, reveals the magnitude of His incomparable mercy.

No human being could stand by and watch the level of evil that is perpetuated among the nations on a daily basis. To have the ability to remove a wicked person from the face of the earth with just a thought or a word and then not do it requires divine strength.

Aren’t you thankful God has had that level of patience with you?

There is a Breaking Point

There is a time when evil reaches it’s inevitable demise. How the Lord makes the determination of when to intervene is relegated to His majesty and glory. Whether it is a culmination of God’s call and man’s rebellion, a change in the heart of man that atrophies into such a hardness and signals the end of God’s patience, or the times when God simply says, “enough” I will not endure this sin anymore and the time of judgement is at hand. Whatever the breaking point is, there is always a time that occurs and when it does culminate in judgement, nothing can stand before the fury of the Lord.

Ezekiel 8:17-18 “And He said to me, “Have you seen this, O son of man? Is it a trivial thing to the house of Judah to commit the abominations which they commit here? For they have filled the land with violence; then they have returned to provoke Me to anger. Indeed they put the branch to their nose.  Therefore I also will act in fury. My eye will not spare nor will I have pity; and though they cry in My ears with a loud voice, I will not hear them.”

Historically, when the time of judgement finally occurs, grace is off the table. Look at the times when God has brought judgement upon mankind, you will see a litany of calls in which the Lord reaches out and attempts to dissuade people from continuing in their error.

Prophets yell forth and demonstrate impending doom, signs in the heavens and the earth, and warnings are always preceding judgement and wrath. The Lord doesn’t want to punish people, He doesn’t want to destroy lives, and He certainly doesn’t desire for one more soul to enter into Hell.

The Lord will leave His throne in glory and enter into our existence, and DIE for us, to keep us from experiencing one day of judgement.

Why do we continue to ignore these signs?

Why do we think it will just go away if we ignore the message?

Why do we act like our lives will go on indefinitely?

Death is readily made evident….watch the news and see how many people are dying every day. The world statistics show that over 160,000 people die every day in the world. Those who survive death, realize very quickly that there is more to this life.

Why does it take a near death experience to wake up to reality?

Deuteronomy 30:19 “I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live;”

The Harbingers

There are people who hear from God and bring warning of something that is about to happen. There are signs in the heavens that reflect the time clock of Creation as it winds down and reveals God’s order. There are events that are happening upon the earth that shows the season in which we live.

We all see them….

What are we going to do about them?

Do we change our ways, or do we continue to act like there are no eternal consequences to anything? Like those men in Ezekiel’s day who were meeting in secret, performing idolatrous ceremonies and living their lives as an affront to God’s glory—-the gig was up. God knew all along what they were doing and His wrath was about to culminate in judgement upon them.

We must live in reality and not the abstract. We must move from simply thinking about ideals to practicing them.

Deuteronomy 4:1 Hear now, O Israel, the statutes and ordinances I am teaching you to follow, so that you may live and may enter and take possession of the land that the LORD, the God of your fathers, is giving you.”

We must move past the illusion that what we see is all there is. There is a reality that exceeds our senses, there is a home for those who understand where the righteous will finally culminate.

The Word of God is the instructions for how to move from foolishness into wisdom. The fool says in His heart, “There is no God”, the wise recognize who God is and then lives by those precepts.

Live wisely and you will live with understanding. Draw wisdom from His source and you won’t be limited by the flesh. Live with the knowledge that the Lord sees everything you think and do and it will give you a fresh perspective that might change your course toward righteousness.

The conscience is an interesting thing, we can either deny our conviction or be true to what we know. The more we grow and understand the Word of God, the more clear God’s guidelines become in our lives.

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