Kingdom Truth - What is the Kingdom of Heaven in the Bible?
Chapter 6, Part 1
Viewing the Basic Nature of Sin from
the Old Testament History
    Those who study the Scriptures know that the first sin of the universe is recorded in Isaiah 14:13-14. These two verses consist of five short sentences.  Each sentence has a subject (I), auxiliary verb (will), verbs (go up, raise, sit, rise, compared) and infinitive clauses.  Even though the verb (except "go up") and clause in each sentence are different, the "I" and ''will" are identical.  This sentence structure no doubt is telling us that the subject "I" is responsible for the fall of the shining star, son of the morning and morning star.  He was unwilling to be under the heavens but wanted to go up to the heavens.  He considered it to be a shame to be equal with the stars and wanted to be above them all.  He did not enjoy presenting himself to God but wanted to sit on the Mount of Assembly. He was unwilling to dwell under the clouds but wanted to show off his name above the clouds.  He was unwilling to obey God and wanted to be His equal.  The pride of his "self' is so great that God cannot but judge him!  So the basic nature of the first sin of the universe is no other than "self"!

    The second sin of the universe is recorded in Genesis chapter 3.  After reading it, it is natural that we would ask the question: "Why did God punish Adam and Eve so severely? All they did was to eat a fruit!"  Yes, but what God required was not a matter of magnitude or frequency, but a matter of principle.  What then was the principle involved in eating the fruit of good and evil?  The answer is clearly stated in Genesis 3:22: "The Lord said, 'Behold, the man has become like one of Us, knowing good and evil."' This verse tells us that their similarity with God is not in omnipotence or omniscience but only in behavior regarding "knowing good and evil" (which can also be translated as "choosing between good and evil"). In such behavior, they have reached a level that is like God. They are no longer like before when they would agree wholeheartedly with God on what is right and what is wrong. Now they want to use their own judgment to decide what is good and what is evil!  In other words, they are unwilling to obey God.  They wanted to make "self' as God and be equal to God.  So, eating the fruit of good and evil was merely a demonstration of the rebellious condition of the heart!  In this manner, Adam's sin and Satan's desire to be like the Most High are just different paths that lead to the same destination! So when Adam was driven out of the Garden of Eden, it is due to the instigation of his "self'!  Looking at today's church, are there not many who are "eating the fruit of good and evil"?  Not only do they disregard God's repeated commands to the church in the Scriptures, they intentionally substitute their own ''right and good" for God's will. They have become a type of the Laodicea church in the lost days and have locked Christ out!

     Not only these two portions of Scriptures revealed this.  If we analyze all the sins throughout the Scriptures, we will discover that there is not a single sin that did not originate from "self'.  Where there is the "self," there is the presence of sin!

     The Scripture no only tell us that Adam's sin is instigated by his "own self," it also tells us that the sins of the Jews are identical tunes played at a different key!  The countless sins committed by the Jews were summarized by God into two evils.  Passively it was "forsaking God", and actively it was "seeking for oneself' (Jer. 2:13)1 Since they were unwilling to obey God's word, each did according to the desires of their stubborn and evil hearts. Then, they become deluded by sin.  Their hearts become hardened with evil unbelief and they forsook the living God!  Not only were the Jews like that, but the whole world, all of mankind, is also like that.  The reason is recorded in the Scriptures: "All of us like sheep hove gone astray, each of us has turned to their own ways; but the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him." (Isa. 53:6) This verse clearly tells us that "turned to their own ways" is equal to "iniquities".  "Turned to their own ways" can also be translated as "that which is feared", the object is the "self' inside them!  If members of the Kingdom personnel cannot break through this, it will be very difficult for them to mature to the fullness of Christ.  Also, it will be very difficult for them to be overcomers.  Since no man can serve two masters, when the "self' is firmly planted on the throne, how can the gracious Lord rule inside me'?

Chapter 6, Part 1
Shepherd His Sheep