The Nature of the Fallen Man
By Nick Bibile
At the beginning, we saw the enmity between the fallen man and God. Because of the enmity, we saw the fallen man does not love God; today we are going to see the fallen mans affections are toward his idols.
Before we begin this, we need to go to the beginning again to get a better understanding of our study.
When God at first created man, he was united to his
Creator; the Creator God was his God. Adam was holy, without sin and perfect.
There fore his worship to God was perfect.
God commanded to stay away from idolatry.
We see in the Old Testament whenever
Ex 20:3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:
5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;
6 And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.
You can see here if they have other gods, they cannot love God. Idolatry is rooted in the heart. The fallen mans heart of affection and love has departed to another. We see through out in the Old Testament how they began to worship idolatrous images of other nations.
Isa 2:8 Their land also is full of idols; they worship the work of their own hands, that which their own fingers have made.
Le 26:1 Ye shall make you no idols nor graven image, neither rear you up a standing image, neither shall ye set up any image of stone in your land, to bow down unto it: for I am the LORD your God.
Israelites were surrounded by other nations, and all the other nations worshipped their images, and Israel was the minority among the majority, they got tempted to the women of their neighboring nations, and married them. Then they began to follow the customs of the other nations, departed from the true God and began to worship idols of the other nations.
Idolatry in the heart severely rebuked.
Many times, we believe idolatry is worshipping images, not so. We need to see the broader scope of idolatry. Remember the children of Israel, as long as they stood within their boundaries and worshipped the true living God, they were safe and God was with them. Whenever they made alliances with other nations, married their women, followed their customs and traditions they committed idolatry. Idolatry is setting your heart and affections towards the world. The fallen mans heart had departed from the heavenly things to earthly things.
Eze 14:3 Son of man, these men have set up their idols in their heart, and put the stumbling block of their iniquity before their face: should I be enquired of at all by them?
Eze 14:4 Therefore speak unto them, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Every man of the house of Israel that setteth up his idols in his heart, and putteth the stumbling block of his iniquity before his face, and cometh to the prophet; I the LORD will answer him that cometh according to the multitude of his idols;
Eze 14:5 That I may take the house of Israel in their own heart, because they are all estranged from me through their idols.
Here we see a very interesting chapter.
Ezekiel prophesied in the beginning of the captivity. In this chapter, we see the elders of Israel coming to Ezekiel the prophet for consultation. Probably Ezekiel was touched in his heart and had pity for them as they looked like they were really seeking God, and they came to the prophet for an answer. It looked like this was a sure sign of repentance. But God almighty sees the hearts of men and what their thinking and their motives, saw they did not have any sincerity, and as they have openly violated Gods laws. Instead of an encouraging word from God, they were severely rebuked by God. God said, They have setup idols in their heart. This is spiritual idolatry. They were superstitious and had multitudes of idols in their hearts, money was their god, and they lived in a wealthy lifestyle. God said, I will answer them according to the multitudes of their idols. (Verse 4) These elders of Israel look very religious and holy, but God extracts what is hidden in their hearts and expose their idolatry openly. The Bible says, the word of God is a two edged sword. For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do. (Heb 4:12 13)
God said, in verse 5; They have estranged from me through their idols. It means they have alienated themselves from true God. Their own thinking has deceived them.
In verse 6, God is telling them that they should repent of their sins, castaway the idols in your heart, as they are an abomination to the Lord. Today we see the same things happening. Idolatry is rampant. You can buy an image of Mary or any saint. It is a money making profit. The priests and the elders they are all corrupt.
These are hypocrites. Hypocrites acts like a Christian, has all the outward form of Christianity, can fool many people but cannot fool God. Pharisees and the Sadducees and most of the Jews at the time of Jesus were hypocrites, and Jesus rebuked the severely. Because of the hypocrites, others are stumbled. God will judge these prophets. See verse seven.
Eze 14:7 For every one of the house of Israel, or of the stranger that sojourneth in Israel, which separateth himself from me, and setteth up his idols in his heart, and putteth the stumblingblock of his iniquity before his face, and cometh to a prophet to enquire of him concerning me; I the LORD will answer him by myself:
The stranger here is the Gentile who has been circumcised. They have set idols in their hearts God will punish them. Our hearts should be ruled by God, but when we set up idols in our hearts, we overthrow Gods throne that is in our hearts and reduce his power to nothing. Now all the affection and love goes to the idols. Hypocrites separate themselves with true God by their fellowship with idols. (Pharisees did not have true fellowship with Jesus.) They cut them selves off from their relation to God. This is what God will do to that man. Hypocrite will think that he can pass with the other people as a child of God. But God will cut him off from the midst of his people.
In the same way, the fallen man is a hypocrite. He has religion outside but inside he is like a dead mans bones. The fallen man wants to become religious but not following the true word of God, but following the traditions of the people.
Mr 7:6 He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.
7 Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.
8 For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do.
9 And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.
Cannot serve two masters.
You cannot love two masters at the same time. If he serves one, he cannot serve the other; but if he cleaves to one, he will necessarily hate the other. You cannot serve God almighty and the saints at the same time. You cannot serve materialism and God at the same time; you cannot serve money and God at the same time. Mat. 6:24, No man can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one, and love the other, or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. And this is the very reason that men hate God. There is the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Satan. The fallen man is in the Kingdom of Satan. The two kingdoms are in opposition to each other. You cannot be loyal to both kingdoms as they oppose one another. If one loves one kingdom then he is an enemy of the other kingdom. The fallen man who is in Satans Kingdom is an enemy of Gods Kingdom. Adam disobeyed God and obeyed Satan and Satan became the god of this world.
Loving worldly riches, pleasures and honors.
Mt 4:8 Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them;
9 And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.
The devil does not come in an ugly face with a pitchfork. You do not see the devil, as he is a spirit. He can use other men to tempt people. If someone comes to you and tell you, I know you are suffering hard to earn money, you have a lot of bills to pay, you do not have a home as your own. You have been driving that car for a long time. What if I give you 5 million dollars now, here I will show it to you, look at this dollar bills they are fresh. You can tell your boss, goodbye, and buy the home you always wanted to buy, give your kids the best of education, make a trip around the world, enjoy for the rest of your life. What will you say? The fallen man will say yes. The fallen mans heart is rooted and focused upon this earth as money and ambition is his God. But not the man who is in the Kingdom of God.
Col 3:2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.
3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.
4 When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.
5 Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:
6 For which things' sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience:
The fallen man has many lovers today as he has set his heart and affection toward these lovers. Sports is one of them. Many have put sports above everything else. The TV set, he spend more time watching those sit coms, sexual and violent movies that gives all the pleasure to his flesh. Material things of the world, they love their children and wife or husband more than they love God.
The natural man gives his heart to the world, worldly riches, worldly pleasures, and worldly honors. Their hearts and affections are toward the world. The apostle sums up all the idolatry of wicked men in their love of the world. 1 John 2:15-16, Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
The lust of the flesh is the whole corrupt nature of man. This is the fallen mans nature as he is a worldly man. They are seeking to gratify their flesh, it is more important for them this body than the word of God. The lust of the eyes is having an eager appetite for material things, or for immoral sex. The fallen mans eyes are always looking for those things that look beautiful and have much splendor and glory. This is how the devil tempted our Lord as he showed the glory of the world. The pride of life is haughtiness, ambition, self-love, selfishness, boasting, self-confidence and putting others down.
The true Christian love God, but when you turn your thoughts and affections away from God, be occupied with the cravings of the world, we cannot love God. John Calvin said, It would be like pouring water on a ball, you cannot gather not even a drop, because there is no empty place to retain water. The love of the world is severely condemned in the Bible. When you say loving the world, it means all the corruptions of every kind in this world, having companionship with worldly people, listening to their corrupt communications, enjoying their company, where the fallen man loves to do. Fallen man loves the pleasures that the world can give him, all the delightful things of the world, all the enticing attractions and the temptations of the world. Fallen man is severely tempted with these things. His heart is on worldly profit, worldly pleasures, and worldly honors. On the other hand the Christians are only pilgrims on this earth, as this world has no value to them, their home is in heaven. They live a humble life. The fallen man lives a prideful life; he has great ambition of this world, loves to boast of himself, look down at the others, he loves himself and has self-confidence.
James said, Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. ((Jas 4:4)
Listen to the news today and we see the nature of the fallen man. There is hatred, anger, fightings, qurrelling, wars and killings. Why? James said, you desire to have something, but cannot. The flesh desires what you want, it is the lust of the flesh, when things does not go your way, according to your will there is anger, friends become enemies. Even the prayers are for selfish reasons, praying according to the flesh. Thank goodness, we do not have a Pope to rule our church. The spirit of God is against the lust and envy, jealousy, pride. James goes on to say, these are all from the world, the worldly ways are not the ways of God, and the worldliness is an enemy of God. Then James hits the nail on the head, the cause of all these, because of pride.
God demands that we should worship him only.
All the sin that men commit, is what they do in the service of their idols. Think about it. Think of any sin, and they are all done in the name of idolatry. God is against idolatry. He utterly hates them. Wickedness is sweet to the fallen man. It would be extremely painful for them to give away their other lovers than to give their souls to the Lord. They love their idolatry. But God does not approve of it, but exceedingly hates it. He will by no means be reconciled to it; and therefore they hate him. God declares an infinite hatred of every act they do, in the service of their false gods. He declares himself to be a holy and a jealous God; a God who is very jealous of his own honor.
God demands that they should worship and serve him only and give their hearts totally to him, and not to another. He will not allow them to love their idols just to a certain degree. No, God wants those idols to be castaway, there have to be a final parting from those idols, cast them forever. But the natural man cannot obey the word of God and they hate his words.
God will not tolerate their love towards their idols, as he had threatened them with everlasting punishment, as the natural man had departed from the living God and had chosen to serve other gods. The wages of sin is death. He will accept of no atonement that they can make. He will not forgive them for whatever they do in religion; whatever pains they take; whatever tears they shed. He will accept of no money or price that they have to offer. The only way of forgiveness is true repentance.