NAKED CHRISTIAN! – Devotion for Wednesday, 11 May 2016 Anno Domini
16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. 17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and KNOWEST NOT THAT THOU ART WRETCHED, AND MISERABLE, AND POOR, AND BLIND, AND NAKED. 18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. Rev 3:16-18 (KJV)
We may wear the most exquisite apparel and latest fashions and yet be NAKED. We are born with the want of a garment. (‘Want’ by the way, means need, not desire). We come into the world hungry, poor, helpless and naked. We depart, physically, in like manner. However, those who have donned that White Robe of Righteousness made available in Christ do not appear naked before God, but are clothed with the imputed righteousness of our Lord Jesus Christ. But no amount of outer garments can hide the nakedness of our sins from the One who made us: “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 4:13 (KJV)
In our day, it is not considered politically correct to point out the nakedness of another – either in dress or lifestyle. It is not nice to call a terrorist a terrorist; a homosexual a reprobate pervert (not MY judgment, but God’s), promiscuous sex adultery, or an illegal immigrant an illegal immigrant. The full power and force of the media are complicit in a process of forced indoctrination to a life in which there are no contrasts and no offenders – except those who go by the name of biblical Christian. No one dares point out that the strongest proponent of this mindset, who occupies the American White House, is the emperor who” has no clothes.” That would be unkind, you see. So the entire nation is victim to the maelstrom of wickedness and deceit that draws all to the depths of the sea and the numbness of morality that lifts no one to a higher plane than the next. All of the “isms” in the world combine to subjugate the soul of man to a mindless obedience and a dumbness of free speech. Whether it be Communism, Fascism, Socialism, or Islamism – they all have the same end – totalitarian control and the complete eradication of individual liberties. But to go further on that line would not do justice to the full meaning of nakedness as revealed in Holy Writ.
Adam and Eve were created au naturel with neither skirt nor cape. So are we all, by the way. Before the Fall, they had no cognizance of their nakedness. Why do you suppose that was the case? I believe it is because they had no knowledge of good and evil. There was no law to impede their comfort. “12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: 13 (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. 14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.” Romans 5:12-14 (KJV)
God gave two commandments only to our primordial parents in the Garden at Eden prior to Adam’s Fall. Do you remember them? The first relates to the Holy Institution of Marriage between one man and one woman: “27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. 28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.” Gen 1:27-28 (KJV) This dictates the constitutional state of marriage to be between one man and one woman, and foreshadows the Institution of the Church as a means of propagating the Gospel. Two of the same sex cannot obey this very first commandment by producing children.
What was the second commandment of the Lord to Adam? Hint: It introduces man’s inclination to choose the evil works of Satan over the Lord of the Garden – the Tree of Life! “16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: 17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”
Gen 2:16-17 (KJV) The Tree of Life represents our Lord Jesus Christ; but it was taken from us after Adam’s sin, so where is it now? It is probably still in the Garden which the Lord also removed from our access: “7 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.” Rev 2:7 (KJV)
So Adam sinned and became aware of his nakedness before God. It was not the birds and the bees, or Eve, from which he hid himself in shame – but from God! Notice that the pair did not hide themselves until they recognized the Presence of the Lord: “8 And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.” Gen 3:8 (KJV) Atheism today is a pretense of hiding from God.
God was very happy with His Creation ere Adam sinned. He saw that ALL was very good – even the animal creatures over which He desired the couple to exercise careful dominion for their welfare and benefit. Of course, God already knew, long before He created man, that the man, having a will to act, would not truly have a free will but one surrendered to the Serpent of the Tree. The only free will man can own is that will that is surrendered to the will of God. He knew Adam could not be the “Captain of his soul and Master of his fate.” None of us are. So God is brought to the sad point of covering the nakedness of Adam and Eve. How did He accomplish that feat? You will remember that there was no death before Adam’s Fall because there was no imputation of sin. Now the beauty and charm of Eden is marred by the very first death which would typify the coming sacrifice of our Lord as a covering for our sins: “Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.” Gen 3:21 (KJV) God considered it a hurtful necessity to kill one of the precious and sinless creatures He had made (probably a lamb) in order to cover the nakedness of Adam and Eve. Later the sinless and altogether righteous Son of God would also be sacrificed to cover the nakedness of our sins.
The nakedness of Adam, and his subsequent effort to cover that nakedness with sown fig leaves, pretty much sums up the state of the modern church and her wretched nakedness – especially in America where she was borne upon the Providential Wings of God and protected until the blemishes in her heart began to grow as a malignancy. Proud of her own works and enlarged tent skirts, she boasts of numbers of souls that have been bought by her efforts, but of what result. She has adopted the values of the world in order to gain the world. She believes that her magnificent buildings and prodigious numbers will justify her in the eyes of the world, but she has forgotten that it is not the world, but the Lord Himself to whom she is betrothed. She has played the harlot, and will draw the harlot’s wages at the last.
We read something of the seven churches, which may reflect those of Revelations 1-3, of the end times in Isaiah 4:1 – “And in that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel: only let us be called by thy name, to take away our reproach.” Isaiah 4:1 (KJV) When the prophets make prophetic reference to woman, it is usually in the sense of a spiritual power or institution. For example, “And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars: 2 And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered.” Rev 12:1-2 (KJV) This is the called out church from Abraham to today.
Another example, far less flattering, of a spiritual institution represented by woman is “1 And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters: 2 With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication. 3 So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. 4 And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication: 5 And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. 6 And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration.” Rev 17:1-6 (KJV)
The churches of our day are far more like those seven women of Isaiah 4:1. They desire, more than anything else, the acceptance and approbation of the world – even more than that of their betrothed Husband! So they – the seven women – will take hold of one Man (Jesus Christ), saying, “We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel: only let us be called by thy name to take away our reproach.” They reject the Bread of Life offered by our Lord “I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.” John 6:35 (KJV) and they reject the Robe of Righteousness Jesus offers: “I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.” Isaiah 61:10 (KJV) And so, since her own works are as filthy rags, she remains wretched, miserable, and poor in the eyes of the Lord. “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.” Isaiah 64:6 (KJV) Yet, she desires to be called by His Name (Christian) for the sake of misappropriated respectability.
The hand-sown fig leaves she has made for herself with her own hands for a covering does not cover her, so she remains NAKED before God her Suitor and Savior.